Jumat, 01 Februari 2013

Indonesia: Confront Intolerance in 2013 Protect Religious Minorities, Free Political Prisoners in West Papua

Indonesia: Confront Intolerance in 2013
Protect Religious Minorities, Free Political Prisoners
February 1, 2013
Indonesia’s growing regional prominence is being held back by the government’s failure to confront intolerance of the country’s diverse political and religious views. To join the ranks of rights-respecting countries, the Indonesian government needs to act to protect the rights of all its citizens.
Phelim Kine, deputy Asia director
(London) – Indonesian authorities throughout 2012 failed to defend threatened religious minorities and imprisoned peaceful activists for their political views, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2013.
In its 665-page report, Human Rights Watch assessed progress on human rights during the past year in more than 90 countries, including an analysis of the aftermath of the Arab Spring.
The Indonesian government should enforce laws protecting religious freedom, and review hundreds of discriminatory local bylaws that victimize women and religious minorities, Human Rights Watch said. It should also release the dozens of political prisoners, mostly Papuan and Moluccan activists, imprisoned for peaceful dissent, Human Rights Watch said.
Indonesia’s growing regional prominence is being held back by the government’s failure to confront intolerance of the country’s diverse political and religious views,” said Phelim Kine, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “To join the ranks of rights-respecting countries, the Indonesian government needs to act to protect the rights of all its citizens.”
Throughout 2012, Indonesian authorities took inadequate action against Islamist militants who mobilized mobs to attack religious minorities, Human Rights Watch said. According to Indonesia’s Setara Institute, which monitors religious freedom, attacks against religious minorities increased from 144 cases in 2011 to 264 cases in 2012. Light prison terms sought against perpetrators sent a message of official tolerance for such mob violence. Dozens of regulations, including ministerial decrees on building houses of worship, also fostered discrimination and intolerance. During 2012, dozens of minority Christian congregations reported that local government officials arbitrarily refused to issue them building permits, even where they had Supreme Court approval.
Senior government officials, including Religious Affairs Minister Suryadharma Ali and Home Affairs Minister Gamawan Fauzi, offered “relocation” of affected religious minorities rather than legal protection of their rights. Suryadharma Ali, in September 2012, made highly discriminatory remarks about the Ahmadiyah and Shia communities, suggesting the beliefs of both were heretical.
Indonesian police in 2012 remained complicit in acts of violence against religious minorities. On August 26, police officers stood by while hundreds of Sunni militants burned down 50 homes in a Shia village on Madura Island, killing one man. Indonesian authorities also failed to adequately protect artists, writers, and media companies targeted by militant Islamist groups, who disrupted the May book tour of Muslim-Canadian writer Irshad Manji in Jakarta and Yogyakarta, and caused the cancellation of a Lady Gaga concert in Jakarta in June.

Aceh's provincial government enforced its repressive Sharia (Islamic law)-inspired dress code and law on “seclusion,” banning association between unmarried men and women in “isolated” places. The provisions are enforced primarily through a Sharia police force that harasses, intimidates, and arbitrarily arrests and detains women and men. In September, a 16-year-old girl arrested by the Sharia police in Langsa regency committed suicide, after two daily newspapers reported that she was a “prostitute.” In December, the mayor of Lhokseumawe cited Sharia to justify a ban on women straddling motorcycles.

“Violence against religious minorities will only get worse so long as the Indonesian government encourages or ignores attacks by Islamist militants,” Kine said. “Indonesia’s leaders need to demonstrate real leadership and denounce the violence, revise discriminatory laws, and ensure those responsible for abuses are punished.”

The Indonesian government continued to prosecute peaceful political activists in Papua and the Moluccas Islands, conflating freedom of expression and association with armed separatism, Human Rights Watch said. In March 2012, a court in Jayapura, Papua sentenced five activists to three years in prison for declaring Papua’s independence from Indonesia in 2011.

In May 2012, the Indonesian government dismissed recommendations to release political prisoners made by 11 United Nations member states during the UN Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of Indonesia’s human rights record. Those prisoners are serving sentences of up to 20 years for acts of peaceful protest, including staging protest dances or raising separatist flags. They include Papuan independence activist Filep Karma, whom the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention in 2011 called on the Indonesian government to release.

The government accepted some of the UN’s UPR recommendations, including extending invitations to the three UN special rapporteurs on the rights to health, adequate housing, and freedom of expression, to visit the country. Such visits could help identify and resolve related rights abuses, though these visits have yet to occur.

“Indonesia adds insult to injury by arresting peaceful activists and then dismissing the concerns raised by the UN and other governments,” Kine said. “These prisoners cast a scandalous shadow on Indonesia’s claim to be a rights-respecting country that abides by the rule of law.”


Response Indonesia Terrorism Law in West Papua

Response to a Call to Apply Indonesia's Anti-Terrorism Law in West Papua

by Ed McWilliams
Edmund McWilliams is a retired U.S. Foreign Service Officer who served as the Political Counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta 1996-1999. He received the American Foreign Service Association’s Christian Herter Award for creative dissent by a senior foreign service official. He is a member of the West Papua Advocacy Team and a consultant with the East Timor and Indonesia Action Network (ETAN).
In a December 5, 2012 lecture at Stanford University's International Policy Studies program (revised and posted by the International Crisis Group on January 22, 2013), the respected Southeast Asia analyst Sidney Jones discussed the Indonesian government's unwillingness, thus far, to categorize the Papuan "ethno-nationalists/separatists" as "terrorists." Jones identifies these Papuan "ethno-nationalists" and "separatists" as the armed Papuan opposition, Operasi Papua Merdeka (OPM) and what she describes as "an extremist faction of KNPB, the West Papua National Committee, a militant pro-independence organization." Jones cites various incidents of violence in West Papua that she claims were committed by these "ethno-nationalists and separatists."
The authors of violence in the Indonesian archipelago, especially violence with complex motives, are never so clear cut as her lecture implies. This is especially true of West Papua where police-military rivalries over access to resources and sources of extortion monies is well known.

Her analysis focuses on the different approaches employed against the West Papuan "ethno-nationalists/separatists" and against Islamic militants ("jihadists") by prosecutors and the security forces (police, military and Detachment 88). Jones contends that "the discrepancy between the way the two groups are treated by the legal system is untenable." She considers two alternatives: One would be to employ anti-terrorism law in West Papua, and the other would entail moving away from the use of anti-terror law against "jihadists." She argues extensively against the latter approach of "pulling back from the use of the anti-terror law."

Jones contends that pressure for use of the anti-terror law against "ethno-nationalists/separatists" is growing among Islamic observers. In particular, she cites Harits Abu Ulya, director of the Community of Ideological Islamic Analysts (CIIA): "If the government is consistent, then it should acknowledge that attacks motivated by ethno-nationalism and separatism be considered terrorism because they are carried out by an organization with a political vision that uses terrorism to influence the security environment and challenge(s) the sovereignty of the state. Why aren't we seeing forces being sent en masse to cleanse Papua of separatism?"

Detachment 88.  
Jones' argument warrants a more detailed critique than space here allows, but even a brief review reveals a number of problems.

Jones summarily credits recent violent acts in West Papua to the "ethno-nationalists and separatists." This is surprising insofar as Jones is a highly regarded observer of the Indonesian political scene with a deep human rights background. She knows, or should know, that the authors of violence in the Indonesian archipelago -- especially violence with complex motives -- are never so clear cut as her lecture implies. This is especially true of West Papua where police-military rivalries over access to resources and sources of extortion monies is well known. Jones should know also that military, police and intelligence agencies, have long played the role of provocateur, orchestrating acts of violence which advance agendas that are invariably obscure.

Jones cites what she claims is recent "ethno-nationalist" pressure on the giant Freeport McMoRan mining operation. She ignores the reality that such pressure in the past has frequently been orchestrated by the military, specifically the Indonesian Special Forces (Kopassus). To be fair, Jones alludes to this complexity but largely dismisses it. Her analysis similarly ignores the reality that the Indonesian state has long blocked international monitoring of such security force skullduggery and manipulation of the security environment in West Papua by restricting travel by international journalists, human rights researchers and others to and within the region.

Jones also fails to acknowledge the reality, widely noted in international and local human rights circles, that the Indonesian government has long sought to smear peaceful dissent in West Papua as "separatist." Jakarta, through the aegis of a corrupt court system and often criminal state security forces, has repeatedly employed the "separatist" label to arrest and prosecute or detain peaceful political dissenters, such as those who display the Papuan morning star flag. Courts regularly resort to charges of treason that date to the Dutch colonial era and widely used by the Suharto dictatorship to intimidate dissidents. Jones' call for Indonesia to define "separatism" as "terrorism" would deepen Jakarta's targeting of peaceful dissent and the intimidation of Papuans generally. Use of the anti-terror law would enable the police to detain "separatist" suspects, including those engaging in peaceful protest, for a week rather than 48 hours. The law also empowers the police to employ electronic surveillance. Ongoing efforts would strengthen the anti-terror law to give the police even broader powers to limit the freedom of speech and assembly.

The argument to employ the "terrorist" label against "ethno-nationalist and separatist" groups and individuals in West Papua could have direct legal implications for international solidarity movements.

Jones claim that the West Papua Nationalist Committee (KNPB) is a "extremist," is without substantiation. Criminal activity by some alleged members of the KNPB is generally not well corroborated and usually reflects efforts by the State to undermine the organization. The KNPB, and many other Papuan organizations and individuals are indeed ever more strongly pressing for Papuan rights, importantly including the long-denied Papuan right to self determination. But these efforts are largely nonviolent.

In recent years, this struggle has found growing support within the international community. Employing the "terrorist" label against "ethno-nationalist and separatist" groups and individuals in West Papua could have direct legal implications for international solidarity movements. In the U.S., groups or individuals who advocate on behalf of groups designated by the U.S. government as "terrorists" are subject to criminal prosecution. Given the close relations among governments, including those of the U.S. and Australia and Indonesia's security forces, Indonesian government labeling dissidents in West Papua as "terrorist" could have dire implications for the solidarity network. How long would it be before the U.S. and other governments themselves begin to label various Papuan groups and individuals as '"terrorist." U.S. and other international groups acting in solidarity with Papuans seeking to attain their rights could be criminally targeted and charged.

In sum, the Jones analysis is hobbled by the very term "terrorism" which is so poorly defined international law and procedure as to threaten and intimidate even those groups and individuals engaged in peaceful dissent.

In a final note, Sidney Jones, who was the Asia Director for Human Rights Watch from 1989 to 2002, should at a minimum explicitly reject the call by Harits Abu Ulya that she cites in her lecture for the Indonesian government "to cleanse Papua of separatism." Such rhetoric gives license to the kind of atrocities already visited on the people of the Indonesian archipelago, including Timor-Leste, for far too long.

Goodbye Indonesia

Goodbye Indonesia

People & Power investigates one of the world's most forgotten conflicts - the West Papuan struggle for independence.
Last Modified: 31 Jan 2013 17:55

When the Dutch decolonised their East Indies empire after the Second World War they handed it all to the emergent country of Indonesia - all except the territory of West Papua, which forms one half of New Guinea, the second largest island on Earth. This remarkable landmass - split neatly by colonial powers into West Papua and Papua New Guinea - is like few other places in the world.
Its mountainous terrain and dense rainforests have spawned extraordinary linguistic diversity among its indigenous population, some of whom are still in uncontacted tribes. Five decades ago few, if any of these tribes, showed any desire for their land to become an extension of Indonesia, a new nation state with which they shared neither history, culture, religion nor ethnicity, but which wanted resource-rich West Papua within its borders.

The Dutch resisted Indonesia's demands for a while, beginning to invest in West Papuan education and encouraging nationalism. But eventually global realpolitik intervened in the shape of US President Kennedy. Concerned about the possibility of communism spreading across South and Southeast Asia, the Kennedy administration saw Indonesia as a useful regional ally that should be kept happy.
In 1963, with American backing, the United Nations gave Indonesia caretaker rights over the territory, on condition that a referendum on independence should follow. But when the poll - named, without apparent irony, as the 'Act Of Free Choice' - took place in 1969 it was widely perceived as a sham.
From a population of around of 800,000, just over 1,000 tribal elders were selected by the Indonesians to represent the nation. Allegedly threatened, intimidated and held in seclusion, they voted as they were told. Ignoring well-founded international protests that the referendum had been rigged, the UN accepted the result and West Papua moved from being a Dutch colony to an Indonesian province.

But a West Papuan resistance movement, the Free Papua Organisation (OPM), soon started fighting back - in the first instance using bows and arrows to capture the guns of the Indonesian military. A sporadic, low level conflict has continued ever since.
It has never been an even fight (a few thousand unfunded guerrillas against the well-equipped modern army of the world's fourth most populous nation) and Amnesty International and other human rights groups estimate that the Papuan death toll has reached in excess of 100,000 over the years. Some believe it might be even higher, although it is hard to know for sure because the Indonesian authorities have never welcomed independent monitors and foreign reporting is banned.
Even today, 15 years after a democracy replaced Indonesia's dictatorial President Suharto, West Papua is still one of the most policed places on the planet - with approximately 30,000 security personnel dealing with an indigenous population of around two million.
According to Jennifer Robinson, from International Lawyers for West Papua, it has also become one of the most brutal places on the planet. "West Papuans have suffered all forms of human rights abuse, whether it be torture, enforced disappearances, killings, extreme restrictions upon freedom of expression," she says.

Amnesty International is equally critical. In August 2012 it said it continued to receive "credible reports of human rights violations committed by the security forces … including torture and other ill-treatment, unnecessary and excessive use of force and firearms by the security forces and possible unlawful killings. Investigations into reports of human rights violations by the security forces are rare and only a few perpetrators have been brought to justice."

For its part, the Indonesian government routinely denies such charges and claims the actions of its security forces in West Papua are simply a necessary counterpoint to a criminal insurgency that threatens law and order, the safety of the population and the legitimacy of the state.

Over the last decade, however, the dynamics of this struggle have begun to change, with the emergence - alongside the armed struggle - of a new civic non-violent independence movement, the West Papuan National Committee (KNPB). Its membership has grown exponentially and it has bred a new generation of activists focused on both organising non-violent mass protest and making the outside world more aware of their plight. And that, says Robinson, has provoked the Indonesians into a predictably harsh response.
"In the past few years we've seen a change in the security situation in West Papua - I think in response to the growing momentum behind their campaign for a referendum on self-determination which has got widespread popular support, but which is also gaining momentum internationally. [It has] resulted in a greater security crackdown on all peaceful activists who are in any way affiliated with the independence movement," Robinson says.

So what lies behind this five-decade-old struggle and why, in the face of Indonesia's heavy handed intransigence, are activists so determined to continue with their campaigns and protests?
People & Power sent filmmaker Dom Rotheroe and fixer Sally Collister to find out. Because it is virtually impossible for foreign journalists to obtain official permission to visit the territory they travelled in the guise of tourists. Filming discreetly, keeping a low profile and evading the attention of the security police they managed to meet up with KNPB supporters and activists and hear a remarkable story of a people committed to doing whatever it takes to gain control of their own destiny. 
People & Power can be seen each week at the following times GMT: Wednesday: 2230; Thursday: 0930; Friday: 0330; Saturday: 1630; Sunday: 2230; Monday: 0930.
Click here for more People & Power

Kamis, 31 Januari 2013


If the Melanesian Spearhead Group is the brainchild of the late Father Walter Lini then how appropriate it would be to grant West Papua its MSG Observer Status when the people of Melanesia commemorate the MSG Silver Jubilee today.

And if Father Lini dreamt of the founding of a Melanesian Bloc to gather for the social, economic and spiritual needs of Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Fiji, and Papua New Guinea, definitely the fathers of MSG, Lini, Solomon’s Solomon Mamaloni and PNG’s Paias Wingti must have wanted that New Caledonia and West Papua be independent and be part of the Bloc.

The referendum for New Caledonia to be part of France or become an independent Melanesian country will take place next year 2014 but despite that, New Caledonia is part of the great family of Melanesia – MSG.

Unfortunately that could not be said for West Papua.

More than 500 000 Melanesians have spilled their blood for Papua Merdeka since the United Nations orchestrated a “referendum” called the Act of Free Choice in 1969 which the Indonesian army selected 1025 West Papuans to vote for Indonesia against Independence in a country where the population of Melanesians is in the millions.

Now the Melanesians in West Papua are “systematically” tortured and their girls and women raped but they could not raise their sympathy and dialogue with other Melanesians because they are not members of the MSG.

Vanuatu, the host country of the, MSG Secretariat in Port Vila will host its Melanesia Week in March –the anniversary date of the birth of the MSG which falls on March 14,2013.

This, he said, will mark 25 years of the signing of the Principles of Cooperation between Independent States of Melanesia, the first agreement to give birth to the idea of strengthening Melanesian solidarity and cooperation.

Mr Nirua revealed as part of the launching ceremony in Vanuatu a symposium under the theme “Leaders’ Toktok-Tales from Our Founders and Pioneers” is being organised for founding leaders of the Melanesian Spearhead Group and current leaders of the MSG to share their perspectives on various key topics in Melanesia to highlight the history and future of Melanesian cooperation that began 25 years ago on 14 March 1988.

“This is an exciting time for our people and our leaders as the symposium will give opportunity to leaders of Melanesia to share with the people of Melanesia the vision and ideas that gave birth to the strong relationship and relations enjoyed by MSG member countries,” he said.

“This will also give opportunity to leaders to share their perspectives on issues that are of common interest to the people and Governments of Melanesia.”

The launching ceremony will see the official release of MSG souvenirs and memorabilia to mark 25 years of Melanesian solidarity and growth, the unveiling of the Melanesian carving by member country carvers and a public luncheon for all.

Nirua advised the official program will soon be circulated to all member countries, governments and the people of Melanesia.

He expressed his satisfaction that the committee for the special event, comprising of government officials and key stakeholders are planning to stage a memorable launching at the Independence Park.

MSG has instead deemed it fit to welcome with open arms the Indonesians to the MSG on an Observer Status and neglected spiritual calls to have West Papua a fundamental part of the MSG.

The Daily Post has been told Sunday that the MSG Secretariat in Port Vila has not received any application for West Papua to be an Observer

Rabu, 30 Januari 2013


MIFEE-affected communities want their land back

MIFEE campaign poster: "Hands off Malind indigenous land"
A roundup of recent material about MIFEE, January 2013
Indigenous communities living along the Bian and Maro Rivers in Merauke, southern Papua, have demanded the return of their customary lands taken for the Merauke Integrated Food and Energy Estate (MIFEE) mega-project. A set of demands issued after four days of community discussions in December also called for the revoking of location permits covering their customary land and for the companies involved to restore the damage done and pay compensation to affected communities.
A key component of the government’s unwieldy MP3EI economic masterplan for Papua, MIFEE was officially launched in 2010 amid concerns over human rights, environmental and social impacts.  The project involves the conversion of indigenous land, including forests and peatlands, into plantations growing food, energy and other crops and is expected to prompt an influx of migrant workers to meet the sharply increased demand for labour.
Describing the current situation along the Bian and Maro Rivers, a document outlining the communities’ demands  says that river water has been contaminated, killing fish, turtles and other water animals. It can no longer be used for drinking, cooking and bathing by the communities. Children bathing in the river and swamp waters have developed skin, digestion and respiratory problems, and now community members must walk many miles to get clean water.
Meanwhile, the destruction of customary forests has meant sources of food – including animals and sago – are becoming scarcer as are forest products needed for medicines, clothes and customary equipment.
The communities accuse the companies of failing to provide information about the land policies and permits affecting their land and failing to involve the local indigenous community organisation or many of the land right-holders in the consultation process – only engaging clan leaders and people whose land had already been cleared for development.
In addition, the communities have been misled over the status of the land leased to the companies. They were told by companies and local government that they would get their land back, but have discovered that after the 35 year lease period ends, the land will instead revert to the state – a situation to which they strongly object.[1]
A press release issued by Sawit Watch and SKP KAMe[2] adds that the Bian and Maro River community lands have been cleared by oil palm companies by burning, which has polluted the water in the rivers and swamps, damaged or wiped cultural sites and caused irreparable damage to the natural environment. These two organisations back the community demands for restoration, compensation and the return of community lands, but also call on the Indonesian government to immediately respond to the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, which has raised concerns about the MIFEE project.[3]
Six oil palm plantations have currently begun operations on indigenous Malind Anim land in Merauke, according to Sawit Watch and SKP KAMe: PT Dongin Prabhawa (Korindo Group), PT Bio Inti Agrindo (Korindo Group[4]), PT Central Cipta Murdaya (CCM), PT Agriprima Cipta Persada, PT Hardaya Sawit Papua and PT Berkat Citra Abadi (Korindo Group).
There has been controversy about the official status of the land, and specifically why this region of Papua was excluded from Indonesia’s two-year moratorium on clearing primary forests and peatland, announced in May 2011.[5] Asked by REDD-Monitor’s Chris Lang why this was the case, senior government official Heru Prasetyo explained that land that had previously been classified as peatland (which would be included in the moratorium) was not as extensive as had been thought.[6]Heru Prasetyo is Deputy I UKP4,[7] and a member of the government’s REDD+ Task Force.
The moratorium map has been revised three times so far – all versions can be viewed on the Forestry Department’s website at http://webgis.dephut.go.id/. From the maps covering the MIFEE area, the reduction in the area considered to be peatland is very clear when the first and revised maps are compared. Map 3408 in the first moratorium map, for example, has a far larger area shown as peatland than in the most recent (3rd revision) map. (These two maps, with peatland areas coloured orange, are copied below).
File 370

File 371

Government statements have also indicated that MIFEE is being downscaled - from over a million hectares in extent (as set out, for example, in the MP3EI economic masterplan for Indonesia[8]) to around one fifth of that size. According to Heru Prasetyo, who gave the figure of 220,000 hectares in September last year, this is due to a review of what is feasible, and takes into account areas that need to be protected (including indigenous peoples’ sacred lands).[9]
However it is evident that serious social, environmental and human rights impacts are continuing whatever the project’s official extent. Recent media reports of a visit to Papua’s capital Jayapura by representatives of the local indigenous peoples’ association and other people affected by MIFEE, compiled and translated by the campaign group awasMIFEE, provides evidence from the ground. They report broken promises about the facilities or compensation the companies said they would provide, as well as the concerns over the future ownership of the land, pollution and the related health and livelihood impacts. Coercive behaviour by the military is another part of the picture  (see box), along with wages that are too low to provide for daily needs paid to villagers who have handed over their lands.
To secure logging areas in Merauke Regency, several companies are using the services of Indonesian state security forces.
“And that's been kept secret, and we want to let people know that. They are involved from the moment when plans are first presented to the people right up until the development starts in the field”, said Paustinus Ndiken, the Secretary of Malind Bian Customary People's Association in Jayapura.
According to him, the involvement of security forces personnel has meant that it has been easier for the companies to persuade people to surrender their land. “There have been times when they have also been there asking the people to give their land over to the companies, a prominent community member was once even beaten up while the company was presenting its plans. The situation was tense at that moment, I don't know why, and then a customary leader was suddenly struck by a member of the security forces”, he stated.
He added that the people didn't agree with police or military intervention in the process of discussions to transfer land rights. “If they want to keep the area secure, fair enough, but don't get involved in this process - that's the business of customary landowners, the government and the companies and no-one else”, he said.
Extract from State Security Forces are still backing up companies in Merauke, Source:http://www.aldp-papua.com/?p=8037, translated by awasMIFEE – seehttps://awasmifee.potager.org/

Papua-wide call
Papuans have repeated calls for a stop to destructive investment projects at a broader regional level. In September, Papuan indigenous men and women’s leaders and NGOs from seven indigenous regions in Papua called on Indonesia to “immediately stop all activities and new investment licences for natural resources exploitation which are destructive and which harm the indigenous peoples of Papua, Indonesia and the world.” The call was made in a declaration signed by 22 representatives attending the second congress to “Save People and Livelihoods in the Land of Papua” which was held in Manokwari in September 2012. In the declaration, the participants, who included Malind indigenous leaders Maria Nemo and Paulus Samkakai stated that the suffering endured by the Papuan people for 43 years[10] was caused not only by the annexation of their political rights, but also by the systematic denial of their basic rights over their natural resources, above and below ground, in the seas and air. They also affirmed their support for an honest, open and fair dialogue with the Indonesian government , mediated by a neutral third party.[11]
UPR – Indonesia rejects UN MIFEE recommendations
September 2012 also saw a disappointing response from Indonesia to UN recommendations on MIFEE and Papua. The occasion was the follow-up meeting to the June 2012 session of the June 2012 session of the Universal Periodic Review - a process which reviews the human rights record of all 192 UN member states once every four years. Here, members of the UPR Working Group made recommendations to invite UN Special Rapporteurs on human rights, indigenous peoples’ rights and the right to food to vist Papua.[12]
Ten Indonesian and international civil society organisations, including Down to Earth, had highlighted concerns about human rights, natural resources management and climate change in Indonesia, in a submission to the UPR. Specifically on MIFEE, this CSO submission had also called on the Government of Indonesia to invite the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food and the Special Rapporteur on indigenous peoples’ rights to visit the MIFEE project area in Merauke.[13]
Indonesia was obliged to give its response to the UPR Working Group at the follow-up session in September. Here, the recommendation was again made to invite the Special Rapporteurs on the Right to Food and on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. However this recommendation was rejected by Indonesia.[14] Recommendations accepted by Indonesia did include one to invite the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression. This visit was due to go ahead in mid-January 2013, but has been delayed due to restrictions set by the Indonesian government which would prevent the Rapporteur visiting prisoners in Jayapura and Ambon.[15]
More MIFEE material online
Check awasMIFEE's website at https://awasmifee.potager.org/ for more MIFEE-related reports and links.
Land Grabbing for Food and Biofuel, Merauke Integrated Food and Energy Estate (MIFEE) Case Study, by Aliansi Gerakan Reforma Agraria (AGRA) and Pesticide Action Network Asia and the Pacific (PAN AP), April 2012, http://www.panap.net/en/fs/post/food-sovereignty-wfd-2012/1289
Destroying Local Livelihoods With Mifee’ by Brooke Nolan, Jakarta Globe, Janury 20, 2012, http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/corporatenews/destroying-local-livelihoods-with-mifee/566402
A new video produced by Gekko Studio, Pusaka and SKP-KAME Mama Malind su Hilang (Our land is gone) conveys the deep sense of loss felt by local people from Zanegi Village, Merauke, whose lands are being cleared in the MIFEE area. The Malind Anim are hunter gatherers who rely on the forest for they livelihoods. The Indonesian company, Medco, is clearing thousands of hectares of forest, planning to convert 169,000 hectares of land to industrial tree plantations. Based on interviews with community members and featuring an interview with the Catholic Archbishop of Merauke, the film shows how the loss of their forests has affected the lives and livelihoods of the Malind Anim. One interviewee – a casual labourer working for Medco - speaks about how he was beaten and shot at by members of the security forces after he had become angry with a Medco foreman and shouted at him. See Gekko website for this and other Gekko videos.
This video follows Ironic Survival, a film about the MIFEE project by Papuan Voices, an empowerment and film production project.  See http://www.papuanvoices.net/

[1] Demands and Aspiration of Indigenous Peoples of River (Kali) Ban – River (Kali) Maro, Papua, Merauke, 18 December 2012, signed by 23 indigenous community members from Baidub, Boha, Bupul, Erambu, Kindiki, Kweel, Muting, Pachas, Poo and Tanas villages. The land status problem identified by the communities is one shared by other indigenous communities across Indonesia, who find that their land rights have been extinguished by the government’s land leasing regime.
[2] Sawit Watch / SKP Press Release [no date]. The release has been translated and posted on the awasMIFEE website – see https://awasmifee.potager.org/?p=302.
[4] AwasMIFEE note: PT Bio Inti Agrindo was actually bought by Daewoo International in 2011, and still belongs to that company as far as we know.
[5] See 'REDD in Indonesia - an update' in DTE 89-90, November 2011for background.
[7] UKP4 is the President’s Delivery Unit for Development Monitoring and Oversight, led by Kuntoro Mangkusubroto. It is also leading the development of Indonesia’s One Map Policy – see  DTE 93-94, December 2012.
[9] See, for example, ‘Interview with Kuntoro Mangkusubroto, head of Indonesias REDD+ Task Force: We are starting a new programme, a new paradigm, a new concept, a new way of seeing things’ Chris Lang, 20th September 2012 at http://www.redd-monitor.org/2012/09/20/interview-with-kuntoro-mangkusubroto/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Redd-monitor+%28REDD-Monitor%29
[10] Forty three years ago a so-called ‘Act of Free Choice’ controlled by Indonesia determined that Papua should become part of the Indonesian Republic. The legitimacy of Indonesia’s annexation been repeatedly called into question, most recently by the prominent Manokwari-based lawyer Yan Christian Warinussy.
[11] Deklarasi Kongres II Selamatkan Manusia dan Sumber-Sumber Penghidupan di Tanah Papua, 29th September 2012.
[14] Recommendation 109.15, see http://www.upr-info.org/IMG/pdf/a_hrc_21_7_indonesia_e.pdf). For a list of recommendations rejected and accepted by Indonesia see http://www.upr-info.org/IMG/pdf/recommendations_to_indonesia_2012.pdf).
[15] See report by the US-based NGO, the West Papua Advocacy Team, in West Papua Media Alerts, Press Release, January 13, 2013.