Newsletter of the International Coalition for Papua May 2016 PDF Afdrukken E-mailadres
maandag 23 mei 2016 08:26

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Press Release by the International Coalition for Papua


Unlawful mass arrest of over 1700 West Papuans

On 2 May 2016, thousands of West Papuans conducted peaceful demonstrations simultaneously in Jayapura, Sorong, Merauke, Wamena, Semarang, Makassar and Manokwari. The demonstrations were held in support of the ULMWP to be recognized as a full member of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG), protested the commemoration of 1 May 1963 as Indonesia’s accession of West Papua, and to support the International Parliamentarians for West Papua (IPWP) forum in London on 3 May 2016 which will discuss international supervised referendum for West Papua. In total, 1,735 people were unlawfully arrested Papua in just one day which is on 2 May 2016. In Jayapura, police also arrested at least one child, delivered beatings to a journalist and numerous arrestees, and no less than a thousand of arrestees were forced to take their shirts off. The police beat and forbid journalists to cover in Jayapura and Fakfak. Intimidation by the security forces existed in all areas where the demonstrations took place including in Kaimana and Manokwari, although the latter did not end up in arrest.There were 1,783 people unlawfully arrested from 25 April 2016, the beginning of the preparation of the demonstration, to 2 May 2016. And since April 2016 to 2 May 2016, there were 1,846 people unlawfully arrested in Papua.
Read the full joint appeal
Read the report from LBH Jakarta


Papua: Pricking our national conscience

by Veronica Koman
When outsiders think of Papua, it may be to puzzle over why protests there seem never-ending. They may assume the main frustrations of Papuans stem from poverty and lack of development.
That is true to some degree. However, the main reason is simpler and neatly illustrated by comparing two figures: In early May, 2,109 Papuan independence protesters were arrested by police – and that number is more than double the 1,025 who were press-ganged into legitimizing Indonesia’s rule of Papua through the 1969 “Act of Free Choice”.
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Delegation of 20 bishops from the Pacific Region visit West Papua

Bishops from Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands have participated in the 57th Annual General Meeting (AGM) between April 4 and 15, 2016, in Vanimo. During the two weeks conference a delegation of 20 bishops also visited Jayapura, where they met with bishops from West Papua to discuss ways and means of future cooperation between the dioceses in West Papua, PNG and Solomon Islands. The bishops crossed the PNG-Indonesian border under military escort in a vehicle convoy across.
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Ceremony and pomp in Papua

by Hipolitus Yolisandry Ringgi Wangge
The ministerial visit by Luhut shows that Jokowi's government still lacks genuine solutions when it comes to Papua. Recently, Indonesia's Coordinating Minister for Politics and Security, Luhut Panjaitan, made a three-day visit to Papua. His trip to the nation's easternmost region stood out for two key reasons. First, Papua is a priority for the current administration, and the visit by one of Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's closest trustees follows the President's earlier travels to the disaffected area. Clearly, this latest trip was important — not only for the central government but also for Papuans. Second, Luhut's visit showed a strong commitment to ensuring that Jokowi's policies for the region are fulfilled — especially the special autonomy law, which has been widely criticised as ineffective when it comes to improving the welfare of Papuans.
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Police try to stop journalist from taking photos at demonstration

According to local news platform Tabloid Jubi, police officers from Jayapura city district police have intimidated Papuan journalist Benny Mawel, as he tried to take pictures of Cenderawasih University students, protesting against the visit of the Indonesian minister for coordination of politics, law and security, Luhut Panjaitan, to Papua. The incident occurred end of March 2016. A group of police officers suddenly approached the journalist and said that he should immediately stop to take pictures of the protest. After Benny Mawel had shown his press id card, police officers allowed him to continue his journalist duties. However some  police officers continued to intimidate him asking him if he wants to challenge the officers.
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The poorness of Indonesia's forest management

At the end of April 2015, Ministry of Forestry and Environment (LHK Ministry) issued: (1) letter no. 5/1/PP-LKH/K/2015 on Principal Agreement of Forest Area Concession that can be converted into oil palm plantation to PT. Mega Mustika Plantation in Sorong District, West Papua province for an area of 9.168 hectares; and (2) letter No. 6/1/PP-LKH/K/2015 on Principal Agreement of Forest Area Concession that can be converted into oil palm plantation to PT. Cipta Papua Plantation in Sorong district, West Papua for an area of 15.310 hectares.
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About the ICP

Human Rights and Peace for Papua is an international coalition of faith-based and civil society organisations (the Coalition) addressing the serious human rights condition in West Papua and supporting a peaceful solution to the conflict there. West Papua (Papua) refers to the western half of the New Guinea island in the Pacific and comprises the eastern most provinces of Indonesia. Indigenous Papuans are suffering from a long and ongoing history of human rights violations and security forces subject them to violence including killings, torture and arbitrary arrests. Impunity prevails. A lack of adequate access to health care and education as well as demographical and economical marginalisation and discrimination mark the living condition for Papuans. A heavy presence of Indonesian security forces, lack of access for international observers such as journalists, corruption and transmigration from other parts of Indonesia aggravate the situation. Political prisoners and the persecution of political activists shows the extent of repression with which freedom of expression and indigenous peoples’ rights are being violated. Papua’s wealth in natural resources attracts businesses and security forces resulting in exploitation through mining, logging, harmful agricultural projects, and environmental degradation. This dynamic challenges traditional indigenous culture while Papuans demand their right to self-determination.
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