ICP News: High Commissioner visits Indonesia | Health crisis in Asmat | journalists expelled | 2 cases of EJK PDF Afdrukken E-mailadres
maandag 12 maart 2018 11:32

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News on West Papua's human rights and conflict situation:

  • Devastating health conditions in the regencies Asmat and Pegunungan Bintang - epidemic outbreaks and malnutrition reveal government failures
  • LIPI survey elucidates difference in perception regarding situation in West Papua
  • Papuan students outside of West Papua face systematic harassment
  • Army officer insults Filep Karma during interrogation at Cengkarang Airport
  • Freedom of assembly under threat - Security forces prevent commemoration of international human rights day in Dogiyai Regency
  • Papuan central highlands remain human rights hot spot - security force members torture group of indigenous Papuans
  • Military members torture Papuan man to death - Asian Human Rights Commission launches urgent appeal
  • BBC journalist has to leave Papua because her tweets hurt "feelings of the Indonesian military"
  • UN High Commissioner for Human Rights visits Indonesia
  • Parliament members in the Netherlands concerned about situation of indigenous Peoples in West Papua
  • Indigenous woman shot dead in Timika - seven mobile police brigade members under investigation

Devastating health conditions in the regencies Asmat and Pegunungan Bintang - epidemic outbreaks and malnutrition reveal government failures

altMultiple Indonesian news outlets have reported of new cases revealing the ongoing health crisis in West Papua. At least 62 villagers died in the Asmat regency due to malnutrition and the outbreak of measles epidemic since September 2017. Hundreds of villagers have been infected by measles and face difficulties to access health care services. Similar conditions have been reported from Pedam Village in Pegunungan Bintang regency, where 25 villagers had died between October and December 2017 because of measles, diarrhea and malnutrition. The large majority of affected are indigenous Papuans below the age of five years.


LIPI survey elucidates difference in perception regarding situation in West Papua

altThe 'Indonesian Institute of Sciences' (LIPI) in cooperation with 'Change.org' has conducted an internet survey among 27.298 Indonesian citizens about their perceptions regarding West Papua. The majority of participants consisted of Non-Papuans (98%), most of them living outside of West Papua. The survey was conducted for three weeks in November 2017 and covered multiple demographic entities, varying in terms of education, gender and age. The collected data reveals the existence of significant differences in perception regarding the current situation of West Papua between Non-Papuans and indigenous Papuans.


Papuan students outside of West Papua face systematic harassment

Papuanalts Behind Bars (PBB) has published a report on the systematic harassment and intimidation against Papuan students in Indonesia between September and December 2017. The report was compiled to expose police and military intimidation of Papuan students and civil society groups outside of West Papua. Student movements like the 'Papuan Student Alliance' (AMP) and other Papuan civil society groups reported multiple cases in which Papuan students became victims of ill-treatment, arbitrary arrest and intimidated. The PBB report views the cases as part of a trend of civil and political rights violations, limiting freedom of expression and assembly of indigenous Papuans.



Army officer insults Filep Karma during interrogation at Cengkarang Airport
altAccording to a recent article published on the news website of media outlet KBR, the former political prisoner and Papuan pro-independence activist Filep Karma was intercepted by five Air Force officers (AURI) at the Soekarno-Hatta Airport in Cengkarang on 3 January 2018. The officers had stopped Filep Karma around 9.00 pm in the airport building because he was wearing a pin showing the image of a morning star flag - a symbol of cultural identity which is also used by the Papuan independence movement. According to Filep Karma, the military officers asked him whether he wears a “OPM flag” to which Filep replied that the pin is ”just a symbol. Based on the 1945 Constitution a flag is made from cloth measuring 1x2 metres. It's not a flag". He was interrogated for almost two hours.


Freedom of assembly under threat - Security forces prevent commemoration of international human rights day in Dogiyai Regency

altThe ICP received credible information from the Justice Peace and Integrity of Creation Desk (JPIC) of the Papuan Tabernacle Church (KINGMI Papua) according to which joint security forces have prevented the peaceful commemoration of the international human rights day on the 10 December 2017 in the city Moanemani of Dogiyai Regency. Human rights defenders reported that fully armed members of the infantry (AD), air force (AU), mobile police brigade unit (BRIMOB) and crowd control police unit (DALMAS) blocked the road and prevented protesters from voicing their aspirations to the local parliament of Dogiyai regency.

Papuan central highlands remain human rights hot spot - security force members torture group of indigenous Papuans
altThe local news outlet ‘Suara Papua’ has reported another case of torture in the central highlands of West Papua in early January. According to ‘Suara Papua’, a group of 30 indigenous Papuans consisting of men, women and children were intercepted by military members at Kilo seven in Napua District on the 3 January 2018 at 03.00 am as they wanted to drive to their village in Nduga regency by car. The interception occurred after the driver had called members of KODIM 1702 Jayawijaya, because he suspected some group members of carrying ammunition to the Nduga regency.

Military members torture Papuan man to death - Asian Human Rights Commission launches urgent appeal
altThe Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has launched an urgent appeal in response to the to death of Mr. Isak Dewayekua (23), an indigenous Papuan who was severly tortured by three army personnel of Yonif 755/Yalet in Kimaam, Merauke Regency, Papua Province. The army personnel forced Isak’s family to accept monetary compensation and sign a letter which demanded that the family drop the case. Currently, the Investigation is still being conducted by the Military Police of Merauke Regency. Later, the case was transferred to the higher Military Police Institution in Military Regional Office (Pomdam) XVII/ Cendrawasih from December 29, 2017.
BBC journalist has to leave Papua because her tweets hurt "feelings of the Indonesian military"
altThe journalist Rebecca Henschke (see image on the left) and her camera team was forced to leave West Papua in early February for allegedly offending members of the military on her Twitter account. Henschke was in the Asmat region to cover the health situation in the area. A measles epidemic and associated malnutrition had caused the deaths of more than 60 children.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights visits Indonesia
altThe UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein, visited Indonesia from 5 to 7 February 2018. At the end of this trip, he gave a press conference in which he expressed his concerns regarding various human rights issues in Indonesia, among other things, about the human rights situation in West Papua: "I am also concerned about the reports of excessive use of force by security forces, harassment, arbitrary arrest and detention in Papua."
Parliament members in the Netherlands concerned about situation of indigenous Peoples in West Papua
altMembers of the lower house of the Dutch bicameral parliament expressed their concern about the situation in West Papua and spoke of a "repression of the indigenous population of West Papua in Indonesia". The SGP (Reformed Political Party) asked questions on West Papua to the then Foreign Minister Halbe Zijlstra on 7 February 2018.

Indigenous woman shot dead in Timika - seven mobile police brigade members under investigation
altThe Papuan news outlets ‘Tabloid Jubi’ and ‘Suara Papua’ have reported the killing of 55-years-old Emakulata Kolaka Emakeparo, an indigenous Papuan woman of the Kamoro tribe. The incident occurred on 3 February 2018 around 10 pm, as Emakulata Emakeparo and her husband were crossing the river in a small canoe near the Amamare cargo dock in search for drinking water. An autopsy showed that her death was caused by a head shot which penetrated the forehand. The vice chief of the Papuan regional police (POLDA Papua) Yakobus Marjuki stated in a public interview that the death was caused by a ricochet during a conflict escalation between police officers and local villagers.