ICP News: 2nd Quarterly report 2019 | 23 victims of EJK throughout 2018 | Update on situation in Nduga | Further cases of EJKs PDF Afdrukken E-mailadres
maandag 22 juli 2019 07:30

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News on West Papua's human rights and conflict situation
  • The Salim group builds palm oil empire in West Papua
  • New Caledonia rejects independence from France - Next referendum possible in 2020
  • Papuan church congregation under surveillance - Church members prevented from attending worship in Jayapura
  • Commemorations of Papuan independence proclamation - Protesters face intimidation and restrictions of freedom of assembly
  • Update armed conflict in Nduga regency - security force members kill indigenous woman and take her baby
  • Human rights defenders reveal illegal gold mining operation at Siriwo River, Nabire Regency
  • Human Rights Update West Papua - 2nd Quarter 2019
  • 23 victims of extra-judicial killings throughout 2018
  • Update on ongoing military operation in Nduga Regency - death toll higher than expected
  • Ronaldo Yawan dies during detention at police station in Baik - relatives raise allegations of torture
  • Two prisoners die after attempted escape from Abepura Detention Facility - KOMNAS HAM suspects prison negligence
  • Second extra-judicial killing in Wogikel Village within 10 months
  • Political detainee's physical condition deteriorates during detention
  • The Mairasi tribe protests against prolongation of logging concession
  • Terrorist organization allegedly established training camps in West Papua

The Salim group builds palm oil empire in West Papua
altA coalition of Papuan civil society organisations have expressed concerns over the expansion of Salim-Group-owned palm oil plantations throughout the past years. The NGOs claim, that many SALIM subsidiaries reportedly committed violations against local indigenous communities and national regulations. The Salim Group owns ten palm oil companies in the provinces of Papua and Papua Barat. It is estimated that the SALIM Group - through its subsidiaries - acquired a total of 266.736 ha between 2012 and 2017 for the establishment of palm oil plantations. At least four of the SALIM subsidiaries are responsible for deforestation, violation of FPIC (Free, Prior, Informed Consent) principles, violence against local indigenous communities, including the depredation or appropriation of their food sources and/or sacred places.


New Caledonia rejects independence from France - Next referendum possible in 2020
altA referendum held in the French Pacific island territory of New Caledonia on 4 November 2018 came to the result that New Caledonia will stay a part of France. Various polls prior to the referendum had shown results of 63 to 65 per cent voting for a rejection of political independence. Still, they were by far tighter than the polls had predicted, with 56.4 per cent voting for status quo, while 43.6 per cent favoring separation from France. Observers stated that the turnout rate of over 80 per cent was exceptionally high, surpassing those of 2014 election for the territorial Congress and the 2017 French presidential election. In 1998 the French government granted the Pacific colony the possibility to hold three referendums on full independence in 2018, 2020 and 2022, should the local government wish to hold them. The next referendum may take place in 2020.


Papuan church congregation under surveillance - Church members prevented from attending worship in Jayapura
The International Coalition for Papua (ICP) is concerned about the intimidation of members of a Papuan Tabernacle church (KINGMI Papua) congregation on 14 July 2019 in Jayapura. Human rights defenders claim that members of the Papuan regional police (POLDA Papua) and the Jayapura Municipality police parked a police truck, a mini bus (Toyota Avanza) and several motorcycles in front of the Anugerah Church at Lembah Bahari Street. The police officers intercepted congregation members on their way to the Sunday morning worship at 9.00 am and checked their identity cards. Many KINGMI church members who saw the police operation were afraid to enter the church building and attend the worship.


Commemorations of Papuan independence proclamation - Protesters face intimidation and restrictions of freedom of assembly
altThe Papuan Student Alliance (AMP), the Indonesian Peoples Front for West Papua (FRI West Papua) and the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) organized demonstrations in commemoration of the 48th anniversary of the West Papuan Independence Proclamation. On 1 July, students, sympathizers and political activists joined the peaceful demonstrations in 13 cities all over Indonesia, demanding the Government to respect the freedom of expression and freedom of assembly, stop ruthless natural resource exploitation and reduce the military presence in West Papua. The AMP reported that the demonstrations were strictly monitored by large numbers of police officers. In some places, protesters were prevented from accessing public areas. Six protesters were arrested in Surabaya and later released.


Update armed conflict in Nduga regency - security force members kill indigenous woman and take her baby
altThe International Coalition for Papua (ICP) has received credible information from multiple independent sources regarding the alleged killing of a 26-year-old indigenous woman named Kenmalet Gwijangge in the district of Mugi. On 4 July 2019, Mrs. Gwijangge, brought her one-year-old baby Raina Nirigi with her to collect sweet potatoes with three other indigenous women when security force members allegedly opened fire at them. While three women were able to flee, Kenmalet Gwijangge sustained a lethal bullet injury and dropped with her baby on the ground. It is currently not known whether Raina Nirigi remained unharmed and where the security force members brought the baby.


Human rights defenders reveal illegal gold mining operation at Siriwo River, Nabire Regency
altThe Papuan Tabernacle church (KINGMI Papua) has raised concerns over a large-scale gold panning operation at the Siriwo River, Nabire Regency. The mining company PT Jichuan is currently building a large ship for excavation of gravel from the river bed but does not have a license for alluvial gold extraction. In early July, a team from the Nabire District police visited the construction site at Kilometer 102, Siriwo District. The police stopped temporarily the construction until PT Jichuan has arranged the licenses for the gold panning operation, including an environmental impact assessment. Activists claim that the police and military in Siriwo were aware that the construction of the ship was illegal, but did not intervene as the company allegedly paid bribes.


Human Rights Update West Papua - 2nd Quarter 2019
altSince December 2018, more than 100 civilians – the majority of them indigenous Papuans – have allegedly died as a consequence of the ongoing armed conflict in the Nduga regency. The conflict has reportedly led to the displacement of thousands of indigenous Papuans. The ICP is concerned about the significant increase of extra-judicial killings in the past nine months. While the high number of killings during the 4th quarter of 2018 and the 1st quarter of 2019 is mainly related to the armed conflict in Nduga, the additional six cases of killings and one alleged suicide during the 2nd quarter are the outcome of unprofessional behaviour of security force members. The high number of 29 cases of torture and ill-treatment is related to police violence against protesters during political demonstrations.


23 victims of extra-judicial killings throughout 2018
altThe International Coalition for Papua (ICP) has documented the extra-judicial killings of twenty-three indigenous Papuans throughout the year 2018. The fact that all victims of extra-judicial killings were ethnic Papuans is emblematic of the continuing pattern of state violence, violations of the right to life and the persistent racial discrimination that indigenous Papuans face in Indonesia. We demand Indonesian authorities to immediately conduct independent, impartial and effective investigations into these cases. All perpetrators should be brought to justice at civilian courts through fair and transparent trials, as stipulated in international human rights treaties.


Update on ongoing military operation in Nduga Regency - death toll higher than expected
The extensive military operation in response to the killing of 19 road workers by TPN-PB members in the regency of Nduga has cost more civilian lives than initially estimated. Latest information on the number of victims indicates that the death toll has reached more than 100 civilian victims, who died between December 2018 and March 2019. According to latest counts, fifteen civilians were killed during armed clashes, while another nine were injured. At least 83 indigenous IDPs died after fleeing their villages, while another five villagers have been reported missing.


Ronaldo Yawan dies during detention at police station in Baik - relatives raise allegations of torture
The victim solidarity group ‘Bersatu untuk Kebenaran’ (BUK) expressed concerns over allegations of torture during the detention of a suspect at the district police station in Biak, Papua Province. Police officers arrested Ronaldo Yawan on 13 June 2019 after a resident had filed a complaint against him for stealing a pig. Ronaldo Yawan was arrested  and died two days later during detention. Police officers claim that Ronaldo Yawan hung himself using his belt. While the autopsy report concludes that Ronaldo Yawan died through strangulation, his relatives stated that Ronaldo did not use a belt, suspecting that he died as a result of torture during arrest and detention.


Two prisoners die after attempted escape from Abepura Detention Facility - KOMNAS HAM suspects prison negligence
altTen convicts attempted to escape the Abepura Detention Facility in Jayapura on the 24 April 2019. A group of local residents discovered the escapees shortly after the escape and beat them before prison wardens brought them back to the detention facility. Two of the escapees died shortly after the incident. The relatives of the deceased prisoners have filed a lawsuit against the Abepura hospital, claiming that the wardens had allegedly tortured the convicts. An investigation into the deaths of Maikel Ilinmaton and Selyus Logo by the Papuan representative office of the national human rights commission (KOMNAS HAM Papua) was unable to prove whether the wardens had tortured the prisoners as a form of punishment for the attempted escape. However, KOMNAS HAM concluded that negligent behavior by the prison wardens was a contributing factor to the deaths of both prisoners.


Second extra-judicial killing in Wogikel Village within 10 months
According to Papuan news outlet Tabloid Jubi, another case of extra-judicial killing occured in Wogikel Village, Merauke Regency. An intoxicated police officer shot dead Yohanes Octo Moiwend on 4 June 2019, around 0.30 am. The shooting occurred during a dispute between the officer and Yohanes Octo Moiwend in front of a local bar. Witnesses stated that officer RK pulled his revolver and repeatedly hit Yohanes Moiwend with the gun handle before he shot him twice. Yohanes Moiwend sustained a bullet wound near the ear, causing his instant death. The  spokesman of the Papua Regional Police (Polda Papua) announced that the police internal investigation body PROPAM initiated an internal investigation on violation of the police ethic code.


Political detainee's physical condition deteriorates during detention
altHuman rights defenders expressed concern regarding the deteriorating health condition of Papuan political activist Sami Lokon during custody. Sami Lokon was arrested in early January 2019. Police officers accused him of motorcycle theft but failed to provide a warrant and sufficient evidence for the arrest. Human rights activists claim that Sami Lokon was tortured during detention. Relatives who visited Sami Lokon during detention at the Abepura detention facility on 4 June 2018 witnessed that Sami was severely sick and unable to get out of his bed. He received acute medical treatment after relatives and lawyers filed a complaint to the director of the detention facility. However, the hospital was understaffed at the time of the examination due to the Idul Fitri Holiday, so Sami Lokon did not undergo an adequate examination by a doctor.

The Mairasi tribe protests against prolongation of logging concession
Indigenous communities of the Mairasi tribe living in the Teluk Wondama Regency of Papua Barat Province are protesting against the extension of a logging concession on their ancestral land. The ministry for forestry and environmental affairs approved the logging concession for the company PT. Kurniatama Sejahtera in October 2019. The Mairasi communities represent the view that the presence of the company has not contributed to their welfare, demanding the provincial agency for forestry and environmental affairs not to prolong the concession. The presence of the company has resulted in heavy military presence.


Terrorist organization allegedly established training camps in West Papua
The Papua Regional police (Polda Papua) is investigating allegations regarding several training camps which have been established by the Islamist terror organisation Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD). JAD allegedly recruited and trained fighters in the regencies of Merauke and Keerom, where several of its members own companies and land. In May 2019, started investigations but did not find any proof of such training camps.