Jayapura, Jubi – In its latest report, the ICP brings together the research of 25 organisations and experts from in- and outside West Papua on the situation of human rights, indigenous peoples’ rights and the conflict situation there. It details in particular the demographic development and its causes as well as the ongoing violence by security forces that targets indigenous Papuans.
The development of the human rights situation in West Papua during 2013 and 2014 shows a deterioration compared to the period covered by the ICP’s previous report. West Papua on the Guinea island bordering Asia and the Pacific and comprising the two east Indonesian provinces of Papua and Papua Barat continues to be one of the regions of Asia most seriously affected by human rights violations and an unresolved long standing political conflict. The living conditions of the indigenous Papuan peoples are in stark contrast to those of the trans-migrants from other parts of Indonesia.
The number of arrests during demonstrations has risen to several hundred per year peaking at 470 arrests in May 2014 alone. The annual number of cases of threats, intimidations and obstruction of work of local journalists have almost doubled compared to previous years. At the same time, the number of demonstrations has gone down as a result of more repressive policies and actions by security forces against political civil society movements. The UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression has still not been allowed to visit West Papua, despite Indonesia’s earlier positive announcement. In August 2014, two French journalists were arrested and sentenced to two and half months imprisonment for having violated immigration laws.
This report details cases of violations between April 2013 and December 2014 documented by human rights organisations and churches in West Papua, in Jakarta and by international human rights organisations. Local organisations recorded 47 demonstrations in that period. All but five of them ended with arrests. Torture and ill-treatment were frequently practiced during crack downs of demonstrations. Eighteen further cases of torture were selected for this report. The cases of documented extra-judicial killings of civilians by security forces during the given period amounts to 22 deaths. All of those victims were indigenous Papuans. On 8 December 2014 security forces opened fire on a large group of indigenous Papuans who protested against excessive violence by security forces. At least four school students were killed and 17 others were injured. The perpetrators of this incident have, as in most other cases not been brought to justice.
click to download high res graphicLocal churches and human rights organisations note an increase of horizontal violence between indigenous and trans-migrant communities. Police often consent to or support the victimization of Papuans instead of adopting an impartial law enforcement practice. The case that took place at the Yotefa Market in Abepura on 2 July 2014 details how police cooperated with a mob of trans-migrants in torturing an indigenous Papuan.
The population share of indigenous Papuans in West Papua has fallen to an estimated 42% in 2015. This is due to an ongoing influx of transmigrants from other parts of Indonesia and a poor population growth rate of indigenous Papuans. This situation and its causes are detailed in the sections on population and health.
Observers note an ongoing breakdown in the health care and education system in remote highland regions as well as other parts of West Papua. 11.5 % of children die before the age of five in the highlands of West Papua. According to data from 2012, the under five mortality rate in West Papua is about double the rate in neighbouring Papua New Guinea and about three times the average rate in Indonesia. No country in Asia or the Pacific had such a high rate in that year.
Literacy rates have gone down to less than 20% in remote villages due to reduced access to education. As a result young Papuan women and men have less opportunities to play an active role in public services and to find other employment.
The ongoing influx of transmigrants, the absence of opportunities for young Papuans together with corruption cause a growth of social inequalities, social tensions and frustrations. Many Papuans continue to seek a solution through political aspirations calling for a referendum and support from neighbouring countries in the Pacific.
President Joko Widodo has indicated his intention to change the Indonesian policy towards West Papua. He had announced that he would support an opening of the conflict region to international observers such as journalists and that there is a need to end transmigration programs. While these would present important improvements in the situation, the administration in Jakarta has not supported this approach with real action. (*)
Papuan human right lawyer confirm data on political prisoners by Veronica is valid
Document on political prisoners and Nduga casualties are not Vero’s. The coalition law enforcement and human rights in Papua have been doing the research and compilation on it.
Jayapura, Jubi – Gustaf Kawer, Director of Association of Law Enforcement and Human Right Advocates in Papua (PAHAM) said the document on political prisoners revealed by human rights activities Veronica Koman is valid, as the coalition has been working on the record.
“Victims details in Nduga, are also prepared by members of the human rights coalition advocating the victims in Nduga,” he said on Sunday (16/2/2020).
Kawer further explained why they use the terminology of political prisoners in the document. It refers to allegation and article used for accusing the fifty-seven detainees. “So, all prisoners that Vero mentioned about have been accused using the treason article, not public speech or common crime,” he added.
The document reveals that 57 political prisoners detained in different locations, respectively Jakarta (6 detainees), Balikpapan (7 detainees), Jayapura (1 detainee), Manokwari (5 detainees), Sorong (15 detainees) and Fakdak (23 detainees). Kawer explained that they were arrested because of their activity categorised as part of the independence movement.
This accusation has become a foundation for PAHAM to identify them as political prisoners instead of criminals. He asserted that the Papua Police Chief and all relevant parties should not give a rush statement that might increase the public disappointment in attempting the human rights enforcement in the Land of Papua. According to him, it would be wise if they do a crosscheck on the 57 political prisoners mentioned by Veronica.
“If the data is valid, the regional police must act professionally to solve it,” he said.
Further, he took an example on the human rights violation in Nduga. This case, according to him, should have been followed up like the Paniai case. Those who proven not involved in the riot must be released.
“Similarly, those who involved in the riot should not be accused using the treason article, but another article,” he said.
PAHAM also asks all parties to see the reality of how the perpetrators of racist taunts got the light sentence, while Papuans accused with the substantial article (Treason). He asks all parties in Papua to object the errors by the central government in responding to Veronica’s statement about the human rights violation in Nduga and political prisoners.
Earlier, Veronica Koman handed document consisting the names of 57 political prisoners and 243 details of death victims among civilians in Nduga, Papua to President Joko Widodo in his official visit to Canberra, Australia on Monday (10/2/2020). The human rights violation case in Papua, including Nduga refugees, has been highlighted or became a spotlight of some parties in Australia. (*)
Reporter: Angela Flassy
Editor: Pipit Maizier
The defendants were not proven guilty of doing vandalism, says legal counsellor team
Jayapura, Jubi – The Advocate Team for Papuans read the plea or the memorandum of defence on behalf of their clients charged with vandalism in a mass riot of 29 August 2019 in Jayapura City at the Jayapura District Court on Wednesday (12/2/2020). In the hearing, the counsellor team argue their clients not proven of carrying out such destructive acts that were charged by the public prosecutor.
The Advocate Team for Papuans, in the trial chaired by Judge Maria Magdalena Sitanggang together with two member judges Muliyawan and Abdul Gafur Bungin, read the pledge on behalf of the defendants Mika Asso, Jhoni Weya, Persiapan Kogoya, Yusup Marthen Muay, Ronald Wandik, Elo Hubi, Rofinus Tambanop, Ali Asso, and Yoda Tabuni. In the pledge reading, the counsellor team stated their clients were not proven to have committed crime of damaging goods or objects or shops throughout Jayapura as charged by the public prosecutor.
“By facts, the trial has proved that the defendants did not commit the acts of vandalism as accused by the prosecutor,” said the advocate team chairman Sugeng Teguh Santoso in the pledge reading.
Furthermore, in their pledge, the attorney team emphasised the failure of the public prosecutor in presenting the fact witnesses who could prove the destructive acts by the defendants in a mass riot on 29 August 2019 during the trial. On the contrary, the trial has indicated intimidation and violence against the defendants by investigators during the investigation.
“The name of suspects against the defendants did not match with evidence, while the investigation did not follow the standard procedure,” said Sugeng during the pledge reading.
Meanwhile, a counsellor team member Frederika Korain said, in the case of her clients, the public prosecutors failed in presenting witnesses who could testify on destructive acts by the defendants on the anti-racism protest of 29 August 2019 in the courtroom.
“A law case is supposed to be supported by strong evidence and case witnesses. However, in this case, there was no strong evidence and qualified case witnesses presented by the public prosecutor,” she said.
When reading the pledge on behalf of her client, Korain stressed that the process of the investigation had involved unjust acts, where the defendants experienced violence and had forced to amid the crime that they had never done.
“In the trial, they have revoked the investigation dossiers which granted by the panel of judges. This defence also underlines this,” said Korain.
Earlier, on Tuesday (11/2/2020), the panel judges of the Jayapura District Court consisting of Alexander Tetelepta and two members Roberto Naibaha and Korneles Waroi had said guilty to three defendants of the mass riot of 29 August 2019.
Oktavianus Hisage was found guilty after naming a defendant of a computer theft at the Papua Election Commission’s Office during the anti-racism protest. He sentenced to six months in prison, minus time off in custody time.
The same panel judges also convicted Yosam Wenda and Yoda Tabuni to pledged guilty of stealing a keyboard at the Secretariat Office of Dharma Wanita Papua on 29 August 2019. Both convicted to six months sentence, minus their detention time.
Their legal counsel Frederika Korain said after the trial on Wednesday, “We are still thinking about whether to appeal the verdict or not.” (*)
Reporter: Hengky Yeimo
Editor: Pipit Maizier
Legal counsel Warinussy: We refute the prosecutor’s indictment and will submit an exception
Manokwari, Jubi – The legal counsel of three students who respectively arrested following the anti-racism protest in Manokwari on 3 September 2019 said he is ready to submit an exception against the public prosecutor’s indictment in the inaugural trial session held at the Manokwari District Court on Thursday (13/2/2020).
The three students took to the court after their involvement as orators and negotiators in a rally to protest the racism against Papuans at Gunung Salju Amban, Manokwari, on 3 September 2019, which attended by hundreds of protestors.
In the indictment, the prosecutor declared that the three defendants had said provocatives and resistance words against the police who were on duty securing the demonstration.
As the results of their provocative words, the protest mob had moved to fight the police by throwing water mineral bottles and stones to the police, causing injuries to the police.
Meanwhile, Yan Christian Warinussy as the legal counsel team chief said his clients Erik Aliknoe, Pende Mirin and Yunus Aliknoe had not been able to accept the prosecutor’s indictment. Regarding this, his team will submit an exception in the next hearing session.
“We ask for a week to study the indictment as well as to prepare an exception,” said Warinussy.
On the other hand, Benoni A Kombado in the indictment stated that the three defendants had violated the public speech as regulated in article 106 of the Criminal Code in conjunction with article 55 paragraph 1 to 1e of the Criminal Code.
On the request by the legal counsel of the three defendants, the Chair Judge Sonny L.B. Loemurry suspended the trial and said it would be resumed on Thursday, 20 February 2020 with the agenda of hearing the exception by the legal counsel on the prosecutor’s indictment. (*)
Reporter: Hans Kapisa
Editor: Pipit Maizier
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