Indonesia trying to divert the attention away from the human rights violations in West Papua : PIANGO – West Papua No.1 News Portal
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Indonesia trying to divert the attention away from the human rights violations in West Papua : PIANGO

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The side event on West Papua issue on Friday (3/3/2017) at UNHRC Headquarters in Geneva – Jubi/Victor Mambor

Geneva, Jubi –   Indonesia’s scathing attack on Vanuatu at the 34th UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) session is an attempt to divert the international community’s attention away from the on-going human rights violations taking place in West Papua.

These sentiments were echoed by the Pacific Islands Association of NGOs(PIANGO)executive director, Emele Duituturaga after Indonesia criticised Vanuatu of “politicising the issue of West Papua for its domestic political purposes” at the UNHRC in Geneva.

“Indonesia’s reaction was quite telling of its unwillingness to respect and uphold the values of what it means to belong to the international community of nations – the UN.”

“Their response was to resort to divide and conquer by picking on Vanuatu and then again offering to help Vanuatu with its alleged human rights issues in response to the Pacific coalition’s request to treat a member of the Pacific family – West Papua – with respect and dignity,” Duituturaga said.

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She said the Pacific Islands Coalition on West Papua (PICWP) of which PIANGO is a member of would not be requesting the UN to send special rapporteurs into West Papua if they didn’t have enough evidence to prove that West Papuans were suffering.

“Indonesia plays an important role in Pacific stability and peace, their contribution to the region is widely known and appreciated. Pacific governments and civil society would not just as easily undermine such an important relationship.”

“However, when there is overwhelming evidence that thousands of West Papuans who are Pacific Islanders have lost their lives as they tried to raise alternative views in the governance of their resources with state authorities and even to motivate seven Pacific countries to form a coalition on West Papua, Indonesia must realise it can no longer afford to feign innocence at the UN.”

She said according to several human rights reports, the number of victims and cases of extra-judicial killings and torture in West Papua have not significantly reduced between 2012 and 2016.

“The number of political arrests has exponentially increased over the last 3 years and all victims of torture and killings that our partners were able to find were indigenous Papuans. While indigenous Papuans make up only some 40% of the population, they make up 100% of the victims. There is a clear element of racial violence in the practice of security forces.”

Duituturaga said the systematic disempowerment of West Papuans is such that literacy rates in remote regions have dramatically decreased, with some villages registering literacy rates as low as 20 percent.

“Since 2007, Indonesia has not allowed any special procedures to visit West Papua. The region is largely closed for international human rights observers. Foreign journalists get either no access or are accompanied by intelligence, making independent fact finding impossible.”

“That’s just the tip of the iceberg and that’s what PIANGO representative, Laitia Tamata is helping to support the PICWP delegation raise awareness on in Geneva.”

Tamata was one of the six panellists at the UNHRC side event jointly organised by the Permanent Mission of the Solomon Islands, state members and the Office of the Chair of PICWP called, “Shining the Light on the Human Rights Situation on West Papua” was held on 3rd March 2017.

Other panellists included the Solomon Islands Special Envoy for West Papua, Rex Horoi, Parliamentary Secretary to the Vanuatu Prime Minister and Head of Desk for Decolonisation Johnny George Koanapa, Jakarta-based Indonesian Human Rights Lawyer Veronica Koman, Executive Officer of Justice and Peace of Archdiocese of Brisbane, Australia, Peter Arndt and Peaceful Conflict Resolution Facilitator, West Papua, Octovianus Mote. The discussions will be moderated by Vanuatu Ambassador to EU, Roy Micky Joy.

Indonesia’s scathing attack on Vanuatu at the 34th UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) session is an attempt to divert the international community’s attention away from the ongoing human rights violations taking place in West Papua.

These sentiments were echoed by the Pacific Islands Association of NGOs(PIANGO)executive director, Emele Duituturaga after Indonesia criticised Vanuatu of “politicising the issue of West Papua for its domestic political purposes” at the UNHRC in Geneva.

“Indonesia’s reaction was quite telling of its unwillingness to respect and uphold the values of what it means to belong to the international community of nations – the UN.”

“Their almost childish response was to resort to divide and conquer by picking on Vanuatu and then again offering to help Vanuatu with its alleged human rights issues in response to the Pacific coalition’s request to treat a member of the Pacific family – West Papua – with respect and dignity,” Duituturaga said. (*)

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Discrimination handling refugees hurts Papuans

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Papuan students studying in Java Island in a protest demanding justice for committed violence by the Indonesian military against civilians in Ndugama, Papua – Jubi/AMP Documentation

Jayapura, Jubi – The way government handling the humanitarian conflict in Papua has become a spotlight. Many people think the government are being discriminative in handling Nduga refugees compared to refugees from Wamena.

A native Ndugama Resina Lokbere said that she is discouraged seeing how the government differently treated refugees from both areas. “I see a huge difference approach here. Although the government always declare our national motto ‘unity in diversity’, but I have not seen this applied in Papua. A conflict in Nduga has occurred since 1 December 2018. Since then, Nduga residents must leave their villages and flee to other regions and the jungle to avoid a military operation,” she said.

Moreover, she said if the government are a concern in settling the humanitarian conflict in Papua, they should treat people fairly. The government should treat people equally, regardless of indigenous Papuans or non-Papuans.

“Thousands of youth and children drop out of school, and now they are living under poor health condition. There is economic loses as well. Who knows whether they will be survived or dead after a few months of suffering without enough food and water? I don’t know. Only God is the witness of their suffering,” said Resina whose relatives refuge from Nduga.

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In her view, the way the government handling the issue of refugees can create a barrier in society. She thinks the government has indirectly built a wall between one community to others.

“The government should not perceive conflicts in Nduga and Wamena merely from a political view but also a humanitarian aspect. They are all your people. They need you. They need your action, not your promises on the public stage,” she said.

Meanwhile, a local parliament member Laurenzus Kadepa also think the government has shown different response in handling refugees due to conflicts occurred in Nduga and Wamena.

According to him, he observed that the victims of conflict in Wamena were promptly evacuated or accommodated with adequate facilities. They had enough food and other basic needs during the evacuation. It was opposite to what had happened to Nduga residents. They had to walk for days from their villages to Wamena and other regions.

“While there was a lack of access to food aid distribution for Nduga residents, it didn’t happen for Wamena refugees. They had planes to transport them, shelter and enough food,” he said.

Seeing what has been happening lately in Papua, the relevant stakeholders in Papua and the central government should immediately think a solution to end this current complicated situation. (*)

Reporter: Agus Pabika

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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Five bodies discovered in Mbua, allegedly shot by military culprits

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Excavation of five bodies discovered in Gua Batu, Mbua. – JapHAM Documentation

Jayapura, Jubi – Residents and activists from Pegunungan Tengah Human Rights Defender Networks (JapHAM) discovered five bodies on Thursday (10/20/2019) in Iniye Village, Mbua Sub-district, Nduga Regency. The bodies are suspected of the shooting victims of military culprits and covered by grass and leaves before being buried in one hole.

Nduga youth leader Samuel Tabuni, who is also a relative of the victims, said the victims left Wamena on 20 September for picking food supplies by car. They went together with a group of young men. Some group members then separated for taking food to their villages. Meanwhile, the victims took their supplies to Gua Batu, Gunung Kanbobo because they lived far away and decided to stay in Iniye Village.

“The next day on 21 September, the five victims went to take the food they stored at Gua Batu. Another group followed them later, but while they were walking, they heard gunfire. They were scared and decided not to continue to their walk to Gua Batu. They walked back to Ineye and called me,” Samuel Tabuni told on Thursday (10/10/2019).

However, after the call, he wasn’t sure about what had happened in Ineye. So he asked the police for further investigation. But the police said there was no report of the shooting incident in Mbua.

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“The victims are my relatives, so I must continue to find the truth. After twenty days, it finally reveals that allegedly military culprits have shotted these five people,” said Samuel Tabuni.

He said a resident who called him witnessed military personnel at around Gua Batu.

The five bodies later identified as Mrs Yuliana Dorggi (35), Mrs Jelince Bugi (25), Mrs Macen Kusumbrue (26), Tolop Bugi (13) and Hardius Bugi (15).

“Local people and JapHAM Pegunung Tengah led by Theo Hesegem discovered their bodies,” said Samuel Tabuni.

Meanwhile, Kodam (regional military command) XVII/Cenderawasih admitted to Jubi that they have not yet received any information regarding the shooting incident in Iniye Village.

“We have not received an official report from the local unit,” said Colonel Eko Daryanto, Kodam spokesperson, to Jubi via WhatsApp.

Since a military conflict occurred in Nduga in the early of December last year, 189 residents are reportedly dead because of starvation in a refugee camp or shot by the military and police. Following the incident, thousands of Nduga residents have fled, and 39 churches have vacated.

Currently, according to Samuel Tabuni, Nduga residents demand the government to withdraw the joint military and police troops from Nduga. Furthermore, Nduga urgently needs humanitarian aid to supply food, medicine and support from the international humanitarian organisation to conduct an independent investigation on human rights violations in Nduga.

Meanwhile, Papua Governor Lukas Enembe hope Nduga refugees are not treated differently with refugees from another conflict in Wamena.

“Nduga residents are also the Indonesian citizens who should be treated equally as other residents,” said Governor Enembe.

Further, he said the case of Nduga refugee is an extraordinary case related to a humanitarian issue.

Therefore, he said he already communicated with the regents of Jayawijaya and Lanny Jaya because most of Nduga refugees are currently staying in these two regencies. He asked the regents from both regencies to treat Nduga refugees well because they are also Papuan citizens who need the attention of the government. (*)

 

Reporter: Victor Mambor

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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Conducive, school activities resume in Wamena

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Teachers, locals and the security forces cleared debris after unrest at SMP YPPK St. Thomas, Wamena.-Jubi/Islami

Wamena, Jubi – Following the unrest on 23 November 2019, most schools closed down their activities. Schools activities just resume on Monday, 7 October 2019 despite less attendance of teachers and students.

The Secretary of Jayawijaya Education Office Bambang Budiandoyo said at least ten schools which are directly impacted by the riots: four primary schools, three secondary schools and three high schools, have students’ participation of ten to twenty percent.

“At the first day of school, we focus more on recovering trauma among teachers and students, no learning activities yet,” he said on Monday (7/10) in Wamena.

The Jayawijaya Education Office remarks there are 25 of 61 schools of a range of degrees from pre to high schools reported the impact of riots toward their schools.

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“The twenty-five schools already filed report on schools’ damages. Their reports have been forwarded to the regent via the Public Works Office (PUPR). They hope the government can immediately respond it for repairs,” said Bambang.

Now, in the sixth day after the riots, people can see many schools were damaged in different scales, from broken windows’ glasses to broken classrooms. In order to motivate teachers and students back to school, the regional education office calls Wahana Visi Indonesia (WVI) to assist them providing a trauma healing consultation.

“The Education Office also get an assistance from WVI to provide a trauma healing consultation for students and teachers for two weeks,” he said.

Meanwhile, the SMA Negeri 1 Wamena Principal Yosep Wibisono said after the incident both parents and students mostly decided leaving Wamena for a while. “So I am taking an initiative to clean our school with the help of the rest of teachers and students left. This is for reducing the unrest feeling when learning activities resume to normal.

There is no major damages occurred in SMA Negeri 1 Wamena. Only some windows’ glasses in the classroom, staff office hit by stones and broken as well as the school’s signpost and fence.

Separately, Efaim Yeuruan, the principal of SD YPPK Santo Yakobus Hone Lama, said the school has opened but only seven teachers and two of 490 pupils coming to school. “I have heard that students who are today absents because their parents are taking them to their hometowns after the riots,” he said.

Meanwhile, on the last 4 October 2019, the officials of the Jayawijaya Regional Government together with locals and police and military cleaned some debris from any exposed schools from Wouma to the areas of Wamena City including Hom-Hom.

Many locals and other community’s members participated to clean debris at SMP YPPK Santo Thomas. A classroom which burned down in the incident need more attention in addition cleaning the broken glasses.

Jayawijaya Regent appreciates teachers and students attending school

The Jayawijaya Regent Richard Banua expresses his appreciation to teachers and students attending the first day of school though it’s only a few.

“I hope these pupils can motivate others who might be now in a refuge. They can see that our schools start to operate,” said Banua.

He also hopes some absent teachers can resume teaching. To students and their parents, he said the government want everyone not feeling worried because it is now safe.

“Do not worry about the spreading rumours. But if you notice that schools are now open, let us sending our children to school as usual,” he said.

He also asks the security forces to maintain their performance in doing their job securing the situation. “I have talked to the local police chef asking him and his personnel to persistently maintain the security by doing patrol and deploying personnel at certain threat points,” he said.

Jayawijaya Regent Jhon R Banua was shaking hand with secondary students at SMP I Wamena. -Jubi/Islami

Police name 13 suspects related to Wamena unrest

Jayawijaya Police name six other suspects to add the previous seven involving in a protest led to unrest in Wamena on 23 September 2019. Papua Police spokesperson Senior Commissionaire Ahmad Mustofa Kamal said the total number of suspects are currently 13. Ten of them are in the detention of Jayawijaya Police while three are still on the wanted list.

He told reporters the initial names of suspects are DM (19), RW (18), AO (16), RA (16), AK (19), DJ (32), YP (22), ES (27), MT (27), SK (40).

“YA, B and MA are still in the wanted list. There are students among the suspects. It assumes that they were only joining when destruction and burning had happened, while those in the wanted list allegedly provoked,” said Kamal in the press conference on Monday (7/10).

Moreover, he said these suspects are charged with Article 187 of the criminal code on combustion, Article 170 on destruction on people or goods collectively in public, and Article 160 on incitation to people to conduct crime.

“The police has kept the evidences related to the riots in Wamena, namely 34 stones allegedly used for destruction, 22 motorbikes and a car burned in the riots as well as a video footage of the incident,” he said.

Furthermore, Kamal said the number of suspects might be increased because the police are still continuing their investigation.

Meanwhile, the new appointed chief of Papua Police, the Inspector General Police Paulus Waterpau said there are two troops of Mobile Brigade deployed to help securing Wamena and now Papua Police plans to add another troop of Mobile Brigade to help the settled police and military troops in Wamena.

“I think the number of local troops in Wamena is enough. But we might add some more. This is also relevant to some other areas. Well, nothing, it’s just to look after and give understanding to the community,” said Waterpauw. (*)

Reporter: Islami

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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