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Papuan challenging the legality of 1969 Act of Free Choice

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Coalition of Lawyers for Truth and Justice of West Papuan People submitted judicial review to Law Number 12 Year 1969 at Indonesia National Court – Jubi

Jakarta, Jubi – Coalition of Lawyers for Truth and Justice of West Papuan People submitted judicial review to Law Number 12 Year 1969 regarding the Establishment of Autonomous Province of West Irian and Autonomous Regencies in West Irian Province which is related to the Act of Free Choice (AoFC) to the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Indonesia on Friday (12/4/2019).

The coalition of fifteen rights lawyers based in West Papua and Jakarta is led by Yan Christian Warinussy. Also representatives of the customary territories, church leader, Papuan Woman Solidarity and some peoples have involved.

Warinussy said, the 1962 New York Agreement, which is the legal basis of the AoFC, states that all adults, male and female, not foreign nationals to participate in the act of self-determination that shall be carried out in accordance with international practice. But in reality, only 1,025 out of approximately 800,000 West Papuan people at that time could participate in AoFC when it was carried out in 1969.

“West Papuan people not only suffered from military operations throughout the 1960s leading to the AoFC, but they were also forced to vote for Indonesia under threat of violence when the AoFC was taking place,” said Warinussy in Constitutional Court, Jakarta.

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Therefore, he added the clause “…that as a follow up of the result of the act of self-determination, which has decided that West Irian was still a part of the unitary state of Republic of Indonesia…” stated in the Consideration of Law No.12/1969 is in contrary to the constitution articles 28E section (2) and 28G section (1) relating to right to freely express thoughts and actions in accordance to one’s conscience, and right to feel safe and protection from any threats of fear to act or not act on something.

Leonard Imbiri, representative of Papua Customary Council said paragraph 7 and 8 of the explanation of Law No.12/1969 states that the AoFC “… as the manifestation of the aspiration of the people has been completed…” and that it was “based on their full awareness” is in contrary to the constitution article 28I section (1) relating to right to life, freedom from torture, and right to freedom of thought and conscience.

“The flawed integration process of West Papua into Indonesia through this problematic AoFC has become the main root cause of the conflict in West Papua. We take this legal action in order to restore truth and justice for West Papuan people by correcting the history of integration process,” said Leonard.

This lawsuit is in line with the spirit of Article 46 of the Law of Special Autonomy for Papua Province – which was never realized since its ruling almost 20 years ago. Furthermore, this legal action is expected to educate the Indonesian government and people about the origin of root cause of the conflict in West Papua. (*)

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Individuals might take advantage of current situation in Papua for own interests to meet President Widodo

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Papua parliament member from the Democratic fraction, Emus Gwijangge. – Jubi/Arjuna

Jayapura, Jubi – Emus Gwijangge, Papua parliament member from the Democratic fraction, appeals to any individuals or groups to not exploit the current situation in Papua for their personal or group interests.

He said this to pointing some recent group meetings with President Joko Widodo in Jakarta. The first group, he mentioned, met the president and then proposed some requests, while another group claimed Papuan youth representatives met some state officials. And the most recently some officials of the Indonesian community group in Papua met President Widodo and asked the president to divide the region of Papua into seven indigenous territories in both Papua and Papua Barat provinces.

“Everyone has a right to meet the president. But please do not act on behalf of indigenous Papuans while requesting something to the president,” Gwijangge told Jubi on Wednesday (16/10/2019).

According to him, indigenous Papuans never ask for a title, new regional split or anything else. What they want is the central government sit together with them in a forum facilitated by the third parties addressing some issues that occurred in Papua.

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“What indigenous peoples want is a historical correction as well as the settlement of many cases of human rights violations in Papua. Therefore, the Melanesian race no needs to continue our contention against the central government. We shouldn’t go to Jakarta for asking so many random requests,” he said.

Moreover, he hopes President Widodo and other state officials should carefully accept the proposed meeting by any groups from Papua who claimed to represent indigenous peoples.

He said if the president and state officials want to meet indigenous Papuans, they must invite the indigenous representatives. Also, the provincial government officials, local parliament and Papua’s People Assembly members and religious leaders are there to consider.

“The sort of this representation would guarantee that the aspirations delivered to the president are coming from the indigenous Papuans. It would contribute to the future of our grandchildren for they would not be engaged in the same problems and continuously become victims,” he said.

Meanwhile, Ahmad Taufan Damanik, the Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission, said Komnas HAM has repeatedly advised President Jokowi to come to Papua for a dialogue. The president is suggested meeting people and any relevant stakeholders to solve problems in Papua.

However, he said, the president has contrary invited other groups, who claimed themselves as Papuan leaders, to Jakarta.

“Inviting a group of people from Papua to Jakarta is not what we meant, but the president himself needs to come to Papua,” said Ahmad Taufan. (*)

Reporter: Arjuna Pademme

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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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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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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