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Solomon Islands: Push for West Papua rights recognition successful

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Pacific Islands Forum Leader Meeting 48th in Apia, Samoa – Samoa Observer

Honiara, Jubi – The Solomon Islands has successfully moved a new agenda to include human rights on any agreement Pacific Island Countries signed with Indonesia during the recent Pacific Island Forum Leaders meeting.

Minister of Foreign Affairs and External Trade, Milner Tozaka, moved the agenda and was supported by Vanuatu and Tonga during the recent Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting in Samoa.

Previously, the bilateral agreement between Indonesia and Pacific Island countries only recognised trade relations, but now human rights will be included in any relationship countries in the Pacific have with Indonesia.

In the 48th Pacific Islands Forum Leaders meeting communique, leaders recognised the constructive engagement by the Forum countries with Indonesia with respect to elections and human rights in West Papua and Papua and to continue a dialogue in an open and constructive manner.

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In an interview with Island Sun after the Leader Retreat at Taumeasina Island Resort in Apia, Samoa, Tozaka said the Solomon Islands is happy that the West Papuan issue has been included in the communique.

He said the Solomon Islands position on West Papua is still a top priority and will continue to seek further dialogue to present West Papua on top level discussion.

Tozaka said the Solomon Islands is pleased to have the support of Tonga and Vanuatu, among others, in pushing the West Papua issue to the floor for further discussion during the meeting.

More support needed 

While acknowledging that the West Papua issue is in the communique, he said the issue is still a long way to achieve and that there needs to be more support.

Tozaka explained that there are a growing number of Free-West Papua movements in many countries in the Pacific region, but the road to the United Nations for presentation of ideas for West Papua depends on respective countries.

He said the present Pacific island countries who supported West Papua have no chance to go as a group to the UN.

“We try to push for a collective effort for this West Papua issue, but what we get was that, individual countries can hold dialogue with UN,” Tozaka said.

He said the West Papua issue is gaining momentum given that leaders have put their vote to the West Papua issue in the communique.(*)

Source: Island Sun

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Six defendants of anti-racism protest in Jayapura sentenced to six months jail

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Goddess of Justice. – Jubi/Pixabay

Jayapura, Jubi – The Jayapura District Court found guilty six defendants involved in a mass riot following the anti-racism protests in Papua on 29 August 2019. The panel of judges gave them six months sentence, reduced by the defendants’ detention period. Therefore, the defendants would able to release soon after being sentence since the end of August 2019. However, their legal counsel team says to challenge the verdict because they believe that their clients are not guilty.

The six defendants Yan Peter Suramaja, Dolfin, Vinsen Dogopia, Jorgen Aipui, Valerio Yaas, Peter Meraudje, are found guilty in the trial chaired by Judge Alexander Jacob Tetelepta, with the panel members Roberto Naibaho and Korneles Waroi.

The public prosecutor charged them with different articles. Yan Peter Suramaja charged with Emergency Article, while Dolfin accused Article 160 of the criminal code on the incitement against the government. Meanwhile, Vinsen Dogopie charged with Article 170 of the criminal code about conducting violence against people and properties. The other three defendants Jorgen Aipui, Valerio Yaas, and Peter Merauje indicted with Article 365 of the criminal code about theft with violence.

In responding to the court’s verdict, lawyer Frederika Korain confirms that her clients would release soon if they accept the verdict because they have been in the detention since the end of August 2029. “Following the court’s verdict, their days in the detention will end soon. But we will consider this and discuss with their family to challenge not guilty,” Korain says on Thursday.

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In the meantime, lawyer Relika Tambunan who is also a member of defendants’ legal counsel declares the court finding does not meet the expectation of the Advocate Team for Indigenous Papuans, as the trial was not able to approve the public prosecutor’s indictment.

“There is no strong evidence to accuse them. Indeed, the trial cannot prove that our clients are guilty or commit crime as charged to them. We have time to reconsider before challenge for not guilty,” said Tambunan. (*)

 

Reporter: Hengky Yeimo

Editor: Aryo Wisanggeni G

 

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Two civilians reportedly killed in Sugapa

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Photo illustration. – pixabay.com

Jayapura, Jubi – Two civilians reportedly killed in a joint military operation at Yoparu Village of Sugapa Sub-district, Intan Jayapura Regency on Tuesday (18/2/2020). The report also informs two Papuan women have been injured during the gun conflict and currently are under medical treatment. However, no release so far made by the security forces related to the report.

Jubi resource confirms two victims in this military ambush are Kayus Sani and Meky who shot in their houses on Tuesday dawn. The joint police and military forces arrived at Yoparu Village on Tuesday at around 3 a.m. Papua time, he says.

“Kayus was shot dead in his house. They (the joint security forces) entered the house and shot him on the chest and fingers. They also did the same thing to Meky, entering his house and shooting him dead in his house,” he says.

A report further informs that residents took the bodies of Kayus and Meky to a local church on Tuesday, but no information about their funeral yet.

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Meanwhile, two indigenous women were also reportedly injured in the same operation. Elepina Sani, Meky’s mother, was shot in her hand, and currently got treatment in Yoparu Village, while a bullet hit Malopina in her leg. She is referred to Timika on Tuesday for further treatment.

Until the article published, no confirmation from both military or police about the incident so far received by Jubi. Jubi has attempted to contact Papua Police Chief Paulus Waterpauw on Whatsapp at 20.26 Papua time for clarification, but no reply so far. (*)

 

Reporter: Hengky Yeimo

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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Military spokesperson says victims of military operation in Sugapa are members of insurgent group

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Photo illustration. – pixabay.com

Jayapura, Jubi – Colonel Eko Daryanto, the military public relations chief of Cenderawasih Military Command, says a victim killed on Tuesday (18/2/2020) in the armed conflict in Yaparo Village of Sugapa Sub-district, Intan Jaya Regency was an insurgent group member. He also claims that a boy killed in the same shooting location shot by the armed group.

Colonel Daryanto’s clarification is opposite to a witness’ statement cited by Jubi on Tuesday. Jubi resource told that both victims Kayus Sani and Meky Tipagau are civilians. He also informed two women had wounded during the attack.

As cited by Antara News Agency, Eko Daryanto states that the joint enforcement troop had involved in a gun conflict with an insurgent group in Sugapa on Tuesday at 7.20 Papua time when they saw two insurgent members carrying two guns. “They involved in a gun conflict while chasing those insurgents, but this armed group made to escape to the cliffs and bushes ahead to Ugimba,” says the colonel in Jayapura on Wednesday (19/2/2020).

Moreover, according to him, the troop later found Meky Tipogau’s body when checking the location after the conflict. He declares the victim Tipogau was shot by the military while carrying a weapon, but his friend was able to run away with his gun. Also, during the operation, the joint military troop seized a laptop, a cellular phone and two assembled guns, a facsimile machine, a bow and arrows.

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Eko further states that during the armed conflict on Tuesday, the insurgent group shot the joint military forces randomly. “Their fire hit 14 years old girls named Kina Sani who shot in her left sole,” says Eko.

Earlier, on Tuesday, Jubi published an article saying two civilians reportedly killed in Sugapa. According to Jubi source, the victims Kayus Sani and Meky Tipogau shot by the security forces in their houses. He stated that the shooting incident happened in the Tuesday early morning in Yoparu Village, Sugapa Subdistrict.

Jubi also reported that two women had injured during the armed conflict in the same location. Elepina Sani, Meky Tipogau’s mother, was shot in her hand, and now treated by locals in Yoparu Village. Meanwhile, Malopina Sani who shot in her leg referred to Timika for further medical treatment on Tuesday. (*)

 

Reporter: Aryo Wisanggeni G

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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