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Soldier behind death of Papuan pastor: Independent team

October 30, 2020

Soldier behind death of Papuan pastor: Independent team
Nina A. Loasana
Jakarta / Sat, October 31 2020 / 01:00 am

Coordinator of the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) Haris Azhar speaks in a press conference in this file photo taken last year.( Gabbrilin)

An independent team calling itself the Intan Jaya Humanity Team has alleged that Indonesian Military (TNI) personnel were behind the fatal shooting of Pastor Yeremia Zanambani last month in Intan Jaya regency, Papua, as well as a string of violence prior to the killing.

Prominent human rights activist and Lokataru Legal and Human Rights Foundation executive director Haris Azhar led the team, which also comprises local religious figures, academics and activists. Haris said villagers had seen a spike in violence in Hitadipa district since military personnel were stationed in the village last year following antiracism protests in the province in August 2019. “ ased on our investigation, TNI personnel carried out a series of violence against Hitadipa villagers prior to the shooting," Haris said in a press conference on Thursday.

The team found that at least two military personnel were involved in Yeremia’s death. “The information we received pointed to members of Hitadipa Subdistrict Military Command [Koramil],” he said. The pastor’s death was part of a prolonged conflict in Intan Jaya. He explained that in April, two villagers went missing after allegedly being detained by military officers during a “COVID-19 raid".

This case remained unsolved even after a series of meetings between the military and local stakeholders, including Pastor Yeremia. Before Yeremia’s fatal shooting on Sept. 19, there had been a gunfight between the TNI and a party that the authority claimed to be an armed criminal group, Haris further said. The team also claimed that on Sept. 19, military officers gathered hundreds of Hitadipa villagers in front of a local school building that has been converted into a military post following a gunfire exchange between the TNI and the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPNPB) in the village on Sept. 17.

The shooting resulted in the death of a TNI soldier. Members of the TPNPB also reportedly managed to seize a gun belonging to the deceased soldier. "During the meeting, villagers claimed that the district military commander gave them two days to return the gun or else the TNI would carry out an annihilation operation in the village," Haris said. Later that day, he added, soldiers allegedly burned down an official residence of a local health worker in the village, claiming that the house sheltered a TPNPB member. On the evening of Sept. 19, Pastor Yeremia was found fatally wounded in his pig pen, with a bullet wound in the arm and a stab wound in the neck. He passed away a few hours later.

Haris claimed that witnesses saw a soldier named Alpius and three other soldiers heading to the pig pen prior to the incident. "There’s a strong indication that Alpius is the culprit. Previously, Alpius had publicly stated that Pastor Yeremia and five other local residents were enemies of the TNI," he said. The team’s finding is in line with the investigation result from the government-sanctioned joint fact-finding team (TGPF), which said it had found indications that security forces had been involved in the death of the pastor, although the TGPF also stated there was a possibility that a third party was behind it.

The team, however, did not reveal detailed information on the suspected killers. Joint Regional Defense Command (Kogabwilhan) III spokesperson Col. Czi IGN Suriastawa refuted the Intan Jaya Humanity Team’s findings, calling them "baseless" and "a total fabrication". "Why would TNI member kill a pastor, what benefit would we gain from such an act?" he told The Jakarta Post. Suriastawa also claimed that witnesses’ accounts of the incident kept changing. "It was the fourth version that I’ve heard. It’s very odd,” he said.

The Cendrawasih Military Command (Kodam) in Papua said in a statement that an investigation was still under way. "If military personnel are found to have been involved, they will be processed in accordance with the law." the statement read. Haris said Pastor Yeremia’s shooting had caused a deep fear in the hearts of some 1,000 Hitadipa residents, who fled the village shortly after the incident. “It is the hope of the villagers for the TNI personnel to leave Hitadipa and to return to the village safely.”

2) Intolerance, Papua Conflict Will Haunt Indonesia for Next 10 Years: LIP



Dewi Elvia Muthiariny


Markus Wisnu Murti

30 October 2020 21:10 WIB

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta – Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) researcher Cahyo Pamungkas opined that Indonesia would face two major problems in the next 10 years, viz. religious intolerance and separatism conflict in Papua.

“These political conflicts will haunt Indonesia for the next 10 years,” said Cahyo in a discussion on Conflict Resolution at the National and Regional Levels on Friday, October 30, 2020.

Cahyo said that intolerance, radicalism, and identity politics had threatened the principle of diversity and the spirit of nationalism.

Persecution and expatriation of the Rohingya, Cahyo added, reminded that Indonesia did similar action towards minority groups, such as the Shia and Ahmadiyah. “This is an example that the country fails to protect minorities,” he said.

Conflict in Papua is the longest in Indonesia, which is also one of the humanitarian crises that are rarely addressed. Cahyo said the cycle of political violence in Papua had been going on since 1965 and lingered after the reformation. He mentioned cases of human rights violations in Wasior, Wamena, and Paniai.

“This violence in Papua is why they want to separate from Indonesia. I think this strengthens Papuan nationalism,” he said.

Cahyo said that the government had used illiberal and liberal peace to overcome the Papua conflict by creating special autonomy up to deploying military (TNI) and police personnel. However, these measures failed to create peace.

Read: TNI Investigates Alleged Soldier Involvement in Death of Papuan Pastor



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West Papua: The Neglected War?

October 29, 2020
West Papua: The Neglected War?

October 25, 2020 in Conflict / Oceania / UN / Violence by Pasepa Katia (updated on October 25, 2020)

West Papua, a Melanesian island bordering Papua New Guinea in the Pacific, has struggled for decades to achieve independence. First colonized by the Netherlands in 1898, the island was still a colony when Indonesia became independent in 1949. The Dutch government refused to declare West Papua part of the Melanesian Republic, recognizing cultural and ethnic differences between the island and its other former colony, and in the 1950’s began preparing West Papua for independence. In 1961, the people declared West Papua an independent nation and raised their new flag – the Morning Star. However, this independence was short-lived. The Indonesian government invaded West Papua within the decade.

Indonesia not been kind to West Papua. To date, over 500,000 civilians have been brutally murdered, and thousands more were raped, imprisoned, or tortured, at the hands of the Indonesian military and state authorities.

According to the Asian Human Rights Commission’s 2010/11 West Papua Report, economic and political interests in West Papua have been the primary cause of these human rights abuses. In August 2010, for example, Indonesia launched the Merauke Integrated Food and Energy Estate (MIFEE) in Papua Province’s Merauke Regency to develop a plantation of 1.2 million hectares for cash crops. This development not only threatened the economic and cultural rights of West Papua’s indigenous community, but also exploited the region’s natural resources. In general, indigenous West Papuans are more likely to suffer these injustices. Indigenous peoples are suspected of supporting the separatist movement, which supposedly poses a threat to Indonesia’s territorial integrity.

Moreover, Muslim, Christian, Hindu, and Buddhist minority groups have faced threats to their religious freedom. Many have experienced discrimination or been attacked. Indonesia has done little to stop this.

Even as Indonesia fails to address discrimination within its own borders, it ratifies human rights treaties internationally. The Indonesian Constitution has incorporated a number of principles from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and has ratified core treaties underpinning those rights internationally, such as the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights; the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)’s 2007 Charter. However, the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights, the body which oversees this charter, has criticized Indonesia for failing to sanction human rights violations or carry out investigations into the same. The U.N. Committee Against Torture has expressed concern with Indonesian police forces’ participation in armed conflict. The country must address these concerns to prove its government genuinely cares about meeting its regional and international obligations.

Several factors exacerbate West Papua’s conflict. The United Nations, for one, officially recognized West Papua as Indonesia’s territory with the Act of Free Choice in 1969. This legal document became a barrier to West Papua’s right to self-determination, a right recognized under international law. Although legally binding, the Act’s failure to recognize West Papua’s right to self-determination is highly controversial. In the 1960 Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples, the U.N. General Assembly stated that “the subjection of peoples to alien subjugation, domination and exploitation constitutes a denial of fundamental human rights, and is contrary to the Charter of the United Nations and is an impediment to world peace and cooperation.” Choosing to reinforce the Act of Free Choice, a legal document, at the expense of the people of West Papua means that the U.N. has failed to uphold this Declaration.

Furthermore, Article 73 of the U.N. Charter presents Indonesia as a “sacred trust” in bringing West Papua to self-government. The article sets out Indonesia’s obligation as the administering power, not the original colonial power, to allow for self-determination in West Papua. This must be in accordance with international standards. Even if the Act of Free Choice is considered authoritative, Indonesia has failed its obligations under Article 73 by disallowing self-determination, alienating the people, and committing grave human rights violations.

It is difficult to bring light to West Papua’s situation globally. Press freedoms for foreign media and journalists on the island are highly restricted. According to volunteer organization the Free West Papua Campaign, the Indonesian military deported BBC journalist Rebecca Henscke and her fellow reporters in 2018 for “hurting soldiers’ feelings” when documenting a health crisis in West Papua’s remote Asmat region. (Activists claim mismanagement and neglect from Indonesia worsened measles outbreaks and malnutrition.) The United Nations Declaration of Human Rights recognizes the freedom of the press as a human right under international law. Article 79 of Protocol I to the Geneva Convention also recognizes journalists as persons protected under the Convention. Indonesia’s failure to adhere to these international standards of treatment is highly concerning, arguably resembling a dictatorship despite the Republic’s claims of democracy. Furthermore, forbidding the presence of the international press downplays West Papua’s crisis, prolonging the island’s injustice and suffering.

Several international actors have expressed concern over the crisis in West Papua. On October 4th, 2020, human rights lawyer Veronica Koman published a very detailed report on the 2019 West Papua Uprising in conjunction with Indonesian human rights campaign TAPOL. (The name comes from the Indonesian words for “political prisoners,” tahanan politik.) The report shed light on the international community’s response to the crisis. According to Koman, the Pacific Islands Forum and U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet made several attempts in September 2019 to initiate dialogue with the Indonesian government to address the allegations of human rights violations in West Papua, to little avail. Countries like New Zealand, Canada, and the U.K. have encouraged Indonesia to allow a visit by the U.N., but these requests were all denied.

Foreign military intervention could arguably be necessary if Indonesia refuses to act. However, the doctrine of humanitarian intervention is still a topic for debate under international law, and international military response should be reserved only for special circumstances. West Papua may be eligible for those circumstances. However, humanitarian intervention also requires a lot of political will, which most states are not able to garner unless it aligns with their individual interests. Even if that will is gathered, we cannot risk a war. The consequences would be far too great to incur when we are already battling against climate change, poverty, terrorism, and now a global pandemic.

Overall, alleviating the crisis in West Papua requires a multi-faceted approach. The legality of the 1969 Act of Free Choice must be challenged to put an end to the past 50 years of injustice and allow West Papua an opportunity to exercise their right to self-determination. Second, the Indonesian government must be held accountable for their role in the brutal killings and human rights abuses against the people of West Papua. Third, the wider international community must be more active in bringing light to the situation. We must insist that the Indonesian government participate in dialogue as the first step in addressing this issue. Lastly, Indonesia must change its attitude towards human rights within their borders to uphold their international and regional obligations and better reflect the values to which they supposedly adhere.

West Papua’s conflict requires urgent action from the U.N., key actors in the region, and the wider international community. We all share the responsibility to take that action, to ensure that West Papua’s rights are recognized and protected. We cannot be bystanders to human rights abuses and massacre. The Rwandan genocide proves what happens when we do not act.


Pasepa Katia Pasepa Katia Pasepa has been involved with the OWP since November 2019 as a correspondent. She is a graduate from Otago University with a Master of International Studies and has a particular interest in human rights, environmental conflicts and international development

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West Papuan student demonstrators forced to flee security forces

October 29, 2020

West Papuan student demonstrators forced to flee security forces
9:18 pm on 27 October 2020

Students in the capital of Indonesia’s Papua province have had to flee gunshots as security forces disbanded a demonstration.

West Papuan students carry a wounded fellow demonstrator after security forces came to disband their rally, Waena, 27 October, 2020 Photo: Supplied

The university students were demonstrating against the Indonesian government’s plans for a new Special Autonomy law in Papua region when members of both police and military forces came to disperse them.
Footage from Jayapura shows armed security forces personnel pursuing students through their dormitory precinct in Waena sub-district, accompanied by the sound of gunfire.
At least one student was wounded and has reportedly been taken to hospital.
A police spokesman has denied that the students were isolated in their dormitories, saying the demonstrators were disrupting public order.
He says during the Covid-19 pandemic mass public gatherings are not allowed.
According to the Papua Legal Aid Institute, thirteen people involved in the demonstration were arrested.

Indonesian police come out in force to disband to disband a West Papuan student demonstration against Special Autonomy in Papua. Waena, 27 October, 2020 Photo: Supplied
A google translate. Be-aware google translate can be a bit erratic.
Original bahasa link at
2) Action to reject Otsus; one student was shot and 13 were arrested

Papua No.1 News Portal
Reporter: Benny Mawel October 27, 2020 2:32 pm
Jayapura, Jubi – The joint police, Brimob and TNI forces intercepted, dispersed, accompanied by beatings, shooting bullets and tear gas at demonstrators of Cenderawasih University (Uncen) students who staged demonstrations against Special Autonomy volume II at two points. Meeting point for Expo Waena and Taxi Round, Perumnas III Waena, Jayapura City, 500 meters from the gate of the campus.

"The TNI / POLRI joint disbanded the protesters at Expo Waena. While the student action at Perumnas 3 Waena Jayapura, the troops are still surrounded, "said one of the demonstrators without naming the Jubi editorial staff, Tuesday (27/10/2020)

The demonstrators said that so far the TNI / POLRI had shot, Matias Soo, a 7th semester student, Faculty of Education, Cenderawasih University. The victim has been rushed to the Dian Harapan Waena Jayapura hospital.

The Papua Legal Aid Institute (LBH) stated that in addition to the shooting, the police also arrested 13 demonstrators, namely Apniel Doo, Doni Pekei, John F. Tebay, Yabet Lukas Degey, Meriko Kanak, Orgis Kanak, Charles Siep, Ones Sama, Yanias Mirin, Arkilaus Lokon, Kristianbus Degei, Laban Heluka, Ausilius Magai.

Emanuel Gobay SH, MH, Director of LBH Papua emphasized that in principle, demonstrations and expressing opinions in public are guaranteed in Law Number 9 of 1998. These provisions include mechanisms for conveying opinions and how the attitudes and actions of security forces in guarding independence to express opinions.

Even if there are provisions, in practice the security apparatus, in this case the TNI-Polri, in Papua tends to ignore their duties, principles and functions in safeguarding independence to express opinions in public.

This fact was clearly seen in the peaceful action against the Papua Special Autonomy Law which was carried out by Papuan students on October 27, 2020, which was intercepted by the joint military and police apparatus.

"In practice, the apparatus used a violent approach which resulted in the mass of the action being hit by gunshot wounds and there were also several periods of action whose eyes were sore from the shot of tear gas," he said.

His party also questioned the involvement of the TNI in securing demonstrations. According to him, in order for TNI involvement to be legal, the police must present a letter requesting assistance from security personnel to the TNI. If the fact is that the involvement was carried out without a request letter, it can be concluded that the presence of the TNI in the action against the Special Autonomy Law was illegal.

"On that basis we conclude that the security apparatus, in this case the TNI-POLRI, has misused the Protap for handling the action against the Special Autonomy Law which was carried out peacefully. Based on this conclusion, it can be stated that the TNI-POLRI violates the democratic rights of citizens, as guaranteed by Law Number 9 of 1998 concerning freedom to express opinions in public.

In fact, according to him, the fact that there were shooting victims clearly proved that the shooter had abused a firearm as prohibited in the Emergency Law Number 12 of 1951.

Based on the description above, LBH Papua emphasizes the first point, the Chief of Police, Cq Kapolda Papua, to order his subordinates to respect the democratic rights of citizens guaranteed in Law Number 9 of 1998 in accordance with the direction of Perkap Number 8 of 2009 concerning Implementation of Human Rights Standards and Principles in Tasks. Police;

Second, the Papua Police Chief immediately ordered the Jayapura Police Chief and the Abepura Police Chief to return the TNI and withdraw Polri troops from the scene of the action.

Third, the Papua Police Chief immediately ordered the Jayapura Police Chief and the Abepura Police Chief to free the 13 demonstrators who were arrested and currently being held at the Abepura Police;

Fourth, Papua Police Chief, Cq Kapolresta Jayapura Cq Kapolsek Abepura, immediately arrested and processed the security personnel who shot the demonstrators as a form of implementation of Emergency Law Number 12 of 1951 and the principle of equality before the law.

The Jayapura City Police Chief and the Papua Police Chief did not respond when Jubi asked for confirmation regarding this incident. (*)

Editor: Syam Terrajana

3) Indonesia, Australia strengthen cooperation in law, security
7 hours ago
Jakarta (ANTARA) – Indonesia’s Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs, Mahfud MD, and Australia’s Minister of Home Affairs, Peter Dutton, stressed on bilateral cooperation in legal and security affairs during an online meeting on Tuesday.

Mahfud and Dutton also discussed issues involving regional security, repatriation of foreign terrorist fighters, maritime security cooperation, and counter-terrorism at the 7th Indonesia-Australia Ministerial Council Meeting (MCM) on Law and Security (7th RI-Australia MCM Meeting).

“We can deal with the threat of terrorism and others only with strong and sustainable cooperation, through various programs and law enforcement action plans, preventive action, deradicalization, counter terrorism, termination of funding channels and use of cyber technology by terrorist networks, illegal drugs, human trafficking, and also response to the COVID-19 pandemic," Mahfud observed.

Indonesian Ambassador to Australia, Kristiarto Legowo, and chairman of the Witness and Victim Protection Agency (LPSK), Hasto Atmojo Suroyo, were present at the meeting.

The meeting was also attended by the secretary, expert staff, and deputies of the Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs, representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Law and Human Rights, Indonesian Navy, and the Densus 88 counterterrorism squad, among others.

At the meeting, the Coordinating Minister said bilateral, regional, and multilateral cooperation is a necessity.

"I believe that no country in the world can handle a situation like this (coronavirus pandemic) on its own," he noted.

During the meeting, a Memorandum of Understanding was also signed on cooperation between the two countries on capacity building and increasing the protection and assistance for witnesses and victims. The MoU was signed by the chair of the LPSK and the Australian Minister of Home Affairs.

Minister Dutton said the relationship between Indonesia and Australia is very significant as the two countries are partners in the security and maritime sector.

"This collaboration is a big achievement. For us, Indonesia is an important partner in the region and has the same level of trust," he remarked.

The two also ministers expressed their appreciation for the cooperation between the two countries so far.

"I believe that bilateral relations between Indonesia and Australia are getting stronger based on the principles of equality, mutual respect, mutual trust, and mutual benefit," Mahfud remarked.

Related news: Papua government follows up on FMG’s hydropower plant investment plan
Related news: Indonesian, Australian universities bolster research collaboration

Reporter: Syaiful Hakim, Fardah
Editor: Rahmad Nasution


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West Papua ‘becoming a hunting ground’ as Indonesian forces open fire on student protesters

October 28, 2020

West Papua ‘becoming a hunting ground’ as Indonesian forces open fire on student protesters

SBS News

More than a dozen university students have been injured in an incident in the Papuan capital, Jayapura, with witnesses claiming Indonesian troops opened fire to disperse a peaceful rally.

A young man has been severely beaten and a dozen other students injured after Indonesian security forces opened fire on a university rally in the Papuan capital, Jayapura.

Months of fresh demonstrations have gripped the region as thousands of Indigenous West Papuans renew calls for an independence referendum amid a deadly crackdown in the Indonesian-ruled provinces.

Some 13 university students were injured in Jayapura on Tuesday, with victims and witnesses claiming Indonesian troops opened fire to disperse a peaceful rally of about 20 people.


read more

The history behind Papua’s resurgent political turmoil


Benny Wenda, from the Liberation Movement of West Papua, said Indonesia was imposing martial law.

"These were live rounds,” Mr Wenda said. “West Papua is becoming more of a hunting ground by special forces.”

Indonesia’s control of the provinces has long been a cause of tension among Indigenous locals with low-level conflict and independence movements simmering for decades.

Despite a heavy military presence in the region and the threat of COVID-19, demonstrations calling for an independence referendum reignited in July.

It came after hundreds of thousands rallied in August and September of 2019, only to be silenced by a flood of more armed troops.


Australia urged to take stronger stance on curbing West Papua bloodshed

It’s estimated up to 70,000 people have been displaced and 250 killed in the past two years of violence.

Victor Yeimo from the West Papua National Committee said action would continue.

“Our message is very clear, West Papuan people need a political solution,” Mr Yeimo said. “We’re calling on our Melanesian and Pacific leaders to upgrade its resolution to

get the people of West Papua free from the colony of power.”

For West Papuan refugees who fled to Papua New Guinea in the 1970s, there’s still hope they will one day be able to return.

“We will stay in PNG for the rest of our life, or if West Papua independence is decided, we go back to our home,” said Olof Wayabgkau, who fled Jayapura in 1975.

SBS News contacted the Indonesian embassies in Sydney and Canberra but did not receive a response.


2) ’Potentially lethal’ police assault on Indigenous Papuan man was caught on camera

Fresh questions have emerged in the case of Marius Betera, a farmer who died shortly after an altercation with a police officer near an oil palm plantation in Indonesia.

BY THE GECKO PROJECT AND MONGABAY ON 27 OCTOBER 2020 Mongabay Series: Indonesian Palm Oil

  • Marius Betera was allegedly assaulted by a police officer in May in Papua, Indonesia. Though he died some two hours later, authorities moved quickly to attribute his death to a heart attack.
  • Mongabay and The Gecko Project have learned that the alleged assault was caught on CCTV camera belonging to a palm oil company, the Korindo Group. The video has yet to be released to the public.
  • Indonesian police and the National Commission on Human Rights have cited a post-mortem report to dismiss the possibility that Marius’ death was linked to the assault, but a forensic pathologist points to a “realistic possibility” of a connection.

This article was co-produced with The Gecko Project.

The alleged assault of an Indigenous man in the Indonesian province of Papua by a police officer around two hours before he died was caught on CCTV camera, Mongabay and The Gecko Project have learned.

Marius Betera, 40, died at a health clinic in Boven Digoel, a heavily forested district in the far east of the country, in May, shortly after he was reportedly beaten by the officer.

The incident took place outside the office of a logging and oil palm plantation company, the Korindo Group, after Marius arrived to complain that food crops he had planted inside land licensed to the firm had been pulled down.

Police say they have arrested the officer, Melkianus Yowei, and that an investigation is ongoing. A separate investigation by the National Commission on Human Rights, known as Komnas HAM, concluded that Melkianus committed “an act of violence” that was “arbitrary, excessive and unprofessional.”

It has now emerged that the altercation was captured by Korindo’s surveillance cameras. The video has been seized by police as part of their investigation.

Human rights observers have called for the release of the footage, to ensure the investigation by the police of one of their own is impartial, in a region replete with human rights abuses, including extrajudicial killings, at the hands of the security forces.

“Judging from history, this will end up in impunity if there’s no public pressure,” said Veronica Koman, an Indonesian human rights lawyer who advocates for the rights of Papuans. “The court process and result won’t provide a sense of justice to Papuans. So it’s better if it’s made public.”

Concern over the integrity of the investigation has been heightened after the police moved quickly to dismiss the possibility of any connection between the alleged assault and Marius’s death.

Citing the post-mortem carried out at the health clinic, which is operated by Korindo, police have repeatedly stated that the cause of death was a heart attack. On the basis of the same doctor’s report, Komnas HAM concluded there was “no corroborating evidence that Marius Betera’s death was caused by being beaten” by Melkianus.

In fact, the post-mortem appears to draw no such conclusion. An unofficial English translation of the report, seen by Mongabay and The Gecko Project, says the cause of death “cannot be determined” because an internal examination was not carried out…………….…


3) Papuan church denies TNI claim that latest shooting victim was KKB member

CNN Indonesia – October 27, 2020

Jakarta – On Monday October 26 combined units of Indonesian military (TNI) and police (Polri) conducted operations against an armed criminal group (KKB) in Jalai village, Sugapa district, Intan Jaya regency, Papua.

The operations were conducted to apprehend the perpetrators of the shooting attack on the Intan Jaya Joint Fact Finding Team (TGPF) on October 9.

During the operation, a person alleged to be a KKB member named Rubinus Tigau was shot dead in his honai (traditional Papuan hut). Aside from Tigau, the joint TNI-Polri forces also apprehended two other people during the operation.

However news circulated later that Tigau was a religious figure in the village and a katekis – a professional religious educator or teacher – who worked at the Jalae Catholic church diocese.

Joint Defence Area Command III spokesperson Colonel Czi IGN Suriastawa however denied this claiming that before the attack by the joint TNI-Polri forces they had conducted extensive reconnaissance of the area.

"That the target had been observed for some time, as well as being based on accurate information that the person concerned was active in the activities of a KKSB [armed criminal separatist group]. This was also admitted by the person’s family and other witnesses", said Suriastawa in a press release received by CNN Indonesia on Tuesday October 27.

The terms KKB and KKSB are used by Indonesian law enforcement agencies to refer to militant groups that call themselves the Free Papua Organisation-West Papua National Liberation Army (TPNPB-OPM).

Suriastawa explained that after the incident in Hitadipa district, Intan Jaya, when Pastor Yeremia Zanambani was shot dead, there has been a tendency for KKB members who are killed to be cited as being religious figures.

He then explained that other than the Hitadipa incident there have been three other cases where KKB members have been cited as being religious figures.

"Including on October 19, when there was massive intimidation by the KKSB to fly the Morning Star [independence] flag and to gather a houses of worship", he said.

Church refutes TNI claim

Quite different from the TNI, Timika Catholic church diocese administrator Pastor Marthen Kuayo said that Tigau is in fact a church employee.

"The Timika diocese explained that Rufinus Tigau (in the TNI version they refer to him as Rubinus) is quite correctly a katekis who works at the Jalae Catholic church diocese", said Kuayo.

He explained that Tigau is understood to have worked as a religious teacher at the Santo Michaelel Bilogai parish since 2015. Tigau was officially appointed as a religious teacher by the pastor of Santo Michaelel Bilogai and Pastor Yustinus Rahangier.

Tigau was also cited as frequently assisting other pastors who are having difficulties communicating with local people and on a daily basis helped pastors at the Jalae diocese because those assigned there are not local people.

Pastors at the Jalae diocese still do not understand the language or other matters related to local cultures. This is what makes Kuayo explicitly deny Tigau’s involvement in the activities of criminal armed groups.

"The accusation that Tigau was involved in a separatist group or an armed group as he has been accused of is untrue", he said.

During Monday’s attack during the joint TNI-Polri operation, a person by the name of Hermanus Tigapau was arrested while Tigau was killed during an exchange of fire.

Papua regional police public relations division head Senior Commissioner AM Kamal said that the armed separatist group was using home-made firearms and that the police are investigating the perpetrator who was arrested. "The two KKB members were involved in the earlier shooting of the TGPF team", said Kamal.

Kamal said that this group was one of those who often carried out terrorist attacks in the area of the Freeport gold-and-copper mine in Timika and are often involved in banditry and shootings on the road to Freeport. (tst/kid)

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Beda Suara TNI-Gereja Usai Penyergapan ke Warga Diduga KKB".]



4) I

ndonesian SOEs Eyeing to Recruit 1,000 Papuans


Ricky Mohammad Nugraha


Petir Garda Bhwana

28 October 2020 12:39 WIB

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta – The State-owned Enterprise (SOEs) Ministry is eyeing to recruit 1,000 Papuans from the SOEs recruitment program set to be launched in December.

The ministry’s human resources deputy, Alex Denni, wrote in a statement that this program will subject the Papuan and West Papuan recruits to work in a variety of SOEs.

“We will continue to recruit until the end of this year and if that has not reached our goal yet, we will continue this program in the following year,” Alex Denni wrote on Wednesday, October 28.

The recruitment program is assisted by the Forum Human Capital Indonesia (FHCI) and is hoped to support the government’s economic equality and Papua and West Papua development programs.

Also Read: KontraS Call for Civilian Court in Death of Papuan Pastor Yeremias


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Death of Papuan Pastor Yeremias

October 22, 2020

KontraS Calls for Civilian Court in Death of Papuan Pastor Yeremias

Translator: Ricky Mohammad Nugraha
Editor: Laila Afifa
22 October 2020 15:28 WIB

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta – The Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (KontraS) has urged the government to take the shooting of Papuan pastor Yeremias Zanambani to civilian court trial if members of the National Armed Forces (TNI) are proven guilty in the pastor’s death.

“Reviewing the shooting incident against the pastor, there is no form of harm that the TNI would endure. We think that there’s no reason to take the legal process to the military court,” said KontraS head of defense division, Arif Nur Fikri, in a press conference on Thursday, October 22.

The suspicion of TNI personnel involvement in the shooting was first mentioned by Coordinating Minister of Politics, Law, and Security Mahfud MD. He cited the investigation report from the Intan Jaya TGPF (fact-finding team) which he specifically tasked to uncover the facts surrounding this incident.

However, Arif said KontraS highly appreciates the work done by the TGPF Intan Jaya and conveyed hope that the government’s good intentions would not stop at the establishment of a fact-finding team.

“Upon how the [TGPF] is intended to uncover the case and assuring that it would run independently, transparently, and accountably,” said Arif.

Read: Govt Suspects Authority’s Involvement in Death of Papuan Pastor



2) Indonesian activists push for full probe into Papua pastor shooting


By Stanley Widianto

JAKARTA (Reuters) – Indonesian activists called on Thursday for deeper investigation into the killing of a Papuan pastor, a day after a top security official said a government fact-finding mission had found signs of possible involvement by state forces.

Indonesia’s military has denied allegations by church groups that it was behind last month’s fatal shooting of pastor Yeremia Zanambani, but a 14-day probe into the incident has indicated security forces may have played a part in the killing. “We want a legal, lawful follow-up that is clear going forward,” Latifah Anum Siregar, director of the Democratic Alliance of Papua, told a news conference. “I’m worried the fact-finding team’s results are the climax, and maybe the case will later be opaque.”

Indonesia’s chief security minister, Mahfud MD, on Wednesday said the report, which is non-binding, had been sent to police and the attorney general’s office and would be resolved “according to law and without any favours”. He said security forces may have had some involvement in the Pastor’s death, but did not elaborate. “Information and facts that the team has gathered on the ground show an alleged involvement of state forces, even though it could also have been perpetrated by a third party,” said Mahfud. Military spokesman Colonel Gusti Nyoman Suriastawa in a statement said the military appreciated the findings and promised there would be no cover-up.

The shooting occurred around the same time that two soldiers and a civilian were killed in the same area of the Intan Jaya region, incidents the probe found were perpetrated by armed Papuan groups. West Papua has been riven by separatist conflict since the former Dutch colony was incorporated into Indonesia, following a controversial United Nations referendum in 1969. Beka Ulung Hapsara of Indonesia’s human rights commission told Reuters that it was also investigating the incident and would send its recommendations to the president. Human rights lawyer Veronica Koman told Reuters the government probe was a “one-off, face-saving mission” launched only because the pastor’s death was raised at the United Nations Human Rights Council last month.

Additional reporting by Agustinus Beo Da Costa; Writing and additional reporting by Kate Lamb; Editing by Martin Petty

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West Papua Liberation Movement adopts provisional constitution

October 21, 2020

West Papua Liberation Movement adopts provisional constitution
10:14 am today

The United Liberation Movement for West Papua says it is adopting a provisional constitution for a democratic state.

United Liberation Movement for West Papua Legislative Council congress in session, Port Numbay, October 2020 Photo: Supplied

The organisation is pursuing a referendum in West Papua on independence from Indonesia.
The Movement’s Legislative Council had been holding its third annual session in Jayapura.
It decided that the Movement’s by-laws should be upgraded to provisional constitutional status, as part of the journey to achieving independence.
The Provisional Constitution would establish a government guided by rules and norms of democracy, human rights and self-determination.
The Movement said every element of the Provisional Constitution was democratic, and designed to protect West Papuan culture and way of life.
It also said as well as the rights of indigenous Papuans, customary land ownership and gender equality, the constitution defended the rights of Indonesian migrants in West Papua.
It also said it established protections in law for the environment, all religions and every living being.
"We have learnt from the world the need to protect and build education, healthcare and renewable energy," a statement from the ULMWP executive said.
To date, Indonesia’s government has ruled out a referendum on West Papuan independence.
It had also condemned the leadership of the ULMWP’s chairman Benny Wenda, saying Papuans already freely elect their own leaders within the Indonesian republic.
However Wenda’s recent call for Indonesian military forces to pull back from Papua was echoed by Papuan churches who wrote to President Joko Widodo, concerned about security forces’ crackdowns on student protests.
Meanwhile the Movement’s congress adopted a resolution that, "fully accepts and supports the political positions taken by the people of West Papua in their rejection of the Law No. 21, 2001 on Special Autonomy for Papua".
"We are not going to bow down to Jakarta’s renewal of so-called Special Autonomy. We are reclaiming our sovereignty from Indonesia," the ULMWP said in a statement.
“We are working towards establishing a government in West Papua, a government that can lead us to our goal of a referendum and beyond."

2) ’Third party’ may be involved in Papuan priest death: minister
8 hours ago
Jakarta (ANTARA) – Indonesia’s top security minister, Mahfud MD, has revealed that security personnel and a ‘third party’ may have been involved in the death of Priest Yeremia Zanambani in Intan Jaya district, Papua province, on September 19, 2020.

The priest was a resident of Hitadipa village, Hitadipa sub-district.

The Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs made the statement shortly after receiving the final report of the joint fact-finding team (TGPF) set up by the Indonesian government to probe recent shootings in Intan Jaya district. The report was handed over by TGPF head Benny Mamoto here on Wednesday.

Based on information and data that the TGPF members gathered during their fact-finding mission, there is indication of security personnel’s alleged involvement, Mahfud MD informed.

However, the fatal shooting of Priest Zanambani may have been carried out by a "third party", he said, adding that the government has ordered the National Police and the Attorney General’s Office to handle the case in accordance with Indonesia’s legal system.

The government has also asked the National Police Commission to monitor the process of law enforcement against those responsible for the crime, he informed.

The TGPF wrapped up its fact-finding mission after working for 17 days, starting October 1, 2020.

In an earlier press briefing on October 17, Benny Mamoto had revealed that his team primarily applied a culturally-sensitive approach while probing the deadly shootings. Therefore, the team members relied on voluntary accounts from invited witnesses.

"We prioritized a cultural approach while gathering facts on the ground. We are not investigators. We just gather facts, so that we ourselves must come or the figures that we have invited to come voluntarily show up (to recount what they witnessed)," he stated.

Mamoto also underscored the strong commitment on part of all members of the fact-finding team on uncovering the cases.

ANTARA has earlier reported that members of the fact-finding team faced a challenging task in Papua.

On October 9, 2020, a group of armed separatists ambushed them in Mamba village, Sugapa Sub-district, Intan Jaya district.

The West Papua National Liberation Army (TPNPB) confirmed it was behind the attack on members of the TGPF. One of the fact-finding team’s members and a soldier suffered injuries in the attack.

The TGPF member — Gadjah Mada University (UGM) lecturer Bambang Purwoko — was shot in the leg, while TNI soldier First Sgt Faisal Akbar of the Hitadipa Task Force sustained injuries on his waist.

The Indonesian government set up the TGPF to probe a series of deadly shootings in Intan Jaya in September, the bloodiest month in the district this year, with armed separatists mounting a spate of attacks, which left two soldiers and two civilians dead, and two others injured.

On September 19, 2020, an Indonesian soldier died in a gunfight with several armed Papuan rebels near the Persiapan Hipadipa Military Sub-district Command’s compound in the district.

The fallen hero was identified as First Private Dwi Akbar Utomo, according to XVII Cenderawasih Regional Military Command spokesperson, Lt. Col. Reza Nur Patria.

The same day, Priest Yeremia Zanambani was gunned down in Hitadipa village, Hitadipa Sub-district.

According to Joint Regional Defense Command (Kogabwilhan) III spokesperson, Col. IGN Suriastawa, the priest died of gunshot wounds after he was shot at by armed criminals.

On September 17, 2020, another soldier, Chief Sergeant Sahlan, was reportedly killed in an ambush laid by a group of armed separatists. He was attacked while returning to the Persiapan Hipadipa Military Sub-district Command in Intan Jaya district with food supplies from the Sugapa area.

The attackers seized his gun and magazine, according to commander of the Biak-based 173/Praja Vira Braja Military Resort Command, Brig. Gen. Iwan Setiawan.

Sahlan, a member of the 1404 Pindrang Military District Command in South Sulawesi province, had been tasked with backing up the Village Supervisory Non-Commissioned Officers (Babinsa) of the Persiapan Hipadipa Military Sub-district Command, he informed.

In a separate incident on September 17, 2020, armed Papuan rebels reportedly tortured and killed a 49-year-old Ojek motorcycle taxi driver, identified as Badawi.

On September 13, 2020, armed separatists opened fire at two other Ojek drivers in Sugapa area, but they managed to survive the attack. The two drivers were treated at a hospital in Timika, the capital of Mimika district, Setiawan remarked. (INE)

Related news: Intan Jaya case TGPF’s final report targeted on Oct 17
Related news: Intan Jaya probe: Minister to share findings on Oct 19

3) Wärtsilä to power Indonesian mine expansion
Published by Jessica Casey, Editorial Assistant
Global Mining Review, Wednesday, 21 October 2020 11:25

Wärtsilä has received contracts for a 128 MW power plant in Indonesia. The plant has been ordered by PT Freeport Indonesia, one of the world’s leading mining companies. The extended engineered equipment delivery order comprises 14 Wärtsilä 34DF dual-fuel generating sets. The order for eight generating sets was placed in June 2020, and a further six generating sets were ordered in September 2020. A consortium consisting of Wärtsilä and PT PP will install, construct and commission the power plant.

The plant will be located at Amamapare, PT Freeport Indonesia’s port site in Papua, Indonesia. From here, the electricity will be fed to the Grasberg mine via a 100 km long transmission line. The mine is located in the remote highlands of the Sudirman Mountain Range in the province of Papua, western half of the island of New Guinea. Neither the mine nor the port site are connected to the 50 Hz grid. The mine operates on a 60 Hz power supply. The new plant is needed to provide the necessary power as the customer extends operations from opencast to underground mining of one of the world’s largest copper and gold deposits.

“We have completed opencast mining at the Grasberg minerals district, and are now developing large-scale, high-grade underground mines. For this, it is critical that we have a reliable and efficient energy supply, and the Wärtsilä generating sets will deliver the power we need,” commented George Baninni, Executive Vice President, P.T Freeport Indonesia.

“The competitive total lifecycle cost of the Wärtsilä solution was ultimately the deciding factor in the award of this valuable contract. However, we have power plants operating in the vicinity of this site, which provided important references as part of the decision process. Our local presence in Indonesia is strong, with 5.3 GW of installed base and 350 employees on the spot. We are able to provide a high level of support,” said Kari Punnonen, Energy Business Director, Australasia, Wärtsilä.

The Wärtsilä 34DF engines can operate on a variety of fuels. This flexibility will allow the plant to switch to operating on natural gas when it becomes locally available. Initially the engines will run on Indonesian B30 biodiesel. The fast-starting flexibility of the engines will also enable the integration of energy from renewable sources, such as solar and wind, in the future.

The Wärtsilä equipment is scheduled for delivery between July and November 2021. The first seven engines are expected to be officially handed over in March 2022, with the remaining seven to be handed over in July 2022.


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Indonesian Government firm over not holding negotiation on Papua’s independence

October 3, 2020

Government firm over not holding negotiation on Papua’s independence

1st October 2020

Jakarta (ANTARA) – Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Mahfud MD made it amply clear that the government was averse to the idea of holding negotiations pertaining to the demand for Papua’s independence.

"For the government, the existence of Papua, both Papua Province and West Papua Province, as part of the Unitary State of Indonesia, is final. There is no other way, no negotiation for independence, for separation," Mahfud clarified at a virtual press conference here on Thursday.

Mahfud made the statement in connection with the conflict between security personnel and the criminal armed group in Intan Jaya District of Papua in the past few days.

Violence usually erupted in the run-up to the anniversary of the Papuan independence movement on December 1.

"Now it occurred again, as there are people, who want to separate. They work in cooperation with foreign provocateurs or make their own movement, and we have to stop and control them since it is against the law," the minister emphasized.

Mahfud drew attention to a referendum, approved by the UN General Assembly, in Resolution No. 2504 that had taken place in Papua in 1969.

"Since then, there is no other way for Papua, for certain parties in Papua, to demand independence," Mahfud explained.

Speaking in connection with the armed conflict in Intan Jaya that claimed four lives — two military personnel, one civilian and a priest — Mahfud affirmed that the authority will set up a joint team to investigate the case.

"The government will establish a joint investigation team that can objectively look into the case to avoid controversy (around the conflict)," he added.

Related news: Armed Papuan criminals in Intan Jaya committed 17 crimes: police
Related news: Police refute crackdown on demonstrators rallying against autonomy


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There have been 47 extrajudicial killings in Papua since 2018: Amnesty

October 3, 2020

There have been 47 extrajudicial killings in Papua since 2018: Amnesty – September 28, 2020

Devina Halim, Jakarta — Amnesty International has recorded 47 cases of
extrajudicial killings in Papua between February 2018 and September
2020. Amnesty International Indonesia Executive Director Usman Hamid
revealed that these cases have resulting in 96 deaths.

"This is a very big number for a very short period of time, 2018 to
2020, with such a large number of victims, this is very worrying", said
Hamid during a virtual press conference on Monday September 28.

If categories by perpetrator, Hamid said that there were 12 cases
involving combined TNI-Polri (Indonesian military and police) personnel
with a total of 29 victims.

Then there were 13 cases involving TNI personnel which claimed 23 lives,
15 cases involving the Indonesian police with 16 deaths and as many as
26 people killed by unidentified perpetrators or which are referred to
by the government as Armed Criminal Groups (KKB).

Finally, there was one case which occurred in prison which claimed two

Amnesty’s data also showed that as many as 94 out of the total 96 killed
during this period were indigenous Papuans.

If looked at by region, Hamid revealed that the largest number of cases
occurred in conflict areas.

"The highest [number of killings] were indeed where the level of
conflict is quite high, namely Nduga [regency]. Second, in Jayawijaya,
this is also still in the highlands, only then does it go down in cities
such as Jayapura, Timika or Deiyai", he continued.

According to Amnesty’s records, many of the cases were alleged to have
been investigated by the results have not been made public.

"Resolving the cases by means of giving money or giving something else,
without any clarity about what actually happened, why the incident
occurred, who in fact was involved", said Hamid.

Hamid explained that seven cases are currently being investigated, 14
cases have been invested but the results not made public and nine cases
which have never been investigated.

Then there were five cases which were dealt with internally by the
Indonesian police, two cases which were brought before the courts and
two other cases which were heard by military tribunals. Eight other
cases meanwhile are still being verified by law enforcement

The most recent case was the fatal shooting of Pastor Yeremia. Hamid is
calling for the case to be investigated impartially, independently and

Amnesty also says that the investigation must involve an independent
institution such as the National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM).
Hamid wants Komnas HAM to form an ad hoc team to deal with the case.

"It’s not enough [that it be dealt with by] the Komnas HAM
representative office in Papua, instead an ad hoc team of investigators
must be formed by Komnas HAM in Jakarta in accordance with the Human
Rights Law", he said.

As has been reported, Tabernacle Bible Church of Indonesia Pastor
Yeremia Zanambani was shot dead in the Hitadipa Village in Hitadipa
district, Intan Jaya regency, Papua, on Saturday September 19. The TNI
says that Zanambani was shot by an Armed Criminal Group.

West Papua National Liberation Army (TPNPB) spokesperson Sebby Sambon
meanwhile said that Zanambani was killed by TNI soldiers.

"Today Pastor Yeremia Zanambani, S. Th, a translator of the Bible into
the Moni regional dialect was shot dead by the TNI in Intan Jaya", said
Sambon in a press release on Sunday September 20.

Papuan regional police public relations division head Senor Commissioner
AM Kamal also denied that the TNI were the perpetrators of the killing.

Kamal argued that there is no TNI post in Hitadipa and the statement by
Sambon has no basis and is only intended to worsen the situation. "There
isn’t any security force post or office there. Only recently have there
been plans to establish a Koramil [District Military Command] office in
the village", said Kamal.

According to Kamal, Zanambani was killed by an Armed Criminal Group led
by Jelek Waker. Cenderawasih/XVII Regional Military Command commander
Major General Herman Asaribab has reportedly ordered his personnel to
conduct an investigation.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was
"Amnesty: Ada 47 Pembunuhan di Luar Proses Hukum di Papua Sejak 2018".]


The 2019 West Papua Uprising: Full Report

October 1, 2020


September 30th: Global Peace Action – Free West Papua

September 29, 2020

Global peaceful action, which continues to be supported by the people of West Papua – in the land of Melanesia, continues to receive threats and terror, even forcibly dispersed by Indonesian military forces when students and the people of West Papua plan the action starting from the campus of Cenderawasih University, West Papua.

Today, the Indonesian government, through their Indonesian police and military units, banned another action plan for September 30, which was scheduled to take place in Yapen Island and the city of Manokwari.

Below is a snapshot of the header of the letter by the Indonesian government addressed to Markus Yenu, the leader of the peaceful demonstration in the city of Manokwari, and one the West Papuan National Authority leaders. The letter stated that any protest – peaceful or otherwise – is not allowed anywhere throughout the provinces for September 30.

Meanwhile, President Joko Widodo Indonesia gave a recorded speech before the UN General Assembly on September 22, 2020, about Indonesia’s role as advocate for Human Rights, and other democratic principles. In fact, the people of West Papua and all West Papuan activists continue to be terrorized by Indonesian military and police, and forcibly disbanded by the government when the people of West Papua are planning a peaceful action in their homeland today.

The West Papua Human Rights Center calls on the government of the United States and the United Nations to answer what the people of West Papua are asking today; for their basic rights to be recognized including the right to freedom and independence.