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Massacre of workers rekindle forgotten insurgency in Indonesia’s Papua

December 8, 2018

https://www.dailysabah.com/asia/2018/12/08/massacre-of-workers-rekindle-forgotten-insurgency-in-indonesias-papua

Massacre of workers rekindle forgotten insurgency in Indonesia’s Papua

COMPILED FROM WIRE SERVICES ISTANBUL
Published 13 hours ago

The recent massacre of civilian workers by separatist rebels in Indonesia’s restive Papua province has cast a spotlight on one of the world’s longest-running insurgencies, with no end to the bloody conflict in sight.

The killings are a marked escalation from decades of mostly sporadic skirmishes between poorly armed and disorganized guerrillas and a powerful Indonesian military accused of human rights abuses against civilians.

Rebels demanded that the government hold negotiations on their territory’s self-determination and warned of more attacks following a raid on a construction site that left at least 16 dead and three others missing.

An insurgency has simmered in mineral-rich Papua since the early 1960s, when Indonesia annexed the region that was a former Dutch colony. It was formally incorporated into Indonesia in 1969 after a U.N.-sponsored ballot that was seen as a sham by many. More recent grievances fanned by marginalization of the ethnic Melanesian population and widespread rights abuses, including extrajudicial killings.

Sebby Sambom, spokesman for the West Papua National Liberation Army, the military wing of the Free Papua Movement, said in a telephone interview Friday that they attacked a government construction site last weekend because they believe the project is conducted by the military.

Security forces have retrieved the bodies of 16 workers hired to build bridges on a section of the trans-Papua road, Papua police spokesman Suryadi Diaz said.

Authorities believe the armed group killed 19 workers, based on the accounts of survivors. They have rescued 24, including seven workers, and are searching for two missing as well as the bodies of three others. A soldier at a military post near the site was also killed.

Indonesian President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has ordered the military and police to arrest the perpetrators of the worst separatist attack during his administration and said he will not tolerate "armed criminals" in Papua or the rest of the country.

He said the attack will not dissuade his government from continuing to develop Papua, including the 4,600-kilometer (2,875-mile) trans-Papua road, which his administration has claimed is widely supported by local people.

The road, which will stretch from Sorong in West Papua province to Merauke in Papua province, is expected to be completed next year and help boost economic development in both provinces, the poorest in Indonesia.

Indonesian news

"Trans-Papua road projects are being carried out by Indonesian military and that is a risk they must bear," Sambom said. "We want them to know that we don’t need development, what we want is independence."

Indonesia’s government, which for decades had a policy of sending Javanese and other Indonesians to settle in Papua to dilute the number of indigenous people, is now trying to spur economic development to dampen the separatist movement.

"Our leaders have declared a war zone since last year and warned that the trans-Papua road construction should be stopped, but Indonesia has ignored it," Sambom said.

He called for the government to agree to peace talks similar to ones that led to another province, Aceh, becoming semiautonomous, or a "real referendum" on independence as occurred in the former Indonesian territory of East Timor.

"If Aceh and East Timor can get that opportunity, why don’t we?" said Sambom, who said he was speaking from an area near the border with neighboring Papua New Guinea.

National police chief Tito Karnavian estimated the strength of the armed group at not more than 50 people with about 20 weapons, and said more than 150 police and soldiers had been sent to restore security in Nduga district, a stronghold of the separatists.

Sambom, however, claimed the rebels have 29 operational area commands in Papua, each with 2,500 members.

"We vow to intensify our fight for independence with guerrilla hit-and-run attacks," he said.

"There has never been an attack of this type of scale by separatist guerrillas," said Damien Kingsbury, professor of international politics at Australia’s Deakin University.

"The outbreaks of mass violence to date have been perpetrated by the Indonesian military."

Papua, which shares a border with island nation Papua New Guinea, just north of Australia, remained a Dutch colony for more than a decade after the Netherlands relinquished its former East Indies territories to a newly independent Indonesia in 1949.

Despite laying the groundwork for Papuan self-government, the Netherlands came under pressure from a White House fearful about communism spreading across Southeast Asia.

So it agreed in 1962 to place Papua under temporary U.N. administration before it was ceded to Indonesia a year later, on the condition it hold an independence referendum.

The vote — called the Act of Free Choice — is widely viewed as a sham. About 1,000 handpicked Papuans unanimously chose to remain part of Indonesia, allegedly under the threat of violence. Jakarta cites the referendum as proof its control is legitimate.

But for some Papuans, who are ethnically different and share almost no cultural ties with the rest of the sprawling archipelago, it was the start of another colonial occupation that has seen them dispossessed of land where their ancestors lived for centuries.

Much of the insurgency has centered around a huge gold and copper mine operated by U.S.-based firm Freeport McMoRan, seen locally as a symbol of environmental devastation and exploitation of Papua’s enormous mineral wealth.

Since his 2014 election, President Joko Widodo has overseen an unprecedented development push, including the ambitious the highway, but analysts say it may be too little, too late.

"If Papua is part of Indonesia, it should’ve been built up in the same way as other regions," said Adriana Elisabeth, a Papua expert at the Indonesian Institute of Sciences.

The depth of discontent was underscored last year when 1.8 million Papuans signed an ultimately unsuccessful petition asking the UN to recognize a self-determination vote.

Most victims of the weekend massacre had their hands tied together with some suffering gunshot or knife wounds and blunt-force injuries, authorities said. One worker was almost decapitated.

The faction of the National Liberation Army of West Papua (TPNPB), which claimed responsibility, is one of the independence movement’s most militant groups and its actions could spark copycat attacks, along with a deadly military response, according to the Jakarta-based Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict.

While the brazen attack may signal an emboldened rebel strategy, the actions taken by a local faction on its own highlight an armed struggle beset by clan rivalries, competing interests and with no formal command structure, analysts said.

Regardless, the killings may hurt an independence movement that has struggled to capture the attention of the international community, Deakin University’s Kingsbury said.

The Free West Papua Organisation (OPM), which includes armed and political pro-independence groups, has little international backing outside a small number of Pacific island nations.

It does not receive significant funding or arms from abroad, the group and analysts say.

"Independence has not received much support because Indonesia is a significant international actor with many differing friends," Kingsbury said.

The rag-tag armed movement poses little threat to a country of some 260 million people, but Jakarta has had little success stamping out the insurgency.

The rebels say they remain committed to fighting for independence, while Indonesia has shown no interest in coming to the bargaining table.

"If you tell the government it should hold talks about Papua’s independence, they don’t want do that," Elisabeth of the Indonesian Institute of Sciences told AFP.

"They have invested too much in Papua."

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Papua mass killing: What happened

December 7, 2018

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2018/12/07/papua-mass-killing-what-happened.html
Papua mass killing: What happened

Karina M. Tehusijarana The Jakarta Post
Jakarta | Fri, December 7, 2018 | 09:43 am

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2018/12/07/papua-mass-killing-what-happened.html

Ready for action: Indonesian Military personnel prepare to board a helicopter in Wamena in Papua on Wednesday to retrieve the bodies of the construction workers killed in Nduga. The soldiers hunted for rebels suspected of killing 19 construction workers and one soldier in the restive province of Papua, as an eyewitness account supplied by the military described a grisly mass execution. (AFP/Anyong)

At least 20 people have been killed in Nduga regency, Papua, by an armed group with ties to the Free Papua Movement (OPM).

The casualties include 19 workers of state-owned construction company PT Istaka Karya, who were assigned to build a 275-kilometer section to connect Wamena and Mamugu as part of President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s flagship trans-Papua road project. One Indonesian Military (TNI) soldier was also killed.

What happened?

According to the account of surviving Istaka Karya worker Jimmi Aritonang, which he relayed to the Cendrawasih Military Command, an armed group kidnapped 25 workers from the Istaka Karya camp in Nduga regency on Saturday and forcefully marched them to the nearby Karunggame River.

On Sunday, the workers were once again forced to move, this time toward the Puncak Kabo hill. On the way there, they were ordered to squat and line up in five rows. The gunmen then shot at the workers, killing 14 on the spot, while the remaining 11 pretended to be dead.

Read also: They played dead on the ground: Survivor recounts OPM massacre

The gunmen then left the victims and continued their journey to Puncak Kabo. The 11 workers who had played dead attempted to escape, but they were spotted. The rebels caught and killed five of them, while the other six managed to escape toward Mbua. Four, including Jimmi, have been secured by TNI forces, but the other two were still missing as of Wednesday.

Early on Monday, the TNI post where Jimmi and his friends were being protected was reportedly attacked by a group of rebels armed with guns, arrows and spears. One soldier was killed and another injured in the attack.

How many casualties?

National Police chief Gen. Tito Karnavian and Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Wiranto confirmed on Wednesday that 20 people had been killed by the rebels.

"Nineteen workers and one TNI [Indonesian Military] soldier died," Tito said on Wednesday. This number seems to be based on Jimmi’s account.

Initially, police had said that 31 workers were feared to have been killed by the gunmen. Istaka Karya president Sigit Inarto said, however, that there were only 28 workers at the location.

A joint military-police task force recovered 15 bodies from the area near the location of the incident on Wednesday night.

“Our joint forces have found 15 bodies and will continue the search tomorrow,” Papua Police chief Insp. Gen. Martuani Sormin Siregar told The Jakarta Post on Wednesday.

Cendrawasih Military Command spokesperson Lt. Col. Dax Siburian said the joint military-police search team in Yigi district had found the bodies and a survivor named Johny Arung in the area around Tabo hill. Johny was evacuated to the Mbua TNI post.

“The bodies have not yet been identified, so we cannot confirm whether the 15 victims are all PT Istaka Karya workers,” Dax told the Post.

Who was responsible?

A faction of the National Liberation Army of West Papua (TPNPB) led by Egianus Kogoya has claimed responsibility for the deaths of the construction workers and the TNI soldier.

“Yes, we conducted the operations in Kali Aworak, Kali Yigi and at the Mbua TNI post, and we are ready to take responsibility. The attacks were led by Makodap III Ndugama commander Egianus Kogeya and operations commander Pemne Kogeya,” OPM spokesperson Sebby Sanbom said in a written statement on Wednesday.

Sebby denied, however, that the workers killed were civilians, claiming that they were members of the Indonesian Army Corps of Engineers (Zipur).

“Our targets are not wrong, we know which are civilian workers and which are TNI Zipur members, even if they wear plain clothes,” he said.

What is the government’s response?

Jokowi has pledged that the government will hunt down those responsible for the shootings and that it will not halt infrastructure development in Papua.

“Currently, the TNI commander is in Papua to handle the attack by an armed group in Papua that has resulted in the deaths of workers that were assigned to build the trans-Papua road,” Jokowi said on Wednesday. “Let us pray together that the heroes of the trans-Papua development are welcomed at God’s side. I have also ordered the TNI commander and the National Police chief to pursue and arrest all the perpetrators of that savage act.”

He said there was no room for such armed groups in Papua or anywhere in Indonesia.

“This only makes us more determined to continue our great duty to develop Papua,” he said.

Presidential Chief of Staff Moeldoko called on the police and military to be proportionate in their response to the attack.

“The TNI should not be provoked,” he said on Wednesday. “The TNI and police have to show professionalism and work proportionately.”

He also called on domestic and foreign human rights groups to look at the incident with “open eyes.”

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From: UN Human Rights <media>
Sent: Friday, December 7, 2018 8:06 PM
Subject: Briefing Notes: Papua

07 December 2018

Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: Ravina Shamdasani

Location: Geneva

Subject: Papua

Papua

We are concerned about the large number of arrests – more than 500 – during peaceful demonstrations held to commemorate West Papuan National Day in various locations across Indonesia on 1 and 2 December. We have received reports of security forces using blockades to prevent demonstrators from conducting peaceful rallies in Jakarta, East Nusa Tenggara, North Maluku, Merauke and disrupting prayer services organised by indigenous Papuan students to end the commemorations, resulting in several individuals being arrested and detained. We understand that the majority of arrests took place in the city of Surabaya in East Java where we have received worrying reports of excessive use of force and violence by security forces during a protest where fighting erupted between the protestors and people shouting anti-Papua slogans. Security forces also conducted search operations at student dormitories. These resulted in the arbitrary arrest and detention of at least 300 individuals. All of those detained have since been released without charge.

While we acknowledge the complexities of the situation in Papua, we are troubled by the crackdown over peaceful demonstrations and increasing reports of excessive use of force by security forces, harassment, arbitrary arrests and detentions in Papua, including harassment and threats to lawyers working on these cases. Such acts may serve as a means of restraining the legitimate exercise of the rights to freedom of association, peaceful assembly, freedom of expression and risk undermining these fundamental human rights for the population at large. Our Office and UN human rights mechanisms have repeatedly raised concerns over recent years about the human rights situation in Papua.

We call on the Indonesian authorities to ensure that the security forces exercise restraint when policing demonstrations, and that the rights to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression for all are respected. As the previous High Commissioner said at the end of his visit to Jakarta in February this year, development can certainly bring with it access to fundamental services and goods that vastly improve many people’s well-being. But if they cannot voice their concerns and participate in decisions, the resulting development may not increase their welfare.

We urge the Government to act to constructively address the grievances being voiced in Papua in line with Indonesia’s international human rights obligations and the political commitments made in the Human Rights Council Universal Periodic Review.

We will continue to closely follow developments in this situation.

ENDS

For more information and media requests, please contact: Rupert Colville – + 41 22 917 9767 / rcolville or Ravina Shamdasani – + 41 22 917 9169 / rshamdasani or Marta Hurtado – +41 22 917 9466 / mhurtado

2018 is the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the UN on 10 December 1948. The Universal Declaration – translated into a world record 500 lannguages – is rooted in the principle that "all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights." It remains relevant to everyone, every day. In honour of the 70thanniversary of this extraordinarily influential document, and to prevent its vital principles from being eroded, we are urging people everywhere to Stand Up for Human Rights:www.standup4humanrights.org.

Tag and share – Twitter: @UNHumanRights and
Facebook: unitednationshumanrights

West Papua: conflicting reports surround attack that killed up to 31

December 6, 2018

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/dec/06/west-papua-independence-leader-urges-calm-after-killings

West Papua independence leader urges calm after killings

Helen Davidson Thu 6 Dec 2018 16.17 AEDT Last modified on Thu 6 Dec 2018 16.48 AEDT

Sixteen bodies retrieved as leader Benny Wenda calls for diplomacy and transparency on what happened in Nduga

The exiled leader of the West Papuan independence movement has called for calm after independence fighters attacked and killed up to 31 people in a remote West Papuan district on Sunday.

On Thursday the Indonesian military said it had retrieved 16 of the bodies from the district of Nduga, which would be sent to the main town of Timika. None were identified.

Benny Wenda, the chair of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua(ULMWP), said it was hard to know exactly what happened at Nduga, amid conflicting reports on the long-running tensions, and without free access for media or human rights groups.

Indonesian authorities, which have not responded to requests for comment from the Guardian, have said civilian construction workers were killed by separatist militants.

Independence movement the Papuan liberation army, TPNPB, under commander Egianus Kogeya, claimed responsibility but said those killed were all members of the Indonesian military (TNI).

Wenda told the Guardian he couldn’t stop the liberation army but wanted to tell them the UMLWP wanted to solve the issue “diplomatically”. “We don’t want any bloodshed, we want Indonesia to come to the international table to discuss and we can agree to a referendum That’s what our campaign is about,” he said.

“In order for us to fix what is going wrong we have to know the truth, but we cannot trust the Indonesian government’s account about Nduga, or any incidents in regard to West Papua, and this is a problem.”

If the dead were not military the incident would mark the first time West Papuan fighters have fatally attacked civilians, and an extraordinary escalation in the more than 50-year-old conflict.

Wenda said Indonesia had a history of “creating violence” and using it to justify an increased military presence, and that this incident occurred just days after Indonesia arrested more than 500 people, reportedly including Indonesians, at West Papuan independence rallies.

“Indonesia has seen that ordinary Indonesian people have come out in support of our rights, and it sent a strong signal,” said Wenda. “Then, just after that, this incident happened. That’s a little bit of concern to me.”

Translations of TPNPB social media posts, accounts from members of the independence movement and local media reports suggest 24 men were killed in the initial attack while five of seven escapees were then tracked down and killed.

Two are believed to be still missing, according to Victor Yiemo, international spokesman for campaign group the West Papua national committee, KNPB.

Neither Yiemo or Wenda have been able to contact members of the TPNPB, who are believed to have retreated into the jungle, but Yiemo said villagers nearby told him there was continued shooting between the two sides.

He accused Indonesia of dominating media with propaganda calling TPNPB “terrorists”.

“[TPNPB] are our military and are fighting for our freedom and we support them.”

Jason Mcleod, a lecturer in peace and conflict studies at the University of Sydney, said

retaliation by Indonesian forces would likely be “swift and deadly”, with widespread civilian casualties. Indonesian media reported conflict had already begun.

Unknown Armed Men Kill Dozens of Workers in Papua

December 4, 2018

https://en.tempo.co/read/news/2018/12/04/055923964/Unknown-Armed-Men-Kill-Dozens-of-Workers-in-Papua

TUESDAY, 04 DECEMBER, 2018 | 11:06 WIB
Unknown Armed Men Kill Dozens of Workers in Papua

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta – A group of armed men is believed to have murdered 31 workers at the Trans Papua construction site located at Nduga District, Papua. The Papua Police is currently investigating the possible planned execution.

According to the Papua Police, the killing began when the armed group killed 24 workers which are employees of state-owned PT Istaka Karya. The remaining 8 people that managed to rescue themselves after seeking refuge at a Legislative Member’s house were picked up by the armed group, which followed with the killing of seven people.

One of the workers that managed to flee is yet to be found.

Papua Police Spokesman Grand Commissioner Ahmad Musthofa Kamal said that police have mobilized its joint team comprised of police and Army Forces.“We are always prepared to evacuate the victims and arrest the suspects,” said Ahmad in a written statement on Monday, December 3.

News about the killings initially broke out after it was announced by Pastor Wilhelmus Kogoya, a known figure at the Yigi district where the bloody scene took place. The murders were strongly suspected to take place on Sunday, December 2.

TEMPO.CO

233 Papuans Not Arrested but Protected from Angry Masses: Police

December 3, 2018

https://en.tempo.co/read/news/2018/12/03/055923943/233-Papuans-Not-Arrested-but-Protected-from-Angry-Masses-Police

MONDAY, 03 DECEMBER, 2018 | 11:48 WIB

233 Papuans Not Arrested but Protected from Angry Masses: Police
0
Papuan activists march as police keep watch during a rally to commemorate the West Papuan declaration of independence from Dutch colonial rule in Surabaya, December 1, 2018. REUTERS/Sigit Pamungkas
TEMPO.CO, Jakarta – The East Java Police clarified that the Surabaya Police resort has not arrested 233 college Papuan students and civilians in Surabaya on Sunday, December 2.

East Java Police Spokesman Grand Commissioner Frans Barung Mangera said that police personnel was securing the hundreds of students for protection purposes following

a report of a number of mass-organizations provoked by the Papuans that reportedly chanted about Papua’s freedom.

“We, in fact, secured them because there were groups outside that were already triggered, groups like KPPI, Pemuda Pancasila (Pancasila Youths), and many more,” said Frans on Sunday.

Read also: 233 Papua Students Left Surabaya Police Custody

He explained that this was deemed necessary by police since the mass-organizations were already surrounding the area where the students were.

“They chanted slogans that enraged other groups such as the ‘free Papua’ chant. We secured the 233 people to the police station for the sake of their own safety,” Frans explained.

537 people were arrested following the December 1 movement which commemorates Papua`s independence movement. The hundreds were arrested in Kupang, Ternate, Ambon, Manado, Makassar, Jayapura, Asmat, Waropen, and Surabaya. Surabaya was where the movement was concentrated.

ANTARA

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https://www.radionz.co.nz/international/programmes/datelinepacific/audio/2018673921/activist-calls-for-nz-rethink-on-west-papua-after-mass-arrests

2) Activist calls for NZ rethink on West Papua after mass arrests

From Dateline Pacific, 4:03 pm today

A human rights activist says New Zealand needs to rethink its policy towards West Papua in the wake of violent demonstrations and mass arrests over the weekend.
Saturday marked the 57th anniversary since the Papuan Morning Star flag was first flown officially, and rallies took place across Indonesia.
More than 500 people were arrested in the fallout, including hundreds in Surabaya, where Papuans openly clashed with counter-protestors.
Seventeen people were reportedly injured.
In New Zealand, supporters marked the event peacefully, including MPs from the coalition-government Labour and Green parties.
Activist Maire Leadbeater says New Zealand should urgently respond to the weekend’s arrests.
She told Mackenzie Smith they marked an escalation of violence towards Papuans.
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https://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/377390/solomons-pm-says-his-govt-want-nothing-to-do-with-west-papua

3) Solomons PM says his govt want nothing to do with West Papua
5:20 pm today
The Solomon Islands prime minister Rick Hou says his government wants nothing to do with West Papua.
In his most public comments on the subject to date the Solomon Star reported Mr Hou saying West Papua was a domestic one issue for Indonesia to deal with.
This was in response to questions from local journalists asking whether West Papua was discussed during his meeting with Indonesia’s president Joko Widodo on the fringes of the recent APEC leaders meeting.
Mr Hou likened the plight of West Papuans to that of the indigenous peoples of New Zealand Australia.
He said Solomon Islands had no policy on West Papua so it is a non-issue for his government and he did not discuss it with Mr Widodo.
The Solomon Islands prime minister’s stance is in direct contrast with his predecessor and now deputy prime minister Manasseh Sogavare who championed the cause for self-determination for West Papuans and who regularly urged world leaders not to turn a blind eye to alleged atrocities committed by Indonesia’s security forces in the region.

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https://tabloidjubi.com/eng/lack-of-judges-polishs-tourist-trial-postponed/

4) Lack of judges, Polish’s tourist trial postponed

Published 1 hour ago on 3 December 2018
By pr9c6tr3_juben
Wamena, Jubi – the Legal team of a Polish tourist Jakup Skrzypski who detained by Jayawijaya State Attorney Office requested the trial of his client to

A member of Skrzypsky’s legal advisors Yance Tenoye said he hoped the trial could be conducted immediately, however, the lacking number of judges in Wamena District Court could not make it happened.

“Regarding the number of judges in the court, we do know it because we had the circular. However, as legal advisors, we hope it can do immediately,” Tenoye told Jubi in Wamena on Thursday (29/11/2018).

Moreover, he said this trial is critical because his client has detained at Jayawijaya Regional Police Prison. ”Since the beginning, the legal team has objected our client to be detained at the police station, because it’s not feasible. Our client should get the same treatment as others who detained in the correctional institution,” he said.

“So far, our client is fine. With the addition detention time, it expected that before 21 December 2018 we can have the information,” he said.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Wamena District Court Class II Imelda Indah said that currently her institution only has three judges. Therefore it affects the process of every trial.

“It’s not only his trial is suspended. There are more than 100 cases that led only by a single judge,” he told reporters in Wamena on Monday (26/10/2018).

She also admitted that currently, she is still waiting for the arrival of new judges so that the case involving the Polish need to postpone before taking to the court.

In the meantime, the Head of Jayawijaya District Attorney Office Togar Raflion confirmed the extension of Skrzypski’s detention until 21 December 2018 due to a trial delayed.

“Last week we wanted to delegate this case to the court. However, after consulting with the court, they stated they lacked judges,” he said in his office.

As a result, the prosecutor’s office has extended Skrzypski’s detention period for the next 30 days. (*)

Reporter: Islamic Adisubrata
Editor: Pipit Maizier

Media Release: West Papua Action Auckland

December 2, 2018

West Papua Action Auckland

Box 68419
Auckland

Media Release: Foreign Minister called to act on arrests of peaceful demonstrators across Indonesia.

On 1 December peaceful demonstrations for West Papua’s freedom in many centres were met with a harsh crackdown by Indonesian security forces. The demonstrations marking West Papua’s national flag day, were held in Jakarta and many other Indonesian cities as well as in West Papua. At least 300 people were arrested, and many injured. In Surabaya demonstrators were confronted by a militia group armed with sharpened bamboo. The widespread protests across Indonesia represent a new era of activism in support of West Papua by Indonesian communities and it is outrageous that they are being attacked by security forces for peacefully expressing their views.

West Papua Action Auckland is calling on the Minister of Foreign Affairs to respond urgently to this outrage against the internationally guaranteed rights of the Papuan people and their supporters to freedom of assembly and freedom of expression.

On 1 December well-supported solidarity flag raising ceremonies were held across Aotearoa. The people are responding to the pleas of their West Papuan neighbours and it is time for the Government to take note and take action.
For further information: Maire Leadbeater – 09-815-9000 or 0274-436- 957
Letter follows:

2 December 2018

Hon Winston Peters
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Parliament Buildings
Wellington

Dear Mr Peters

Yesterday, 1 December marked the 57th anniversary of the first raising of the Morning Star flag of West Papua in that country’s capital, then known as Hollandia. The date has deep significance for supporters’ of West Papua’s freedom both in the country and around the world. The day was marked in Aotearoa by at least 5 flag raising ceremonies – in Orakei nearly 50 people marked the day close to the Ngati Whatua marae.

Tragically, the Indonesian security forces cracked down on all attempts to commemorate this day both in West Papua and throughout Indonesia. We understand that as many as 300 people were arrested at peaceful commemorations in Jayapura, Jakarta, Surabaya, Palu, Kupang, Ternate, Makassar, Ambon, Poso, Sula, Timika, Merauke, Waropen and Tobelo. In Surabaya an anti-independence militia group staged a counter demonstration threatening the pro-freedom demonstrators with sharpened bamboo spears.

The widespread protests across Indonesia represent a new era of activism in support of West Papua by Indonesian communities and it is outrageous that they should be attacked by security forces for expressing their views.

Around 80 people are reported to have been arrested in West Papua’s capital Jayapura, where the headquarters of one of the main pro-independence organisations, the West Papua National Committee, or KNPB, was raided and vandalised. KNPB offices in other Papuan towns were also targeted by security forces as well a number of student dormitories. Several people were injured and we understand one was hospitalised.

We wrote to you recently about the mass arrest of over 100 West Papuan young people who were attending a meeting on 19 November.

The Indonesian Security forces are continuing to adopt a draconian response to peaceful dissent. This a blatant breach of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) to which Indonesia is a state party. It is imperative that New Zealand speak out publicly to condemn this shocking affront to the rights and freedoms of the West Papuan people and their supporters in Indonesia.

Moreover this display of Indonesian repression should prompt an urgent review of New Zealand’s policy setting on West Papua. The Government should support the legitimate rights of the indigenous Papuan people to self-determination- the right denied to them in the 1960s and it should cease all equipment and military training support given to the Indonesian military and the counter-terrorism force Densus 88.

We look forward to your urgent response to this situation.

Yours sincerely,

Maire Leadbeater

For West Papua Action Auckland

——————————————————————————

3 reports From INDOLEFT News service via re.westpapua list

2) Police stop pro-independence protesters from commemorating December 1 in Jakarta

CNN Indonesia – December 1, 2018

Jakarta — Police stopped hundreds of activists from the Indonesian Front for West Papua (FRI-WP), the Papuan Student Alliance (AMP) and the Papuan Central Highlands Indonesian Student Association (AMPTPI) from leaving the Jakarta Legal Aid Foundation (LBH) offices in Menteng, Central Jakarta, on Saturday December 1.

The activists had planned to march to the Dutch Embassy in nearby Kuningan to commemorate 57 years since the declaration of West Papuan independence on December 1, 1961. From the Dutch Embassy they were to continue the action at the United Nations representative offices in Central Jakarta.

"But the protesters are still being blocked by scores of Brimob [para-military Mobile Brigade] officers (some in civilian clothing) at the LBH Jakarta exit gate", FRI-WP spokesperson Surya Anta told CNN Indonesia.

Anta said that although security personnel have prohibited the protesters from holding the action he asserted that they will still go ahead with the protest as planned and will push to be allowed to hold the march.

The demand being taken up in the action is Papuan independence from the Republic of Indonesia.

Police in several parts of the country have increased alert levels in anticipation of protests commemorating the anniversary of the Free Papua Movement (OPM) on December 1 and December 10.

Speaking earlier in Timika on Friday November 16, Mimika district police chief Assistant Superintendent Agung Marlianto said security had been increased in order to prevent unwanted incidents taking place during the OPM anniversary.

"We all hope that things will not happen that none of us want. The public doesn’t need to worry or be overly anxious", he said as quoted by the state news agency Antara. (wis)

Notes

Although it is widely held that West Papua declared independence from Indonesia on December 1, 1961, this actually marks the date when the Morning Star (Bintang Kejora) flag was first raised alongside the Dutch flag in an officially sanctioned ceremony in Jayapura, then called Hollandia. The first declaration of independence actually took place on July 1, 1971 at the Victoria Headquarters in Waris Village, Jayapura.

[Translated by James Balowski for the Indoleft News Service. The original title of the article was "Aparat Adang Demo Aktivis Peringati Papua Merdeka".]

Source: https://www.cnnindonesia.com/nasional/20181201090027-20-350363/aparat-adang-demo-aktivis-peringati-papua-merdeka

——————————


3) Police arrest 99 Papuan activists at pro-independence rally in Ternate

Suara Papua – December 1, 2018

Arnold Belau, Jayapura — As many as 96 activists from the Indonesian People’s Front for West Papua (FRI-WP) in Ternate, North Maluku, were arrested after police forcibly broke up a rally in front of the Barito Market.

A Suara Papua source from Ternate said that the FRI-WP action was closed down by police and intel (intelligence) officers and the demonstrators forced into trucks as they were about to begin protesting in front of the Barito Market.

The source said that several activists were dragged and assaulted as they were forced into the truck. "Several comrades who were at the action were dragged and forced to get into a truck by police and intel in Ternate", they said.

The source said that as many as 99 people were arrested, 12 of which were from West Papua and the remainder activists from FRI-WP. One of the protesters had to be rushed home because they were experiencing breathing difficulties.

"One of the people had difficulty breathing and was rushed home. 12 people were from Papua and the rest from Ternate. Currently they are being taken to Polres [district police station]", they said.

Ternate district police Tactical Police Unit head (kasat sabhara) M. Aninab was quoted by semarak.news.com as saying that the protesters will be taken to the Ternate district police station.

"We will take them to Polres, question them. If in the process of delving into the matter it is discovered that they committed a violation then they will be charged, but we will bear in mind that are still young and [they should be] given guidance", he said.

Earlier, the protesters sent a written notification of the action to the Ternate district police but it was rejected with police saying that the planned action was subversive (maker).

Upon arriving at the Ternate district police station they will be registered and those who originate from Papua will be separated from those from North Maluku.

FRI-WP is demanding that the Indonesian government resolved human rights violations in Papua and that the Papuan people be given the freedom to hold a referendum to determine their own future.

December 1, 1961 marks the embryonic birth of the West Papuan state. Every December 1, West Papuan people throughout the world commemorate the date as Independence Day.

On December 19, 1961 the Papuan state was dissolved by Indonesia with the declaration of the Trikora operation by founding president Sukarno’s in the Central Java city of Yogyakarta.

Suara Papua has sought confirmation of the arrests from Ternate district police chief Assistant Superintendent Ashari Juanda via an SMS message and two phone calls but as of posting this report there has been no response.

Notes

Although it is widely held that West Papua declared independence from Indonesia on December 1, 1961, this actually marks the date when the Morning Star (Bintang Kejora) flag was first raised alongside the Dutch flag in an officially sanctioned ceremony in Jayapura, then called Hollandia. The first declaration of independence actually took place on July 1, 1971 at the Victoria Headquarters in Waris Village, Jayapura.

Operation Trikora was declared by Indonesian founding President Sukarno in the Central Java city of Yogyakarta on December 19, 1961. It was an Indonesian military operation aimed at harassing and forcing the Dutch out of Netherlands New Guinea in 1961-62 rather than one intended to suppress a nascent independence movement.

[Translated by James Balowski for the Indoleft News Service. The original title of the article was "Peringati Hari Lahirnya Embrio Negara Papua Barat, Polisi Tangkap 99 Orang di Ternate".]

Source: https://suarapapua.com/2018/12/01/peringati-hari-lahirnya-embrio-negara-papua-barat-polisi-tangkap-99-orang-di-ternate/

——————————

4) Papuan pro-independence rally in Surabaya attacked by nationalist thugs

Tirto.id – December 1, 2018

Tony Firman — A protest action by the Papuan Student Alliance (AMP) in the East Java provincial capital of Surabaya on December 1 demanding self-determination for West Papua has been attacked by a group of ormas (social or mass organisations) who demonstrated on the west and eastern sides of Jl. Pemuda.

The group, who came from a number of different ormas including the Community Forum for Sons and Daughters of the Police and Armed Forces (FKPPI), the Association of Sons and Daughters of Army Families (Hipakad) and the Pancasila Youth (PP), were calling for the AMP demonstration to be forcibly broken up.

"This city is a city of [national] heroes. Please leave, the [state ideology of] Pancasila is non-negotiable, the NKRI [Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia] is non-negotiable", screamed one of the speakers from the PP.

At 8.33am a number of PP members on the eastern side of the road began attacking the AMP by throwing rocks and beating them with clubs. Police quickly moved in to block the PP members then dragged them back.

The AMP protesters had began gathering at the Submarine Monument at 6am before moving off to the Grahadi building where the East Java governor’s office is located.

However they were only able to get as far as the Surabaya Radio Republic Indonesia (RRI) building before they were intercepted by police from the Surabaya metropolitan district police (Polrestabes) and the East Java district police (Polda).

The AMP demonstration was held to mark December 1, 1961 as the day West Papua became independent from the Dutch. For the Papuan people, December 1 is an important date on the calendar in the Papuan struggle which is commemorated every year.

The historical moment in 1961 was when, for the first time, the West Papuan parliament, under the administration of the Dutch, flew the Morning Star (Bintang Kejora) flag, symbolising the establishment of the state of West Papua.

Since then the Bintang Kejora was flown alongside the Dutch flag throughout West Papua until the Dutch handed administrative authority of West Papua over to the United Nations Temporary Executive Authority (UNTEA) on October 1, 1962, then to the Indonesian government on May 1, 1963.

The UNTEA was an international mechanism involving the UN to prepare a referendum on whether or not the Papuan people wanted to separate or integrate with Indonesia.

The referendum, referred to as the Act of Free Choice (Pepera), resulted in the Papuan people choosing to be integrated into Indonesia. Since then, the administration of West Papua has been controlled by the Indonesian government and the flying of the Bintang Kejora deemed an act of subversion (maker) and responded to with violence and arrests.

Notes

Although it is widely held that West Papua declared independence from Indonesia on December 1, 1961, this actually marks the date when the Morning Star (Bintang Kejora) flag was first raised alongside the Dutch flag in an officially sanctioned ceremony in Jayapura, then called Hollandia. The first declaration of independence actually took place on July 1, 1971 at the Victoria Headquarters in Waris Village, Jayapura.

Known as the "Act of Free Choice", in 1969 a referendum was held to decide whether West Papua, a former Dutch colony annexed by Indonesia in 1963, would be become independent or join Indonesia. The UN sanction plebiscite, in which 1,025 handpicked tribal leaders allegedly expressed their desire for integration, has been widely dismissed as a sham. Critics claim that that the selected voters were coerced, threatened and closely scrutinized by the military to unanimously vote for integration.

[Translated by James Balowski for the Indoleft News Service. The original title of the article was "Peringatan 1 Desember Papua, Demo AMP Surabaya Diadang PP & FKPPI".]

Source: https://tirto.id/peringatan-1-desember-papua-demo-amp-surabaya-diadang-pp-amp-fkppi-daNJ

——————————————————

https://asiapacificreport.nz/2018/12/01/surabaya-counterprotest-300-arrested-in-west-papua-flag-demonstrations/

5) Surabaya counterprotest, 300 arrested in West Papua flag demonstrations

By PMC Editor
December 1, 2018

Pacific Media Centre Newsdesk

Hundreds of Papuan students faced off with counterprotesters in Indonesia’s second largest city of Surabaya today in a rally calling for the Melanesian region’s independence while pro-independence sources reported more than 300 people arrested in West Papua.

The Surabaya rally was organised by the Papua Students Alliance. The demonstrators chanted “Freedom Papua” in Surabaya city to mark December 1, which many West Papuans consider as the 57th anniversary of what should have been their independence, report news agencies.

The crowd, many of whom wearing headbands of the Morning Star flag – banned by Indonesian authorities, was blocked from marching to the city center by scores of counterprotesters from several youth organisations waving the Indonesian flag.

READ MORE: Mass arrests over West Papua demos in Indonesian cities

They confronted the pro-independence protesters with sharpened bamboos.

Several hundred members of anti-riot police prevented the two rival groups from clashing.

The protest ended after about two hours.

However, human rights sources reported tonight that Indonesian police and military had surrounded Papuan student dormitories in Surabaya and arrested 223 people. They were being detained at the Surabaya City sector police station.

The Free West Papuan Campaign reports that more than 300 people have been arrested across West Papua.

Peaceful demonstrations
In several regions of West Papua, peaceful demonstrations took place. Protests were reported in Jakarta, Surabaya, Palu, Kupang, Ternate, Makassar, Manado, Ambon, Poso, Sula, Timika, Meruake, Waropen, and Tobelo.

In addition to police intervention during public gatherings, the London-based campaign’s website said it had received reports that Indonesian security forces had also raided several student dormitories, and the West Papua National Committee (KNPB) headquarters was vandalised.

From the monitoring team, below is the interim report of arrests throughout West Papua and other parts of Indonesia:

1. Kupang – 18 people arrested.
2. Ambon – 43 arrested.
3. Ternate – 99 arrested. One of the activists was rushed to hospital due to suffocation
4. Jayapura around 85 people from 4 different locations: Dok IX, Abe, Jayapura and Sentani.
5. Jakarta – 140 arrested
6. Surabaya – hundreds involved in a long march towards Kamasan III student dormitary were confronted by tni-polri and some students were bruised from confrontation.
7. Manado – 29 arrested
8 Waropen – 7 arrested. Names: Jhon Wenggi, Yulianus Kowela, Monika Imbiri and Fiktor Daimboa
9. Sorong and Merauke, including KNPB HQ in Waena, Perumnas III: in lock down and an urgent need for advocacy at these places.

RNZ Pacific also reports mass arrestsover West Papuan demonstrations in several Indonesian cities.

Today marks the 57th anniversary of the first time West Papua’s flag of independence, the Morning Star, was raised.

In commemoration of the historic event numerous non-violent peaceful demonstrations and prayer vigils were organised around the country.

Worldwide flag raisings of international solidarity increase each year as the support for West Papuan independence gains momentum. In New Zealand, flagraising events were held in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

This protests comes at a time of increased violence in West Papua, including suspected extrajudicial killings in the region.

Urgent issues of concern also include increased military presence, the killing of civilians caught in crossfire in the mountain regions, and armed civilian movements of Papuans protecting their villages.

The International Coalition for Papua (ICP) compiles data on political arrests and violence in West Papua. This information has been made public through quarterly reports. The latest ICP reports are at www.humanrightspapua.org

Police stop pro-independence protesters from commemorating December 1 in Jakarta

December 1, 2018

Police arrest 99 Papuan activists at pro-independence rally in Ternate

Suara Papua – December 1, 2018

Arnold Belau, Jayapura — As many as 96 activists from the Indonesian People’s Front for West Papua (FRI-WP) in Ternate, North Maluku, were arrested after police forcibly broke up a rally in front of the Barito Market.

A Suara Papua source from Ternate said that the FRI-WP action was closed down by police and intel (intelligence) officers and the demonstrators forced into trucks as they were about to begin protesting in front of the Barito Market.

The source said that several activists were dragged and assaulted as they were forced into the truck. "Several comrades who were at the action were dragged and forced to get into a truck by police and intel in Ternate", they said.

The source said that as many as 99 people were arrested, 12 of which were from West Papua and the remainder activists from FRI-WP. One of the protesters had to be rushed home because they were experiencing breathing difficulties.

"One of the people had difficulty breathing and was rushed home. 12 people were from Papua and the rest from Ternate. Currently they are being taken to Polres [district police station]", they said.

Ternate district police Tactical Police Unit head (kasat sabhara) M. Aninab was quoted by semarak.news.com as saying that the protesters will be taken to the Ternate district police station.

"We will take them to Polres, question them. If in the process of delving into the matter it is discovered that they committed a violation then they will be charged, but we will bear in mind that are still young and [they should be] given guidance", he said.

Earlier, the protesters sent a written notification of the action to the Ternate district police but it was rejected with police saying that the planned action was subversive (maker).

Upon arriving at the Ternate district police station they will be registered and those who originate from Papua will be separated from those from North Maluku.

FRI-WP is demanding that the Indonesian government resolved human rights violations in Papua and that the Papuan people be given the freedom to hold a referendum to determine their own future.

December 1, 1961 marks the embryonic birth of the West Papuan state. Every December 1, West Papuan people throughout the world commemorate the date as Independence Day.

On December 19, 1961 the Papuan state was dissolved by Indonesia with the declaration of the Trikora operation by founding president Sukarno’s in the Central Java city of Yogyakarta.

Suara Papua has sought confirmation of the arrests from Ternate district police chief Assistant Superintendent Ashari Juanda via an SMS message and two phone calls but as of posting this report there has been no response.

Notes

Although it is widely held that West Papua declared independence from Indonesia on December 1, 1961, this actually marks the date when the Morning Star (Bintang Kejora) flag was first raised alongside the Dutch flag in an officially sanctioned ceremony in Jayapura, then called Hollandia. The first declaration of independence actually took place on July 1, 1971 at the Victoria Headquarters in Waris Village, Jayapura.

Operation Trikora was declared by Indonesian founding President Sukarno in the Central Java city of Yogyakarta on December 19, 1961. It was an Indonesian military operation aimed at harassing and forcing the Dutch out of Netherlands New Guinea in 1961-62 rather than one intended to suppress a nascent independence movement.

[Translated by James Balowski for the Indoleft News Service. The original title of the article was "Peringati Hari Lahirnya Embrio Negara Papua Barat, Polisi Tangkap 99 Orang di Ternate".]

Source: https://suarapapua.com/2018/12/01/peringati-hari-lahirnya-embrio-negara-papua-barat-polisi-tangkap-99-orang-di-ternate/

_____________________

Papuan pro-independence rally in Surabaya attacked by nationalist thugs

Tirto.id – December 1, 2018

Tony Firman — A protest action by the Papuan Student Alliance (AMP) in the East Java provincial capital of Surabaya on December 1 demanding self-determination for West Papua has been attacked by a group of ormas (social or mass organisations) who demonstrated on the west and eastern sides of Jl. Pemuda.

The group, who came from a number of different ormas including the Community Forum for Sons and Daughters of the Police and Armed Forces (FKPPI), the Association of Sons and Daughters of Army Families (Hipakad) and the Pancasila Youth (PP), were calling for the AMP demonstration to be forcibly broken up.

"This city is a city of [national] heroes. Please leave, the [state ideology of] Pancasila is non-negotiable, the NKRI [Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia] is non-negotiable", screamed one of the speakers from the PP.

At 8.33am a number of PP members on the eastern side of the road began attacking the AMP by throwing rocks and beating them with clubs. Police quickly moved in to block the PP members then dragged them back.

The AMP protesters had began gathering at the Submarine Monument at 6am before moving off to the Grahadi building where the East Java governor’s office is located.

However they were only able to get as far as the Surabaya Radio Republic Indonesia (RRI) building before they were intercepted by police from the Surabaya metropolitan district police (Polrestabes) and the East Java district police (Polda).

The AMP demonstration was held to mark December 1, 1961 as the day West Papua became independent from the Dutch. For the Papuan people, December 1 is an important date on the calendar in the Papuan struggle which is commemorated every year.

The historical moment in 1961 was when, for the first time, the West Papuan parliament, under the administration of the Dutch, flew the Morning Star (Bintang Kejora) flag, symbolising the establishment of the state of West Papua.

Since then the Bintang Kejora was flown alongside the Dutch flag throughout West Papua until the Dutch handed administrative authority of West Papua over to the United Nations Temporary Executive Authority (UNTEA) on October 1, 1962, then to the Indonesian government on May 1, 1963.

The UNTEA was an international mechanism involving the UN to prepare a referendum on whether or not the Papuan people wanted to separate or integrate with Indonesia.

The referendum, referred to as the Act of Free Choice (Pepera), resulted in the Papuan people choosing to be integrated into Indonesia. Since then, the administration of West Papua has been controlled by the Indonesian government and the flying of the Bintang Kejora deemed an act of subversion (maker) and responded to with violence and arrests.

Notes

Although it is widely held that West Papua declared independence from Indonesia on December 1, 1961, this actually marks the date when the Morning Star (Bintang Kejora) flag was first raised alongside the Dutch flag in an officially sanctioned ceremony in Jayapura, then called Hollandia. The first declaration of independence actually took place on July 1, 1971 at the Victoria Headquarters in Waris Village, Jayapura.

Known as the "Act of Free Choice", in 1969 a referendum was held to decide whether West Papua, a former Dutch colony annexed by Indonesia in 1963, would be become independent or join Indonesia. The UN sanction plebiscite, in which 1,025 handpicked tribal leaders allegedly expressed their desire for integration, has been widely dismissed as a sham. Critics claim that that the selected voters were coerced, threatened and closely scrutinized by the military to unanimously vote for integration.

[Translated by James Balowski for the Indoleft News Service. The original title of the article was "Peringatan 1 Desember Papua, Demo AMP Surabaya Diadang PP & FKPPI".]

Source: https://tirto.id/peringatan-1-desember-papua-demo-amp-surabaya-diadang-pp-amp-fkppi-daNJ