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Indonesian troops will remain in Papua: Defense Minister

September 21, 2019

https://en.antaranews.com/news/133120/indonesian-troops-will-remain-in-papua-defense-minister Indonesian troops will remain in Papua: Defense Minister
4 hours ago

Magelang, C Java (ANTARA) – Defending the presence of Indonesia’s military (TNI) and the police personnel in Papua, Defence Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu said they will not be withdrawn from the province because armed Papuan separatists continue firing at security forces. "I have repeatedly stated that the TNI and National Police will not be withdrawn from Papua because, once, they are pulled out, Papua will secede," he told journalists after speaking at a seminar on a state defense strategy for young Indonesians here Thursday.

Commenting on an exchange of fire that occurred in Olenki Village, Mabugi Subdistrict, Puncak District, on September 17 and killed three civilians, he said Papua’s problems should be resolved properly, and they are merely related to social welfare.

"So, we need to sit together. Let us sit and think about how to resolve the problems," the former army chief of staff said.

In connection with the firing in Olenki village between Indonesian troops and brutal armed Papuan separatists, Puncak District Head Willem Wandik said Wednesday that the armed rebels often use villagers as human shields.

Three civilians were killed and four others sustained injuries in the firing. The wounded had been evacuated to Timika’s public hospital while the dead would immediately be buried, he said.

To avoid civilian casualties in the future, he appealed to the TNI and police to carry out a persuasive approach which would compel the rebels to surrender and stop attacking security personnel and civilians.

Willem Wandik also urged all parties to maintain peace and end the conflict that could be used by others for their political ends.

Meanwhile, Spokesman of the XVII/Cenderawasih Regional Military Command Lt. Col. Eko Daryanto confirmed that there had been civilian casualties and expressed his condolences.

XVII/Cenderawasih Regional Military Commander Major General Herman Asaribab would coordinate with the Papua police chief in setting up a joint team to investigate the incident, he said.

Herman Asaribab would also conduct a comprehensive evaluation on how the operation to hunt down the armed rebels is to be carried out so that further civilian casualties are avoided, he said. (INE)
Related news: RI rebuts Vanuatu politicizing Papua issue at Human Rights Council
Related news: Rights activists in Papua urge govt to offer comprehensive solution

EDITED BY INE

Reporter: Syaiful H, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Suharto

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https://en.antaranews.com/news/133128/wiranto-awaits-report-on-exchange-of-fire-in-papua

2) Wiranto awaits report on exchange of fire in Papua

3 hours ago

Jakarta (ANTARA) – Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs Wiranto said he was awaiting an official report on the recent exchange of fire between the Indonesian security personnel and a group of armed Papuan rebels which led to several casualties among civilians.

"Well, the official report is still awaited," he said here on Thursday in response to a question from journalists on the exchange of fire that broke out in Olenki Village, Mabugi Subdistrict, Puncak District, on September 17.

Wiranto said he would immediately brief the journalists once he received a comprehensive report on the incident.

In connection with the firing in Olenki village between Indonesian troops and brutal armed Papuan separatists, Puncak District Head, Willem Wandik, said on Wednesday that the armed rebels often use villagers as human shields.

Three civilians were killed and four others sustained injuries in the firing. The wounded had been evacuated to Timika’s public hospital, while those who succumbed to their injuries would immediately be buried, he said.

To avoid civilian casualties in the future, he appealed to the TNI and the police to carry out a persuasive approach, which would compel the rebels to surrender and stop attacking security personnel and civilians.

Willem Wandik also urged all the parties to maintain peace and end the conflict that could be used by others for their political gains.

Meanwhile, Defence Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu hinted earlier that Indonesia’s military (TNI) and the police personnel in Papua would not be withdrawn from the province because armed Papuan separatists continue firing at security forces.

"I have repeatedly stated that the TNI and the National Police will not be withdrawn from Papua because once they are pulled out, Papua will secede," he said in Magelang, Central Java.

Spokesman of the XVII/Cenderawasih Regional Military Command, Lt. Col. Eko Daryanto, confirmed that there had been civilian casualties and expressed his condolences.

XVII/Cenderawasih Regional Military Commander, Major General Herman Asaribab, will coordinate with the Papua police chief to set up a joint team to investigate the incident, he said.

Herman Asaribab would also conduct a comprehensive evaluation on how the operation to hunt down the armed rebels is to be carried out so that further civilian casualties are avoided, he said.
Related news: Indonesian troops will remain in Papua: Defense Minister

EDITED BY INE

Reporter: Zuhdiar L, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Suharto

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https://en.tempo.co/read/1249926/veronica-koman-to-be-included-in-polices-fugitive-list?Engteco_newsUtama&campaign=Engteco_newsUtama_Click_3
3) Veronica Koman to Be Included in Police’s Fugitive List
Translator: Laila Afifa Editor: Laila Afifa 19 September 2019 19:18 WIB

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta – East Java Regional Police will issue fugitive status for activist Veronica Komannext week.

"East Java Police Chief will announce [the matter] probably on Monday or Tuesday," said East Java Police chief of public relation Frans Barung Mangera on Thursday, September 19 September. Her name will be put in the fugitive list.

Veronica was named as a suspect for spreading hoaxes and fake information regarding the incident of Papuan students in Surabaya last August. She was allegedly active in conducting provocation by distributing information about Papua unrest through her Twitter account @VeronicaKoman.

Police issue the fugitive status due to Veronica’s absence in three summonses. "The deadline is over," Barung said.

Besides the fugitive list, the National Police and Interpol would issue red notice about Veronica Koman that would be held in France. The red notice would be distributed to 190 other countries.

Andita Rahma

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https://en.tempo.co/read/1249885/tni-says-three-killed-in-shootout-with-papua-separatists?Engteco_newsUtama&campaign=Engteco_newsUtama_Click_5

4) TNI Says Three Killed in Shootout with Papua Separatists

19 September 2019 17:51 WIB

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta – Three civilians, including a toddler, have been killed and four wounded after a shootout between state security forces and armed separatists in Papua, a military (TNI) spokesman said on Thursday, September 19.

Tuesday’s incident comes after additional security forces were deployed to restore security in Papua, following a series of sometimes violent demonstrations since August, triggered by concerns over perceived racial and ethnic discrimination.

The shootout happened when security forces clashed with separatists in the West Papuan town of Ilaga, said Eko Daryanto, the spokesman.

"The separatists started shooting sporadically at joint security forces who were approaching them in front of a honai (traditional Papuan house)," he said in a statement.

"After they (security forces) responded with shots, the separatists ran for the woods while shooting indiscriminately."

A resident of the area, Noris Wakerwa, said some villagers had fled to the nearby forest when he arrived to help with the evacuation.

"We evacuated the dead and the wounded to the community health center," he said by telephone.

Daryanto said TNI and police would conduct a joint investigation into the shootout.

Protesters torched a market, a jail, and government offices in demonstrations that erupted when Papuan students in Surabaya on the main island of Java were hit by tear gas in their dormitory and detained on Aug. 17, Indonesia’s Independence Day, for allegedly desecrating a national flag.

A video was later circulated showing security forces using racial slurs to denigrate the students.

Some protesters are also demanding an independence vote – a move ruled out by Indonesia’s security minister.

Almost 6,000 additional military and police personnel have been dispatched to the region since the protests began and authorities for a time blocked internet access to prevent Papuans accessing social media.

The resource-rich area of Papua – which is home to the world’s biggest gold mine and second-biggest copper mine Grasberg – was a Dutch colony that was incorporated into Indonesia after a controversial U.N. backed referendum in 1969.

Since then, the region has endured decades of mostly low-level separatist conflict.

REUTERS

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https://eng.jubi.co.id/west-papuans-rally-calling-australia-stands-against-human-rights-violations-in-west-papua/

5) West Papuans rally calling Australia stands against human rights violations in West Papua

Published 10 hours ago on 19 September 2019
By pr9c6tr3_juben

Melbourne, Jubi – Dozens of people stands in solidarity with West Papuans in front of the State Library Victoria on Saturday (14/09/2019) for calling the Australian Government to against human rights violations occurred in West Papua.

Further, the Melbourne West Papua Community is also asking the Australian Government to urges the Indonesian Government to allow the UN Right Commissioner Michele Bachelet to conduct a fact finding mission into human rights violations.

Mr. Novenus Obamak, the Chairman of the Melbourne West Papua Community, through a press release told Ms Bachelet has been trying to gain access to West Papua since 2018, but until now she has been refused to entry by the Government of Indonesia. “Contrary to claims made in Australia that the Indonesian Government is facilitating Ms Bachelet’s visit to West Papua, the Indonesian Government has been blocking her access,” said Obamak.

He also urged the Indonesian Government to restore the internet access in West Papua and allow international journalists free access to West Papua. “On behalf of the Melbourne West Papua community and our brothers and sisters in West Papua, I strongly urge Indonesia to withdraw its more than 6000 non-local military forces from West Papua to allow the situation there to stabilize,” said Mr. Obamak.

He also said, “We need to see the end of the criminalization of human rights defenders and students in West Papua. Human rights defenders and concerned students should be supported from their stand against lawlessness rather than being made out to be the criminals.”

Meanwhile, the solidarity rally was opened with speeches from speakers representing the Australian first nation, local councilors, West Papuan leaders and students. Speakers called the Australian Government to pay more attention to what have been happening and West Papua and to take action to end oppression and human rights violations against West Papuans.

Moreland Councillor Sue Bolton said in her speech that Australia could do a lot to stop the oppressions and violations in West Papua. “What Australia does will going have to impact to West Papua. Australia through different government has tragically supported the Indonesian Government to violate West Papuans through training Indonesian military forces, mining companies that contribute to the killing and torture of many West Papuans. Meanwhile, Darebin Councillor Mark Riley in his speech emphasized the needs of open access for journalists to West Papua.

In the meantime, Papuan student Cyndi Makabori said as young West Papuan student who’s living in Australia, she is fortunate for not experiencing discrimination, torture, detention or mockery like other Papuan students in Indonesia. She also criticizes that during 57 years of integration, Indonesia has committed more than five hundred thousand of murders. It means Indonesia has failed to civilize and educate its citizens about the value of humanity and human rights. Finally, in her speech she thanks to non-Papuan supporters who stand in solidarity with West Papuans. She acknowledges the spokesperson of Free West Papua Surya Anta Ginting who’s the first Indonesian citizen arrested for treason.

After speeches, the crowd goes for a rally towards Federation Square. During the rally, they continuously chanted “Papua Merdeka,” “Free West Papua”, “Kami bukan merah putih” and “Indonesia Out”.
A supporter from Vanuatu who wish anonymous said she joined the rally to show her solidarity to West Papuans. “In solidarity as Pacific region. We are Melanesians; and all together we are strong. We support sovereignty as an obligation to the international laws.”

The West Papua solidarity rally in Melbourne marked a series of peaceful protests conducted in dispersed cities in Australia including Canberra, Darwin, Perth, Adelaide, Sydney, Brisbane and Cairns. (*)

Reporter: Pipit Maizier

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ILAGA Emergency Situation-Air Strikes & Ground Attacks by the Indonesian Military Were Killed 7 Civilians People in Ilaga Papua

September 18, 2019

Today September 18th 2019 KOMNAS TPNPB-OPM

Headquarters have received reports that the Indonesian Military and Police Forces has carried out airstrikes using helicopters as well as ground attacks using two vehicles on September 17th 2019 yesterday, and these attacks have destroyed villages and many fatalities.

The brutal attack was carried out in Mayugarik District, Puncak Papua Regency, by the Indonesian military and police.

Commander of the TPNPB-OPM Sinak Rgeion “Bridgen Militer Murib” has reported that this attack had been carried out while the community was preparing for tribal war peace in the region, and as a result the community fled to the forest and also there were many who had been victims of shooters by the Indonesian military and Police.

full report

https://awpasydneynews.blogspot.com/2019/09/ilaga-emergency-situation-air-strikes.html

West Papua unrest tests Indonesia’s Jokowi as second term begins

September 17, 2019

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/09/west-papua-unrest-tests-indonesia-jokowi-term-begins-190911060733265.html

West Papua unrest tests Indonesia’s Jokowi as second term begins

President faces challenge of addressing Papuan demands and keeping country intact amid calls for independence.
by Febriana Firdaus 9 hours ago

Jakarta, Indonesia – Indonesia’s West Papua region has been mired in civil unrest since the middle of August, following police detentions and alleged racial slurs against ethnic Papuan students studying in the country’s most populous island of Java.

The protests, which at times turned deadly, have since evolved into calls for a referendum and independence in the country’s poorest region.

The violence is a major test of President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo, who was returned to power in April’s election and will be officially installed for his second term in office on October 20. Having won 78 percent of the vote in Papua, he now faces the difficult task of delivering on his promises of economic growth and genuine autonomy to Papuans, while dampening calls for independence that threaten to carve out another part of the country.

"For West Papuans, Jokowi’s approach is all wrong," Made Supriatma, an Indonesia expert at ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute, a Singapore think-tank, told Al Jazeera.

"Jokowi always promises to boost economic growth under the special autonomy scheme and build the region using natural resources," Made said. "But he has neglected the people, so they feel left behind,"

At the same time, Jokowi, has to confront the issue of racism, which has left indigenous Papuans feeling like second-class citizens, further increasing demands to break away from Indonesia, political observers added.

Jokowi’s response

Jokowi, has tried to cultivate better relations with the Papuans.

Two months into his first term as president in 2014, he visited Jayapura, the capital and largest city in Papua province.

In the months leading to his re-election bid earlier this year, Jokowi visited parts of West Papua at least 12 times, according to the Jakarta Globe. He was later rewarded by Papuan voters, who gave him their overwhelming support in the election.

But the scale of the recent protests has left Jokowi scrambling to respond.

As the protests erupted, the president appealed for calm while declaring that the violence was under control, only to be confronted with more unrest.

On September 11, as the situation calmed, Jokowi finally welcomed Papuan representatives to the presidential palace for discussions, during which he promised to build a palace in West Papua and upgrade the region’s internet connection.

He also offered to engage in more dialogue with indigenous Papuans, and ordered the government to hire Papuan graduates to help build the proposed new Indonesian capital in Kalimantan.

He promised he would again visit several areas in Papua and celebrate the New Year in the region.

But he has remained mum on the growing demand for a Papua referendum.

Wiranto, Jokowi’s top security official and designated intermediary on the West Papua issue, has dismissed any talk of a referendum, offering only to talk to Papuans about their "basic rights".

At the back of the government’s mind is East Timor, which held a referendum in 1999, and eventually declared independence from Indonesia.

Rumblings for freedom

Like Indonesia, the West Papua region was once a Dutch colony.

Indonesia proclaimed its independence in 1945, ending 350 years of colonial rule and then claimed all territories of the former Dutch East Indies, including the West Papua region, which is now divided into two provinces – Papua and West Papua.

The Dutch retained control of the region until the early 1960s, but in 1969, after a controversial referendum backed by the United Nations, it became part of Indonesia

That vote, remains contested by Papuan nationalist groups including the Free Papua Movement and the United Liberation Movement for West Papua, which was formed in 2014.

For decades, rumblings for Papuan self-determination and independence have continued.

In 2001, the government granted West Papua special autonomy in response to demands for an independence.

But in December 2018, violence flared again after independence fighters attacked a road-building project leaving 17 people dead and triggering a military crackdown that forced 35,000 civilians to flee their homes.

Anger over racial slurs

Then, in mid-August, two incidents in Java involving Papuan students set off the most widespread and sustained protests the region has seen.

According to reports, the students were allegedly called "monkeys" and "pigs", as they were detained by police officers.

The students were eventually released, and the officers suspected of being involved either dismissed or suspended.

But by then, the uproar had spread across the West Papua region.

Despite facing threats of arrest, thousands of demonstrators waved the "Morning Star" flag, which is seen as a symbol of self-rule and banned.

Human Rights Watch in Indonesia reported that at least 10 people were killed in the latest violent protests.

In response, the government blocked the Internet in West Papua, making it difficult for independent verification of the incidents in the region. The block was later partially lifted.

Several activists and protesters accused of inciting protests were also detained, and police said they wanted to arrest prominent human rights lawyer, Veronica Koman.

‘Prolonging oppression’

Jokowi said he wanted to meet Papuans because he was confused about why they supported him, but were opposed to the administration in Jakarta.

"I want to find out why it has to be different," he told Indonesia’s Kompas daily.

But West Papuans note representatives from the Papuan People’s Assembly were excluded from the meeting with Jokowi.

The Papuan Student Alliance, which has led several protest in recent weeks, has also rejected the government’s offer for dialogue.

Jhon Gobai, chairman of the alliance, said the talks "only prolong the oppression" of the Papuans.

"Right now, the people in West Papua are joining to protest in the street to demand one thing: Referendum. That is exactly what we want," he said.

Vidhyandika Djati Perkasa, a researcher at the Jakarta-based Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) said the president needed to speak to all Papuans; not only those who supported integration.

"President Jokowi needs to visit Papua soon and set dialogue in West Papua instead (of the palace in Jakarta)," he said.

"The dialogue can be done several times to make sure that every West Papuan feels they are being represented," he added.

Meanwhile, Alissa Wahid, of the Gusdurian organisation, which is dedicated to the legacy of former President Abdurrahman "Gus Dur" Wahid, urged Jokowi’s government to ensure that West Papuans are treated as equals in Indonesian.

Alissa said a "human approach" had to be prioritised to address the violence and racism.

The issue of racism is a sensitive topic for many Papuans, and they said that Jokowi needs to confront it if he wants to ease tensions.

In an interview with Al Jazeera, Filep Karma, a pro-independence activist who was jailed for more than 10 years, said that many non-Papuans have repeatedly called him a "monkey".

Aprilia Wayar, a Papuan novelist, said, she had experienced similar racism.

"Just yesterday, I wanted to rent a house in Yogyakarta. But when I came to visit the house, the owner asked me where I came from? I said I am from West Papua. They immediately cancelled it," she said, recalling the incident.

Rosa Moiwend, a West Papuan activist, told Al Jazeera there would be no progress unless the issue of racism was addressed by the country and the president.

Above all, Jokowi must also look into the political history between Indonesia and West Papua, and clarify what happened during the 1969 referendum, she added.

"Otherwise, we are tired with another dialogue."

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https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/sep/17/australia-refuses-to-rule-out-handing-over-sydney-lawyer-who-advocates-for-west-papuans-to-indonesia

2) Australia refuses to rule out handing over Sydney lawyer who advocates for West Papuans to Indonesia

Marni Cordell and Ben Doherty Tue 17 Sep 2019 13.41 AEST

Dfat says Interpol red notice for arrest of Veronica Koman is a matter for Australian federal police

The Australian government has refused to rule out handing over a Sydney-based lawyer who advocates for West Papuans to Indonesian authorities.

Veronica Koman, an Indonesian human rights lawyer who currently lives in Australia, is being pursued by Indonesian police for disseminating evidence of police- and military-backed violence in West Papua.

Koman has been a credible source of eyewitness accounts, photos and footage of protests that have swept across West Papua and other Indonesian provinces in recent weeks.

Several people have reportedly died and dozens of others injured in violent clashes with Indonesian police, military and military-backed militia, which were sparked by the racist abuse of Papuan students in Java but have morphed into a demand for a referendum on West Papuan independence.

Koman faces charges under the country’s controversial electronic information and transactions law, and faces up to six years in jail if found guilty.

East Java police spokesman Frans Barung Mangera told the Guardian that if Koman did not report to Indonesian authorities by 18 September, a red notice would be issued through Interpol for her arrest. “After that we will work with the international police,” he said.

When asked whether the Australian federal police would act on an Interpol red notice for the arrest of Koman, a spokesperson for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said it was a matter for the AFP. A spokesperson for the AFP said: “Any questions regarding this matter should be directed to Indonesian authorities.”

Koman said in a statement that there was a “surprisingly wide [Indonesian] government campaign to pressure me into silence”, including police intimidation of her family in Jakarta and threats to revoke her Indonesian passport and block her bank accounts.

“For years, the Indonesian government has allocated more time and energy to waging a propaganda war than it has to investigating and ending human rights abuses in West Papua,” she said. “Now we are seeing a clear example of ‘shoot the messenger’ in the state’s effort to persecute those, including me, who draw attention to abuses it is unwilling or unable to address.”

The Interpol “red notice” system – ostensibly used to “seek the location and arrest of wanted persons wanted for prosecution or to serve a sentence” – is regularly abused by authoritarian governments to pursue dissidents or political opponents who have left the country’s territory.

Globally, there are about 58,000 current valid red notices, of which only about 7,000 are public.

Article 3 of Interpol’s constitution forbids Interpol from undertaking “any intervention or activities of a political, military, religious or racial character”.

Indonesia issued a red notice for West Papuan independence leader Benny Wenda in 2011 but was forced to rescind it in 2012 after it was found to be politically motivated, and without genuine criminal basis.

Australia has detained at least one person on the basis of a flawed red notice.

Egypt issued a red notice for its national Sayed Abdellatif, who arrived in Australia by boat as an asylum seeker in 2012.

A Guardian investigation revealed that several charges listed against his name had never been brought against him at his trial-in-absentia and that other convictions were based on evidence obtained “under severe torture”. The Australian government had known for 18 months the red notice was invalid but had not acted to release him.

Abdellatif’s family members received visas and were released into the community. But he remains in high security at Sydney’s Villawood detention centre after more than seven years, despite recommendations from the United Nations human rights council that he be released and compensated for his “clearly disproportionate … deprivation of liberty”.

Fair Trials took up Abdellatif’s case, campaigning for the red notice to be withdrawn, and it was finally removed in 2018.

On Monday, a group of UN human rights experts issued a statement calling on Indonesia to protect the rights of Koman and others reporting on the West Papua protests.

“We call for immediate measures to ensure the protection of freedom of expression and address acts of harassment, intimidation, interference, undue restriction and threats against those reporting on the protests,” the experts said.


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Summary of events in West Papua (12 August – 9 September 2019)

September 10, 2019

Summary of events in West Papua (12 August – 9 September 2019)

Its rare that stories about West Papua go viral in the mainstream media but the mass demonstrations over the past weeks certainly did. The rallies were triggered by the arrest of 43 West Papuan students in Surabaya Indonesia on the 17 August, Indonesia Independence Day. The incident occurred because it had been reported that an Indonesian flag had been vandalised near a student hostel for Papuans. (It’s not unusual for Papuans to further their education in Indonesia.) in this case Surabaya. Nationalists groups believed that the Papuan students had vandialised the flag and that the students were refusing to take part in Indonesian Independence celebrations. The Jakarta Post (19 August) reported that security personnel and members of Indonesian Nationalist groups attacked the Papuan students throwing stones at the dormitory and chanting “Kick out the Papuans!” and “Slaughter the Papuans!” The mob also called the students monkeys, pigs and dogs. As they stormed the building the Police fired tear gas into the building and arrested the students. The students were later released after questioning. They had denied any knowledge of the damaged flag.
https://awpasydneynews.blogspot.com/2019/09/summary-of-events-in-west-papua-12.html


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Comment by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

September 5, 2019

Comment by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet

on Indonesia (Papua and West Papua)

Geneva, 4 September 2019

“I have been disturbed by escalating violence in
the past two weeks in the Indonesian provinces of
Papua and West Papua, and especially the deaths
of some protestors and security forces personnel.
This is part of a trend we have observed since
December 2018, and we have been discussing our
concerns with the Indonesian authorities. There
should be no place for such violence in a
democratic and diverse Indonesia, and I encourage
the authorities to engage in dialogue with the
people of Papua and West Papua on their
aspirations and concerns, as well as to restore
internet services and refrain from any excessive
use of force. Blanket internet shutdowns are
likely to contravene freedom of expression and
limiting communications may exacerbate tensions”.

“I welcome the appeals made by President Widodo
and other high-level figures against racism and
discrimination – a long-standing, serious issue
in Papua and West Papua provinces – and their
calls for dialogue and calm. I note that some
arrests have been made and some members of
security forces have been suspended in relation
to the original violent attacks on Papuan
students in Surabaya and Malang, but I am
concerned about reports that nationalist militias
and groups are also actively involved in the
violence. Local human rights defenders, students
and journalists have been facing intimidation and
threats and should be protected”. ENDS

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

Indonesia: Public Statement – POLICE MUST DROP MAKAR (REBELLION) CHARGES AGAINST SIX PAPUAN ACTIVISTS

September 4, 2019

From Amnesty International Indonesia

Dear friends, please see our latest Public Statement below on the criminalisation of six papuan activists in Jakarta under the repressive makar (rebelion) articiles.

Please share it with your networks.

Best regards,

Papang

3 September 2019 Index: ASA 21/0970/2019

INDONESIA: POLICE MUST DROP MAKAR (REBELLION) CHARGES AGAINST SIX PAPUAN ACTIVISTS

Amnesty International Indonesia urges the Jakarta Regional Police Force (Polda) to immediately drop all “rebellion (makar)” charges brought against six political activists who are campaigning for the right to self-determination for Papua, and to immediately and unconditionally release them. The activists were charged and detained under Articles 106 and 110 of Indonesia’s Criminal Code (KUHP), which cover crimes

against the security of the state,solely for exercising their rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and expression.

Amnesty International Indonesia considers all six activists to be prisoners of conscience who are detained solely for peacefully exercising their human rights.

The police originally arrested eight activists, seven of whom are Papuan students, on 30 and 31 August in four separate locations for allegedly organizing a peaceful protest in front of the Presidential Palace on 28 August. During the protest, some of the protesters wavedthe Morning Star Flag, a banned symbol of Papuan independence. The activists organized the protest in response to earlier incidents in Malang and Surabaya—two cities in East Java province—where some military personnel and members of mass organizations verbally attacked Papuan students in their dormitory, using racist slurs such as “monkey,” “dog,” “animal,” and pig.”

On 30 August at around 6pm local time, plainclothes police arrested Dano (Anes) Tabuni and Charles Kosai at their rented house in Depok, West Java, without showing an arrest warrant. During the arrest, a police officer pointed a gun at the Papuan students. The next day officers from the Jakarta Regional Police Force arrested two other Papuan student activists, Ambrosius Mulait and Isay Wenda, who were protesting with dozens of other Papuan students in front of the Jakarta Police Force Headquarters. On 31 August around 7pm, plainclothes police arrested three other Papuan students, Naliana Lokbere, Arina Lokbere and Norince Kogoya, at their house in South Jakarta without showing an arrest warrant. When one of the students wanted to change her clothes, a police officer told her, insultingly: “You Papuans generally don’t wear clothes.” Finally, on 31 August at around 8pm, plainclothes police arrested Surya Anta Ginting at Plaza Indonesia, a shopping mall in Central Jakarta without showing an arrest warrant. Ginting is a spokesperson for the Front Rakyat Indonesia untuk West Papua [Indonesian People’s Front for West
Papua].

On 1 September, the police released Naliana Lokbere and Norince Kogoya without charges, leaving Tabuni, Kosai, Mulait, Wenda, Arina Lokbere, and Ginting in detention.

All six detainees are being held by the police at the Mobile Brigade Headquarters (Mako Brimob) in Depok, West Java, and have been charged under Articles 106 and 110 of the Criminal Code. Article 106 of the Criminal Code authorizes the authorities to sentence a person “to life imprisonment or a maximum of twenty years imprisonment for makar with the intent to bring the territory of the state in whole or in part under foreign domination or to separate part thereof.”[1]In

addition, Article 110 stipulates that conspiracy to commit makaris punishable as a violation of Article 106. The Indonesian authorities have used these criminal code provisions to prosecute dozens of peaceful pro-independence political activists over the last decade.

Besides the use of these criminal code provisions, the conduct of the police investigation is also of great concern. The Papuan activists’ lawyers claim that the police have been preventing them from accompanying and providing legal assistance to their clients during interrogation, in violation of the activists’ fair trials and due process rights.

The last decade has seen an increase in pro-independence political activities in Papua, particularly those led by students and young people. They have routinely organised mass demonstrations in several cities in and outside of Papua to call for self-determination through a referendum. Security forces have often used repressive measures against these activists, such as blanket prohibitions on peaceful protest,mass arrests,and prosecution under makarprovisions in the Criminal Code. Pro-independence political activists in Papua have also been victim of unlawful killings by security forces.

Amnesty International Indonesia calls upon the Indonesian authorities to repeal or amend Articles 106 and 110 of the Criminal Code, so that these provisions can no longer be used to criminalize freedom of expression, beyond the permissible limits set out in international human rights law. Pending the release of the Papuan activists, we also call upon the Jakarta Regional Police Force to ensure that they will not be tortured or otherwise ill-treated and will have regular access to their family and the lawyers of their choice. They must also be assisted by their lawyers in all steps in the legal process and be detained at the Jakarta Regional Police Headquarters (Mapolda Metro Jaya) rather than the Mako Brimob, which is more remote and therefore less accessible.

Amnesty International takes no position whatsoever on the political status of any province of Indonesia, including on calls for independence. However, we consider that the right to freedom of expression protects the right to peacefully advocate for independence or any other political solutions that do not involve incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence. The

organization acknowledges that there have clearly been incidents of violence committed by non-state actors in Papua recently, and recognizes that the Indonesian government can use the domestic criminal law to address any violent attacks. However, the government has consistently failed to make a distinction between violent armed groups and peaceful activists, and between peaceful expression of opinion and acts of physical violence.

The Indonesian authorities must ensure that any restriction on the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly are in accordance with Indonesia’s obligations under international human rights law, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Indonesia is a State party. Further, under both Indonesian and international law, groups organizing public protests are only required to inform the police of peaceful demonstrations, not to seek prior authorisation or permission. However, these regulations are constantly ignored by the security forces in Papua, which continue to unlawfully restrict various forms of peaceful protest against the authorities by students, political groups and human rights non-governmental organizations (NGOs). In some cases, the security forces have used excessive force against peaceful protesters, but these cases have not been promptly, thoroughly and impartially investigated and no one suspected of responsibility has been brought to justice.

Politician Nabbed for 1,500 Bintang Kejora Flags Possession

September 3, 2019

https://en.tempo.co/read/1243280/politician-nabbed-for-1500-bintang-kejora-flags-possession

Politician Nabbed for 1,500 Bintang Kejora Flags Possession

Translator:

Dewi Elvia Muthiariny

Editor:

Laila Afifa

3 September 2019 15:14 WIB

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta – A politician from Perindo Party of Sorong Sayang Mandabayan is undergoing police question in Manokwari Resort Police Headquarters, Papua, over the possession of 1,500 flags of Bintang Kejora or morning star, the symbol of the Free Papua Movement.

“The questioning is still afoot in Manokwari police headquarters,” said National Police spokesman Brig. Gen. Dedi Prasetyo in his office, South Jakarta, Tuesday, September 3.

Sayang was arrested in Rendani Airport, Manokwari, right before claiming his baggage. The airport’s Aviation Security (Avsec) suspected Sayang’s wary behaviors.

The team then searched through his belongings and discovered 1,500 pieces of the small flag of Bintang Kejora in his pink suitcase. He was brought to Rendani Sector Police to be picked by Manokwari police officers for further examination.

Dedi said that according to Manokwari Police, Sayang Mandabayan boarded Wings Air from DEO Airport Sorong to join a peaceful rally which would take place today, September 3, in Manokwari. “We are still examining the suspicion,” he concluded.

ANDITA RAHM