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New provinces, the prosperity myth and tightening Jakarta’s control of Papua

July 1, 2022

New provinces, the prosperity myth and tightening Jakarta’s control of Papua – July 1, 2022

Vitorio Mantalean, Jakarta -– The Indonesian House of Representatives
(DPR) enacted three draft laws on the creation of three new provinces in
Papua at a plenary meeting on Thursday June 30, namely, South Papua,
Central Papua and the Papua Highlands.

If counted backwards, the process was completed in lightening fast time.
It only took the House two-and-a-half months to create the three new
provinces — counting from when the three draft laws were endorsed as a
DPR initiative on April 12, 2022.

Right from the start, the creation of the new provinces has been
criticised by those concerned with Papua affairs and human rights
activists due to several basic problems.

Tinkering with Otsus, re-centralisation of power

Yesterday’s creation of new provinces would not have been able to be
done if the DPR had not first revised the Papua Special Autonomy (Otsus)
law which expired at the end of 2021.

Without involving the Papua People’s Council (MRP) — the state
institution tasked with representing the cultural interest of indigenous
Papuans (OAP) — the DPR and the government conducted an evaluation of
Otsus and arrived at the conclusion that it needed to be extended.

The DPR revised the Otsus Law through Law Number 2/2021 and gave Jakarta
an additional power over Papua — the creation of new regions. Prior to
this, the creation of new regions in Papua could only be done with the
agreement of the MRP and the Papuan Regional House of Representatives

This policy was seen as abolishing Papua’s special status as a special
autonomous region, which characterised the spirit of decentralisation of
power from the central government to the regions.

"This proved that our government is moving towards an order which is
undemocratic, where there’s no decentralisation. There’s been a
recentralization or re-concentration of power from the regions to the
center", said Amnesty International Indonesia Executive Director Usman
Hamid during a press conference yesterday.

Court still reviewing Otsus law revision

The revisions to the Otsus Law, which were seen as revoking the spirit
of Papuan special autonomy, resulted in the MRP submitting a judicial
review of the law last year with the Constitutional Court (MK).

Registered as Case Number 47/PUU-XIX/2021, several articles are being
tested by the court including, among others, Article 6 Paragraph (2),
Article 6A, Article 28, Article 38, Article 59 Paragraph (3), Article
68A, as well as Articles 76 and 77 on the creation of new autonomous

The hearings are already approaching the final stage with each party in
the case already submitting their concluding documents with the court.
All that remains is a ruling by the Constitutional justices.

The DPR and the government therefore were seen as being unethical
because they accelerated the deliberations on the creation of new Papuan
provinces despite the law still being reviewed by the Constitutional

"Where is the common sense? I hope that the executive and the
legislative will reconsider, wait for legal certainty, only after the
legal process [is complete] implement (the creation of new Papuan
regions)", MRP Chairperson Timotius Murib said to on Tuesday
May 24.

Elite symbiosis

The creation of new regions in Papua points to a symbiosis of interests
between the national and local political elite.

At the national level, new Papua regions strengthen Jakarta’s control
because it will be accompanied by the deployment of additional troops —
both from the police as well as the TNI (Indonesian military).

At the local level, the local political elite will get a red carpet
towards new positions which will be created in the new provinces.

This mutual symbiosis between the two parties was reflected in a study
conducted by Papua University anthropologist I Ngurah Suryawan in his
2015 dissertation titled "The Elite Tactic of Grabbing Power in
Manokwari Regency, West Papua"

He explains how the local elite pursued coordinated efforts and lobbying
in Jakarta in order to smooth the way for the creation of new regions in

"This (creation of new regions) was an opportunity consciously created
by the state, taken advantage of by the (local Papuan) elite. The state
was truly conscious, that the (Papua) elite had to be given room, given
‘toys’, given a platform", Ngurah told on April 8.

This was apparent from what occurred at the municipal and regency level
in Papua and West Papua provinces. The creation of new regions in fact
became an arena for the local elite to grab positions in the
bureaucracy, access budgets, projects and other slices of the cake.

Several regional heads such as former Maybrat Regent Bernard Sagrim and
ex-South Sorong Regent Otto Ihalauw have already been indicted for

"I think that in the end we will see the formation of middle-class
groups, local elites who are prosperous because of the creation of new
regions. On the other hand, the little people will never be prosperous
because the circulation of power does indeed remain in their (the
elites’) hands", he said.

President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo even secretly invited a number of MRP
members who support the creation of new provinces to the Palace on May
20, without submitting an official letter with the MRP. The meeting
proceeded behind closed doors.

The welfare myth

The government and the DPR always equivocate that the mission to achieve
even development or improving welfare is behind the creation of new
regions in Papua.

"We have the same spirit which is to accelerate Papuan development and
also to bring prosperity to the ordinary people, particularly indigenous
Papuans", said Home Affairs Minister Tito Karnavian at the parliamentary
complex in Jakarta yesterday.

The data and facts however speak otherwise.

A study by the government’s National Development Planning Board
(Bappenas) in
2001-2007 found that after five years new regions were no better off
than the regions they were previously part of. It also found that the
situation post-separation is not conducive for new areas to immediately
get their economies moving.

The results of an evaluation and report by the Supreme Audit Agency
(BPK) in 2019 also showed that in terms of source of income, the
majority of new autonomous regions in Papua between 1999 and 2014 were
still dependent on the state budget (ABN) and were not yet able to be

It was this that made the government declare a moratorium on the
creation of new regions in the first place.

"The proportion of their PAD (locally generated revenue) was still less
than the funds transferred from the central [government]. This was one
of the reasons for this", said Vice President Ma’ruf Amin on December 4,
2020, as quoted on the official vice presidential website

This includes West Papua province which was created in 1999. The average
amount of transfers to the region and village funds (TKDD) from the
central government over the last five years, according to data from the
Ministry of Finance, amounted to 84.3 percent of the West Papua
provincial budget (APBD).

According to data from the Ministry of Home Affairs, the PAD for West
Papua and Papua province was only 6.15 percent and 11.96 percent
respectively, lower than the national average in 2021. In Papua
province, the figure was higher because of income from the giant PT
Freeport gold and copper mine.

The myth of welfare becomes even more apparent if you look at the human
development index (IPM) in Papua.

"In regencies or municipalities which are dominated by non-Papuan
populations, the IPM is high, it can reach 70-73. However, in the
regions dominated by [indigenous] Papuan communities, the IPM is still
low", says Hamid.

Social conflict and rights violations

All of these crucial issues in the creation of new regions in Papua are
expected to sharpen existing conflicts in the Land of the Cenderawasih
as Papua is known. Moreover the decision to create new provinces was
seen as not being based on an in-depth scientific study or considering
the anthropological situation in Papua which is very heterogeneous.

Take for example, the creation of Central Papua Province with its
provincial capital in Nabire, which is expected to trigger new social

The Nabire, in terms of traditional communities, it is closer to the
customary area of the Saireri. Meanwhile most of the Central Papua
region, such as in Mimika, is the customary area of the Meepago.

"In Nabire itself there are several groups with different views which
reject it becoming the provincial capital, they want to join with
Saireri. These different views will give rise to conflicts", said human
rights activists and Land of Papua Injil Christian Church (GKI) leader
Dora Balubun yesterday.

She claims that the potential for such conflict was also reflected at
the elite level which the DPR’s Commission III visited Merauke and
Jayapura late last week.

"There were several regents who were digging their heels in, such as the
Nabire and Mimika regents, over who’s regional capital should become the
provincial capital", said Balubun.

On the other hand, there is also concern that the deployment of troops
in large numbers through the regional police (polda) and new regional
military command (Kodam) in the new provinces will only worsen the human
rights situation there.

The entry of security forces in large numbers is seen as going
hand-in-hand with the needs of investment and business, as well as
putting down the desire for Papuan independence.

"In 2021 there were around 11,000 polda Papua personnel. So with the
presence of three new provinces, this figure could increase by (roughly)
three times", said Public Virtue Institute Executive Director Miya
Irawati in a virtual discussion on April 14.

She also cited Central Statistics Agency (BPS) data related to the size
of contributions from mining corporations in Papua to the regional gross
domestic product (PDRB) in the region, namely 28.27 percent as of 2020.

"In who’s interests are the additional Kodam or polda (in the three new
provinces), for Papua, for the country, or to protect companies
[opearating] in Papua?", asked Irawati.

Even without new regions being created, Intan Jaya regency, which is
often the centre of armed conflicts between the TNI and the West Papua
National Liberation Army (TPNPB). According to Amnesty International
data Intan Jaya experienced a jump in the number of military posts from
two in 2019 to 17 in 2021 because of "security reasons".

"The latest Amnesty International report provides and explanation on how
many extra-judicial killings are still happening in Papua, particularly
in Intan Jaya. And not just killings but also violence, internally
displaced people, and also other human rights violations", said
Amnesty’s Usman Hamid.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "3
Provinsi Baru di Papua Disahkan: Antara Mitos Kesejahteraan dan Kuasa
Jakarta di Bumi Cenderawasih".]


Free Papua Movement Warns Govt against Expansion Plan

June 27, 2022

Free Papua Movement Warns Govt against Expansion Plan
Translator Ricky Mohammad Nugraha
Editor Markus Wisnu Murti
27 June 2022 19:29 WIB

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta – Sebby Sambom, a spokesperson for the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPNPB), which is the armed wing of the Free Papua Movement (OPM), in a voice recording Tempo received on Monday, June 27, warned the Indonesian government to halt the Papua provincial expansion plan. Sambon urged, “We strongly ask Jakarta, the House of Representatives (DPR), and President along with Cabinet members to revoke the Draft Law for the expansion of the provinces.”

OPM argued that the government is overly controlling customary lands owned by indigenous Papuans. He added that the planned provincial expansion would continue to threaten the security of the region, which they claimed was under martial law. He said the expansion plan did not come from Papuans.

“Martial law means that Jakarta is forcefully taking over our customary lands owned by Papuans,” said Sambon. “God did not create the Papuan lands for Indonesians, not for Jakartans, but for Papuan indigenous people.”

The Indonesian government and the House of Representatives (DPR) have synchronized three legal aspects in the form of South Papua Province, Central Papua, and Papua Highlands Draft Laws. The idea of expanding Papua Provinces was initially expressed in July last year.


Police Cancel Papua-Related Discussion Plan, Watchdog Laments Freedom of Speech Crisis

June 24, 2022

Police Cancel Papua-Related Discussion Plan, Watchdog Laments Freedom of Speech Crisis

Translator Ricky Mohammad Nugraha Editor Laila Afifa

24 June 2022 09:08 WIB

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta – Amnesty International Indonesia deputy director Wirya Adiwena commented on the police canceling a plan for a public discussion on issues related to Papua at the East Javan University of National Development (UPN). He viewed that this reasserted the crisis surrounding freedom of speech in Indonesia.

The event, organized by the university’s Public Administration Student Association (HMAP), was initially aimed to discuss problems that arise in Papua and was scheduled to invite speakers from the Papuan University Alliance (AMP).

However, the Rungkut Surabaya police sector feared that the public discussion will only give the spotlight to the Papuan student’s alliance to promote the region’s independence.

"Even posters and discussions in academic surroundings are considered dangerous and must be taken down and stopped. This country seems to have forgotten the mandate of the Reformation era when discord and constructive criticism were being silenced," Adiwena wrote in a statement on June 23.

The Amnesty Indonesia deputy suggested the police participate in the discussion rather than restricting people’s rights to voice their opinion and peacefully assemble, which is protected by the Indonesian Constitution.

"It isn’t a threat to be eradicated but rather they are citizens that are exercising their rights, they are not criminals," he asserted.

He further argued that the country must be truly committed to guaranteeing the human rights of its people, including the right to speak up and be critical. This commitment also needs to be demonstrated at the legislative level, such as in the discussion of the criminal code draft bill or RKUHP, which houses an Article that will be able to criminalize citizens arbitrarily and shows the government’s lack of seriousness in protecting its people’s rights to freedom of speech.



2) 46,286 troops sent to Papua from 2019 to 2021: ELSHAM
Papua Armed Conflicts – News Desk 24 June 2022

Jayapura, Jubi – The Papuan Institute for Human Rights Studies and Advocacy (ELSHAM) in a press release said Papua was like a constant battlefield, plagued by conflict since it became part of Indonesia.

In handling the conflict in Papua, the Indonesian government always deploys excessive military forces. ELSHAM noted that during 2019-2021 there were 46,286 Indonesian Military (TNI) and police personnel sent to assist military operations in Papua.

Since the 1960s, Papua became a Military Operations Area (DOM), and ELSHAM recorded that until 2018, there had been 24 military operations carried out in Papua with various operating codes by the TNI and police.

ELSHAM highlighted President Joko Widodo’s concern about the Ukraine-Russia War, wherein Jokowi said “War is egotistical, ignores humanity , and only craves power”.

“From this statement, it is natural to question Jokowi’s stance on the war that is taking place in Papua? Russia’s treatment of Ukraine in the war is no different from Indonesia’s treatment of its people in Papua,” director of ELSHAM Papua Matheus Adadikam said in a written statement received by Jubi on Thursday, June 23, 2022.

In Chapter 1 Article III of the Geneva Convention
Relative to The Treatment of Prisoners of War of 12 August 1949, in the case of armed conflict not of an international
character, point I states “Persons taking no active part in the hostilities, including
members of armed forces who have laid down their arms and those placed hors de combat by sickness, wounds, detention, or
any other cause, shall in all circumstances be treated humanely, without any adverse distinction founded on race, colour, religion
or faith, sex, birth or wealth, or any other similar criteria”.

“But the reality in Papua, the armed conflict has taken many civilian lives and resulted in a large internally displaced people such as in Nduga, Intan Jaya, Bintang Mountains, Maybrat, Puncak, and Yahukimo,” said Adadikam, adding that war has denied children access to education, and stripped off their right to health and economy.

According to a report by Conflict Armament Research (CAR), Indonesia through its State Intelligence Agency (BIN) purchased around 2,500 mortars from Serbia which were then used in Papua in 2014.

This was a deviation from BIN’s duties and functions. According to Article 29 of State Intelligence Law No. 17/2011, BIN is in charge of: a. conducting assessments and formulation of national policies in the field of intelligence; b. delivering intelligence products as consideration for determining government policies; c. planning and implementing intelligence activities; d. making recommendations relating to foreign persons and/or institutions; and e. providing considerations, suggestions, and recommendations on securing governance.

“According to the law, the State Intelligence Agency has zero authority to buy ammunition or firearms,” Adadikam said.

With the escalated conflict that continues to occur in Papua, the Indonesian government should be open to the realities of civil society life at the grassroots and hear their voice and aspirations.

ELSHAM assessed that up to this point, a very militaristic approach is still being used by the state in responding to problems in Papua. ELSHAM urged the state to prioritize a more humane and dignified approach in order to uphold human rights in Papua, by doing the following:

The President must immediately stop the use of mortars and war defense equipment which is currently being used in military operations in Papua.The government must immediately audit the State Intelligence Agency (BIN) which has allegedly abused its duties and authorities. (*)Writer: News DeskEditor: News Desk

Marking 9 years since Mako Tabuni’s murder, KNPB calls on Papuan youth to continue struggle

June 21, 2022

Marking 9 years since Mako Tabuni’s murder, KNPB calls on Papuan youth

to continue struggle

Suara Papua – June 14, 2022

Agus Pabika, Jayapura -— The West Papua National Committee (KNPB)
commemorated the killing Papua activist Musa Mako Tabuni on June 14,
2012. Tabuni was shot dead by the Densus 88 anti-terror unit at 9.30 am
at the Perumnas III taxi roundabout in Waena, Jayapura city.

Before being killed, Tabuni had been put on a secret wanted persons list
(DPO) on charges which have never been proven to this day. The shooting
occurred when he was eating areca nuts on the side of the road at the
taxi roundabout.

KNPB Diplomacy Secretary Omikzon Balingga said that they recalled
Tabuni’s life during a commemoration on Monday June 14, exactly nine
years since the death of their comrade in struggle.

Balingga said that the figure Tabuni would never be forgotten by the
KNPB and those struggling in the territory of West Papua. Every year,
the KNPB makes a ziarah (a devotional visit to a sacred place) to
Tabuni’s grave in the Sere Village in Sentani.

During the commemoration today, the KNPB also held contemplation and ate
areca nuts at the site where Tabuni was shot dead by Indonesian security

“The person Mako Tabuni was truly aware, had taken note of history, his
struggle for independence was not just rhetoric, rather it was a real
fight. The ordinary Papuan people must be actively involved, abandon the
culture of just talking about it, finding differences between this and
that group, and instead unite in a people’s movement with a culture of
concrete work. It is this concrete work that will create the ideal of
escaping from the grip of the nation’s oppressors", said Balingga.

In Balingga’s eyes, Tabuni was a revolutionary who was never afraid, who
never retreated, ran away or surrendered. Tabuni had an extraordinary
mental commitment to the struggle.

"Commander Mako Tabuni [will always] be in the minds of KNPB activists,
his example and message of promoting peaceful resistance is still alive
in every new generation", he said.

It is because of this that Balingga is inviting the Papuan youth
generation to continue the struggle which was pioneered by Tabuni.

"We cannot be allowed to be defeated, surrender and trust in the
colonialist’s deceit. Stop, stop and again stop trusting Jakarta", said
Balingga quoting from Tabuni.

During this moment of remembering Tabuni’s killing, said Balingga, the
KNPB is appealing to all KNPB activists throughout West Papua and the
people in struggle to continue consolidating in all cross-sections of
the people.

"We [must] stop, stop and again stop trusting Jakarta (colonialism) and
the capitalist nation. As was said by Mako Tabuni".

“Being seduced by the development programs, prosperity, peace and all
forms of the colonialist’s package is a short-cut to the death of the
West Papuan people. Indonesia is a colonialist, and West Papua is
colonised. Oppression is the colonialist’s profession. Fighting is the
procession of the oppressed nation", he said.

Calls for these two things, continued Balingga, can only be silenced by
a political solution, namely self-determination for the oppressed

"There isn’t any other way. Let us tell the people in struggle to
realise their glorious desire for a West Papuan nation. And the ordinary
Papuan people must focus on the struggle to demanding
self-determination", said KNPB Chairperson Warpo Sampari Wetipo.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was
"Mengenang 9 Tahun Gugurnya Musa Mako Tabuni".]


Rights commission discusses Papua peace talks with UN human rights commissioner

June 19, 2022

Rights commission discusses Papua peace talks with UN human rights commissioner
By APR editor – June 20, 2022

Asia Pacific Report newsdesk

Indonesia’s National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM) has discussed the plan to hold a peaceful dialogue to resolve the problems in Papua during its visit to the United Nations headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.

During the meeting, the Komnas HAM was represented by commission chairperson Taufan Damanik and two commissioners, Beka Ulung Hapsara and Mochamad Choirul Anam. They met with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet.

“Komnas HAM conveyed the initiative for a peaceful dialogue on Papua,” said Damanik in a media statement, reports CNN Indonesia.

Damanik said that the peaceful dialogue was initiated by Komnas HAM as an approach to resolve the various human rights problems in Papua. He claimed that the UN has welcomed the plan.

“Michelle Bachelet conveyed her appreciation for the move by Komnas HAM,” he said.

The commission is confident that a peaceful dialogue on Papua can be realised and Damanik hopes that all parties will support the effort.

“[We] hope that more and more parties will lend their support to the initiative that exists so that a Papua which is just, peaceful and prosperous can be quickly achieved,” he said.

Rights violations of concern
Damanik said that they also took the opportunity to explain to the UN about various human rights developments and challenges in Indonesia, including resolving cases of rights violations which are of concern to the public.

“Including within this were changes related to progress in human rights policies and the obstacles which still exist,” he said.

Komnas HAM has visited Papua on several occasions to discuss the planned peace dialogue.

It claims that many different parties have welcomed the peaceful dialogue it has initiated.

The West Papua National Liberation Army-Free Papua Organisation (TPNPB-OPM) however has rejected peace talks with the government if it is only mediated by Komnas HAM.

They have also called on President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo to be prepared to sit down together with them at the negotiating table.

Earlier this year TPNPB-OPM spokesperson Sebby Sambom said that they wanted any peace dialogue or negotiations to be mediated by the UN because the armed conflict in Papua was already on an international scale.

“In principle we will agree if the negotiations are in accordance UN mechanisms, but we are not interested in Indonesia’s methods,” said Sambom in a press release on Friday February 23.

Translated by James Balowski of IndoLeft News. The original title of the article was Komnas HAM Bahas Dialog Damai Papua dengan Komisioner Tinggi HAM PBB.


2) Papua hospitals asked to stay alert for Omicron subvariants: official
18th June 2022

Jayapura, Papua (ANTARA) – The Papuan administration has appealed to hospitals across the province to remain alert following an increase in cases of BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron subvariants in Indonesia.

The provincial government has also urged residents to comply with the health protocols, assistant for people’s economy and welfare to the Papua administration’s regional secretary, Muhammad Musa’ad, said.

"We also appeal to our residents to get vaccinated for the sake of their health," he said, adding that going by the provincial COVID-19 Task Force’s data, Papua’s vaccination rate has remained relatively low.

As of June 15, 2022, the number of Papuan residents who have received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine has been recorded at 33.81 percent, while the number of second dose and booster recipients has been pegged at 25.49 percent and 6.15 percent, respectively, he said.

Despite their rapid spread, the BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron subvariants are not expected to be deadly. Hospitals in Papua, however, need to take precautionary measures to prevent any unexpected eventuality, he added.

Related news: Indonesia braces for infection spike as Omicron subvariants emerge

Meanwhile, taking note of the spread of BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron subvariants, the Health Ministry has intensified whole-genome sequencing (WGS) to check their presence in 1,242 patients confirmed positive for COVID-19 nationally as of June 15.

“Currently, the Ministry of Health is still collecting reports on WGS research results from five provinces that are experiencing an upward trend in cases," Health Ministry spokesperson Mohammad Syahril said at a dialogue entitled “Beware, Omicron is back in Indonesia,” which was broadcast online from Jakarta on Thursday.

He informed that as of June 14, the total number of BA.4 and BA.5 cases identified in Indonesia has reached 20, consisting of two BA.4 cases and 18 BA.5 cases, with all patients declared as recovered.

The WGS has been conducted to provide inputs to the relevant authorities for making policies for handling the increase in cases based on scientific data, Syahril said.

He reminded the public to remain calm amid the increase in cases due to the emergence of the BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants.

"The increase and decline in cases is a part of the pandemic," Syahril said.

Indonesia has recorded an uptick in COVID-19 cases after the Eid al-Fitr holiday. Since June 7, positive cases of COVID-19 have remained above 500 on a daily basis.

Related news: Indonesia intensifies genome sequencing to trace BA.4, BA.5 cases
Related news: All 20 patients infected with BA.4, BA.5 subvariants recovered

Reporter: Qadri P, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Suharto

21 years since Wasior Tragedy, Jokowi urged to form Human Rights Court in Papua

June 17, 2022

21 years since Wasior Tragedy, Jokowi urged to form Human Rights Court
in Papua – June 13, 2022

Chandra Iswinarno — Marking 21 years since the still unresolved Wasior
Tragedy in Wasior district, Papua, in 2001, the Commission for Missing
Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) notes that incidents of
violence in Papua continue to increase.

The Wasior incident was triggered by the killing of five Mobile Brigade
(Brimob) para-military police officers and a civilian at the CV Vatika
Papuana Perkasa company base camp in Wondiboi village, Wasior district,
on June 13, 2001.

The aftermath of this was that police were deployed to hunt down the
perpetrators who had also taken six firearms from the Brimob officers
that were killed.

Referring to records by the Papua Ad Hoc Team, this ended with four
people being killed, 39 others being tortured, one person being raped
and five people forcibly disappeared.

"Twenty-one years have passed, but the fate of the victims has been left
hanging in the air without any kind of legal certainty", said Kontras
Deputy Coordinator Rivanlee Anandar in a press release on Monday June

Anandar said that in 2002 the National Human Rights Commission (Komnas
HAM) finished its investigation into the Wasior incident and handed the
results over the Attorney General’s Office (AGO).

At the time however, the AGO stuck to its often repeated argument that
the Komnas HAM investigation was incomplete or it lacks the formal or
material requirements for a case to be raised to a criminal

Referring to the United Nations Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Session
in Geneva on May 3, 2018, Anandar noted that the Indonesian government
said that the AGO was currently preparing for a trial process at the
Human Rights Court in Makassar, South Sulawesi, to process the Wasior
and Wamena cases.

"Only a few months remain before the UPR hearing at the end of 2022 but
the Wasior-Wamena cases are still stagnating and no progress at all can
be seen in these cases being taken before a Human Rights Court in
accordance with the mandate of Law Number 26/2000 a Human Rights Court
or under the Special Autonomy Law for Papua", he explained.

Kontras believes that the Indonesian government has failed to fulfill
the mandate of the Special Autonomy Law (Otsus) on Papua. It has been
dozens of years since the Otsus Law came into force but only one mandate
has been realised, namely the establishment of a National Human Rights
Commission (Komnas HAM) representative office in Papua.

Anandar said that a Papua Truth and Reconciliation Commission (KKR) has
yet to be formed, and likewise, a Human Rights Court in Papua has also
not been realised.

Anandar said that this problem shows the government’s lack of
seriousness, which ends up as just political promises, yet the
government uses the resolution of gross human rights violations in Papua
as a diplomatic tool to counter international attention on the situation

Out of the cases of gross human rights violations in Papua which have
been investigated by Komnas HAM, namely the Abepura cases (2000), the
Wasior-Wamena cases (2001 and 2003) and the Paniai case (2014), only one
case was tried in 2004 — and that took place at the Human Rights Court
in Makassar.

"This is despite the fact that the mandate of the Human Rights Court in
Papua was ordered in 2001. Likewise with the discourse on the formation
of a Human Rights Court for the 2014 Paniai case which will be tried in
Makassar, not in Papua", he said.

In the midst of deep rooted impunity and repeated human rights
violations, continued Anandar, civil society, survivors and the families
of victims of gross human rights violations in Papua are left to live
with the trauma. Moreover the injustices of these bloody incidents are
never resolved by the state.

"Meanwhile the central government, for the sake of political and
economic interests, and with a spirit of ultra-nationalism, continues to
push through the creation of new autonomous regions in Papua", he said.

Anandar explained that the creation of new provinces in Papua has the
potential to add to the long list of human rights violations in Papua.
This is because when new autonomous regions are created, there is an
increase in regional military and police commands which tend towards a
security approach being used against the Papuan people.

Based on Kontras’ monitoring results over the period January-May, there
were 23 incidents of violence committed by the Polri (Indonesian police)
and the TNI (Indonesian military). This was dominated by shootings,
mistreatment and arbitrary arrest.

The scores of incidents document by Kontras resulted in around 67 people
being injured, killed or arrested.

In relation to the momentum of 21 years since the Wasior Tragedy,
Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence is urging
President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo to:

– Order the Attorney General to form an ad hoc investigation team to
follow up on the investigation dossiers on the Wasior incident along
with other gross human rights violations which have already been
investigated by Komnas HAM in accordance with the mandate of Article 21
Paragraph 3 of Law Number 28/2000 on Human Rights Courts.

– Establish a Human Rights Court in Papua

– End the discourse on the creation of new provinces in Papua, halt all
military operations and reevaluate the security approach in Papua as an
initial step towards building dialogue and resolving the conflict in
Papua peacefully.

– Guarantee human rights for indigenous Papuans, including the right to
life, the right to freedom of express and the right to gather

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was
"Catatan 21 Tahun Tragedi Wasior, KontraS Desak Pemerintah Bentuk
Pengadilan HAM di Papua dan Hentikan Praktik Impunitas".]


Australia and Japan turn a blind eye: Indonesia oppresses West Papua

June 13, 2022


Australia and Japan turn a blind eye: Indonesia oppresses West Papua

Kanako Mita, Sawako Utsumi, and Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times

The oppression of West Papua by Indonesia is ongoing. This includes the changing demographic and religious identity of West Papua that is being subdued by endless anti-West Papua policies. Yet, the response of Australia and Japan – two nations that are increasingly using the “human rights card”against China and the Russian Federation continue to turn a blind eye to Indonesia’s oppression of West Papua.

Australia, Indonesia, and Japan share important geographic, geopolitical, and economic spaces that can’t be overlooked – especially with Australia and Japan being members of Quads that are focused on a free and open Asia-Pacific. After all, what is free and open about West Papua under the rule of Indonesia?

UN News recently reported (March 1, 2022), “Shocking abuses against indigenous Papuans have been taking place in Indonesia, UN-appointed rights experts said on Tuesday, citing child killings, disappearances, torture and enforced mass displacement.”

The Special Rapporteurs said, “Urgent action is needed to end ongoing human rights violations against indigenous Papuans.”

Instead, America and France have sold more military weapons to Indonesia because West Papua isn’t on the agenda of America, Australia, Japan, and other nations that espouse human rights. This only encourages Indonesia to crush any forms of West Papuan resistance.

UN News reports, “Between April and November 2021, we have received allegations indicating several instances of extrajudicial killings, including of young children, enforced disappearance, torture and inhuman treatment and the forced displacement of at least 5,000 indigenous Papuans by security forces.”

The Ecologist says, “West Papua is home to the world’s third-largest rainforest, and is rich in natural resources, including gold, copper natural gas, minerals, timber and palm oil.”

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida only espouses human rights providing it mainly concerns China and the Russian Federation. Hence, Japan – similar to Australia but with even more extreme disinterest – seeks to keep a low profile when it relates to the oppression of West Papua.

Modern Tokyo Times recently reported, “The endless Javanization and altering of the ethnic and religious dynamics of West Papau are never-ending. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida of Japan is obsessed with human rights providing it concerns traces of anti-China and anti-Russian Federation angles. However, when it comes to West Papua, it isn’t only silence but more trade with Indonesia without a care in the world.”

Joe Collins, the spokesperson for the Australia-West Papua Association, is extremely skeptical about the approach of Australia concerning West Papua. He uttered (last year), “We can expect all the usual statements about regional stability, peace, economic prosperity, terrorism, and defense cooperation, but highly unlikely anything about human rights — unless it is criticism of China’s record.”

Australian Foreign Affairs reports (Dominic Simonelli), “…successive Australian governments have turned a blind eye to Indonesia’s brutal oppression and economic exploitation of the indigenous peoples of West Papua, prioritizing cooperation with Indonesia over the welfare of West Papuans. Indonesia’s pervasive abuse of ethnic Papuans has become institutionalized in the decades since its independence. Left unchecked by foreign powers, the West Papuan crisis is the Asia-Pacific’s “silent genocide”.

Australia and Japan – similar to America, France, and the United Kingdom – are not only silent about the crimes committed by Indonesia against the indigenous of West Papua: they tacitly support Indonesia and knowingly turn a blind eye to events in West Papua.

Nations belonging to the G7 and Australia express concerns about human rights when it suits their respective agendas. Hence, G7 nations – and Australia – need to be challenged for their respective complicity in the ongoing oppression in West Papua. This concerns the horrendous demographic and religious changes that seek to crush the Papuans by stealth – and the endless exploitation of the resources of West Papua.


2) After three years, Nduga displaced people still urgently need sanitation and education
Nduga Displaced People – News Desk 13 June 2022

Muliaman, Jubi – Now entering the fourth year since thousands of Nduga residents fled their villages in December 2018. More than 80 families have been living in poverty in evacuation in Sekom, Muliama District, Jayawijaya Regency. The shelter is surrounded by gardens and trees, located outside the city of Wamena, about an hour’s drive to the west.

Together with the Special Committee for Humanity of the Papuan People’s Assembly (MRP) and the medical team, Jubi had the opportunity to visit and witness the condition of the displaced people on Saturday and Sunday, June 4 and 5, 2022.

The people’s health conditions are poor, as can be seen from the absence of basic water, sanitation, and hygiene facilities. A limited amount of clean water can only be obtained after walking a few kilometers. There is no clean water reservoir.

People do not have many options for activities to do in the evening due to the lack of lighting. Flaming furnaces are the only thing that illuminates and warms the displaced people inside the honai (traditional house).

With all these troubles, the presence of the medical team who came with us was enthusiastically received by the displaced people, consisting of mostly women and children. All of them, as well as Jayawijaya residents around Sekom, got free medical check-ups. The displaced people of Nduga have long been waiting for regular health services.

Nduga Displaced People Coordinator at Sekom Rev. Kones Kogoya said that while in the evacuation camp, he and other displaced people faced various obstacles in getting health services such as in hospitals, community health centers, and even drug stores due to administration constrain or the high cost.

At least a dozen of displaced people have died within 3 years. According to Kones, most of them died because they could not access health services.

“In Kimbim District, nine children died because the hospital was far away in Wamena. Even if they finally had the money and went there, the hospital would have not served them because of their Nduga ID. On the other hand, medicines are costly,” said Pdt. Kones Kogoya, Sunday (5/6/2022).

Kones said that previously there had been visits by the medical team to the refugee camps. However, it was only in the early years of the evacuation. Later, there were no more services, even after three years have passed.

The Nduga people, said Kones, made the initiative to do gardening and sell sweet potatoes and vegetables to the market. But they do not earn much from it and only be able to meet their daily needs but medicine.

The people’s gardening area is also limited. They cannot garden outside the designated location because of the potential for horizontal conflicts between displaced people and local residents.

“Therefore, Nduga government and doctors please look at the existing conditions. We can only get treatment [in the City] if we have money. Otherwise, we would just helplessly witness our sick children like we do today. Mr. Luis Madai [from the MRP’s Special
Committee for Humanity] and the medical team have visited several times. This is what we want,” said Kones.

“We also need an integrated healthcare center so there will be medicines. If there is medicine here, the doctor will come and prescribe the medicine. We God’s people are praying but it’s not enough, there must be more medicine and supplement so that the children and the rest of the community are healed and healthy,” he added.

Kones said it was important to preserve the children’s health as they were the next generation of the Nduga community after so many people have died on the run to seek refuge. Many pregnant women also gave birth but their children could not be saved while fleeing in the forest.

“So the children that are still here, we must watch for them,” said Kones.

Early Childhood Education and Kindergarten

Other than lacking sanitary and health facilities, the Nduga displaced people in Sekom also hope for educational facilities in the evacuation complex, especially early childhood education and kindergarten.

Rev. Kones Kogoya said that currently there were dozens of children and teenagers in the refugee camps. They have not been going to school all these years in evacuation. Even the parents could not meet the children’s needs of education due to their own lack of education.

“Some of these children have been back to school, to the nearest school. The younger ones want to go to kindergarten and learn but no one pays attention to them. The children can only go to elementary school after they go to kindergarten first. But in reality, we have no kindergarten, so the big children go to elementary school while still unable to read,” Kones explained.

In order to provide health and education services, Sekom Tribal Chief Zakeus Lengka, who on behalf of his people gave part of the land to be occupied by Nduga displaced people, said he was ready to support the establishment of an integrated healthcare post on Sekom land for Nduga displaced people and Sekom residents.

Zakeus also hopes there will be attention from any party to provide assistance and training for displaced people, especially in terms of managing sanitation and understanding nutritional needs.

“Maybe these people lack assistance. The people usually only eat vegetables with rice. If there is no rice, for example, when it comes to petatas [sweet potato], they just burn the petatas and eat them without vegetables. Therefore, these people need a guide for them to fulfill their nutrition. Later, after the integrated healthcare post is built, hopefully, we will be able to teach children,” Zakeus said. (*)

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America, EU, Japan, and G7 continue to abandon West Papua: Indonesia and exploitation

June 9, 2022

America, EU, Japan, and G7 continue to abandon West Papua: Indonesia and exploitation

America, EU, Japan, and G7 continue to abandon West Papua: Indonesia and exploitation
Kanako Mita, Sawako Utsumi, and Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times

The indigenous of West Papua suffer from international capitalist exploitation, Indonesian exploitation, and the demographic and religious timebomb of Javanization, Islamization, and other non-indigenous ethnic groups exploiting this land. However, despite the severity of the crisis concerning decades of brutality: America, the European Union (EU), Japan, and the G7 nations don’t care about West Papua to any serious degree.

Even worse, the nations that assist Ukraine with tens of billions of military arms – and who enforce economic sanctions on the Russian Federation – are the same nations that exploit West Papua. Hence, for many decades the Javanization and Islamization of West Papua continue unabated. After all, international democracies focus on the exploitation of resources and geopolitics.

Indonesia – along with America, the EU, Japan, and other G7 nations – exploit the natural resources of West Papua. At the same time, other ethnic groups who also fear for their survival face the same policies of internal and external exploitation in Indonesia.

UN News recently reported, “Between April and November 2021, we have received allegations indicating several instances of extrajudicial killings, including of young children, enforced disappearance, torture and inhuman treatment and the forced displacement of at least 5,000 indigenous Papuans by security forces.”

The Guardian says, “Indonesia has controlled West Papua since invading in 1963 and formalizing its annexation through the controversial, UN approved, ‘Act of Free Choice’. Security forces are accused of severe human rights violations during the occupation with an estimated 500,000 Papuans killed.”

The new leader of Australia is following a similar path to Prime Minister Fumio Kishida of Japan. Hence, collective amnesia of Australia and Japan concerning West Papua. Therefore, while Kishida and Prime Minister Anthony Albanese of Australia – rattle on about Ukraine: they both remained remarkedly sheepish about West Papua during their respective visits to Indonesia.

Astonishingly, while West Papua suffers, America and France just announced major military contracts with Indonesia once more. America said, “The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Indonesia of F-15ID Aircraft and related equipment for an estimated cost of $13.9 billion.“

Prabowo Subianto, the Defense Minister of Indonesia, uttered (concerning France), “We are planning to acquire 42 Rafale aircraft… We started this today with the signing of a contract for six aircraft, to be followed soon with another for 36 with necessary support and simulators…”

Special Rapporteurs (United Nations initiative) looking into events in West Papua are extremely alarmed by the ongoing crisis. UN News reports, “We are particularly disturbed by reports that humanitarian aid to displaced Papuans is being obstructed by the authorities.”

They continued, “In several incidents, church workers have been prevented by security forces from visiting villages where IDPs are seeking shelter.”

Indonesia’s trading partners – who talk about human rights in Ukraine – are forgiving when it comes to Indonesia and other parts of the world where the indigenous are exploited. Nobody expects China to focus on human rights because they have internal issues in Tibet and Xinjiang. However, the hypocrisy of other leading trading partners – including America and Japan – is astonishing concerning their actions toward the Russian Federation. After all, both nations fully understand that roughly two million people have been killed since the 1960s related to the massacre of Communists (US and UK supplied intelligence to Indonesia), East Timor (now independent and called Timor-Leste), and the ongoing brutality in West Papua that ties in with enormous demographic and religious changes that further marginalizes the Papuans.

The Organization for World Peace reports, “Indonesia’s incremental colonization of West Papua since the sixties has been exceptionally cruel as well. Kjell Anderson says that Indonesians, much like their former Dutch overlords, perceived Papuans as primitive savages impeding the inevitable progress of “modernity”: namely, the exploitation of West Papua’s ample oil and copper reserves. Whenever Papuans tried to resist Jakarta’s trans-migration schemes, which flooded thousands of Javanese settlers into West Papua and turned the indigenous population into a minority in its own territory, the Indonesian military reacted with extreme and indiscriminate violence.”

The endless exploitation of West Papua’s rich minerals, timber, marine resources, and so on continues unabated by Indonesia and international capitalist companies that care nothing about human rights. Hence, the role of regional nations – notably Australia and New Zealand – is shocking because the same pattern happened in East Timor until the last moment when Indonesia could no longer rule by fear.

West Papua needs international support. If not, the further marginalization of the indigenous will reduce them to a small minority which in time will resemble what happened to countless indigenous people throughout history – from the Aborigines to the Assyrians – from the Ainu, Native Americans, the Coptics, Yazidis, and too many to mention.

Human rights shouldn’t be a geopolitical tool of America, the EU, Japan, and the G7 nations. Instead, human rights and the freedom of the indigenous should come to the fore. It goes without saying, the same applies to cutting capitalist ratlines that violate the natural resources of indigenous groups by doing deals with nations that exploit them – the array of deeds against West Papua is a prime example, sadly!


2) Papuan People’s Petition protesters attacked by mass organization in Makassar
Attack On Protesters – News Desk 9 June 2022

Jayapura, Jubi – The Papuan People’s Petition protesters who rallied in Makassar City, South Sulawesi, to reject the establishment of new autonomous regions in Papua and Papua’s Special Autonomy (Otsus) on Wednesday, June 8, 2022, were attacked by a group of people claiming to be a mass organization. They were attacked near the Papuan Student Dormitory on Lanto Daeng Pasewang Street, Makassar.

Initially, the Papuan People’s Petition planned to protest at the Mandala Monument, with around 40 students and activists attending to convey their aspirations of rejecting the Papua expansion plan and Otsus.

Field Coordinator Boas Bayage said that the masses of the Papuan People’s Petition gathered in the dormitory at around 07:00 a.m. local time. Police were seen guarding the dormitory starting at 08:30 a.m.

At 09:40 a.m., the protesters started to leave the dormitory. However, after walking only a few meters, they were immediately confronted by a group of people who claimed themselves as one of the mass organizations in Makassar.

This group of people immediately beat and threw stones at the Papuan People’s Petition protesters. They also attacked with wooden blocks and kicked protesters.

“The injured victims include Nagen Bayage, his index finger was injured. Walfer, the lower lip was bleeding and swollen. Andi was injured in the eyelid and forehead. Eli was injured in the back. Kemy Telenggen was injured in the thumb,” Bayage said.

The protesters persisted but then returned to the front of the dormitory. Instead of arresting the mass organization that conducted violence, the police asked protesters to enter the dormitory.

The Papuan People’s Petition protesters finally entered the dormitory at around 10:00 a.m. At 12:00 p.m. they read out their statement to reject the plan for the expansion of Papua and the Special Autonomy of Papua. (*)

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3) Murderers of Eden Bebari and Roni Wandik charged with 10 and 9 years in prison
TNI Charged To Imprisonment For Murders – News Desk 9 June 2022

Jayapura, Jubi – The Manado Military Court III – 17 on Wednesday, June 8, 2022, held a hearing to read the charges against two Indonesian Military (TNI)members who shot and killed two residents of Timika, Eden Bebari and Roni Wandik. Military Prosecutor Yunus Ginting demanded the defendants, Second Lt. Inf Gabriel Bowie Wijaya and Chief Pvt. Sugi Harnoto, to be sentenced to 10 and 9 years in prison respectively and dismissed from military service.

Director of Association of Human Rights Advocates (PAHAM Papua) Gustaf R Kawer, lawyer for the families of the two shooting victims, said the families were disappointed with the military prosecutor’s indictments as they were deemed too light.

“The prosecutor’s demands are far from the expectations of the victim’s parents that the perpetrator will be sentenced to 20 years in prison and dismissed from the military unit,” said Kawer.

According to Kawer, Gabriel and Sugi were charged with murder as regulated in Article 338 in conjunction with Article 55 paragraph (1) of the Criminal Code, and using collective force to commit violence that took the lives of others as stipulated in Article 170 paragraph (2) of the Criminal Code. Kawer emphasized that the two acts were crimes against life.

Kawer hopes that the panel of judges at the Manado Military Court III-17 will give a higher sentence than the prosecutor’s demands.

Eden Bebari and Roni Wandik were shot dead by four TNI soldiers including Gabriel and Sugi from the XIII/Merdeka Regional Military Command, who were being seconded in Papua. Eden Bebari and Roni Wandik were shot on April 13, 2020, while fishing in the PT Freeport Indonesia tailings disposal area in Mimika Regency, Papua.

Kawer said two other TNI soldiers involved in the case, Bahari Muhrim and Vicente de Oliveira, had not yet been brought to trial. The legal process for the two is separate from the legal process for Gabriel and Sugi at the Manado Military Court III – 17 as Bahari and de Oliveira are from IX/Udayana Regional Military Command.

Kawer assessed the legal process in the murders of Eden Bebari and Roni Wandik was indeed slow as the defendants had not even been sentenced after more than two years since the case occurred. “The case was only registered at the Manado Military Court III-17 in February 2022,” he said. (*)
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Publishing highlights in 2022: New books on Southeast Asia
New books by SSEAC’s academic members Share From politics to history, education and the environment, these new books by SSEAC’s members showcase a diversity of interests and insight on all things Southeast Asia

4) In the Shadow of the Palms

By Sophie Chao (Duke University Press, 2022)

Dr Sophie Chao’s In the Shadow of the Palms: More-Than-Human Becomings in West Papua examines the multispecies entanglements of oil palm plantations in West Papua, Indonesia. Situating the plant and the transformations it has brought within the context of West Papua’s volatile history of colonization, ethnic domination and capitalist incursion, Dr Chao traces how Indigenous Marind communities understand and navigate the social, political, and environmental demands of the oil palm plant. By approaching cash crops as both drivers of destruction and subjects of human exploitation, Dr Chao rethinks capitalist violence as a multispecies act. Watch a trailer for the book, read an excerpt, or listen to a podcast.

Authorities use excessive force against Papuan protesters again: Amnesty

June 7, 2022

Authorities use excessive force against Papuan protesters again: Amnesty

Nur Janti (The Jakarta Post) PREMIUM Jakarta ● Tue, June 7, 2022

Amnesty International Indonesia has called out the government for excessive use of force in Papua last week against protesters who were rallying against Jakarta’s plan to create new provinces in the country’s easternmost region. People took to the streets on Friday in areas across Papua, such as Yahukimo, Paniai, Nabire and Jayapura, to once again oppose the plan.

At least 25 people were injured when the police dispersed demonstrations in the four towns and arrested 44 protesters, according to Amnesty International Indonesia. “Indigenous Papuans have a right to peacefully protest against government policies without running the risk of being arrested or beaten,” Amnesty International Indonesia executive director Usman Hamid said in a statement on Friday.

“These repeated incidents show that the state has no respect for the voices of indigenous Papuans.” Indigenous Papuans and activists have repeatedly raised concerns over Jakarta’s plan to establish new provinces, fearing it would be used as a pretext to tighten government control over Papua.

Over the past months, representatives from Papua have also been meeting with government agencies, human rights groups and other stakeholders to voice their concerns over new policies and demanded the resolution of human rights cases.

But Jakarta remains unmoved and continues excluding Papuans in the plan to form new provinces, which it says is necessary due to Papua’s vast size and to accelerate development.

Read also: Listen to Papuans, residents say, as govt pushes for security buildup

Friday was not the first time law-enforcement authorities have used excessive force to handle protests in Papua.

In mid-May, the police used water cannons and batons against protesters in Jayapura who opposed the plan for the major redistricting. In March, two people were killed and several others injured when a protest against the same plan turned violent in Yahukimo.

Read also: At least two killed in Papua protest clashes

Police violence against demonstrators in Papua was also recorded last year when people protested against the amendment of the Papuan Special Autonomy Law, which became the basis for the creation of the new provinces. A peaceful rally in Jayapura turned violent on July 14, 2021, during which four students were injured.

A day later in Jakarta, the police arrested at least 50 people and injured one during a protest in front of the House of Representatives complex. Amnesty said that one protester had been beaten, punched, stamped on and racially abused by members of the security forces before being taken to the Jakarta Police headquarters.

The amended law includes a provision that allows the House and the government to create new provinces, cities and regencies without the approval of the Papuan People’s Assembly (MRP) or the existing provincial-level legislative councils (DPRP). In the previous version of the law, the creation of new administrative areas could go ahead only after being approved by the MRP and DPRP.

Read also: House pushes for three new provinces in Papua

“The government claims that it wants to ‘develop’ Papua and create prosperity for Papuans,” Usman said. “But how can Papuans be prosperous if their attempts to express their opinions and aspirations are met with violence?” Jaleswari Pramodhawardani, the Executive Office of the President’s undersecretary for politics, law, security and human rights affairs, said the government would accommodate Papuan voices regarding the establishment of new provinces in Papua, reported.

Her statement came two days before President Joko “Jokowi”’ Widodo sent out a letter to continue deliberations of the plan at the House.


2) Statistics Indonesia hopes Papuan people accept and answer to census officer
Follow-Up 2020 Population Census – News Desk 7 June 2022

Jayapura, Jubi – The Papua Office of Statistics Indonesia (BPS) hoped that people in 29 regencies and cities in Papua would be willing to open up and accept 2020 Population Census officers who come to collect their data, Head of BPS Papua Adriana Robaha said in a press statement in Jayapura City on Thursday, June 2, 2022.

“Hopefully, the data collection process can run without a hitch. We would like to ask the people to accept the officers and answer the questions that are given by them, “said Adriana.

She said that currently, her party was conducting a long-form follow-up census for 2020 Population data collection, as it could not be carried out in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Adriana said data collection for the census had started in May 2022. “For Papua, data collection has started in May, and will end in June,” she said.

She explained that the long-form follow-up census was part of the national data collection, collected from 5 percent of the total population of the census block in Indonesia, namely 4,294,896 families. In Papua, further data collection will be collected from 12 percent of the total population of the Papua census block, which is 121,200 households.

In the follow-up data collection in Jayapura City, the census officer will not bring any paper and will collect data using a device or gadget. However, further data collection in other areas still uses paper forms due to poor internet connection or lack of internet access.

“Later on, each selected respondent will be asked 83 questions related to individuals, migration, mobility, disability, education, as well as communication, housing, and employment,” said Adriana.

The data obtained from the follow-up data collection of the 2020 Population Census will be processed and the results will be published in January 2023. (*)


3) Merauke Archbishop says education services in rural areas not running
Teacher Shortages In Papua – News Desk 7 June 2022

Merauke, Jubi – The Archbishop of Merauke, Petrus Canisius Mandagi, revealed that education services in the interior of Papua’s Merauke Regency were not running, partly because teachers did not carry out their duties properly.

Mandagi heard the people’s complaints himself during his Canonical Visit to Kimaam and Ilwayab Districts two weeks ago.

“On May 16-20, 2022, I made an official visit to Kimaam and Ilwayab. I met and talked with the community, and saw many things,” Mandagi told Jubi on Saturday, June 4, 2022.

He said the social, economic, educational, and health conditions in the interior of Merauke were very ironic given its rich natural resources.

“Education there was ignored. Where are the teachers? They live in Merauke, receive a salary, and do not teach. People say there are one or two teachers but they only manage fishing nets,” said the Archbishop.

Mandagi criticized the Merauke Education Agency for rarely visiting and supervising schools in rural areas. “I will ask the Regent, how is the head of the service here? There is no supervision of the teachers,” he said.

According to Mandagi, education is the key to a better future. He said we could not expect a future in Papua without proper and well-organized education.

“Education is destroyed here because of teacher shortages. Well, there are teachers, but they’re lazy even though they receive a salary. How will the children be educated?” he criticism.

He further asked the Vicar General of the Merauke Archdiocese to list the teachers serving in Catholic foundation schools, and check whether the teachers were carrying out their duties or not. “If there are Catholic teachers who do not do their job, we will fire them. We need teachers who are truly devoted,” he added.

Merauke Regent Romanus Mbaraka admitted that the teaching and learning process in villages had not been optimal yet. The Merauke Regency Administration has made efforts to improve education management and activate the control function of teaching and learning activities in rural areas.

“The community has always complained about this problem of teachers being absent. We will prepare an integrated control, as well as improve education management,” said Mbaraka.

“Almost all elementary schools in the interior are not running as they should. The control function must be reapplied. District heads, village heads, and other leaders can work together to monitor schools in their area,” said Mbaraka. (*)

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Police brutality continues in Papua, protests hindered, Indigenous Papuans ignored by govt: Amnesty

June 6, 2022

Police brutality continues in Papua, protests hindered, Indigenous Papuans ignored by govt: Amnesty
Police Brutality Against Papuans –
News Desk 6 June 2022

Jayapura, Jubi – Amnesty International Indonesia and Amnesty International Australia made a joint press release to respond to the police’s action in dispersing a peaceful protest against the Papua expansion plan as well as Papua’s Special Autonomy (Otsus) in Jayapura City on Friday, June 3, 2022. Amnesty considers the police action reflects the Indonesian government’s attitude that keeps ignoring the aspirations of the Papuan people.

Amnesty recorded that police had repeatedly dispersed similar protests. “Indigenous Papuans have the right to peacefully protest government policies without fear of being arrested or receiving violence. These repeated incidents show that the state does not respect the voice of the Papuan Indigenous People,” said Amnesty International Indonesia Executive Director, Usman Hamid.

According to Amnesty, protests against Otsus and the plan to create new autonomous regions in Papua have been held in various cities in Papua including Yahukimo, Paniai, Nabire, and Jayapura.

“Activists, human rights defenders, and indigenous Papuans have voiced their concern that the new province will become an excuse for the central government to send more troops to Papua as every province in Indonesia are required to have its own regional police and military command,” reads the press release.

Amnesty received reports that at least 11 protesters in Jayapura were injured after the police forcibly dispersed a protest in Waena Village. Two students bleed allegedly due to being beaten with rattan sticks by the police. Amnesty also recorded that 22 protesters were arrested by the police during a protest in Nabire on Friday.

Previously, on May 10, protesters were confronted by the police using batons and water cannons. At that time, seven Papuan activists, including KontraS Papua staff, were arrested despite later released without suspicion.

“However, the police said these activists were being investigated for alleged violations of Electronic Information and Transactions (ITE) Law by spreading online invitations to join the protests,” said Amnesty International Indonesia and Amnesty International Australia in their press release.

Amnesty also highlighted police brutality when dispersing a protest against the expansion of Papua and Otsus in Dekai, the capital of Yahukimo Regency, on March 15. Two protesters, Yakob Meklok and Esron Weipsa, died during the event.

“Today’s protest and police’s treatment against it are just one of many other incidents that show how the voices of Indigenous Papuans are not being heard let alone accommodated,” said Amnesty International Australia Director Sam Klintworth.

Repeated Violence

Amnesty said that repressive police actions had occurred repeatedly and continuously. “On July 14, 2021, at least four students were injured in Jayapura after clashes with security forces. Police reportedly beat protesters with their hands, firearms, and rubber batons. On July 15, 2021, police forcibly dispersed protesters in front of the House of Representatives building in Jakarta. At least 50 people were arrested that day. One protester recounted that he was beaten, stepped on, and received racist insults from security forces, before being pulled into a truck and taken to the Jakarta Police Headquarters. On August 16, 2021, during another protest in Jayapura, police also used water cannons and rubber batons to disperse protesters,” reads the joint press release of Amnesty International Indonesia and Amnesty International Australia.

Usman Hamid criticized the Indonesian government for saying they want to develop and provide welfare for Indigenous Papuans but continued to constrain the freedom of expression of Indigenous Papuans. “How can Papuans prosper if their efforts to express their opinions and aspirations are met with violence?” Usman said.

Meanwhile, Sam Klintworth urged the police to stop dispersing peaceful protests. “We urge the Indonesian authorities to release all those detained for peacefully protesting. Police must also carry out prompt, independent, and impartial investigations into allegations of excessive use of force by its institution, and ensure that similar incidents do not recur,” Klintworth said. (*)

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