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Freeport to Give Up Current Contract to Extend Indonesian Operations Beyond 2021

January 18, 2017

Freeport to Give Up Current Contract to Extend Indonesian Operations Beyond 2021

Freeport Indonesia wants to swap its current contract-of-work with a special mining permit to extend its Indonesian operation beyond 2021. (Reuters Photo/Muhammad Yamin)

By : Rangga Prakoso | on 4:43 PM January 17, 2017
Category : Business, Corporate News, Featured

Jakarta. Freeport Indonesia, the local unit of United States mining giant Freeport McMoRan, has asked the Indonesian government to swap its current contract-of-work with a special mining permit as the miner races against time to secure an extension for exporting gold concentrates from Grasberg in Papua, Indonesia’s largest gold mine.

The Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resource last week issued a regulation that bars contract-of-work contractors from exporting mining concentrates starting from Jan. 12.

Contractors can only export concentrates once they acquire a special mining permit, the special mining business license (IUPK), the ministry said.

IUPK is one of a new series of licensing regimes to replace the work contracts of all miners that have been operating in Indonesia since the country revised its mining law in 2009.

"Freeport has conveyed to the government its intention to convert its current work contract into IUPK," Freeport spokesman Riza Pratama said on Monday (16/01).

The move marks a significant progress after months of negotiation between the government and Freeport ­ which had been looking for ways to ensure it can can extend its Indonesian operation beyond 2021, the deadline for its current contract of work.

The government is adamant that the only way Freeport could do that was by complying with the 2009 law, which apart from dropping the contract-of-work, also requires the miner to divest the majority of its shares to local investors and build a smelter in Indonesia to process raw mining ores.

Freeport had been reluctant on complying with the 2009 mining law, arguing that its contract-of-work, first signed in the 1960s, shield it from any change in domestic laws and taxation regimes.

Yet the prospect of losing a lot of cash from being unable to export concentrates seemed to force Freeport’s hand and leave it with no option but to cave in to the government’s demand.

Up until last week, Freeport was only allowed to export its concentrates as long as it could show progress in the construction of its smelter in Indonesia.

Riza said if Freeport goes ahead with swapping its contract-of-work for the special mining permit, the company can be sure of continuing its Indonesian operations beyond 2021.

Freeport has already pledged $17 billion in investment to expand its mining operation in Grasberg until 2041 and another $2.1 billion to build a smelter in Gresik, East Java.

"We will resume the construction of our smelter as soon as we get our operation rights extended," Riza said.

Self Determination is a Baasic Human Right

January 15, 2017

15th January 2017

The first sentence of the 1945 Constitution of Indonesia states
that ‘the right to independence is the basic right of all nations
which means that colonialism should be abolished throughout the

That sentence means that all those people who are still being
held under the control of any government should be granted the right
to self-determination.

It should therefore be understood by the Government of Indonesia
at the centre and down to the regions , including the Land of Papua,
that this right this is one of the most basic rights that it
guaranteed under international law, as is clear in the Universal
Declaration om Basic Human Rights and the UN Declaration of the Rights
of Traditional Peoples that was adopted in 2007.

More specifically, Article 3 of the UN Declaration on the Rights
of the Traditional Communities states that: ‘Traditional Communities,
states that: ‘Traditional Communities have the right to
self-determination, the right to autonomy or to self-government with
regard to affairs within their area which also includes finding the
means to finance their own autonomy.

All these rights were further reinforced by a UN resolution on The
Right to Self Determination, in accordance with an initiative by the
Pakistani ambassador to the UN, Maleeha Modi at the end of the year

Speaking as a lawyer and Defender of Human Rights in the Land of
Papua, I regard the birth of a UN Law on the Right to
Self-Determination as a great victory within the context of democracy
and peace for the protection of the human rights of all peoples in the
twenty-first century.

The UN Resolution regarding the Right to Self-Determination was
certainly planned [unfortunately the last line at the bottom of the
document is unreadable]

…. but it also provides the legal basis for the protection of
other nations throughout the world which have not yet had the
opportunity to determine there own future such as the Palestinian
people,, the Kannaky, Colony of France New Caledonia as well as the
Papuan people who for the past fifty years have been peacefully
struggling for their right to self determination.

In connection with all this, I called upon the Government of
Indonesia under President Joko Widodo to adopt a more lenient approach
towards the Papuan people who are peacefully struggling for their
right to self determination, and not to use the security approach
towards the Papuan people when the security forces resort to
physical violence armed with weapons all of which has the potential to
systematically violate their basic human rights.

A peaceful approach by means of dialogue between the Government
of Indonesia and the Papuan people including various organisations and
groups such as the ULMWP, KNPB, the OPM,the Papuan Presidium Council,
the WPNA, the WPNCL and the Papuan Women’s Solidarity is essential for
the government under President Joko Widodo.

And finally,the Indonesian Government should de-militarise the
whole of the territory of the Land of Papua by withdrawing all the
personnel and units of the military commands, both organic and

It is my opinion, as the recipient of the John Huimphrey
Award/Canada in 2005 taking the approach of dialogue is very
pressing as the correct way forward at this time, because such
elements are irrelevant to creating a peaceful and conducive situation
for holding a peaceful dialogue.


Yan Christian Waarinussy, Executive-Director of the LP3BH-Manokwari.

Translated by Carmel Budiardjo, recipient of the Right Livelihood Award, 1995.

West Papua independence bid continues decades after 1969 UN backing

January 13, 2017

West Papua independence bid continues decades after 1969 UN backing

Matt Connors, The Courier-Mail January 14, 2017 1:00am

Video Sorong Samurai – Airileke Feat. Twin Tribe

They gathered on Biak, a small island nestled in the crystalline waters of Cenderawasih Bay.

In July 1969, hundreds of stoic Papuans stood and listened, sweating in the jungle heat. Standing witness were Reuters journalist Hugh Lunn and a Dutch newspaper colleague, Otto Kuyk.

Those gathered were there to hear about the Act of Free Choice, a long-promised,
UN-backed vote to allow all the Papuan people a say in their independence.

What they instead heard were the first murmurings of a broken promise that, to this day, plays an enduring role in the bond between Australia and its nearest neighbour, Indonesia.

Just how pivotal played out in curious fashion last week when the TNI, the Indonesian armed forces, announced it had suspended all military ties with Australia.

Indonesia’s program of transmigration has seen the Melanesian population in West Papua fall to 50 per cent, meaning support for separation is no longer in the majority.

A member of Indonesia’s special forces, Kopassus, training at Perth’s SAS barracks months earlier, took offence at course material for suggesting West Papua was part of Melanesia.

The suspension seemingly caught Canberra and our military brass off guard, even though they had spent months secretly trying to cool tensions.

Lunn, one of Queensland’s most-loved authors and a former Courier-Mailjournalist, was not the least bit shocked by Indonesia’s reaction.

Neither were a host of Australia’s top Indonesia watchers and members of the Free West Papua campaign.

A minor spot fire, the suspension was reversed within 24 hours. While it reflects the internal power struggle between the military and President Joko Widodo, at its heart was the touchy subject of West Papuan independence and the “long shadow” of East Timor.

“I’m always upset about it,” Lunn says of West Papua, a position he’s held for 48 years.

Following stints in London, Singapore and Vietnam, where he witnessed the 1968 Tet Offensive, Lunn was Reuters’ correspondent in Indonesia in 1969. He and Dutchman Kuyk were the only Western reporters of the ground for the month-long, independence vote.

An Indonesian security officer beats protester at Manokwari in August 1969 during the period when Indonesia held Act of Free Choice (AOFC) in West New Guinea.

“When I heard they were conducting an Act of Free Choice, I thought it would be done in a democratic way and that everyone would get a vote,” he recalls.

Instead, out of a population of 800,000, Indonesia selected 1025 Melanesians for the vote under the Indonesian consensus system of “musyawarah”. The UN oversaw the sham poll but ignored blatant voter intimidation.

Lunn saw Indonesian soldiers bash Papuans and throw them in the back of army trucks.

“People like me said ‘hold on, that’s not democracy’,” he recalls.

Lunn complained about the violence and intimidation to a UN official, but was told Papua was “like a cancerous growth on the side of the UN that needed to be removed”.

“I had a Papuan crying on my shoulder one night. He said ‘Is the UN going to save us?’ and I said ‘forget about it, you’re going to be part of Indonesia’ and he burst into tears.”

Mark Davis gets rare access to the secretive region of West Papua to find out what’s really happening in the struggle over independence from Indonesia

The tears have rolled ever since – human rights violations, documented atrocities, thousands dead, disappearances and the 2001 murder of revered Papuan leader Theys Eluay have peppered the Papuan independence struggle.

The armed resistance of the Free Papua Movement (OPM), uprisings and rebellions have given way in recent years to peaceful resistance. The often-fractured resistance movement has largely coalesced around the United Liberation Movement for West Papua, which formed in 2014 and includes exiled Papuan leaders such as Benny Wenda. It has started a regional and international diplomatic push with some success.

Professor Jason McLeod, from the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Sydney, says the movement is becoming more organised and strategic.

“The West Papuans are absolutely determined they will get their freedom and a chance to fairly and freely determine whether they want to be part of Indonesia or not,” McLeod says.

But that determination is unlikely to count for zip with a cautious Australian Government, largely thanks to our critical role in East Timor regaining its independence from Indonesia in 1999.

Bilateral relations remained poor until 2006, when the Howard government signed the Lombok Treaty, under which both countries pledge to respect each other’s sovereignty.

And Foreign Minister Julie Bishop says: “Australia remains committed to the territorial integrity of Indonesia, including the Papuan provinces, as expressed by the Lombok Treaty between Australia and Indonesia.”

Hugh Lunn, journalist.

Victoria University Indonesian expert Dr Richard Chauvel says no matter how often Australia expresses respect for Indonesian sovereignty, it will always be met with distrust.

“In Indonesian eyes, the unstated response is ‘that’s exactly what you said about East Timor’,” he says.

Chauvel notes the suspension of military training by TNI commander Gatot Nurmantyo last week “reminds us, yet again, of the long shadow of East Timor”.

“We as Australians tend to forget the sensitivities around East Timor. No country likes to lose provinces.

“The suspicion of any Australian interest in West Papua goes back to that.”

West Papuan dreams of independence may remain just that, according to another keen Indonesian watcher.

Deakin University Professor of International Politics Damien Kingsbury cites a key difference to East Timor: It was forcibly annexed in 1975 and never internationally recognised as part of Indonesia, unlike West Papua.

“Under international law, West Papua is part of Indonesia,” Kingsbury says.

“The circumstances in which that happened are hugely problematic, but it was recognised by the UN.”

Indonesia’s program of transmigration has seen the Melanesian population in West Papua fall to 50 per cent, meaning support for separation is no longer in the majority.

About a quarter of Indonesia’s Budget stems from West Papua’s lucrative natural resources, including gold and copper. The TNI remains committed to retaining West Papua as a province, by force if necessary.

Kingsbury says while Melanesians are definitely second-class citizens in their own land, the obstacles to independence can’t be easily traversed.

“What they need to do is to aim for something that is achievable – a ‘land of peace’. Independence is not a likely outcome. The negotiations need to be around improving the social, economic and political circumstances of Melanesian West Papuans that makes a difference to their lives on the ground. Fifty per cent of something is better than 100 per cent of nothing.

“The Act of Free Choice … should not have been recognised but it was and has now been recognised for four decades.

“It’s going to be extraordinarily difficult to change that.”


482cc152839d405789c0aed367c05fcb_18.jpg Interpol: Red Alert!
How states have used Interpol alerts to persecute exiled dissidents and refugees across international borders.

2) Interpol: Red Alert!

How states have used Interpol alerts to persecute exiled dissidents and refugees across international borders.

12 Jan 2017 08:04 GMT Politics, Security, Human Rights


Interpol is the world’s largest policing organisation connecting 190 member countries in the battle against international crime.

But as representatives of the global law enforcement agency met at their General Assembly towards the end of 2016, they faced questions over a crucial crime fighting tool.

In 2015, Interpol issued more than 11,000 "Red Notices" on behalf of member countries. These alerts inform countries that an individual is wanted for serious offences. It’s then up to authorities in different countries to decide what action to take.

But human rights groups have suggested that some countries have used Interpol wanted notices to target political dissidents and opponents across borders, often with devastating consequences.

People and Power sent Sarah Spiller and Callum Macrae to investigate.


By Sarah Spiller and Callum Macrae

Benny Wenda still remembers the day when he found out he was the subject of an Interpol Red Notice. He had googled his name, and found the wanted alert.

A campaigner for the independence of his native West Papua from Indonesia, Wenda had been granted asylum in the UK. The Interpol Red Notice said he was wanted for offences involving the use of weapons and explosives, charges Wenda had long insisted were brought by Indonesia to silence him.

At his home, Wenda told us of the fight to get his Interpol notice deleted, and the eventual conclusion – that the case against him was "predominantly political in nature". But it still left the question of how this could happen. How could a global policing organisation with the reputation of Interpol be used for apparently political ends?

It was a question we were to hear frequently during the course of our research, meeting several individuals who said they had been unfairly targeted for extradition and arrest.

In Brussels, Bahar Kimyongur, an activist who has campaigned over human rights in Turkey, told us how an Interpol notice led to his detention in the Netherlands, Italy and Spain. Turkey had alleged Kimyongur had links with terrorism, but when European authorities investigated they concluded that the charges didn’t stack up. Nevertheless, it took sustained pressure before Interpol confirmed they’d deleted data about him from their systems. It also took a huge toll on his family, Kimyongur told us.

"Turkey had one single tool to crush me. It was Interpol," he said.

For Nadejda Atayeva being on the Interpol wanted list led to a "terrible feeling of injustice". Nadejda and her father Alim were accused of embezzlement after Alim spoke out against authorities in Uzbekistan – charges they dismiss as complete fiction.

They were granted asylum in France, but, Nadejda said, the alert restricted her ability to travel and to tell her story. Interpol confirmed data about her was no longer on their records in 2015.

Nadejda Atayeva President of the Human Rights Association in Central Asia [Al Jazeera]

Politically-motivated wanted alerts

An online trawl through Interpol’s Red Notices shows summaries of cases. But there is no requirement to make Red Notices public. In addition, we discovered another kind of alert circulated via Interpol data bases. These "diffusions" are described as "less formal" than Red Notices, and also used to request the arrest or location of an individual.

While the overwhelming majority of Interpol wanted alerts are clearly entirely legitimate, human rights groups have suggested those that may slip through the net pose a threat to Interpol’s requirement for political neutrality.

The UK-based NGO Fair Trials International is among those who have called on Interpol to introduce more rigorous checks, to ensure countries abide by Interpol’s rules which forbid any intervention in activities of a political nature.

"Interpol has been allowing itself to be used by oppressive regimes across the world to export the persecution of human rights defenders, journalists and political opponents," said Jago Russell, Fair Trials’ chief executive. "It has to get used to saying no to member countries."

‘Completely Kafkaesque’

During the course of our investigation, we not only heard stories about politically motivated wanted alerts, but frustration when it came to getting information out of Interpol.

US journalist and media consultant Michelle Betz described her struggle to find out about a Diffusion Notice. Along with other NGO staff, Betz was accused of operating illegally in Egypt in 2011.

The charges were condemned as politically motivated – but some workers were given jail sentences in absentia. Betz then heard Egypt had asked Interpol for a Diffusion Notice.

After months of attempting to contact Interpol directly, her lawyer got in touch with an organisation called the Commission for the Control of Interpol’s Files, (CCF) an independent body responsible for processing requests for access to information held by the organisation.

Things then took a strange turn. The commission informed her lawyer that they could contact Egypt about Betz’s Diffusion, but that "in the present case, the consultation of Egypt" was "not advisable". Betz described her experience as "completely Kafkaesque".

Following sustained pressure, the CCF eventually informed Betz that information about her had been deleted from Interpol’s files. But she was not alone in expressing frustration over the body, the CCF.

In Amsterdam, Azer Samadov told us how he was detained in 2009 at Schiphol airport on the basis of an Interpol alert. Samadov had been an anti-government activist in Azerbaijan.

When several members of his movement were arrested he fled the country and ended up in the Netherlands where he was granted refugee status. The Dutch authorities eventually apologised for arresting Samadov. His lawyer then tried to find out what information Interpol held about him, contacting the CCF.

Six years on, the legal firm heard that the Interpol alert had disappeared, but this information came not from Interpol but the Dutch authorities. We asked the lawyer what he made of the CCF. His response: "Completely ineffective. It’s a joke."

The Interpol Global Complex for Innovation building (IGCI) in Singapore [Wallace Woon/EPA]

Greater transparency and scrutiny of wanted alerts

Bali, Indonesia, last autumn, was the setting for Interpol’s 2016 General Assembly, a gathering of police chiefs from around the world. We went, too, in search of answers to the troubling matters we had uncovered.

Day three of the assembly was billed as the moment we might get responses to allegations over the misuse of Interpol’s systems. We were told delegates had approved measures Interpol maintained would "strengthen the integrity of Interpol’s information processing mechanisms".

But Nina Vajic, the chairwoman of the Commission for the Control of Interpol’s Files, subsequently told us that while the changes could mean a more streamlined process in gaining information held by Interpol, the policing organisation would still rely on member countries to provide the data.

It seemed that at the heart of this, then, remained Interpol’s relations with its member states – an issue behind one of the questions we asked Interpol’s secretary-general, Jurgen Stock. Should Interpol name and shame the countries who were serial offenders when it came to abusive requests for wanted notices?

Stock said that if Interpol identified "non-compliance" with its rules, the organisation provided feedback to the member country. While such "non-compliance" with Interpol’s rules was "the exception rather than the rule", Interpol took every case "very seriously". Interpol had introduced a task force to review every request "even more intensively".

As delegates departed from Bali, Interpol insisted measures agreed at their annual assembly would mean greater transparency and scrutiny of wanted alerts. Critics are now waiting to see whether that’s really going to happen.

The programme makers thank Dominic Brown for the use of footage from his documentary ‘The Road to Home’.

Source: Al Jazeera News

Human Rights Watch Country report Indonesia

January 12, 2017

Human Rights Watch World Report 2017

World Report 2017 summarizes key human rights issues in more than 90 countries and territories worldwide. It reflects investigative work that Human Rights Watch staff undertook in 2016, usually in close partnership with human rights activists in the country in focus.

In his introductory essay, Executive Director Kenneth Roth writes that a new generation of authoritarian populists seeks to overturn the concept of human rights protections, treating rights not as an essential check on official power but as an impediment to the majority will.

wr2017_cover_a.jpg?itok=Y08jhqZc World Report 2017 – Human Rights Trends Around the Globe
World Report 2017 summarizes key human rights issues in more than 90 countries and territories worldwide. It reflects investigative work that Human Rights Watch staff undertook in 2016, usually in close partnership with human rights activists in the country in focus. In his introductory essay, Executive Director Kenneth Roth writes that a new generation of authoritarian populists seeks to overturn the concept of human rights protections, treating rights not as an essential check on official power but as an impediment to the majority will.


1) Human Rights Watch Country report Indonesia

Indonesia Events of 2016

President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s rhetorical support for human rights has yet to translate into meaningful policy initiatives to address the country’s serious rights problems. In 2016, Jokowi notably failed to speak out against or otherwise address discriminatory statements and policies issued by senior government and military officials that have fueled violations of the rights of religious minorities and the country’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) population.

Religious minorities in Indonesia continue to face discriminatory regulations and violent attacks by Islamist militant groups. Impunity for the security forces in the provinces of Papua and West Papua also remains a serious problem and dozens of Papuans remain imprisoned for nonviolent expression of their political views.

In April 2016, the government broke a decades-long taboo on open discussion of the state-backed massacres of up to 1 million alleged Communists and others in 1965-1966, hosting a symposium for survivors and victim’s families to challenge the official narrative that the killings were a heroic defense of the nation against a Communist plot to overthrow the government.

However, the government has provided no details of an officially mooted accountability process for the massacres, including when it might begin operations. Jokowi’s decision in July 2016 to appoint former General Wiranto as security minister, who was indicted by a UN-supported tribunal for crimes against humanity, has heightened concerns about his administration’s commitment to human rights and accountability.

Jokowi continues to be outspoken in his support for the death penalty, making execution of convicted drug traffickers a symbol of his resolve as a leader. Indonesia executed four convicted drug traffickers in July 2016, but ordered a last-minute delay in the executions of 10 other death row prisoners pending a “comprehensive review” of their cases. The government has indicated that executions will continue in 2017.

Thousands of children in Indonesia, some just 8 years old, are working in hazardous conditions on tobacco farms.

Freedom of Religion

In January, Indonesian officials and security forces were complicit in the violent forced eviction of more than 7,000 members of the Gerakan Fajar Nusantara religious community, known as Gafatar, from their homes in East and West Kalimantan.

Human Rights Watch research found that security forces failed to protect members of Gafatar, standing by while mobs from the ethnic Malay and Dayak communities looted and destroyed properties owned by group members, many of whom originally came from Java. Government officials transferred Gafatar members to unofficial detention centers and then to their home towns, not as a short-term safety measure, but apparently to end their presence on the island and dissolve the religious group.

In March 2016, the Jokowi administration issued a decree banning Gafatar activities; punishments for violations include a maximum five-year prison term. The government also arrested three Gafatar leaders who face possible prison terms of life imprisonment on charges of blasphemy and treason.

In January 2016, local government authorities banned the activities of the Ahmadiyah religious community in Subang, West Java. Neither Jokowi nor other national officials spoke out or intervened to lift the ban. That same month, local government officials on Bangka Island, located off the east coast of Sumatra, instructed the island’s Ahmadiyah community to convert to Sunni Islam or face forcible expulsion from the area. Neither Jokowi nor other central government officials spoke out in defense of the beleaguered Ahmadiyah communities.

In July 2016, a mob in the city of Tanjung Balai in northern Sumatra attacked and inflicted serious damage on three Buddhist temples associated with the city’s ethnic Chinese community. Police deny that the attack was sectarian and arrested seven suspects in the attack.

Women’s and Girls’ Rights

In June 2016, Indonesia’s Minister of Home Affairs Tjahjo Kumolo backtracked on his commitment to abolish rights-violating local and regional Sharia (Islamic law) regulations. Although his office annulled 3,143 other “problematic regional regulations” for violating the country’s credo of “unity in diversity” and although Indonesian law stipulates that regulation of religion is for national, not regional or local authorities, the ministry left in place all existing Sharia provisions, many of them discriminatory.

Indonesia’s official Commission on Violence against Women reported that, as of August 2016, the number of discriminatory national and local regulations targeting women had risen to 422, from 389 at the end of 2015. They include local laws compelling women and girls to don the hijab, or headscarf, in schools, government offices, and public spaces. While many of these laws require traditional Sunni Muslim garb both for women and men, research by Human Rights Watch indicates they disproportionately target women.

A local bylaw implemented in August in Sumedang, West Java, forbids anyone with an “eye-catching appearance” from going out alone at night. The municipal government justified the regulation on the basis that it would help discourage sexual activity.


The Jokowi administration has repeatedly said it intends to take a new approach to Indonesia’s easternmost provinces, Papua and West Papua (“Papua”), home to a low-level insurgency and a peaceful pro-independence movement, including by addressing human rights concerns. The reality has not matched the rhetoric.

In April 2016, the government announced that it would seek accountability for 11 high-priority past human rights cases in Papua. They include the Biak massacre in July 1998, when security forces opened fire on participants at a peaceful flag-raising ceremony on the island, the military crackdown on Papuans in Wasior in 2001 and Wamena in 2003 that left dozens killed and thousands displaced, and the forced break-up of the Papuan People’s Congress in October 2011 that left three people dead and hundreds injured. However, the government has not provided any details as to when, where, and how the cases would be addressed.

Indonesian authorities continue to restrict access by foreign journalists and rights monitors to the region. In January 2016, the Indonesian Embassy in Bangkok informed Bangkok-based France 24 correspondent Cyril Payen that it had denied his application for a journalist’s visa for a reporting trip to Papua.

Indonesian government officials justified the visa rejection on the basis that Payen’s previous reporting, which focused on pro-independence sentiment in the region, was “biased and unbalanced.” Rather than engaging with Payen and France 24 to publicly challenge any inaccuracies in the previous reporting, authorities threatened to deny visas to Payen and any other France 24 journalists seeking to report from the country. Payen’s case highlights the gap between Jokowi’s announced “opening” of Papua to foreign media and the reality facing journalists still blocked from reporting there.

On May 2, Indonesian police detained more than 1,500 supporters of Papuan independence for “lacking a permit to hold a rally.” Police released the detainees after several hours without charge, but their detention underlines the official lack of tolerance for peaceful expression of political aspirations in Papua. At the end of August 2016, 37 Papuan activists remained imprisoned after being convicted of rebellion or treason (“makar”), many for nonviolent “crimes” such as public display of the pro-independence Morning Star flag.

Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

Starting in January 2016, high-ranking Indonesian officials made a series of vitriolic anti-LGBT statements and policy pronouncements, fueling increased threats and at times violent attacks on LGBT activistsand individuals, primarily by Islamist militants. In some cases, the threats and violence occurred in the presence, and with the tacit support, of government officials or security forces.

State institutions, including the National Broadcasting Commission and the National Child Protection Commission, issued censorship directives banning information and broadcasts that portrayed the lives of LGBT people as “normal” as well as so-called propaganda about LGBT lives. Ministries proposed discriminatory and regressive anti-LGBT laws.

In July and August, the Constitutional Court heard a petition that proposed amending the criminal code to criminalize sex outside of marriage and same-sex sexual relations. During the initial hearings, the petitioners—led by a group called the Family Love Alliance—put forward ill-informed and bigoted testimony similar to the anti-LGBT rhetoric espoused by Indonesian officials and politicians earlier in the year. The government, the respondent in the case, said criminalizing sex out of wedlock would make “the sinner a criminal, and the government authoritarian,” a view echoed in testimony by the National Commission on Violence Against Women and other groups opposed to the petition. At time of writing the court had not yet ruled on the petition.

Military Reform and Impunity

Indonesia’s Attorney General Muhammad Prasetyo announced in May 2015 that the government would form a “Reconciliation Commission” to seek a “permanent solution for all unresolved human rights abuses” of the past half century. Prasetyo said the cases would include the state-sanctioned massacres of 1965-1966, in which the military and military-backed vigilantes killed up to 1 million people.

The government provided no further details of when the “Reconciliation Commission” might begin operations or how the process of accountability would proceed. Paramilitary and nationalist groups that oppose accountability have criticized calls for redress for past rights abuses as an attempt “to revive communism.”

Jokowi’s July 2016 decision to appoint Wiranto, indicted as a crimes against humanity suspect by a UN-backed tribunal, as security minister heightened concerns about the Jokowi administration’s commitment to human rights and accountability.

Children’s Rights

Thousands of children in Indonesia, some just 8 years old, are working in hazardous conditions on tobacco farms. Child tobacco workers are exposed to nicotine, handle toxic chemicals, use sharp tools, lift heavy loads, and work in extreme heat. The work can have lasting consequences for their health and development. Indonesian and multinational tobacco companies buy tobacco grown in Indonesia, but none do enough to ensure that children are not doing hazardous work on farms in their supply chains. Human Rights Watch has called on the Indonesian government and tobacco companies to prohibit children from work that involves direct contact with tobacco, inspect farms to ensure children are not in danger, and carry out an extensive public education and training program to raise awareness of the health risks to children of work in tobacco farming.

Disability Rights

Despite a 1977 government ban on the practice, more than 18,000 people with psychosocial disabilities (mental health conditions) in Indonesia are currently subjected to pasung—being shackled or locked up in small confined spaces—sometimes for months or years at a time.

Due to prevalent stigma and the absence of adequate community-based support services or mental health care, people with psychosocial disabilities often end up locked-up in overcrowded and unsanitary institutions without their consent, where they face abuse ranging from physical and sexual violence to involuntary treatment including shackling, electroshock therapy, isolation, and forced contraception.

The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill was passed by the Indonesian parliament in March 2016. While the bill represents a major advancement, it does not fully comply with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which Indonesia ratified in 2011.

During a meeting with Human Rights Watch in April 2016, Indonesia’s minister of health, Nila Moeloek, orally committed to providing mental health medication in all 9,500 community health centers (puskesmas) across the country. Government implementation of this commitment could help turn the tide against shackling.

Refugees and Asylum Seekers

In June, the government acceded to international pressure and allowed a boatload of 44 Sri Lankans stranded on a beach in northern Aceh province to come ashore and receive assistance from UN and International Organization for Migration personnel. The decision followed a 10-day standoff in which Indonesian authorities refused to allow the group to disembark and instead insisted that the boat leave Indonesian waters after being resupplied and refueled.

According to UN refugee agency data, as of February 2016 there were 13,829 refugees and asylum seekers in Indonesia, all living in legal limbo because Indonesia is not a party to the Refugee Convention and lacks an asylum law. This number included 4,723 people detained in immigration centers, including unaccompanied children.

Key International Actors

Jokowi’s support for the use of the death penalty against convicted drug traffickers has strained ties over the past year with close bilateral allies, including Australia. The likelihood of more executions in 2017 will continue to make that issue a sore point in Indonesia’s foreign relations.

A July 2016 decision by a UN-backed tribunal in The Hague against China’s claims in the South China Sea will bolster and ensure the continuance of joint military exercises and intelligence sharing with the United States in 2017. Indonesia’s own claims of an exclusive economic zone in that area may fuel more disputes between Indonesian navy patrols and Chinese fishing boats in the coming year. However, the Indonesian government’s passive and active complicity in hateful anti-LGBT rhetoric and moves toward discriminatory legislation over the past year will likely continue to be an irritant in US ties.

In August, the US government called on Indonesia to “respect and uphold international rights and standards” after Jokowi’s spokesman Johan Budi declared that there was “no room” for the LGBT community in Indonesia.


Korean company Korindo has promised to conduct an assessment of 75,000 hectares of land concessions they have in Indonesian Papua.
12 January 2017 /

  • Korindo came under scrutiny last year when U.S.-based environmental group Mighty Earth published a damning report on their practice of burning to clear land.
  • The report “Burning Paradise” was published on September 1, 2016 and alleged that Korindo had caused 30,000 hectares of deforestation and an estimated 894 fire hotspots since 2013.
  • The illegal, yet commonly-used practice of companies burning land to clear it, leads to an annual haze from forest and peatland fires.

Korean company Korindo has said they will stop clearing forest for palm oil concessions until sustainability assessments can be made. The company has promised to conduct an assessment of the 75,000 hectares of remaining forests on their palm oil concessions in Indonesian Papua.

U.S.-based environmental group Mighty Earth said in a statement on January 10 that they and their partners will be meeting with Korindo at the end of the month in the hopes that the company will agree to use the High Carbon Stock Approach methodology (HCSA) in its assessments.

HCSA is regarded as the industry standard methodology for distinguishing forest areas from degraded land. In order to follow the HCSA standard, Korindo must use credible assessors, make assessments available to the public, and seek independent verification of compliance.

Korindo’s moratorium and assessment comes just a few months after Mighty Earth and its partners released the report “Burning Paradise” on September 1, 2016. It alleged that Korindo had caused 30,000 hectares of deforestation and an estimated 894 fire hotspots since 2013, and led to swift investigations by the Indonesian government.

According to the report, Korindo has been scrutinized for their practices for some time. Data published by Earthsight in November 2015 showed fires burning in areas that were going through conversion for oil palm in two locations owned by Korindo. Also in 2015, the company received a three-month permit suspension for fires at an industrial timber concession in Indonesian Borneo. Palm oil traders Wilmar and Musim Mas stopped sourcing from Korindo due to violations of their No Deforestation, No Peat and No Exploitation (NDPE) policies.

It is illegal for companies in Indonesia to burn land to clear it, but it is still a common practice. The method fuels annual forest and peatland fires that fill the air in the region with a thick, choking haze. This haze affects other parts of Southeast Asia and has led to national health emergencies and a spike in greenhouse gas emissions. Fires were particularly bad in 2015, spurring a haze crisis that research indicates may have contributed to the premature deaths of around 100,000 people.

The government has also brought criminal and civil charges against several companies for causing fires.


COMMODITIES | Thu Jan 12, 2017 | 6:04am EST

3) Indonesia says Freeport, other miners halt exports

By Wilda Asmarini | JAKARTA

Freeport-McMoRan and other miners have halted Indonesian shipments of copper concentrates to abide by a government ban on semi-processed metal ore exports that took effect on Thursday, a mining ministry official told Reuters.

The stoppage could prove to be brief though as President Joko Widodo’s administration hammers out new regulations that could ease the ban and allow the resumption of some exports.

Mining Minister Ignasius Jonan is expected to hold a news conference on the new rules later on Thursday.

The temporary halt in Indonesian copper exports was not expected to have an immediate impact on global copper prices due to China’s ample metal stockpiles ahead of the Chinese New Year at the end of the month. It would take export delays of several weeks to bolster prices, traders said.

Indonesia announced in 2014 a ban on ore shipments to push miners to build smelters to process ore locally, although it allowed some concentrate exports to continue amid protests from the industry.

The full ban, which also covers lead, zinc, iron and manganese concentrates, took effect on Thursday, meaning only shipments of fully processed metals were now allowed.

Asked if shipments of copper concentrates from Freeport and Medco Energi unit Amman Mineral Nusatenggara have stopped, Coal and Minerals Director General Bambang Gatot said, "Yes, in accordance with the regulation."

Freeport and Medco officials were not immediately available for comment on Thursday.

A Freeport spokesman said on Wednesday that the firm was "working cooperatively with government officials to ensure that our operations can continue without interruption." The company has said its targeted production from its Grasberg mine was 180,000-200,000 tonnes of copper ore per day.

Government officials earlier this week said they would introduce new rules that would allow concentrate shipments to continue beyond Thursday’s deadline in certain cases, but those revisions have yet to be finalised.

Jakarta was also considering allowing the resumption of nickel ore and bauxite shipments, which have been prohibited since January 2014.

Any relaxation of Indonesia’s ban on nickel ore exports could affect nickel smelter investors as well as nickel prices, which have been supported by supply restrictions, including from the Philippines, which took Indonesia’s place as the world’s top nickel ore exporter in 2014.

Mining ministry’s Gatot declined on Thursday to comment on when the new regulations would be released.

(Additional reporting by Melanie Burton in Sydney; Writing by Fergus Jensen; Editing by Tom Hogue and Randy Fabi)


More unit of Police Mobile Brigade corps sent to Papua

January 12, 2017

More unit of Police Mobile Brigade corps sent to Papua

Kamis, 12 Januari 2017 11:05 WIB | 318 Views

Pontianak, W Kalimantan (ANTARA News) – Police have sent more unit of its mobile brigade to Papua to maintain security in the countrys easternmost province of Papua.

"On Wednesday night I just saw off 101 members of the Mobile Brigade Corps to Papua where they would be on duty under the Papua regional police," Head of the West Kalimantan Police Insp.Gen. Musyafak said here.

The new unit under Adj. Sr.Com. Raymond M Masengi will be on duty in Papua for four months to replace a unit sent there previously.

The ceremony took place at the parking area of the Supadio airport of Pontianak from there they flew directly to Papua on board a Lion Air aircraft.

Musyafak told the members of the police special force to cooperate with local police members and the military in carrying out their duty in Papua.

Earlier this month, another unit of 120 members of the police mobile brigade corps already arrived in Papua from West Java.

The members of the special police force from the West Java police were to be stationed at the posts of Sinak, Ilu and Ilaga in mountainous district of Puncak Jaya.

Upon arrival here from Java, Papua police chief Insp.Gen. Paulus told them to seek communications with local people as well as other police members and other members of security force.

He warned them not to leave their post alone when they were on patrol, saying the areas around their posts are known to be often infiltrated by separatists.

After being briefed by the police general, the members of the unit were flown to Wamena and from there they were split into smaller units to be stationed at different posts .

Papua has remained a hot spot in the country with separatist rebels hiding in the mountain jungles launching sporadic attacks on the government police or military posts.(*)

Increased Human Rights Violations in Papua in 2016

January 11, 2017

A google translate. Be-aware google translate can be a bit erratic.
Original bahasa link at
Increased Human Rights Violations in Papua in 2016

Demo performed by SORAK Bandung to support the right of the right of self-determination for the people of Papua in Singapore a few months ago. (Doc Suara Papua)
Arnold Belau

Januari 11, 2017

JAYAPURA,– Institute of advocacy of human rights in Papua, Research, Study and Development of Legal Aid (LP3BH) Manokwari noted, human rights violations continue to increase significantly in Papua in the context pengekakangan and deprivation of the right to freedom of opinion (right to freedom of speech), the right to freedom of expression (right to freedom of expresion) as well as the right to freedom of association and assembly (right to freedom of assembly).
LP3BH explained the facts pointed to was the use of a security approach that emphasizes the element of violence in dealing with any peaceful protest of the people of Papua are always expressed opinions and political views of different political histories of the integration of Papua, as well as demands for the opportunity to obtain the right to self-determination (right to self determination).
LP3BH noted that in the early period of his administration, President Joko Widodo indeed initiate positive steps with intent and also promise to solve the problem of human rights violations were severe (gross violation of human rights) in the Land of Papua. The aim is obviously to restore the confidence of the people of Papua to the Indonesian government. This is actually in line with the letter f preamble of the Special Autonomy Law No. 21 ear 2001 for Papua Province, as amended by Act No. 35/2008.
Indeed there is a policy to allow access by foreign journalists to enter the Land of Papua, but unfortunately because of the policy shaped the statement did not even followed up with specific regulations.
"So until now the effects are no foreign journalists could freely and impartially sign and publish the real situation in Papua on the international scene in a transparent and accountable. Likewise, the granting amnesty to political prisoners (prisoners) as well as political prisoners (detainees) had no impact on no reoccurrence of this Cenderawasih earth, "he explained in a press release received not long ago.
"Our records until the end of 2016, had almost 8,000 Papuans were constantly arrested, abused and detained and prosecuted, for expressing different political views peacefully. They were fi sejimlah big city in Papua like in Jayapura, Wamena, Merauke, Timika, Nabire, Serui, Biak, Manokwari, Sorong and Fakfak as well as some major cities outside Papua, such as Jakarta, Yogyakarta, Denpasar, Makassar and Manado, "said LP3BH.
It is said, these facts point to the critical situation of human rights in the context of respect for and protection of the right to freedom of opinion, freedom of expression and the right to freedom of association and assembly are very deprived by the Government of Indonesia in Papua throughout the last 10 years.
"It was done by using a mute violence and democracy through the implementation of Makar Articles 106 and 110 of the Criminal Code and Article 160 of the Criminal Code concerning incitement and disturbing public order," he said.
Explained, LP3BH also noted that never appear to have a fair legal action, firmly and impartially by the TNI and police officers who are found involved in acts of violence dimension of human rights violations against civilians in Papua until the end of this year.
"So the more foster continued impunity hard difuga state apparatus violent dimension of human rights violations without ever prosecuted in Papua," tulisanya.
Meanwhile, the slightest unseen their Indonesian government’s seriousness in giving political support full and unequivocal efforts disclosure and settlement of cases of human rights violations weight in Papua such as Wasior (2001), Wamena (2003), Paniai (2014).
Political support from the Government, especially the President Jokowi very relevant and urgent for the sake of legal settlement of the three cases the appropriate mechanisms stipulated in the constitution of the Republic of Indonesia Number 26 Year 2000 on Human Rights Court.
Affirmed, that the president should issue strict legal decision to stop the pattern of the security approach has proven to be a classic, outdated, not pro-democracy and human rights potentially violated throughout more than 50 years in the Land of Papua.
"Likewise labeling separatist movement for the peaceful people of Papua are always driven Papuan youth today should be replaced with a pattern peaceful approach is more soft and promote dialogue as a medium that rewards on the values of equality by always respecting each disagreements democratically and uphold the values and principles of human rights itself, "he said.
For it is written, LP3BH urged the Indonesian government under President Jokowi unyuk immediate demilitarization in Papua and eliminate models approach to security (security approach) in addressing the local political situation with a peaceful approach and dialogue.

Mentioned, settlement of cases of human rights violations such as the weight of Wasior, Wamena, Paniai and also Sanggeng-Manokwari should be the main agenda for the government of Indonesia in the year 2017 work according to the rules and regulations that apply. "LP3BH and civil society / indigenous Papua is preparing legal steps to bring these four cases to international lines, where the Indonesian government can not show the commitment and political support are really in resolving these cases," he said.

Announcers: Arnold Belau


2) TNI-ADF military cooperation yet to resume: Army spokesperson

Rabu, 11 Januari 2017 20:25 WIB | 429 Views

Jakarta (ANTARA News) – The cooperation between the Indonesia military (TNI) and the Australian Defence Force (ADF) has yet to resume, army spokesperson Brigadier General Sabrar Fadhilah stated, Wednesday.

"We are still awaiting the final decision of our leader," Fadhilah said.

In his statement, he pointed out that the Indonesian language teaching program for the Australian army had been suspended due to an insult to Indonesias state ideology of Pancasila.

The insult – allegedly committed by some members of the Australian army – was witnessed by the Indonesian Special Forces group Kopassus, which had been trained together with the Australian Special Air Service at the units Campbell Barracks in Perth, last November.

Nevertheless, Fadhilah underlined that the Indonesian army had been dispatched to Australia on behalf of the state, as part of a government-to-government partnership.

"Hence, the final decision (whether to continue military cooperation) will be taken by the armys commander and top officials," Fadhilah affirmed.

Australian Defence Minister Marise Payne has apologised to the Indonesian government and conveyed her regret over the behavior of the ADF members.

This incident prompted TNI commander General Gatot Nurmantyo to suspend military cooperation with the ADF around mid-December 2016.

Following the suspension, the joint military exercise and the exchange of military officers between the two countries have been put on hold. (*)


3) Indonesia seeks more influence overseas: Minister

Tama Salim The Jakarta Post
Jakarta | Wed, January 11, 2017 | 07:01 am

Indonesia will forge ahead in the new year with a comprehensive foreign diplomacy agenda as it looks to elevate its presence on the international stage.

Eschewing the ceremonial format of past annual statements, Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi announced 14 foreign policy priorities for Indonesia to pursue in 2017, focusing mainly on consolidating the country’s geostrategic importance.

Engagement in its immediate regional vicinity will remain a big priority as Jakarta looks to strengthen its contributions to ASEAN ahead of the bloc’s 50th anniversary celebrations this year.

To this end, Indonesia will continue building up ASEAN centrality and unity, implement the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 and back the constructive role of forums like the East Asian Summit as an ASEAN-led mechanism for maintaining regional peace and stability, Retno said.

“Indonesia will ensure peace and stability in the region — and, once more, negotiations on the COC [Code of Conduct in the South China Sea] will be very important,” Retno said in Jakarta on Tuesday.

In addressing the simmering debate over the South China Sea, where China and a number of ASEAN member states have competing claims, Retno said Indonesia looked to set a good example for its neighbors by expediting the settlement of a number of unresolved border disputes with Timor Leste and Malaysia this year. “Good fences make good neighbors,” she said.

Indonesia will also focus on its engagements as chair of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) — “a regional architecture that is badly needed”, the minister said — ahead of the IORA’s first summit ever, a landmark meeting in Jakarta that will commemorate the organization’s 20th anniversary in March.

Additionally, Indonesia will continue its Look East policy, paying particular attention to engagements in the South Pacific, whether through the Melanesian Spearhead Group, the Pacific Island Forum, or the Pacific Island Development Forum.

In its endeavors to contribute to world peace, Indonesia will continue to seek support for its bid to be a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council for the 2019 and 2020 period and work toward the deployment of 4,000 Indonesian peacekeepers by 2019.

Retno also touched on Indonesia’s continuing support for the Palestinian agenda, which includes supporting the implementation of UN Resolution 2334 on illegal Israeli settlements and rallying support for or exerting international pressure toward achieving a two-state solution.

In the economic sector, a point of interest for President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, the government will “intensify development, trade and investments in potential countries”, particularly in non-traditional markets like Africa and Latin America, with the minister hinting that Indonesian trade delegations would be sent on a “tour” of the two regions this year.

International relations expert Beginda Pakpahan, who was present at Tuesday’s event, heaped praise on the minister’s ability to discern the growing uncertainty in geopolitics, and adapt the country’s foreign policy priorities to address the most pressing issues.

The University of Indonesia scholar said however that the ministry would have to prove itself in the coming weeks, especially in responding to the incoming US government.

“With the situation developing so fast, I hope that the ministry is able to keep up. They have to be flexible, adapt quickly and respond accordingly,” Beginda told The Jakarta Post on Tuesday.


4) TNI chief denies spat with Jokowi
Marguerite Afra Sapiie The Jakarta Post
Jakarta | Wed, January 11, 2017 | 06:39 pm

Indonesian Military (TNI) chief Gen. Gatot Nurmantyo has denied reports claiming that President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo reprimanded the top military official for unilaterally suspending military cooperation with Australia.

Speaking after a Christmas celebration event at the headquarters of the TNI complex on Wednesday, Gatot said the rumor of a spat between him and Jokowi over relations between the TNI and its counterpart the Australian Defense Force (ADF) was a hoax.

"As I’ve said before, everything I’ve done [is acknowledged] by the President as he is my commander. Such warnings are not true," Gatot told reporters.

(Read also: TNI temporarily halts cooperation with ADF over insult)

Citing two government sources, Reuters recently reported that Jokowi “reproached” Gatot during a plenary Cabinet meeting at Bogor Palace last week, amid concerns the military chief was “out of control after he unilaterally suspended defense cooperation” with Australia.

Last month, the TNI moved to halt a language exchange program with the ADF following the discovery of teaching material deemed offensive by an Indonesian officer at an Australian military academy in November.

The material allegedly mocked Indonesia’s state ideology, Pancasila. Some teaching materials used in the academy allegedly discredited the TNI and tweaked Pancasila, which means five principles, to become “Pancagila”, or “five crazy principles”. (jun)

Indonesian Navy signs procurement contract worth Rp 2.22t
Nani Afrida The Jakarta Post
Jakarta | Wed, January 11, 2017 | 05:57 pm

The Indonesian Navy has signed procurement deals on goods and services worth Rp 2.22 trillion (US$170 million) with contractors, expecting to create efficiency, transparency and acceleration in the 2017 work plan.

The deals include contracts for weapons procurement (Rp 1.6 trillion), facilities and infrastructure (Rp 409 billion), personnel equipment (Rp 118 billion), education facilities (Rp 48 billion) and research and development (Rp 12 billion).

The contract signing ceremony took place simultaneously in eight areas, including the Navy headquarters in Cilangkap, in the Western Fleet Command (Koormabar), the Eastern Fleet Command (Koarmatim), and several naval bases in Padang, West Sumatra, Tanjung Pinang, Riau Islands, Merauke in Papua, Pontianak, West Kalimantan, and Tarakan of North Kalimantan.

“We expect the contract signings to speed up the Navy’s budget absorption in 2017,”Navy chief of staff Admiral Ade Supandi said in Jakarta on Wednesday (11/1).

(Read also: One-star Navy admiral named bribery suspect)

According to Ade, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has pledged the acceleration of work plans in ministries and institutions to improve performance and boost results. (jun)


Detainment of four Papuan students for alleged treason extended

January 11, 2017

Detainment of four Papuan students for alleged treason extended

Lita Aruperes The Jakarta Post
Manado | Wed, January 11, 2017 | 11:10 am

Dozens of students, who staged a rally at a dormitory for Papuan students on Jl. Kampus in Manado, North Sulawesi, were brought to North Sulawesi Police headquarters to be questioned on May 31. (JP/Lita Aruperes)

The detention of four students from Papua who have been accused of treason by Manado Police, has been extended to Feb. 17 or 40 days since their arrest.

Manado Police crime unit head Comr. Edwin Humokor said Tuesday the case dossiers had been submitted to the prosecutor’s office. “Their detention has been extended to simplify the investigation process,” Edwin said.

He said the suspects violated article 106 of the Criminal Code on treason, which carried a maximum sentence of life imprisonment and 20 years as a minimum.

The four are: William Wim, Emanuel Ukago, Panus Hesegem and Indonesian Consulate of the West Papua National Committee (KNPB) head Hizkia Meage.

Lawyer Hendra Baramuli said he would file a pretrial motion to free the four.

He said the four had only expressed their opinions and should not have been charged with treason.

The four were arrested along with 81 other students in two locations in December last year. The others were released.

The KNPB has been campaigning for self-determination in Papua and West Papua provinces, where collectively the two internationally have been referred to as West Papua to distinguish the region from Papua New Guinea. (evi)


2) Defense Ministry upholds training for Islam Defenders Front
Margareth S. Aritonang The Jakarta Post
Jakarta | Wed, January 11, 2017 | 07:09 am

God’s soldiers — Islam Defenders Front (FPI) members express their anger at a recent protest. (Tempo/-)

Contrary to the Indonesian Military (TNI), the Defense Ministry has defended Bela Negara (State Defense) training for members of the Islam Defenders Front (FPI).

Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu said on Tuesday that the military style training was for all citizens regardless of their backgrounds, including FPI members, but should be done properly.

"As long as we teach [the participants] good things, why not? All people of the country must defend the state. And so must the FPI," Ryamizard said.

(Read also: State defense training for FPI not allowed: TNI)

TNI spokesperson Maj. Gen. Wuryanto previously said the military institution had banned FPI members from undertaking the training after photos of a session in Lebak, Banten, were uploaded to the FPI’s Instagram account @dpp_fpi.

The TNI later removed Lebak military commander Lt. Col. Czi Ubaidillah from his post for holding the training. Wuryanto gave his assurances that regional commanders throughout the country were prohibited from providing training to the FPI although the military has yet to issue an official letter to confirm such instructions. The FPI has posted more photos of similar trainings held by the military for its members in Madura, East Java.

Ryamizard said his office would conduct its own investigation into the incident in Lebak over a violation of proper procedures that led the public to question the Bela Negara program. (dmr)