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West Papua: Protests reject Indonesia’s ‘divide and rule’ strategy

May 25, 2022

https://www.greenleft.org.au/content/west-papua-protests-reject-indonesias-divide-and-rule-strategy

West Papua: Protests reject Indonesia’s ‘divide and rule’ strategy

Susan Price May 25, 2022

Green Left Issue 1346 West Papua

West Papua solidarity protesters hold a banner in Malang, Java, which reads: ‘Indonesia coloniser’. Photo: @VeronicaKoman/Twitter

The United Nations International Week of Solidarity with the Peoples of Non-Self-Governing Territories runs from May 25–31.

According to the UN there are 17 non-self-governing territories globally. In the Pacific region there are six: French Polynesia and New Caledonia/Kanaky. (France); American Samoa and Guam (United States); Pitcairn (Britain); and Tokelau (New Zealand).

According to the Australian-West Papua Association (AWPA), one territory that is not on the list and which should be is West Papua. West Papua, colonised by the Netherlands, was removed from the list when the territory was handed over to Indonesian administration by the UN in 1963.

Today, the West Papuan people are still fighting and dying for their right to self determination.

AWPA spokesperson Joe Collins told Green Left: “It is tragic that the West Papuans have been betrayed so many times by the international community: In 1962, under the New York Agreement; in 1963 when removed from the list of non-self-governing territories by the UN; and again in 1969 with the so-called ‘act of free choice’ — which was anything but.”

Fifty-nine years after the Indonesian takeover, the situation in the territory continues to deteriorate, Collins said, with ongoing clashes between the Indonesian security forces and the West Papua National Liberation Army.

Crackdowns and arrests of peaceful demonstrators continue and security force operations have resulted in thousands of internal refugees.

The exploitation of West Papua’s natural resources continues and there is a proposal to divide the territory into more provinces against the wishes of the West Papuan people. This is not only a case of divide and rule, but creating more provinces means more military and more exploitation of the natural resources of the territory.

West Papuans continue to call for a real referendum on their future.

Protests were held in a number of cities across West Papua and Indonesia this month against the creation of new provinces, for a referendum on self-determination and against Indonesia’s plan to grant “special autonomy” status to West Papua.

In Makassar, Sulawesi, West Papuan students were physically attacked by a militia group on May 10, while police watched on. They were called “terrorists” and subjected to racist slurs, such as being called “monkeys”.

At a demonstration in Yahukimo, West Papua on May 10, protesters chanted: “New provinces: reject, reject, reject!”, “Special Autonomy: reject, reject, reject!”, and “Papua: freedom!”

In Jayapura, West Papua, footage emerged of the start of an Indonesian police attack on unarmed West Papua protesters on May 10. The lead police officer appears to give a warning before shouting, “Attack! Attack! Shoot! Shoot!”

In Bali, Indonesia, West Papuan student protesters were blocked from protesting by police, militia and Balinese security forces on May 10. They were pelted with rocks and their motorbikes damaged, while police watched on.

In Paniai, West Papua, police with riot gear and armed soldiers blocked protesters from marching.

In Wamena, thousands of people took to the streets.

A solidarity protest with West Papua organised in Timor Leste on May 10 was blocked by police and at least ten protesters arrested as they headed towards the Indonesian embassy in the capital, Dili.

The recent election of a Labor government in Australia presents both challenges and opportunities for the West Papua solidarity movement. “Although we have a new government in Australia, we can’t expect any change in the relationship with Indonesia,” said Collins. “It will continue to recognise Indonesian sovereignty over West Papua, but hopefully will be more likely to raise concerns about the human rights situation in the territory, which would be a good start.”

AWPA also hopes the new government will support the call by Pacific leaders and the new network of European Union parliamentarians in calling on Jakarta to allow the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to be allowed into West Papua to investigate the human rights situation in the territory.

Shortly after Labor’s foreign minister Penny Wong was sworn in, she shared “a few thoughts with our Pacific family” in a video emphasising Labor’s commitment to tackling climate change, assisting with COVID-19 pandemic recovery and strengthening connections between First Nations and the Blue Pacific.

West Papuan advocate Veronica Koman tweeted in reply: “Let’s all remember that West Papuans are Melanesians hence part of the Pacific family. They are facing unprecedented armed conflict and internal displacement worthy of global attention.”

International Week of Solidarity with the Peoples of Non-Self-Governing Territories.- West Papua betrayed

May 24, 2022

International Week of Solidarity with the Peoples of Non-Self-Governing Territories.- West Papua betrayed

AWPA Statment
24 May 2022

International Week of Solidarity with the Peoples of Non-Self-Governing Territories 25-31 May

According to the UN there are 17 Non-Self-Governing Territories.

In the Pacific region there are 6.
French Polynesia and New Caledonia/Kanaky. (France). American Samoa and Guam (US). Pitcairn (UK) and Tokelau (NZ).

Another territory which is not on the list of self governing terrorites but should be is West Papua.

59 years ago, West Papua (Netherlands New Guinea) was removed from the list when the terrority was handed over to Indonesian administration by the UN in 1963.

59 years later the West Papuan people are still fighting and dying for their right to self determination.

Joe Collins of AWPA said," its tragic that the West Papuan have been betrayed so many times by the international community. In 1962 , New York agreement. In 1963 when removed from the list of non self governing terrorities by the UN and again in 1969 with the so called act of free choice which was anything but."

59 years after the Indonesian takeover, the situation in the terrority continues to deteriorate with ongoing clashes between the Indonesian security forces and the West Papua National Liberation Army. last update. Crackdowns and arrests of peaceful demonstrators continue and thousands of internal refugees because of security force operations.

The exploitation of the natural resources of the terrority continues and there is the proposed to divide West Papua into more provinces against the wishes of the West Papuan people. Not only a case of divide and rule but more provinces means more military and more exploitation of the natural resources of the territory.

The West Papuan continue to call for a real referendum.

Joe Collins said, "that although we have a new government in Australia, we can’t expect any change in the relationship with Indonesian. It will continue to recognise Indonesian soveriginity over West Papua but hopefully will be more likely to raise concerns about the human rights situation in the terrority which would be a good start."

It is also hoped the the new government will support the call by Pacific leaders and the new network of EU Parliamentarians in calling on Jakarta to allow the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to be allowed into West Papua to investigate the human rights situation in the terrority.

Ends
https://awpasydneynews.blogspot.com/2022/05/international-week-of-solidarity-with.html

Stop the repression, arrest and criminalisation of peaceful Papuan protesters

May 23, 2022

Stop the repression, arrest and criminalisation of peaceful Papuan

protesters

Joint Statement – May 11, 2022

There has never been any democracy for the Papuan people! We continue to
be shown the very tangible distain for the democratic rights of the
Papuan people. With every day that passes the space for free expression
for the Papuan people continues to shrink. Law enforcement institutions,
in this case the TNI (Indonesian military) and the Polri (Indonesian
police), as well as reactionary civil ormas (social or mass
organisations), are the antagonists and tools of repression against the
Papuan people’s freedom to express themselves.

Yet freedom of opinion and expression is guaranteed under Article 28 of
the 1945 Constitution, Article 9 of Law Number 9/1998 on the Freedom to
Covey an Opinion in Public and Article 1 Paragraph 3 of Law Number
39/1999 on Human Rights.

These guarantees cover activities conveying an opinion in public both
verbally as well as in writing without intimidation or obstruction by
any party.

On May 5, 2022, Papua People’s Petition (PRP) Spokesperson Jefri Wenda
made an appeal on social media for people to join simultaneous national
actions by the PRP on May 10. The actions were to oppose revisions to
the Papua Special Autonomy (Otsus) Law and the planned creation of new
autonomous regions (DOB) in Papua, and at the same time to demand the
right of self-determination for the Papuan people.

The appeal was directed to all those who live in the land of Papua, both
indigenous Papuans (OAP) as well as non-OAPs, as well as Papuan church
groups and democracy and human rights activist organisations throughout
the territory of Indonesia.

In Papua itself, actions were planned in 10 cities including Jayapura,
Manokwari, Sorong, Kaimana, Wamena, Yahokimo, Dogiyai, Mapia, Fakfak and
Deiyai.

It did not take long for the appeal to be greeted by intimidation. One
such response was from Jayapura municipal police chief Gustav R. Urbinas
who stated that the police would forcibly break up any actions.

The TNI meanwhile, through a statement by 1701 Sentani Sub-District
Military Commander (Danramil) Infantry Major Jhon D Dahar, said that
they were already communicating with the district and sectoral police to
jointly maintain security in Jayapura. At least 1,000 joint TNI and
Polri personnel were deployed to guard the actions.

On the other hand, negative views on the action were also promoted by
Jayapura Regent Mathius Awoitauw, traditional community figure Yanto
Eluay and religious figure Pdt. Albert Yoku, who expressed the view that
the action would disturb public services, damage communal harmony and
that the action is only supported by a handful of people.

And it was quite true that it was not just intimidation and black
propaganda attacks that occurred in the lead up to the May 10 actions.

In at least three of the 10 cities which held actions yesterday —
Jayapura, Manokwari and Sorong — they were forcibly broken up by
security forces.

Two actions outside Papua in the provincial capitals of Makassar and
Denpasar faced similar repression. They were forcibly broken up and this
repression was accompanied by violence, the use of teargas, the use of
rubber bullets and water cannon. As a consequence, around 50
demonstrators in Jayapura were injured.

Not only that, seven people in Jayapura were arrested:

1. Jefri Wenda
2. Ones Suhuniap
3. Omikson Balingga
4. Abi Douw
5. Ester Haluk
6. Marthen Rumbiak
7. Imam Kogoya

Wanda, Suhuniap and Balingga were threatened with being charged under
the Information and Electronic Transaction (ITE) Law.

Although all seven were eventually released, the repression and arrest
against peaceful demonstrations cannot be justified and must be
condemned in the strongest possible terms.

This is because this is not the first time that this has befallen
actions held around a Papua theme. Yet Papua is a region which has been
afforded a special status by the Indonesia government through the
Special Autonomy Law. This special autonomy should prioritise respect
for the social, economic, political and cultural rights of the Papua
people. This must include the right to freedom of expression in public,
because this is closely linked with developments in the advance of
democracy in general in Indonesia.

Intimidation, black campaigns, the breaking up of rallies and
criminalisation must be understood as an attempt to drive back
democracy. Democracy which has opened slightly, the fruit of the fight
for reformasi — the political reform process that began in 1998 —
should be extended, not instead restricted.

We still have fresh memories of the dark history of the closure of
democratic space during the New Order era of former president Suharto.
As a post-reformasi generation, we do not of course want this dark
history under the militaristic regime of Suharto to be repeated and
replicated now. Especially in the land of Papua. Therefore, for the sake
of realising genuine democracy, we declare the following:

– We condemn the violent and repressive actions of the Indonesian
security forces against protesters from Papua People’s Petition on May
10.
– We condemn the criminalisation of activists and those acting in
solidarity with Papua.
– We condemn the curbing of democratic space in Papua.
– We demand the unconditional release of all Papuan political prisoners.

This statement is supported by:

– Student Struggle Center for National Liberation (Pembebasan)
– Papuan Central Highlands Indonesian Student Association (AMPTPI)
– Revolutionary Youth Front (FMR)
– Serang Papuan Student Alliance (AMP-Serang)
– East Jakarta Indonesian Association of Catholic Students (PMKRI)
– Populist Labour Movement Federation (FGBK)
– Socialist Unity (PS)
– Populist Youth Horizon (CMk) Central Committee
– Yogyakarta United People’s Struggle (KPR-Yogyakarta)
– Maharani Caroline (advocate)
– Indonesian Education University Social Studies Activities Unit (UKSK
UPI)
– Indonesian Education University Gender Research Student Center
– Bandung Islamic State University Islamic Science Studies Institute
(LPIK-UIN SGD Bandung).
– Bandung Indonesian Arts and Culture Institute (ISBI) Daunjati Student
Press Institute (LPM)
– Bandung Indonesian Arts and Culture Institute RASI Safe Space
– Agrarian Resource Center (ARC)
– People’s Liberation Party (PPR)
– Bandung Thursday Action (Kamisan Bandung)
– Bandung College of Law (STHB) Student Alliance
– Militant Trade Union Federation (F-SEBUMI)
– Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation (YLBHI)
– Yogyakarta Sunan Kalijaga State Islamic University Student People’s
Aid (MAKAR-UIN)
– 90 bpm rhythm (Serang hip hop group)
– Bunda House (Jalan Serang free market and library)
– Yogyakarta City Papua Student Alliance Committee (AMP-KK Yogyakarta).
– Women’s Liberation Union (SIEMPRE).

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the statement was
"Pernyataan Sikap Bersama Atas Pembubaran dan Penangkapan Aksi Damai
Petisi Rakyat Papua, 10 Mei 2022".]

Source: https://pembebasan.org/pernyataan-sikap-aksi-PRP-10-mei

New West Papua support network launched in European Parliament

May 20, 2022

https://www.ulmwp.org/new-network-launched-in-european-parliament

1) New West Papua support network launched in European Parliament

May 12, 2022 in News

A new network of MPs in support of West Papua was launched today (May 12, 2022) at the European Parliament in Brussels. At a meeting and press conference, the International Parliamentarians for West Papua (IPWP) announced the formation of its new EU branch.

The meeting, ‘West Papua: Human rights, self-determination, and green state vision’, was hosted by Carles Puigdemont MEP, former President of the Government of Catalonia, and Pernando Barrena MEP of the Basque Country. Interim President Benny Wenda addressed the gathering, joined by Ralph Regenvanu (former Foreign Minister and current Leader of the Opposition of Vanuatu), Alex Sobel MP, and Jojo Mehta (Executive Director of Stop Ecocide International).

At the packed meeting, participants heard about the progress of the ULMWP Provisional Government, and parliamentarians pledged to continue pushing for the long-delayed visit to West Papua of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. The meeting called for the EU to halt ongoing trade negotiations with Indonesia until the occupation of West Papua is addressed.

Demonstrations and gatherings took place across West Papua over the past two days in support of the meeting.

President Carles Puigdemont said: ‘West Papua was annexed by Indonesian in 1963. Since then West Papua has been living under a regime of extreme oppression that may qualify as a genocide. We want to put pressure on the EU to acknowledge the West Papuan right to self-determination. It is a moral and historical debt Europeans have towards the people of West Papua.’

Pernando Barrena MEP said: ‘The current situation in West Papua can be described as a humanitarian emergency, with tens of thousands of internally displaced people, constant violations of human rights, and a permanent refusal to allow international human rights instruments into the country.’

Interim President Wenda said: ‘We demand that the EU stop funding and supporting the continuation of “Special Autonomy” and the further partition of West Papua. Indonesia has misused the EU’s funds to help its military kill my people. All EU investments in West Papua must be suspended until Indonesia allows the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights into the territory.’

Contact: press

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https://en.antaranews.com/news/230265/resolution-of-human-rights-violations-depends-on-political-will
2) Resolution of human rights violations depends on political will
9 hours ago

Jakarta (ANTARA) – The resolution of cases involving gross human rights violations from the past relies on political will, Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM) Ahmad Taufan Damanik has said.

"I believe that what is most crucial is the political will of a president," he noted here on Thursday.

If a president pressures the attorney general to resolve such cases, then everything gets cleared and settled, he opined.

Related news: Judges must reconsider death penalty: Komnas HAM

He cited the handling of the Papua Paniai case as an example. Before an investigation team was formed and the investigation phase began, the President had ordered the attorney general to look into the case.

The pressure from the President on the attorney general was not due to lobbying or any convincing on Komnas HAM’s part, he informed

"As a result, the case went through to the investigation phase," Damanik noted.

He then invited all parties to wait for the continuation of the legal process in court. However, there is a chance that the suspect may be released.

Related news: Govt must integrate SDGs, COVID-19 mitigation efforts: Komnas HAM

This was said based on an incident dating back to the time of former president Gus Dur, when Marzuki Darusman was attorney general.

Back then, there was a gross human rights violation case that was brought to court. However, the suspected ended up being released by the court.

"Hence, it is important to encourage the court to uphold justice for victims," Damanik said.

Thus, the resolution of gross human rights cases is not within the authority of the commission, whose scope is limited to just investigating such violations. Rather, their resolution depends more on the political will of a president.

This is because while the authority to investigate cases has been given to Komnas HAM, their prosecution is still under the purview of the Attorney General and the Supreme Court.

Related news: Antam gold buyback price falls Rp2,000 per gram

Related news: G20 Empower is important in struggle for gender equality: Minister

Reporter: M Zulfikar, Fadhli Ruhman
Editor: Fardah Assegaf

Spontaneous Action Urges Viktor Yeimo’s Release

May 19, 2022

Original Bahasa link

https://jubitv.id/aksi-spontan-prp-desak-bebaskan-viktor-yeimo/

Spontaneous Action Urges Viktor Yeimo’s Release

Free Viktor Yeimo – News Desk
May 19, 2022

Sympathizers and activists of the Papuan People’s Petition rallied across the Jayapura District Court building, Wednesday (18/5/2022) to demand the release of the International Spokesperson for the West Papua National Committee, Victor Yeimo. – Jubi/Hengky Yeimo

"We strongly request that Victor Yeimo as a victim of racism be released, because he did nothing wrong. What is wrong is the perpetrator of the racism speech, who should be arrested and prosecuted,”

Jayapura, Jubi TV – Hundreds of sympathizers and activists of the Papuan People’s Petition held a spontaneous action opposite the Jayapura District Court building, Wednesday (18/5/2022) to provide support for the spokesman. International Spokesperson for the West Papua National Committee, Victor Yeimo.

They demanded that Victor Yeimo be released. Viktor Yeimo was arrested by police on May 9, 2021 for being accused of being involved in the riots that occurred after the anti-Papuan anti-racism demonstration in Jayapura City on August 29, 2019.

Yeimo was later charged with treason during a trial at the Jayapura District Court (PN) on February 21, 2022. On Wednesday, the team Yeimo’s legal advisor is scheduled to file an exception to the charge. Sympathizers and activists of the Papuan People’s Petition demand that Victor Yeimo be released and his trial terminated. The demonstrators stated that Yeimo was not seen as a perpetrator of racism, but rather a victim of racism.

The demonstrators also unfurled a number of pamphlets and gave speeches about racism, discrimination, marginalization, and the treatment of Indonesia, which is considered to have colonized Papuans. The protesters asserted that Victor Yeimo was a figurehead for the liberation of Papua.

The field coordinator for the action, Vara Iyaba, said that his party carried out the spontaneous action as a form of protest against law enforcement officers who carried out legal proceedings against Victor Yeimo. Iyaba stated that Yeimo and the Papuans were victims of an incident of racist remarks directed at Papuan students in Surabaya on August 16, 2019. “We firmly request that Victor Yeimo as a victim of racism be released, because he is not wrong. What is wrong is the perpetrator of the racism, who should be arrested and brought to justice,” he said.

The chairman of the West Papua National Committee, Agus Kossay, also called for the Jayapura District Court to stop the legal process against Victor Yeimo. Agus Kossay, who was also convicted in the case of mass rage following the anti-racism demonstration in Jayapura City on August 29, 2019 stated that Yeimo did not deserve to be tried in that case, because he was responsible for the case with Papuan activists who were criminalized on charges of being involved in the riots on August 29, 2019. "We have taken that responsibility. Seven of us were arrested and detained in Kalimantan.

Several younger students were tried in Jayapura. We have represented all the people of the Papuan nation to undergo detention. In my opinion, the Indonesian state through law enforcement officers—be it security forces, prosecutors, panel of judges—does not have the right to try Victor Yeimo,” he said.

Viktor Yeimo was arrested by the police on May 9, 2021 for being accused of being involved in the riots that occurred after the anti-Papuan anti-racism demonstration in Jayapura City on August 29 2019. Yeimo was then detained at the Papua Regional Mobile Brigade Headquarters detention house in Jayapura City. keep getting worse. Victor Yeimo’s case was transferred to the Jayapura District Court on August 12, 2021, with case 376/Pid.Sus/2021/PN Jap. Yeimo’s detention was transferred to the Abepura prison, but his health condition did not improve. Victor Yeimo’s detention was finally overturned on August 30, 2021, and he was treated at the Regional General Hospital (RSUD) Dok 2, Jayapura City. The trial of Victor Yeimo’s case continues to be delayed, due to his unstable health condition.

On February 25, 2022, the panel of judges postponed the trial for reading the indictment, because Viktor Yeimo was again undergoing medical treatment at the Dok 2 Jayapura Hospital. Victor Yeimo was again scheduled to attend his exception hearing on Wednesday, but the trial was again postponed due to his health condition. (*)

This article has been published on Jubi.id with the title: Urge to Release Viktor Yeimo, PRP Holds Spontaneous Action in Front of the Jayapura District Court

This article has been published on jubitv.id with the title "PRP Spontaneous Action Urges to Free Viktor Yeimo" – Click to read: https://jubitv.id/aksi-spontan-prp-desak-bebaskan-viktor-yeimo/

Author: Hengky Yeimo
Editor: Aryo Wisanggeni G

———————————————

A google translate.
Original Bahasa link

https://jubitv.id/saran-dokter-viktor-paulus-sebaiknya-viktor-yeimo-ditahan-terpisah-dari-tahanan-lain/

2) Doctor’s advice Viktor Paulus: It’s better if Viktor Yeimo be detained separately from other prisoners

Human Rights – News Desk
May 18, 2022

0
Doctor Victor Paulus when he was sworn in to give a statement at the Jayapura District Court, Wednesday (18/5/2022). – Jubi/Theo Kelen

"In order for the trial to run smoothly, our client’s health must also be met,”

Jayapura, Jubi TV – The doctor suggested that the defendant Viktor Yeimo be detained separately from the other detainees at a follow-up trial with an exception agenda on Wednesday, 18 May 2022 at the Jayapura District Court .

Viktor Yeimo was arrested for his involvement in the 2019 racism demonstration which led to riots, burning of several public facilities and houses in Jayapura City, Papua. Victor Yeimo’s criminal case was registered at the Jayapura District Court with case number 376/Pid.Sus/2021/PN Jap on August 12, 2021. The trial of Victor Yeimo’s criminal case was led by a panel of judges chaired by Eddy Soeprayitno S Putra, SH, MH with member judge Mathius , SH, MH, and Andi Asmuruf, SH.

Doctor Victor Paulus who was presented at the trial said that Viktor Yeimo’s tuberculosis was unlike any other disease. Therefore, Viktor Yeimo had to undergo 9 months to 11 months of treatment which had started on October 4, 2021 at the Jayapura Dok 2 Hospital.

"The patient is still undergoing treatment from October 4, 2021 to the present," he said. Paulus said that for now Viktor Yeimo’s condition is quite good and stable. This means that there are no complaints that can interfere with breathing such as shortness of breath or phlegm stones. However, Paulus said one thing to note that the sputum examination in March 2022 still found tuberculosis bacteria.

Therefore, the defendant must regularly take medication so that his condition remains stable. "From the results of our evaluation, we still found TB positive bacteria in the patient’s lungs," he said. Paul said that from these conditions, at least Viktor Yeimo should not be combined with the others.

Viktor Yeimo should be placed in a comfortable place that has air circulation and exposure to sunlight. Paulus said that after seeing the conditions in the prison, the conditions were very humid due to lack of exposure to sunlight. Sunlight is important for people with tuberculosis because it can kill germs.

Coordinator of the Litigation Coalition for Law Enforcement and Human Rights Papua, Emanuel Gobay, said Abepura prison did not have good facilities to treat his clients. He conveyed that the doctor at the prison also advised Viktor Yeimo not to be treated in prison because his illness required special treatment. "In order for the trial to run smoothly, our client’s health must also be met," he said.

After listening to the opinion of the doctor and his attorney, Viktor Yeimo, the panel of judges chaired by Eddy Soeprayitno S. Putra, SH, MH stated that the trial was suspended in order to examine the facilities at the Abepura prison to be used as consideration for transferring the detention to city detention.

Currently, the trial has continued and Viktor Yeimo’s attorney asked the panel of judges to grant the request for transfer of Viktor Yeimo’s detention as city arrest or house arrest. (*) This article has been published on Jubi.id with the title: doctor recommends Viktor Yeimo be detained separately

This article has been published on jubitv.id with the title "Doctor Viktor Paulus’ advice: It is better if Viktor Yeimo be detained separately from other prisoners" – Click to read: https://jubitv.id/saran-dokter-viktor -paul-as-good-viktor- yeimo-detained-separated-from-other-prisoners/

Author: Theo Kelen
Editor: Dewi Wulandari

Activists condemn alleged terror against human rights activists in Papua

May 11, 2022

https://www.thejakartapost.com/indonesia/2022/05/11/activists-condemn-alleged-terror-against-human-rights-activists-in-papua.html

Activists condemn alleged terror against human rights activists in Papua
Nur Janti (The Jakarta Post)
Jakarta ● Wed, May 11, 2022

Activists have condemned alleged terror and intimidation against Papuan human rights activists and called the police to thoroughly investigate an alleged arson attack at Papua Legal Aid Institute (LBH Papua) on Monday.

The Foundation of the Indonesian Legal Aid Institute (YLBHI) and Papua Humanitarian Coalition, condemned the alleged attack of burning a motorcycle in the garage of the LBH Papua office on Monday morning in Abepura district, Jayapura, Papua.

The Papua Humanitarian Coalition, which comprises a number of human rights organizations and activists, including Amnesty International Indonesia, Kontras and Public Virtue Research Institute, called on the police to thoroughly investigate the incidents and prevent similar attacks from recurring.

YLBHI is also calling on the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) to carry out investigations and provide protection to human rights defenders. “The incident should be seen as an attack on human rights defenders,” YLBHI said in a statement on Monday, adding that LBH Papua recently advocated civil liberties to indigenous Papuans, victims of violence committed by the state and victims of land grabbing.

“This is part of terror against the democratic movement. It’s very dangerous for democracy,” YLBHI chairman Muhamad Isnur told The Jakarta Post on Tuesday. LBH Papua director Emanuel Gobay suspected someone deliberately set the motorbike on fire. The institute had reported the incidents to the Papua Police on Monday.

Early on Monday morning, a motorbike parked at the institute’s office garage was found burned.

According to the LBH Papua statement, a wick smelling of kerosene and a plastic bag with remains of gasoline were found near the office. LBH Papua members also gathered information from two local residents, who saw someone wearing a black sweater, hat and mask had run out of the LBH Papua office before the incident.

Papua Police said they had visited the alleged crime scene and were carrying out an investigation into the alleged attack. "The Abepura Police have visited the crime scene for an initial investigation, but the crime scene had been cleared," Papua Police spokesperson Sr. Comr. Ahmad Musthofa Kamal said on Monday night as quoted by Kompas.

It is the latest incident in a series of attacks against Papuans or those voicing human rights in the easternmost provinces of the country. In November last year, the family of human rights lawyer Veronica Koman, who has long been vocal in speaking up against alleged human rights abuses in Papua, became a target of intimidation. In March 2021, at least two protesters were killed and several others were wounded during protests against the plan to form new provinces that turned into a clash between protesters and security forces in Yahukimo.

In August-October 2019 in Malang and Surabaya, Papuans were subjected to repression, violence and racial discrimination during a series of rallies.
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https://asiapacificreport.nz/2022/05/11/amnesty-calls-for-halt-to-planned-wabu-block-gold-mine-in-papua/

2) Amnesty calls for halt to planned Wabu Block gold mine in Papua
By APR editor – May 11, 2022

By Yance Agapa in Paniai

Amnesty International Indonesia executive director Usman Hamid is asking the government to halt the planned gold mine at Wabu Block in Intan Jaya regency until there is agreement from the Papua indigenous people in the area.

“We have asked that the planned mine be halted until the state obtains agreement from the Papuan indigenous people,” said Hamid in a press release received by Suara Papua.

From the results of its research, Amnesty said that one of the largest gold reserves identified in Indonesia was located in an area considered to be a hot spot for a series of violent acts by Indonesian security forces against local civilians.

Hamid explained that Papuan indigenous people reported that violence was often committed by security forces along with restrictions on personal and public life such as restrictions of movement and even the use of electronic devices.

“Amnesty International Indonesia is quite relived by the attitude of the Papua governor who has officially asked the central government, in particular the ESDM [Energy and Mineral Resources] Ministry to temporarily hold the planned mining bearing in mind the security situation in Intan Jaya which is not favourable,” he said.

Most of the area, which is inhabited by the Moni (Migani) tribe, is still covered with forest.

According to official estimates, the Wabu Block contains 8.1 million tonnes of gold, making it the fifth largest gold reserve known to exist in Indonesia.

Relieved after meeting
Hamid also said he was relieved after meeting with Coordinating Minister for Security, Politics and Legal Affairs (Menkopolhukam) Mahfud MD in Jakarta.

“We also feel relieved after meeting with the Menkopolhukam who explained that the plan was still being discussed between ministries and would not be implemented for some time”, said Hamid.

Amnesty is concerned over the potential impact of mining in the Wabu Block on human rights, added to by the risk of conflict in the Intan Jaya regency.

“So this special concern is obstacles to holding adequate and meaningful consultation with the Papuan indigenous people who will be impacted upon in order to obtain agreement on initial basic information without coercion in relation to mining in the Wabu Block”, said Hamid.

Amnesty added, “We very much hope that the central government and the Papua provincial government will work together to ensure that the planned mine really does provide sufficient information, consultation and agreement obtained from the Papuan indigenous communities”.

Based on existing data, the Indonesian government has increased the number of security forces in Intan Jaya significantly. Currently there are around 17 security posts in Sugapa district (the Intan Jaya regional capital) when in October 2019 there were only two posts.

This increase has also been accompanied by extrajudicial killings, raids and assaults by military and police, which have created a general climate of violence, intimidation and fear.

According to official estimates, the Wabu Block contains 8.1 million tonnes of gold, making it the fifth largest gold reserve known to exist in Indonesia.

Relieved after meeting
Hamid also said he was relieved after meeting with Coordinating Minister for Security, Politics and Legal Affairs (Menkopolhukam) Mahfud MD in Jakarta.

“We also feel relieved after meeting with the Menkopolhukam who explained that the plan was still being discussed between ministries and would not be implemented for some time”, said Hamid.

Amnesty is concerned over the potential impact of mining in the Wabu Block on human rights, added to by the risk of conflict in the Intan Jaya regency.

“So this special concern is obstacles to holding adequate and meaningful consultation with the Papuan indigenous people who will be impacted upon in order to obtain agreement on initial basic information without coercion in relation to mining in the Wabu Block”, said Hamid.

Amnesty added, “We very much hope that the central government and the Papua provincial government will work together to ensure that the planned mine really does provide sufficient information, consultation and agreement obtained from the Papuan indigenous communities”.

Based on existing data, the Indonesian government has increased the number of security forces in Intan Jaya significantly. Currently there are around 17 security posts in Sugapa district (the Intan Jaya regional capital) when in October 2019 there were only two posts.

This increase has also been accompanied by extrajudicial killings, raids and assaults by military and police, which have created a general climate of violence, intimidation and fear.

Amnesty calls for halt to planned Wabu Block mine in Papua

May 10, 2022

Amnesty calls for halt to planned Wabu Block mine in Papua

Suara Papua – May 7, 2022

Yance Agapa, Paniai — Amnesty International Indonesia Executive
Director Usman Hamid is asking the government to halt the planned gold
mine at Wabu Block in Intan Jaya regency, until there is agreement from
the Papua indigenous people in the area.

“We have asked that the planned mine be halted until the state obtains
agreement from the Papuan indigenous people", said Hamid in a press
release received by Suara Papua on Friday May 6.

From the results of its research, Amnesty says that one of the largest
gold reserves identified in Indonesia is located in an area considered
to be a hot spot for a series of violent acts by Indonesian security
forces against local civilians.

Hamid explained that Papuan indigenous people (OAP) reported that
violence is often committed by security forces along with restrictions
on personal and public life such as restrictions of movement and even
the use of electronic devices.

“Amnesty International Indonesia is quite relived by the attitude of the
Papua governor who has officially asked the central government, in
particular the ESDM [Energy and Mineral Resources] Ministry to
temporarily hold the planned mining bearing in mind the security
situation in Intan Jaya which is not favourable", he said.

Most of the area, which is inhabited by the Moni (Migani) tribe, is
still covered with forest. According to official estimates, the Wabu
Block contains 8.1 million ons of gold, making it the fifth largest gold
reserve known to exist in Indonesia.

Hamid also admitted to feeling relived after meeting with Coordinating
Minister for Security, Politics and Legal Affairs (Menkopolhukam) Mahfud
MD in Jakarta.

“We also feel relived after meeting with the Menkopolhukam who explained
that the plan is still being discussed between ministries and will not
be implemented for some time", said Hamid.

Amnesty is concerned over the potential impact of mining in the Wabu
Block on human rights, added to by the risk of conflict in the Intan
Jaya regency.

"So this special concern is obstacles to holding adequate and meaningful
consultation with the Papuan indigenous people who will be impacted upon
in order to obtain agreement on initial basic information without
coercion in relation to mining in the Wabu Block", said Hamid.

Amnesty added, "We very much hope that the central government and the
Papua provincial government will work together to ensure that the
planned mine really does provide sufficient information, consultation
and agreement obtained from the Papuan indigenous communities".

Based on existing data, the Indonesian government has increased the
number of security forces in Intan Jaya significantly. Currently there
are around 17 security posts in Sugapa district (the Intan Jaya regional
capital) when in October 2019 there were only two posts.

This increase has also been accompanied by extrajudicial killings, raids
and assaults by military and police, which have created a general
climate of violence, intimidation and fear.

Based on reports received by Amnesty, said Hamid, indigenous Papuans in
Intan Jaya face restrictions on their daily activities and many have had
to leave their communities in order to find safety in other cities or
the forests.

Hamid hopes that the government will pay attention to reports released
by human rights organisations in Papua.

"The government must pay attention to human rights reports which are
conducted by human rights organisations such as ELSHAM [the Institute
for Human Rights Studies and Advocacy] Papua", he said, bearing in mind
the recent situation in which there has been an escalation in conflicts
compared with earlier periods.

Earlier, the central government was urged to halt the prolonged conflict
in Intan Jaya by the Intan Jaya Papua Traditional Community Rights
Advocacy Team (Tivamaipa) in Jakarta.

During an audience with the House of Representatives (DPR), Tivamaipa
revealed that the armed conflict in Intan Jaya over the last three years
began with the deployment of TNI (Indonesian military) troops which were
allegedly tasked with providing security for planned investments in the
Wabu Block by Mining and Industry Indonesia (Mind Id) through the
company PT Aneka Tambang (Antam).

According to Tivamaipa, on October 5, 2020 Intan Jaya traditional
communities declared their opposition to planned exploration in the Wabu
Block.

In order to avoid a prolonged conflict, the Tivamaipa made four demands.

First, that the DPR leadership and the leaders of the DPR’s Commission I
conduct an evaluation of government policies on handling conflicts in
Papua and West Papua provinces involving the Coordinating Minister for
Security, Politics and Legal Affairs, the Defense Minister, the Minister
for Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM), the Minister for State Owned
Enterprises (BUMN), the TNI commander and the Indonesian police chief.

Second, that the Commission I leadership invite the Papua and West Papua
provisional governments, the Papua Regional House of Representatives
(DPRP), the Papua People’s Council (MRP), the Papua and West Papua
regional police chiefs, the Cenderawasih XVII and Kasuari XVIII regional
military commanders, the regional governments of Intan Jaya, the Bintang
Highlands, Puncak, Nduga, Yahukimo and Maybrat along with community
representatives to attend a joint meeting.

Third, it urged the central government to withdraw all non-organic TNI
and police security forces which have been sent to Intan Jaya regency.

And fourth, that the central and regional government must repatriate
internally displaced people from Intan Jaya and return them to their
home villages and prioritise security and peace in Intan Jaya by
providing social services which are properly organised and sustainable.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was
"Usmad Hamid Minta Rencana Tambang Blok Wabu Dihentikan".]

Source:
https://suarapapua.com/2022/05/07/usmad-hamid-minta-rencana-tambang-blok-wabu-dihentikan/

Does Indonesia have a healthy free press? Not according to West Papua

May 9, 2022

https://globalvoices.org/2022/05/09/does-indonesia-have-a-healthy-free-press-not-according-to-west-papua/

Does Indonesia have a healthy free press? Not according to West Papua
Papuan journalists face routine threats, abuse, and censorship

Written by Global Voices South East Asia

Posted 9 May 2022 4:54 GMT

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A journalist working in West Papua in front of the Morning Star Flag — an international sign of the Free Papua Movement. Used via Wikipedia Commons license (CC BY-SA 3.0)

For nearly 60 years, West Papua, a region in the easternmost stretches of the Indonesian arhipelago, has been engaged in one of the longest-running independence struggles of any region in the world against occupying Indonesia. Despite the longevity of the independence campaign, it has often escaped the notice of international outlets and Western audiences. This is in part because of the Jakarta government’s concerted — and largely successful – efforts to censor and control narratives from West Papua.

The island of New Guinea is divided into the independent state of Papua New Guinea on the eastern half and Indonesian-controlled Papua on the western side. Indonesia-controlled Papua has been further divided by the Indonesian government into Papua and West Papua. These are the provinces that have been fighting for independence for the last 60 years. Jakarta is considering further dividing the region into smaller provinces — against the wishes of scholars and indigenous communities in the region, who believe the move will decrease transparency and increase corruption in the region.

Papua has been occupied by Indonesia since 1962 after the Indonesian military invaded and annexed the province, despite assurances by the former colonial Dutch government of sovereignty for the Papuan nation. Since then, Papuans have faced decades of brutal oppression punctuated by massacres, torture, censorship, and conflict between the Indonesian army and West Papua National Liberation Army(TPNPB) that has left civilians as collateral. Some estimates suggest that over 500,000 Papuans have been killed by Indonesian military forces — though these are somewhat outdated estimates and the real toll is likely much higher.

In addition to its alleged human rights abuses, Indonesia has an abysmal record regarding press freedom in Papua. Activists and media workers in the region are routinely silenced through censorship, internet throttling, physical attacks, torture, and even death. According to some international reports, since current President Joko (Jokowi) Widodo became president in 2014, this persecution has gotten worse.

Harassment, violence, and threats

Local journalists in particular face intense harassment and scrutiny from the Indonesian government. Journalists have been jailed, beaten, doxxed, and targetted for speaking out about the vast human rights violations in West Papua. According to a 2021 Alliance of Independent Journalists Indonesia (Aliansi Jurnalis Independen – AJI) report, there have been 114 cases of violence against Papuan journalists in the past 20 years.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) detailed these instances it’s its 2015 report entitled “Something to hide?” The report revealed Papuan journalists routinely receive anonymous threats via text and voicemail, which they believe to be from Indonesian security forces. One local reporter told HRW:

I cannot count how many SMS, email, or social media [threats] that I have received. The accusations are always that I am a foreign agent. The threat is often to kill me, or to attack my office. Or burn my office. That’s why I often change my cell phone numbers. I have lost count of how many times. Maybe 300 times? I always think [the harassers] want to disturb me mentally. I always delete their threats. I don’t want to be influenced by them.

Other journalists, such as Duma Tato Sando, the managing editor at Chaya Papua, a daily newspaper in Manokwari, Papua told the group he is often pressured by security forces to not publish stories that mention human rights abuses. He said:

For me, covering human rights abuses in Papua is not easy. In Manokwari, usually an intelligence officer will call and ask that the news story be “pending.” They like to say, “please do not publish it.” Sometimes they even ask me for background information, such as places, names, and times [of incidents of human rights abuses] because they do not know that their own men did the beating or the shooting. I have too many cases [of such harassment] to recall one-by-one.

In another case just over one year ago, in April 2021, West Papuan journalist Victor Mambor’s car was vandalized in a clear act of targeted intimidation. At the time, the AJI said “these acts of terror and intimidation are clearly forms of violence against journalists, and threaten press freedom in Papua and more broadly in Indonesia.” Mambor is the founder of the Tabloid Jubi media outlet. He and his staff have faced numerous instances of harassment over the years, including physical, psychological, and digital attacks.

The situation is even more dire for women who choose to pursue journalism in Papua, like in the case of Elfira last February, who received a rape threat in Jayapura District Court while reporting on court proceedings.

Foreign media, NGOs, and humanitarian agencies have been largely denied access to West Papua, which has created challenges in holding the Indonesian government and security forces accountable. The Jakarta government has tightly controlled the flow of information from the region.

And even when foreign watchdogs or media are able to enter the region, they can seldom do so without a government escort, and are liable to face deportation if they upset authorities.

Some international journalists have managed to make unofficial visits to the region that were not pre-approved by the Indonesian government. Rohan Radheya, a Dutch freelance journalist interviewed by HRW said during his unofficial visits to Papua, he saw a pattern of daily “threats and intimidation” against Papuan journalists, adding, “They were good journalists, they have a good network, and some of the [Papuan
journalists] I met, they have bullet holes, they have been stabbed by [Indonesian security] forces, and they continue to wake up in the morning and just go about and do their jobs.”

To help combat this oppression, AJI’s Papua chapter launched Papua legal aid in December 2021, noting, “The number of cases of violence against journalists in Papua has made the results of the Press Independence Index assessment by the Press Council for the last 4 years place Papua as the region with the worst press freedom conditions in Indonesia.” The group aims to provide legal assistance to journalists in Papua who are victims of violence and intimidation.

West Papuan censorship

The information block in West Papua has drawn international condemnation and tarnished Indonesia’s reputation on the international stage.

The censorship is especially blatant during times of conflict or strife. Actors in the West Papuan Independence movement have occasionally succeeded in drawing national attention to their campaign, which often consists of acts of civil disobedience and protest. In 2019 tensions came to a head after a racist incident against Papuan students in Surabaya by Indonesian military forces. In response, protests broke out in Papua, which police forces violently stamped out, killing 10 Papuan citizens in the process. This act of violence sparked widespread protests across the archipelago nation. During this period, the Indonesian government throttled network connections in West Papua to stop information from flowing outward, which Jokowi said was for the “common good.”

While Papuan media outlets struggled to share their stories during this time, reports emerged of human rights violations, oppression, military violence against civilians, and more.

Indonesia’s free press landscape

Even outside the press abuses in Papua, Indonesia’s media faces a challenging landscape. While Jokowi ran a presidential campaign promising to bolster Indoenisa’s free press, he has resoundingly failed on these promises since being elected in 2014.

In 2020, Jakarta passed the Law on “Informasi dan Transaksi Elektronik” (Electronic and Information Transactions Law), which made it legal for the government to throttle internet services and arrest journalists for disrupting the peace and publishing “prohibited content.” The controversial law has drawn criticism from activists and human rights groups as many call it a major backstep for the largest democracy in the region.

Human rights watchdog Protection International said, “the ITE Law is actively used to silence criticism and obstruct the work of human rights defenders,” noting that there was a sharp increase of attacks against human rights defenders in 2019 and 2020.

The situation has only deteriorated as public attention was focused on the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to RSF reporting, journalists are banned from publishing not only “false information related to the coronavirus but also any information hostile to the president or government even if it is unrelated to the pandemic.”

According to Reporter’s Without Borders 2022 World Press Freedom Index, Indonesia ranked 117 out of 180 countries.

This post is part of Advox, a Global Voices project dedicated to protecting freedom of expression online.

Papuan students call for Indonesian generals to face trial

May 4, 2022

https://www.ucanews.com/news/papuan-students-call-for-indonesian-generals-to-face-trial/97146

Papuan students call for Indonesian generals to face trial

Those who instigated rights violations must face justice, rally marking Papua annexation anniversary told

By Konradus Epa Published: May 04, 2022 09:32 AM GMT

Papuan students from the Papuan Student Alliance rally in Jember, East Java, on May 2 to mark the 59th anniversary of Indonesia’s annexation of Papua. (Photo supplied)

Papuan students have called on the Indonesian government to arrest military commanders involved in human rights violations in the country’s restive easternmost region.

Hundreds of students from the Papuan Student Alliance issued the demand during a rally in Jember, a city in East Java province, on May 2 to mark the 59th anniversary of Indonesia’s annexation of West Papua.
West Papua was annexed by Indonesia on May 1, 1963. Every year Papuans mark the day with protests.
“Arrest, judge and sentence generals to prison who are guilty of committing human rights violations in West Papua,” Etanias Wandikbo, coordinator of the demonstration, said in a statement.
He said human rights violations such as shooting civilians, arresting activists and sexual abuse committed by security forces have become more frequent in recent years.
According to the National Commission of Human Rights, at least 1,182 acts of violence were committed by the military, police and separatist groups between 2020 and 2021. Many of the victims were civilians.
“We urge the Indonesian government to stop military operations in Papua," Wandikbo said before calling for the United Nations to monitor and help end abuses.
Emanuel Gobay, a human rights lawyer and director of the Legal Aid Foundation in Papua, said the students were justified in calling for justice against military commanders.
“Generals involved in gross human rights violation cases should be processed legally. Justice must be seen to be done,” he told UCA News.

wp 1) What is at stake with new provinces in West Papua?

April 27, 2022

https://www.lowyinstitute.org/the-interpreter/what-stake-new-provinces-west-papua

What is at stake with new provinces in West Papua?
EDUARD LAZARUS

Jakarta’s plan to break West Papua into five provinces from the existing two leaves an even larger military footprint.

Bark painting wallets at Asei village in Jayapura, a modern adaptation of a traditional craft in the area dating back to at least the 1600s (Robertus Pudyanto/Getty Images)

Published 28 Apr 2022 05:00   0 Comments   Indonesia   Follow @Eduardlazarus

On 12 April, the Indonesian parliament announced plans to establish three new provinces in West Papua. Currently, the western part of the island of New Guinea consists of two provinces: West Papua Province and Papua Province. The plan is to break down these two administrative regions into five, with the addition of the South Papua Province, Central Papua Province, and the Papua Central Highlands Province.

These designs for proliferation have ramifications far beyond altering arbitrary lines on a map. The creation of new administrative districts entails the necessity to establish government apparatus, set up military posts, and construct new infrastructure – all of which might exacerbate violent conflict in the region.

Not long ago, Indonesia’s recently-appointed Commander of Armed Forces General Andika Perkasa proposed a novel, “humanist” approach to handling political conflicts in West Papua. Rather than clamping down harder on armed combatants with gunfire, he has declared an aim to gradually resolve conflict by “territorial development operations”, involving the deployment of personnel to carry out teaching, healthcare and infrastructure-building missions to establish rapport with local Papuan communities, hoping to steer them away from the independence cause.

Aside from the fact that relations between Indonesian armed forces and Papuan people might have already soured to the point of being irreparable, what is omitted from Perkasa’s plans is that these operations require a lot more troops than those that are presently stationed in West Papua. Just one month after his appointment, Perkasa announced his plans to establish an additional eight military district commands (Kodim) in the region, an increase from 22 to 30. It is estimated that each Kodim consists of 700–900 personnel, meaning an additional 6,400 armed troops in what is already the most heavily-militarised area in Indonesia.

Consequently, establishing new provinces might also entail the proliferation of new military regions (Kodam) at the provincial level to coordinate the numerous Kodim on cities and regencies, meaning that even more military personnel are required to fill out posts on every different administrative levels. While under the new strategy these troops are expected to mostly carry out civic duties instead of being engaged in physical combat, the number of armed conflicts between the Indonesian military and West Papua National Liberation Army have increased in recent years along with the growing number of troops deployed in West Papua.

The arbitrarily divided administrative regions could also exacerbate what have been recognised by senior Papuan political activists as violent disputes between local tribes.

From a purely technocratic standpoint, breaking down the region into smaller, more manageable administrative areas is presented as a catalyst to promote good governance and induce development. Plans for proliferation were already introduced by amending the Papuan Special Autonomy Bill in 2021. Among other changes, the amendment will increase the allocation of the Special Autonomy Fund to Papuan Provinces from 2 to 2.25 per cent of the national General Allocation Fund (GAF). The government had also extended the revenue-sharing framework for oil and gas enterprises in West Papua, where the local government receives 70 per cent of the revenue, from 2026 to 2041.

Ever since the Special Autonomy Law for Papua (Otsus) was introduced in 2001, the region has indeed seen noticeable improvements. Although the 2021 Human Development Index still ranks the provinces of Papua (60.62) and West Papua (65.26) to be the lowest in the country, their overall growth from 2010 to 2019 surpassed the Indonesian national average of 0.53 points per year. The gulf between development within West Papua and the rest of the country was very large to begin with but has been catching up.

Yet the grievances of indigenous Papuan people go beyond these quantifiable improvements. In its heyday, the 2001 Otsus was dubbed the “prosperity approach”, where the central government in Jakarta funded projects in the region by mostly building infrastructure, such as roads. However, these funds ended up fuelling tensions as military presence became even more pronounced in their role of safeguarding construction work and business ventures such as mining and plantations.

Furthermore, the implementation of the Special Autonomy Law has largely ignored the political rights of West Papuans to self-govern. One key facet of the original bill was the formation of the Papuan People’s Assembly (MRP), a coalition of Papuan tribal chiefs tasked with arbitration and speaking on behalf of indigenous Papuans. While MRP’s role has largely been consultative over the years, they claim to be excluded from talks of establishing the three new provinces, with Indonesian human rights lawyer in-exile and current head of Amnesty Australia’s strategic campaigns Veronika Koman describing the move as “a product by Jakarta, for Jakarta”.

Seeing that the Indonesian government has largely bypassed mechanisms of representative democracy they set themselves, protests opposing the proliferation broke out in major Papuan cities such as Jayapura, Wamena, and Timika. Two people were killed in Yakuhimo Regency while six others were injured when security forces opened fire in March 2022. Earlier this year, a petition rejecting the Otsus amendment was circulated among local Papua residents, and managed to gather 718,179 signatures.

That so many indigenous West Papuans expressed their disdain for renewing the Special Autonomy status, even with its considerable increase in allocated regional budget, is a sign that something has gone horribly wrong. On a general level, this means that there is a fatal disconnect between how the Indonesian government view their treatment of the region, and how the people actually affected by such treatment see the arrangement.