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Activists from 28 countries address destructive impact of #mining

July 31, 2015

http://www.ucanews.com/news/activists-from-28-countries-address-destructive-impact-of-mining/74011

Activists from 28 countries address destructive impact of mining

They advocate for a UN treaty that will let people sue mining corporations

<p> Anti-mining activists voice their concerns over destructive

Anti-mining activists voice their concerns over destructive mining at the International People’s Conference on Mining in Manila. (Photo by Joe Torres)

  • Joe Torres, Manila
  • International
  • July 31, 2015

Anti-mining activists from 28 countries have formulated a "people’s global mechanism" to address the destructive impact of mining.

The activists, who were part of the July 30-Aug 1 International People’s Conference on Mining [
http://www.peoplesminingconf.net
] in Manila, said they will present the mechanism before the United Nations later this year.

"We will advocate for a binding treaty in the UN that will give rights to the people to sue mining corporations and hold them accountable for violations and crimes," said Clemente Bautista of the Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment.

Bautista, a conference organizer, said they will also propose the formation of a UN commission or rapporteur on extractive industries.

"On the national level, we want to improve local and national laws that will be at par to international standards," said lawyer Selcuk Kozagacli, chairman of the Progressive Lawyers Association in Turkey.

He said there were cases in the past where erring mining companies leave the countries after violations have been committed.

"With an international mechanism. We can join forces and file cases in an international tribunal," Kozagacli told ucanews.com. "Now more than ever do we need a united people’s struggle worldwide to defend the people’s rights and environment."

Maria Antoni Recinos, a rural environment activist from El Salvador, said there is a need for "international solidarity" in the campaign against destructive industries.

"Governments must take concrete measures where there is exploitation, especially in countries where destructive mining companies operate," she said.

Gabriel Sheanopa Manyangadze of the Zimbabwe Council of Churches said that with the support of an international alliance they will "escalate the campaign to continental levels" and work with their network of churches.

The meeting in Manila discussed how the current economic crisis, experienced by the global mining industry, will impact local communities.

Host country Philippines served as a microcosm of the global mining crisis.

Large-scale mining in the Philippines grew from 17 operations in 1997 to 46 at present and has generated US$28.6 billion worth of minerals in terms of total production value in the same time.

"Such industry growth, enjoyed only by a handful of transnational mining corporations, comes at the cost of people’s lives, livelihood and environment," said Bautista.

In Pope Francis’s recently released encyclical, Laudato si’ (Praise be to you ­ On Care For Our Common Home), addressed to every person on the planet, he blamed human greed for the critical situation "Our Sister, mother Earth" now finds herself in.

Shatter the Silence

July 31, 2015

petition2.jpg

Shatter the Silence, The Look of Silence documentary

OPEN letter to Pacific Islands Forum Leaders

July 29, 2015

http://awpasydneynews.blogspot.com.au/2015/07/open-letter-to-pacific-islands-forum.html

Australia West Papua Association (Sydney)

PO Box 28, Spit Junction, NSW 2088

OPEN letter to Pacific Islands Forum Leaders

27 July 2015

Dear Pacific Islands Forum leaders,

On behalf of the Australia West Papua Association (Sydney), I am writing to you concerning the deteriorating human rights situation in West Papua[1].

There has been no improvement in the human rights situation in West Papua since the last Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) Summit was held in Koror, Palau. The West Papuan people continue to suffer human rights violations from the Indonesian security forces. We continue to hear from governments that there is an improvement in the situation in West Papua, that Indonesia is now a democracy and human rights abuses are something that occurred in the past. But where is the improvement in West Papua?

Throughout 2014, the security forces cracked down on peaceful rallies called by civil society groups and in particular on the West Papua National Committee (KNPB). These peaceful rallies were met with an excessive use of force by the security forces with arrests and incidents of police brutality against the demonstrators. In fact, all aspects of society in West Papua including lawyers, human rights defenders, activists, clergy and journalists faced regular intimidation or the threat of arrest.

On Monday 8th December 2014, the security forces fired into a crowd of approximately 800 peaceful demonstrators (which included women and children) in Enarotali in the Panai regency, killing four. Up to 17 others were reported injured. The demonstrators had gathered to demand an explanation for the beating of a number of children by soldiers the previous evening. We point out that at this stage none of the perpetrators have been brought to justice. This incident shows that the security forces can act with impunity in West Papua.

The crackdown on civil society groups by the security forces is ongoing. On the 1st, 20th and 28th of May this year, the security forces cracked down on rallies called by civil society organizations with over 400 peaceful demonstrators arrested. The West Papuans were commemorating the 52nd anniversary of the administrative transfer of West Papua to Indonesia. These arrests are examples of the ongoing suppression of freedom of expression in West Papua.

We understand that many people were encouraged when the Indonesian President announced (during a visit to West Papua at the beginning of May), the granting of clemency to 5 West Papuan prisoners and the lifting of media bans for foreign journalists wanting to visit West Papua. However, to receive clemency or pardon, prisoners have to admit guilt before it is granted. Political Prisoners such as Filep Karma one of the most well known political prisoner in West Papua has refused clemency as have the majority of political prisoners. They refuse to admit any guilt in return for a release.

The lifting of media bans for foreign journalists wanting to visit West Papua raises a number of questions.

1) Is this just an image making exercise or stunt? The Indonesian President has received international condemnation because of his policy on the death penalty for drug offences.

2) Will his decision be actually implemented? Jakarta’s or Jokiwi’s policies are not necessarily carried out by officials and security forces in West Papua.

3) If journalists are allowed in will official minders or BIN agents follow or control their movements?

Already statements from Indonesian officials question how free journalists will be to report on issues of concern in West Papua. The Indonesian Parliament’s Deputy Chairman Taufik Kurniawan has already suggested that President Jokowi should reconsider his policy to open access for foreign press in Papua. “I think it’d be better to reconsider because the issues in Papua which are currently are very sensitive could be easily politicized either its poverty or social aspects if there is no filter”. Indonesia’s Military Chief General Moeldoko said his institution was considering implementing a policy of having security personnel accompany foreign journalists in Papua to ensure their safety. It is hard to imagine West Papuans discussing the human rights situation with journalists while the Indonesian security forces are in attendance.

We also note the growing support throughout the Pacific region for the right of the people of West Papua to self-determination. An indication of this support is the fact that at the recent Melanesian Spearhead Group Summit in the Solomon Islands, the West Papuan umbrella organization the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP), was granted observer status at the MSG.

In light of the ongoing human rights abuses in West Papua

AWPA urges the PIF Leaders

To discuss the human rights situation in West Papua at the 46th Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Summit in PNG and to acknowledge these concerns in the official communiqué.

To request permission from the Indonesian Government to allow a PIF fact finding mission to West Papua to investigate the human rights situation in the territory.

According to Papuans Behind Bars there were at least 45 political prisoners in Papua at the end of June 2015. We ask the PIF leaders to urge the Indonesian Government to grant an amnesty to all West Papuan political prisoners, releasing them immediately and unconditionally.

We note the large number of non-self governing territories and organizations that have various types of status at the PIF[2]. The glaring omission is the territory of West Papua.

We urge the PIF leaders to also grant observer status to genuine representatives of the Melanesian people of West Papua, those who are struggling for their right to self-determination.

Yours sincerely

Joe Collins

Secretary

AWPA (Sydney)

USGov: Trafficking in Persons Report 2015

July 27, 2015

http://www.state.gov/j/tip/rls/tiprpt/index.htm

Indonesia Chapter: http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/243559.pdf

INDONESIA: Tier 2

Indonesia is a major source country and, to a much lesser extent, destination and transit country for women, children, and men subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor. Each of Indonesia’s 34 provinces is a source and destination of trafficking. The government estimates 6.2 million Indonesians­many of whom are women­ work abroad, mostly in domestic service, construction, factories, or on plantations or fishing vessels. A significant number of Indonesian migrant workers face conditions of forced labor, including through debt bondage, in Asia and the Middle East and on fishing vessels operating in international waters. Malaysia remained the leading destination for migrant workers from Indonesia, followed by Saudi Arabia, despite the Indonesian government’s moratorium on issuing permits for domestic work in Saudi Arabia. The government also maintained a moratorium on permits for Indonesians to work in domestic service in the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, Jordan, and Syria. Indonesian victims have also been identified in other countries in Asia, the Middle East, the Pacific Islands, Africa, and North America. Indonesian women and girls are subjected to sex trafficking primarily in Malaysia, Taiwan, and the Middle East. Reports indicate the number of undocumented workers travelling abroad by sea­some of whom are vulnerable to trafficking­has increased following governmental restrictions on legal migration channels for low-skilled workers. The government reported an increase in foreign and Indonesian fishermen subjected to forced labor on Indonesian and foreign-flagged fishing vessels­many operating out of Thailand’s fishing industry­in Indonesian waters.

According to NGOs, labor recruiters are responsible for more than 50 percent of cases in which Indonesian female workers are subjected to trafficking in destination countries. Migrant workers often accumulate significant debts with labor recruiters that make them vulnerable to debt bondage. Some recruiters work independently and others for Indonesia-based labor recruitment companies that lead migrant workers into debt bondage and other trafficking situations. Licensed and unlicensed companies use debt bondage, withholding of documents, and threats of violence to keep Indonesian migrants in situations of forced labor. In many cases, corrupt officials facilitate the issuance of false documents, accept bribes to allow brokers to transport undocumented migrants across borders, protect venues where sex trafficking occurs, and thwart law enforcement and judicial processes to hold traffickers accountable. Endemic corruption among law enforcement officers enables many traffickers to operate with impunity.

Many women and girls are exploited in domestic servitude and sex trafficking in Indonesia. Women, men, and children are exploited in forced labor in the fishing, construction, plantation, mining, and manufacturing sectors. Children are exploited in prostitution in the Batam district of the Riau Islands province and in West Papua province. Women and girls are subjected to sex trafficking near mining operations in Maluku, Papua, and Jambi provinces. Victims are often recruited by job offers in restaurants, factories, or domestic service before they are subjected to sex trafficking. Debt bondage is particularly prevalent among sex trafficking victims. Reports suggest an increase in university and high school students using social media to recruit and subject other students­some under age 18­to sex trafficking. Colombian women are subjected to forced prostitution in Indonesia. Child sex tourism is prevalent in the Riau Islands bordering Singapore, and Bali is a destination for Indonesian child sex tourists.

The Government of Indonesia does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government prosecuted 134 suspected traffickers, convicted 79, provided temporary shelter to an unknown number of victims, and conducted anti-trafficking awareness and training events for members of the public and government officials. The government did not make progress in collecting comprehensive, accurate data on its anti-trafficking law enforcement and victim identification efforts. Officials did not consistently employ proactive procedures to identify victims among vulnerable groups and refer them to protective services. The government passed amendments to existing laws allowing victims to obtain restitution from their traffickers, and restitution was awarded in at least three trafficking cases. Inadequate coordination across government agencies and lack of officials’ knowledge of trafficking indicators and legislation impaired anti-trafficking efforts, including implementation of a national anti-trafficking strategy.

RECOMMENDATIONS FOR INDONESIA:

Increase efforts to prosecute and convict labor recruitment agencies, brokers, and corrupt public officials involved in trafficking; develop and implement proactive procedures to identify potential victims among vulnerable groups, including returning migrant workers and persons in prostitution and onboard fishing vessels, and refer such cases to law enforcement officials and victim service providers; improve data collection and public reporting of comprehensive data on legal proceedings against traffickers under the anti-trafficking law; develop anti-trafficking training for judges, prosecutors, police, social workers, and diplomats; prosecute and punish those who obtain commercial sexual services from children; create a national protocol that clarifies responsibilities for prosecuting trafficking cases when they occur outside victims’ respective provinces; increase government funding to support victims’ participation in judicial proceedings; strengthen the national anti-trafficking taskforce and improve coordination across all ministries; and increase awareness-raising campaigns targeted at the public and all levels of government in regions with high incidence of trafficking

PROSECUTION

The government continued anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts. Indonesia’s anti-trafficking law, passed in 2007, prohibits all forms of trafficking and prescribes penalties of three to 15 years’ imprisonment, which are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. Officials reported ineffective coordination among police, prosecutors, and judges often impeded the government’s ability to obtain successful convictions, particularly when cases often involved numerous jurisdictions, including other countries. Extrajudicial mediation hampered successful prosecutions, as victims whose families received settlements from traffickers were usually unwilling to participate in official law enforcement proceedings. The government continued to lack a system for comprehensive reporting on anti-trafficking law enforcement data, resulting in inaccuracies and inconsistencies across systems. The Indonesian National Police opened 305 trafficking investigations, but more than 200 were closed with no further prosecutorial action; authorities did not report the number of investigations that led to new prosecutions. A lack of familiarity with the anti-trafficking law’s provisions led some prosecutors and judges to decline cases or use other laws to prosecute traffickers. The attorney general’s office continued to compile trafficking data from courts across Indonesia and reported the prosecution of 134 defendants, an increase from 126 in 2013. The attorney general’s office reported 79 convictions in 2014­a decrease from 118 convictions in 2013. In March 2014, authorities convicted one trafficker for subjecting men to forced labor and debt bondage on a fishing vessel operating in international waters; he was sentenced to one year in prison. A second defendant was convicted of falsifying travel documents but acquitted on trafficking charges and did not receive jail time. During the year, the government organized trainings for police to improve their capacity to investigate trafficking cases. NGOs and government officials reported that endemic corruption among security forces and other authorities remained an impediment to anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts; however, the government did not report any investigations, prosecutions, or convictions of public officials complicit in the facilitation of trafficking.

PROTECTION

The government continued efforts to protect trafficking victims. The government had standard operating procedures for the proactive identification of victims, though it did not consistently employ these among vulnerable groups, such as returning migrant workers who reported problems during their overseas employment. The government continued to rely largely on international organizations and NGOs for the identification of victims. Officials did not collect or report comprehensive data on victims identified or assisted. An international organization identified and provided services for 761 victims and referred many of them to the government for additional services. The government repatriated 703 victims from Malaysia and 481 from Saudi Arabia. The government reported 118 victims were awaiting repatriation in the Indonesian embassy shelter in the United Arab Emirates at the close of the reporting period, but the level of assistance the government provided to them remained unknown. The Indonesian consulate general in Saudi Arabia spearheaded a training course for Indonesian consular officials on identifying trafficking crimes and referring victims to protection. In December 2014 the government began freezing licenses and destroying boats in a crackdown on illegal fishing. The government publicly acknowledged that victims of trafficking were likely among the crew of these boats. After a March 2015 media investigation reported more than 1,000 potential victims of forced labor on fishing vessels were stranded or detained on the island of Benjina, the government initiated efforts to identify and rescue victims. At the close of the reporting period, the government declared its intent to investigate potential trafficking crimes, though it had not yet done so. The government transferred 367 fishermen to temporary shelter in Tual and facilitated screening from an international organization and repatriation.

The Ministry of Social Affairs continued to provide trauma services and immediate shelter to an unknown number of female trafficking victims through 18 rehabilitation centers. The Ministry of Women’s Empowerment and Child Protection managed 247 integrated service centers, most of which were operated by provincial governments and served a wide range of vulnerable groups. The quality of care for victims varied widely across the country. Service centers were supported through government and private funds. The Ministry of Health was responsible for covering the costs of health care for victims, and national police hospitals were obligated to provide medical care at no cost. NGOs and government officials reported some hospital staff remained unaware of this duty or were unwilling to provide care without compensation.

The government continued to operate a toll-free hotline for overseas workers. During the year, it received 274 complaints, 16 of which were trafficking-related, including cases involving illegal recruitment or document falsification; the government referred these cases to police, but it was unknown if any resulted in trafficking investigations, prosecutions, or victims receiving protective services. The government had policies to provide legal assistance to victims, but it is unknown how many victims received this assistance. In October 2014, the government passed amendments to the 2006 Witness and Victim Protection and the 2002 Child Protection laws, which allow victims to obtain restitution from their traffickers, and there were reports that some victims were awarded compensation during the year, including 55 men subjected to forced labor on fishing vessels in international waters. There were no reports identified victims were punished for crimes committed as a result of being subjected to trafficking, but inadequate efforts to screen vulnerable groups proactively for trafficking indicators, including during raids to arrest persons in prostitution or combat illegal fishing, may have resulted in the punishment of some unidentified trafficking victims. The government did not provide legal alternatives to the removal of foreign victims to countries where they may face hardship or retribution.

PREVENTION

The government made minimal efforts to prevent trafficking. Most prevention efforts occurred at the district and province levels through 31 provincial anti-trafficking taskforces and 166 district or municipal anti-trafficking taskforces; funding for and activities undertaken by taskforces varied greatly across regions. The national anti-trafficking taskforce did not have a budget and was funded by participating ministries. The government and international organizations co-hosted two anti-trafficking awareness raising events for officials and law enforcement personnel. It also facilitated a training workshop on victim identification and witness protection for 35 authorities.

The government continued efforts to monitor outbound Indonesian workers and protect them from fraudulent recruitment and human trafficking through improving data collection, though it is unclear whether it used this data to identify or prevent trafficking cases effectively. The government revoked or suspended licenses for some companies engaged in unscrupulous recruitment, but failed to hold some accountable for fraudulent practices indicative of trafficking or investigate some trafficking situations. Indonesian authorities reported conducting raids on recruiting companies suspected of illegal practices, but did not report any subsequent punishments for illegal acts. The government did not report any prosecutions or convictions of child sex tourists during the year, and it did not report efforts to reduce the demand for forced labor or commercial sex acts. The government provided military personnel with anti-trafficking training prior to their deployment abroad on international peacekeeping missions. It provided antitrafficking training and guidance for its diplomatic personnel.

Papua Police Charge Two for Inciting Tolikara Riot

July 25, 2015

http://thejakartaglobe.beritasatu.com/news/papua-police-charge-two-inciting-tolikara-riot/

1) Papua Police Charge Two for Inciting Tolikara Riot

By Roberth Vanwi on 07:45 pm Jul 24, 2015
Category Featured, Front Page, News, Religion
Tags: Indonesia religious intolerance, Papua unrest, Tolikara incident

Jayapura. Papua Police have charged two people for allegedly inciting a riot in Tolikara district, which saw a small mosque burn to the ground last week and triggered widespread fears of sectarian violence across the country.

Police identified the suspects as 26-year-old local bank employee A.K. and J.W., 31, a civil servant.

“The two were seen provoking the assault,” Papua Police chief Insp. Gen. Yotje Mende said at his office in the provincial capital of Jayapura.

The pair has been charged with inciting others to commit crime under Indonesia’s Criminal Code and could face a maximum sentence of five years in prison if convicted.

The two suspects were apprehended in Tolikara district capital Karubaga on Thursday and were flown to Jayapura the following day where they will face more questioning.

Police suspected the two had provoked a group of around 200 people to pelt stones and set fire to shops owned by Muslim migrants in Karubaga during the Islamic Idul Fitri holiday. Investigators also claimed they have obtained video footage of the pair during the riot.

Violence erupted in Tolikara last week after members of the Evangelical Church of Indonesia (GIDI) — the largest religious group in the district — complained about the use of loudspeakers during a mass Idul Fitri prayer and called for the event to be canceled.

Police opened fire at protesters, killing one and injuring 11 others, although the exact nature of the shooting has been widely contested by the GIDI, security officials and witnesses.

But there is no dispute that the shooting led to the riot.

Scores of officials and religious groups, both Muslims and Christians, immediately called for peace out of fear that violence might spread to the rest of the Muslim-majority country, which saw a brutal string of sectarian conflicts between 2000 and 2005.

National Police chief Gen. Badrodin Haiti has also instructed officers across the archipelago to counter the spread of provocative messages circulating in the aftermath of the incident.

Meanwhile, police in Jakarta have stepped up security to prevent Papuan students and churches from becoming a target of hate crimes, said Jakarta Police chief Insp. Gen. Tito Karnavian.

——————————————————————————-

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2015/07/24/papua-police-arrest-two-suspects-behind-tolikara-riot.html

2) Papua Police arrest two suspects behind Tolikara riot
Nethy Dharma Somba, thejakartapost.com, Jayapura, Papua | National | Fri, July 24 2015, 4:02 PM –

Papua Police said on Friday that they had arrested two suspects related to the recent religious clash in Tolikara, Papua.

The police suspect that the two people, with the initials JW and AK, instigated the riot that resulted in the death of a teenager and the injury of 12 others of various ages.

Papua Police chief Ins. Gen. Yotje Mende said on Friday that JW and AK were flown from Tolikara to Papua Police’s headquarter for further questioning.

“They were both involved in the attack against Muslims, who performing Idul Fitri prayers, and they were also involved in the burning of several kiosks” Yotje added.

The police said the two men were members of the Evangelical Church of Indonesia and they both worked as clerks in a local bank in Tolikara.

Yotje also said that the suspects would be charged with provocation and assault under articles 160 and 170 of the Criminal Code, which can see a sentence of up to five years’ imprisonment. (ika)(++++)

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3) Cover Up of human rights violations by the security forces in Tolikara Statement by the Executive Director of LP3BH

LP3BH-Manokwari has received reliable and accurate information from the leaders of GIDI, the Evangelical Church in Indonesia, about
the Tolikara Incident which has enabled us to reveal that a gross violation of human rights occurred [See Article 7/b and Article 9/a of
LAW 26/2000). The violations were perpetrated by members of the security forces, the TNI-Indonesian Army and the Police Force on 17th
July this year. A man named Endi Wanimbo, 15 years old  was killed and eleven others were seriously injured and are now being treated in
hospital.

 These young people felt very dissatisfied about what the security forces had done and set fire to several stalls in Tolikara Market.
This spread to a nearby wooden mushola [small mosque] located near the stalls.

Accusations against these young people associated with the GIDI Church which were published in the local media that they were
responsible for the mayhem are without foundation. According to the LP3BH, the actions were taken by members of the
security forces and were not in accord with the procedures required towards any peaceful action and therefore constitute a gross violation
of human rights. This incident should be investigated by the civil authorities and the security forces in accordance with the laws in
force.

The LP3BH therefore calls on President Ir H. Joko Widodo to guarantee full access to the area and ensure that the security forces
do not get involved in this case, as this would prevent an independent investigation from being undertaken by the National Human Rights
Commission (KOMNAS HAM) in accordance with Law 39/1999 on Basic Human Rights and Law 26/2000 on Human Rights Courts.
Furthermore, KOMNAS-HAM should be given the opportunity to gather all the information and data as provided for in Article 184 of the Procedural Code to determine
whether gross human rights were perpetrated and seek to find the perpetrators of the arson attack that occurred in Tolikara on 17 July.

Furthermore, the LP3BH urges the Chief of Police in Papua together with his subordinates to investigate the incident and determine who it
was who was responsible for the arson against the stalls in the market, in accordance with the laws in force.
The Chief of Police should also summon the commander of the police in Tolikara, AKPB Suroso who seems to have failed to establish
good communications between the leaders of the GIDI Church and the leaders of the Muslim community in Tolikara in order to prevent the spread of
ill feelings between these communities which could inflame social conflict, as was the case with the 17 July incident in Tolikara.

The LP3BH also calls on the leaders of civil society in Tolikara and throughout the Land of Papua to avoid being drawn into disputes
that could occur, and avoid spreading news in the local print or electronic media. Everyone should strive to maintain friendly
co-operation between the various religious communities as the way to avoid any social conflict emerging in the Land of Papua.

Manokwari, 23 July 2015
On behalf of LP3BH and the Coalition of Civil Society for Justice and
Peace in West Papua
Yan Christian Warinussy, Executive Director to the LP3BH, Institution
of Research, Analyzing and Development of Legal Aid.
Translated by Carmel Budiardjo

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https://awasmifee.potager.org/?p=1283
4) Trial starts for two people arrested on demonstration at PT Permata Putera Mandiri’s offfice.

On 15th May this year, dozens of students and others from the Iwaro ethnic group from Metamani and Inanwatan in South Sorong Regency, staged a protest action with banners and speeches, blocking the offices of oil palm company PT Permata Putera Mandiri (PPM), on Jalan Ahmad Yani, Sorong City, West Papua Province.

According to Simon Soren, one of the participants on the action, “the people were demanding that PT PPM offer a solution to the problems of land grabbing, the destruction of the forest and sago groves, illegal logging and an unfair level of compensation, and indications that illegal exploration for oil and gas were also taking place”.

The company refused to meet with the demonstrators, and then police from the Sorong City station, who were already present at the area, broke up the action and arrested dozens of participants. After questioning, several detainees were released little by little, until eventually only two people were being held: Obed Korie and Odie Aitago from Puragi village, Metamani District, South Sorong.

On 14th July 2014, Obed Korie and Odie Aitago attended the first session of their court process at the Sorong District Court, where the prosecution read out the accusations. According to Loury Dacosta, their legal support who attended that session, “Prosecutor Ola Dimara read out the accusations which formed the basis of charging the two people under article 170 of the Indonesian Criminal Code, which refers to violence towards persons or property, and carries a threat of a five year prison sentence”.

Justice appears to be very distant for the victims of PT PPM: the company has not met their demands, and now on the contrary the victims of development are criminalised by the government.

The ANJ Group’s business in South Sorong

PT PPM is a subsidiary company of PT Austindo Nusantara Jaya (ANJ) Group, owned by business tycoon George Tahija. ANJ also owns two other oil palm plantations in South Sorong and nearby Maybrat, PT Putera Manunggal Perkasa (PMP and PT Pusaka Agro Makmur (PAM). The ANJ Group also owns PT ANJ Agri Papua which is engaged in exploiting sago forests and in the sago processing industry, with operations between Metamani and Kokoda districts in South Sorong.

Before being acquired by the ANJ Group, the three oil palm companies were believed to be owned by Jakarta-based PT Pusaka Agro Sejahtera with the majority of the shares held by foreign companies (most likely offshore holding companies). 90% of the shares in PT PPM were owned by Xinfeng Pte Ltd, and 90% of PT PMP was owned by Xinyou Plantation Pte Ltd, both based at the same address at 30 Cecil St, Singapore. In January 2014, these shares were transferred to the AnJ Group. PT PAM, whose shares were registered in the name of another Singapore-based company Wodi Kaifa Ltd, was acquired by the ANJ Group in October 2014.

The company obtained the land for their plantations through mechanisms based on Indonesian state law, ignoring local customary law mechanisms. This actually contravenes the provisions of the 2001 law concerning special autonomy for Papua, which state that if any party requires access to customary land, a meeting of indigenous people must take place to reach a consensus decision before any permits to operate or land title may be granted.

Local indigenous people, who actually have control and title over the land and forest are never involved in land acquisition, including in this case involving PT ANJ. The process of land acquisition takes place furtively and without transparency, with police and military involvement, and without the community having the opportunity to understand or find out what the wider impacts of forest clearance might be.

Land acquisition and compensation documents reveal that the average compensation paid is 75,000 Rupiah per hectare (US$6), with a stipulation that the land will be used for the duration of the company’s operational permit, 35 years. This amount is extremely unfair if compared to the benefits the community would otherwise obtain from forest products in the area. The company on the other hand, will receive huge profits from its exploitation of forest products and large-scale land management.

Source: http://pusaka.or.id/demo-menuntut-pt-ppm-dua-warga-dipidanakan/

This entry was posted in Around West Papua and tagged Austindo Nusantara Jaya, Criminalisation, intimidation, Land Grabbing, Metamani, PT Permata Putera Mandiri, Puragi. Bookmark the permalink. Comments are closed, but you can leave a trackback: Trackback URL.
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Free West Papua Newsletter – July 2015

July 24, 2015
West Papua makes history with political recognition
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Free West Papua Campaign Newsletter
July 2015

This month we are proud and delighted to announce that West Papua has made history by being awarded observer status to the Melanesian Spearhead Group. This ground breaking news comes after months of hard work by the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP), backed up by thousands of demonstrators across Papua. Subject to hundreds of arrests and in some cases torture, they have been supported by a mass movement across Melanesia and the rest of the world.

Thank you to all our supporters who helped to make this happen. Please continue to keep this momentum going and spread the word about what is happening in West Papua. Visit our website to find out how you can take action to help West Papua on its road to freedom.

West Papua makes history with political recognition

Observer status has been granted to West Papua by the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) sub-regional bloc. After over 53 years of political struggle for the right to self-determination, the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) representing West Papua, was granted Observer status by the 20th MSG Leader’s summit in Honiara, Solomon Islands…

Read more

Dozens of West Papuans arrested, many tortured for joining pro MSG rallies

Dozens arrested and many injured as police crackdown on protesters in West Papua 28 May 2015 – At least 81 people have been arrested in West Papua by Indonesian authorities at a number of protest rallies. Reports of beatings and mistreatment…

Read more

Still no justice for Biak Massacre victims

On 6 July 1998, West Papuans demonstrating for independence on the island of Biak, West Papua, were murdered by Indonesian military and police and large numbers were detained. Today on the anniversary we remember the victims of those tragic events and repeat our demand for justice…

Read more

More international MPs sign West Papua declaration

There is a new wave of political support growing for West Papua’s legal right to self-determination. Writing to your MP really does work. Thanks to everyone who has been emailing their politicians asking them to support West Papua. ..

Read more

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The ULMWP’position and the Melanesian Spearhead Group

July 16, 2015

Comment by the Executive-Director of LP3BH

A recent statement made by the Prime Minister of Fiji, Frank
Bainimarama, who said that the fact that the Melanesian Spearhead
Group/MSG. made it possible for both the United Liberation Movement
for West Papua (ULMWP) and Indonesia to attend the recent meeting of
the MSG means that the MSG is in a position to facilitate the solution
of the problems being faced by the Melanesian people living in West
Papua and elsewhere Indonesia.

This statement shows that the leaders of the MSG are well aware of
the social and political problems and the cultural problems that have
confronted the Melanesian people who inhabit the Cenderawasih Land for
many years.

This means that the opportunity for including on the agenda the
problems that are of crucial importance in resolving the basic human
rights problems that have confronted the people in the Land of Papua
for that past fifty years is more likely now than ever before, and is
being widely discussed at almost every meeting as well as between the
leaders representing the various countries within the MSG.

In this connection, speaking as the recipient of the John Humphrey
Freedom Award in 2005, Canada. I urge all human rights organisations
in the Land of Papua and throughout the world to make a positive
contribution by providing all the information that is available about
the violations of human rights that have been occurring for the past
fifty years. Furthermore, I call on the MSG, via the intermediary of
its Secretariat General, to become a key pillar for the resolution of
these problems, from now on.

Of course it goes without saying that resolving these human rights
violations should be done through legitimate channels by using the
various national and international institutions, in particular with
the support of the United Nations High Commission on Human Rights,
based in Geneva, Switzerland.

Peace!

Yan Christian Warinussy, Executive Director of the LP3BH Manokwari –
the Institute for Research and Analyzing and Development for Legal Aid

Translated by Carmel Budiardjo

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