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Summary of events in West Papua for October 2012

October 30, 2012

Australia West Papua Association (Sydney)

PO Box 28, Spit Junction, NSW 2088

Summary of events in West Papua for October 2012

In the past month the security forces have been cracking down on members of the West Papua National Committee (KNPB) and targeting peaceful rallies organized by the KNPB. On the 29 of September eight members of KNPB were arrested by the security forces (including by members of Detachment 88). They were arrested during a raid on the KNPB Regional Secretariat in Wamena and were accused of been involved in bomb incident in Wamena. The KNPB claim the explosives were planted and that they were being framed to justify the squads (Detachment 88) activities.Victor Yeimo of the KNPB said “We are the non-violent activists in West Papua. We will fight for our right of freedom according to the peaceful means in West Papua. We demand our right of self-determination to a referendum to be held in West Papua by UN peacefully and democratically”. Report on incident by 7.30 report at

Also of concern arestatements from the deputy chairman of Commission 1, Tubagus Hasanuddin, reported in the Jakarta Globe "House bangs drum of war in Papua" Statements such as

“To keep Papua integrated with the country we must encourage the TNI to do what they have to do in Papua"


" that the House was yet to give political support for any TNI offensive against the separatist movement in Papua, but it would not hesitate to back it if the occasion demanded".

These statements must create fear in the West Papuan people who have already suffered so much from Indonesian military operations. AWPA media release at

On the 16 of October a group of Indonesian intelligent agents raided a boarding house to arrest Danny Wenda and Fanny Kogoya, a human rights defender from the Papuan women’s network TIKI. This is part of the security forces strategy to intimidate human rights defenders and civil society organisations in West Papua. In an article translated by Tapol, Yan Christian Warinussy reported that “The Government of Indonesia is lacking political commitment and has failed to take a clear stand in providing a safe, comfortable working environment for human rights defenders in Indonesia. They are not protected while carrying out their professional activities in various areas in Indonesia, particularly in conflict areas such as the Land of Papua (Papua and West Papua)”

AWPA letter to Sen. Bob Carr at

On the 18 October the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) released an urgent action concerning the arbitrary arrest of five Papuan activists in Jayapura on the 12 October 2012. The five activists were arrested on the allegation of involvement in importing or distributing explosive materials. The police did not have any evidence to arrest and detain them and they were later released. The police, however, copied several documents belonging to the activists related to their political movement. Details at

On the 23 October the security forces cracked down onpeaceful rallies that were held in a number of towns throughout West Papua including in Timika, Sorong, Biak, Merauke, Yahukimo Jayapura and Manokwari.

A solidarity rally took place in Manado. The rallies were organised by the KNPB to draw attention to the UN the human rights abuses suffered by the West Papuan people and in support of the IPWP meeting in London.

Video footage and photos of rallies and crackdown at

In Manokwari eleven people were arrested

Human rights organisations protested at the crackdown including Amnesty International

AWPA letter to Sen. Carr

Senator Richard Di Natale also raised concerns in a press release

Also, received from Georgia Webster at Sen. Di Natale’s office .

“In addition, last week Richard questioned representatives of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade during Senate Estimates regarding the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties recommendations re. the Lombok Treaty, and I thought you may be interested in the transcript of that hearing”

Earlier in the Estimates week, Richard also asked questions of the Australian Federal Police about D88 training, which you may have seen already but again for those who may have missed that the transcript and a video is here on Richard’s website:

In response to questions at the hearing the Australian Federal Police (AFP) commissioner Tony Negus said the AFP was taking precautions to ensure it wasn’t supporting activities unacceptable to the Australian community

And "If there was ever any taint of anyone we have trained, being involved in inappropriate activity, we would certainly have to review that level of support that we would provide," he told the hearing in Canberra.

During the rallies on the 23rd a Jakarta Globe stringer and reporter Oktovianus Pogau was choked and beaten by police as he attempted to report on the protest. 

Oktovianus was videotaping the scene when he was approached by a plainclothes officer and told to leave. When he refused a second officer attacked him from behind. Freedom House statement at

Thanks to the media again who questioned Australia’s Attorney-General Nicola Roxon who was on a visit to Indonesia about the crackdown on the rallies. She told Radio Australia that any cases of alleged abuse by security forces must be properly investigated. Ms Roxon says Australia’s ambassador and Foreign Affairs department is looking into the latest reports of the West Papua violence.

"Any incidence of conflict and violence in the Papuan province is of a real concern both to us and to the Indonesian government," Ms Roxon said.

"Australia is very firmly committed to making sure that any abuses or any alleged abuses by security forces in Papua will be properly investigated and punished."

AWPA also wrote to the PNG Prime Minister to thank him for raising concerns about the human rights situation in West Papua with the Indonesian Government and urging him to support those representatives of the West Papuan people involved in the self-determination struggle being granted full membership at the next MSG Summit.

The Indonesian president is visiting the UKand will receive a prestigious honor from the Queen in spite of a plan by activists for Papua to make a “citizens arrest” against him.

Tapol commented “This is an insult for all Indonesians who have suffered for so many years at the hands of the SBY government and previous Indonesian governments which have done nothing to bring perpetrators of grave human rights crimes to justice”. A Briefing paper by
the NGO Forum for Indonesia and Timor-Leste released a report to coincide with the president’s visit (below) “Rights violations over-shadow Presidential visit”. Briefing by
NGO Forum for Indonesia and Timor-Leste 18 October 2012.

In brief

Papuan women are equally capable

Bintang Papua, 13 October 2012

Speaking on behalf of the Women’s Group in the Majelis Rakyat Papua (Papuan People’s Council), Ibu Rode Ros Muyasin said that indigenous Papuan women are as equally capable as Papuan men. However, the problem is that they have never been given the space to display their capabilities. One example is that although a quota has been set for women to occupy thirty percent of the seats in the legislature, this quota has never been achieved. She said that as a result of the fact that women extremely rarely occupy positions of strategic importance, either in government or in other areas, such as political affairs, they have not been given the opportunity to show their capabilities. She went on to say many dirty tricks were being played, making it very difficult for women to compete with men. She called on all elements in society to foster the involvement of women in society. because they need the space to be able to compete on an equal footing in all activities, adding that this was stipulated in the Special Autonomy Law for Papua which endorses the principles of protection, support and empowerment of indigenous Papuan women. With regard to the quota of thirty percent of seats for women in the legislature, she said that according to the principles of justice, this should be 50:50. But the fact is that even the thirty percent quota has not been achieved. Women’s position within the special eleven extra seats in the legislature is also not at all clear. She urged all people in Papua to make sure that women enjoy the same proportionate role as men. ‘There must be an end to gender discrimination, to the continuing stigmatisation of Papuan women as being of incapable. [Translated by TAPOL]

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