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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.

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