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Papua’s COVID-19 recovery rate improves

December 17, 2020

Papua’s COVID-19 recovery rate improves
8 hours ago

Jayapura, Papua (ANTARA) – With 68 more patients recovering from coronavirus infections in Papua in a span of 24 hours ending Tuesday, the number of recoveries in the province climbed to 11,028, the provincial COVID-19 task force stated.

The additional recoveries were reported from Jayapura city (26) and the districts of Mimika (14), Boven Digul (13), Merauke (1), Jayawijaya (11), Biak Numfor (3), the task force’s spokesperson, Silwanus Sumule, informed on Wednesday.

Although Papua’s recovery rate is showing a positive trend, its death toll data remains a cause for concern. According to the task force, 218 COVID-19 patients have succumbed to the virus since the local authorities officially reported the first confirmed cases on March 21, 2020.

Silwanus said Papua’s infection rate rose to 12,546 after 116 residents tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday. The newly-confirmed cases were reported from the districts of Jayawijaya, Jayapura, Nabire, Mimika, Biak Numfor, and Bovel Digul, he added.

Papua and many other provinces in Indonesia have been striving to contain coronavirus infections, which initially emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan at the end of 2019 and then spread worldwide, including to nations in the Asia-Pacific region.

The first COVID-19 infections in Indonesia were reported on March 2 this year.

The government has consistently expressed confidence the COVID-19 vaccine would help contain the pandemic which has posed a serious threat to public health and economy.

Over the past few months, it has endeavored to secure potential COVID-19 vaccines for Indonesians through bilateral and multilateral cooperation.

Indonesia is cooperating with China and the United Kingdom for the procurement and supply of COVID-19 vaccines.

The government is also supporting research efforts towards developing the country’s own COVID-19 vaccine, Merah Putih (Red and White), named after the colors of the national flag.

As recently disclosed by Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment, Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, the government would likely commence the first phase of COVID-19 immunization in the third week of December this year.

The government is awaiting emergency-use authorization from Indonesia’s Food and Drug Monitoring Agency (BPOM) to commence the first phase of the program.

Related news: Health office distributes 10,500 free face masks in Papua
Related news: Public to not be charged for COVID-19 vaccine: Jokowi
Related news: Garuda to distribute COVID-19 vaccine in bulk nationwide

Reporter: Musa A, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Sri Haryati


2) Vice President seeks fresh blueprint for Papua, West Papua development
4 hours ago

Jakarta (ANTARA) – Vice President Ma’ruf Amin has sought a more effective blueprint for accelerating development in Papua and West Papua provinces.

"We have to build a new system and design, a more effective way of working in order to be able to produce leaps in the advancement of welfare for the people of Papua and West Papua," Vice President Ma’ruf said at the Vice Presidential Palace in Jakarta on Wednesday.

At a meeting of the Steering Committee for the Integrated Team for the Acceleration of Welfare Development in Papua and West Papua Provinces, the Vice President asked his rank and file to immediately draft a new system so that it can be implemented from 2021.

The Vice President said the new design for the development of Papua and West Papua should emphasize a cultural approach, with priority accorded to seven customary areas.

"The priority targets are seven customary areas," he said.

To bring about development in the two eastern provinces of Indonesia, the government has issued Presidential Instruction (Inpres) Number 9 of 2020 concerning the Acceleration of Welfare Development in Papua and West Papua Provinces and Presidential Decree (Keppres) Number 20 of 2020 concerning the Integrated Coordination Team for the Acceleration of Welfare Development in Papua Province and West Papua Province.

During the meeting, the Vice President also spoke about the problem of poverty, which remains high in the two provinces.

"Therefore, we need to put this Inpres policy perspective into a new spirit and design for Papua, in accordance with the President’s direction at the Papua meeting on March 11, 2020," he said.

Related news: Government to prioritize holistic development for Papua

Related news: Papua’s human development index rose 1.30 percent in 2019: BPS

The Vice President also stressed that the objective of the Presidential Instruction was to build advanced, prosperous, peaceful, and dignified communities in Papua and West Papua provinces.

"I need to reiterate that the rationale and purpose of this determination is to prioritize the improvement of the welfare of the people of Papua and West Papua," he said.

The meeting was attended by Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment, Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, Minister of Home Affairs, Tito Karnavian, Minister of Finance, Sri Mulyani, Minister of National Development Planning (PPN) and head of the National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas), Suharso Monoarfa, Presidential Chief of Staff, Moeldoko, head of the Secretariat of the Vice President (Kasetwapres), Mohamad Oemar, and Special Staff of the Vice President, Bambang Widianto. (INE)

Related news: Special autonomy successful in boosting development in West Papua

Related news: Multi-sectoral development in Papua, West Papua should remain focus

Reporter: Fransiska, Azis Kurmala
Editor: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga

On Human Rights Day, 147 Catholic priests call for end to violence in Papuan

December 12, 2020

On Human Rights Day, 147 Catholic priests call for end to violence in

Catholic News – December 11, 2020

Arya Kiet — Coinciding with International Human Rights Day today,
December 10, 147 Catholic priests in Papua have called for an end to
violence in Papua and have requested that bishops give more serious
attention to the issue for the sake of the safety of religious community
members in Indonesia’s eastern-most provinces.

In a statement read out by Papuan Peace Network (JDP) Coordinator Pastor
John Bunay during a press conference attended by 20 or so priests
representing various different diocese in Papua who signed the
statement, which was also broadcast on the Jayapura Diocese Social
Communication YouTube Channel, they said, "[We] feel called upon to be a
funnel to articulate the consciousness of the religious community which
is trusted by God".

"We are voicing the cries of the consciousness of pregnant months who
are breastfeeding, small children, parents and young children, people
who are ill, blind, deaf and paralyzed, all those who are powerless who
are currently living in anxiety and fear throughout the land of Papua",
they said.

The statement was signed by priests from various different diocese and
congregations such as the Franciscan, Augustinian, Jesuit and the
Utterances of Godly Union throughout Papua.

They said that the human rights situation in Papua continues to worsen
where in the recent period many people had fallen victim to violence
including servants of the church.

They touched on the death of Pastor Yeremia Zanambani who was shot dead
by the military in Hitadipa Village, Intan Jaya, on September 19, as
well as Rufinus Tigau, a religious educator shot dead on October 26.

Following these shootings, on November 3 Coordinating Minister for
Security, Politics and Legal Affairs, Mahfud MD, met with two bishops
from Papua, namely Mgr. Aloysius Murwito, OFM and Mgr. Petrus Canisius
Mandagi, MSC and Cardinal Ignatius Suharyo, the chairperson of the
Indonesian Bishops Conference (KWI).

Despite this however, they said that nothing changed. Only three days
later, on November 6, the military leadership declared that it would
continue operations in Papua.

The priests said that the presence of non-organic troop which have
launched military operations have created anxiety among the Papuan
people and are calling on President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo to withdraw all
non-organic troops from Papua.

They also asked that the military and the pro-independence army halt all
"armed violence and open their hearts to negotiations under a dignified
dialogue which can be mediated by a neutral and independent country or

"Violence will never resolve the problems, instead it will add a million
more sufferings and new problems", they said. "Understand that saving
human lives will not happen at barrel of a gun, sisters and brothers",
they added.

The call by the priests was also conveyed to the KWI who they called on,
"not to say silent or pretend as if they do not understand the injured
feelings of the people of Papuan congregations.

"Why did the respected Sirs of the Indonesian Catholic Church leadership
not respond holistically, seriously, and fully to the prolonged conflict
in the land of Papua during the KWI’s annual meeting?", they asked.

They said they felt surprised and at the same time ignored when they
heard that the KWI had been so quick to declare a position and express
its profound sorrow over the recent incidents of violence against the
Protestant church community in Sigi regency, Central Sulawesi,
"meanwhile grief and anxiety as well as the killings of Papuan human
beings appears to have eluded the attention, protection and compassion
of the KWI", they said.

Meanwhile, to the bishops in Papua they said, "Yearn for the shepherds
who are in the place that is at the forefront of efforts to safeguard
God’s congregation".

The priests said that the Papua problem must be dealt with an approach
that prioritises dignified dialogue, which is not intended to find who
is wrong and who is right, but for the sake of finding concrete truths
which can deliver justice and peace to all parties.

"Dialogue will never kill, dialogue will never injure, and dialogue will
never make us stupid. It is precisely when we use methods that are wrong
like violence which has no humanity, that we leave behind festering
injuries of material as well as spiritual life", they said.

Pastor Paulus Tumayang OFM, one of the signatories of the statement,
said that their call was born out of the experience of real meetings
with congregations in the villages and hamlets of Papua.

"We are not affiliated with any group at all. This is our genuine voice
as servants of God", said the pastor of the St. Petrus and Palus
Argapura Parish from the Jayapura dioceses.

Meanwhile Pastor John Djonga, a pastor activist, said that they felt
they had to speak out because congregations in Papua admit to feeling
that the government does not want to know about their fate.

"There is an impression that the government no longer feels responsible
for this situation. Because of this, we [feel we] must speak up", he

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was
"Imam Katolik di Papua Desak Para Uskup Bersuara Tegas demi Keselamatan
Umat Papua".]


Rights group records 40 violations in Papua in 2020, cases recorded every month

December 11, 2020

Rights group records 40 violations in Papua in 2020, cases recorded
every month – December 10, 2020

Nicholas Ryan Aditya, Jakarta — Commission for Missing Persons and
Victims of Violence (Kontras) researcher Arif Nur Fikri has reported the
group’s findings on human rights violations throughout 2020.

Kontras found 40 incidents of human rights violations in Papua between
January and November 2020.

"Kontras recorded that throughout almost all of 2020, there was at least
one incidence of violence every month which befell the Papuan people",
said Fikri during an event held virtually along with the media to
commemorate International Human Rights Day on Thursday December 10.

Fikri continued saying that these 40 cases were dominated by cases of
violence in the form of shootings, abuses and arbitrary arrests by
security forces.

Kontras documented that these 40 cases involved at least 276 people who
were victims of arrest, were wounded or died. "In general the victims
were civilians. And this continues repeatedly every year", he said.

Because of this, he believes that the militaristic approach by the
government has been ineffective in dealing with violence in Papua.
According to Fikri, said this needs urgent reevaluation by the
government and the House of Representatives (DPR).

"Because so far there has not been any evaluation from the military
actors related to human rights violations in Papua", he said.

In addition to this, Fikri also said that the figures or total number of
incidences of violence in Papua have not accompanied by transparency
which should guarantee accountability.

He gave as an example when the government blocked the internet in
response to the riots in Papua in late August and early September 2019.

This incident began with a racist attack on students in Surabaya, East
Java, in August 2019. This was responded to by demonstrations in several
parts of the land of Cendrawasih as Papua is known.

The government responded to the massive demonstrations in Papua by
blocking or throttling the internet connection in Papua.

As has been reported, the Jakarta Administrative Court (PTUN) also
declared that President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo and the Information and
Communications Ministry were guilty of wrongdoing in the case.

"This is homework for the government and we always remind the government
to think about the levels of violence in Papua which in the future
[they] should at least minimise this figure", explained Fikri.

Based on its records, in January 2020 there were five cases of human
rights violations in Papua, three in February, two in March, three in
April, four in May, two in June, four in July, four in August, six in
September, two in October and five cases in November.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was
"Total 40 Pelanggaran HAM di Papua Sepanjang 2020, Kontras: Setiap Bulan
Pasti Ada Kasus".]


Killing of Intan Jaya pastor part of major shift in security crisis: Report

December 9, 2020

Killing of Intan Jaya pastor part of major shift in security crisis: Report Budi Sutrisno
The Jakarta Post
PREMIUM Jakarta / Wed, December 9, 2020 / 08:31 am

The intensity of the conflict between the Indonesian Military and the West Papua National Liberation Army has increased following a series of violent incidents at the end of 2019, according to a report.(JP/Hengky Wijaya)

The shooting of Papuan Pastor Yeremia Zanambani is not an independent incident but part of the most recent and most significant shift in the trend of conflicts in Intan Jaya regency since its establishment in 2008, a report has said.

A recent report about the killing of Yeremia titled “Grief from Hitadipa”, written by a team formed by Papua Governor Lukas Enembe about three weeks after the incident occurred in September, stated that Intan Jaya had entered its latest period of conflicts.

The report stated that the province had become an armed conflict zone in Papua in the past year due to the presence of two significant security forces, the Indonesian Military (TNI) and the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPNPB). “The shift in conflicts is significant because previously, Intan Jaya regency was never part of the conflict zone between the TNI and the TPNPB,” the report said.

Before the security forces entered, the report said, conflicts in Intan Jaya were only been related to communal issues, land ownership issues, clashes among locals and various other disturbances to security and public order by local residents. “When social conflicts such as tribal wars occurred, a conflict resolution based on traditional values was pursued by the warring groups of people to find a middle ground.”

The separation of Intan Jaya from Paniai regency to form a new autonomous region in 2008 correlates with the shift in the conflict trend. The team recorded that from 2014 to 2016, violence involving Mobile Brigade (Brimob) members led to at least one civilian death and 21 injuries.

Another security force was allegedly culpable for a separate incident in which one civilian was killed. “These various cases of violence were not politically driven but were incidental violence driven by personal motives or as a result of provocation,” wrote the team. In 2017, however, the regional head election changed the dynamics of conflicts in Intan Jaya. A clash between sympathizers of candidate pair Yulius Yapugau and Yunus Kalabetme and incumbent regent Natalis Tabuni and Robert Kobogoyauw resulted in the deaths of at least three locals while 101 others were injured.

As tensions were escalating, the Papua Police multiplied troops for security, the report stated. “The tensions have had an impact on the fragility of the civilian government in responding to various dynamics of local security,” the report said. The report explained that the 2017 race had impacted the legitimacy and effectiveness of the local administration, as organic and non-organic troops were deployed to secure the election and its aftermath, resulting in a significantly increased presence of the military and the police. The TPNPB was simultaneously ramping up efforts to expand its territorial units and working toward reunification, the report said.

After the TPNPB Summit in Papua’s Biak Numfor regency in May 2012, the liberation army had 33 territorial units throughout Papua, including in Intan Jaya. Internal consolidation was also strengthened through a meeting on the Reunification and the Declaration of Unity of the TPNPB on Aug. 1, 2019, in Ilaga, Puncak regency, the report said. Since then, it stated, the intensity of the conflict between the TNI and the TPNPB had increased, including in Intan Jaya regency. A series of violent incidents have escalated the conflict since the end of 2019, including the shooting of Indonesian Army soldiers. “Now, Intan Jaya regency has become a new zone for deadly security conflicts.

According to the humanitarian team’s record, the victims in the conflicts between the TNI and the TPNPB were mostly civilians, both Papuans and non-Papuans,” the report stated. The team has thus far documented at least 17 cases of violence perpetrated by either the TNI or the TPNPB, resulting in 17 deaths, including 12 civilians. The team said Yeremia was the 10th civilian victim in Intan Jaya since October 2019.

Chairman of the humanitarian team Haris Azhar, who is also the Lokataru Legal and Human Rights Foundation executive director, said many residents in Intan Jaya had left their villages over fear of conflicts as more TNI members had entered the region. He said some residents had fled to the mountains or to other regencies, including Mimika and Nabire. “Just this morning, I received a report from local residents that more soldiers had been deployed.

This is of course not what they are hoping for. They do not want the presence of soldiers there,” Haris told The Jakarta Post on Tuesday. Haris said his team had submitted an analysis of the report to the Executive Office of the President through its deputy head of politics, legal affairs, defense, security and human rights, Jaleswari Pramodhawardani.

The Post contacted Jaleswari and Col. Gusti Nyoman Suriastawa, the spokesperson of the TNI’s Joint Regional Defense Command (Kogabwilhan) III, for comment but neither party extended a reply.


2) Indonesian military violence against West Papuan religious figures – summary

December 9, 2020 in News

A number of West Papuan religious figures have been killed or wounded in recent months, in what has been a marked escalation of Indonesian state violence against the West Papuan religious community.

Those murdered include Pastor Yeremia Zanambani, a respected member of the Protestant Evangelical Church, who was killed in the Intan Jaya regency on September 19. A report from the Indonesian National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) has ruled that Pastor Zanambani was tortured before being shot by the Indonesian Military (TNI).

Only a few days after Zanambani’s murder, pastor Albert Degei was found dead in mysterious circumstances in the Nabire regency. Though the local police chief declared that Degei died as a result of an epileptic fit, the official medical report was not shared with the victim’s family, and the presence of multiple head injuries raises serious questions about the official story.

This was followed on October 7 by a third incident involving a Catholic catechist named Agustinus Duwitau. Duwitau was shot – but not killed – after Indonesian soldiers allegedly mistook him for a member of the West Papua National Liberation Army.

Another Catechist, Rufinus Tigau, was then killed by TNI soldiers on October 26. Though Indonesia media reported that Tigau had fought back during a village raid, multiple eyewitnesses attested that he had done nothing more than answer routine security questions.

These incidents are part of a recent upsurge in human rights abuses committed in West Papua, the most heinous of which was the execution of three Papuan students by an Indonesian death squad on November 25.

It may also be that Indonesia is specifically targeting the West Papuan religious community, which in recent months has become increasingly vocal in its opposition to the Indonesian government’s colonial rule.

In August, 58 Papuan priests publicly rejected the extension of the Special Autonomy law, which was implemented in 2001 and is set to expire early next year. This was followed by an open letter published by the West Papuan Council of Churches demanding an end to Indonesian militarisation in West Papua, and calling on Indonesian President Joko Widodo to fulfill his commitment to meet with Papuan pro-referendum groups.

The increase in violence has sparked a wave of solidarity from regional religious groups. Citing the human rights abuses occurring in West Papua, the Pacific Conference of Churches (PCC) invited its member churches to observe ‘40 days of Hunger for Justice and Peace’ – a combination of prayer and fasting lasting until December 6.

Notably, representatives of the Catholic Church in Indonesia responded to the death of Rufinus Tigau by urging the Indonesia Government to bring an end to the violence. The bishops also called for the Indonesian military and police to show greater respect to the West Papuan people.

This is not the first time a religious body has drawn attention to the West Papuan struggle. Following a massive delegation visit to West Papua last year, the World Council of Churches expressed grave concern over the situation, highlighting Indonesian human rights abuses, as well as environmental degradation and abnegation of the universal right to self-determination.


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December 1 commemoration in Jakarta calling for referendum

December 2, 2020

Surya Anta joins December 1 commemoration in Jakarta calling for

CNN Indonesia – December 1, 2020

Jakarta — Scores of Papuans held a protest action in front of the
Arjuna Wiwaha (Horse) statue on Jalan Medan Merdeka Barat in Central
Jakarta on Tuesday December 1. The action coincided with the day which
is often linked to the commemoration of Papuan independence, December 1.

The action was watched over by ordinary police in brown and others in
dark blue coloured uniforms belonging to the Mobile Brigade (Brimob)
paramilitary police. Several tactical vehicles were also seen on alert
in the vicinity of the protest.

Based on information gathered by CNN Indonesia, the action was initiated
by the Papuan Student Alliance (AMP) and the Indonesian People’s Front
for West Papua (FRI-WP). Also visible was Papuan liberation figure and
FRI-WP spokesperson Surya Anta.

Speaking through megaphones in front of the security personnel on guard,
several speakers at the action shouted for a referendum and Papuan
liberation. Taking turns, people from the land of the Cenderawasih — as
Papua is known — shouted Free West Papua and called for a referendum.

"Comrades, is Papua already independent?" Asked one of the speakers.

"Already", replied the crowd in response.

"Referendum", echoed the speaker again.

"Yes", replied the noisy crowd.

They also occasionally made allusions to the police standing guard
around the protesters saying that there is no need for the police to
stand guard over the protest because it will proceed peacefully.

They also condemned actions by the Indonesian military (TNI) and the
Indonesian police in Papua which often claim victims. "Mr police, you
need to relearn about Papuan independence", said another speaker.

December 1 is often labeled as the anniversary of the Free Papua
Organisations (HUT OPM) although this has been refuted by the OPM

West Papua National Liberation Army-Free Papua Organisation (TPNPB-OPM)
spokesperson Sebby Sambom has pointed out that equating the OPM’s
anniversary with December 1 is the result of Indonesian military and
police propaganda.

"There is no such thing as December 1 being the HUT OPM, this is
Indonesian military and police propaganda to paint our struggle as
something bad", said Sambom last year.

Nevertheless, on December 1, 1961 the Morning Star independence flag was
flown for the first time in the city of Hollandia (now Jayapura)
alongside the Dutch flag and the song "Hal Tanahku Papua" (Oh My Land
Papua) was sung which became the national anthem.

At the time, West Papua was one of the regions under Dutch colonial
rule. Along with Indonesia, West Papuan independence was also
acknowledged by the Dutch monarchy. (mjo/gil)

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was
"Surya Anta Terjun Aksi 1 Desember, Massa Serukan Referendum".]


West Papua independence leaders declare ‘government-in-waiting’

December 1, 2020

West Papua independence leaders declare ‘government-in-waiting’

Province’s breakaway movement nominates exiled leader as interim president as conflict-ridden Indonesian region marks independence day

Ben Doherty Pacific Editor @bendohertycorro Tue 1 Dec 2020 11.33 AEDT

Benny Wenda has been nominated interim president of West Papua amid what the UN has called ‘disturbing’ violence in the region. Photograph: HANDOUT/AFP/Getty Images

West Papuan leaders have declared a provisional “government-in-waiting” of the contested Indonesian province, as the United Nations said it was “disturbed by escalating violence” there, including the killing of a child allegedly by security forces.

The province marks independence day on 1 December, the anniversary of West Papua’s declaration of independence from Dutch colonial rule in 1961 and the raising of its now-banned Morning Star flag.

The Indonesian military took control of the province in 1962, and it has been subject to a fierce separatist struggle ever since.

The independence movement, the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP), has laid out a new constitution and nominated exiled leader Benny Wenda as its interim president.

“Today, we honour and recognise all our forefathers who fought and died for us by finally establishing a united government-in-waiting,” said Wenda, who is based in the UK.

“Embodying the spirit of the people of West Papua, we are ready to run our country.

“As laid out in our provisional constitution, a future Republic of West Papua will be the world’s first green state, and a beacon of human rights – the opposite of decades of bloody Indonesian colonisation. Today, we take another step towards our dream of a free, independent and liberated West Papua.”

Ahead of 1 December, often a date of significant unrest and violence, the spokeswoman for the UN human rights office, Ravina Shamdasani, said: “We are disturbed by escalating violence over the past weeks and months in the Indonesian provinces of Papua and West Papua and the increased risk of renewed tension and violence.”

Shamdasani said in one incident on 22 November, a 17-year-old was shot dead and another teenager injured in an alleged police shootout. The boy’s body was found at the Limbaga mountain in Gome district of West Papua.

She also cited the killing of church pastor Yeremia Zanambani, whose body was found near his Hitadipa district home riddled with bullets and stab wounds. Zanambani “may have been killed by members of the security forces”, Shamdasani said.

“Earlier, in September and October 2020 there was a disturbing series of killings of at least six individuals, including activists and church workers, as well as non-indigenous residents. At least two members of the security forces were also killed in clashes.”

Thirty-six demonstrators were arrested in Manokwari and Sorong in pro-independence protests at the weekend.

Indonesian-controlled Papua and West Papua form the western half of the island of New Guinea.

The people indigenous to the provinces are Melanesian, ethnically distinct from the rest of Indonesia and more closely linked to the people of Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji and New Caledonia.

The Dutch colony of Papua until 1961, the region was militarily annexed by Indonesia in 1962, and formally incorporated into the Indonesian republic following a UN-backed 1969 referendum called the Act of Free Choice. But the vote was widely condemned as fraudulent, with just over 1,000 selected Papuans forced, some threatened with violence, to vote in support of Indonesian rule.

Indonesia regards Papua and West Papua as integral and indivisible parts of the Indonesian state, and has consistently said it is working to develop the region.

Papua and West Papua are rich in natural resources – Papua’s Grasberg is one of the world’s largest gold mines – but are among the least developed provinces in Indonesia, with endemic poverty and high levels of childhood malnutrition.

Jakarta is currently trying to extend the “special autonomy” provisions that were first introduced to West Papua in 2001, ostensibly to give Papuans a greater share of revenue from their rich natural resources and greater political autonomy. Those provisions are set to expire at the end of the year.

Pro-independence protesters say the special autonomy law is being used to repress Papua’s independence movement, and are demanding a referendum on secession from Indonesia.


2) Group of Papuans Commemorate OPM Anniversary in Jakarta’s Monas
Translator: Ricky Mohammad Nugraha Editor: Laila Afifa 1 December 2020 14:56 WIB


TEMPO.CO, Jakarta – Dozens of people on Tuesday, Dec 1, had gathered in the capital city’s landmark Monas (National Monument) in Central Jakarta to commemorate the anniversary of the Free Papua Organization (OPM), which is considered by the government as a separatist group.

This rally – that is heavily guarded by security personnel – reportedly comprises people from numerous pro-Papua groups such as the Indonesian People’s Front for West Papua, Papuan Students Alliance, and the Papuan Central Highlands Student Association.

According to Roland, a member of the Papuan Students Alliance Tempo asked, this commemoration is held simultaneously in major cities such as Jakarta, Yogyakarta, Surabaya, Kupang, Ambon, and Makassar.

“The Indonesion people need to know that for the past 59 years, the Indonesian government continues to colonize West Papua,” said Roland at the location of the rally today. “You don’t need to mention those that are far away like in Palestine or Uighur. Look closely in Papua and you’ll know that [we are] being colonized by Indonesia itself.”

Tempo’s field observation did not find any of the people gathering there flying the Morning Star Flag (Bintang Kejora), which is the symbol of the OPM.

The rally demands the Indonesian government to allow Papuans and West Papuans to decide their own destiny, rejecting a second special autonomy, up to pulling back organic and non-organic military from the area.

Read: Police Urged to Clamp Down on Anti-Indonesian Campaigners in Papua


SBS News

3) Hundreds of Papuans rally as independence leaders declare provisional government on ‘road to independence’ from Indonesia

As West Papua marks independence day, experts say the declaration could be the beginning of its road to independence.

Hundreds of Papuans held rallies across at least eight cities in Indonesia on Tuesday to renew calls for independence. Source: AFP


ABC News
4) West Papuan separatists declare provisional government, tell Indonesia to leave the region

ABC News Breakfast / By Naseem Radmehr Posted Yesterday at 3:00pm, updated 6hhours ago


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UN rights office calls for full investigation of Papuan violence

December 1, 2020

UN rights office calls for full investigation of Papuan violence

Nina A. Loasana
The Jakarta Post

Jakarta / Tue, December 1, 2020 / 02:48 pm

Indonesia must carry out “thorough, independent and impartial” investigations into a string of violent incidents in its easternmost provinces, a spokeswoman for the United Nations’ human rights office has said.

Tensions in the provinces of Papua and West Papua have risen in recent months amid altercations between security forces and armed rebel groups, some of which have ended in violence and death.

A slew of alleged killings involving minors in recent weeks has stoked fears among local residents, especially ahead of West Papua’s self-proclaimed independence anniversary on Dec. 1, which the Indonesian government does not recognize.

The Southeast Asian branch of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has expressed concern over the escalating conflict in the restive region.

"We are disturbed by escalating violence over the past weeks and months […] and the increased risk of renewed tension and violence," UN Human Rights Office spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani said on Monday.

Shamdasani cited a series of killings in Papua over the past three months, including the fatal shooting of a 17-year-old on Nov. 22 and the murder of a local public figure, pastor Yeremia Zanambani, in September.

The 17-year-old, named Atanius Wuka, was one of four civilians who were shot dead by unidentified assailants in two separate incidents in Papua’s Puncak regency last week. Another minor survived and went on to post a video about the incident that went viral.

On Sept. 19, Yeremia was allegedly tortured and shot at close range in his pig pen in Intan Jaya regency. An investigation launched by the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) found that a member of the Indonesian Military (TNI) was allegedly behind his death.

The deaths of minors in last week’s incidents echoed the Paniai shootings in 2014, where four teenagers were killed and which Komnas HAM called a "gross human rights violation". Presidential Chief of Staff Moeldoko, who was serving as TNI commander at the time, denied accusations that the military had responded improperly.

"Authorities need to pursue thorough, independent and impartial investigations into all acts of violence, in particular killings, and for all perpetrators regardless of their affiliations to be held accountable," Shamdasani said.

The UN human rights office also criticized the arrest of participants in a meeting organized by the Papuan People’s Assembly (MRP) to evaluate Papua’s 20 years of special autonomy and the related funding in November.

"UN human rights experts have repeatedly expressed serious concerns regarding the intimidation, harassment, surveillance and criminalization of human rights defenders for the exercise of their fundamental freedoms," the spokeswoman said.

She urged the government to uphold the right to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, especially ahead of Dec. 1 – a day that some Papuans celebrate as the birth of the West Papua nation in 1961.

The government has dismissed any claims to independence by separatist groups and insists that the issue of Papua should not be internationalized.

[RA:Papua’s cycle of

According to Shamdasani, her office has noticed an increase in violence in Papua since 2018, following the killing of 19 people working on the trans-Papua Highway in Nduga regency by an armed group.

The UN body was concerned about reports of extrajudicial killings, the excessive use of force, arrests and the harassment and intimidation of protesters and human rights defenders in the province, especially since the TNI brought in reinforcements in 2019.

The additional security forces were deployed in response to a series of riots and antiracism protests in the province in August 2019.

"We are concerned about reports that both armed elements and nationalist militias have been actively involved in the violence," the UN spokesperson said.

"There is an urgent need for a platform for meaningful and inclusive dialogue with the people of Papua and West Papua to address long-standing economic, social and political grievances. We urge all sides to work to prevent further violence," she added.

In his response, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Teuku Faizasyah said that Indonesia was “disturbed” by the timing of such a statement issued by the UN body, which could be interpreted as supporting a separatist agenda.

“While we take alleged human rights issues, including those expressed by the UN HR Office Spokesperson on 30 November 2020, seriously, we are deeply disturbed by the timing chosen by the Office to deliver its statements every year. The date chosen around the 1st of December simply serves those promoting [a] separatist agenda,” he said in a statement to The Jakarta Post on Tuesday.

“We believe the Office of the UN Human Rights should take more care in delivering its statements so as to avoid such abuse and misuse, which is a contravention of the UN Charter and international law,” Faizasyah added.

Also on Tuesday, a pro-referendum group claimed that it had begun forming what it dubbed a new "provisional government" in West Papua, starting by naming separatist leader-in-exile Benny Wenda as "interim president".

However, the ministry dismissed such a declaration, arguing that the reintegration of Papua into Indonesia was made final decades ago and accepted by the international community.

“The overall process of reintegrating Papua into Indonesia from the Netherlands was supervised by the UN, including through the adoption of a UN resolution,” Faizasyah said.

As a region that was never registered with the UN Special Committee on Decolonization, Papua has been defended by Indonesia’s diplomats as an integral part of Indonesia based on the legal principles of territorial integrity and uti possidetis juris (as you possess under law), with the latter providing that newly decolonized states should retain the borders they had before independence.

Indonesian diplomats have also adamantly stressed that a referendum on self-determination could only be carried out in the context of colonialism, while present-day Papua was included with all other territories when Indonesia declared independence on Aug. 17, 1945.

Following Japan’s World War II defeat in 1945, the Dutch attempted to restore control over its former colony. The Netherlands and Indonesia eventually signed the New York Agreement on Aug. 15, 1962 that determined Papua – West Irian at the time – to be an Indonesian administrative territory.

Indonesia consolidated its sovereignty over West Irian in 1969, when selected representatives of the local population voted unanimously for Indonesian rule in the controversial but legitimate Act of Free Choice (Pepera), which was monitored by UN observers and United States diplomats.

The international community accepted the results of the Pepera under UN General Assembly Resolution 2504 (XXIV), which reaffirmed as legal fact that West Irian had always been a part of Indonesia.

Editor’s note: Updated to include government’s response, additional details. TOPICS :

This article was published in with the title "UN rights office calls for full investigation of Papuan violenceBoven Digoel local allegedly tortured to death by TNI personnel".

Click to read: .

36 arrested after Free Papua rallies in Manokwari, Sorong broken up by police

November 29, 2020

36 arrested after Free Papua rallies in Manokwari, Sorong broken up by


CNN Indonesia – November 27, 2020

Jakarta — The West Papua regional police (Polda) arrested 36 people in
Manokwari and Sorong city following a demonstration commemorating the
anniversary of the West Papua New Guinea National Congress (WPNGNC) on
Friday November 27.

West Papua regional police spokesperson Assistant Superintendent Adam
Erwindi said that the people arrested are currently being questioned by

"The Manokwari Polres [district police] backed up by West Papua Polda
Brimob [Mobile Brigade paramilitary police] have secured them and are
taking information", said Erwindi when sought for confirmation by CNN
Indonesia on Friday.

Erwindi explained that the protesters did not provide prior notification
of the rally with police. It is because of this therefore that police
claim they had the authority to break up the protest.

In addition to this, he said, the protest action was disrupting public
order and blocking roads so that road users were unable to pass. "The
substance of the demo violated Article 6 of Law Number 9/1998 [on
demonstrations]", he continued.

This article stipulates that in conveying an opinion people must respect
the rights and freedoms of others, respect morality and safeguard
security and public order.

Erwindi asked that those who want to hold protest actions pay attention
to the security situation and public order. He also warned that all
protest actions must be in accordance with regulations.

"If they’re not in accordance with the above then police in accordance
with mandated laws are obliged to break them up", he said.

At least two Brimob members were injured after being hit by stones when
the rally was being broken up.

According to the Antara state news agency, the demonstrators refused to
disperse and pelted police with stones and bottles until they were
pushed back by teargas.

The demonstrators who were forced back became even more brutal and
continued pelting police with rocks and bottles. They also ignited
firecrackers and threw them at police.

The demonstrators shouted "Free Papua" as they threw stones in the
direction of police. (mjo/psp)

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "36
Orang Ditangkap Usai Demo Papua Merdeka".]


SOS Papua: Stop operations in Papua, cancel exploitation of the Wabu Block, handle refugees

November 26, 2020

Original bahasa link at

SOS Papua: Stop operations in Papua, cancel exploitation of the Wabu Block, handle refugees

Reporter: Admin Jubi November 26, 2020

Papua No. 1 News Portal | Jubi
Jayapura, Jubi – Civil Organization Solidarity or SOS Papua has asked President Joko Widodo to immediately stop law enforcement operations involving the TNI in Nduga, Puncak Jaya, Intan Jaya, and Mimika Regencies, Papua. Jokowi was also asked to immediately investigate the problem of displacement of civilians in the four districts, and was asked to immediately deal with the refugees.

In a written press statement received by Jubi on Thursday (26/11/2020), SOS Papua emphasized the right to life, the right not to be tortured, the right to freedom of thought and conscience, the right to religion, the right not to be enslaved, the right to be recognized as a person. before the law, and the right not to be prosecuted on the basis of retroactive law is a human right that cannot be reduced under any circumstances. Protection of human rights has been mandated by Article 28I paragraph (1) of the 1945 Constitution and Article 4 of Law Number 39 Year 1999 concerning Human Rights.

However, SOS Papua believes that the guarantee of human rights protection does not apply to Papuans. In practice, the security approach chosen by President Joko Widodo’s administration to deal with the Papua problem has created new problems.

Also read: DPR Papua states its attitude towards the shooting in Puncak

"From the end of 2018 to 2020, particularly in the interior of Papua, in Nduga Regency, Intan Jaya Regency, Mimika Regency and Puncak Jaya Regency, the deployment of TNI / Polri troops has continued to be haunted by the deployment of TNI / Polri troops which resulted in armed conflict between TNI / Polri and the Liberation Army. West Papua National (TPNPB). Civil society is experiencing a great humanitarian emergency, due to the failure to uphold the principle of respecting human rights for civilians in the midst of armed conflict, as directed in Article 3 of the Geneva Convention of 1949 which has been [enforced] by the Government of Indonesia through Law Number 59 of 1959 concerning Participation in the Republic of Indonesia Indonesia in All Geneva Conferences on 12 August 1949, "said the press statement for the SOS Papua.

SOS Papua stated that after the killing of PT Istaka Karya workers in Nduga Regency, Papua, on December 2, 2018, President Joko Widodo ordered the TNI Commander and the Police Chief to chase and arrest the armed group that killed the workers. Since then, violence has continued in Papua.

SOS Papua stated that until now President Joko Widodo had never issued a Presidential Decree approved by the Indonesian House of Representatives (DPR) to mobilize and use TNI forces. However, in practice law enforcement operations in Papua have been accompanied by military operations to hunt down TPNPB. The military operation called “Operation Law Enforcement" started in Nduga Regency, then expanded to a number of other districts such as Intan Jaya, Mimika and Puncak Jaya.

Also read: Shooting the priests and preachers at Intan Jaya is like fighting against God

"[The operation] has an impact on the humanitarian emergency experienced by civilians who are in the middle of an armed conflict area between the TNI / Polri and the TPNPB, as seen in the cases of displacement and violations of the right to life in the four districts," said the press statement of SOS Papua.

SOS Papua stated that the number of civilians who fled from Nduga reached 37 thousand people. Violations to the life rights of Nduga residents have also occurred, including the murder of Yulince Bugi (2019), Yuliana Doronggi, Masen Kusumburue (2019), Tolop Bugi (2019), Hardius Bugi (2019), Elias Karunggu (2020) and Seru Karunggu (2020). ).

SOS Papua noted that the number of Intan Jaya civilians who had fled reached 1,237 people. Violations of Intan Jaya’s civilian rights to life, among others, occurred in the murder case of Pastor Yeremia Zanambani (2020) and the Catechist of the Timika Diocese Catholic Church, Rufinus Tipagau.

Also read: Three civilians were shot in Puncak, Papua, one of them is a Bible school student

SOS Papua stated that 1,582 residents in Mimika had fled since the armed conflict there. Violations of the right to life in Mimika, among others, occurred in the shooting cases of Ronny Wandik (2020) and Eden Armandi Bebari (2020). The armed conflict in Puncak Jaya has also violated the right to life of civilians, including in the murder case of Atanius Murib (2020), Aki Alom (2020), Wapenus Tabuni (2020) and Warius Murib (2020).

"In the midst of the Papuan humanitarian emergency, the Papuan public was shocked by the Papua Governor’s Letter Number: 540/11625 / SET regarding the recommendation for a Special Mining Business Permit Area or WIUPK addressed to the President Director of Mining Industry Indonesia or MIND ID dated July 24, 2020. Facts Wabu Block exploitation interests in the midst of an armed conflict between TNI / Polri and TPNPB have resulted in victims of human rights violations. It can be concluded that law enforcement and military operations in Nduga Regency, Intan Jaya Regency, Mimika Regency and Puncak Papua Regency actually only aim to smooth the exploitation of Wabu Blog’s natural resources in Intan Jaya Regency, "said the press release of SOS Papua.

SOS Papua urged President Joko Widodo to immediately stop law enforcement and military operations in Nduga, Intan Jaya, Mimika and Puncak Jaya districts which caused thousands of civilians to flee. SOS Papua also asked Jokowi to order the National Police Chief and Kogabwilhan III to withdraw all TNI-Polri troops from the Nduga, Intan Jaya, Mimika, and Puncak Jaya districts.

Also read: Two students in Puncak Regency were intercepted and shot, one person was killed

SOS Papua asks the Indonesian National Human Rights Commission to immediately form a team and go down to Nduga, Intan Jaya, Mimika, and Puncak Jaya Districts to investigate allegations of gross human rights violations in the form of displacement and violations of the right to life as stipulated in article 9 letters a and d of the Law. Number 26 of 2000 concerning Human Rights Courts. Meanwhile the Governor of Papua was asked to immediately revoke the WIUPK recommendation letter for MIND ID.

The SOS Papua pressure was signed by 20 civil society organizations in Papua. A total of 20 civil society organizations that are members of SOS Papua are:

LBH Papua
LP3BH Manokwari, West Papua
The Bentala Rakyat Heritage Foundation
The wilderness of Papua
SAFE Sorong Raya
The Indigenous People of Intan Jaya Reject the Wabu Block
Independent Student Community Somatua Intan Jaya (KOMISI)
Intan Jaya Student Association for Study City Jayapura (IPMI-J)
Intan Jaya Student Communication Forum Kota Study Nabire (FKMI)
Moni Study City Student Association in Java and Bali (IPMO)
Student Independent Forum (Central FIM)
KIPRa Papua
The Women’s Coalition Moves to Save Papuan People
PBH Cenderawasih
PBHKP Sorong
Elsham Papua (*)
Editor: Admin Jubi


2) 500 displaced after fire razes 55 houses in Jayapura
3 hours ago

Jayapura, Papua (ANTARA) – A fire gutted 55 homes in a densely populated area of Jayapura, the provincial capital of Papua, on Thursday afternoon, leaving about 500 people displaced.

The displaced residents are being sheltered in several places, including a mosque, the meeting hall of the Bhayangkara village head’s office, and the yard of an elementary school building, chief of the Jayapura Social Affairs Office, Irawadi, said.

The office has distributed fast food among the fire victims and will set up a public kitchen on Friday, he informed.

Chief of the North Jayapura City Police, Hendry Bawiling, said the fire burnt through 55 homes located in APO Kali, Bhayangkara village, on Thursday afternoon.

The fire is believed to have started after a gas cylinder placed close to a lit kerosene stove leaked.

The fire which broke out around 12.00 WIT (East Indonesia Standard Time) was put out at 16.00 WIT.

No fatalities were reported in the fire, he said.

Related news: Fire ravages 11 buildings in Central Java’s Temanggung
Related news: Fire ravages over 500 kiosks at Berastagi market
Related news: Papua police continue probe into arms smuggling racket

Reporter: Evarukdijati/Suharto
Editor: Sri Haryati


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Major Security Patrols Ahead of Free Papua Movement Anniversary

November 24, 2020

Major Security Patrols Ahead of Free Papua Movement Anniversary
Translator: Ricky Mohammad Nugraha
Editor: Petir Garda Bhwana
24 November 2020 09:14 WIB

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta – The Indonesian national police (Polri) together with the National Armed Forces (TNI) will conduct massive joint patrols ahead of the commemoration day of the establishment of Free Papua Movement (OPM) on December 1.

The Polri also made an announcement for locals to not participate in the annual anniversary of what the Indonesian government had deemed as a separatist group and an ‘unconstitutional group’ that constantly attempts to separate Papua from Indonesia.

patrol] is to prevent unwanted things from happening,” said the national police spokesperson, Brig. Gen. Awi Setiyono at the South Jakarta police headquarters on Monday, November 23.

Apart from the patrols, the national police has also done a persuasive approach with local figures and Papuan locals to convince them to not partake in the OPM anniversary.

Also Read: Papua’s Human Rights Group Condemns Armed Attack on Students



54 arrested at special autonomy hearing released due to lack of evidence

CNN Indonesia – November 20, 2020

Jakarta – Police have released 54 participants of a Papuan People’s Council (MRP) public hearing into Special Autonomy in Papua who were arrested for allegedly committing makar (treason, subversion, rebellion). The arrests took place on Tuesday November 17 while the public hearing was being held in Merauke regency, Papua.

"The participants have been able to return home since 11 am local time because there is still a lack of evidence", said Papua regional police spokesperson Senior Commissioner Ahmad Musthofa Kamal when sought for confirmation on Thursday November 19.

Kamal explained that although the participants had been sent home, police will still be asking them to write a letter declaring that they would not commit makar.

"The measures by police who arrested and handcuffed several people including Papuan People’s Council member Amatus Ndapitis at a hotel was simply to maintain security and to anticipate something undesirable happening", said Kamal.

Earlier, the Merauke district police said that more than 50 of those arrested at the MRP public hearing had been declared suspects on charges of makar. Kamal however has yet to confirm the suspects’ status.

Merauke district police chief Assistant Superintendant Untung Suriatna said earlier that the police initially took action because the public hearing failed to pay attention to Covid-19 health protocols.

When police moved in however, several MRP members were found trying to discard documents from the meeting which turned out to contain a complete organisational structure [arising out of] a planned referendum.

"They wanted to shout slogans supporting their referendum. After we investigated, the evidence was the existence of their current president, there were also ministers", said Suriatna when contacted by CNN Indonesia on Thursday.

Suriatna believes that these actions can be categorised as makar and disturbing state security and because of this they will be indicted under Article 104 of the Criminal Code (KUHP).

He said that the gathering was dangerous because it was planning to disrupt the existing administrative structure in Indonesia.

"Record what I’m saying, this was makar because we have a president, there are regents, there are governors, there are Kapolda [district police chiefs], and there are Pangdam [regional military commanders]. Why were they creating a president and all that, that’s makar", he said. (mjjo/arh)

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Kurang Bukti Kasus Makar, Polri Lepas 54 Peserta Rapat MRP".]



Observe neutrality: Papua police chief tells officials ahead of polls
8 hours ago

Jayapura, Papua (ANTARA) – Papua regional police chief, Inspector General Paulus Waterpauw, has asked all personnel to observe political neutrality in the 2020 regional head elections, which are scheduled to be held simultaneously in December this year.

His directive follows a telegram letter from the National Police Chief, General Idham Azis, number STR / 800 / XI / HUK.7.1 / 2020, dated November 20, 2020.

“The National Police Chief, General Idham Azis, issued a secret telegram addressed to all police personnel. The telegram contained an order to maintain neutrality during the simultaneous 2020 Regional Head Elections," Waterpauw said in a statement received here on Monday.

In the telegram, the National Police Chief has prohibited personnel from posting photos or selfies on social media showing a thumbs-up sign or with two fingers forming the letter ‘V’, as that could potentially be used by certain parties to accuse the police of taking sides, he added.

Personnel have also been directed not to take photos with prospective regional head candidates, the masses, and sympathizers, he continued.

"The telegram letter reaffirms the standard rules [on kinds of conduct] that should not be practiced by all members of the National Police. The Police Chief’s instruction applies to everyone, in all positions or ranks," he added.

He further said the letter is a follow-up of the chief of police’s order to police chiefs of regions that will hold simultaneous elections on December 9, 2020.

The Division of Profession and Internal Security (Propam) will conduct strict tiered surveillance of the conduct of members of the police, Waterpauw informed.

The police chief’s telegram is also a means of preventing politicization by both members of the National Police and election participants, he observed.

"With the telegram, the Police Propam Division will enforce the law on all members who are trying to strum the order during the elections. So that whenever there is a violation, the Propam Division will be objective," he explained.

The Papua police chief added that so far, preparations for the simultaneous regional elections in 11 districts of Papua province have run safely and smoothly.

He said he hopes the masses and the campaign teams of candidate pairs in each region will abide by the rules. Should there be any dissatisfaction over the results at any stage of the elections, parties should resort to legal channels rather than gathering in large crowds, considering the COVID-19 pandemic, he added.

Eleven districts are scheduled to hold polls in Papua in December — Yahukimo, Merauke, Keerom, Mamberamo Raya, Bintang Peg. , Boven Digoel, Supiori, Nabire, Yalimo, Asmat, and Waropen. (INE)

Related news: Regional campaigns in Papua running smoothly, safely: police

Related news: Only 16.3% regions holding Pilkada in COVID-19 red zone: survey


Reporter: Muhsid/Aria Cindyara
Editor: Fardah Assegaf


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