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Amnesty: Indonesian forces behind unlawful killings in Papua (Aljazeera video footage)

July 3, 2018

Aljazeera English Website

Amnesty: Indonesian forces behind unlawful killings in Papua
A small armed movement regularly fights government troops but Amnesty found that mainly peaceful protesters or people not involved in the independence movement are killed.

by Step Vaessen 28 minutes ago

Amnesty International has accused Indonesia’s security forces of killing dozens of people in the past eight years, in the country’s largest province of Papua.

Some armed groups in the region have been fighting for its independence.
But Amnesty says many peaceful protesters lost their lives in the government crackdown.
Al Jazeera’s Step Vaessen reports from Jakarta.

Video footage
https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/07/amnesty-indonesian-forces-unlawful-killings-papua-180703090601528.html

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wp AI: Indonesia: “Don’t Bother, Just Let Him Die”: Killing With Impunity in Papua

July 2, 2018

https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/asa21/8198/2018/en/

Indonesia: "Don’t Bother, Just Let Him Die": Killing With Impunity In Papua

2 July 2018, Index number: ASA 21/8198/2018

Over the two decades since Indonesia’s 1998 reforms (Reformasi) began, successive governments of Indonesia have pledged to end human rights violations by security forces. However, Amnesty International has continued to receive allegations of unlawful killings by security forces in the provinces of Papua and West Papua. These killings occur mainly in the context of unnecessary or excessive use of force during mass protests, during law enforcement operations or due to misconduct by individual officials. In this report, Amnesty International highlights how investigations for the unlawful killings cases are rare, and it is even rarer that anyone is held accountable.

Link to full report:

english: https://www.amnesty.org/download/Documents/ASA2181982018ENGLISH.PDF

Indonesian: https://www.amnesty.org/download/Documents/ASA2181982018INDONESIAN.PDF

Giant Waste-Spewing Mine Turns Into a Battleground in Indonesia

June 29, 2018

Press coverage

Responsible for the article below are author and publication. The
contribution does not necessarily mirror the views of Watch Indonesia!

Bloomberg, 4.6.18

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-06-05/giant-waste-spewing-mine-turns-into-battleground-in-indonesia

Business

Giant Waste-Spewing Mine Turns Into a Battleground in Indonesia

By Danielle Bochove and David Stringer

– New rules for Freeport at massive gold, copper deposit
– Blunt reponse: ‘You can’t put the genie back in the bottle’

Every year, Freeport-McMoRan Inc. dumps tens of millions of tons of mining waste into the
Ajkwa River system in Indonesia. The company has been doing it for decades, and is
demanding the right to keep at it for decades to come.

The discharge of what are called tailings, the leftovers of mineral extraction, is
perfectly legal under Freeport’s current contract with the government. But recently, after
more than a year of tense negotiations over the terms of a new deal, Indonesia suddenly
changed the rules: The Grasberg mine in the highlands of Papua province would have to
operate by heightened standards. It shouldn’t have been a surprise, really, considering
most every other miner in the world has been forced or has elected to stop discarding
tailings in rivers.

Freeport, though, has said that won’t happen at Grasberg. Chief Executive Officer Richard
Adkerson has been blunt about it. “You can’t put the genie back in the bottle,” he said in
April. “You simply can’t say 20 years later ‘we’re going to change the whole structure’.”
Grasberg’s waste management, he added, has “always been controversial.”

The tailings tussle is the latest twist in the complicated relationship between the mining
giant and the Southeast Asian republic. How it plays out will have far-reaching
consequences in Indonesia. Freeport is a major taxpayer and job provider and has built
homes, schools and hospitals in one of the poorest provinces. But Grasberg has also long
been a target for environmentalists, indigenous and separatist groups and human-rights
watchdogs.

At stake for Freeport are reserves that Bloomberg Intelligence estimates to be worth $14
billion at the world’s biggest gold deposit and second-largest copper mine. Grasberg
accounted for 47 percent of Freeport’s operating income in 2017, according to data
compiled by Bloomberg.

“What happens at Grasberg has global significance,” said Payal Sampat, the mining program
director at the mining watchdog-group Earthworks. “It involves some of the largest global
players in the mining industry and one of the leading mining economies.”

Most countries have banned tailings deposits in waterways over concerns they can be toxic,
destroying habitats, suffocating vegetation and changing the topography of rivers, causing
floods. Most miners have said they’re against the practice regardless of local rules. The
industry’s biggest, BHP Billiton Ltd., won’t “dispose of mined waste rock or tailings into
a river or marine environment,” as the company put it in a statement.

‘Environmental Burden’

Only two other industrial-scale mines — and a third, small operation — are known to get
rid of tailings as Grasberg does, and they’re in Papua New Guinea, which occupies half of
the island of New Guinea; Indonesia owns the rest, which is home to the Freeport-run mine.
In recognition of risks that could leave “a massive environmental burden for future
generations,” the practice has been phased out everywhere else, according to the United
Nations’ International Maritime Organization.

Freeport sees things differently. “As we have stated before, the tailings are benign,”
said Eric E. Kinneberg, a spokesman, referring to the corporate website for a detailed
explanation.

The Phoenix-based company maintains that much of the sediment in the Ajkwa River system
downstream from Grasberg is caused by natural erosion, and that tailings pose no
significant — or at least unexpected — threats. “There have been no human health issues
or impact on the environment that wasn’t anticipated,” Adkerson said on a quarterly
earnings call in April.

The company’s partner in the Grasberg complex, Rio Tinto Group, recently addressed
concerns about waste removal. “Riverine tailings disposal is very, very far from best
practice,” Chairman Simon Thompson told a meeting in London in April, perhaps highlighting
one of the reasons Rio may be willing to sell its 40 percent interest to a state-owned
company for $3.5 billion. A spokesman for the company declined to comment for this story.

Rio declined 1.4 percent in Sydney trading, as an index of the country’s largest energy
and mining companies fell 1.2 percent.

‘No Realistic Alternative’

“If you think about it from Rio Tinto’s perspective, one of the biggest problems with this
mine is the environmental issues. I think that’s an incentive for Rio to get out,” said
Christopher LaFemina, an analyst at Jefferies LLC. “This is a critically important part of
Freeport’s overall value. For Rio Tinto, it’s not.”

The problem for Freeport and Indonesia is that there’s no easy solution. “There has been
no realistic alternative identified,” Thompson said. Freeport’s local unit studied 14
alternatives for tailings disposal — including dams and pipelines — and concluded all
were too risky in a mountainous terrain prone to earthquakes and heavy rainfall.

As it is, the heavy ooze wends its way through glacier-capped valleys, descending almost 4
kilometers (2.5 miles) to tropical lowlands and a 230 square kilometer deposition zone,
where roughly half the tailings are parked. The rest flows on to a river estuary and the
Arafura Sea.

“The company has sacrificed not just the river, but also the coastal area,” said Pius
Ginting, coordinator of Action for Ecology and People’s Emancipation, an Indonesian
environmental group.

50 Million Tons

According to Earthworks, Freeport sends more than 76 million metric tons of tailings and
waste rock into Indonesian rivers every year. The company puts the 2017 figure at 50
million tons. Without spelling out precisely how the requirement should be met, Indonesia
told Freeport that it would boost to 95 percent from half the amount of tailings that must
be recovered from the river system, according to Adkerson.

That was a shock that sent Freeport’s stock tumbling after Adkerson revealed it on April
24. Shares have largely recovered as investors bet the government will fail to follow through.

The negotiations to secure the right to keep mining Grasberg until 2041 had already been
complicated by an edict that foreign miners sell majority stakes in their assets to local
interests. Rio’s apparent interest in divesting would ease that problem for Freeport,
reducing how much it would need to unload.

Stunning Asset

Even if its share dropped below 50 percent, Freeport as an operator could still win big —
Grasberg is a stunning asset, expected to produce more than 520,000 tons of copper in 2018
and more gold than any other mine. Of course, Indonesia’s tailings mandate may be a
negotiating tactic, as some Freeport investors said they suspect. Ilyas Asaad, inspector
general at Indonesia’s Environment & Forestry Ministry, didn’t respond to a request for
comment.

The company is holding its position: The discharge of tailings into the river system is an
inescapable consequence of keeping the mine in operation. If the government backs down, it
will be “a political decision,” said David Chambers, a geophysicist who runs the U.S.
nonprofit Center for Science in Public Participation. “There aren’t many governments that
are willing to sacrifice those kinds of environmental resources for the financial resources.”

Few investors have publicly seized on the tailings mess as a reason to shun Freeport. One
was Norway’s $1 trillion sovereign wealth fund, which in 2006 excluded Freeport from its
investment universe and in 2008 sold its holding of about $850 million of Rio shares,
citing Grasberg’s use of the river system to dispose of tailings.

“The spotlight has shone on these issues a lot more brightly in the last couple of years,”
said Andrew Preston, head of corporate governance in Australia for Aberdeen Standard
Investments, which owns shares in Rio and BHP. The “wake-up call,” Preston said, was the
2015 failure of a tailings dam at BHP’s Samarco iron-ore joint venture with Vale SA in
Brazil. Billions of gallons of sludge escaped to travel hundreds of kilometers down the
Doce river, killing at least 19 people and leaving hundreds homeless.

Jefferies’ LaFemina said investors are betting on the status quo in Indonesia. “In
negotiations, different sides are trying to get leverage.” In the end, “I am not expecting
there to be a significant change to how this asset operates.”

­ With assistance by Eko Listiyorini, and Steven Frank
(Updates to add shares in 12th paragraph.)

Indonesia: New Counterterrorism Law Imperils Rights

June 21, 2018

https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/06/20/indonesia-new-counterterrorism-law-imperils-rights

Indonesia: New Counterterrorism Law Imperils Rights

Revise Act to Uphold Protections While Meeting Security Concerns

June 20, 2018 7:45PM EDT

(New York) – The Indonesian government should seek to amend provisions in the newly enacted counterterrorism law (“CT Law”) that threaten human rights protections, Human Rights Watch said in a letter sent on June 11, 2018, to President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and other officials.

After suicide bombings by attackers aligned with the Islamic State in the city of Surabaya in May, Indonesia’s parliament on May 25 approved long-pending revisions to the CT Law. While the new law contains some improvements, it risks undermining human rights and could weaken efforts to counter extremist threats.

“The Indonesian government’s counterterrorism measures should not come at the expense of fundamental rights,” said Brad Adams, Asia director. “The new counterterrorism law has provisions that will facilitate rights violations by authorities and ultimately undermine public safety.”

The new law relies on an overbroad and ambiguous definition of terrorism. The definition could be used to target peaceful political activities of indigenous groups, environmental advocates, and religious or political organizations.

The CT Law also allows for prolonged pre-charge and pre-trial detention that increases the likelihood of torture and other ill-treatment in custody. It extends the period that police can detain terrorism suspects without charge from three days in the 2003 law to a maximum of 21 days. And it permits prosecutors to unilaterally extend pre-trial detention for terrorism suspects from 180 days to 240 days.

The new law has provisions that will facilitate rights violations and ultimately undermine public safety.

Brad Adams

Asia Director

The law empowers authorities to “open, examine, and confiscate mail and packages by post or other means of delivery … and intercept any conversation by telephone or other means of communication” suspected of being used for planning or committing terrorist acts. These provisions could be used to authorize massive, disproportionate surveillance that violates privacy rights.

The new law also expands counterterrorism enforcement activities to the Indonesian armed forces. While the deployment of armed forces in response to domestic security threats may be justified in certain cases, extended military deployment in a civilian policing context carries serious risks, in part because military personnel typically do not receive law enforcement training. In addition, the Indonesian military justice system has an egregious track record investigating and prosecuting human rights violations by military personnel.

“The Indonesian government should recognize that violating human rights in the name of counterterrorism merely benefits armed extremists over the long term,” Adams said. “The government should act to revise the counterterrorism law so that it meets international standards.”

Indonesia Shuts Out UN Rights Chief From Papua

June 20, 2018

https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/06/19/indonesia-shuts-out-un-rights-chief-papua

Indonesia Shuts Out UN Rights Chief From Papua

No Follow-Up to Official Invitation to Troubled Region

What is the Indonesian government hiding in Papua?


Phelim Kine

Deputy Director, Asia Division

That’s the question raised by the government’s seeming refusal to make good on an official invitation promised to the United Nations high commissioner for human rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, to visit Papua and West Papua provinces (collectively referred to as “Papua”).

On Monday, Zeid issued a statement saying he is “concerned that despite positive engagement by the authorities in many respects, the Government’s invitation to my Office to visit Papua – which was made during my visit in February – has still not been honoured.”

The Indonesian government’s apparent unwillingness to allow Zeid to investigate human rights conditions in Papua should come as no surprise. Indonesian authorities have consistently blocked foreign journalists and rights monitors from visiting Papua. Those restrictions defy an announcement made in 2015 by Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo – popularly known as Jokowi – that accredited foreign media would have unimpeded access to Papua. The decades-old access restrictionson Papua are rooted in government suspicion of the motives of foreign nationals for reporting on the region, which is troubled by a small-scale pro-independence insurgency, widespread corruption, environmental degradation, and public dissatisfaction with Jakarta. Security forces are rarely held to account for abuses against critics of the government, including the killing of peaceful protesters.

The limbo of Zeid’s Papua invitation has dampened hopes raised in March 2017, after the government allowed a UN health expert to make a two-day official visit to Papua, that Indonesia would end its reflexive prohibition on travel to the region by foreign human rights monitors. Instead, Zeid’s experience is reminiscent of 2013, when then-UN independent expert on freedom of expression, Frank La Rue, was blocked from visiting Indonesia. Diplomatic sources in Geneva told La Rue that the Indonesian government froze his requested visit due to his inclusion of Papua in his proposed itinerary. “They said, ‘Great, we’ll get back to you,’” La Rue told Human Rights Watch. “What it meant was that they postponed the dates and put the trip off indefinitely.”

It’s clear that parts of the Indonesian government remain hostile to the idea of greater transparency in the region. Yet granting reporters and human rights monitors access to Papua is an essential element of ensuring the rights of Papuans are respected.

Summary of events in West Papua (13 May 2018-11 June)

June 19, 2018

http://awpasydneynews.blogspot.com/2018/06/summary-of-events-in-west-papua-13-may.html


Australia West Papua Association (Sydney)

Summary of events in West Papua (13 May 2018-11 June)

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) released an urgent action (5June) regarding a customary land dispute between Bintuni Agro Prima Perkasa Company and the Mpur Tribe in Tambrauw Regency, West Papua province. The AHRC makes it easy for people to respond to their U/A’s. http://www.ahrchk.org/ruleoflawasia.net/news.php?id=AHRC-UAC-035-2018

Timika
A facebook posting has reported that yesterday, Sunday 10th June 5 civilians have been arrested in SP. 5 in the district of Iwaka Kampung around 11:00am Timika time. This afternoon at 4:00pm Timika time, a massive sweeping by Indonesian military and police forces are undergoing in the area of SP. 2 in the district of Timika Jaya. More civilians have fled into the near by bushes including my family. More up to date information will be posted as comes to light (on daily lists).

In a written submission to the 38th Regular Session of the UN Human Rights Council, the Asian Legal Resource Centre reported on the situation of extrajudicial executions (summary executions) in Indonesia. In its statement the ALRC said “The recurrence of extrajudicial executions in Indonesia is largely due to the impunity enjoyed by the offenders, especially if they are part of the police or military institutions”.

From the ALRC press release (30 May)
In view of the above situation, the ALRC requests the UN Human Rights Council to undertake studies to assess the root causes of extrajudicial executions in Indonesia. The Council should not merely work with the Indonesian government, but should also work and support the Indonesian civil society at large in dealing with recurrence and massive extrajudicial executions in Indonesia. The Council should put pressures on the government of Indonesia so that the State officially invites and cooperates with the UN Special Rapporteur on Extra-judicial, Summary, or Arbitrary Executions. http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/WO1805/S00190/indonesia-summary-executions-recurring-with-impunity.htm

Shift in Solomon Islands government’s view on Papua
RNZI reported (23 May) that a leading foreign affairs official from the Solomon Islands government said it’s now seeing a balanced picture on Indonesia’s Papua region.

eight_col_Solomon_Islands_parliament.JPG

Solomon Islands parliament Photo: RNZ/ Koroi Hawkins

According to the report the SI Government is consulting with the provinces as it formulates an official position on West Papuan human rights and self-determination issues following a visit by a Solomons government-led delegation to Indonesia’s provinces of Papua and West Papua at the invitation of Jakarta.

From the report
The Solomons’ Special Secretary on Foreign Relations, Rence Sore, was one of the government officials in the delegation. He said the visit was aimed at achieving a balanced picture of what’s going on in Papua. "Before we went we had been listening to the other side of the story. And the story we heard, we were always hearing at that time, was there’s always human rights abuse, there’s always fighting for independence, someone is being killed and all that. It’s one-sided, all one-sided." Rence Sore said that when they went to Papua region, the story was entirely different.
He said that for now the government had yet to decide on its official position regarding West Papua and Papua provinces. "We’re trying to give the government a good picture. Both sides of the coin we have to tell the government, and the government independently makes that policy decision."
The delegation’s visit and resulting report were indications that the Solomon Islands government, under prime minister Rick Hou, was approaching a different stand on Papua to that of the previous prime minister Manasseh Sogavare.

Mr Sogavare, who is now the deputy prime minister, campaigned internationally about West Papuan human rights issues. He was also supportive of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua, and instrumental in its admission to the Melanesian Spearhead Group in 2015.
The Liberation Movement, which Indonesia’s government opposes, last month voiced disappointment that it wasn’t notified by Solomon Islands about the delegation’s visit.
Mr Sore, who said his government consulted with Indonesian authorities for the visit, noted the Liberation Movement’s strong connections with civil society organisations in Solomon Islands.
"And to some extent, that strong connection also was with the previous Solomon Islands leadership, government, prime minister. "We went (to Indonesia) with authorisation from the current prime minister, and official authorities were notified.
However Mr Sore would not be drawn on whether the Hou-led government had shifted position on Papua. "That decision is not yet formal. It depends entirely on the report. We did a report when we came back, and we are still doing the consultations on the policy. That policy will go through the government cabinet.” https://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/358029/shift-in-solomon-islands-government-s-view-on-papua

In a previous report (8 May) RNZI reported that a leader of a Solomon Islands civil society organisation saying there should have been more transparency around a government-led delegation’s visit to West Papua last month, a leader of Solomon Islands civil society says.

The Solomon Star reports Development Service Exchange (DSE) spokesperson Jennifer Wate made the comment while rejecting any involvement in the trip.
This is despite DSE chairperson, Inia Barry, being among several from civil society organisations who went along on the visit which was hosted by Indonesia. Ms Wate said her organisation had found out about the trip the evening before the delegation’s departure for West Papua. The DSE did not endorse Mr Barry or any of the other civil society representatives who took part in the West Papua visit, she said Ms Wate maintained her organisation was not aware of any details of the trip or its terms of reference and she called on the Solomon Islands government in the future to formally approach the DSE on matters that required civil sector representation. Ms Wate also admonished the government for not informing civil society groups in West Papua ahead of their trip. https://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/356849/west-papua-visit-lacked-transparency-says-solomons-group

In response to the Solomon Islands delegation’s visit to West Papua , the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) spokesperson Jacob Rumbiak described the recent seven-person delegation from Solomon Islands to West Papua as ‘a visitation by robbers’.
From Jubi report 29 May
Speaking during his meeting with SICA General Secretary Holmes Saeve Monday, Rumbiak said a summary of Chekana’s account of their trip given by Holmes highlighting that the West Papuan people are not united is ‘very misleading’.
“I bring voice from inside West Papua as the delegation that recently visited West Papua was like robbers. They came and hid and never met with the people struggling for their right. “I think they are blind and they do not know what we already have set up.” He said ULMWP is the answer to their report as they have a Federal Republic of West Papua, a 14 political organisation affiliating with the Federal Republic, six organisations affiliating with West Papuan National Coalition for Liberation, six affiliating with the National Parliament of West Papua being 26 West Papuan organisations already inside.And the United Liberation Movement for West Papua is a West Papua national political body.

Australian green party conference passes resolution to support self determination for West Papua

33216363_10157367901620130_2662503943946371072_n.jpg

The Australian green party has endorsed a resolution on West Papua at their national conference in Brisbane on May 20, 2018, as follows:

That the National Conference of the Green Party, Australia:
Reaffirm our commitment to West Papuan self-determination;
Recognizes United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) as representative of West Papuan political aspirations;
Supports West Papua to be re-registered on the UN Decolonisation list at the UN General Assembly 2019;
Requests full disclosure of Australian assistance provided to the police and military of Indonesia used in West Papua, including the Joint Center for Law Enforcement Cooperation, Special Detachment 88 and TNI;
Asks the Indonesian government to respect the West Papuan human rights, including press freedom and freedom of expression;
Requests that foreign journalists access to West Papua be opened.
Rational:
As a result of a workshop / presentation held at the National Conference, a consensus-approved Green Australia Member to approve an urgent resolution of West Papua.
Speakers at this workshop / presentation are:
Dr. Jacob Rumbiak (ULMWP)
Veronica Koman (Indonesian human rights lawyer)
Jason MacLeod (activist educator, organiser, researcher)
Senator Richard at Natale and Andrew Bartlett (Green party)

West Papua speaking tour

IMG_5415.jpg

Congratulations to all involved in the West Papua speaking tour. Events includedtalks in Brisbane, Caloundra, Sydney, Melbourne, Geelong and Canberra. The tour was supported by Pasifika, Amnesty International Australia, NCCA, and the Catholic Justice an d Peace Commission of Brisbane. More information will follow on a campaign to secure a moratorium on Australian Government assistance to the Indonesian security forces in West Papua.
Photos of Sydney event at http://awpasydneynews.blogspot.com.au/2018/05/photos-west-papua-speaking-tour-sydney.html

Two other inspiring and informative events occurred in Sydney.
Women Decolonising Melanesia lecture (23 May) at the State Library of NSW, and the Women Decolonising Melanesia: Workshop (24 May) at Uni of Western Sydney Parramatta City Campus.
IMG_5483.jpg

The events were hosted by the Sydney Pacific Studies Network (University of Sydney) in conjunction with the Oceania Network (Western Sydney University).

Kanaky (New Caledonia) will hold a referendum on Independence in November. A TRT World report at
Kanaky (New Caledonia) will hold a referendum on Independence in November. A TRT World report at https://www.trtworld.com/video/social-videos/new-caledonias-independence-referendum/5af3003848573b07fb6616de

Presidential Palace to Ponder Freeport Divestment Price
07 Jun 2018 By : Leo Jegho
Current Indonesian laws, which followed the rising tide of economic nationalism, oblige foreign-owned mining firms to divest 51 percent of their projects to the government.
Jakarta, GIVnews.com President Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo has reportedly received a proposal on the purchase price for Rio Tinto’s 40 percent participating interest in a giant copper and gold mining project in Papua. Owned by PT Freeport Indonesia (PTFI), the Grasberg pit is the world’s largest gold mine and third largest copper mine. While different unconfirmed price figures had filled the air over the past days, Kontan.co.idreported on Wednesday (6/6) that Rio Tinto had proposed US$5 billion for the 40-percent stake being offered to the Indonesian government.

PTFI is a subsidiary of US-based mining giant Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. Meanwhile, Rio Tinto is an Australian-British multinational and one of the world’s largest metals and mining corporation.
Quoting an unidentified source, Kontan.co.idmentioned that State Enterprises Minister Rini Soemarno had submitted Rio Tinto’s price proposal to the President. The source reportedly also said that Maritime Affairs Coordinating Minister Luhut Panjaitan viewed the proposed $5 billion as too high. That amount is much higher than the potential $3.5 billion purchase price previously reported by Reuters. But, Fajar Harry Sampurno, State-owned Enterprises Ministry’s mining and strategic industry deputy, denied that Rio Tinto had proposed $5 billion for its interest in Grasberg. While not mentioning the actual price proposed, Fajar Harry only said that the State Palace would discuss that matter. “And the President will decide whether or not to accept (the proposal),” the official told Kontan.co.id.

The government had appointed state-owned mining holding company PT Indonesia Asahan Aluminium (Inalum) to negotiate with PTFI and Rio Tinto on the 40-percent stake. That move is part of an agreement for Indonesia to acquire 51 percent state in Grasberg mine through PT Inalum. Meanwhile, it had been decided that transaction for Rio Tinto’s 40 percent interest will take place by 2019. Current Indonesian laws, which followed the rising tide of economic nationalism, oblige foreign-owned mining firms to divest 51 percent of their projects to the Indonesian government.

Rio Tinto to sell $3.5b-worth interest in Freeport
Stefanno Reinard Sulaiman The Jakarta Post May 23, 2018
Anglo-Australian mining giant Rio Tinto confirmed on Wednesday that it planned to sell its participating interest in Papua’s Grasberg mine — the world’s largest gold and second-largest copper mine — for $3.5 billion. Grasberg mine is currently owned by PT Freeport Indonesia (PTFI), a subsidiary of United States-based gold and copper miner Freeport-McMoRan. London-based Rio Tinto says it is discussing the sale with state-owned mining holding PT Indonesia Asahan Aluminium (Inalum) and Freeport-McMoran, Rio Tinto says in a statement published in the company website.

Rio Tinto notes reports of the potential purchase by Inalum of Rio Tinto’s entire interest in the Grasberg mine in Indonesia for $3.5 billion.
The government has appointed Inalum to buy PTFI’s shares, in line with a law that requires foreign mining companies to divest 51 percent of their shares to Indonesian entities. PTFI has long been in talks with the government on the divestment. The process been taking place since early 2017, with the government initially aiming to conclude negotiations by the end of 2017. However, the government extended the divestment deadline for Freeport until 2019 with the issuance of Energy and Mineral Resources Ministerial Regulation No. 25/2018 earlier this month.

However, Rio Tinto said a final decision had not been made. "No agreement has been reached and there is no certainty that a binding agreement will be signed," the firm says. Freeport-McMoRan and Rio Tinto established an unincorporated joint venture in 1995, which gave the latter control of 40 percent interest up to 2022 in certain assets and future production above specific levels in one of the blocks at Grasberg. (bbn)

Health workers are on demand in Papua
Jubi 26 May 2018By admin
Jayapura, Jubi – Papua Accelerating Health Development Unit (UP2KP) admitted Papua Province still need more permanent health workers said UP2KP team to a legislator of the Indonesian House of Representatives from the Electoral District of Papua. They asked the legislator to enforce a quota of health workers in civil servant recruitment in 2018.“We observe that Papua needs permanent health workers for more effective and efficient health services,” said the First Director of UP2KP Agus Raprap in the press release to Jubi on Sunday (20/5/2018).
He said many health problems such as exceptional condition (KLB) and outbreaks of diseases in Papua, in particular in remote areas, were occurred due to a crisis of health workers.

A member of the Commission IX of the Indonesian House of Representatives from the Electoral District of Papua Roberth Rouw said he is ready to view the input on the health workers recruitment for Papua. He moreover said that health is the most critical sector of human development resources.
“I will learn the data related to the human resources demand (in the health sector). I will give it to the Minister of State Apparatus, but UP2KP should also provide data because this is very important to show a specific map about the existing of health workers in Papua and the number of health workers from outside of Papua that we need,” he said.
According to him, the lack of health workers in Papua becomes a very concerning issue. He agrees with the result of the monitoring and evaluation conducted by UP2KP which reveal that many health facilities in Papua, especially in districts, do not have permanent health personnel. (*) Reporter: Roy RatumakinEditor: Pipit Maizier

AHRC U/A-Company confiscated customary land belonging to a local indigenous tribe in West Papua

June 6, 2018

http://www.ahrchk.org/ruleoflawasia.net/news.php?id=AHRC-UAC-035-2018

ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION – URGENT APPEALS PROGRAMME
Urgent Appeal Case: AHRC-UAC-035-2018
June 05, 2018