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West Papua Covid-19 vaccination: Updates and obstacles

March 6, 2021

West Papua Covid-19 vaccination: Updates and obstacles

News Desk March 5, 2021 10:41 pm

Jayapura, Jubi – Vaccination in Papua Land, or internationally known as West Papua, has faced obstacles caused mainly by the lack of human resources and health facilities, an official said on March 4, 2021.

Papua Land comprises Indonesia’s Papua and West Papua provinces.

The head of Papua Covid-19 Task Force, William Manderi, said some areas in the province had yet to hold the vaccination drive.

Across Indonesia, the central government had vaccinated more than 2.28 million people for the first shot and more than 1.1 million people for the second, final shot, with a vaccine produced by Sinovac.

Read also: Covid-19 vaccination for health workers in Papua runs at slow pace

The province, as of late January 2021, had received 42,000 doses of vaccines, which had been distributed to all 28 regencies and to the provincial capital, Jayapura municipality. Papua’s chapter of Statistics Indonesia (BPS) showed that as of 2020 the province had 3.43 million people.

The neighboring province, West Papua, had received about 8,500 doses of Covid-19 vaccines as of late January. The province has 12 regencies and one municipality and 1.13 million people as of 2020 according to the West Papua chapter of BPS.

Both provinces are actually among those that had the highest vaccine acceptance according to a 2020 survey by World Health Organization and Unicef.

Covid-19 vaccines acceptance across Indonesia according to WHO and Unicef survey in late 2020. Courtesy of

West Papua held the lowest vaccine hesitancy or the highest acceptance across the country with 74 percent while Papua province held the third position along with Bengkulu province in Sumatra. The second position was held by East Nusa Tenggara province with 70 percent. The lowest acceptance was held by Aceh province with 46 percent.

However, the easternmost provinces also had limited health facilities and human resources, not to mention digital infrastructure.

“The regions that want to hold the vaccination drive need resources, right,” Manderi said.

Manderi said the problems in gathering vaccines recipients data, which mostly done digitally, had also been another obstacle.

Papua Health Agency showed that as of March 1, 2021, all the regencies in Papua had held a vaccination drive. Lanny Jaya Regency was the last to hold one.

Papua and West Papua provinces still focused on medical workers and public officers. Papua targeted to vaccinate 18,352 medical workers.

The head of disease prevention and control at Papua Health Agency, Aaron Rumainum, who was the first person in the province who got the vaccine shot, said other problems included the low budget and the low commitment from the regional leaders to make the Covid-19 vaccination drive a success.

Read also: 139 villages on Jayapura preparing 700 hectares farmland during Covid-19 pandemic

“We hope the regional leaders immediately reallocated their budget for Covid-19 vaccination,” said Rumainum recently.

On March 3, 2021, Lanny Jaya Regent Befa Yigibalom said 500 people had been registered to receive the shots while the regency only got 440 doses. “We have registered 500 people so there is a high possibility that the doses we received would be gone soon, so I have ordered some more,” Yigibalom said as quoted by Antara news agency.

On March 4, 2021, 85 medical workers in Tolikara Regency received the first vaccination shot from Sinovac.

The vaccination was held in two places: Kolengger Community Health Center and Karubaga General Regional Hospital.

Tolikara Health Agency head, Alsen Genongga, said 383 medical workers from Tolikara had participated in the Covid-19 vaccination workshop in Wamena in February to learn how to administer the shots. The medical workers would become the resources to give the rest of the population the vaccine shots.

Genongga said in a release made available on March 4 that they had received 400 doses.

He said the first phase would serve medical workers, scheduled to be completed by the fourth week of March. The second phase would be for the Indonesia Military, the National Police personnel, the civil servants, traders, transportation workers like motorcycle taxis (ojek) drivers and others drivers. The third would be for the rest of the population in Tolikara.

Reporter: Arjuna Pademme, Jean Bisay

Editor: Edho Sinaga, Aryo Wisanggeni, Evi Mariani


2) Papua support group praises Meg Taylor for UN rights statement
By APR editor – March 5, 2021

Asia Pacific Report

The Australia West Papua Association (AWPA) has called on the Australian government to stop trying to keep Papua off the agenda at the Pacific Islands Forum and “strenuously support” Pacific leaders in urging Jakarta to allow a PIF fact-finding mission to the territory.

Congratulating the PIF Secretary-General Meg Taylor on her statement to the 46th session of the UN Human Rights Council, also called on Canberra to back the call for the visit to West Papua by the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

An AWPA statement from Sydney said Taylor raised the issues of covid-19, climate change and West Papua and pointed out that the pandemic must not hinder efforts to address critical issues.

About West Papua, she said the violent conflict and subsequent human rights violations in West Papua had been of concern for PIF leaders for more than 20 years.

Joe Collins of AWPA said, “The Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) and the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG), the two main regional organisations in the Pacific, are very important for the issue of West Papua,” said Joe Collins of AWPA.

Pacific leaders regularly raised the issue of West Papua at the UN and other international fora, given credibility to the issue on the world stage. This was the reason Pacific leaders were regularly condemned by Jakarta.

“The human rights situation in West Papua is an issue of great concern for Pacific governments and their people and has the potential to impact on relations between Australia and countries in the region,” Collins said.

3) Freeport shooting case: Lawyer pleads court to acquit Ivan Sambom

News Desk March 5, 2021 9:03 pm

West Papua No. 1 News Portal | Jubi

Jayapura, Jubi – The lawyer of Indius also known as Ivan Sambom, a former security guard at PT Freeport Indonesia, pleaded to the panel of judges at North Jakarta District Court on March 3, 2021 to acquit his client because there was no evidence that Sambom possessed an illegal gun. Sambom was arrested following a shooting in Freeport’s office.

Gustav Kawer, the director of Association of Human Rights Advocates in Papua (PAHAM Papua), who was one of Sambom’s lawyer, said the trial so far had yet to present any facts or evidence that Sambom had an illegal firearm. PAHAM Papua also said in a release made available on March 4 that the trial had yet to present any evidence of Sambom’s involvement in a murder of a New Zealand citizen in Mimika Regency on March 30, 2020.

Read also: Freeport Indonesia declares business running as usual

Earlier in April last year, former Papua Police chief Insp. Gen. Paulus Waterpauw said as quoted in Jakarta-based media outlets that Sambom was a security guard at the mining company who doubled as “a spy for an armed criminal group or KKB”. KKB is Indonesian security personnel lingo to label armed groups affiliated to Free Papua Movement like the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPNPB).

Waterpauw said Sambom often posted his support to Papua’s Independence in his social media posts.

Sambom was arrested by Nemangkawi Task Force in his house in Kampung Iwaka, Mimika, following a shooting at the mining company’s office in Kuala Kencana that killed Grame Thomas Wall, a New Zealand citizen and injured two others, both Indonesians.

The police accused him of having, possessing, or hiding a firearm and other ammunition or violating Emergency Law No. 12/1951. On Oct. 27, 2020, his trial began in North Jakarta.

On Feb. 25, the prosecutors team read their indictment, demanding three years imprisonment for Sambom.

Kawer said the witnesses who lived and had activities with the defendant had testified that they never saw the defendant storing, carrying, or using any firearm or ammunition. The defendant also denied any firearm or ammunition possession. Kawer said all the security personnel who testified in the trial said similar accounts: They “found” the ammunition in Sambom’s house.

Kawer said the facts heard in the trial had convinced him that the ammunition found was planted to trap and criminalized Sambom. He said the evidence and expert witnesses testimonies did not relate to any of the defendant’s alleged actions.

On March 30, 2020, TPNPB’s Operation Area III Commander Hendrik Wamang took responsibility for the shooting.

Reporter: Benny Mawel
Editor: Aryo Wisanggeni G, Evi Mariani


4) Papua: Six women Brimob officers join Nemangkawi task force
16 hours ago

Jakarta (ANTARA) – The National Police’s Mobile Brigade (Brimob) has dispatched six of its best female police officers to join the Nemangkawi Task Force in the Indonesian province of Papua.

They are well-trained and their excellent skills will be tested in duties with the task force, Brimob chief Insp.Gen.Anang Revandoko said.

Like other personnel of the Nemangkawi Task Force, Brimob’s women officers will also protect Papua from security threats posed by armed Papuan groups, he added.

"They will also coordinate with their counterparts from the Indonesian Military (TNI)," he was quoted as saying on @sekolah_kedinasan Instagram account here on Friday.

The six women police officers’ involvement in a challenging "humanitarian operation" in Papua is an extraordinary event, he remarked.

Police chief, Gen.Listyo Sigit Prabowo, recently lauded the performance of the Nemangkawi Task Force in arresting and securing perpetrators of violence.

"I appreciate all the task force’s personnel," he said, while urging them to stay alert, given the armed groups’ propaganda against the special autonomy bill.

Amid a spate of violence in Papua, the national police chief recently approved the appointment of Papua police chief as the Nemangkawi Task Force’s commandant.

ANTARA has reported earlier that Papua’s security and public order situation has mostly remained normal.

Security disturbances, however, have been reported sporadically from several areas where armed Papuan groups operate, such as Intan Jaya district.

According to reports, several armed Papuan groups operate around Intan Jaya, including the one led by Sabinus Waker.

Armed groups in the district have repeatedly engaged in gunfights with security personnel. They have also gone on a shooting rampage targeting innocent civilians.

ANTARA had reported the launch of a security operation, "Operation Nemangkawi”, in 2019 following the massacre of 31 workers from PT Istaka Karya in Kali Yigi and Kali Aurak in Yigi sub-district, Nduga district, on December 2, 2018.

Armed Papuan rebels, who were reportedly behind the brutal killings of the Trans Papua construction workers, also killed a soldier, identified as Handoko, and injured two other security personnel, Sugeng and Wahyu.

Papua has been witness to a repeated cycle of violence, with armed groups in the districts of Intan Jaya, Nduga, and Puncak targeting civilians and security personnel over the past two years. (INE)

Related news: Papua police chief to lead Nemangkawi task force
Related news: Riau Islands police elite unit’s 252 members deployed to Papua


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wp Papuan students accuse Jakarta of using Special Autonomy to cover its sins

February 28, 2021

Papuan students accuse Jakarta of using Special Autonomy to cover its

CNN Indonesia – February 24, 2021

Jakarta — Scores of Papuan students held a protest action in front of
the Home Affairs Ministry office in Jakarta on Wednesday February 24
expressing their opposition to the extension of Special Autonomy (Otsus)
in the land of the Cenderawasih as Papua is known.

The protesters began arriving at the Home Affairs Office at around 12
noon carrying posters rejecting the extension of Special Autonomy in

One of the demonstrators also brought a black coffin with the writing
"Otsus is Dead". Another brought a black cross with the writing "Special
Autonomy" on it.

In a speech, Ambrosius Mulait said that Papuan students do not want
Special Autonomy to be extended, saying it has had no influence on the
people’s welfare in Papua.

"Otsus only covers up the sins of the Jakarta government", said Mulait
leading the front ranks of the action on Wednesday.

Mulait said that development in Papua does not need Special Autonomy and
asserted that regional development is the government’s obligation. He
also asserted that the government is obliged to ensure health services,
development and infrastructure.

The protesters believe that Special Autonomy is a nothing more than a
political agenda by the administration. "Regardless of their policies
don’t let them be too political. Papuan is not a puppet which must be
sacrificed by this country", said Mulait.

Another group also held a demonstration at the same time as the Papuan
students. The counter-demonstration called on police to break up the
Papuan rally because of Covid-19 health protocols.

"Break it up oyi! Break it up! This pandemic! NKRI [the Unitary State of
the Republic of Indonesia] is not negotiable!", shouted the

Throughout the action, police officers from the Central Jakarta district
police were on guard near the Home Affairs Ministry offices. The police
repeatedly warned the protesters to maintain social distancing and apply
Covid-19 health protocols.

Similar actions were also held by Papuan students in several other parts
of the country including Pontianak in West Kalimantan, Malang in East
Java and Bengkulu in Sumatra.

The demands at these rallies were the same, namely opposing the
extension of Special Autonomy in Papua. In addition to this, they also
opposed a New Regional Autonomy (DOB) plan to create new provinces and
regencies in Papua and called for an end to troop deployments in Papua.

"Special Autonomy, which has been in effect in the land of Papua for 19
years counting from 2001, has not in fact added anything special for the
Papuan people other than human rights violations and the stifling of
democratic space against the voices and aspirations of the Papuan
people", read a statement by the Greater Malang Papuan High-School and
University Student Association (IPMA-PAPUA) received by CNN Indonesia.

The central government has applied the policy of Special Autonomy since
2001. A number of special facilities have been given to Papua including
a special annual budget allocation from the state budget.

Special Autonomy will expire this year. Plans for its extension are
currently being discussed by the government and the House of
Representatives (DPR).(dhf/nma)

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was
"Mahasiswa Papua Demo Kantor Tito Tolak Perpanjangan Otsus".]


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Grassroots support for West Papua in PNG

January 17, 2021

Grassroots support for West Papua in PNG

A reckoning with history
14 JANUARY 2021

About the Author
Michael Kabuni Michael Kabuni is a Lecturer with the Political Science Department of the University of Papua New Guinea.

Many people in Papua New Guinea are now demanding that the United States and other developed countries rectify their role in the oppression of West Papuan independence, Michael Kabuni writes.
The United Liberation Movement for West Papua has announced that it is forming the West Papuan Provisional Government. This comes as Indonesia has refused to extend the Special Autonomy provision granted to West Papua 20 years ago, which is set to expire next year. Across the border, support for West Papuan independence in Papua New Guinea (PNG) has been growing. Even though PNG’s prime minister has not expressed support for West Papuan independence as Vanuatu has, the grassroots support in PNG is arguably stronger than in Vanuatu.
On 24 August and 10 September 2019, residents of Port Moresby participated in two protests, each drawing about 2,000 thousand people. PNG citizens walked with banners supporting West Papuan independence. Speeches from politicians and activists alike noted the ongoing failure of the United States, Australia and United Nations (UN) to call out Indonesia over its actions. There were also concurrent protest marches in Vanimo and Lae.
The rise in support for West Papua in PNG is attributed to two factors: the rise in the use of social media, and growing awareness of the historical injustices committed by Indonesia with the implicit support of the United States.
Papua New Guineans are increasingly aware of the United States’ role in Indonesia’s annexation of West Papua in 1969 because of the declassification of American cables. In response, National District Governor Powes Parkop and Northern Province Governor Gary Juffa expressed their outrage during their speeches at the September 2019 march.BBC News

These cables revealed a number of damning facts, beginning from when the Netherlands granted independence to Indonesia in 1949. The Dutch kept West Papua until 1961, fully intending for it to become independent. Subsequently, then Indonesian President Sukarno appealed to the UN to ‘recover’ West Papua, despite it being entirely Melanesian.
When Indonesia threatened annexation, the Kennedy administration orchestrated the 1962 New York Agreement, giving West Papua to Indonesia with the proviso that an election for self-determination be organised by 1969. Indonesian forces quickly silenced political dissidents demanding independence. However, the United States desired good relations with Indonesia to combat the spread of communismand knew that ‘Indonesia would never allow West Irian to become independent’.
In 1965, Sukarno announced an anti-imperialist alliance with China that sparked a failed coup. General Suharto led the systematic killing of up to a million leftist Indonesians, which was unopposed by the Unites States, who feared communism. Suharto assumed power and, by 2004, he topped the world corruption ranking.
Now that Indonesia had become anti-communist, the Kennedy administration, followed by the Johnson and Nixon administrations, continued to ignore human rights violations in West Papua for commercial reasons. In 1967, Suharto passed a law that enabled Freeport Sulphur, a transnational American company, to create the world’s largest gold mine. As the largest tax payer, Freeport became a powerful political lobby group in Jakarta.
In return for political and physical protection, Freeport became the de facto administrator of West Papua and maintained mutually beneficial relationships with Suharto, his military, and the political elite, while engaging in unethical deals and allegedly corrupt practices.
Some Papua New Guineans think American reluctance to call out Indonesia’s human rights violationsin West Papua, like it has for China’s treatment of Uyghurs, is because they are protecting Freeport.
This great power behaviour is no better than that shown by Russia. At the 1960 Bali Summit, Khrushchev made a failed deal with Sukarno to help Indonesia annex West Papua in exchange for access to minerals and control of a strategic Indo-Pacific gateway.
China and Russia remain potential independence allies for West Papua since China provides supportagainst pressure from Indonesia.
During the September protest in 2019, the speeches had several common threads, specifically aimed at the American and Indonesian governments. The first was a call to improve transparency and accountability by supporting calls for Indonesia to allow foreign journalists into West Papua.
There was also widespread support for an independent human rights commission to investigate allegations of gross human rights abuses in West Papua.
There is a perception among educated Melanesians that the United States always put its interests ahead of any partner, even if there is a human cost. Supporting this recommendation would go some way to mending this perception.
Speakers at the protest also demanded a halt to the movement of Indonesian settlers into West Papua
that displace the rightful Melanesian owners and make them a minority in their own land. This was supported by a request to the UN to reverse its corrupt decision to approve the 1969 Act of Free Choice and support calls for a real referendum for ethnic West Papuans only, so they can determine their own political future.
The grassroots support for West Papua in PNG does not seem like it will slow down. As someone put it during the speeches in 2019, PNG is not free if West Papua is not free. US-PNG relations will remain important at the political level, with interventions like the electricity project to light up 70 per cent of PNG by 2030. However, at the grassroots level, the United States will continue to be viewed with suspicion.


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Nine reportedly arrested in Biak and Supiori for rejecting Special Autonomy

January 16, 2021

Nine reportedly arrested in Biak and Supiori for rejecting Special

Suara Papua – January 8, 2021

Jayapura — Several people from villages in Biak and Supiori, Papua,
were reportedly arrested between January 4-7 by a joint unit of TNI
(Indonesian military) and Indonesian police (Polri) without arrest

Based on information gathered by Suara Papua, the individuals were
picked up on the grounds that they were involved in protest actions
opposing the extension of Papuan Special Autonomy (Otsus), which will
expire this year.

In addition to this, they were deemed to have supported the declaration
of a provisional West Papuan administration declared by the United
Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) on December 1 last year.

When they were making the arrests, the security personnel claimed they
were acting on the orders of the Biak regent.

Based on reports received by Suara Papua, several local priests and
church staff were also visited and questioned, including the Manwor
village chief.

Manwor villagers say they have been feeling intimidated by joint patrols
by TNI and police from North Biak.

As well as being questioned, the TNI and police officers also asked the
church council to make a statement supporting Papuan Special Autonomy.

The people arrested included three priests who were questioned by the
North Biak sectoral police, one village head, and five civilians who
were arrested and taken to the Sorndiweri district police in Supiori.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was
"Sembilan Orang Dikabarkan Ditahan Aparat di Biak Karena Menolak Otsus


‘A cancer at the heart of the UN’: Indonesia’s escalating West Papua conflict

January 3, 2021



‘A cancer at the heart of the UN’: Indonesia’s escalating West Papua conflict

On 1 December, the United Liberation Movement for West Papua announced the formation of a “provisional government”, a move that has seen Indonesia increase its military presence and crack down on independence activists in the restive breakaway province


Papuan activists with their faces painted in the Morning Star flag during a rally in Jakarta, Indonesia, 28 August 2019. Photo: EPA-EFE/Bagus Indahono

Fly River, western Papua New Guinea. The chocolate brown water not only bears its colour due to high concentration levels of humus, it is also the result of centuries of floating timber transports and decades of spilled waste from the Ok Tedi mine mill, situated near the river’s source.

The dense forestry along the western riverbank glares into a political no-man’s-land. The river cuts the border between where Papua New Guinea ends, and West Papua begins. On both sides of the river, vast jungle corridors lead into villages populated by people who fled the Indonesian military, now living lives either as internally displaced people in West Papua, or as forgotten refugees in Papua New Guinea. They are neither fully integrated to the everyday life tied to the Fly river, nor able to return home – their home, in fact, is not even allowed to exist under Indonesian law.

Since December 2018, West Papua has been a war zone where unarmed civilians die behind closed doors and 40,000-odd IDPs are dependent on emergency aid from local churches, in what is a terra incognita for independent journalists and international aid organisations. Calls for the Indonesian government in Jakarta to hand the West Papuan people its long-awaited referendum on independence are met by warfare, mass arrests and extrajudicial killings. It was a promise made to the West Papuan people by the United Nations in the early 1960s – a promise thus far never granted, although never forgotten.

2020 – the year of Covid-19 ­– has converted into a decisive eleventh hour, where Indonesia’s six-decade-long rule has been sincerely questioned and openly threatened as among some of the most ardent calls for West Papuan independence to date have arisen. On 1 December, The United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) announced the formation of a “Provisional Government,” led by President Benny Wenda, a former political prisoner who has lived in exile in London for many years.

“This is about showing the world that the ULMWP is ready to take over the country, and represents a viable alternative to Indonesian rule,” Benny Wenda told the Globe in a recent interview.

This manner of rule by Indonesia has led to grim stories told and retold in vivid detail by inhabitants of the village Dome, a West Papuan settlement on the Fly River. Bomb raids and large-scale military operations, followed by long and exhausting treks through thick jungle to temporary safety in the vicinity of Papua New Guinea. A protracted existence, they await the arrival of an independent West Papua, liberated from Indonesian sovereignty that has held their lives, forests, mountains and rivers hostage since the early 1960s.

West Papua is Indonesia’s colonised easternmost corner – where Southeast Asia ends, and the South Pacific begins. This is also one of Indonesia’s poorest and most undeveloped corners, despite sitting on top of one of the planet’s most lucrative gold and copper reserves.

It was no coincidence that the recent announcement of a provisional government occurred on 1 December. The date marks the anniversary of the 1961 ceremonial opening of the West Papuan parliament in Jayapura, when the western half of New Guinea was underway to broker independence from the Netherlands.

The dawn of a nation was near, in a time of global decolonisation.

But, far away from the colonial masses in the UN headquarters in New York, the Dutch colonial power and the Indonesian government brokered a deal in 1962, “The New York Agreement”, which paved the way for Indonesian rule of west New Guinea, awaiting a UN-led referendum. This resulted in the “Act of Free Choice” in 1969 – a “referendum” in West Papua in which only a little over 1,000 selected elders were allowed to participate.

The result, not surprisingly, was in favour of Indonesian integration.

“Many who were chosen to cast their votes have explained that they were forced to ‘vote’ to become a part of Indonesia – literally at gunpoint. All this occurred with the silent complicity of the UN,” said Jason MacLeod, an Australian academic who has taught civil resistance at the University of Sydney and author of Merdeka and Morning Star.

With more than 20 years of experience of social work in West Papua, he quite literally stumbled upon the knowledge of the conflict along a muddy road off the beaten track. Here, he realised the David versus Goliath-like conflict, meeting a man who told him about Indonesian military operations in the Baliem Valley – something never mentioned in Australian textbooks. The Indonesian military had come, bombarded and cleared villages, finally dropping unarmed civilians into the rivers, which was soon coloured in red. “Tell the world my story,” the man pleaded.

Two-headed response

The Indonesian government, led by President Joko Widodo, has respondedto the ULMWPs demand for an UN-instigated referendum on independence – something Kosovo, South Sudan, and previously Indonesian-occupied East Timor have been awarded in the past two decades – with political indifference and military escalation in recent months.

“Two things have happened as a result of the proclamation of a provisional West Papuan government,” said Socratez Yoman, president of the Fellowship of Baptist Churches of West Papua. “First, Indonesia has increased its number of troops, and second, West Papua Council of Churches endorses the announcement and welcomes the media attention it has brought to the conflict.”

Jacob Rumbiak, the spokesperson for the provisional government, who for many years has lived in exile, believes the overwhelming violence and repression is a blatant attempt to erase future West Papuan leaders.

“We’ve never witnessed this amount of violence and repression as of now,” he warned.

We met children who told us they had to flee helicopter attacks while they attended class. They left everything behind and walked for days before reaching safety in Wamena

West Papua’s current conflict and humanitarian crisis erupted in December 2018 in Nduga regency in the central highlands. Some 20-odd workers of Istaka Kaya – a semi state-controlled construction company, constructing bridges as part of Indonesia’s mega infrastructure project “Trans-Papua” – were caught photographing a guerilla assembly, where the forbidden Morning Star flag was raised. They were executed shortly afterwards, while an Indonesian soldier was also killed in the following commotion.

The Indonesian military moved quickly to retaliate and launched large-scale operations in Nduga. Villages were bombed and burned, and civilians were killed. Over 40,000 civilians sought refuge in the mountains and vast forests. Many have since resided in temporary refugee camps, not yet recognised as internally displaced people by the Indonesian state, which does not acknowledge the conflict as a “conflict” at all.

“Many who died in conflict died alone, without anyone by their side in the end,” Theo Hesegem, director of Frontline Defenders, told the Globe.

Hesegem belongs to an already endangered species, running the risk to soon be eradicated in West Papua: human rights workers with knowledge of the conflict and author of close-to-the-ground reports, straight from the conflict zones. Tireless travels paid for from his own pocket take him to forgotten spots in the central highlands, where he interviews, listens and documents human rights violations.

Hesegem’s reports are often detailed and impressive documents, but his emergency calls from a desolated people seldom break through the political dome surrounding West Papua, imposed by Indonesian authorities. More than 200 politically motivated arrests were made by Indonesian authorities in 2019-20, of which 57 await treason trials. Far away from the demonstrations in the streets of urban areas, at least 243 civilian liveswere spilled in Indonesia’s military operation in Nduga.

“The situation in Nduga remains unsafe, it’s still chaotic and utterly worrisome,” he said.

One of few outsiders with first-hand knowledge of the West Papuan IDPs dire conditions is Peter Prove, director of the World Council of Churches’ Commission of the Churches on International Affairs. What he witnessed in February 2019 in Wamena, eastern West Papua, was nothing he had ever seen before.

“We met children who told us they had to flee helicopter attacks while they attended class. They left everything behind and walked for days before reaching safety in Wamena. Along the road they saw death and many of the children were alone, without their families,” he said.

I can’t think of any other place where the international community hasn’t been present. I found that extraordinary

The WCC commission were also introduced to cannisters used by the Indonesian military. Chemical weapons, which the Indonesian government denies were used during the “security operation”.

“We witnessed wounds which looked like the result of usage of white phosphorous,” said Prove.

Perhaps most striking was the fact that hundreds of young people, displaced by conflict, were taken care of by the local church community, without any coordinated international response.

“I can’t think of any other place where the international community hasn’t been present. I found that extraordinary,” said Prove.

The perfect storm

Indonesia’s military operations in Nduga laid the foundation of a perfect storm, one which not even President Widodo seems capable of controlling.

Besides repelling low-intensity guerilla warfare against isolated military posts and sneak-attacks against Freeport-McMoRan’s gold and copper mining operations in Timika – the mine is Indonesia’s single most important tax income source – the Jakarta government continues to expand its military presence without much investment in dialogue.

The results are mass arrests of peaceful independence activists, the crackdown on social movements and the killings of religious leaders – among them 63-year-old Pastor Yeremia Zanambani, who was killed while feeding his pigs in Intan Jaya regency.

“Indonesian officials at the highest levels have made serious threats against Benny Wenda, the ULMWP and their members and supporters in West Papua,” says Jennifer Robinson, barrister at Doughty Street Chambers in London and spokesperson for International Lawyers for West Papua, in a statement.

Ever since the 1960s, Indonesia has shown its intention to hold on to the western part of New Guinea at all costs. Children sing the patriotic song From Sabang to Merauke, cementing in the next generation the narrative justifying Indonesia’s annexation of West Papua. This annexation is motivated by fiscal dependence on the mining revenues at the Freeport mine, oil reserves in West Papuan waters, the forests waiting to be cleared and sold and making way for palm oil plantations.

In the village of Dome, along Fly River’s western bank, many West Papuans share their experiences, losses and nightmares – their reports punctuated with exacerbation.

“What good will it do? Foreign reporters have been here before, without it leading anywhere,” they said. “So why talk to you?”

Dome’s oldest man believes he is well over one hundred years and sees poorly on both eyes. He has lived a long life, once overseeing the Dutch colonial administration’s missionaries, sent along the rivers to inform the “savages” about the benefits of salvation and civilisation.

But this salvation has arrived in the shape of Indonesian colonialism of palm oil plantations, open-pit gold and copper mines, disease, persecution, murder and political repression.

“West Papuans remain victims of colonial ideas and are being treated like savages in need of development and capitalism,” Sophie Chao, anthropologist and ethnographer at the School of Philosophical and Historical Inquiry, told the Globe.

The UN’s silent support for the 1960s Indonesian annexation and ongoing exploitation slammed shut the door to the outside world in the face of the West Papuan people. A betrayal that, per Benny Wenda, pours the responsibility of “a legitimate chance for freedom” on the shoulders of the global community in general – and the UN in particular.

“The UN knows what is really happening in West Papua today, the UN knows that the West Papuan people don’t wish to be part of Indonesia,” the provisional president of West Papua said. “West Papua is the cancer at the heart of the United Nations, and this issue is not going away until our right to self-determination is granted through a referendum on independence.”

Conflict of Intan Jaya, Violence at the expense of civilians

January 1, 2021

Conflict of Intan Jaya: Violence at the expense of civilians
Reporter: Victor Mambor December 28, 2020 5:46 am

Member of the Papua DPR, Thomas Sondegau (left) with the regent and muspida Intan Jaya when they saw the shooting victim at Intan Jaya last October 2020 – Jubi. Dock

Jayapura, Jubi – The atmosphere on Saturday (19/9/2020) morning in the courtyard of the Elementary School for the Education and Schooling Foundation of Evangelical Churches in Tanah Papua or YPPGI Hitadipa was tense. The army gathered Hitadipa civilians at the school yard which had been occupied by the TNI, and made it the Headquarters of the Military District Command or the Hitadipa Preparation Koramil. A number of Hitadipa Preparatory Koramil soldiers said the TNI gave two days for the residents to return the SS1 firearms that were lost since 17 September 2020. SS1 was seized by the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPNPB) in an attack that killed Serka Sahlan. The threat clearly shows the separatist stigmatization attached to Hitadipa civilians. This threat frightened Hitadipa civilians who were burdened with returning the weapons they never took.

The gathering of residents on Saturday morning was not attended by Pastor Jeremiah Zanambani. Since morning, he and his wife, Miriam Zoani, have been going to Bomba, a small village on the hillside south of Kampung Hitadipa, cultivating their garden and repairing their pigpen. “[Since] Friday night, Father said on Saturday he wanted to help Mama finish or build a garden first, because on Monday [Father] wanted to go up to the assignment. On that Saturday, September 19, both Father and I went to the garden which is in the same location as the pig pen. Father finished the fence in the pig pen, while I dug up the sweet potatoes. While we were working, around 13.00 noon in Hitadipa there were gunshots. When we heard the gunshot, we entered the pig pen and closed the door, because the TNI had told us that if we heard gunfire, we had to enter the house and lock the door, ”said Mama Miriam. [1] The gunshot heard by Mama Miriam was gunfire when the TPNPB attacked the Hitadipa Preparatory Koramil Headquarters. The TPNPB attack killed Pratu Dwi Akbar Utomo, a 711 / Raksatama Infantry Battalion soldier based in Gorontalo Province, Sulawesi. [2] He was part of a dispatch of troops who were seconded to guard the Hitadipa Preparatory Koramil.

The incident started the movement of TNI troops pursuing TPNPB and combing a small village called Taundugu. The series of events culminated in the shooting that killed Pastor Jeremiah Zanambani. After the shooting of Pastor Yeremia Zanambani, Head of Information for the Joint Defense Region Command III, Col. Czi IGN Suriastawa, made a unilateral statement, saying Pastor Yeremia was shot by the TPNPB. "They are seeking attention at the UN General Assembly later this month," said Suriastawa, Sunday (9/20/2020). [3] Suriastawa’s claim was quoted by various media in Jakarta, forming public opinion outside Papua. However, the public in Papua finds it difficult to believe the TNI’s claim that Pastor Yeremia Zanambani was killed by the TPNPB. Pastor Yeremia Zanambani is a respected religious figure in Papua. He is the former Chairman of the Hitadipa Indonesian Bible Tent Church (GKII) Class. Until his death, Pastor Yeremia Zanambani also served as Chair of the Bible Theology College in Hitadipa, as well as advisor to GKII Region 3 Papua in Hitadipa. He is also a linguist, and translator of the Bible scriptures from Indonesian to Moni, the language of the indigenous people in Intan Jaya. “In the ministry, the Pastor Pastor’s daily work is in two churches. The first is in the Bahtera Church congregation in Janamba, the second is in Bulapa. Father also joined the Bible translation team from Indonesian to Moni, so Father often went to Timika or Nabire. Father is also a teacher at the Upper Theological School in Sugapa. Usually the Father is with his family and children in Hitadipa on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, ”said Mama Miriam. [4] A number of human rights advocacy activists and churches are trying to find comparable information about what actually happened in Intan Jaya on September 19, 2020. They received testimony from Hitadipa that the shooting of Pastor Yeremia Zanambani was carried out by TNI soldiers. The murder was part of a series of violence in Hitadipa since October 25, 2019, when the TPNPB shot dead three motorcycle taxi drivers. Pastor Yeremia Zanambani is the 14th victim of a series of armed conflicts that occurred in Intan Jaya Regency since 25 October 2019. Since then, until 19 September 2020, at least ten civilians have died at the hands of the warring parties in Intan Jaya. and a total of eight other civilians were injured. During the same period, a total of four security officers were killed in Intan Jaya. After the shooting of Pastor Yeremia Zanambani, violence in Intan Jaya continued. Catechist from Emondi Station, Timika Diocese Catholic Church, Agustinus Duwitau was shot by TNI soldiers on October 7, 2020. Duwitau, who was injured, was then treated in Sugapa. On October 26, 2020, TNI soldiers shot Rufinus Tigau, a catechist from the Bilogai Parish, the Catholic Church of the Timika Diocese. The shooting that killed Rufinus Tigau took place in Kampung Jalai, Intan Jaya. The widespread violence that victimized civilians shows that the TNI did not fully control the excesses of their military operations in Intan Jaya. The legal process for various cases of violence perpetrated by TNI soldiers is also minimal. Of the various cases of violence in Hitadipa, only the burning of the health personnel’s official home in Taundugu has reached the stage of investigation. The Indonesian Army Military Police Center (Puspomad) named eight Indonesian Army soldiers as suspects in the arson case. [5] Until early November 2020, hundreds of civilians in Hitadipa District and a number of other districts had fled. Since 19 September 2020, Mama Miriam has never returned to Hitadipa, and has never seen the tomb of Pastor Jeremiah Zanambani. “We can’t go back there. We are afraid because there are still TNI there. We want them out so we can go there. We feel threatened, because from the start they have already conveyed threatening language to the church and society. We are now hard to go home. Until now, we also don’t know where Father is in the grave. We walked back and forth and didn’t know where to come back. We don’t know, we go home whether we are safe or not, ”said Mama Miriam. [6] (*) Read the Intan Jaya Conflict (1)

Baca Konflik Intan Jaya (3)

Catatan kaki

[1] Wawancara, Miriam Zoani, 23 Oktober 2020.



[4] Wawancara, Miriam Zoani, 23 Oktober 2020.


[6] Wawancara, Miriam Zoani, 23 Oktober 2020.

A google translate. Be-aware google translate can be a bit erratic.
original bahasa link at

2) Intan Jaya Conflict (3): New Autonomous Region, New Conflict Reporter: Victor Mambor Papua No.1 News Portal | Jubi Jayapura, Jubi – Intan Jaya District, especially Sugapa District and Hitadipa District, is not the TPNPB operational area. Intan Jaya Regency is a New Autonomous Region (DOB) resulting from the division of Paniai Regency. [1] Intan Jaya Regency was formed with the promulgation of Law of the Republic of Indonesia Number 54 of 2008 on November 26, 2008. Intan Jaya consists of six districts that were previously part of Paniai Regency, namely Agisiga, Biandoga, Hitadipa, Homeyo, Sugapa, Wandai. [2] In 2013, there were two additional districts in Intan Jaya, namely Ugimba (the result of the division of Sugapa District) and Tomosiga District (the result of the division of Agisiga District. The addition of these districts was accompanied by an increase in the number of villages to 97 villages. Until the early part of the division, generally the social problems in Intan Jaya were in the form of fights between residents, barriers and addiction to alcohol. However, there was no armed conflict involving security actors such as the TNI, Polri, and the TPNPB armed group. After 11 years of formation, Intan Jaya District has not been effective in improving education services for its 49,293 inhabitants. The government of Intan Jaya Regency has failed to address the problems of low quality human resources, poverty, unequal economic growth, underdevelopment, and isolation. This has an impact on the low competitiveness of Intan Jaya Regency. [3] Intan Jaya District’s HDI achievement is still lower than that of Papua Province. In 2015, the IPM of Intan Jaya Regency was still at 44, 35, while Papua Province had reached 57, 25. The lack of educational facilities, as well as a limited teaching staff, affects the teaching and learning process and the literacy rate there. In 2019, according to the Intan Jaya Education and Teaching Office, there were only 47 schools, consisting of 3 TK units, 36 SD units, 7 SMP units, and 1 SMA unit. Intan Jaya has 222 teachers consisting of 6 kindergarten teachers, 138 elementary school teachers, 67 junior high school teachers, and 11 high school teachers. [4] Health facilities at Intan Jaya also remain minimal. The Intan Jaya Health Office noted that there are 24 health facilities, which rely on eight Community Health Centers (Puskesmas) that are spread evenly in eight Intan Jaya districts. A total of eight Puskesmas are assisted by 13 units of Auxiliary Puskesmas (Pustu) which are only in Homeyo District and Wandai District and two units of medical centers. Intan Jaya only has one Regional General Hospital unit which occupies the Sugapa Puskesmas building. There are also no maternity homes and pharmacies in Intan Jaya. The lack of health facilities in Intan Jaya makes it difficult for people to reach good health services. To get better health services, people have to make long trips to Nabire or Timika. [5] The establishment of Intan Jaya Regency failed to improve the quality of public services for its citizens. On the other hand, Intan Jaya has actually experienced a number of impacts from the expansion, including new conflicts rooted in local political issues, or violence perpetrated by security forces such as the police or the army. In the 2014 General Election, there was a dispute regarding the results of the election for Intan Jaya Regional Legislative Council (DPRD) Candidates and accusations of vote mark-up. [6]

Apart from the dispute over the Legislative Election of the Intan Jaya DPRD, the presence of security forces in Sugapa, the capital of Intan Jaya Regency, has also created new friction. On September 29, 2014, a resident who was previously involved in a fight with two Brimob members was shot. [7] Seprianus Japugau (22) received a gunshot wound to the stomach, while Benyamin Agimbau (30) was seriously injured because he was hit by a gun butt. [8] After that, there were at least seven intimidations of physical clashes between Brimob and civilians. A number of these cases included the shooting by the Brimob unit against Malon Sondegau in Sugapa on August 25 2016 (injured and still alive). Another case was the shooting of the Mobile Brigade against Otinus Sondegau (killed) in Sugapa on August 27, 2016, which caused a mass rage and the burning of the Sugapa Sector Police Headquarters. [9] There is one other case of violence that also involved security forces, namely the stabbing that killed the head of the Kemandoga tribe Ijihogama Selegani in Homeyo in December 2015. [10] A bigger conflict occurred when the regional head election (Pilkada) was held to elect the Regent and Deputy Regent of Intan Jaya for the 2017-2022 period.The Pilkada led to disputes and clashes between sympathizers of the regent candidate pair Yulius Yapugau-Yunus Kalabetme and incumbent Natalis Tabuni-Robert Kobogoyauw. The Pilkada case began with a clash between sympathizers of the candidates that took place at the Intan Jaya General Election Commission (KPU) Office on February 23, 2017. At that time, the Yulius Yapugau-Yunus Kalabetme supporters asked the KPU to speed up the vote counting process for the Intan Jaya Pilkada. The request was rejected, because the KPU Intan Jaya had not received the recapitulation of votes from Wandai District and Agisiga District. [11] As a result, there were clashes between supporters which killed three people. A number of 101 other residents were injured. [12]. The Papua Police immediately sent 400 police officers to Intan Jaya. A total of 30 Brimob from Bali who were previously in Dogiyai District were also transferred to Intan Jaya. [13] The recapitulation of the vote acquisition was finally completed by KPU Intan Jaya on February 24, 2017. However, on May 15 2017, the Papua General Election Supervisory Body (Bawaslu) rejected the results of the Intan Jaya Pilkada recapitulation. Bawaslu assessed that many administrative requirements were not fulfilled by the Intan Jaya KPU. The problem then became a dispute by the Constitutional Court (MK). The Constitutional Court ordered the Re-Voting (PSU) at 7 different polling stations. [14] On August 29, 2017, Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court, Arief Hidayat, read out the verdict, declaring Natalis Tabuni and Robert Kobogoyauw to win the 2017 Intan Jaya Pilkada with 36,883 votes. This decision also canceled the decision of the KPU Intan Jaya which won Yulius Yapugau and Yunus Kalabetme. [15] The Constitutional Court’s decision sparked protests and the dismissal of Sugapa airport. A number of Intan Jaya Regency Government offices in Sugapa were burned by the masses. The rampage of the masses paralyzed economic activity in Sugapa, because most of the stalls and markets chose to close. The indigenous people chose to stay indoors, while some migrants chose to flee to the police and army headquarters. [16] After the mass rampage in Sugapa, 100 Brimob Detachment A Polda South Sulawesi were sent to Intan Jaya to guard vital objects, such as airports and government offices. [17] After being inaugurated as Regent of Intan Jaya on December 12, 2017, Natalis Tabuni stated that she would reconcile with all political opponents. However, these efforts were not fully implemented. The 2017 Pilkada conflict made it difficult for the Intan Jaya Regency Government to mediate the various new conflicts that occurred there. (*) Read the Intan Jaya Conflict (1) Read the Intan Jaya Conflict (2) footnote

Catatan kaki

[1] Undang-Undang Republik Indonesia Nomor: 54 Tahun 2008, tentang pembentukan Kabupaten Intan Jaya.


















3) Indonesian foreign ministry cares for students, teachers in Papua
30th December 2020

Jakarta (ANTARA) – Indonesia’s foreign ministry cares for students and teachers in dire need of gadgets in various provinces, including Papua and West Papua, to enable them get access to online-learning platforms and services amid the COVID-19 situation.

As of the end of December 2020, 438 gadgets were distributed to the recipients through the ministry’s partnering organizations in various cities, Foreign Minister Retno L. P. Marsudi was quoted by ANTARA as saying here on Wednesday.

"From whatever island we are from, we play a role in making Indonesia much better in the future. Making the country everlastingly peaceful and prosperous; the prosperity that can equally be enjoyed by all Indonesians from Sabang to Merauke," she emphasized.

Speaking at a virtual meeting to donate the gadgets to recipients in Papua and West Papua, Marsudi revealed that the initiative to assist the students and teachers was part of the ministry’s action programs to commemorate its 75th anniversary this year.

Through its partnering organizations, the ministry distributed 438 gadgets to recipients in Jayapura, greater Jakarta areas, Bandung, Batam, Bima, Brebes, Cilegon, Cimahi, Medan, Rembang, Semarang, Surabaya, Tangerang, and Yogyakarta.

Especially in the provinces of Papua and West Papua, the gadgets were donated to 30 junior and senior high school students and three teachers residing in Biak Numfor and Raja Ampat through the ministry’s partner, Hoshizora Foundation, she remarked.

Meanwhile, Kristian Wabiser, a coordinating teacher in Biak Numfor District, Papua Province, lauded the foreign ministry for its donated gadgets, as they would help both students and teachers in villages that participate in e-learning activities.

The students receiving the gadgets also expressed their gratitude to the foreign ministry, while Marsudi appealed to them to study hard to fulfill their ambitions in life and contribute to a better Indonesia.

Papua and West Papua are striving to catch up with other Indonesian provinces in driving multisectoral developments amid challenging hurdles in vulnerable security and human resources.

ANTARA noted that the development of human resources was an important matter for which comprehensive evaluation was necessary since the human development index scores of Papua and West Papua remained lower than those of other provinces.

Referring to Indonesia’s 2019 human development index, the scores of Papua and West Papua were recorded at 64.7 and 60.84 respectively.

Owing to this factual reality, improving the quality of human resources must be prioritized amid stiff competition among Indonesians and among nations in the digital era.

The government is indeed aware of the challenging reality. To address the problems, it draws emphasis to prosperity-oriented approaches by boosting infrastructure construction projects to enable them to be at par with other provinces.

As recently disclosed by Presidential Chief of Staff Moeldoko, President Joko Widodo also focused on boosting the economic sector of Papua and West Papua by, for instance, enforcing the one-fuel price policy there.

As part of its endeavors to create social justice for the local people, the government also remains focused on development of the health and education sectors in the two provinces, he remarked.

Moeldoko believes that the second phase of special autonomy status granted for Papua and West Papua would be driven to fuel a new spirit in expediting developments to create prosperity in both provinces.
Related news: Year ender – UNSC stint highlights Indonesia’s role as bridge-builder

Related news: ASEAN’s concrete actions paramount to ending Rohingya’s misery


Reporter: Aria C, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Fardah Assegaf


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Papuans in Jakarta, Yogyakarta mark 1961 anniversary of Trikora operation

December 29, 2020

Papuans in Jakarta, Yogyakarta mark 1961 anniversary of Trikora

Arah Juang – December 21, 2020

The Indonesian People’s Front for West Papua (FRI-WP) and the Papuan
Student Alliance (AMP) again launched actions in several parts of the
country on December 19. This time the actions took up the theme,
"Trikora: The Start of Indonesia’s Colonisation of the West Papua


In Jakarta, around 50 protesters from the AMP, the FRI-WP and the Papuan
Central Highlands Indonesian Student Association (AMPTPI) gathered at
the Horse Statue in Central Jakarta at 11.30 am. While the demonstrators
were in the process of getting ready, security personnel began harassing

"A new regulation is now in force. Anyone who wants to hold an action
must take a [Covid-19] rapid test. If not, we will be forced to close
down the action! We even dispersed the FPI [Islamic Defenders Front]!",
shouted one of the police officers.

The action coordinator along with several protesters then went to the
rapid test post to ask the staff if they had a government document to
this effect from the Covid-19 Task Force. It turned out however that
they did not.

Following this, 15 people from a reactionary group arrived holding
banners and nationalist red-and-white flags and shouting "The NKRI [the
Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia] is Non-negotiable,
Disburse!". One of theme also referred to the protesters as monkeys, a
racist slur reminiscent of the racist attack on a Papuan student
dormitory in Surabaya one year ago.

At around 12.30 pm, one of the demonstrators was grabbed by police and
put in a vehicle. The incident started when the protesters wanted to
unfurl a banner and hand out posters. A scuffle broke out with
demonstrators, police and TNI (Indonesian military) officers pushing and
shoving each other. The posters and banner were then sized by security
personnel. The protesters demanded that their comrade be released
immediately, and several minutes later they were let go. The
demonstrators then continued the action with speeches although only two
people were able to speech because of harassment by security personnel
and the reactionary group.

Papuan student Roland Levy said that the security forces’ actions were
an attempt to silence the Papuan students. "It’s not just this time that
this has happened. Before it also happened to the East Timorese people
when they tried to convey their aspirations", said Levy in a speech
alluding to hired mobs trying to stop the action.

Around two hours after the action began, the atmosphere had become such
that it was impossible for the demonstrators to continue the action. The
police and TNI had become increasingly repressive to the point that they
were unable to read out a statement.

The protesters then returned to the Jakarta Legal Aid Foundation (LBH)
offices on foot. During the march the students shouted "Papua is not the
red-and-white" and "Free Papua".


In the Central Java city of Yogyakarta, protests from the AMP, the
FRI-WP and the AMPTPI gathered at the Papuan student dormitory in
Kamasan to hold an action commemorating Trikora — the start of
Indonesia’s colonisation of the West Papuan nation.

At 10 am the demonstrators began forming lines holding banners then
marched from the student dormitory to the zero kilometre point in front
of the central post office. Throughout the march, the action coordinator
gave speeches about the history of the West Papuan nation’s independence
which only survived for 18 days because it was forced to summit to
Indonesia’s power through the Trikora operation which was announced by
Indonesia’s founding president Sukarno on December 19, 1961.

In addition to this, the action was enlivened with shouts of "Free
Papua!", "Papua is not the red-and-white!", "Referendum, yes! Otsus,
no!", "Revoke the Omnibus Law" and other demands taken up by the
protesters that day.

Upon arriving at the zero kilometre point, the demonstrators were
greeted by several police officers who had been on guard. The police
asked them to form a circle in front of the post office and continue to
maintain health protocols.

Several other organisations such as Socialist Study Circle (LSS), the
Indonesian Student League for Democracy National Committee (LMND-DN),
Yogyakarta Student Horizon (CMY) and the Student Struggle Center for
National Liberation (Pembebasan), who joined the action in solidarity
with the Papuan students, also gave political speeches on the human
rights violations taking place in Papua and calling for a referendum as
a democratic solution to overcome the conflict in Papua.

The two actions in Jakarta and Yogyakarta took up a number of demands

1. Calling for the right to self-determination as a democratic solution
for Papua.

2. Rejecting the extension of the Special Autonomy Law (Otsus).

3. Calling for human rights violators in Papua to be arrested and tried.

4. An end to military operations in Nduga, Intan Jaya, Puncak Jaya,
Puncak Papua and other parts of West Papua.

5. An end to the theft of land and natural resources in Papua.

6. An end to the criminalisation of pro-democracy activists.

7. That the Indonesian government acknowledges West Papuan independence
and return to the West Papua national manifesto.

8. The withdrawal of all organic and non-organic troops from West Papua.

9. The closure of the Freeport gold-and-copper mine, the LNG Tangguh gas
field operated by BP, the MNC Group LNG plant, the Merauke Integrated
Food and Energy Estate (MIFEE), the Freeport Wabu Block in Intan Jaya
and other projects which are the masterminds behind humanitarian crimes
in West Papua.

10. That in accordance with international law the United Nations must
pass a resolution returning independence to the nation of West Papua
which declared independence on December 1, 1961.

11. That democratic space and access be given to journalists from the
national and international media in West Papua.

12. An end to racial discrimination and Indonesian colonialist programs
in West Papua.

13. Halting the construction of a cement factory in the Satar Punda
village in East Manggarai regency.

14. Halting the construction of a super-premium tourist facility in the
Komodo National Park.

15. The release of all Papuan political prisoners.

16. The enactment of the Draft Law on the Elimination of Sexual Violence


Operation Trikora was declared by Indonesian founding President Sukarno
in the Central Java city of Yogyakarta on December 19, 1961. It was an
Indonesian military operation aimed at harassing and forcing the Dutch
out of Netherlands New Guinea in 1961-62 rather than one intended to
suppress a nascent independence movement.

Although it is widely held that West Papua declared independence from
Indonesia on December 1, 1961, this actually marks the date when the
Morning Star (Bintang Kejora) flag was first raised alongside the Dutch
flag in an officially sanctioned ceremony in Jayapura, then called
Hollandia. The first declaration of independence actually took place on
July 1, 1971 at the Victoria Headquarters when the Free Papua Movement
unilaterally proclaimed West Papua as an independent nation.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was
"Aksi Trikora: Awal dari Penjajahan Indonesia Terhadap Bangsa West


Indonesian military says troops suspected of killing 2 Papuan civilians

December 23, 2020

Indonesian military says troops suspected of killing 2 Papuan civilians

23 Dec 2020 09:18PM

Indonesia’s Papua province has been dealing for decades with demands for independence and a low-level separatist insurgency.

JAKARTA: Indonesia’s military on Wednesday (Dec 23) named nine soldiers as suspects in the killing in April of two civilians in the country’s Papua region, as part of a state probe into violence this year in an area beset by separatist conflict.

The military is conducting an internal investigation as part of a fact-finding mission that started in October into several incidents in the Intan Jaya district, including the fatal shooting of a Christian pastor in September.

Lieutenant General Dodik Wijanarko in a statement said the nine soldiers had committed "acts beyond the limits of propriety" while interrogating two Papuans suspected of being separatist rebels, who later died.

The suspects burned their bodies and threw their ashes into a river, according to the military.

West Papua, the easternmost region of the archipelago nation, has been riven by separatist conflict since the former Dutch colony was incorporated into Indonesia, following a controversial United Nations-backed referendum in 1969.

Dodik said the suspects faced a maximum 12 years in prison if found guilty of violence leading to death, among other violations.

Usman Hamid, director of Amnesty International Indonesia, said the admission by the military that its personnel may have engaged in illegal acts in Papua was rare, although he cast doubt over its sincerity and transparency.

Colonel Gusti Nyoman Suriastawa, a military spokesman in Papua, said there was "no tolerance for soldiers who commit these violations".

Reuters was unable to immediately reach the victims’ families for comment.

In September, a Christian pastor, Yeremia Zanambani, was fatally shot in the same region. Indonesia’s military has denied allegations by church groups that soldiers were responsible.

Mahfud MD, Indonesia’s chief security minister, said in October that state forces or "a third party" may have been involved.

Source: Reuters/dv

A google translate. Be-aware google translate can be a bit erratic. Original bahasa link at
2) Komnas HAM was asked to investigate the alleged torture of 14 KNPB activists
Reporter: Admin Jubi

14 detained Merauke KNPB activists – Jubi / IST

Papua No. 1 News Portal | Jubi Jayapura, Jubi – The Papua Law Enforcement and Human Rights Coalition asked the National Human Rights Commission to immediately investigate the Merauke Police Chief, AKBP Untung Sangaji in the alleged torture of 14 members of the West Papua National Committee or KNPB Merauke. The Coalition’s request was stated by the Coalition in their written press release on Tuesday (12/22/2020). In its written press release, the Coalition highlighted AKBP Untung Sangaji’s statement which was reported by the Cenderawasih Pos Daily. In the news, AKBP Untung Sangaji denied that the Merauke Police had criminalized 14 KNPB Merauke activists. Untung stated that 14 KNPB activists were named treason suspects, and were charged with violating the provisions of Articles 106, 107, 110 of the Criminal Code. The coalition emphasized that AKBP Untung Sangaji should immediately deal with the alleged torture by the police against 14 KNPB Merauke activists. The coalition states that every act of investigators to arrest people should not be carried out arbitrarily. Also read: PH calls the police persecuting 14 KNPB activists

"The fact of the arrest using a violent approach clearly shows that the Merauke Police Chief and his staff have ignored the explanatory order for article 17, Law Number 8 of 1981 concerning Criminal Procedure Law above. This explanation rests on the principle ‘Everyone has the right to freedom and personal security. No one can be arrested or detained arbitrarily. No one can be deprived of their liberty except on valid reasons and in accordance with procedures stipulated by law "as stipulated in Article 9 paragraph (1) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights," said the Coalition’s press release. The coalition states that the arrest process using a violent approach violates Article 351 of the Criminal Code in conjunction with Article 170 of the Criminal Code and Article 1, the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment which has been ratified by Law Number 5 of 1998 concerning Ratification of the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment in conjunction with Article 7, Law Number 12 of 2005 concerning Ratification of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The coalition believes that AKBP Untung Sangaji’s statement reported by the media actually indicated his involvement in the violence against 14 KNPB activists. "It seems that the Merauke Police Chief did not practice the" presumption of innocence principle "in the law enforcement process against 14 Merauke KNPB activists. In addition, perhaps the Merauke Police Chief also forgot to read the provisions of ‘Every person who is arrested, detained and prosecuted because he is suspected of committing a criminal act has the right to be presumed innocent, until proven guilty legally in a court session and given all legal guarantees necessary for his defense in accordance with statutory provisions as stipulated in Article 18 paragraph (1), Law Number 39 Year 1999 concerning Human Rights, ”said the Coalition’s press release.

Also read: Merauke KNPB activist is suspected of being a victim of criminalization The coalition states that the Merauke Resort Police have the obligation to carry out constitutional provisions related to "Protection, advancement, enforcement and fulfillment of human rights are the responsibility of the state, especially the government" as stipulated in Article 28i paragraph (4), the 1945 Constitution. acts of maltreatment against 14 KNPB Merauke activists, acts of vandalism against the KNPB Merauke Secretariat building. We ask the Indonesian National Human Rights Commission to immediately investigate the Merauke Police Chief and his staff for alleged acts of torture, ”said the Coalition’s press release. The coalition also asked the National Police Chief through the Papua Regional Police Chief to provide an understanding of Law Number 8 of 1981 concerning Criminal Procedure Law, Government Regulation of the Republic of Indonesia Number 2 of 2003 concerning Disciplinary Regulations for Members of the State Police of the Republic of Indonesia and Perkap No 8 of 2009 concerning Implementation of Rights Principles and Standards Human Rights in Carrying Out Polri’s Duties to the Merauke Police Chief and his staff. "[We ask] the Papua Police Chief to arrest and prosecute the Merauke Police Chief for criminal acts of mistreatment of 14 Merauke KNPB activists as regulated in Article 351 of the Criminal Code and criminal acts of destruction of the KNPB Merauke Secretariat building as regulated by 170 KUHP, and alleged violations of Article 6 letter q, Government Regulation. Republic of Indonesia Number 2 of 2003 concerning Disciplinary Regulations for Members of the State Police of the Republic of Indonesia. The Papua Police Chief [must] immediately order the Papua Regional Police’s Direskrimum to arrest and prosecute unscrupulous members of the Merauke Resort Police who perpetrated the criminal offense of 14 KNPB Merauke activists, "said the press release of the Coalition. Editor: Aryo Wisanggeni G.

Police, TNI raid KNPB secretariat in Merauke, 14 activists arrested

December 21, 2020

Police, TNI raid KNPB secretariat in Merauke, 14 activists arrested

Suara Papua – December 15, 2020

Charles Maniani, Manokwari — Mobile Brigade (Brimob) paramilitary
police, national police intelligence officers (intel) and the army’s
special forces (Kopassus) stormed the West Papua National Committee
(KNPB) offices in the Almasuh area of Merauke regency, Papua, during a
raid on Sunday December 13.

This was reported by a Suara Papua informant from Merauke on Monday. The
raid ended in two motorcycles being taken away and six people arrested.

"Yesterday, on Sunday (13/12/2020) at around 2 pm local time Brimob and
intel officers arrived and vandalised the KNPB secretariat in Almasuh,
they arrested six people and two motorcycles were taken", the source
told Suara Papua from Merauke.

When sought for confirmation on Tuesday, Merauke KNPB member Yoris Wopay
said that arrests were made on two occasions totalling 14 people who are
being held temporarily by the Merauke district police (Polres).

"They were all arrested and beaten with cane sticks, four people were
ordered to lie on the ground, then they were taken to Polres, there they
were assaulted again, Kristian Yandun’s head was cut and bleeding and
Michael Beteop’s back was bleeding, then they were detained with
criminal prisoners. And two motorcycles were taken by the Merauke
Polres", he explained.

No reason has been given for their detention and they have asked for a
lawyer. Suara Papua meanwhile has been unable to obtain confirmation
from the Merauke district police as to why they were arrested.

The names of those arrested are: KNPB Chairperson Charles Sraun (38),
Deputy Chairperson Petrus Paulus Kontremko (32), KNPB diplomacy division
head Robertus Landa (23) and KNPB members Kristian Yandun (38), Michael
Beteop (24), Elias Kmur (38), Marianus Anyum (25), Kristian. M. Anggunop
(24), Emanuel. T Omba (24), Petrus Kutey (27), Linus Pasim (26),
Salerius Kamogou (24), Petrus Koweng (28) and Yohanes Yawon (23).

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was
"Sekretariat KNPB Merauke Digerebek, 14 Aktivis Ditangkap".]


In 2020, Indonesia’s leaders abandon human rights

December 20, 2020

1) [INSIGHT] In 2020, Indonesia’s leaders abandon human rights

Usman Hamid The Jakarta Post

Jakarta / Sun, December 20, 2020 / 10:54 pm


Motorists ride past a mural portraying missing activist and poet Wiji Thukul on Jl. Raya Ciledug, Cipulir, South Jakarta, on Dec. 10 coinciding with the commemoration of International Human Rights Day. (JP/Seto Wardhana)

This year Indonesia witnessed a rollback of important reforms in human rights. President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s security approach to tackling COVID-19, opting for an economic agenda over human rights and the imposition of hypernationalism, which resulted in a further authoritarian turn and state control of the internet, marked the regression. We began 2020 in an already weakened state of human rights after a tumultuous 2019. In January of this year, fire engulfed environmentalist Murdani’s house in Lombok while he, his wife, their 4-year-old daughter and their 17-year-old son were asleep. The family escaped unharmed. In May, electoral violence killed 10 people. In September, a clampdown on student protests resulted in the loss of at least five lives with hundreds more wounded during peaceful efforts to defend the country’s anticorruption body and democracy from the government’s attempt to restore draconian laws.

In short, we saw shrinking civic space as well as the weakening of the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) and political opposition. In 2019 alone, the Indonesian Legal Aid Institute (YLBHI) recorded that at least 6,128 people were subject to free speech violations, including 324 children. This year, COVID-19 exacerbated the regression through the securitization of all social and political life, enabling security actors to clamp down on political opposition by means of legal instruments, including handling the pandemic. Instead of implementing science-based policies, President Jokowi chose a military-dominated structure that, unsurprisingly, produced a hardline security approach to public health matters. Not only have such decisions failed to prevent a severe and prolonged health crisis – with at least 368 frontline health workers dead of COVID-19 exposure and exhaustion – but they have worsened the overall human rights climate. On April 4, for example, the National Police headquarters instructed officers to take action against “hoax spreaders” and those who insulted the President and his administration. As a result, the police launched criminal investigations into around 100 cases related to the government’s response to the pandemic.

Despite the pandemic, the government and the House of Representatives passed the Job Creation Law to further strengthen business interests, while undermining workers’ and environmental rights. The National Police issued another directive intimidating and criminalizing critics of the controversial law, increasing the rise of cyber-authoritarianism. All of this happened against a backdrop of increasing online intimidation in many forms that included credential theft, spam calls, digital harassment, as well as abusive intrusions into online discussions. Criminalization by a technologically savvy state apparatus under a draconian cyberlaw is not the only instrument of internet control. Media reports have also implicated the government in deploying an army of cyber or pro-regime trolls, akin to China’s “fifty-centers”, trained to debate antigovernment forces on the web. In the offline space, during the omnibus law protests we documented at least 411 victims of unlawful police use of force in 15 provinces, with 6,658 people arrested in 21 provinces and 301 of them, including 18 journalists, detained incommunicado for various durations.

This has sinister echoes of the ruthless crackdowns on pro-reform students 22 years ago. In the eastern parts of Indonesia such as Maluku and Papua at least 38 prisoners of conscience remain behind bars, mostly charged under treason despite only participating in antiracism protests. In Papua and West Papua, security forces committed human rights violations against indigenous people, largely with impunity. Prominent among at least 52 cases of unlawful killings – with a total of 103 victims – were the horrific reports of violence and killing in Hitadipa, Intan Jaya; a priest was tortured and killed, and young men were kidnapped.

Across the country, at least 202 social justice leaders and activists were under threat, including around 61 indigenous rights leaders who have been subjected to detention, physical attacks and intimidation. In August, Effendi Buhing, a leader of the indigenous Laman Kinipan, was arrested by Central Kalimantan police in relation to a years-long land dispute with a palm oil company. Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people also continued to face threats following misleading statements made by public officials on the grounds of “defending the country’s public morality”.

Politicians from various parties introduced a family resilience bill that would outlaw surrogacy and require LGBT people to seek conversion therapy. The Supreme Court confirmed that 14 gay men in the military were fired and imprisoned for their sexual orientation. This year also marked a setback for women’s rights and gender equality. During the pandemic, there was a 75 percent increase in reports of sexual violence against women. In July, the House dropped the sexual violence eradication bill from its priority list, while some lawmakers supported the regressive family resilience bill. Feminist media groups and individuals were attacked, doxxed and harassed by unidentified people who sent unwanted, sexually explicit images and demeaning statements about women.

In November, four Christians were killed – two by beheading – in Sulawesi, reflecting a government failure to protect religious minorities. Not to mention cases of other abuses of religious freedom, including at least 40 cases of house of worship closures, blasphemy accusations and other forms of religious discrimination.

While 2020 will no doubt be remembered as the year Indonesia – and the world – faced an unprecedented health crisis, we should also remember it as a year when the country’s human rights crisis further deepened. A year when our civic space for protests and public criticism shrank. A year when Indonesia’s leaders abandoned human rights.

Director of Amnesty International Indonesia, founder of Public Virtue and lecturer at the Indonesia Jentera School of Law


2) Indonesian Churches Urge Jakarta to Stop Violence in Papua

12/20/2020 Indonesia (International Christian Concern) – While Papua has been integrated into the Republic of Indonesia for nearly six decades, the restive yet resource-rich Christian majority region has long suffered from discrimination and a struggle over land and natural resource.

In recent months, tensions haven run high between Indonesia’s security forces and local Papuans, resulting in casualties that include the killing of a Christian pastor and a Catechist, which caused many to condemn the extrajudicial killings.

The ongoing violence pushed the Association of Churches in Indonesia (PGI) and the United Evangelical Mission entitled Stop Violence in Papua to hold a seminar on Thursday, December 17, 2020.

One of the findings was that discrimination against Papuans is still prevalent in various places in Indonesia. This has created a sense of injustice for Papua, so that they often express their resentment being part of Indonesia.

Given that Jakarta’s security approach in dealing with the Papuan unrest is still a priority and therefore the escalation of violence has continued to increase, even church workers, especially those serving in conflict areas, are targeted.

The murder of Pastor Yeremia Zanambani, allegedly carried out by security forces two months ago, has caused fear for Papuans. Until now, the government has not taken comprehensive steps to prevent the extrajudicial killing in Papua.

As a result, according to, the group urges the Indonesian government together with the Indonesian Parliament to immediately stop the security approach that is being carried out which has resulted in casualties and caused deep fear and trauma for Papuans.

“To avoid further casualties, we ask that the withdrawal of non-organic troops in Papua be carried out and temporarily stop military operations in Papua,” read a statement by the church leadership who attended the seminar.

For interviews, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: press.


3) West Papua traditional communities oppose new Tambrauw military command

CNN Indonesia – December 15, 2020

Jakarta – Residents of Tambrauw regency in West Papua province are opposing the establishment of the Tambrauw 1810 District Military Command (Kodim) which was officially inaugurated on Monday December 14.

Yohanis Mambrasar, the lawyer representing indigenous Papuan land owners (hak ulayat) from the Abun Tribe Customary Foundation (Lamasa), said that the residents reject the Kodim headquarters, which will be built on five hectares of customary land belonging to local people.

According to Mambrasar, local people have been opposing the establishment of Kodim1810 since 2019 when the plan first became public.

"Customary communities, hak ulayat owners and us, youths and students, have already sent letters to the government and even demonstrated, urging the government to hold a dialogue with the Tambrauw customary communities but to this day this has not happened", said Mambrasar when contacted by phone on Tuesday December 15.

They are also urging the TNI (Indonesian military) commander, the West Papua Kasuari XVIII regional military commander in Manokwari and the 181 PVT military district commander (Dandrem) in Sorong to cancel the establishment of the Tambrauw Kodim.

Mambrasar said that they are urging the government, in this case President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo, House of Representatives (DPR) speaker Puan Maharani, the West Papua governor, the speaker of the West Papua Regional House of Representatives (DPRD), the Tambrauw regent and the Tambrauw regency DPRD to coordinate with the TNI to cancel the establishment of the Tambrauw 1810 Kodim.

Mambrasar said that opposition is not just coming from Tambrauw regency but from other regions were Tambrauw communities reside. They continue to protest the establishment of the Kodim and are asking for it to be cancelled, even though it has already been officially opened.

"They will continue to hold protests opposing it even though the Kodim has already been officially opened", he said.

Mambrasar said that the opposition was not without reason. Residents do not want violence by the TNI to increase in their area if the Kodim is officially established.

According to Mambrasar, residents have learnt from the experience of what has happened in the past, namely military operations in the Tambrauw area by the Indonesian Armed Forces (then called ABRI) in the 1960s and 1970s. They are still suffering trauma over the operations.

"They have learnt from the experience of what has happened, namely the TNI committing violence against local people, they also learnt from past experiences, namely the ABRI operations in the 1960s and 1970s in the Tambrauw area which traumatised them", he said.

Not only that, Mambrasar also confirmed that indigenous Papuan land owners whose land will be used for the contraction of the Tambrauw Kodim 1810 headquarters do not want to give up their land.

On Monday December 14, TNI Brigadier General Indra Heri officially opened the Tambrauw Kodim and at the same time inaugurated infantry Lieutenant Colonel Ildefonso Akilis Do Camro as the Tambrauw 1810 district military commander.

CNN Indonesia has contacted Kasuari XVIII regional military commander Colonel Kav Zubaedi to seek information about opposition to the establishment of the Tambrauw 1810 Kodim but Zubaedi claimed not to have received any information on the matter.

"I’m sorry, we cannot yet confirm the matter. We’re currently preparing for the regional military command’s 4th anniversary", said Zubaedi when sought for confirmation by SMS. (tst/pmg)

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Masyarakat Adat Papua Barat Tolak Pembentukan Kodim Tambrauw".]


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