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Q&A in UK parliament on West Papua visit by UN Human Rights

December 9, 2021

Papua: UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office
written question ­ answered on 6th December 2021.

Question from Alex Sobel Shadow Minister (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign,
Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what
discussions she has had with her Indonesian
counterpart on authorising a visit to West Papua
by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Response from Amanda Milling Minister of State
(Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

The UK fully respects the territorial integrity
of Indonesia, including the provinces of Papua
and West Papua. The UK Government continues to
support the efforts of the Indonesian authorities
and civil society to address the needs and
aspirations of the Papuan people. We support the
proposed visit of the UN High Commissioner for
Human Rights to Papua and encourage both sides to
agree on dates for a visit. Former Minister for
Asia, Nigel Adams, discussed the proposed visit
with UNHCHR in June 2021 and we regularly discuss
Papua with our Indonesian counterparts.

(Citation: HC Deb, 6 December 2021, cW)

West Papua independence movement re-submits for full MSG membership

December 7, 2021
West Papua independence movement re-submits for full MSG membership
An application by the United Liberation Movement of West Papua to become a full member of Melanesian Spearhead Group has been re-activated.
Last year, the ULMWP announced itself as a provisional government in exile for West Papua, as it pushes for a referendum on independence from Indonesia.

The acting Director-General of the Melanesian Spearhead Group, George Hoa’au (left) receives a contribution to the MSG Secretariat from the ULMWP representative Freddie Waromi. Photo: MSG Secretariat

Several years ago, the ULMWP applied for full membership status at the sub-regional grouping whose full members are Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and New Caledonia’s FLNKS Kanaks movement.
However its official representative in Vanuatu, Frederick Waromi, said he has had to re-submit the ULMWP’s application, after their earlier file went missing.
The file disappeared while Yamena Yauvoli from Fiji was the director general of the MSG secretariat.
Vanuatu’s Prime Minister Bob Loughman is about to assume chairmanship of the MSG and it has been suggested this would be the right time to admit the ULMWP as a full member.
The strong support that successive governments in Vanuatu have given West Papuans’ self-determination aspirations was mentioned during the recent speech of the Interim President of Provincial government of ULMWP, Benny Wenda, on West Papua Day, 1st December, the anniversary of the former Dutch New Guinea’s declaration of independence in 1961.
Wenda said that with Vanuatu’s help, the movement had made tremendous progress since its inception in 2014 in an historic unification summit of all the various main West Papuan political groupings hosted in Port Vila.
A year after the summit, the ULMWP was granted gained observer status in the MSG, a breakthrough in regional recognition of the West Papuan independence movement.

In 2019, 18 countries in the Pacific Islands Forum and 81 countries in the Organization of African, Caribbean, and Pacific States recognised the West Papuan struggle and called for the United Nations High Commissioner for the Human Rights to be allowed into West Papua.
"We continue to support Vanuatu and other Pacific states to get the resolutions at the Human Rights Council and UN General Assembly," Wenda said during his official West Papua Day speech last week.
He said it was time for the people of Indonesia to recognise their struggle and their right to form an independent nation just like them from Dutch colonialism years ago.
Wenda said he guaranteed Indonesians who were currently living in West Papua that it was their home too.
"I am asking Indonesia government to recognise our call to peacefully end this. We don’t want to see any bloodshed anymore. That is why we are now coming together to form this provisional government.
"You don’t need to worry about independent West Papua. We will be a peaceful neighbour for a long time to come.
"We are asking peacefully, not with the bullet, not with the bomb or bloodshed but through a peaceful international mechanism," said Wenda.
Indonesia, which is an associate member of the MSG, opposes the ULMWP’s claim to represent West Papuans, and has ruled out holding a referendum.


2) Indonesian court delivers victory for Indigenous rights in Papua

Aljazeera 7 Dec 2021

West Papuan activists have won a landmark legal victory against the extraction of palm oil on their ancestral lands [File: Courtesy of Ambrosisus Klagilit]

Judge in West Papua Province declines to reinstate permits for palm oil companies to exploit ancestral lands.

An Indonesian court has delivered a landmark victory for Indigenous rights in a case that pitted West Papuan activists against several palm oil companies.

The Jayapura Administrative Court in West Papua Province on Tuesday ruled in favour of a district head who had revoked permits allowing more than a dozen palm oil companies to operate in Indigenous forest areas and turn them into plantations.

Johny Kamuru, head of Sorong Regency, cancelled the permits after Indigenous groups said they had not consented to the conversion of their ancestral lands into palm oil concessions and a review by the provincial government recommended they be revoked in February 2021.

Three of the companies affected took legal action against Kamaru, including PT Papua Lestari Abadi and PT Sorong Agro Sawitindo, whose bid to have their permits reinstated was rejected by the court.

Kamuru has also been sued by PT Inti Kebun Lestari in a separate, ongoing case.

Under authority granted by President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo in 2018, palm oil permit reviews are supposed to be undertaken by the Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs and the Ministry of Environment and Forestry. Neither ministry commented publicly on the case in Sorong.

In 2019, Jokowi issued a moratorium on the development of new palm oil estates as part of a push to end deforestation in the country. The moratorium expired in September of this year and was superseded by Indonesia’s controversial jobs creation law.

The law allows companies that have been operating illegally to apply retroactively for permits within three years and escape legal sanctions if they do so.

The land involved in the dispute belongs to the Moi people, one of more than 250 ethnic groups in Papua.

Following the ruling, Moi advocates and the head of the regional people’s representative council in Sorong celebrated in front of the local district office.

Speaking to Al Jazeera following the ruling, Ambrosisus Klagilit, advocacy coordinator for the Sorong chapter of the Indigenous Peoples’ Alliance of the Archipelago (AMAN), said he was “grateful” for the legal victory.

“This ruling is important to us Indigenous peoples because we believe it to be a just decision that assures our future and our lands. We feel protected now,” he said.

The total land covered by the three companies spans some 90,031 hectares (222,471 acres), according to Greenpeace Indonesia – an area larger than New York City.

In October, Greenpeace Indonesia released a report in conjunction with environmental mapping specialists TheTreeMap that found one-fifth of the country’s oil palm plantations were in areas where extraction is illegal, including Indigenous lands, national parks, watersheds and conservation areas designated as “national forest estate”.

Since 2000, forest estate land totalling nearly one million hectares (2,471,054 acres) has been released for plantations in Papua Province, according to Greenpeace, with “systematic violations of permitting regulations” a common occurrence.

‘Positive breakthrough’

Indonesia is the world’s largest exporter of palm oil, bringing in $5.7bn or 11 percent of the country’s annual exports. The resource is used in a slew of products, from soap to chocolate.

Indonesia exported 37.3 million tonnes of palm oil in 2020, commanding 55 percent of the global palm oil market, according to the Indonesian Palm Oil Association (GAKI).

Palm oil exports rose by 32 percent in July 2021 compared with the previous month to reach $2.8bn, according to the association.

Syahrul Fitra, a campaigner for Greenpeace Indonesia, told Al Jazeera the ruling was a major victory for Indigenous rights and environmental preservation.

“Greenpeace Indonesia has found that management of the palm oil industry is rife with problems such as intrusion into Indigenous lands, overlaps with the national forest estate and other protected areas, unprocedural permitting, and permit compliance failures,” Fitra said.

“The head of Sorong district acted correctly to redress these wrongs when he took the concrete step of cancelling a number of oil palm plantation permits, acting on a thorough review by the West Papua Provincial government in conjunction with the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK).”

Greenpeace Indonesia said it welcomed the ruling and hoped it would embolden other districts and provinces as well as the national government to support permit reviews and revocations as needed.

Wirya Supriyadi, advocacy coordinator of the Papua office of the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (WALHI), described the ruling as “a positive breakthrough” and a “victory” for the Moi peoples.



December 6, 2021


News Desk December 6, 2021 3:07 pm

Jakarta, Jubi – The Attorney General’s Office of Indonesia has established a team to investigate alleged human rights violations in Paniai, Papua in 2014.

“Attorney General Burhanuddin as the investigator of alleged gross human rights violations has signed a decree to form the team,” said Attorney General’s Office’s head of Legal Information Leonard Eben Ezer Simanjuntak on Friday, December 3, 2021, as quoted by Antara.

Simanjuntak said his office had issued the Attorney General’s Decree No. 267/2021 dated December 3, 2021, signed by Attorney General Sanitiar Burhanuddin.

The issuance of the decree followed the letter from the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) chair on September 27, responding to the return of Paniai case files by demanding a follow-up investigation to complete the file.

“It turns out that there has not been sufficient evidence to the case. Therefore, it is necessary to carry out a further investigation in order to find and collect evidence,” Simanjuntak added. He said more evidence was needed in order to find the perpetrators.

With the issuance of the Attorney General’s Decree, an investigation team on alleged human rights violations in Paniai has been formed, consisting of 22 senior prosecutors and led by Junior Attorney General for Special Crimes Ali Mukartono.

Previously, Mukartono revealed on Monday that his party would inventory allegations of gross human rights violations following the order of the Attorney General. The Attorney General asked him to take strategic steps to expedite resolving dozens of serious human rights cases, including the Indonesian mass killings of 1965-66, the Petrus killing (1982-85 Mysterious Shooting), the 1989 Talangsari incident in Lampung, the tragedy of the Aceh Geudong House 1990-99, 1997-98 activists kidnappings, the Trisakti shootings, Semanggi shootings, the May 1998 riots, and the 1999 Simpang KKA incident. The 2014 Paniai case, meanwhile, is relatively new as it occurred after the establishment of Law No. 26/2000 on the Human Rights Court. (*)

Editor: Edi Faisol

Amnesty -Indonesia: Immediately release Papuan students charged with treason

December 3, 2021

AI . Desember 3, 2021 5:06 am

Indonesia: Immediately release Papuan students charged with treason

Eight Papuan students who have been detained and charged with treason by police for peacefully expressing their political opinions on 1 December must be immediately released, Amnesty International Indonesia and Amnesty International Australia said today.

Police often arrest Papuans for peaceful political expression on 1 December, as it is a date that many Papuans consider their Independence Day. This year, 34 people were arrested, 19 protesters were injured, and protests in two cities were forcibly dispersed.

“No one should be detained simply for peacefully expressing their political opinions,” Amnesty International Indonesia executive director Usman Hamid. “Papuans in particular are often detained and charged by law enforcement for this reason. Moreover, Papuan protesters are frequently attacked by counter-protesters under the police’s watch. Repressive actions such as these will only create further distrust among Papuans and make improving the human rights situation in the region even more difficult.”

“We call on Indonesian authorities to release all Papuans detained simply for exercising their right to freedom of expression,” Amnesty International Australia National Director Sam Klintworth said. “The Australian government must exercise due diligence on its assistance to Indonesian security forces to ensure that it is in compliance with human rights standards.”


At least eight people were detained in the city of Jayapura, Papua on 1 December for displaying the Morning Star flag, a symbol of Papuan independence. They remain in police custody and have been charged for treason under Articles 106 and 110 of the Indonesian criminal code.

Meanwhile, at least 19 people were detained in Merauke regency, Papua on 30 November in relation to a video of spiritual and indigenous community leader “Mama” Paulina Imbumar, in which she declared her intention of raising the Morning Star flag in Merauke on 1 December.

Paulina and her 16 followers were released without charge on 1 December. However, two members of video advocacy initiative Papuan Voices, who recorded and uploaded the video, remain in custody and have not been charged.

Merauke police chief Sr. Adj. Comr. Untung Sangaji was trained by Australian Federal Police and has been scrutinized for alleged human rights abuses in Aceh and Papua provinces.

In Dekai district, Papua seven people were arrested on the morning of 1 December. They were falsely accused of attending a Morning Star flag raising ceremony. The three children were released in the afternoon, while the four adults were released the following day.

Also on 1 December, protesters in Ambon, Maluku were forcibly dispersed by Indonesian police, during which 19 of them were injured from beatings. In Bali, protesters were forcibly dispersed and physically attacked by counter-protesters who used racist language, injuring 13 people.

As of November 2021, there are still at least six Papuan prisoners of conscience behind bars solely for peacefully exercising their right to express political views.

Amnesty International does not take on any position regarding political status within Indonesia, including calls for independence. However, the organization believes that the right to freedom of expression includes the right to peacefully advocate for referendums, independence, or other political positions.

Flag Raising Day in SF Bay Area, Ohlone Territory

November 29, 2021

Please join the flag raising day on Dec 1st in recognition of Independence Day for West Papua.

24 groups sign open letter asking Jokowi to withdraw non-organic troops from Papua

November 27, 2021

24 groups sign open letter asking Jokowi to withdraw non-organic troops

from Papua

Suara Papua – November 24, 2021

Arnold Belau, Jayapura — On November 15 the Papua Institute for Human
Rights Studies and Advocacy (ELSHAM Papua) sent an open letter to
President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo expressing concerns about the current
situation in the land of Papua.

The armed conflict between the West Papua National Liberation Army
(TPNPB) and the TNI (Indonesian military) and Indonesian police (Polri)
has yet to show any signs of ending.

ELSHAM Papua notes that the presence of non-organic troops in Papua and
West Papua providences has resulted in many civilian victims as well as
members of the TNI, Polri and the TPNPB.

Each time an armed conflict occurs the first casualties are mothers and
children along with the elderly who are forced to seek shelter and are

What is happening at the moment, once again shows that the state has
been negligent in protecting its citizens. It should be the
responsibility of the state to protect its citizens as mandated by the
preamble to the 1945 Constitution, namely that the state is obliged to
protect everyone regardless of their birthplace in Indonesia.

In the open letter sent to President Widodo, ELSHAM asked the government
to withdraw all non-organic troops from Papua, for the TNI, Polri and
TPNPB troops to restrain themselves and for both warring parties to
prioritise respect for humanity.

Likewise with regard to allegations of the involvement of security
forces in the security business. It was conveyed that the security
forces should not become the accomplices of businesspeople and companies
in Indonesia, just because of the political and economic interests of a
handful of people in this country, but instead be the protectors of the
ordinary people and good law enforcement officials.

The open letter by ELSHAM Papua, which is supported by 24 civil society
organisations who work in the field of human rights, justice and the
environment, conveyed that the accusations and labeling by the
government, TNI and Polri, as well as any other parties, will no not
diminish our struggle to call for justice, truth and human rights in
Papua and Indonesia.

The full text of the open letter to President Widodo in PDF format can
be read here:

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was
"Surat Terbuka: Meminta Presiden Jokowi Menarik Pasukan Non Organik dari



November 23, 2021


News Desk November 22, 2021 4:15 pm


llustration refugee children Nduga Regency Jayawijaya some time ago – Jubi. Doc

Jayapura, Jubi – On November 20 every year, the world community celebrates World Children’s Day. The theme for this year’s World Children’s Day is “A Better Future for Every Child”. Sadly, such a beautiful theme is far from what Papuan children are experiencing today. Papuan children living in conflict zones have been denied the right to security, food, shelter, health, and education, as well as the right to worship and other constitutional rights.

“The Papuan children in Nduga Regency have been living in fear in refugee camps since 2018. The same goes for children in Intan Jaya Regency since 2019, while children in Puncak Regency, Maybrat Regency, and Bintang Mountains Regency experienced the same terror in 2021,” said the Papua Legal Aid Institute (LBH Papua) in a written statement received by Jubi on Saturday, Nov. 20, 2021.

Even the more gruesome, two children were shot in a crossfire between the Indonesian Military (TNI) and police and the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPNPB) in Intan Jaya on Oct. 26, one of them died. Such a fact clearly shows both parties’ failure to comply with their obligations under international humanitarian law to protect the civilians in armed conflict.

Commissioner of the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) Beka Ulung Hapsara said his party had met directly with refugees in Aitinyo and Aiwasi districts, gathering information about their conditions and hopes. The commission has also received on Nov. 8 a report on the alleged violation of human rights in the shooting of the two Papuan children, Nopelius Sondegau and Yoakim Mazau.

Director of LBH Papua Emanuel Gobay hoped that the state, through the Papua and West Papua Women Empowerment and Child Protection Agencies, could protect and respect Papuan children’s rights as stipulated in Article 21 Paragraph 2 of Law No. 35/2014 on Child Protection.

Gobay also hoped that the Indonesian Commission for Child Protection (KPAI) could carry out its duties in supervising the implementation of the protection and fulfillment of children’s rights, as well as reporting to the authorities about alleged violations of the law, as stipulated in Article 76 Letters A and G of the same law.

In encouraging the creation of a better future for every child, just as the theme of the 2021 World Children’s Day, the LBH Papua calls on (1) the Indonesian President and Vice President to immediately enforce “protection for children in armed conflict zones in Papua”, (2) the Papua Provincial Government to form a special team to protect children in Papua, (3) the Komnas HAM chair to investigate the alleged murder of two-year-old Nopelinus Sondegau, and (4) the KPAI chair to carry out its duties in supervising and reporting on the protection and fulfillment of children’s rights in Papua. (*)

Editor: Syam Terrajana

Police, TNI Discuss New Approach to Papua Conflict Resolution

November 23, 2021

Police, TNI Discuss New Approach to Papua Conflict Resolution

Translator: Dewi Elvia Muthiariny

Editor: Laila Afifa

23 November 2021 17:23 WIB

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta – Indonesian Military (TNI) Commander General Andika Perkasa and National Police Chief General Listyo Sigit Prabowo met at the Police Headquarters on Tuesday, November 23.

One of the subjects they discussed was the security approach in Papua.

“That’s one of the things we talked about,” said Andika at the National Police Headquarters in Jakarta, Tuesday, November 23.

Andika said it is necessary to discuss the plan on the security approach with the National Police Chief since the police also have a duty to maintain security in the country’s easternmost province.

He also claimed to have a detailed discussion on the plan with the National Police Chief. However, the TNI Commander stopped short of revealing the details to reporters.

Andika planned to visit Papua next week to explain the new security concept. “As I have promised during the fit and proper test,” he added.

Andika Perkasa’s plan to change the security approach in Papua was conveyed when he underwent a fit and proper test at Commission I of the House of Representatives (DPR) on November 6, 2021. At that time, he pledged to apply a new approach in dealing with security issues in Papua.

Read: Papua: Police Release Youths in KKB Attack Case


194 church leaders in Papua call for end to military operations, peace talks

November 14, 2021

194 church leaders in Papua call for end to military operations, peace


Suara Papua – November 12, 2021

Atamus Kepno, Jayapura — One hundred and ninety-four Catholic leaders
from across Papua have explicitly called for an end to military
operations in Papua. The Pastors hope that dialogue and reconciliation
will be the solution to resolve the prolonged conflict in Papua.

Pastor Alberto John Bunai, Pr, said that the government was ecstatic
about the success of the 20th National Games in Papua, but the people
were deeply saddened by what was being suffered by God’s communities in
Nduga, Intan Jaya, Puncak, Kiwirok and Maybrat.

"In order to solve the roots of the problem what is needed is dialogue
and reconciliation in a dignified manner for the sake of resolving the
prolonged conflict in the land of Papua", said Bunai durng a press
conference titled a Moral Call by 194 Catholic Pastors on Thursday
November 11 at the Bright World of Christ Parish in Waena, Jayapura
city, Papua.

It is the church’s duty to articulate the cries of God’s communities who
have no voice, continued Bunai. The government must halt the ongoing
military operations which have resulted in the killing of civilians,
violence and people being displace in several parts of Papua.

"Stop the military operations. Release the civilians who were wrongly
arrested in Maybrat. In Kiwirok hundreds of resident’s homes have been
bombed by security forces. Rocket fired from the air using helicopters.
But several failed to explode. Hundreds of civilians are reported to
have fled to Papua New Guinea. There are no estimates yet on the number
of deaths and destroyed homes. Many people are sick and have died of
hunger in the forests. Right now the people need humanitarian
assistance", he said.

"The government should create peace for the sake of humanity, justice,
truth and the safety of the indigenous Papuan people", he said.

Pastor Bunai revealed that there have been around 58 ideological and
political conflicts between indigenous Papuans and the Indonesian
government, conflicts which have triggered armed violence in Papua to
this day.

"So the principle role of the Church is as the bearer of peace and
upholder of justice, it cannot be silent in the face of these realities,
we must speak out for those who have no voice", he said.

According to the church leaders, they are speaking out for the sake of
security and peace, not in the political interests of individuals or
groups or the like.

"We are speaking out because we long for an atmosphere of security, so
that there is peace, justice and harmony in the land of Papua".

They further said that because of the interests of a group of elite
involved in gold mining in Papua, indigenous Papuans have become victims
of violence and lost their communal land rights.

"Papuans just become victims or become victims in regions because of the
exploitation of natural resources without justice or transparency. As we
know from the results of research by the YLBHI [Indonesian Legal Aid
Foundation], the JATAM [Mining Advocacy Network], ICW [Indonesian
Corruption Watch], the Kontras [Commission for Missing Persons and
Victims of Violence], the Walhi [Indonesian Forum for the Environment],
the Indonesian People’s Fraction, Greenpeace Indonesia and the Sajogja
Institute", he explained.

Pastor Agustinus Yerwuan, OFM, took the opportunity to remind people
that everyone is created by God in his image and were placed on
different parts of the earth including Papua.

"Because of this all those who live in the land of Papua and all related
parties must remember this well as religious people and also as people
who are concerned about peace and love", said Yerwuan.

The Franciscan pastor hopes that all parties will pray and cooperate to
bring an end to the armed conflict in the land of Papua.

"Our hope is for prayers and cooperation between all parties, social
elements, including those with interests which often disturb security
and peace, the TNI [Indonesian military] and Polri [Indonesian police]
as well as the TPNPB [West Papua National Liberation Army] must end the
war or reach a ceasefire, then maintain a humanity which is just and
civilised in this land of Papua", he said.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was
"Ratusan Imam Katolik di Tanah Papua Serukan Perdamaian".]


wp ABC Religion: Catholic Priests call for urgent ceasefire

November 12, 2021

West Papua’s Catholic Priests call for urgent ceasefire

Almost 6,000 people fleeing violence in Indonesia’s West Papua region have taken shelter in local churches. Rebels from the West Papua National Liberation Army and the Free Papua Movement have clashed with government forces for much of 2021, leading to a surge in internal refugees. Now 30 local Catholic priests have signed an urgent appeal for a ceasefire.

Peter Arndt is executive officer at the Catholic Justice and Peace Commission in Brisbane, and he’s been involved with human rights work in West Papua over the past decade.

Duration: 8min 29sec Broadcast:

Wed 10 Nov 2021, 5:30pm

More Information

Presenter: Andrew West

Producer: Hong Jiang

Sound Engineer: Hamish Camilleri

Editors: Muditha Dias and David Rutledge