Jayapura, Jubi – The request made by the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) to Indonesia to formally respond to allegations of racial violence and discrimination against Papuans by November is a sign that the attitude of the UN to West Papua’s case is beginning to change.
Pacific Islands Association of NGOs executive director, Emele Duituturaga expressed these sentiments following UN CERD chair, Anastasia Crickley’s notification to Indonesia’s UN Permanent Representative, Triyono Wibowo that the committee’s recent session had considered allegations of killings and violence of indigenous Papuans in West Papua.
“I write to inform you that in the course of its 90th session, the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination has considered, under its early warning and urgent action procedure, allegations of excessive use of force, arrests, killings and torture of persons belonging to the Papuan indigenous people in West Papua, Indonesia, and allegations of discrimination against this people, that have been brought to its attention by a non-governmental organization,” Ms Crickley stated in the October 3rd dated correspondence.
“Reportedly, between April 2013 and December 2014, security forces killed 22 persons during demonstrations and a number of persons have also been killed or injured since January 2016. It is alleged that, in May 2014, more than 470 persons belonging to the Papuan indigenous people were arrested in cities of West Papua during demonstrations against extraction and plantation activities.”
The letter stated, “… Such arrests have reportedly increased since the beginning of 2016 amounting to 4000 between April and June 2016 and have included human rights activists and journalists. Such acts have reportedly never been investigated and those responsible have gone unpunished.”
“The submission claims that repression of persons belonging to the Papuan indigenous people is the result of a misinterpretation and lack of a correct implementation of the Special Autonomy Law by local and national authorities of Indonesia. The submission also claims that actions by security forces constitute violations of the rights of freedom of assembly and association.”
Duituturaga said the committee’s specific requests for information indicates how seriously it is treating the allegations made by civil societies to the UN about the treatment of indigenous West Papuans by the Indonesian government.
“CERD has given Indonesia until 14 November to provide information on its response to the allegations, the status of implementation of the Special Autonomy Law in West Papua, measures taken to ensure the effective protection of indigenous people in West Papua from arbitrary arrests and detentions as well as deprivation of life,” she said.
Indonesia has also been requested to report on measures taken to ensure that indigenous people from West Papua effectively enjoy their rights to freedom of assembly and association including persons with dissenting opinions, measures taken to investigate allegations of excessive use of force by security forces including killings and steps taken to improve access to education of Papuan children in West Papua in particular those living in very remote areas by the UN CERD.
“Indonesia is not only the third largest democracy in the world, they are an emerging economic powerhouse but their inability to apply democratic principles in West Papua threatens their credibility with the international community.”
“The ball is in their court now and Pacific civil societies are eagerly awaiting November 14 alongside UN CERD to read their response,” Duituturaga said. (*)
Indonesian soldier dead after attack at Papua airport
Papua, Jubi – Indonesia’s military has evacuated the body of a soldier killed at an airport in Papua’s Highlands on Monday.
Xinhua reported that gunmen shot at an arriving aircraft carrying soldiers at Mapenduma airport of Nduga district, leaving one soldier dead.
Military spokesman Colonel Muhammad Aidi said when the plane was about to land, it was shot at, and soldiers who were guarding the airport shot back, triggering gunfire exchange.
He said the gunmen retreated and escaped to the forest and the plane landed.
Tempo reported that two soldiers were shot, and hospitalised, with one dying later.
The soldier’s body has been evacuated to Papua’s provincial capital Jayapura,
He is the latest apparent victim in the Highlands conflict between guerilla forces of the West Papua Liberation Army and Indonesian security forces that intensified last year. (*)
Truth and Reconciliation Commission might not be working in resolving human rights violations in Papua
Jayapura, Jubi – A human rights activist in Papua Iwan Niode said the Truth and Reconciliation Commission might be not useful in resolving the human rights violations in Papua due to the absence of regulation.
In the workshop ‘the settlement of Human Rights Violations in Wasior 2001 and Wamena 2004: “Opportunities and Challenges”‘ held by the Papua Democracy Alliance on Thursday (24/1/2019), Niode said the Constitutional Court had cancelled the Regulation No 27 of 2004.
“This is understandable why such a plan to resolve the human rights violations cases via the Truth and Reconciliation Commission has stopped until now. Although the Special Autonomy Law indeed recommended it, there is no specific regulation supporting the TRC to conduct its task,” said Niode.
Moreover, Niode said the TRC should not only support the human rights victims to speak but also to cover the whole stories of both sides, victims and perpetrators. That makes the resolution through the TRC never been successful.
Meanwhile, a lecturer of International Relations of the Faculty of Social and Politics Science of the University of Cenderawasih, Elvira Rumkabu, thought that besides it needs the judicial process enforcement, the settlement of human rights violations in Papua also need to bring justice to the victims, how they can get their rights for justice.
“If this injury remains not cured, it would spread anywhere towards many issues. The issue of personal identity, for example,” said Rumkabu. (*)
Reporter: Arjuna Pademme
Editor: Pipit Maizier
Call for Pacific regional groups to investigate Papua chemical attacks
Jayapura, Jubi – The United Liberation Movement for West Papua is calling for Pacific regional groups to investigate the alleged use of chemical weapons in Indonesia’s Papua region.
The movement’s chair, Benny Wenda, said the Pacific Islands Forum and the Melanesian Spearhead Group should urgently send fact-finding missions to Nduga regency.
This comes after unverified reports of the suspected use of white phosphorus weapons by Indonesia’s military against civilians in Nduga.
Indonesia last month called the claims “totally baseless”.
But Mr Wenda said its security operations in Nduga had created a “humanitarian crisis”.
In a statement, he said Indonesia should also grant the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights access to West Papua to complete its own fact-finding mission.
Mr Wenda said humanitarian aid organisations should also be allowed in to Nduga to “relieve the suffering of West Papuans”.
A massive joint police and military operation has been underway in the remote Highlands regency, as well as neighbouring regencies, since December, in a hunt for members of the West Papua Liberation Army.
The armed group is responsible for the killings of at least 16 Indonesian construction workers and one soldier in November.
The joint operation has sparked sporadic shootouts between the Liberation Army and Indonesia’s military, with at least one soldier and one rebel fighter shot dead this year. (*)
Health & Education Service5 years ago
Sex Education Taught at School In Jayawijaya
Headlines10 months ago
Three refugees reportedly died in Nduga Forest
Headlines11 months ago
Papuan people demand the President to withdraw troops from Nduga
Human Right3 years ago
LP3BH: Indonesia continues to lie on human rights violations in Papua
Environment1 year ago
Green economy development would be on five indigenous territories
Headlines1 year ago
When a dense forest turns into an oil palm plantation
Economy1 year ago
Freeport Indonesia disregards Papua Manpower Office’s Decree
Headlines1 year ago
Civilians are allegedly among casualties in Tingginambut gunfire