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Papua Human Rights Coalition charges the police 125 million compensation in a pretrial lawsuit

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KNPB Secretariat that occupied by Mimika Police. – Jubi / Doc

Jayapura, Jubi – Papua Human Rights Lawyers Association (PAHAM), Papua Legal AID Institute (LBH) and GKI Synod who are members of the Coalition for Law Enforcement and Human Rights in Papua registered a pretrial lawsuit against the police in Timika District Court, Papua on Thursday afternoon (17/01/2019).

This charge, according to the Director of PAHAM Papua Gustaf Kawer, was addressed to Mimika Regional Police Chief in regards to the detention of three KNPB activists Sem Asso, Yanto Awerkion and Edo Dogopia who arrested since 31 December 2018.

“We file a pretrial lawsuit against Mimika Regional Police Chief in relations to the arrest and illegal detention as well as the illegal confiscation,” Kawer told Jubi on Thursday (17/01/2019).

Therefore, Kawer continued, the police are asked to pay Rp. 126,538,000 compensation to KNPB as they have illegally seized its secretariat. The coalition also asked the police to openly make an apology to KNPB in mass media in Mimika Regency and Papua Province for three consecutive days.

Some KNPB activists arrested by the police and military on 31 December 2018 during the worship services to commemorate the anniversary of their organisation without a warrant. The police then detained them and accused them of treason. After that, Mimika police removed them to Papua Police Custody, Jayapura since 8 January 2019. Besides them, police also arrested the other members, namely Ruben Kogoya, Yohana Kobogau, Elius Wenda and Vincent Gobay.

Not only prohibit the worship and arrest KNPB activists, the police and military TNI also took over the house that used as the secretariat of KNPB Timika. Until now, the security forces still guard this office which is known as the property of Sem Asso.

The police, according to the activists, told people around the secretariat that their intention to use this building as their security post and did not allow KNPB member to enter the building.

Furthermore, Kawer explained that the purpose of the pretrial lawsuit is to restore the status and dignity of KNPB that had been unconstitutionally violated by Mimika Regional Police.

Meanwhile, Mimika Regional Police Chief, Adjunct Senior Police Commissionaire Agung Marlianto when confirmed about the pretrial lawsuit, declared that he did not know about it. “We have not received the copy yet. Please ask directly to Mimika District Court,” said the chief.

Regarding the secretariat that taken over by the security forces, he said it temporarily seized for further legal process against the suspects. He also claimed that the police had a recommendation from PT Freeport Indonesia who has authority over the land where the building located.

Separately, the Public Affairs Chief of Papua Police Ahmad Kamal said the police determined the status of defendants of Yanto, Sem and Edo after undergoing an intensive examination by the police at Papua Police Headquarters since 8 January.

The three activists were charged against the state as stipulated in the chapter 106 in connection with the chapter 87 of the Criminal Code and the chapter 53 of the Criminal Code (primary) and the chapter 110 section (2) of the Criminal Code in connection with the Chapter 88 of the Criminal Code (subsidiary).

However, the Amnesty International Indonesia highlighted the arrest of KNPB activists by the police and military. The security forces are considered against the law to arrest people who express their opinions peacefully.

“That is a form of violation of human rights. It must be able to distinguish between those who express their views of independence peacefully and those who use violence, “said Usman Hamid, Director of Amnesty International Indonesia.

Moreover, he said Yanto, Sem and Edo were prosecuted and detained solely for using the right to freedom of assembly and peaceful expression. “The police arrested them in a repressive manner for planning a joint prayer event,” continued Usman.

According to him, under Indonesian and international law, organisations are allowed to conduct public demonstration without asking for permission. They only need to give a notification to the police.

“However, the security forces in Papua continue to ignore this regulation. They remain to illegally restrict students, political groups and human rights organizations to conduct demonstrations peacefully,” Usman said. (*)

 

Reporter: Victor Mambor

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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The story of illegal logging from the forests of Papua

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Illegal timbers – an illustration. -Tempo.co

Jayapura, Jubi – Tempo journalist Avit Hidayat shared his experience in doing an investigation about the circulation of illegal timbers from Papua’s forest as a resource person for the discussion about “ Papua’s Forest and Logging Disputes”.

Auriga Nusantara, Eyes on the Forest, Tempo Institute, Free Press Unlimited, and Tempo Media Grup held this forum in Jakarta, Monday, 28 January 2019 and attended by other resource persons, such as Laode M. Syarif (KPK commissionaire), Rasio Ridho Sani (Gakkum-KLHK), Hilman Nugroho (PHPL-KLHK) Muhamad Kosar (JPIK), Timotius Murib (Majelis Rakyat Papua) and Papuan stakeholders from indigenous peoples, Papuan Parliament and Papua Provincial Forestry Office.

In the discussion, Avit said it is essential for the public to know about the situation in Papua. “The tropical forests in Papua are the last (forests) in Indonesia, while the Merbau wood which is the Papuan endemic trees have been becoming the target of the international market,” he said. 

Furthermore, Avid said he conducted the investigation in many different places and interviewed many resource persons; and in Papua, the Tempo team went further to the logging sites. There, they witnessed how the workers who come from other regions carried out the illegal logging activity. They also met transporters, woodmasters, drivers, and logging company staffs.

“And the most important thing is we met the supplier. The supplier is a mediator of the logging companies who play a role to bargain with ‘ondo’—the tribal chief–for compensation. For example, if in a village there are common indigenous lands, the supplier comes to measuring the areas, and give payment to indigenous peoples.”

In their investigation, the Tempo team also met the owners of a logging company who later admitted about the illegal logging activity.  However, they called it the unregistered community logging.

Meanwhile, in Aroba Sub-district of Teluk Bintuni, Papua Barat, the team went to the forest areas of the company who received the Business License for the Utilization of Natural Forest and Timber Product (IUPHHK-HA) that formerly known as a Forest Concession Permit (HPH). There, the team found the manipulation of a wood barcode. For instance, the barcode for ketapang wood is used for Merbau wood.

Moreover, the team also investigated the primary industry in Papua, Surabaya, Lumajang, Gresik by tracing the distribution of logs. Here, they found another finding, namely the fake transport data and officials’ involvement, whereas the illegal retribution practice has also become their another concern.

In their journey from Sarmi to Jayapura Municipality, the team discovered 25 retribution posts that consist of the indigenous institution, police (military) and Forestry Office. “This is the fact that we found, but I couldn’t capture it because it was too risky. We even witness a military truck used to transport the logs.”

Furthermore, the Tempo team met the export logging companies and found those companies able to export up to 6,000-meter cubic annually, while based on the Forest Product Information Management System (SIPUH), they only allowed to export around 100-meter cubic.

“In Surabaya, we went to a barge and talked with an officer. He said not all logs are given barcode. A few logging companies intentionally inserted non-barcode logs or illegal logs in there. They are mostly the HPH holders, and they even put the timbers between the logs.”

However, all these findings did not include in the audit industry report registered in the Timber Legality and Verification System Legality and Verification System (SVLK) which consist of the Assessment Agency for Sustainable Forest Production Management (LP-PHPL) and Timber Verification Agency (LV-LK). Both agencies are responsible for assessing the sustainable forest product management and verify the legality aspect of timber based on the system and standards set by the government.

“We also got the information about the involvement of LV-LK and LP-PHPL, which means they play around with such companies and culprits from the forestry office. I think the KPK has identified these cases.”

In the meantime, a resource person from the National Accreditation Committee (KAN) acknowledged that there were bribery practices in the LV-LK. The audit report had often finished before the field assessment.

Meanwhile, the participants appreciated the findings of Tempo’s investigation. They expected the government to find a solution immediately, whether it’s a regulation or supervision and law enforcement.

On the other hand, a representative of LV-LK objected this report regarding the bribery practices in his institution. But Avit said until now none of the resource persons withdrew their statements and opposed the result of the team’s investigation.

Meanwhile, Agung Wijaya, Avit’s editor for this covered story, said he was worried about Avit’s safety during the investigation. But finally, this report was completed and published.

He further said Tempo had traced the case of illegal logging since 2017. Thus, publishing the investigation report becomes a moral burden for Tempo. Therefore Tempo will continue to monitor this issue and welcome other stakeholders who attended this forum for further discussion.

Through this coverage, Tempo attempted to look the case thoroughly even though it might not give a solution because the solution is actually in the hand of all of you (who come to this forum).” (*)

 

Reporter: Timoteus Marten

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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Indonesian military to complete Trans-Papua Highway

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Indonesian soldiers participate in a major military jungle warfare exercise in Poso, in central Sulawesi island, on March 31, 2015. -Photo: AFP

Papua, Jubi – Officials working on a troubled road project in Papua say Indonesia’s military will complete the job this year.

In December, at least 16 Indonesians working on the Trans-Papua Highway in Nduga province were massacred by fighters from the West Papua Liberation Army.

The project was put on hold with the military saying it would take over work on the 4000 kilometre highway.

Combat engineers will reportedly carry out the construction, with hundreds of extra security personnel deployed to the area.

Detik News reports a military battalion has been assigned to the building of the project’s remaining 16 bridges.

Indonesian army engineers had already been working on the Trans-Papua Highway project for a number of years.

Military involvement in the project was cited by the Liberation Army as a central reason for killing the road workers, who were suspected of being soldiers. (*)

 

Source: Radionz.co.nz

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Indonesian soldier dead after attack at Papua airport

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Members of the Indonesian Army in Papua. -Photo: AFP

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. (*)

 

Source: Radionz.co.nz

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