West Papua May 2013 Update - Australia West Papua Assoc.

Published: Mon 3 Jun 2013 10:31 AM
Australia West Papua Association (Sydney)
PO Box 28, Spit Junction, NSW 2088
Summary of events in West Papua for May 3013
The security forces cracked down on another rally on the 13 May. The rally had been called to protest the attack by the security forces on peaceful demonstrators on the 1 May which resulted in the killing of three people and the arrest of up to 20. The rally on the 1 May was called to protest the handover, 50 years ago of West Papua by UNTEA to Indonesian administration. During the rally on the 13th , the security forces arrested four protesters, Yongky Ulimpa, Ely Kobak, Marten Manggaprouw, and Victor Yeimo, Chairman of the West Papua National Committee (KNPB). AWPA wrote to the Indonesian President calling for the release of those arrested on the 13th. Because of the tragic events that occurred on the 1 May. AWPA also wrote a letter to Senator Carr before the rally on the 13th urging him to raise concerns about another possible crackdown on peaceful demonstrators with the Indonesian Government
Concern about the crackdown on the 1 May was raised by civil society organisations with their governments including by Australian academics and researchers who wrote to Senator Carr and by Amnesty who also raised concerns about the crack down on the rally on the 1st
Papuans Behind bars also released its May update.
Extract. At the end of May 2013 there were at least 76 political prisoners in Papuan jails. The first two weeks of May saw scores of demonstrators arrested for their activities commemorating 50th anniversary of the administrative transfer of Papua to Indonesia. Excessive force was used by the Indonesian security forces in relation to these commemorative activities. This led to the deaths of three activists in Sorong, 36 persons arrested of whom 30 remain in detention, and allegations of torture in Timika and Jayapura. In the previously reported Yapen police death case, new reports have emerged of allegations of torture, with two of those arrested remaining at risk of torture in detention. Luis Gedi was conditionally released, while trials for Boas Gombo, the Yapen Indigenous Day celebrations’, the Sarmi arrests and the Biak explosives case continue. The verdicts for the Timika explosives case have been delivered.
Amnesty International released its annual report for 2013.
Amnesty stated in relation to West Papua that “Indonesian security forces, including police and military personnel, were accused of human rights violations in Papua. Torture and other ill-treatment, excessive use of force and firearms and possible unlawful killings were reported. In most cases, the perpetrators were not brought to justice and victims did not receive reparations”. Amnesty’s full country repot on Indonesia at
The U.S. Department of State's Annual Country Reports on Human Rights for 2012 was also released
From the Executive summary on Indonesian country report
The suppression or abridgement of the rights of religious and ethnic minorities was a problem. The government applied treason and blasphemy laws to limit freedom of expression by peaceful independence advocates in the provinces of Papua, West Papua, and Maluku and by religious minority groups. Official corruption, including within the judiciary, was a major problem.
Country report on Indonesia at
A critique of the report By Ed McWilliams (West Papua Advocacy Team) with John M. Miller (ETAN) at
Killings in the Puncak Jaya Region
The West Papua National Committee has reported that mysterious killings have been ongoing in the Punncak Jaya Region since April with up to 11 people dead and up to 40 people missing. Indonesia’s Kopassus troops are believed to be involved West Papua Media also reported that there were
“Credible and disturbing reports are continuing to emerge from Tingginambut, Puncak Jaya, in the West Papuan highlands, detailing evidence of another violent rampage by the Indonesian army special forces (Kopassus) against civilians throughout May, allegedly by Kopassus officers stationed in the district which has been suffering war conditions since February.” Full report at
Report from KNPB in bahasa at
Indonesia has denied claims of the killings
In Brief
Free West Papua office in Oxford
Indonesia protested the opening of Free West Papua office in Oxford issuing a statement strongly objecting to the opening of the office. The Indonesian government hasasked its UK counterpart to be consistent in its policy of not supporting any action related to the separatist movement in Papua and West Papua. The British ambassador in Jakarta, Mark Canning was summoned by the Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa, who "conveyed to me in clear terms the strong concern of the Indonesian government at the opening of a 'Free West Papua' office in Oxford".
Freeport Mine
An underground training facility at the Freeport Imine collapsed on May 14 leaving 28 workers dead and 10 injured. The National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas) says the earth movement detector at the collapsed underground facility of PT Freeport Indonesia mine in Papua was not functioning. The police are investigate the incident
International NGO voices concern for West Papuan prisoner.
RNZI 29 May, 2013
The International Secretariat of the World Organisation Against Torture has voiced concern over the condition of a West Papuan prisoner at Indonesia’s Abepura prison The Geneva-based Secretariat says it’s been informed about the deteriorating health of Matan Klembiap by the British-based Indonesian human rights group, Tapol.
Mr Klembiap was taken into police custody in the Papua provincial capital Jayapura in February and allegedly tortured by police, beaten with rattan sticks on the back and electrocuted in the face. Facing weapons-related charges, the 41-year old has not received medical care since he was detained. Furthermore, he reportedly does not have legal representation and he has been denied family access. The Secretariat has urged Indonesian authorities to carry out a thorough and independent investigation into the allegations, in accordance with the United Nations Convention against Torture to which Indonesia is a State party.
UN Congressional hearing on human rights abuse in Papua.
RNZI 27 May, 2013
A hearing of a United States Congressional Human Rights Commission has taken note of the deteriorating human rights situation in Indonesia’s Papua region.
The hearing, which was chaired by Representative James McGovern, heard from Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and Indonesia’s Commission for the Disappeared and Victims of Violence. Among those attending was John Miller of the East Timor and Indonesia Action Network who says the Commission also heard from members of the US State Department which criticised Indonesia for its treatment of minority groups in a recent report. “It describes many of the incidents of ongoing human rights violations by Indonesian police and military that tells us that not only is the human rights community internationally well aware of what’s going on but the US government is as well.” John Miller says his and other groups are working to translate that concern into action by the US government.
A Written Statement of Mr Octovianus Mote to the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission (TLHRC) of the US Congress hearing on Human Rights in Indonesia on 23 May 2013 at
BIN Says OPM is Active in Other Nations
MAY 2013
TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - National Intelligence Agency (BIN) chief Marciano Norman says the separatist Free Papua Movement (OPM) organization has political activities in a number of other nations aside from the United Kingdom. However, OPM only has an international branch office in the UK. "This group is active in Europe, Australia, and south Pacific nations, but they did not officially open an office as they did in the UK," said Marciano at the presidential palace yesterday. Marciano said the OPM group headed by Benny Wenda is active in the Netherlands and the UK. Benny has long been active in Oxford and has garnered support from groups in the city and the country. Marciano said that OPM activities in European nations are backed by local non-profit organizations. Therefore, the government must foster a relationship and gain support from OPM based nations. "The British government and Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa have taken proportional actions." FRANSISCO ROSARIANS | WAYAN AGUS | EFRI R
RI and PNG consider joint investments in energy and mineral resources
The Jakarta Post, Jakarta May 21 2013
Indonesia and Papua New Guinea are sounding out the possibility of joint investments in energy and mineral resources at the border of the two countries. “Joint investments could bring benefits to both countries,” said Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Jero Wacik after a meeting with Papua New Guinea’s State Owned Enterprises and Investment Minister Ben Micah in Jakarta on Tuesday. Indonesia and Papua New Guinea also aim to establish a wide variety of cross-border partnerships that will help improve security in the area. “We discussed plans for the Papua New Guinea prime minister’s visit next month,” said Wacik, as quoted by Antara news agency. Ben Micah said that few energy and mineral resources along the border of the two countries had been exploited. “We will establish a joint company with state-owned oil and gas company PT Pertamina to explore resources,” he said. Three multinational oil and gas companies – ExxonMobil, Total SA and Shell – are exploring vigorously in Papua New Guinea. (fan/ebf)
Papua focus for Australia’s Democratic Labour Party.
RNZI 27 May, 2013
A minority party in Australia has made the plight of West Papuans the main thrust of its foreign policy ahead of the September federal election. The Democratic Labour Party, whose leader John Madigan was elected to the Senate in the 2010 poll, says the Indonesian government should immediately allow United Nations observers and international journalists into West Papua. It also says Indonesia should be called to fully implement the special autonomy provisions enacted by its own laws in 2000 and remove all military personnel without delay. The party is calling for a new vote for independence by the indigenous people of West Papua, after a period of autonomy. Mr Madigan says a greater proportion of Australia’s aid provided to Indonesia should go to assist West Papuans, particularly for matters concerning poverty and health, such as combatting the high level of AIDS.
Although President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has promised to free all Papuan political prisoners West Papuan political prisoners have rejected the offer of clemency. In a statement signed by 30 political prisoners they said they do not need to be released, but that the whole of Papua should be released from Indonesian colonisation
Reports/opinion pieces/press releases etc.
A large number of opinion pieces on the issue in the past month. A selection below
Editorial: Papua more than a territory
The Jakarta Post | Editorial | Wed, May 08 2013
Editorial: Beyond Oxford
The Jakarta Post | Editorial | Wed, May 15 2013
Land of ghosts
Study on decolonization of the Pacific region Note by the secretariat
Of interest. Note paragraphs 46-51 re west papua
The continuing infatuation with Papua
Sri Lestari Wahyuningroem, Canberra | Opinion | Fri, May 31 2013
In search of a comprehensive solution for Papua
Vidhyandika D Perkasa, Jakarta | Opinion | Tue, May 21 2013,
Courage is Contagious: Jennifer Robinson at TEDxSydney
Effects of the Oxford OPM office on Papua
Hipolitus Yolisandry Ringgi Wangge and Agustinus Kambuaya, Chicago, Illinois/Jayapura | Opinion | Wed, May 15 2013
Indonesia’s Missteps in Papua Fuel Foreign Support for the Push for Independence
By Petrus K. Farneubun May 22, 2013.
West Papua ‘observer’ status issue faces critical Melanesian summit
Editorial: Lowly cop with vast wealth
The Jakarta Post | Editorial | Mon, May 20 2013
Socratez Yoman: The Government Invented Indonesian Papua Conflict
A google translate of article in Suarapapua. Be-aware google translate can be a bit erratic.
Original bahasa at
The West Papuan stories you've never heard before
Monday, 20 May 2013 Produced by Tim Roxburgh
Killings in West Papua by Australian-backed anti-terror police
By Damien Kingsbury
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