etmnlong.gif (2291 bytes) spacer

 

Robert F. Kennedy Memorial
Center for Human Rights
Indonesia Support Group

The Papua Report

February 2004

The following is the second in a series of monthly reports prepared by the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Center for Human Rights – Indonesia Support Group provviding updates regarding developments in Papua.  The RFK Center has monitored and reported on the human rights situation in Papua since 1993.

For more information, contact:

Miriam Young, RFK Program Officer 202-463-7575 or 1-800-558-1880

Abigail Abrash Walton, Support Group Member 603-357-2651

U.S. State Department Report Cites Continuing Destabilizing Activities by the Indonesian Government in Papua;

Archbishop Tutu Calls for U.N. Review of its Role in Indonesia's Annexation of Papua;

Senior Indonesian Leaders Call on Indonesian Government to Abandon Division of Papua and Appoint Facilitator to Re-Open Dialogue Between Jakarta and Papuans

Contents/Summary

... U.S. State Department Annual Human Rights Report Cites "No Improvement in the Human Rights Situation"¯ in Papua

... Nobel Laureate South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu Calls for U.N. Review of Its Role in Indonesia's Annexation of Papua.

... Former Top Indonesian Government Officials, Others Call for End to Indonesian Government's Actions to Divide Papua; Urge Implementation of Special Autonomy Law and for Appointment Facilitator to Re-open Dialogue between Jakarta and Papuans.

... Government To Increase Troop Strength in Papua Prior to National Elections.

... Indonesian Military Establishes Special Zones for Its Own Exclusive Resource Exploitation in Papua.

... Indonesian Military Troops to Stay at Freeport's Papua Mine; U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission Approves New York City Employees Shareholder Resolution Calling for Freeport to Suspend Payments to the Indonesian Military

... Civil Servants Reject Central Government's Appointment of New Justice and Human Rights Office Head in Papua.

... Amnesty International Expresses Strong Concern for Ongoing Impunity in Papua; Calls on Indonesian Government to Support and Cooperate with Official Investigation of Serious Human Rights Abuses by the Indonesian Military and Police in Papua; Raises Concern Regarding Plight of Papuan Prisoners of Conscience.

... New Papua human rights website (wwwhampapua.org)

U.S. State Department Annual Human Rights Report Cites "No Improvement in the Human Rights Situation"¯ in Papua

Secretary of State Colin Powell released the Department's annual human rights report on February 25.  The report states that, in Papua, "there was no improvement in the human rights situation"¯ and that the Indonesian government "made little progress in establishing accountability for numerous human rights violations committed in Papua in previous years.."¯

The report also states that "The most serious violations took place in the Central Highlands, where at least one, and perhaps as many as 10, extrajudicial killings occurred, in addition to numerous acts of torture and politically motivated arson."¯  Regarding efforts to bring to justice the perpetrators of an August 2002 brutal ambush within the Freeport copper & gold mining operation, the State Department noted that the probe has been "ineffectual, due largely to limited cooperation between the [Indonesian military and police].  By year's end, no arrests had been reported."¯  Two American citizens and one Indonesian were killed in the ambush, which the U.S. Embassy termed a "terrorist attack"; eight other American citizens were wounded, including a six-year-old girl  The State Department also reported that the Indonesian government "effectively delayed implementation of the Law on Special Autonomy for the province, undermining efforts to improve basic welfare and development. In contravention of the law, the Government also initiated the partition of the province into three separate provinces, provoking clashes"¯ in which five people were killed.

The full report is available online at: http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2003/27771.htm

Nobel Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu Calls for Review of U.N.'s Role in Indonesia's Annexation of Papua

Statement By South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu. 

For many years the people of South Africa suffered under the yoke of oppression and apartheid. Many people continue to suffer brutal oppression, where their fundamental dignity as human beings is denied.  One such people is the people of West Papua.

The people of West Papua have been denied their basic human rights, including their right to self-determination. Their cry for justice and freedom has fallen largely on deaf ears.

An estimated 100,000 people have died in West Papua since Indonesia took control of the territory in 1963.

It is with deep concern I have learned about the United Nations' role in the take-over of West Papua by Indonesia, and in the now-discredited "Act of 'Free' Choice" of 1969. Instead of a proper referendum, where every adult male and female had the opportunity to vote by secret ballot on whether or not they wished to be part of Indonesia, just over 1,000 people were hand-picked and coerced into declaring for Indonesia in public in a climate of fear and repression.

The U.N. had just 16 observers to this Act for a country the size of Spain. The then Secretary-General's Representative reported on the conduct of the Act to the U.N. General Assembly in 1969, which noted his report on 19 November of that year.

One of the senior U.N. officials at the time, Chakravarthy Narasimhan, has since called the process a "whitewash".

A strong United Nations will be capable of, among other things, acknowledging and correcting its mistakes.

I would like to add my voice to growing international calls for the U.N. Secretary General to instigate a review of the U.N.'s conduct in relation to the now-discredited "Act of 'Free' Choice"

I will keep the people of West Papua in my prayers, and I would like to extend my best wishes and moral support to them in their hour of need.

-- Archbishop Desmond Tutu -- February 23, 2004

In issuing this statement, Archbishop Tutu joins hundreds of other eminent persons, parliamentarians, scholars and others who are supporting an international campaign to urge a UN. review of its role in Indonesia's Annexation of Papua.  For details on the campaign, visit:  http://westpapuaaction.buz.org/unreview

Senior Indonesian Leaders Oppose Division of Papua; Call for Implementation of Special Autonomy and Appointment of Dialogue Facilitator

In mid-February, at a think-tank seminar convened in Jakarta, former top Indonesian officials, leading analysts and religious leaders urged the government not to proceed with the formation of two new provinces in Papua (one new Province has already been formed over the strong objection of Papuans and a constitutional challenge currently under review by Indonesia's highest court). The seminar participants called on the Government instead to enforce Law No. 21/2001 granting Papua special autonomy, a promise on which the Government has reneged. The seminar organized by the Center for Strategic International Studies (CSIS), Frederich Ebert Stiftung (FES) and the Papua Special Autonomy Team (TOKP), also urged establishment of an independent special team to bridge the widening distrust between the central government and Papua. The proposal is similar to that pressed for by Papuan civil society calling for an intermediary, possibly a U.N. official, to facilitate communications between Papua and the central government.

At the Seminar, former Papua governor Barnabas Suebu said Papuans no longer had confidence in the central government because Jakarta appeared to have no real solution to prolonged and perceived injustices and had made the conflict more complicated with the issuance of the much-criticized presidential instruction to partition the region. "The only way to regain Papuans' confidence is to annul the presidential instruction (which authorizes division of Papua) and implement the special autonomy consistently to let Papuans tackle their home affairs, control their land and settle past human rights abuses," he said. He insisted that, given tensions arising from the upcoming general elections, "sooner or later, Papua will face the same fate as Aceh."

As noted above, the Constitutional Court is still examining the proposal to divide Papua in accordance with Law No 45/1999. (1993 RFK Human Rights Award laureate Bambang Widjojanto serves as the lead attorney in the case, arguing against partition of the province.) Former presidents B.J Habibie and Abdurrahman Wahid suspended enforcement of the partition law. Moreover, the division plan violates the subsequent (2001) special autonomy law enacted by Indonesia's legislature.

During the seminar, former Indonesian ambassador to Australia Sabam Siagian questioned the interests of the National Intelligence Agency (BIN), Home Minister Hari Sabarno and the Indonesian Military (TNI), all of whom strongly support the division. Similarly the coordinator of the International Crisis Group Sidney Jones, described BIN, the Home Affairs Ministry and TNI as "three real obstacles to a full implementation of the special autonomy as well as a comprehensive solution to the issue."

Former Foreign Minister Ali Alatas endorsed the call by Papuan civil society for an interlocutor between Papua and the central government, acknowledging the need for a "sincere facilitator, who could be a direct subordinate of the top security minister, to figure out what we can do to settle the problem." His call was endorsed by Jusuf Wanandi, a co-founder of the Center for Strategic Studies (CSIS), who urged establishment of a "special team or appointment of a special facilitator" before national elections are held.

Government To Increase Troop Strength in Papua Prior to National Elections

Coordinating Minister for Political and Security Affairs Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono called for more security in Papua (also in Aceh, Poso, North Maluku and Maluku) to deal with the upcoming presidential and separate parliamentary elections.  Destabilizing tension arising from Jakarta's decision to divide Papua into three provinces, a step that undermines Papua's Special Autonomy Law, has generated strong opposition among Papuans and provoked a Constitutional Court challenge, could prompt ballot violence and/or boycotts.  According to The Jakarta Post, the Papua police command last month announced that it would deploy two-thirds of its entire force of 9,000 police officers throughout Papua during the elections and that 2,000 Indonesian military personnel would also engage in this deployment. 

Indonesian Military Creates Special Border Zones Rich in Resources

Several reliable sources report that the Indonesian military has established an 8-km-wide "border" between the newly formed Irian Jaya Barat and the rest of Papua province. The area is rich with timber resources.  The TNI reportedly also intends to establish similar "borders" for each of the other two new provinces that the central government seeks to establish in Papua. Such border zones would be under TNI control and offer exclusive, lucrative opportunities for exploitation of forest and other resources

Indonesian Military Troops to Stay at Freeport's Papua Mine;

U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission Approves New York City Employees Shareholder Resolution Calling for Freeport to Suspend Payments to the Indonesian Military

Reneging on a proposal last year by Indonesian Armed Forces Commander Gen. Endriartono Sutarto to remove military troops from the New Orleans-owned and operated Freeport copper and gold mining operations in Papua, the Indonesian military plans to continue its controversial deployment of a reported 550 personnel in the area.  Sutarto originally proposed the troop removal in response to revelations that Freeport was making direct payments of roughly $6 million a year to the military.  The disclosure last year, which came as a result of shareholder action by the New York City Employees' Retirement System (NYCERS) and the New York City Teachers' Retirement System, sparked high-profile criticism of the military as a mercenary force. 

The Far Eastern Economic Review, which reported the reversal, states that "The turn-around came at the urging of army chief of staff Gen. Ryamizard Ryacudu and underscores his difficult relationship with armed-forces commander, according to sources close to the military."¯

Meanwhile, the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission ruled on February 12 to allow a shareholder resolution by the NYCERS and NYCTRS calling on Freeport management "to halt all payments to the Indonesian military and security forces, until the government of Indonesia and the Indonesian armed forces take effective measures, including full cooperation with the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, in conducting a full investigation of the August 2002 attacks against company employees, and to criminally prosecute the individuals responsible for those attacks."¯  The resolution will be voted on by shareholders at Freeport McMoRan's annual meeting later this year.

Civil Servants Reject Central Government's Appointment of New Justice and Human Rights Office Head in Papua

The Jakarta Post reported in mid-February that dozens of civil servants at the government's Justice and Human Rights office in Jayapura protested for three consecutive days, demanding that the government cancel the appointment of Sukarno to head the office, based on his demonstrated incompetence in another lower-ranking position.

Amnesty International Calls for Indonesian Government to Support and Cooperate with Official Investigation of Indonesian Military Torture and Killing of Papuans

Amnesty International, (AI) in an unusually strongly worded February 12 report, called upon the Indonesian Government to support and cooperate with the Commission of Inquiry (KPP HAM) convened by the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) to
investigate allegations of grave human rights violations committed in two areas of Papua, Wamena and Wasior.  AI warned that the Commission's success may be jeopardized if it does not receive the full support and cooperation of the Indonesian authorities, as has happened in the past.

The report observed that "in Indonesia, it is often the case that, when a positive step is taken to address a human rights concern, another is taken in the opposite direction to undermine it" and added that this phenomenon "has repeatedly been the experience in the Province of Papua" which the report emphasized has been "the site of ongoing and often brutal repression by the
Indonesian security forces in their efforts to counter independence claims."

The AI report explained that in Wamena, the team is to investigate a raid on the district military headquarters in April 2003, allegedly by members of the armed independence group, the Free Papua Movement (OPM). The Indonesian military launched operations allegedly to recover weapons and ammunition stolen in the raid and to search for suspects. In those operations the Indonesian military reportedly tortured villagers and destroyed or damaged houses and other property. As reported by the RFK Center in its January Papua Report, Indonesian military personnel themselves have been convicted of involvement in the original April 2003 attack.

In Wasior, AI notes, the Commission is to investigate "reports of human rights violations, including extrajudicial executions, arbitrary detention and torture, that took place in the context of operations by the notorious Police Mobile Brigade (Brimob) over the course of six months in 2001."

Justifying its lack of confidence that the investigations will be allowed to proceed, AI notes that another KPP HAM team was investigating allegations of extrajudicial executions, arbitrary detention and torture during police raids on student dormitories in Abepura, Papua, in December 2000.  KPP HAM complained publicly that witnesses had been intimated by the police and that the police had refused to provide adequate responses to their questions Two of its own members were later summoned for questioning by the police in what was widely regarded as an attempt to intimidate them.  For the full report, see:
http://news.amnesty.org/mavp/news.nsf/

 Amnesty International Questions Detention of Prisoners of Conscience and Others

In the same February 12 report (noted above), Amnesty International reported on 16 Papuans, who, as noted in the January edition of the RFK Papua Report have been in detention in Papua since December 2003.

The AI report expressed concern that the 16, among whom are at least four individuals whom AI considers "prisoners of conscience," were originally arrested in relation to pro-independence protests that became violent when the police broke them up in October 2000. AI explains that "in reality, the four prisoners of conscience, all of whom are community leaders, had tried to stop the violence and it is unclear to what extent, if at all, the others were involved." In all, twenty-two people, including the four prisoners of conscience, were sentenced to prison terms of up to four years in what AI terms "unfair trials."

The AI report concludes: "The effect of such actions is to deepen mistrust of the authorities among ordinary Papuans."

Franciscans in Papua Launch Papuan Human Rights Website

Franciscans in Papua have launched a website (www.hampapua.org) that offers frequently updated reports on human rights and related developments in Papua. The reports are in Bahasa Indonesia and English. 

Back issues of West Papua Report

Support ETANs Work for Justice!

"I’ve long admired ETAN’s work. For well over a decade, ETAN has conducted some of the most effective grassroots campaigns I know. With limited resources, they helped free a nation and fundamentally changed policy toward one of the U.S.’s closest and most repressive allies, Indonesia." —Amy Goodman, host of “Democracy Now!

Make a monthly pledge via credit card

 click here


Google

WWW http://www.etan.org

 

     
 
  spacer


Donate to ETAN!

Become an ETAN Sustainer, make a pledge via credit card here

Bookmark and Share

Background | Take Action | News | Links | What You Can Do | Resources  | Contact

ETAN Store | Estafeta | ImagesHome | Timor Postings | Search | Site Index |

Follow ETAN:

Like ETAN on Facebook Follow ETAN on Twitter ETAN on Google+ ETAN email listservs ETAN blog ETAN on LinkedIn ETAN on Pinterest Donate to ETAN!
 
  spacer


Donate to ETAN!

Become an ETAN Sustainer, make a pledge via credit card here

Bookmark and Share

Background | Take Action | News | Links | What You Can Do | Resources  | Contact

ETAN Store | Estafeta | ImagesHome | Timor Postings | Search | Site Index |

Follow ETAN:

Like ETAN on Facebook Follow ETAN on Twitter ETAN on Google+ ETAN email listservs ETAN blog ETAN on LinkedIn ETAN on Pinterest Donate to ETAN!
 
  spacer


Donate to ETAN!

Become an ETAN Sustainer, make a pledge via credit card here

Bookmark and Share

Background | Take Action | News | Links | What You Can Do | Resources  | Contact

ETAN Store | Estafeta | ImagesHome | Timor Postings | Search | Site Index |

Follow ETAN:

Like ETAN on Facebook Follow ETAN on Twitter ETAN on Google+ ETAN email listservs ETAN blog ETAN on LinkedIn ETAN on Pinterest Donate to ETAN!

m]

m]

 
  spacer


Donate to ETAN!

Become an ETAN Sustainer, make a pledge via credit card here

Bookmark and Share

Background | Take Action | News | Links | What You Can Do | Resources  | Contact

ETAN Store | Estafeta | ImagesHome | Timor Postings | Search | Site Index |

Follow ETAN
Like ETAN on Facebook Follow ETAN on Twitter ETAN on Google+ ETAN email listservs ETAN blog ETAN on LinkedIn ETAN on Pinterest ETAN on Instagram Donate to ETAN!