Worse West Papua human rights, ‘shrinking space’, says new report

West Papua has experienced a “significant aggravation” of the human rights situation in the past two years compared to previous years, says a new report from more than 40 faith-based and civil rights organisations.

“Reports by local human rights defenders describe an alarming shrinking of democratic space,” says the report.

“Although Indonesian President Joko Widodo pushed economic development and granted clemency to five long-term political prisoners, the police strictly limited even the most peaceful dissident political activities.”

READ MORE: Pacific Media Watch on Indonesia’s hit back at Oceania nations

The report says that Indigenous Papuans – particularly women – “continued to have a high risk of becoming victims of human rights violations.”

It adds that “racist attitudes toward West Papuans among the police and military, insufficient legal protection, the lack of proper law enforcement, inconsistent policy implementation and corruptive practices among government officials contributed to the impunity of security forces.”

Local journalists in West Papua also continued to face “intimidation and obstruction” from the security forces.

This is the fifth report of the International Coalition for Papua (ICP) covering events from January 2015 until December 2016.


Human rights analysis

More than 40 organisations in West Papua, Jakarta, and worldwide have brought their analysis on the human rights and conflict situation in West Papua together.

The executive summary of the 218-pages report explains how several human rights standards have deteriorated over the last two years.

The report is compiled by the International Coalition for Papua (ICP) and the German Westpapua-Netzwerk (WPN). The executive summary says:

“The years 2015 and 2016 were characterised by a significant aggravation of the human rights situation in West Papua compared to previous years. The term West Papua refers to the Indonesian easternmost provinces of ‘Papua’ and ‘Papua Barat’. Reports by local human rights defenders describe an alarming shrinking of democratic space.

“Although Indonesian President Joko Widodo pushed economic development and granted clemency to five long-term political prisoners, the police strictly limited even the most peaceful dissident political activities.

“Indigenous Papuans, particularly women, continued to have a high risk of becoming victims of human rights violations. Racist attitudes toward West Papuans among the police and military, insufficient legal protection, the lack of proper law enforcement, inconsistent policy implementation and corruptive practices amongst government officials contributed to the impunity of security forces.

“Government critics and activists faced legal prosecution with varying charges. Using a charge of treason (‘makar’) remained common against non-violent offenders.


Increasing ‘incitement’ charges

“West Papuan political activists also faced an increasing number of charges incitement or violence despite the non-violence of protest and almost all activism.

“The deterioration of the political and civil rights situation in West Papua during the past two years was most obvious in the sheer number of political arrests.

“Those arrests drastically increased to 1083 in 2015, and then quadrupled in 2016 to 5361 arrests, in tandem with growing political protest for self-determination.

“Almost all of the arrests came during peaceful protest in support of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP). In addition, the Indonesian government and the regional police in West Papua increasingly restricted the right to freedom of opinion and expression using official statements (Makhlumat) issued by the Papuan Regional Police in 2016.

“Local journalists in West Papua faced continued intimidation and obstruction from the security forces. In comparison to previous years, the number of reported cases against local journalists has slightly decreased throughout the reporting period 2015 and 2016.

“President Joko Widodo’s promise in May 2015, to make West Papua freely accessible to foreign journalists and international observers was not implemented. Foreign journalists were in an increasing number of cases prevented from entering West Papua or when permitted to enter, they faced obstruction, surveillance, intimidation and physical violence.

“International human rights organisations and humanitarian organisations such as the Inter­national Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) remained banned from freely accessing West Papua.


Threatened, obstructed

“Human rights defenders in West Papua had to work under fear of being monitored, threatened and obstructed by the security forces. The killing of well-known human rights defender Joberth Jitmau, marked the sad highlight of attacks against human rights defenders during these two years.

“The police termed Jitmau’s killing a traffic accident and did not conduct a criminal investigation. Jitmau’s case was a representative example of the widespread impunity in West Papua.

“Only in rare instances were security forces prosecuted in public or military trials. Two of the three cases of prosecution resulted in considerably low sentences for the perpetrators in view of the severity of the criminal offences.

“Security force members also continued to use torture and ill-treatment as a common response to political protest or incidents of alleged disturbance of public order. Extra-judicial killings occurred particularly often as an act of revenge or retaliation for violent acts or other non-violent interactions with members of the security forces.

“The situation with regard to economic, social and cultural rights in West Papua was stagnant. The quality of education in West Papua remained considerably low, due to poor management of the education system, inadequate competencies, high absence rates amongst teachers, and inadequate funding. (Less than 1 percent of Papua Province’s annual budget goes to education.)

“There is still no culturally appropriate curriculum in place, which is capable of improving the educational situation of indigenous Papuan children and of preserving local cultures.

“Health care and education remained in a devas­tating condition, far below the national average, despite the large amount of special autonomy funds that flow to the two administrative provinces Papua and Papua Barat.


Strong imbalance

“There is a strong imbalance in the fulfillment of minimum standards in terms of health, education, food and labor rights between the urban areas and the remote inland areas of West Papua.

“Indigenous Papuans, who mostly reside outside the urban centres, suffer the most of this imbalance. Both Papuan provinces are amongst the regions with the highest prevalence rate for HIV/AIDS infections and child mortality of any ‘Indonesian province’, while the quality of health services is alarmingly low.

“Insufficient equipment in rural health care institutions and a lack of adequate health monitoring and response mechanisms remained strikingly evident. These shortcomings were highlighted when a pertussis epidemic broke out in the remote highland regency of Nduga, killing least 51 children and three adults within a span of three months in late 2015. Malnutrition enabled the rapid spread of the epidemic.

“The case also mirrors the government’s growing challenge to guarantee indigenous Papuans right to food. Palm oil plantations and other agri­cultural mega-projects have led to the destruction of local food sources, livestock and access to clean drinking water.

“Cases of domestic violence are often settled in non-legal ways, which fail to bring justice for the victims and lack a deterrent effect for perpetrators. Women living with HIV/AIDS are particularly often facing discrimination and stigmatization.

“The very existence of West Papuans is threatened by the uncontrolled migration from other parts of Indonesia. This particularly applies to the urban centers where they have largely become a marginalised minority facing strong economic competition.

“In most rural areas, where indigenous Papuans are still the majority, government-promoted large-scale natural resource exploitation projects attract migrants and continue to cause severe environmental degra­dation as well as the destruction of live­ stock of indigenous communities.

“Govern­ment institutions continued to facilitate the interests of private Indonesian and foreign companies. This practice negatively impacts indigenous people’s right to their ancestral lands and resources as well as their right to determine their development.

“Resource extraction often means clearing large forest areas and polluting of water resources, thereby forcing indigenous communities to change their very way of life. Destruction of forests and hunting grounds as a life source puts an additional burden on women, in particular.”

Journalist Faces Defamation Probe for Comparing Indonesia’s Treatment of West Papua with Myanmar’s Rohingya

Indonesian police in East Java are investigating a veteran journalist for comparing former President Megawati Sukarnoputri to Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi in a Facebook post.
On September 3, 2017, journalist and documentary filmmaker Dandhy Dwi Laksono wrote on Facebook that Megawati and Suu Kyi are alike in many ways, noting that both are former opposition leaders who now head the ruling parties in their respective countries. Dandhy added that if Myanmar’s government is being criticized for its treatment of ethnic Rohingya, the Indonesian government should similarly be held liable for suppressing the independence movement on the Indonesian island of West Papua.
He further compared Suu Kyi’s silence on the persecution of the Rohingya to Megawati’s role as party leader of the government, which has recently intensified the crackdown on West Papuan independence activists.
Rohingya people born and living in Myanmar are not recognized as citizens by the Myanmar government. In recent weeks, hundreds of thousands of Rohingya civilians have been displaced from their homes due to clearing operations of the Myanmar military in response to attacks by a pro-Rohingya insurgent group in northwest Myanmar. Tens of thousands of Rohingya refugees, who are mostly Muslim, are crossing into Bangladesh to escape the fighting.
West Papua is a province of Indonesia with a vocal independence movement that has called for the creation of a separate state since the 1960s. Human rights groups have documented many cases of abuse committed by Indonesian state forces against activists, journalists, and other individuals suspected of supporting the independence movement.
Dandhy posted his comments on Facebook following a big rally was organized by Muslim groups in Indonesia, condemning the Myanmar government for its treatment of Rohingya refugees.
The youth arm of the ruling Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) filed a defamation complaint against Dandhy on September 6:
On the whole, (Dandhy’s) opinion was clearly intended to take advantage of the Rohingya incidents in Myanmar in order to insult and spread hatred of Megawati Soekarnoputri as the chairwoman of PDI-P and Joko Widodo as the president who is backed by PDI-P.
He is now under investigation by the police cyber crime unit. If he is prosecuted for and convicted of defamation, Dandhy could face up to four years in prison.
Reacting to the complaint, Dandhy wrote that it is a minor issue compared to the injustices suffered by Papuan activists and Rohingya refugees.
The complaint is the latest case of how the Electronic Information and Transactions (ITE) Law is being used to silence dissent in the country.
According to Indonesian digital rights group SAFEnet, at least 35 activists have been charged with online defamation since its enactment in 2008. Aside from Dandhy’s case, the group has documented six defamation charges involving activists and journalists in 2017.
Activists were quick to launch a campaign expressing support to Dandhy. They asserted that Dandhy was simply expressing an opinion which should be considered legitimate criticism and not a criminal act.
SAFEnet is encouraging Indonesian netizens to submit reports and testimonies about how the ITE Law is being abused to silence activists like Dandhy and suppress online free speech in general.
Instead of preventing the public from commenting on Megawati, a local investigative portal suggested that Dandhy’s case could in fact trigger greater interest in the former president’s legacy as a leader, including some of the issues that led to her defeat in the polls.

Call for ACP-EU Resolution on West Papua

Vanuaty Daily Post, By Jonas Cullwick Jul 28, 2017

Last week’s 14th Pacific Regional ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly in Port Vila issued a five-point position of the issue of West Papuan independence.

It says Parliamentarians of the ACP-EU Parliaments can voice their concern and they can support Papuan rights, including the right to self-determination by rallying to the call from the 8 Pacific Island Countries for justice and respect for the right to self-determination.

They can get regional and global intergovernmental bodies such the African Union, CARICOM and other regional and sub-regional multilateral bodies to pass resolutions and restrict commercial and other relations with Indonesia.

As member states of the United Nations ACP–EU countries can insist on an internationally supervised referendum on independence (or at least the re-listing of West Papua as a non-self-governing territory).

Support with one voice the proposed resolutions in the upcoming Joint ACP-EU parliament meeting in month of October and also the resolution on West Papua to be adopted at ACP Council of Ministers meeting in November 2017; And call on ACP-EU Parliamentarians to urge their respective governments to address the issue of West Papua at the multilateral level and assist Indonesia to resolve this 54 year crisis.

Jonas Cullwick, a former General Manager of VBTC is now a Senior Journalist with the Daily Post. Contact: jonas@dailypost.vu. Cell # 678 5460922

Vanuatu to raise the human right violation during ACP-EU this week in Port Vila

Even though the delegation of West Papua arrived late today at the ACP-EU 14th regional meeting, ACP member countries have agreed to raise the issue of human rights violation in West Papua. West Papua is not member of ACP but member countries said that West Papua is member of Pacific countries.
Member of Parliament of Santo constituency, Marco Mahe said that the ACP countries have endorsed the issue of violation of human rights in West Papua during their separate meeting this before the official opening of regional meeting of the joint ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly.
Mr Mahe said the issue of human rights violation in West Papua cannot be tolerated. He said that Vanuatu delegation at the meeting have agreed that the leader of the opposition Ishmael Kalsakau will stand in front of the assembly on their behave.This morning there was two separate  meetings before the official opening by the President of the Republic of Vanuatu, Pastor John Tallis Obed. The ACP separate meeting was chaired by the ACP Parliamentary Assembly and co-President of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly, Ibrahim R.Bundu. West Papua is represented at the meeting by Mote Octavianus.

Ibrahim R.Bunda and Marco Mahé
Ibrahim R.Bunda and Marco Mahé

West Papua diplomatic cause advances in Brussels

A coalition of Pacific Island nations has called on the African, Caribbean and Pacific group of states to back West Papuan self-determination.

Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Nauru, Palau and the Marshall Islands gave a joint statement at the group’s Council of Ministers in Brussels.

Johnny Blades has been following developments.



JOHNNY BLADES: In Brussels the other day, this  African, Caribbean and Pacific bloc heard from a Vanuatu government MP who was representing this Pacific coalition of seven countries which also is a network of NGO, civil society and church groups as well, who are saying that the world community has to act now on human rights abuses in Papua, but specifically to push Indonesia to have a legitimate self-determination process for the West Papuans, because questions about the legitimacy of the self-determination process by which Papua was incorporated into Indonesia back in the 1960s, questions over that are really gaining momentum at the moment. This follows on from the Coalition’s two recent representations at the UN level on Papua: that is, last September at the UN General Assembly, and then in March at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

BEN ROBINSON-DRAWBRIDGE: So how did the other countries in this group react to this call from their Pacific members?

JB: The Caribbean and African countries were signalling strong support for this, to have a resolution urging a proper self-determination process for the Papuans. But the Papua New Guinea ambassador at the meeting in Brussels spoke out against it. He actually said that the group shouldn;t push too hard at this. He suggested that a fact-finding mission to Papua is necessary for the African, Caribbean and Pacific group to conduct first in order to get a clearer picture of the situation. Remember PNG of course is right next door to West Papua and its proximity to this huge Asian country is a point of great sensitivity.

BRD: Have other Pacific groups like the Melanesian Spearhead Group or even the Pacific Forum, have they made similar representations on West Papua?

JB: They have attempted to, really. This issue has been brought up at both of those bodies many years ago, and particularly for the Melanesian Spearhead Group it was a huge issue because Melanesians in these countries feel strongly about West Papuan self-determination. It’s just that their leadership have not been able to find a unified position on it. And for instance since Indonesia has come in to the MSG as an observer and now an associate member, this issue has not advanced. So they haven’t been able to take it up at UN or ACP levels. And it’s much the same with the Forum: there’s not a unified stance on it. So the group of seven Pacific countries here who took up the issue in Brussels have really just thought ‘we’ll go ahead and do what we have to on our own’ because the Forum and the MSG, they seem to be saying, have failed on the West Papua issue.

BRD: Do any of the other countries in this (ACP) group, do they have significant political clout to be able to make a difference on this issue?

JB: They aren’t powerhouses on the world stage, most of these countries. But I think if there was to be this bloc of 79 countries suddenly taking it up at the UN General Assembly, that is significant in itself, and it would really add to the international pressure on Jakarta to maybe look for a new kind of solution to this simmering discontent in Papua.

Author praised for opening readers’ eyes to West Papua’s repression

By Pacific Media Watch editor Kendall Hutt,

Bookstore owners, writers, authors, family, friends and a group hopeful of West Papuan independence squeezed into the Women’s Bookshop in Ponsonby last night to celebrate the work of young New Zealand author Bonnie Etherington and her novel The Earth Cries Out.

Not only is the novel being celebrated and praised for Etherington’s mastery of the written word, but because of its ability to make the public more aware of life in West Papua, a region controversially ruled by Indonesia since the 1960s.

Pacific Media Watch editor Kendall Hutt (left) with author Bonnie Etherington. Image: Del Abcede/PMC
Pacific Media Watch editor Kendall Hutt (left) with author Bonnie Etherington. Image: Del Abcede/PMC
Pacific Media Watch editor Kendall Hutt (left) with author Bonnie Etherington. Image: Del Abcede/PMC

Plagued by media freedom and human rights violations, many media freedom and human rights organisations and several Pacific nations have condemned the widespread arrests and imprisonment of West Papuans for non-violent expression of their political views.

These are issues Etherington herself acknowledged speaking with Asia Pacific Report earlier this week, saying she wanted to show readers West Papua’s rich and diverse history, not only its complex political situation.

“I really wanted to show multiple sides of West Papua because it is so often forgotten or stereotyped by the rest of the world.”

This is something those who have already read The Earth Cries Out praise.

Harriet Allan, fiction publisher for Penguin Books New Zealand, commended Etherington in a speech on her ability to provide insight into West Papua through the eyes of a child, that of female protagonist Ruth.

“As Ruth bears witness to what she sees, we too start to hear the voices that have been silenced by politics, sickness, violence and poverty.”

Like Ruth, we come away with a greater understanding of this country and its diverse people and also of ourselves and the bonds of love and friendship.”


‘Shed some light’

Although she has not had the chance to read her sister’s entire novel, Etherington’s younger sister, Aimee, says what she has read is very similar to how she and her sister experienced West Papua.

“With the descriptions, I felt like I was back there. She’s done a really good job of capturing how it feels, I guess.”

Aimee Etherington says she hopes her sister’s novel spreads awareness of West Papua.

“Most people that I’ve spoken to don’t really know that it exists, so it will be good to shed some light as to what’s going on there and, I guess, giving a bit of insight on how as New Zealanders and Australians we can actually do something about it.”


‘Almost experiencing it’

Like Harriet Allan, Women’s Bookshop owner Carol Beu loved Ruth’s voice.

“I think becoming aware of the situation in Papua through the eyes of this child, Ruth, is really quite special”, Beu told the audience.

“The way it’s revealed, it’s fascinating.”

Beu admits this was also “quite shocking”, due to Etherington’s ability to place the reader in the moment.

“You’re almost experiencing it.”

Penguin fiction publisher Harriet Allan (left) with author Bonnie Etherington. Image: Del Abcede/PMC
Penguin fiction publisher Harriet Allan (left) with author Bonnie Etherington. Image: Del Abcede/PMC

Bea also acknowledged those in the audience who were supporting the book on more of a political level, such as West Papua Action Auckland spokesperson Maire Leadbeater.

Bea told those gathered she found the politics of The Earth Cries Out “quite astonishing and wonderful”.

“It’s a book that makes you angry in many ways on a political level.”

Leadbeater herself, however, says she is looking forward to reading the novel.


Mister Pip comparisons

“I think looking at countries through a literary perspective can be very helpful at times. I can’t help thinking of the book Mister Pip, about Bougainville and how amazingly helpful that was I think in terms of people understanding the conflict.

“It’s done in a fictionalised way but it’s true to the situation, so I’m picking from what I’ve heard about the book it may achieve that as well.”

Leadbeater is not the only one to draw comparisons with Lloyd Jones’ Mister Pip, however.

Tony Moores, owner of bookstore Poppies in Remuera, reached a similar conclusion.

“This is not Mister Pip, but the issues it deals with are quite similar, from a different perspective.”


Powerful, shocking

The Creative Hub founder, John Cranna, who also noted ties with Mister Pip, praised Etherington on her talent after listening to several excerpts read by Allan and Etherington herself.

“For such a young writer to be writing about such dramatic and shocking events, and to be pulling it off, is quite an achievement.

To write about violent death is … very hard in a reserved, powerful way, but she certainly did that very well.

What they don’t talk about when they talk about Papua

‘Being a young, female Indonesian myself, I expected myself to celebrate Nara Masista Rakhmatia’s UN General Assembly speech. Instead, I was gravely disappointed.’

Several weeks ago, a young, female diplomat named Nara Masista Rakhmatia made a speech that dazzled the Indonesian public. In a video that went viral, she denied accusations from 7 Pacific country leaders about human rights abuse in Indonesia’s Papua province at the 71st Session of United Nations General Assembly in New York last September.

She further shamed their attempt to interfere with Indonesia’s sovereignty. The video gathered over 188 thousand views on Facebook, along with hundreds of comments from Indonesian citizens expressing how proud they are of Nara’s intelligence and bravery to ‘teach those foreign country leaders about how to respect Indonesia’—especially given her young age.

In their remarks, delegations from Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Nauru, the Marshall Islands, Tuvalu, and Tonga criticized Indonesia’s human rights records in Papua. Nara in particular argued that these sentiments were largely misplaced, given that the main agenda of the Assembly was Sustainable Development Goals and a global response to climate change.

Furthermore, she claimed, these countries needed to self-reflect upon their own domestic issues before pointing their fingers to how Indonesia handles the province’s push for self-determination.

Being a young, female Indonesian myself, I expected myself to celebrate her speech. I should have been inspired and impressed by how sharp she was. Instead, as someone who studied International Relations and currently a Public Policy student, I was gravely disappointed.


First of all, Nara based her entire rebuttal on the obsolete definition of the sovereignty principle. While sovereignty is a crucial foundation to the United Nations, since 2005, the international community has extended its definition under the ‘Responsibility to Protect’ commitment, which stipulates that absolute sovereignty does not hold when a government fails to protect its people.

PROTEST. An arrested Papuan pro-independence demonstrator gestures from a police truck in Jakarta on December 1, 2015, after police fired tear gas at a hundreds-strong crowd hurling rocks during a protest against Indonesian rule over the eastern region of Papua. File photo by AFP
PROTEST. An arrested Papuan pro-independence demonstrator gestures from a police truck in Jakarta on December 1, 2015, after police fired tear gas at a hundreds-strong crowd hurling rocks during a protest against Indonesian rule over the eastern region of Papua. File photo by AFP

Although the concept was developed specifically as a framework for humanitarian interventions to prevent atrocity crimes and this situation has arguably not brought us that far, this core principle stands.

In other words, should these allegations stand, it is justifiable for the international community to express their concerns about the possibility of ongoing crimes against humanity.

Therefore, it is more urgent to argue about whether Indonesia has indeed violated human rights in Papua.

The speech failed to address, for example, the progress of President Joko Widodo’s promise to investigate the killing of 4 Papuan high-school students in 2014. No reports have been made available to the public around this and other pressing matters such as killings in Wasior in 2001 and Wamena in 2003. A recent op-ed contended that these were not ordinary crimes but crimes against humanity.

Nara also did not talk about the 4,587 individuals who were arrested by the police for expressing their political views in regards with the Papua issue in 13 cities, as documented by the Jakarta Legal Aid Institute.

On top of that, she spent a lot of air time explaining how Indonesia has been a member of the United Nations Human Rights Council for significantly longer periods compared to these 6 countries. She leveraged that membership status as a validation to the country’s ‘human rights commitment’.

This is a logical fallacy. In reality, Jakarta continues to maintain restrictions for human rights organizations such as Amnesty International and International Committee of the Red Cross from entering Papua. Becoming a member of a certain council hardly proved these allegations wrong. If anything, it should become an additional reason as to why the country needs to feel embarrassed about the hypocrisy at home.

Wrong focus

Some of my friends asked me to give Nara a break. After all, she was only representing her country. If anything, such response is far from surprising and rather predictable. Throwing in phrases like ‘territorial integrity’ and ‘sovereignty’ sounds like something that any other country would do in responding to such accusations at an international stage.

PROTEST HALTED. Papuan pro-independence activists, some in traditional tribal garb, march during a rally in Jayapura. AFP PHOTO
PROTEST HALTED. Papuan pro-independence activists, some in traditional tribal garb, march during a rally in Jayapura. AFP PHOTO

However, the issue goes beyond this. Even if we look past the messenger, the problem in Papua still exists, and the fact that the government of Indonesian preferred not to deal with it should alert us.

Thus what added to my disappointment was how mainstream media in Indonesia covered the issue. Instead of playing its role as the ‘fourth pillar’ that criticizes the government, many news outlets practically made her a heroine by echoing the flattering Facebook comments and further highlightsing how she looks.

It seems like nationalist sentiments—fueled by an ‘external threat’ from these Pacific countries’—distracted them from addressing the elephant in the room. Except for The Jakarta Post, most news seemed to avoid highlighting these allegations and instead talked about how beautiful and brave Nara was. In effect, social media discussions regarding this event rotated primarily around unproductive debates about her physical qualities.

Although concerns regarding Papua were expressed by only 7 small Pacific countries now, how will Indonesia—represented by Nara or anyone else—respond in the future, should they come from other geopolitically more powerful countries?

President Joko Widodo’s administration must know by now that something has to be done in Papua, and it should be done immediately.

Surely, we could not just continue deflecting every question with a ‘sovereignty’ card. – Rappler.com

 Andhyta Firselly Utami graduated from International Relations program at Universitas Indonesia, and is currently a Master of Public Policy candidate at Harvard Kennedy School.

Parkop urges Government to address West Papua issue

LoopPNG – Freddy Mou, October 6, 2016  – Bational Capital District Governor Powes Parkop has called on the Government to seriously look into the plight of West Papua.

In a statement, Parkop said Papua New Guinea should be adopting a more moral and humanistic policy on West Papua instead of sticking to the immoral position of continuing to recognize Indonesia Sovereignty over the territory without question or conditions.

Parkop said he will be making submission to this effective to the NEC and will impress on NEC to change our policy.

“Otherwise I will be pushing for such changes in the next Government after 2017 General Election.

“I will be proposing that PNG adopt a position where while we acknowledge Indonesia control over the territory of West Papua, we must question the legality of the integration and call on Indonesia to correct this historical error so as to bring lasting peace and harmony to our region.

“We all know that so called Act of Free Choice in 1969 did not comply with the law as it exist in 1969 or since.

“We all know Indonesia invaded West Papua in 1962 and had military, political and administrative control of the territory in 1969 when the Vote on Integration was taken.

“We all know Indonesia only allowed 1000 people out of 1.2 million Papuans to vote in 1969. We all know that these 1000 people were selected and subject to undue pressure by the Indonesia.

“Indonesia is obliged to correct this historical mistake that continues to retard the progress of the Papua People and hinder their freedom.”

Parkop added that although the Government has made progress in addressing the Papuan issue on a bilateral and multilateral basis but our policy has not changed.

“Our policy to just recognize Indonesia Sovereignty over West Papua without reservation is immoral, outdate and inhuman.

“It is also against our conscience. It is also against the stand or position of all Pacific Countries including Polynesians and Micronesians.”

Indonesia invaded Timor Leste in 1975 and eventually allowed them to decide their future by a referendum 2000.

“We all applaud them for correcting that historical mistake. They should do the same with West Papua. Indonesia will be doing a service to humanity and to itself by making this honorable decision rather than to lie.

Parkop further added that as friends of Indonesia, we should not be afraid to speak our mind about the nature of our friendship including pointing out any impediment to a robust friendship.

He said the future between PNG and Indonesia will be more robust and enhance if Indonesia relents and agree to allow Papuans to morally and legally decide their future by a properly supervised referendum under the United Nations.

“This is the policy PNG Government should adopt as it is moral, humanistic, legal and honest policy.”

Solomon Islands Repeats Call for Independent Assessment of West Papua

SolomonTimesOnline – The Solomon Islands representative in Geneva, Switzerland, has repeated calls for Indonesia to allow a UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression to visit West Papua and Papua Provinces.

Minister Councilor at the Solomon Islands Mission in Geneva, Switzerland, Barrett Salato made the call at the start of the 33rd Human Rights Council Meeting in Geneva on Monday this week.

Mr. Salato highlighted a “worrying trend by the Member States resisting human rights scrutiny by the work of the Council.”

“More unsettling is the fact that some large democracies who profess to uphold universal human rights values are evading scrutiny on their domestic human rights practices by shielding such practices behind the principle of non-interference.”

Mr Salato says that the Solomon Islands share the view that protecting human rights of all people requires collective responsibilities and continues to condemn violations of human rights whenever it occurs.

Solider Jailed For Triple Murder in West Papua

Pasifik.news – By Adam Boland – July 21, 2016

An Indonesian soldier has been jailed for 20 years for the gruesome murders of a mother and her two children in West Papua.

The Jakarta Post reports 28-year-old Semuel Djitmau killed the trio with a cleaver as they walked to a village in Bintuni in August 2015. The children were aged just six and two.

He this week fronted a military tribunal which condemned his actions.

“What the defendant had done was ruthless and inhumane, violated human rights and was against the spirit of the military of protecting the people,” said presiding judge Lt. Col. James Vandersloot.

The tribunal said Djitmau had displayed no remorse.

The victims’ family had wanted the death penalty but the sentence was the maximum possible because the solider was charged with theft and murder rather than premeditated murder.

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