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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.”

Worse West Papua human rights, ‘shrinking space’, says new report was originally published on PAPUAPost.com


Tujuh negara Pasifik tuntut PBB tangani keseluruhan situasi West Papua

H.E. Hon Ronald Kay Warsal, Menteri Kehakiman dan Pemabangunan Masyarakat Vanuatu, mewakili 7 Negara Pasifik meminta perhatian PBB atas situasi keseluruhan West Papua di hadapan Sidang Dewan HAM PBB ke-34 - IST

H.E. Hon Ronald Kay Warsal, Menteri Kehakiman dan Pemabangunan Masyarakat Vanuatu, mewakili 7 Negara Pasifik meminta perhatian PBB atas situasi keseluruhan West Papua di hadapan Sidang Dewan HAM PBB ke-34 – IST

Jayapura, Jubi Lambatnya tindakan nyata pemerintah Indonesia terhadap berbagai rekomendasi PBB dan laporan HAM terkait West Papua, membuat tujuh negara-negara Pasifik desak PBB tangani situasi West Papua secara menyeluruh melalui laporan terpadu terkait situasi sebenarnya di West Papua.

Tujuh negara yang tergabung dalam Koalisi Kepulauan Pasifik untuk West Papua (PCWP) itu, diwakili Vanuatu, kali ini menegaskan desakannya kepada Presiden Dewan HAM dihadapan Sidang ke-34 Dewan HAM PBB, Rabu (1/3/2017) di Jenewa, Swiss.

Mewakili Tonga, Nauru, Palau, Tuvalu, Kepulauan Marshall, dan Kepulauan Solomon,Hon Ronald Kay Warsal, Menteri Kehakiman dan Pembangunan Komunitas Vanuatu, meminta Dewan HAM PBB memerintahkan Komisioner Tinggi HAM PBB agar membuat laporan terkonsolidasi terkait situasi sebenarnya West Papua.

“Tuan Presiden, mencermati berbagai pelanggaran (HAM) dan lambatnya tindakan pemerintah Indonesia, kami serukan kepada Dewan HAM PBB untuk meminta Komisioner Tinggi HAM membuat laporan terpadu atas situasi aktual di West Papua,” ujar Warsal.

Pasalnya, lanjut Warsal, beberapa pernyataan baru-baru ini dari pemegang mandat Dewan HAM PBB terkait pelanggaran HAM serius yang dilakukan Indonesia terhadap masyarakat asli Papua, tidak kunjung mendapat respon tindak lanjut dari Pemerintah Indonesia.

Pemegang mandat yang dimaksud adalah Pelapor Khusus PBB untuk promosi dan perlindungan hak kebebasan berpendapat dan berekspresi; Pelapor Khusus PBB untuk kebebasan berkumpul dan berorganisasi; Pelapor Khusus PBB untuk hak-hak masyarakat adat; Pelapor Khusus PBB untuk eksekusi sewenang-wenang dan diluar hukum; serta Pelapor Khusus PBB untuk penyiksaan dan berbagai tindakan tidak manusiawi lainnya.

“Kami juga meminta PBB menaruh perhatian pada pelanggaran HAM negara Indonesia lainnya di West Papua, termasuk komunikasi dari Komite PBB untuk Penghapusan Diskriminasi Rasial (CERD), yang merujuk pada pembunuhan dan penangkapan orang-orang Papua,” ujar Warsal.

PCWP juga menuntut perhatian Dewan HAM PBB terhadap sejumlah laporan lengkap terkait eksekusi aktivis dan penangkapan di luar hukum, pemukulan dan penembakan mematikan terhadap aksi-aksi damai, termasuk pelajar.

Situasi kekerasan terhadap perempuan Papua juga menjadi bagian yang dituntut PCWP untuk diperhatikan PBB.

Tahun lalu 7 negara Pasifik yang tergabung dalam PCWP ini juga angkat bicara terkait isu West Papua di Sidang Tahunan Majelis Umum PBB.

Sesalkan pemerintah Indonesia

Warsal secara khusus memberikan catatan negative terhadap kinerja pemerintah Indonesia dalam penyelesaian kasus-kasus dugaan pelanggaran HAM di West Papua. Secara khusus mereka menekankan pelanggaran HAM berat oleh aparat keamanan Indonesia di tiga wilayah West Papua: Wasior, Wamena dan Paniai yang sudah mendapat rekomendasi jelas dari KOMNAS HAM.

“Seharusnya sudah bisa dihukum menurut hukum Indonesia dan internasional,” tegas Warsal.

Pernyataan yang ditunggu-tunggu cukup banyak pendukung kemerdekaan Papua pengguna media sosial ini juga menggarisbawahi aspek pelanggaran HAM lainnya oleh pemerintah Indonesia yang menurut mereka telah terjadi puluhan tahun namun dibiarkan sampai saat ini, yaitu migrasi.

“Migrasi dari orang-orang non Papua ke West Papua telah mengarah pada penurunan dramatis prosentase populasi masyarakat asli Papua.”

Pemerintah Indonesia, menurut PCWP, hingga saat ini tidak dapat mengurangi atau menghentikan pelanggaran HAM yang beragam dan meluas tersebut. “Tidak ada tindakan segera yang dilakukan pemerintah untuk memberi keadilan pada korban, apalagi yang bertanggung jawba dan transparan.”

Mereka juga mengingatkan bahwa pemerintah Indonesia sampai saat ini tidak mengumpulkan laporan periodic HAM yang menjadi norma internasional bagi seluruh anggota PBB.

Desakan terpadu

Kali ini PCWP meminta perhatian Dewan HAM PBB lebih menyeluruh, terpadu atau tidak parsial terhadap situasi pelanggaran HAM di Papua dengan memperhatikan seluruh prosedur dan perjanjian internasional yang relevan.

“Laporan Komisioner Tinggi harus memperhatikan informasi dari Perjanjian yang ada, Prosedur Khusus, dan Universal Periodic Review, termasuk laporan dari organisasi-organisasi regional dan internasional serta organisasi non-pemerintah, termasuk semua peraturan Internasional menyangkut HAM, konvensi-konvensi terkait, serta hak penentuan nasib sendiri,” tegas Warsal.

Mereka berharap laporan itu juga akan membuat rekomendasi tindakan untuk menghentikan pelanggaran HAM di Papua, serta akses penuh semua orang di West Papua yang diperlukan untuk pembuatan laporan terpadu tersebut.

“Tuan Presiden, sebagai penutup saya percaya bahwa tantangan-tantangan terkait West Papua harus dikembalikan menjadi agenda Perserikatan Bangsa Bangsa,” tegas Warsal di penghujung pidatonya.

Respon Koalisi Internasional untuk Papua

Sebelumnya, Koalisi Internasional untuk Papua (ICP) telah meminta Indonesia untuk membuka akses ke Papua Barat bagi wartawan internasional, pengamat independen, organisasi hak asasi manusia dan Palang Merah Internasional (ICRC).

ICP yang didukung Dewan Gereja Dunia (WCC)pada 22 Februari lalu di Pusat Ekumenis di Jenewa mendesak agar Indonesia mengakhiri kekerasan dan impunitas yang berlangsung di Papua.

Peter Prove, direktur Komisi Urusan Internasional WCC dari Gereja Urusan Internasional (UCLA) mengutip kata-kata Sekjen WCC, Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, yang mengunjungi Papua Barat pada tahun 2012, mengatakan bahwa ia sepenuhnya mendukung pernyataanRev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit setelah kunjungan.

“Kami mendukung perjuangan hak asasi manusia rakyat Papua. Kami mendesak diakhirinya kekerasan yang sedang berlangsung dan impunitas. Selain itu, kami mendukung penegakkan keadilan sosial dan ekonomi melalui dialog serius dan proses politik yang konkrit yang berupaya mengatasi akar penyebab masalah ini,” kata Tveit, yang dikutip Peter Prove.

Dalam kesempatan yang sama, Rev. Francois Pihaate, sekretaris jenderal Konferensi Gereja-gereja Pasifik yang berbasis di Fiji, mengatakan gereja-gereja di wilayah tersebut sangat prihatin tentang kekerasan di Papua.

“Bagaimana kita sebagai gereja bisa tahu tentang apa yang terjadi di luar dunia kita sendiri? Itulah mengapa sebagai gereja, kita juga harus peduli terhadap apa yang terjadi di Papua Barat. Papua Barat itu bagian dari masyarakat Pasifik, sehingga komunitas Pasifik seharusnya menunjukkan solidaritas dan aksi,” kata Pihaate.

Denny Abdi, anggota misi Indonesia untuk PBB di Jenewa membantah data-data yang dipaparkan oleh ICP, yang menyebutkan hampir lima ribu orang ditangkap pada tahun 2016.

Namun dijelaskan oleh Veronica Koman, aktivis Papua Itu Kita dan pengacara publik, bahwa data-data itu berdasarkan fakta yang terjadi di lapangan. Penangkapan bukan hanya terjadi di Jayapura saja, tapi juga di Sentani, Merauke, Manokwari, Sorong, Kaimana, Menado, Timika dan Jawa.

“Di Jayapura saja, lebih dari 1000 orang ditangkap pada bulan Mei 2016,” kata Koman.(*)

Tujuh negara Pasifik tuntut PBB tangani keseluruhan situasi West Papua was originally published on PAPUAPost.com