Tuesday, 7 May 2013

West Papua: shootings and arrests attack on human rights

Protestors in Jayapura on 1st May. Elsewhere in West Papua, five protestors were shot and dozens repotedly arrested by Indonesian security forces. Photo: KNPB News

PFF | Rarotonga | COOK ISLANDS: 

Shooting peaceful protesters in West Papua and arresting a radio host for comments made on a talkback show are clear attacks on human rights by Indonesia, says the Pacific Freedom Forum.

Indonesia is showing little progress towards answering serious and long-running concerns about human rights abuses in West Papua,” says PFF Chair Titi Gabi.

 “In this case, the right to peaceful protest as a freedom of expression was again denied through us of lethal force and arbitrary arrest.”

Two protesters were reportedly killed and three seriously wounded in the district of Sorong as police and security forces cracked down on peaceful protests on 1st May across West Papua, marking 50 years of Indonesian rule.

An unconfirmed number were arrested.

In a separate incident since then, police also arrested a radio journalist hosting a talkback show where callers criticised the performance of a local official.

PFF supports comments from the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, who expressed serious concerns over the crackdown on mass demonstrations across Papua.

In a UN statement, Pillay said: "These latest incidents are unfortunate examples of the ongoing suppression of freedom of expression and excessive use of force in Papua. I urge the government of Indonesia to allow peaceful protest and hold accountable those involved in abuses."

Her office reported receiving 26 alerts since May 2012 on human rights abuses, including 46 killings and cases of torture, “many” involving state officials.

Indonesia police cleared fellow officers of any wrong doing, 
in shooting five protestors, in less than a week. Pictured is
Brigadier General Police Paulus Waterpauw.
Photo: Anakara News
PFF also supports comments reported from Independent Journalist Alliance, AJI, that any complaints against journalist should be handled under press laws.

PFF co-Chair Monica Miller praised work by AJI and civil society networks in exposing continual human rights abuses in West Papua.

“Without their calm work in often hostile environments, the outside world may never get to hear of historic and ongoing killings, torture and arrest.”

“These latest incidents illustrate the dismal failure by authorities in Jakarta to ensure constitutional equality across the republic.”

PFF calls for the withdrawal of charges against the journalist, and his immediate release.

PFF also calls for independent review of the process by which security forces deal with freedoms of expression, including peaceful protests.


Claims of deadly police crackdown in Papua

Deaths mark 50 years of West Papua occupation

Police, Separatists Clash on 50th Anniversary of Integration of Papua

Indonesia must allow peaceful protests in Papua, stresses UN rights chief

WEST PAPUA: Police arrest radio reporter over broadcast allegations

Summary of Events In West Papua For April – Beginning of May

‘No political prisoners? The suppression of political protest in West Papua,‘

KNPB demonstration and prayer on 50 years of annexation by Indonesia
(In bahasa Indonesian, photos)


PFF Chair Titi Gabi | Freelance Journalist | Papua New Guinea  | +67573143929 |  titi.gabipng@gmail.com

PFF co-Chair Monica Miller | KHJ Radio | American Samoa | + 6842584197 | monica@khjradio.com

PFF coordinator Jason Brown | Pasifika media | Aotearoa, New Zealand | +642102484560 | avaiki.nius@gmail.com 


 The Pacific Freedom Forum are a regional and global online network of Pacific media colleagues, with the specific intent of raising awareness and advocacy of the right of Pacific people to enjoy freedom of expression and be served by a free and independent media. We believe in the critical and basic link between these freedoms, and the vision of democratic and participatory governance pledged by our leaders in their endorsement of the Pacific Plan and other commitments to good governance. In support of the above, our key focus is monitoring threats to media freedom and bringing issues of concern to the attention of the wider regional and international community.


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