Jayapura, Jubi – Environmental activists and NGOs such as Yayasan Pusaka, SOS Tanah Papua, KPKC GKI Tanah Papua and PAHAM urged the central government to immediately solving the human rights violations and environmental crimes occurred in Papua.
This call is related to the 75th World Human Rights Day on 10 December 2018 that concern over violations and crimes against humanity and the environment.
A human right defender Yohanis Mambrasar said he received a report said that many civilians in Nduga Regency forced to take refuge and leave their villages. There is no guarantee of security and food for them.
“They are worried and suppressed by the security forces that involved in the evacuation of shooting victims. We also heard that a church activist was shot and died in Nduga,” said Mambrasar.
Meanwhile, the Rev Matheus Adadikam, the Director of ELSHAM (Institute for Policy Research and Advocacy) Papua, in a press release to Jubi said President Joko Widodo had given less priority to human rights enforcement in Indonesia, particularly in Papua, even though he promised to solve a number of past human right violations in Papua including the incidents in Abepura, Wamena and Wasior.
The development pattern and security approach in handling many problems in Papua considered ineffective, because people have traumatized since 1 May 1969. Therefore, the government and politic elites must be wise in responding the shooting incident in Nduga Regency. People had traumatised by Mampenduma Military Operation of 1986.
“We asked the Military and Police to prioritise professionalism and uphold the applied laws and human values according to the UN Human Rights Convention.
We also asked the armed group to be fully responsible for this incident. Do not involve the civilians because it would take more casualties.
Pressure on the environment as a source of life for indigenous Papuans also occurs in several regions through land clearing and deforestation for plantation, mining and logging activities on a large scale which involving the capital owners, transnational companies and state officials.
“Our sacred and sago forests in Muting and Bupul, Merauke Regency, have been evicted and demolished by those private companies without consultation and agreement. They did it quickly and gave improper compensation for the lands and our loss,” said Bonefacius Basikbasik Kamijae, the Chief of Kamijae clan.
Both central and regional governments have ignored and failed to protect the rights of the community started from the issuing of business permit and license for land and forest use. Furthermore, the government also considered for not being consistent regarding policy and regulation on the protection of forests and peatlands.
Aish Rumbekwan from WALHI Papua described that land conversion and large-scale deforestation from oil palm plantations, commercial plantations, mining and logging activities have triggered the climate change and raised the greenhouse emissions.
Therefore, the government should take immediate actions to reduce the earth temperature to below 1.5 degrees to ensure the safety of the people and their living space.
“We asked both regional and central governments to immediately implement a program to evaluate, review and revoke the business permits of forests and lands use that violate and contradict the regulations and customary laws,” said Rumbekwan.
Environmental organisations in Papua have just completed their meeting in the Forum of Policy Dialogue and the Conference of Papua Customary Community held on 7 – 8 December in Susteran Maranatha, Jayapura City.
The meeting has set a resolution to address human rights violations and environmental crimes in Papua.
The resolution urged the government to thoroughly solving the human rights violations and humanitarian issues in Papua through a transparent legal process and provide justice to the victims and their families.
The government must take immediate action to restore and rehabilitate the rights of victims and their families.
The government must immediately recognize, protect and respect the existence of indigenous Papuans and the rights of indigenous people, the right towards lands and forests, the right of freedom of expression, the right of customary institution and the right of freedom of organisation, the right of development, the rights of customary laws and customary court.
The recognition, respect and protection of rights are effective methods to prevent human rights violations, environmental crimes and deforestation.
Meanwhile, Franky Samperante from Yayasan Papua said that the rights of indigenous Papuans to determine the development and take a decision on the land use by the outsiders have included in the Papuan Autonomy Law and derivative regulations.
However, the government has not fully acknowledged, protect and respect it. “The government takes the interest of capital owners on behalf of the economic development as a priority. It also failed to monitor and conduct law enforcement towards the company who violate and commit environmental crimes and commit violence against the community,” said Samperante. (*)
Reporter: David Sobolim
Editor: Pipit Maizier