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Nduga attacks: Violating civil and political rights and threatening Lorentz National Park

Joint Statement - December 29, 2018

Since the shooting incident which took place in Nduga Regency in early December 2018, joint police and military forces have been carrying out a 'military operation' with the stated aim of evacuating victims and searching for the TPNPB (West Papua National Liberation Army), who have been accused of carrying out the shooting.

Nduga is not a safe place at the moment. As the joint forces carry out their operation, a fear of the sort of violence known from previous experiences in Mapenduma, Yigi and Mbua has emerged. So far, civilians from 34 churches from the Mbua, Mbulmu Yalma, East Yigi, West Yigi and Mugi Classises (a Classis is an administrative divisions of the Protestant Church) have reported being forced to leave their villages and go to take refuge in nearby forests to avoid being caught up in brutal shootings, violence, intimidation and so on. These refugees are pushed to the limit, living in fear, and under threat of starvation because of the high probability they will not find sufficient food and will experience health problems.

We are worried about these refugees' safety and security. There have been reports that three civilians have died in Mbua and Dal: one middle school student, one high school student from the Emmanuel church and another young person, as well as one more victim in the Mbulmu Yalma area. Nearby where the victims were found in Mbua sub-districts, local people discovered hand-grenades and grenades from grenade launchers made by Indonesian state-owned armaments firm PT Pindad, so people suppose the victims died because of weapons used by the joint security operation.

The forest in the Nduga area is part of the Lorentz National Park which is home to around 1200 species of plants, 118 mammals, 66 amphibians, 403 birds, 51 butterflies and various micro-organisams. Because of the importance of this biodiversity, Lorentz National Park has been made a World Heritage Site by UNESCO's World Heritage Committee. We fear that a widespread military operation in this forested area will also damage or disturb this ecosystem, as well as eliminating the local communities' living space and the areas they manage.

Military operations and all forms of violence occurring in Nduga are adding to the terrible record of violations of indigenous Papuans' human rights. This clearly runs contrary to the 1999 Human Rights Law and the 1948 Declaration on Human Rights which establish regulations ensuring the right to life, the right to justice, the right to individual freedom, the right to feel safe and the right to security, as well as the right to a good and healthy environment.

Papua's long journey which led to the birth of Papuan Special Autonomy has also still not answered indigenous Papuans' hopes of a decent life, despite the considerable sums of money which have been sent to Papua, but which never seem to be enough. Special Autonomy still does not give a space for indigenous Papuans' self-determination and self-determined development. Today, indigenous Papuans are mere spectators on their own land, they still suffer from hunger in their own homes, despite the abundance of natural riches and resources found in the Land of Papua. In the end, Special Autonomy is only a sweet-sounding phrase which can be the banner heading over a long story of suffering, impoverishment and never-ending human rights violations.

Based on this background, we as the Coalition of Civil Society Organisations for Justice, Human Rights and the Environment in the Land of Papua, wish to express our sincere solidarity and condolences to the civilian victims and survivors who have taken refuge or who are in temporary accommodation.

1. We express our strong criticism of shootings and other acts of violence in which civilians have become victims, or have been targeted and subjected to violence in Nduga.

2. We ask the President as Commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces to stop this Military Operation which has resulted in civilian victims and caused the people of Nduga to flee from their own lands, and also has the potential to cause the destruction of the environment, forests and the areas indigenous Papuans depend on for their livelihood, especially those who live in Nduga Regency.

3. We support the statement of the Governor of Papua Province and the Provincial Legislative Council, who have asked the Indonesian Government to withdraw all military and police personnel who are currently on security duties in Nduga Regency. We also support the Governor's statement that he will form an independent team, made up of local government, the Papuan Provincial Legislative Council, the Papuan People's Assembly, religious and community leaders, NGOs, the National Human Rights Commission and other related parties, which will take on the role of investigating violent events in Nduga and finding out what reallyhappened.

4. We support all efforts to enforce the law based on justice and responsibility which protect, restore and guarantee the safety of civilians and witnesses in the Nduga case.

5. We urge the National Human Rights Commission to form and investigative team, involving church organisations and CSOs in Papua to carry out verification and discover the facts behind the violence which has occurred in Nduga, in a just, responsible and transparant way.


Contact Person: Aiesh Rumbekwan: 0813 4452 4394

Organisasi Masyarakat Sipil Pro Keadilan, HAM dan Lingkungan di Tanah Papua 1. WALHI ED Papua 2. Yayasan PUSAKA 3. YALI Papua 4. Pt. PPMA 5. LBH Papua 6. YPMD Papua 7. TIKI Papua 8. YADUPA 9. YPPWP 10. YALHIMO Manokwari 11. LP3BH Manolwari 12. RUMSRAM 13. LMA Swamemo Nabire 14. Elsham Papua 15. LEMASA 16. LEMASKO 17. YBAW Wamena 18. Dewan Kepala-Kepala Suku Jove'mamba 19. iWaTaLi Papua 20. Papuan Voices 21. SKPKC Fransiskan Papua 22. KPKC GKI di Tanah Papua 23. Perkumpulan Belantara Papua 24. Komunitas Transparansi Pangguna Anggaran Papua Baru (KOTRAPENGARU) 25. Yalhimo 26. GSBI Papua BARAT 27. Perkumpulan Bin Mdag Hom Bintuni 28. Yay. Konsultasi Independen Pemberdayaan Rakyat (KIPRa) Papua 29. JERAT Papua 30. Filep Karma, Pembela HAM 31. Dr. I Ngurah Suryawan, Akademisi Unipa 32. Asep Komaruddin, aktifis. 33. SOS untuk Tanah Papua 34. Dewan Masyarakat Adat Momuna Kab. Yahukimo 35. Koalisi Peduli HAM dan Lingkungan Hidup (KAPHLING) Papua 36. Walhi Eksekutif Nasional, Jakarta 37. Walhi Kalimantan Tengah 38. Walhi Sulawesi Utara 39. Walhi Sulawesi Selatan 40. Walhi Sulawesi Tengah 41. Walhi Bali

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