Indonesia: Seek Just Punishments for Military Murderers by HRW
Publisher Human Rights Watch
Indonesian military prosecutors should appeal insufficient sentences imposed on 12 Special Forces soldiers convicted in the murders of four detained criminal suspects, Human Rights Watch said today.
On September 5 and 6, 2013, a military court in Yogyakarta, central Java, sentenced 12 members of the Special Forces Command (Komando Pasukan Khusus, known as Kopassus) to prison terms of four months and 20 days up to 11 years for their roles in the execution-style killings of four men in police detention on March 23, 2013.
The guilty verdicts - ranging from failure to warn superiors of the plot to premeditated murder - marked an important departure from the usual impunity given Indonesian military personnel implicated in serious crimes, but the sentences imposed on the three soldiers found most culpable did not appear to match the gravity of the crimes.
Under Indonesian law, premeditated murder permits a maximum sentence of life imprisonment, which in practice constitutes 20 years.
Update on UNHCR's operations in Asia and the Pacific
UN Executive Committee of the High Commissioner’s Programme
The Asia-Pacific region hosts some of the world’s largest refugee populations living in some of the most protracted situations. The region has seen an increased number of mixed migratory movements on all maritime routes, continuing a steady upward trend. The overwhelming majority of persons of concern to UNHCR in Asia reside in urban areas.
Twenty countries in the Asia-Pacific region have acceded to the 1951 Refugee Convention. Despite the lack of legal frameworks governing refugee protection in many contexts, Asia has generously hosted millions of refugees and other displaced persons over the years.
UNHCR, in close collaboration with concerned States, has made progress in addressing protracted refugee situations and mixed migration flows. There is an increasing willingness on the part of States to comprehensively address long-standing refugee situations, working towards the preservation and expansion of asylum space while seeking long-term solutions.
Moreover, there is greater recognition among States that cooperative and regional approaches are required to address irregular movements in a manner that meets the protection needs of asylum-seekers and refugees.
Indonesia: Investigate Deadly Shooting in Papua
Publisher Human Rights Watch
The Indonesian government should impartially investigate the possible use by police officers of unnecessary lethal force against rock-throwing protesters in Papua on September 23, 2013, Human Rights Watch said today. There should also be an inquiry into harassment of victims, medical personnel, and witnesses at a local hospital.
During a weapons search that resulted in a confrontation, one bystander, Alpius Mote, a 17-year-old high school student, died from gunshot wounds and at least three others were wounded.
"The Indonesian government needs to explain why police officers found it necessary to fire directly into a crowd of protesters throwing rocks," said Phelim Kine, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch. "Lethal force may only be used as a last resort to protect lives."
Several witnesses told Human Rights Watch that two police Brigade Mobile (Brimob) officers began a search for weapons in the central market of the town of Waghete on the morning of September 23. The weapons search was part of a security response to recent unrest following the inauguration of a new regency chief on August 18.
Vanuatu calls for UN probe of alleged rights abuses in Indonesia's Papua provinces
Publisher UN News Service
Vanuatu today called on the United Nations to appoint a Special Representative to investigate alleged human rights abuses in the Papuan provinces of Indonesia and their political status, with its Prime minister declaring that the West Papuans have been consistently denied any sort of recognition by the world body.
"We are now deliberating on the issue of Syria, but when it comes to the issue of the rights of the people of West Papua, our voices are muted even in this podium" Prime Minister Moana Carcasses Kalosil told the General Assembly's annual General Debate, referring to the civil war that has killed some 120,000 Syrians, driver some 6.6 million from their homes and seen the use of chemical weapons
"How can we then ignore hundreds of thousands of West Papuans who have been brutally beaten and murdered? The people of West Papua are looking to the UN as a beacon for hope… Let us, my colleague leaders, with the same moral conviction yield our support to the plight of West Papuans. It is time for the United Nation to move beyond its periphery and address and rectify some historical error."