Call for consultation in PNG as plans for an Australian navy base are raised
Major General Jerry Singirok Photo: AFP
Major General Jerry Singirok Photo: AFP

A former Papua New Guinea military commander says any proposal to create an Australian military base there should be debated in parliament.

Australian media have been reporting that its government is hoping to establish a naval presence at the PNG Navy base on Manus Island.

It would be, in part, an effort by Canberra to counter a growing Chinese presence in the Pacific, which it is growing increasingly anxious about.

PNG defence minister Solan Mirisim has confirmed negotiations are taking place for a base and training facility.

Former commander Jerry Singirok told EMTV says any decision must be widely debated in the public.

He said Australia has neglected PNG for a long time, and placing military personnel in the country may not be the best approach.

Sino-Vanuatu relationship remains robust
Sino-Vanuatu relationship remains robust
Sino-Vanuatu relationship remains robust

A long journey can be completed only by taking one step at a time.

Chinese Ambassador Zhou Haicheng made the remarks on the occasion of the 69th Anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) which was celebrated on Friday 21 September, 2018 at the National Convention Center.

“Only by working hard can we realize our dream. What I know for sure is that with our joint efforts, China-Vanuatu friendship and cooperation have broad vistas.

“Our cooperation is booming with so much more to achieve. The Sino-Vanuatu’s tomorrow will be even brighter. Let us adhere firmly to win-win cooperation and work together to push our strategic partnership featuring mutual respect and common development to a new level.”

Ambassador Zhou reflected that over the last 69 years, under the strong leadership of the Communist Party of China, Chinese people have overcome numerous difficulties and obstacles, added a glorious chapter to the epic of the history and explored a successful development path toward the modernization.

“China remains firm in pursuing an independent foreign policy of peace,” he said.

‘We respect the right of the people of all countries to choose their own development path.

“China continues its efforts to strengthen the friendship and cooperation with other countries on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence.

“It always upholds justice while pursuing shared interests, takes a people-oriented approach in pursuing practical cooperation with efficiency and adheres to the principle of putting common interests of the people of all the countries as top priority.”

The year 2018 also marks the 40th anniversary of China’s reform and opening up.

During the last 40 years, the determined efforts and tenacious work of Chinese people have brought enormous changes to the country – China’s GDP has averaged an annual growth rate of around 9.5%.

Today China has grown into the world’s second largest economy and the largest trader of goods.

The Chinese Ambassador said China lifted 740 million people out of poverty, accounting for more than 70% of the global total over the past four decades.

In recent years, China has contributed over 30% of global growth, injecting powerful impetus into global economy and also brings valuable opportunities to the world.

China has already established basic endowment insurance system and medical insurance system covering over 900 million and 1.3 billion people separately.

Through the reform and opening-up, Chinese people feel prouder and more confident for a greater country enjoying prosperity and a better society with harmony and tranquility.

“China and Vanuatu share a common future and we see each other as true friends and cooperative partners,” said Ambassador Zhou.

“China attaches great importance to its relationship with Vanuatu and stands ready to work with Vanuatu to take our bilateral relations to a new height.

“Since I take my office, I am deeply impressed by our close high-level exchanges, strong economic and trade cooperation and vibrant people-to-people exchanges.

“I also feel the keen expectation and genuine desire among people from all walks of life of Vanuatu for further development of our bilateral relationship. We are ready to work with the people of Vanuatu to seize opportunities to open a new era of our strategic partnership.”

In response, Prime Minister Charlot Salwai said the Sino-Vanuatu relationship has fared well on the basis of the ‘One China Policy’ and remains robust.

Prime minister Salwai extended heartfelt congratulations and best wishes for a future of prosperity and success to the President of the People’s Republic of China, Xi Jinping and the people of China, through Chinese Ambassador Zhou.

PM Salwai paid tribute to the Government and leaders of the PRC for what he described as excellent political and socio-economic relations, since the establishment of formal diplomatic relations in March 1982.

He thanked Ambassador Zhou for the kind and promising words expressed to the effect that Sino-Vanuatu relations will continue to grow from strength to strength.

“We are also pleased to note that you are settling-in well here in Vanuatu (Port Vila) and in your new role,” PM Salwai told Ambassador Zhou.

“Vanuatu continues to value relations with China, and looks forward to continue learning from its experience, placing equal emphasis on being able to proactively respond to challenges that continue to plague its development path.”

He suggested that perhaps the occasion of the 69th anniversary celebrations should also provide an opportunity to reflect on how far the two relationship between the two countries has fared and how it is advancing into the future.

“Suffice it to say that the Sino-Vanuatu relationship has fared well on the basis of the ‘One China Policy’ and remains robust,” said PM Salwai.

“It is my trust that this will be further strengthened during your term as Ambassador.”

The PM said it is very encouraging to learn of the new development path and trail that is being blazed by China, as it takes bold steps to be a global leader in sustainable development and in tackling the existential threat of Climate Change.

“These are issues which, as you are well aware, remain core to Vanuatu’s developmental path and challenges,” he said.

“To that end, Vanuatu continues to value the goodwill and assistance of the Government and people of China, especially during times of natural disasters.

“The resilience, fortitude and the hardworking nature of the Chinese people and culture is also something which ni-Vanuatu continue to aspire to learn from and emulate.

“We also join the PRC in celebrating the 40th anniversary of China’s ‘reform and opening up’, a process which not only transformed China into what it is today, the second largest economy and largest trader of goods, but profoundly impacted the global economy and commerce patterns.

“By the same token, Vanuatu also looks forward to continued collaboration with China, and in benefitting from spillovers, through common priorities such as in education, skills and technology transfer, tourism, trade and investment and in agriculture.”

 

Bougainvillean remanded for possessing firearm, live rounds

A MAN believed to be a Papua New Guinean (PNG) national has been remanded in custody yesterday by the Honiara Magistrate’s Court for allegedly possessing a rifle gun and live rounds.

Dilys Tulosoi of Bougainville has been charged with one count of possession of firearms and ammunition without licence.

Tulosoi was allegedly on his way to Guadalcanal Plains Palm Oil Limited (GPPOL area) on Tuesday (September 18) intending to sell the .22 Riffle and 20 Ammunition live rounds to a buyer there when police pulled his vehicle over at a market stall at Henderson area, East Honiara.

Police approached the vehicle and apprehended Tulosoi who was at that time in possession of the Riffle with two mobile phones.

Prosecution alleged that between 3pm and 7pm on that day, police following some intelligence reportly conducted a search for a .22 Riffle with 20 Ammunition live rounds intended for sale by the accused to a buyer at the Guadalcanal Plains Palm Oil Limited (GPPOL) area.

It was alleged that the accused who is believed to be a Bougainville and part New Ireland, resides with his brother at an area in Lungga.

According to police informant the .22 blot action riffle was kept under the custody of the accused’s relative from Bougainville.

It was further alleged that the riffle was handed over to the accused in Honiara.

The accused allegedly intended to go over to where he used to reside to get a Pump Action Riffle for sale at GPPOl but the plan, however, did not work out so he instead decided to go to GPPOL to sell the .22 Riffle instead.

Tulosoi is due in court again on October 4.

Public Prosecutor Bradley made the remand application before Principal Magistrate Tearo Beneteti who granted the application.

By ASSUMPTA BUCHANAN, SolomonStarNews

PM leaves for UN summit today
PRIME Minister Rick Hou
PRIME Minister Rick Hou

PRIME Minister Rick Hou will leave for the 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York, Friday.

The UNGA will convene on Monday next week which the Prime Minister is expected to join other world leaders at the Opening Plenary.

The Prime Minister will also be delivering a statement at the Concordia Annual Summit; a Session on “Transforming vulnerable Small Islands toward greater economic resilience through innovative financing and strategic partnerships”.

Later on Monday evening, Mr Hou and his wife Rachel will also attend a reception hosted by United States President Donald Trump.

The Prime Minister will also briefly meet with President Trump during the reception.

On Tuesday Prime Minister Hou is invited to deliver a statement on strategies to eliminate Malaria in Solomon Islands and the Melanesian region.

Then on Thursday, he will also deliver another statement at the High-Level Meeting on the Prevention and Control of Non-Communicable Diseases in the pacific region.

The Prime Minister will then deliver the country’s national statement at the UNGA on Friday.

Mr Hou will also be having several bilateral meetings at the margins of the UNGA.

Foreign Affairs Minister Milner Tozaka, who will also be accompanying the Prime Minister, will also be delivering statements on several high level dialogues.

Minister Tozaka will be attending and delivering a statement at the Nelson Mandela Peace Summit, Climate Change and Security Dialogues and other meetings.

The Prime Minister and his delegation will return from New York on the 29th September.

In his absence Deputy PM and Finance Minister Manasseh Sogavare is expected to be the Acting PM.

Source: http://www.solomonstarnews.com/

Vanuatu’s political scene changes rapidly: PM
anuatu Prime Minister, Charlot Salwai (c), NZ High Commissioner Jonathan Schwass (r) and UNDP Country Director, Bakhodir Burkhanov (l) By Godwin Ligo
anuatu Prime Minister, Charlot Salwai (c), NZ High Commissioner Jonathan Schwass (r) and UNDP Country Director, Bakhodir Burkhanov (l) By Godwin Ligo

While administration and political reforms have been conducted worldwide, Oceania has its own narratives.

Prime Minister Charlot Salwai made the above statement in his official opening remarks at the Regional Conference on Legal and Regulatory Framework for Political Parties yesterday.

The Pacific island states, usually referred to as Oceania, vary significantly in many critical respects of their geography and social, economic and political system.

Generally speaking, the Pacific was once considered to be unique in the former colonial world for the longevity of its political institutions and constitutions.

“However, over the past two decades, the region has become increasingly unstable politically,” said PM Salwai.

“The political conflicts in the Pacific Islands have created the so called an arc of instability stretching from Papua New Guinea to Solomon Islands, Vanuatu to Fiji, and more recently Tonga, as reflected by the 2006 riots in the capital Nuku’alofa. The political instability in the Pacific has continued since the start of the 21st century.

“As those of you who follow Vanuatu politics and current affairs will know and understand the political landscape in Vanuatu, the issue of political stability, potential constitutional reform and the role of political parties have long been issues in the news here in Vanuatu. And I say that Vanuatu’s political scene changes rapidly.

He mentioned the Government had previously announced its plan to look at introducing measures to provide for increased political stability and improved governance in Vanuatu. In particular, the issue of creating a modern, effective and transparent legal and regulatory framework for the creation, registration and operation of political parties remains a key challenge and priority.

“We have withdrawn our broader constitutional reform bill in order to allow us to focus on the key on the key issue of political parties and look to create consensus on the key content that should be included in a Bill to regulate political parties,” he said.

“I have appointed a Taskforce to do a detail analysis, and to provide a working paper to the parliament in November of this year. This will form the basis for preparing us for a drat Political Parties Bill, which will be table in Parliament hopefully next year.

“It is for this reason that we asked UNDP to assist us through the Vanuatu Electoral Environment Project, which is funded by the Governments of New Zealand, to provide us with information from the Pacific region and beyond on this important topic as well as facilitating consultation on which measures could be introduced in Vanuatu.”

On Friday, the Vanuatu Government will be holding a consultation meeting with a wide range of national stakeholders to discuss the dialogue at this regional conference and what might be relevant to the situation in Vanuatu.

“It is for this reason that I am looking forward to hearing how Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Fiji, New Zealand and other countries have addressed some of these issues and o hear what has worked, and maybe just as importantly, which has not worked and why,” said PM Salwai.

He acknowledged UNDP and all the donor partners who have contributed to this event – the Governments of New Zealand, and Australia respectively, the European Union and the Konrad AdenauerStiftung Foundation.

“I would like to close by referring to the UN Sustainable Development Goal 16 which talks of good governance and effective political institutions and also the VNDP that has as a key commitment the enactment of political reforms that promote stability, accountability, constituency representation and civic engagement,” he said.

“As a country, we recognise, that in order to achieve the goals outlined in the VNDP, that stability, good and effective governance of our countries is a prerequisite to service delivery and strong, continuous, sustainable development and economic growth.

“This conference is an important step for Vanuatu in considering the systems in the other countries as we look to examine and improve our governance systems with the aim of being robust but stable parliamentary democracy.”

With these remarks,PM Salwai welcomed the regional participants to Vanuatu and declared the conference officially opened.

Source: DailyPost Vanuatu

Governor of Indonesia’s Papua seeks connection with PNG

Radion NZ News – The Governor of Indonesia’s Papua province wants West Papuans to be able to connect more with people in neighbouring Papua New Guinea.

As Port Moresby's Governor Powes Parkop (middle) welcomed his counterpart from Indonesia's Papua province Lukas Enembe (left) in Papua New Guinea's capital, the Indonesian ambassador to PNG, Ronald Manik (right), also made an appearance. Photo: Wanpis Ako
As Port Moresby’s Governor Powes Parkop (middle) welcomed his counterpart from Indonesia’s Papua province Lukas Enembe (left) in Papua New Guinea’s capital, the Indonesian ambassador to PNG, Ronald Manik (right), also made an appearance. Photo: Wanpis Ako

The call from Lukas Enembe comes as he is visiting PNG’s capital Port Moresby.

He travelled there to attend celebrations to mark the country’s 43rd anniversary of independence at the invitation of the governor of PNG’s National Capital District, Powes Parkop

Mr Enembe, who was recently re-elected as governor, said that it shouldn’t have taken 43 years for PNG and Papua to have formal contact.

“Why we didn’t come to PNG and connect with them before, for all these years, it’s no good,” he reflected in a telephone interview from Port Moresby.

“That’s why I’m thinking we must open the relationship with PNG, we must join together economically, politically, culturally. It’s good for our people, good for our government,” continued Mr Enembe.

“We need to be closer with PNG. They’re very important in the Pacific Islands. That’s why we must join together with them.”

For years, links with between the people on both sides of the border running down the middle of New Guinea have been limited, partly through a mix of poor transport links and restrictions implemented by security forces on the Indonesian side.

Mr Enembe said that now the Indonesian national government also saw the merits of closer ties with PNG, and was not opposed to his visit this week.

“My government said ‘you go, this is very important’, because it’s good to build the relationship with PNG. They’re not afraid of that.”

Papua New Guinea foreign minister Rimbink Pato. Photo: RNZI / Johnny Blades
Papua New Guinea foreign minister Rimbink Pato. Photo: RNZI / Johnny Blades

According to PNG’s Foreign Minister Rimbink Pato, the two countries have forged a close relationship where all issues of mutual interest, including sensitive border matters, were discussed in a constructive way.

He was responding to criticism from Mr Parkop who last week spoke out about human rights abuses in Indonesia’s Papua region, widely known as West Papua.

Mr Parkop was critical of both PNG and Indonesian governments for not confronting the West Papuan rights issue openly.

However, Mr Pato denied that there was a lack of interaction regarding Papua. The minister said PNG welcomed the Indonesian government policy under President Joko Widodo to take a development-led approach to the Papuan Provinces rather than a security-led approach.

Governor Enembe said President Widodo was aware of the problems in Papua, and was travelling frequently to Papua.

Mr Enembe is not outwardly pro-independence. But he said while Papua region had been given special autonomy by Indonesia in 2001, the arrangement hadn’t worked out well, because Jakarta still controlled affairs in the Papuan provinces.

He was candid about the impact of Indonesian security forces in Papua.

“Every day my people are being killed,” Mr Enembe said. “That’s why I think… the military of Indonesia, the police of Indonesia, they’ve stopped thinking about the humanity in Papua.

“Some people in the Highlands, and the coast, they come to me, they’re crying, crying about what’s happening in Papua. Humanity is very important.”

The governor of Papua New Guinea's National Capital District, Powes Parkop. Photo: RNZ / Koroi Hawkins
The governor of Papua New Guinea’s National Capital District, Powes Parkop. Photo: RNZ / Koroi Hawkins

The Governor claimed that West Papuans were dying at a disturbing rate through three main causes: because of neglected health services, because of the spread of HIV / AIDS, and because of alleged killings by the security forces.

“We are becoming a minority… a lot of people they die. I don’t know… is this by a system… I don’t know.”

He said Indonesia had co-opted Papua’s land, minerals and forest resources, while West Papuans were largely left without a say in the matter. According to him, that’s part of the reason why Papuans sought to reconnect with PNG people, their Melanesian kin.

“We can open the links to PNG, because Papua and PNG… this is our land, from Sorong to Samarai one land. One land. Papua New Guinea people and Papua people, we have one land, one culture, this island.”

From left: Indonesian ambassador to PNG, His Excellency Ronald Manik, Governor Enembe, Governor Parkop and others walking out of the tarmac at Jackson's International Airport in Port Moresby. Photo: Wanpis Ako
From left: Indonesian ambassador to PNG, His Excellency Ronald Manik, Governor Enembe, Governor Parkop and others walking out of the tarmac at Jackson’s International Airport in Port Moresby. Photo: Wanpis Ako

Port Moresby and Papua’s Jayapura city are planning exchange programmes in the areas of tradition, culture, economics, social, sports and music to strengthen their sister-city relationship.

“I want us to work towards these small things achieving that, bridging the gap to open up for each other to greater future,” Mr Parkop said.

“Sending your Pesipura [Jayapura] soccer team to challenge our local team or us participating in Lake Sentani or Jayapura Festival can start to open up and develop the relationship which is not based on fear.”

After Moresby, the Governor is heading to PNG’s second city of Lae, where he hopes to sign an economic collaboration agreement with the Morobe provincial government.

Then before heading back across the border, Mr Enembe will visit the northern towns of Madang and Wewak, further building links between his province and PNG.

Source: 

Indonesian police and military have reportedly attacked the West Papua Committee (KNPB) office in Timika and arrested seven people, including three teenagers. Image: Timika KNPB

By Budiarti Utami Putri in Jakarta

Human rights organisation Amnesty International Indonesia has demanded President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo fulfil his promises to resolve the alleged human rights violations in Papua.

Amnesty International Indonesia executive director Usman Hamid said Jokowi had earlier pledged to settle the shooting incidents involving civilians in Paniai, Papua.

“We underline one promise, one commitment delivered by President Joko Widodo following the Paniai incident that the President wants the case to be settled to prevent further incident in the future,” said Usman in a plenary meeting with the House of Representative (DPR)’s Legal Commission in the Parliament Complex, Senayan, Jakarta, last week.

Usman said that there was an alleged excessive mobilisation of power and weapons from the security apparatus in Papua.

Between January 2010 and February 2018, Amnesty International Indonesia had recorded 69 cases of alleged extrajudicial killings in Papua.

The most dominant perpetrator was the National Police (Polri) officers (34 cases), followed by the Indonesia Armed Forces (TNI) (23 cases), joint officers of TNI and Polri (11 cases) and Public Order Agency (Satpol PP) in one case.

Custom resolution
Usman said a total of 25 cases were not investigated, 26 cases were studied without a conclusive result, and 8 cases were dealh with through custom.

“Usually, it is about certain compensations for the victim’s family,” Usman said.

Usman said this was proof that the government lacked independent, effective, and impartial mechanisms to cope with civilians’ complaints concerning human rights violation performed by the security personnel.

The former coordinator of the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) urged the government to create measures to resolve the human rights violation in Papua and demanded the government admit the incident and draft procedures for security officers in a bid to prevent violence in the region.

“President Jokowi expects Papua to be a peaceful land,” Usman said.

Meanwhile, the House’s Legal Commission deputy speaker Trimedya Panjaitan pledged to follow up the findings issued by Amnesty International Indonesia to the National Police Chief Tito Karnavian in the upcoming session next week.

“We will ask the police chief in the next meeting on September 24,” Trimedya said.

Timika attack, arrests
Meanwhile, Indonesian police and military attacked the West Papua Committee (KNPB) office in Timika at the weekend and arrested seven people, including three teenagers, alleged an unverified social media posting.

The arrested people were named as:

Jack Yakonias Womsiwor (39)
Nus Asso (46)
Urbanus Kossay (18)
Herich Mandobar (18)
Pais Nasia (23)
Vincent Gobay (19)
Titus Yelemaken (46)

This Tempo article is shared through the Asia-Pacific Solidarity Network (APSN).

 

Source: Asiapacificreport

The West Papua National Committee chairman Victor Yeimo addressed the demonstration in the Papuan provincial capital, Jayapura. Photo: Tabloid Jubi

NOUMEA, 14 SEPTEMBER 2018 (RNZ PACIFIC) – The West Papua National Committee has urged New Caledonia’s indigenous Melanesians to vote for independence during the upcoming referendum.

In November, New Caledonia is to hold a referendum on possible independence from France.

The Committee, a pro-independence organisation based in Indonesia’s Papua region, said Kanaks should reject all French propaganda to maintain the territory’s status quo.

Its chairman, Victor Yeimo, claimed it was important that the Kanaks took up the opportunity of decolonisation which he said West Papuans had been denied.

“I just want to tell something to the people of Kanaky (New Caledonia), to please choose yes for your future. Because if you don’t choose yes for your future, it means you allow your people, your land to be extinct. Our people in West Papua will all support you to choose yes, so you can become a nation, a freedom nation,” said Victor Yeimo.

Yeimo credited France with allowing a referendum to go ahead, pointing out that it stood in direct contrast to the situation in Indonesian-ruled Papua region.

“Democratically, it was good of France to realise that they give the space for the people of Kanaky to choose what they want for their future,” he said.

“But in Indonesia, we can’t do that, because Indonesian colonialism is not like European colonialism, like they didn’t know about democracy.”

Yeimo said West Papuans were an example of the disastrous consequences of colonial manipulation. He cited the lack of participation by Papuans in the 1962 agreement between Netherlands and Indonesia which led to the former Dutch new Guinea being taken over by Indonesia.

“We are victims of a failed decolonisation process,” Yeimo said, adding that no matter how difficult, independence was better than being colonised.

“France should… know about the spirit of decolonisation. They have to give the opportunity for the Kanak people to develop their country by themselves.

“If they can give them feedom, it means the process of decolonisation is final. The referendum is not final if people, under the French provocation, still choose to stay with France, it doesn’t mean that it’s final.”

New Caledonia’s independence referendum will be held on 4 November, with voters to be given the choice of remaining a part of France or becoming an independent country.

 

Source: Fiji Times

Papua New Guinea’s Foreign Minister says economic and social development is already underway in the area around the border with Indonesia.

Papua New Guinea's Minister for Foreign Affairs and Immigration, Rimbink Pato
Papua New Guinea’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and Immigration, Rimbink Pato Photo: RNZ / Richard Tindiller

Rimbink Pato was responding to comments by National Capital District Governor Powes Parkop that PNG had not co-operated enough with neighbouring Indonesia.

Mr Parkop was particularly concerned that issues relating to the plight of West Papuans living under Indonesian rule weren’t being addressed.

But Mr Pato said the two countries had forged a close relationships where all topics involving those pertaining to the border are discussed in a constructive way.

The minister said PNG had welcomed the Indonesian government policy under President Joko Widodo to take a development-led approach to the Papuan Provinces rather than a security-led approach.

He said this included close co-operation with PNG.

According to Mr Pato, Indonesia and PNG have agreed to intensify development efforts relating to schools, markets, health, the integration of the economy, and other areas.

“In fact, we have signed 13 Memoranda of Understanding with Indonesia that focus on developments and cooperation in the border areas,” Minister Pato said.

“We have also welcomed Indonesia’s participation in the UN Human Rights Council Periodic Review (UPR) in 2017 and that Indonesia accepted Australia’s recommendation to finalise the investigation of all human rights cases in the Papuan provinces.

“Naturally we think it very important that human rights are upheld everywhere, including in our own country, and in Indonesia.”

There is a steady level of interaction between Indonesia and PNG citizens who cross the border for education, to conduct business or attend to family matters.

“In July, for example, the Honourable James Donald MP, the Member for the North Fly electorate accompanied me to Jakarta where we discussed potential development and cooperation with Indonesia,” Mr pato explained.

“Under this constructive approach we have the opportunity to raise all sorts of matters with each other, including advancing the rights and opportunities of everybody on both sides of the border.

“In many ways we need to catch up with the Indonesian level of development, and with their cooperation we will do our best to do so.”

Minister Pato said there were some who called for public criticism of Indonesia but that was not PNG policy.

“The best way to resolve any issues is by friendly dialogue in which we raise matters with a problem-solving mind-set rather than a critical, negative attitude that leads nowhere.”

 

Source: Radio New Zealand

Vanuatu has raised the issue of a West Papuan and a Polish citizen charged with treason in Indonesia at the United Nations.

In connection with Jakub Skrzypski's case, a 29-year old West Papuan student, Simon Magal, was arrested several days later in Timika.
Simon Magal Photo: Supplied

Simon Magal and Jakub Skrzypski were arrested separately in August in Papua and police allege they were involved with an armed pro-independence group.

Jakub Skrzypski, a 39-year Polish citizen visiting Papua as a tourist, was arrested in Wamena in late August on suspicion of being a journalist.
Jakub Skrzypski Photo: Facebook

Vanuatu’s representative to the UN, Noah Kouback, told a working group meeting on arbitrary detention and involuntary disappearances last week the charges were questionable.

“Vanuatu notes with concern raised the working group on indigenous populations failure to respond to its request for a visit, so we call on Indonesia to allow the UN special mechanism to … and to report on the systemic ongoing problem.”

Mr Kouback said it is also concerning 93 West Papuans were arrested in the first week of September for their involvement in peaceful protests.

 

Source: Radio New Zealand