Proposed gold mine is ‘recipe for disaster’ amid crackdown on indigenous Papuans in Indonesia

  • Unlawful killings, reinforcement of security forces near a project gold mine concession
  • Authorities restrict daily life of native Papuans, including hairdressing

Indonesiana authorities should immediately stop the projects develop a sprawling gold mine the size of the city of Jakarta in volatile province of Papua, where he risk of feeding conflicts and violating Indigenous land rights Papuans, Amnesty International said in a new briefing released today.

Jaya Remergency, where the gold ore deposit known as Wabu The block is locatedhas become a hot spot of conflict between Indonesian security forces and Papuan pro-independence groups in recent years.

In the briefing, Amnesty International documents how there was a alarming accumulation of Security forces in the area ifnotthis 2019, with 12 committed by the security forces, and Indigenous Papuans subject to increase restrictions on freedom of movement as well as beatings and routine arrests.

Residents of Jaya told Amnesty International that they use the proposed mining area for farming, hunting animals and collect wood.

“By ignoring the needs, desires and traditions of the native Papuans, tdevelopment of Wabu To block risks worsening a rapidly deteriorating human rights situation, said Usman Hamid, executive director of Amnesty International Indonesia. “People in Intan Jaya lives under an increasingly harsh and violent security apparatus that exerts control over many aspects of their daily life, and now their livelihoods are threatened by this ill-conceived project. Simply, Wabu Bthe lockdown could be a recipe for disaster.

From March 2021 to January 2022, Amnesty International conducted remote interviews with 31 people on the situation in Intan Jaya Remergency, including indigenous Papuans, local authorities, human rights defenders and representatives of civil society and religious organizations. They described how armed clashes and human rights violations have increased dramatically over the past two years.

Since at least February 2020, there have been official plans for the development of mining activities in Wabu To block. Located Sugapa districtthe capital of Intan Jaya Remergency, Wabu To block holds approximately 8.1 million ounces of gold, making it one of the five largest known gold reserves in Indonesia.

Wabu The block is currently under licensing process of the Indonesian Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources. According to official documents obtained by Amnesty International, proposal mining area covers 69,118 hectares – about the size of Jakarta, capital of Indonesia.

Papuans noted they fear losing land and livelihoods as well as environmental pollution.

Yes there are mines, we won’t have land for gardening; livestock will not get fresh fruits directly from the forest, and even our grandchildren will lose their customary lands,” Lian, a local aboriginal, told Amnesty International.

In September 2020, a senior Indonesian official state-owned mining company PT Aneka Tambang To knowalso known as ANTAM, develop mining activities in Wabu To block. In letters addressed to ANTAM and the Indonesian Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources February 2022 Amnesty International presented human rights concerns about the project and posed many questions. neither the government nor the company responded.

Although Amnesty International has found no evidence that That is ANTAM or the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources are directly involved in the conflict in Intan Jaya, is concerned about the potential risks to human rights and environmental impacts of mining in Wabu To block in theThe context of the existing conflict.

has an obligation for get free, before and the informed consent of indigenous Papuans who may be affected by the mine. Corn in In a climate of violence and intimidation, it is difficult to imagine how such a consultation process could meet international standards,” said Usman Hamid.

“The first step is to determine if full and effective consultation is even possible under the existing circumstances. In the meantime, Indonesia should press pause Wabu To block.

The conflict between Papuan pro-independence groups and Indonesian security forces has existed for decades. Corn Intan Jaya Regency has emerged as a new hotspot in Papua after October 2019, when members of an armed pro-independence group killed three motorbike taxi drivers, whom they accused of being spies.

As part of the new research, Amnesty International hpositions occupied by the security forces in Sugapa district, capital of Intan Jaya. According to the interviews, only two of the 17 positions existed before October 2019. The growth of andand security force presence at was accompanied by an increase in unlawful killings, raids and blows.

The briefing 12 suspected unlawful killings by members of the Indonesian security forces Intan Jaya in 2020 and 2021.

These represent more a quarter of the total number suspect unlawful killings by security agents across 42 regencies and cities in the provinces of Papua and West Papua documented by Amnesty International during the same period.

include two brothers, Apianus and fight Zanambaniwhose body were burned by security forces after being arrested in an April 2020 raid in Sugapa district.

Unlawful killings by security forces are common in Papua, but accountability is rare, as documented by Amnesty International in the 2018 report ‘Don’t bother, just let it die’.

Indigenous Papuans also described to Amnesty International incidents in which members of the security forces had to beatFr residents of Intan Jaya.

“The Indonesian authorities have long failed to adequately investigate alleged cases of unlawful killings and other reports of human rights abuses by security forces in Papua,said Joanne Mariner, Crisis Response Program Director at Amnesty International. Program.

Investigating such cases and holding perpetrators accountable is key to upholding human rights and achieving peacein Papua.

Restrictions on movement, appearances

of Amnesty International research has revealed this severe restrictions on the freedom of movement of local residents to have accompanied strengthening security and escalating conflict. Residents said they had to seek permission from Indonesian security forces to carry out banal Activities such as gardening, shopping, Where to visit another town.

Lean said: Homework be checked daily by the security apparatus.

Security forces also restrict the use of electronic devices such as cell phones and cameras, according to interviewees who also claimed that on occasion Indonesian security forces have arrested them for their hairstyles, whom the authorities largely associate with independence fighters.

“Our people like to have long hair; it is part of our culture, not only in Papua, but in Melanesia. I’ve been asked more than 10 times about my hair and mustache. They arrest many people for having long hair and mustaches. They are asked, knock, ” Gemaa local resident, said.


Note to Editors: *Names have been changed for security reasons raisons.


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