(May 08, 2020) For generations, the indigenous people have lived and developed based on customary systems, norms, and knowledge to manage community and intercommunity legal relations, organize the relations among community members on the control, management, and use of land and natural resources within their customary territories, including those related to the security system, social order, and law enforcement aiming to create a just, prosperous, safe, and peaceful society.

In Papua Land, most of Papuans indigenous people from rural areas are still living based on the local legal system and customary knowledge that they highly respect and obey. The existing customary institutions or other names have the authority to implement and safeguard the security and social order of the people and their areas, including by upholding the law enforcement through a peaceful and just customary justice in the local indigenous people’s territories.

The existence and rights of the indigenous people mentioned above are recognized in the 1945 Indonesian Constitution and legislation, Law No. 39 of 1999 on Human Rights, Law No. 21 of 2001 on Special Autonomy for the Papua Province, as well as on the international laws and treaties.

We are a coalition of civil society organizations that works for the advocacy of the rights of Papuan indigenous people and its environment. We view that the State has not fully and truly recognized, protected, respected, and fulfilled the rights of Papuan indigenous people, as seen in the document of a joint agreement between the Regency Government and the Local Parliament of Maybrat, South Sorong Police Chief, Commander of Sorong District Military, and Commander of Sorong Mobile Brigade Corps Detachment. The document is about the legal process and the policy of the construction of a District Police Post and Sub-District Military Command, signed in Kumurkek on Wednesday, 6 May 2020.

We view that security policy and the construction of the District Police Post and Sub-District Military Command in the Greater East Aifat and Mare areas, or the construction of other security infrastructure on the customary lands in the Papua Land, should be based on the regulation, which is conducting deliberations free from pressure and getting a broad consent from the indigenous people. The rights of the indigenous people to determine their political, social, economic, natural, or cultural governance on their own territories have been affirmed by the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) as an international human rights instrument. UNDRIP was adopted by the UN General Assembly in its resolution on 13 September 2007. Indonesia has decided to accept or agree to this instrument.

Likewise, we urge the local government and the state security apparatus to take joint steps with the indigenous people in the Greater East Aifat and Mare areas, namely strengthening and prioritizing the security system and law enforcement based on the local customary institutions and customary law. It is the state’s obligation to protect, respect, and fulfil the rights of indigenous people, as stipulated in the constitution and legislation mentioned above.

The Coalition of Civil Society Organization Defending Human Rights and Environment: Panah Papua Association; Papua Forest Watch; LP3BH Manokwari; Pusaka Bentala Rakyat Foundation; Greenpeace Indonesia; WALHI Papua; The Coalition of West Papua NGOs; Momuna Indigenous Peoples Council; Garda Papua; Babeoser BIKAR; Intellectual Solidarity of Young Tambrauw Love Peace; Independent Forum of West Papua Students; SKPKC – The Order of Saint Augustine; Catholic Youth (PK) Regional Commissariat of West Papua (KOMDA PB); Maybrat Regency Student Association in Yogyakarta; West Papua Indigenous People Institution (LMA Papua Barat); East Aifat Students in Yogyakarta; Greater Sorong National Indigenous Peoples Alliance (AMAN Sorong Raya); Belantara Papua Association; Solidarity of Maybrat Students in Jayapura; Institute of Policy Research and Advocacy (ELSAM); Elsham Papua; Mnukwar Papua.

Ank, May 2020

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