Government cannot say if it has trained Indonesian police forces involved in human rights abuses
Freedom of Information request to Defense Ministry revealed government does not have information on people it trains in Indonesia
The British armed forces and police may have trained Indonesian security forces related to human rights violations against people in West Papua.
Although the government has claimed that it “does not provide training to Papua-based units,” an access to information (FOI) request revealed that the Ministry of Defense (MoD) does not hold any information about the units it forms.
This means that she cannot know for sure whether the units she worked with were involved in the conflict with West Papua, which has gone so far. 500,000 Papuans since the invasion of Indonesia in 1962. This also means that it cannot prevent the perpetrators of human rights violations in the region.
The Defense Ministry said that “the information held indicates whether the participants served in the Indonesian military or police” and that “the service in which the Indonesian course participants served is simply not being collected.”
Government The data shows that between October 2015 and February 2020, 55 Indonesians were trained at facilities in the UK and at the British Jungle War Academy in Brunei.
The training included the “International Jungle Warfare Instructor Course” for Indonesian Police in Brunei; “Guided arms control” for the military; and ‘Advanced Staff and Command Course’ for the Air Force at Shrivenham Defense Academy in the UK.
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Lack of transparency
The lack of transparency over which UK-trained Indonesian forces raise serious questions as to whether this facilitated human rights violations in West Papua.
Violations against Papuan civilians are said to be on the rise, as the conflict has escalated over the past year.
In April, the conflict escalated as Papuan independence fighters labeled terrorists by the Indonesian state. Thousands of soldiers, including special forces, have been deployed to West Papua to eliminate resistance to Indonesian rule. The UN estimates that more than 50,000 civilians have been displaced since 2018 due to military operations in the Central Highlands of Papua.
June 4, three unarmed Papuan civilians were killed in a military operation in the village of Nipuralome in Puncak. The attack was carried out by a combined security force called the Nemangkawi Task Force – military units and Brimob, a counterterrorism police force.
Papuan human rights activist Yones Douw said that “the shooting by the Nemangkawi task force did not distinguish between children, women or village chiefs” and that “the village chief showed them his card. identity and was also dressed in his official headdress and uniform. , but they killed him like an animal ”.
The army killed the Papuan village chief Patianus Kogoya, 45; with Erialek Kogoya, 55, a Papuan farmer; and a 43-year-old woman named Paitena Wakerka. Three other people were injured, including a five-year-old boy, Mendinus Murib, who was shot in the leg.
“Indonesian army said it was targeting West Papua National Liberation Army,” Douw said Signing time. “In reality, the Indonesian military does not distinguish between all indigenous Papuans. The people they suspected were all arrested or shot. Many civilians fled. The number of displaced people has reached several thousand.
The Nemangkawi task force denied killing the villagers, saying the West Papua National Liberation Army was responsible.
The force also arrested popular activist Victor Yeimo for his role in the organization demonstrations against racism in 2019. He was placed in solitary confinement at Brimob headquarters where his health deteriorated seriously. Peaceful protests demanding his release have been violently dispersed on August 16 by Brimob, who fired shots killing Papuan civilian Ferianus Asso, and arrested 48 other protesters.
Burmese police force formed byBritish officers under the EU regime
UK funding for police training
Indonesian police, including Brimob, are trained in counterterrorism at the Jakarta Center for Law Enforcement Cooperation (JCLEC).
The internationally funded facility was created in 2004 following the Bali bombings. Police forces from all over the world are coming to train Indonesian police.
The United Kingdom is the second largest funder of JCLEC after Australia. According to annual data from JCLEC, in 2017 and 2019, the UK provided funding of £ 998,214. In 2018, the UK also offered 59 training programs, making it the largest contributor of installation training programs.
JCLEC stopped publishing data on its course providers in 2019. However, a FOI request to the London Metropolitan Police Service revealed that it had delivered five JCLEC training programs in 2019.
The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Department declined to disclose the amount of funds it has provided to JCLEC since 2018, saying it “would likely harm relations” with Indonesia. The “ability to protect and promote UK interests through international relations will be hampered,” he added.
In August, it was reported that a JCLEC-trained police chief Untung Sangaji was responsible for a Brimob operation in which Papuans were forced to strip, beat and tie up. Sangaji also reportedly said “we’ll chop them up if we have to.”
Last November Labor MP Alex Sobel demand the Ministry of International Trade if the government stopped selling arms and providing training programs to Indonesia. The government said the UK “supports anti-terrorism training of the Indonesian National Police, through JCLEC” and that “we are not providing training to units based in Papua but are continuing to closely monitor the situation in Papua “.
Jennifer Robinson, an international human rights lawyer, believes that “the UK is or should be aware of the continuing, widespread and systematic human rights violations perpetrated by the Indonesian military against indigenous Papuans in West Papua” and that he should “not be complicit in this abuse by training or selling weapons to the Indonesian military.”
JTF also revealed that eight Indonesians have so far been accepted for military training in 2021. The Defense Ministry declined to specify the nature of the training courses, the facilities at which they will take place or the amount of the training. remuneration the UK will receive.
“West Papua is illegally occupied by Indonesia and the UK has an international obligation not to support or contribute to the illegal occupation of Indonesia and the human rights violations of the Indonesian military by maintaining this illegal occupation, ”Robinson said. Signing time.
The Department of Foreign Affairs, Commonwealth and Development, the Department of Defense and the Department for International Trade did not respond to requests for comment.
This article was produced by the Signature Intelligence Team – a collaborative survey project formed by Signing time with Les Citoyens. If you want to know more about the Intelligence team and how to finance his work, click on the button below.
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