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H.Res. 1355 (111th): Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives regarding the human rights crisis in Papua and West Papua.

The text of the bill below is as of May 12, 2010 (Introduced).



2d Session

H. RES. 1355


May 12, 2010

submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs


Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives regarding the human rights crisis in Papua and West Papua.

Whereas the Department of State’s 2008 Human Rights Report on Indonesia documents the detention of at least 30 peaceful Papuan activists, the killing of a Papuan man at a peaceful rally, and additional evidence of suppressed speech, societal abuse, and discrimination against religious groups, violence and sexual abuse against women, child labor, and human trafficking;

Whereas the Government of Indonesia has recently banned the International Committee of The Red Cross (ICRC) from the Provinces of Papua and West Papua which followed ICRC visits to detention facilities;

Whereas a 2007 United Nations report by United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture, Manfred Nowak, found widespread torture in Indonesian prisons and the use of excessive force by Indonesian security forces in particular in Papua and that beatings and other forms of torture are entrenched in much of Indonesia's prison system where a culture of impunity reigns;

Whereas Indonesian President Abdurrahman Wahid permitted Papuans to fly the “morning star” flag as a cultural and historic symbol;

Whereas Amnesty International has identified numerous prisoners of conscience in Indonesian prisons, among them Papuans such as Filep Karma and Yusak Pakage, imprisoned for peaceful political protests including the display of the morning star flag which has historic, cultural, and political meaning for Papuans;

Whereas 40 Members of Congress in 2008 petitioned Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on behalf of Papuan political prisoners Filep Karma and Yusak Pakage;

Whereas a Human Rights Watch report on June 5, 2009, noted torture and abuse of prisoners in jails in Papua is rampant; and

Whereas prominent Indonesian leaders have called for a national dialogue and Papuan leaders have called for an internationally mediated dialogue to address long-standing grievances in Papua and West Papua: Now, therefore, be it

That it is the sense of the House of Representatives that—


the Government of Indonesia should report to the international community specific progress made regarding—


the end of abuse of those detained by authorities in Papua and West Papua and prosecution of those guilty of that abuse;


actions taken by the Government of Indonesia to improve conditions of incarceration, especially in Papua and West Papua;


measures taken to protect the right of its citizens to peaceful assembly and association as well as the freedom of speech and specifically symbolic speech, such as raising banners or flags;


compatibility of Indonesian law that criminalizes peaceful political dissent and conflicting Indonesian commitments concerning the rights to freedom of speech and assembly guaranteed by international covenants to which Indonesia is a party, to include the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; and


provision to or access to detention facilities in West Papua by recognized human rights monitoring institutions, including the International Committee of The Red Cross; and


the Government of Indonesia should allow an independent, third party human rights organization to review prison conditions with special attention to Papuan inmates and on the basis of that review, formulate a series of recommendations to the Government of Indonesia that would facilitate prison and legal reforms especially to—


address deficits in facilities, personnel training, and procedures for the purpose of improving the humanitarian treatment of those detained;


formulating procedures, including judicial reform and legal remedies to ensure that prison authorities face appropriate punishment for mistreatment of those detained; and


encourage reform of the Indonesian criminal code and sentencing procedures to ensure that they reflect Indonesia's commitments under international undertakings and Indonesia's own legal obligations to protect fundamental human rights, including the rights to freedom of speech and peaceful assembly and association.