MAC: Mines and Communities

III. Freeport's Questionable Security Policy

Published by MAC on 2002-06-15

III. Freeport's Questionable Security Policy

(a) Criminal Acts by Security Forces Against Freeport itself

Not only have elements of the TNI attacked the local community, but investigations have also revealed that these units have stolen Freeport property. A number of crimes perpetrated by a unit of Kostrad 515, Tembagapura Police Sector, while they were on duty at Freeport in March and June 2002 include stealing:

From a business standpoint, these criminal activities by the company's security forces are extremely disadvantageous to Freeport shareholders' interests. However, although Freeport management is aware of these cases and reports have been made, the corporation has taken no legal action against the perpetrators.

Freeport's lack of responsiveness to criminal acts by security personnel, as outlined above, is further demonstrated by Freeport's role regarding human rights violations in 1994-5, in which the Indonesian armed forces killed or disappeared 16 civilians, raped five local women, and tortured and arbitrarily detained dozens of other local community members. A report from the Catholic Diocese of Jayapura and subsequent report of the National Commission of Human Rights confirmed the violations. While four low-ranking soldiers were convicted of procedural violations by a military tribunal in connection with one of these incidents, there has been no action taken by the Indonesian government to bring the other perpetrators to justice. While corporate management publicly stated concern about the abuses on several occasions, Freeport continued and augmented its relationship with the Indonesian military.

In fact, since 1995, Freeport officials have claimed that Freeport's Contract of Work (COW) with the Indonesian government actually requires the company to provide logistical support to the Indonesian military and police.[18] However, none of the company's COWs includes any such explicit stipulation suggesting that Freeport's financial and logistical support to the Indonesian armed forces has no legal basis.

Freeport's continual failure to act in response to human rights violations and other violent attacks in the lead up to the August 31 shootings, and even more interestingly, its failure to respond to criminal activities of the security forces against its own business interests, calls into question Freeport's security policy and its commitment to the protection of its employees and human rights more generally.

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