MAC: Mines and Communities

The Case against Freeport McMoran in West Papua - Documents to use in evidence

Published by MAC on 2001-05-01

Permanent People’s Tribunal -
The case against Freeport McMoRan and Rio Tinto in West Papua

Documents which the prosecution intends to use in evidence

Key documents are marked **

** Trouble at Freeport – report by Australian Council for Overseas Aid issued on 5.4.95

The following summary of the report appeared in West Papua Update 18 (date unknown)

"In summary the report makes the following specific allegations:

1. The OPM flag was raised in the Tsinga Valley July-December 1994.

2. OPM-ABRI clashes occurred in the Tsinga Valley July-December 1994 resulting in the killing of about 10 civilians.

3. 200-250 people (115 families) fled into the bush to escape the OPM-ABRI clashes and stayed for six months without receiving outside assistance.

4. The villages of Tsinga and Hoea were subjected to searches by ABRI. ABRI burned down houses, destroyed gardens and looted a church in Tsinga.

5. Six relatives of the OPM leader, Kelly Kwalik, were tortured in Timika and have since disappeared, believed executed.

6. ABRI established new check-points, especially in Timika, to monitor indigenous people.

7. ABRI and Freeport security engaged in acts of intimidation, extracted forced confessions, shot three civilians, disappeared five Dani villagers, and arrested and tortured thirteen people after an OPM flag-raising in Tembagapura on 25 December last.

8. In summary the uprising in Tsinga and Christmas Day demonstration in Tembagapura resulted in, at least, 37 people killed and/or disappeared of whom 22 were civilians and 15 were rebels.

9. The massive extension of the Freeport concession area by 2.6 million hectares will further displace and degrade indigenous peoples.

ACFOA recommendations:

1. That the Indonesian Committee for Human Rights visit the area to conduct a comprehensive investigation of the allegations and the general situation of local committees and that its report be released publicly.

2. That the UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions visit Irian Jaya to investigate the allegations and the situation in the Freeport area with a view to reporting to the UN Human Rights Commission.

3. That this report be referred to the UN Working Group on Indigenous Populations for its consideration and action.

4. That the Australian Government take up the concerns raised by this report with the Government of Indonesia and urge Indonesia to co-operate with the recommendations above and that the Australian government specifically make enquiries about (!) the killing of civilians by the Indonesian Armed Forces, (2) the situation of the 200-250 West Papuans who reportedly surrendered to the Indonesian military, (3) the reported plan of the Indonesian government to relocate a further 2000 people from the Tembagapura area to the lowlands, and (4) Freeport Indonesia’s relations with the local community and the exercise of its environmental and social responsibilities.

5. That Australia legislates in favour of a ‘social clause’ for Australian-based business activity in Indonesia and promotes the case for such a clause in APEC and WTO forums."

"37 victims" claim denied

South-East Asia Mining Letter, 13.4.95

Indonesian Government and Freeport Indonesia denied findings of ACFOA report on deaths around Grasberg mine.

Army: "Threat to Freeport, so villagers must be moved"

South-East Asia Mining Letter, 28.4.95

Indonesian military stated that 300 families near to Freeport mine would be relocated because of "danger" from rebels seeking independence for West Papua.

Freeport McMoRan At Home and Abroad

The Nation, July 31/August 7 1995

Overview of Amungme objections to Grasberg mine; contract and contract extension in West Papua; brutality of Indonesian regime; military involvement in mine security; clashes between Indonesian military and OPM guerrillas; relocations; specific human rights abuses by military personnel in the area of the Freeport lease; environmental problems connected with tailings disposal; Freeport’s environmental record in the USA and opposition to environmental legislation; Freeport lobbying of US legislators against greater environmental protection; Freeport’s bullying tactics against city of Austin over potential pollution from plant expansion.

** Violations of Human Rights in the Timika Area of Irian Jaya, Indonesia – A report by the Catholic Church of Jayapura, August 1995

Report commissioned by Bishop Muninghoff of Jayapura in order to investigate allegations made in the ACFOA report referred to above. It covers killing of civilians from Hoea village by the Indonesian military, 31 May 1995, disappearance of family members of rebel leaders, October 1994, stabbing and shooting of civilians by the Indonesian military at Easter, April 1995, arbitrary detention and torture of civilians at Waa village, Christmas 1994, and the arrest, torture and killing of Dani civilians at Tembagapura, Christmas 1994. It makes clear that Freeport facilities were used for some of these violations.

Protestant minister blames Freeport

Republika, 5.9.95, abridged and translated from Bahasa

National Commission for Human Rights is to visit Timika for a second time after the National Forum of Concern for Human Rights in Irian Jaya, led by Rev Karel Phil Erari, request that Commission consider role of Freeport in human rights abuses around Grasberg mine. "Rev Erari believes that the murders in Timika are closely related to Freeport’s presence. According to Amungme tradition, the land is their mother and needs protecting but the presence of the company has caused untold damge to their ‘mother’. This has resulted in disturbances, leading ultimately to the ‘Timika case’, he said. This tribe of 14,000 people reached an agreement with the company, the January Agreement signed on 8 January 1974, one clause of which forbade the tribespeople from entering certain areas. In compensation, Freeport built a clinic, houses, shops, a market and promised jobs. The Amungme people did not realise at the time how harmful this agreement would be. Mount Jelsegel-Ongospel, now known as the Ore Mountain or Mount Ertsberg, was one of the prohibited areas. They never realised at the time that the mountain which was so sacred to their traditions would end up as a huge crater. According to the anthropologist Angel Manembu, the very existence of the Amungme people has been devastated by the January Agreement. They were forced to move away from their own land, a grave thing to happen as their very identity tied to their place of origin. They were compelled to live on other people’s land and they were forbidden from going along their traditional, sacred routes. Whatever they got in compensation was worthless to them. The Amungme people are now on the sidelines, spectators to the luxurious lifestyle of newcomers."

Three, Ten, Eleven or However Many

TIRAS 32, 7.9.95, translated from Bahasa

This article concerns the first investigative trip to the Grasberg area by the National Commission for Human Rights. It describes the circumstances of the KomNas HAM investigation, its limitations, and some of the human rights abuses which it went to investigate. Under the sub-heading "The Torture and Killing of a Dani" the following information is included about events which took place immediately after a Christmas church service in Waa, 2km east of Tembagapura: "Biru Kogoya, 28, head of the Dani group from Timika said to TIRAS: ‘I knocked on the Freeport Security Post, to let them know that our ceremony had finished and that we were going to return to Timika. They were surprised at first, and then accused us of being OPM. After that we were allowed to travel to the Freeport Travel office in Tembagapura to catch a bus to Timika. However, on our arrival there, we were held by 733 Pattimura battalion. My family and I were frightened and not able to do a thing. Then we were allowed to ride Freeport bus no 44 to Timika. Up to mile 66, we were guarded by 30 soldiers. In the bus, five Dani from Waa were sitting in front of us with their eyes bandaged up. Whilst we who were sitting in the back were only tied by our feet. Wendy Tabuni, who was sitting by the window, became irritated and demanded to be let off. Then the soldiers stabbed Wendy in the stomach with a bayonet. Because he couldn’t stand it, Wendy tried to run away, but was shot immediately. His corpse was thrown into a ravine. In the Freeport workshop in Koperapoka, we were continuously beaten. …’"

Freeport denies serious damage accusation

South-East Asia Mining Letter, 30.11.95

Freeport McMoRan Copper and Gold moved to deny OPIC’s accusations of environmental damage in West Papua and said that damage caused by the Grasberg mine was "virtually non-existent over time."

Letter from John G Hughes, Head of Public Affairs, RTZ, to Mr Digby Knight, Partizans, 6.12.00

This letter gives RTZ’s view of the reports by Bishop Muninghoff and KomNas HAM and of OPIC’s decision to withdraw political risk insurance.

** Freeport’s human rights record should be investigated

Media release from Australian Council for Overseas Aid 20.12.95

In light of disagreement between ACFOA and Freeport over whether or not Freeport had any responsibility for human rights abuses in West Papua, ACFOA called for an independent enquiry.

Attachment to media release: Clarifying ACFOA’s position on Freeport

Extracts: "The report entitled Trouble at Freeport was prepapred by local people in Irian Jaya and was released in Australia by ACFOA on 5 April 1995. The report alleged that the Indonesian military was involved in killings, disappearances, torture, unlawful arrest and detention, destruction of property and other abuses against civilians and guerrillas in and near the Freeport mine area during 1994-5. These charges were generally backed up by an Australian Government delegation (23-30 July), Bishop Muninghoff of Jayapura (3 August), and the Indonesian Commission on Human Rights (22 September). Though the Australian Government and the Indonesian Commission have not released their reports, their conclusions are clear from comments by officials from both bodies and the statement of recommendations released by the Commission. The report released by ACFOA also alleged that Freeport was implicated in these abuses, in three ways. (1) Freeport facilities were used; (2) Freeport security and the Indonesian military co-operated at times; and (3) Freeport security, with the Indonesian military, shot dead 3 civilians and, it appears, were involved in disappearance, arrests and torture. The Muninghoff report concurs … on the first two charges. In regard to the claim that Freeport security were directly involved in killings and other abuse, the Muninghoff report is not explicit. The allegation is neither confirmed not denied. This is consistent with Bishop Muninghoff’s statement that the Church investigated the military not Freeport. … The Indonesian Commission on Human Rights also says it did not investigate Freeport. … However the Commission did recommend that the lines of responsibility between Freeport and the military should be clarified. … Freeport denies that it is responsible for any human rights violations and states that the facilities in question were not under the company’s control. Further, it has accused concerned organisations of spreading ‘false charges, unfounded accusations and outright lies.’ … Whether or not Freeport was involved in the killings and other abuses, there is no doubt that the company actively co-operates with the Indonesian military. By Freeport’s own admission, the army is active in the area because of the company’s presence and Freeport provides it with extensive infrastructural and other forms of support. … [I]n a letter to the International Rivers Network in Washington dated 12 October 1995, Freeport explained that ‘Because of the growing population in the region and the vital economic importance of PT-FI operations, the government has established a military presence in the region. … Under its contract of work, PT-FI … is obligated to provide the Government, including the military, free and open access to its areas of operation and the use of certain infrastructure assets, including roads, airstrips and ports. We provide other support, including food, transportation and shelter to military personnel involved in routine security detail.’ … At present only Freeport itself is asserting its innocence. Bishop Muninghoff and the Indonesian Commission on Human Rights have both stated they did not include Freeport in their terms of reference. If Freeport is innocent of the allegations, it has nothing to fear from an investigation and much to gain. An independent enquiry that clears Freeport of any charges will enhance the company’s name and image. But until that happens, the jury is still out and Freeport has no right o absolve itself or dismiss the concerns of responsible organisations out of hand."

** Beyond Reasonable Doubt: RTZ’s complicity in murder and torture in West Papua

Partizans West Papua Briefing, December 1995

Overview of reports on human rights abuses in West Papua by Bishop of Jayapura, ACFOA, Australian government. Notes rejection of these reports’ findings by Freeport/Rio Tinto. Notes that two West Papuans came to London in May 1995 to attend RTZ AGM; criticised RTZ for its failure to consult local people or recognise violation of their rights through mining before making its deal with Freeport. They drew a connection between current mining, its further expansion, severe pollution of land and rivers, military oppression and denial of Indigenous rights. RTZ plays down its role in the Grasberg mine but Jim-Bob Moffett, President of Freeport McMoRan Copper and Gold (FCX) of which RTZ owned 11.8% in July 1995 was quoted in Southeast Asia Mining Letter on 12.5.95 as saying: "The strategic alliance between RTZ and Freeport … is already producing exciting opportunities for Freeport. We also have begun to consult with RTZ in connection with our current effort to add value … through major improvements in the efficiency of our recently expanded Grasberg operations." RTZ agreed to provide US$750 million towards current mining and another US$100 million to the exploration expansion programme in Freeport’s Contract of Work area, called Block B. As soon as the two companies sealed their agreement in May 1995, they announced an immediate feasibility study to expand mining and milling capacity of Block A (existing mine operations); this would lift production by 50% to between 175,000 and 200,000 tonnes of ore a day. In September 1995, the companies said they would consider increasing output to 230,000 tonnes a day. To achieve this, they would have to enter new Indigenous areas within Block B. The Briefing notes that the worst human rights atrocities in 1995 occurred three weeks after the RTZ/Freeport contract was signed. "There is now no doubt" it concludes "that Freeport/RTZ, as a corporate body, was complicit in the torture and killings …" It also concludes: "If its avowed policy of proper, and prior, consultation with Indigenous people in West Papua had any teeth whatsoever, RTZ would not have looked twice at a deal with Freeport, or at operating anywhere within the country (both Indonesia and West Papua) so long as a regime is in power there, which consistently denies both human and Indigenous rights. This Partizans report also effectively refutes claims by Freeport/Rio Tinto that Bishop Muninghoff had repudiated statements in his own human rights report or that the KomNas HAM report had vindicated the Grasberg mining operations.

Amungme criticise Commission’s findings

TAPOL (The Indonesia Human Rights Campaign) Bulletin 132, December 1995

Amungme Tribal Council has criticised findings of the National Commission for Human Rights (KomNas HAM) after its investigation of atrocities in the Timika region which followed publication of the report by the Bishop of Jayapura in August 1995. Council is particularly critical of the Commission’s failure to focus on the culpability of Freeport: "For us, the Amungme people, the root cause of the human rights violations is Freeport, but the title of the Commission’s report creates the impression that the Commission has tried to avoid making any link between the Company and the abuses that have occurred inside and outside the concession area… (T)o ensure that the basic traditional rights of the Amungme people are properly respected and no further violations are perpetrated against the local population, the Commission should also have investigated the system of security practised by Freeport and ABRI – the Indonesian Armed Forces – which is here to protect this vital national project."

Freeport/RTZ lose political risk insurance

TAPOL Bulletin 132, December 1995

Report on the cancellation of Freeport’s political risk insurance by the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) quoting key paragraph: "OPIC is terminating the Contract as an exercise of its statutory charge under the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 to ensure that overseas investmenht projects do not pose unreasonable or major environmental hazards or cause the degradation of tropical forests in developing countries. OPIC has discovered as a result of its monitoring visit in July 1994, a review of date subsequently provided by Freeport McMoRan, conversations with Freeport McMoRan personnel, and a consideration of various studies of the impact of Freeport’s acitivities on the rivers, forests and environments of Irian Jaya, that Freeport McMoRan’s expansion of the Freeport Indonesia project has caused substantial adverse environmental impacts which compel OPIC to deny all further coverage of this project." OPIC pointed out that under the contract, the throughput would be 52,000 dry tonnes a day, but monitoring revealed that ore production had increased to over 100,000 tonnes and there were plans to increase it to 160,000 tonnes. This change "has caused the discharge of tailings to increase significantly beyond the volumes anticipated by OPIC, resulting in the massive deposition of tailings in the Ajkwa River and the sheet flow of tailings that has degraded a large area of lowland rainforest between the Ajkwa and Minajeri Rivers. These and other effects of the project have posed an unreasonable or major environmental health or safety hazard in Irian Jaya."

Upsurge in OPM operations

TAPOL Bulletin 133, February 1996

Overview of Free West Papua (OPM) guerrilla activity in aftermath of hostage taking incident. A key OPM demand has been that Freeport McMoRan "stop its socially and environmentally destructive mining exploitation in Tembagapura and Timika."

Freeport/RTZ fights back

TAPOL Bulletin 133, February 1996

Description of Freeport/RTZ’s response to its critics, including threats of legal action in USA.

Open revolt against Freeport/RTZ

TAPOL Bulletin 134, April 1996

Describes attacks on Freeport facilities by Amungme people in March 1996 after years of frustration at attitude of company, government and military; sparked by death of Wiliamus Kogoya, a Dani knocked down by a vehicle driven by a Freeport employee. One Amungme leader stated, "We are waging war against Freeport and the government which has refused to recognise our existence and has trampled on our rights." Amungme Council, LEMASA, demanded that mine be shut down and that in future it should operate only under strict conditions; and that LEMASA should be accepted as the sole body to negotiate with the company over its use of Amungme land.

Freeport balks at possibility of independent investigation in Indonesia: cancels World Bank insurance. Drillbits and Tailings, 18.9.96

A $50 million contract for political risk insurance was abruptly cancelled by Freeport McMoRan as the World Bank’s Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) was preparing to send an investigation team to look into reported environmental and human rights abuses surrounding the Grasberg mine.

No Hiding Place: Oil, Gas and Mining in Developing Countries: Case Study 3: Freeport McMoRan in Irian Jaya (Indonesia)

Report by Control Risks Group, published in London in ?1997

Report points out that businesses need to take account of damage done to public perceptions and potentially to share prices by failure to address human rights and environmental problems associated with their operations. "No matter how much companies may wish to divorce themselves from the activities of their host regimes, they may be unable to do so. This proved to be the case at Grasberg, where Freeport’s infrastructure is superior to anything the Indonesian army can provide." Such political issues may lead (and in the case of Freeport, have led) to unwelcome attention from NGOs. "International NGOs are as much a part of the mine’s political risk profile as Amungme tribespeople."

River Ajkwa polluted

Jakarta Post, 27 March 1997

Residents along the Ajkwa River which flows from the outskirts of Tembagapura city to Timika the capital of East Mimika regency, have been warned against drinking the polluted water, Antara reported. Yusuf Tappang from the provincial administration's environmental promotion bureau said Thursday that studies showed the river was contaminated by PT Freeport Indonesia's mining waste

"The water is no longer potable," Tappang said in a seminar. The mining waste, known as tailings, also affected thousands of hectares of forest along the river, Tappang said.

West Papua: more clashes, killings around Freeport mine area

Pacific News Bulletin, August 1997

Article reports on clashes between local people and Indonesian troops near Timika after the death of two people and the injury of two others after they were picked up by a vehicle belonging to Freeport’s Malaria Control Department. Makes clear that this triggered pent-up frustration with the mine – Freeport property became the target of resulting riots. Article also reports on company’s "1% Fund% causing division and anger in Indigenous communities; church leaders warned that injustices in the handling of this fund would lead to conflict. Also explains how the mining violates deeply held Indigenous beliefs about the sanctity of the land.

Grasberg keeps on growing

Mining Journal, 26.9.97

Article describes growth of the Grasberg mine and explains the nature of the 1995 agreement between Freeport McMoRan and Rio Tinto over financing the expansion: Ri Tinto is earning a 40% interest in expansion of the operations above the capacity of 118,000 tonnes per day by paying its proportionate share of costs and making a non-recourse loan of up to US$450 million to PTFI. Rio Tinto will receive PTFI’s share of cash flow from operation above this capacity until the locan is repaid. Rio Tinto has the conditional right to a 40% interest in any ore reserve additions made by PTFI subsequent to the end of 1994.

TAPOL Bulletin 143, October 1997

Accounts of unrest around the mine in August 1997, showing strength of local feeling against Freeport’s perations.

West Papua: 60000 troops protect Freeport mine

Pacific News Bulletin, October 1997

Article notes that "The Indonesian armed forces (ABRI) have acknowledged the depth of hostility towards the Freeport copper-and-gold mine in and around Timika by creating a special Task Force to Safeguard a Vital Object in Timika, the only task force of its kind to exist anywhere in Indonesia. Freeport publicly acknowledges that it is paying for ABRI facilities. Its spokesman Ed Pressman said recently that the company is building a new barracks for ABRI, adding that after the barracks had been completed, it would ‘no longer supply ABRI with support of any kind’. [Sydney Morning Herald, 19 September]."

Freeport/Rio Tinto: more expansion, more unrest

Down to Earth, November 1997

Indigenous protest against the activities of Freeport/Rio Tinto in West Papua continues as the company confirms the discovery of further gold reserves. Article mention failure of "1% Fund" and concerns over reported high levels of mercury in Ajkwa River downstream from the mine.

The Way We Work – Our Statement of Business Practice

Rio Tinto, January 1998

Rio Tinto’s statement of company policy on transparency, corporate governance and accountability, accounting standards and internal financial control, health, safety and environment, communities, human rights, access to land, employees, business integrity, political involvement and board committee terms of reference on audit, nominations, remuneration, social and environmental accountability and general purposes.

Amungme Class Action Reinstated

Press release from Martin Regan, Jr., Attorney, Plaintiff’s Counsel, 6.3.98

Louisana Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit, handed down decision reinstating claims of Amungme against Freeport McMoRan Copper and Gold: Orleans Civil District Court has jurisdiction over personal injusry and environmental damage claims of the Amungme and personal jurisdiction over Freeport.

** Human Rights Violations and Disaster in Bela, Alama, Jila and Mapnduma, Irian Jaya, reported by Indonesian Evangelical Church (GKII), Mimika, Irian Jaya; Catholic Church, Three Parish, Timika; Christian Evangelical Church of Mimika, Irian Jaya. May 1998

Report on human rights violations by the Indonesian military against sixteen people between December 1996 and October 1997 in the aftermath of operations to free hostages taken by the OPM (Free Papua Movement). Eleven of the sixteen were shot and killed; two disappeared; three sustained injuries. The people who were shot were civilians returning to their gardens to gather food, since they had run out of food in the places to which they had fled to escape the fighting. The military were attempting to crush the OPM and secure the "vital project" of PT Freeport Indonesia. The report lists the persons attacked and the circumstances in which human rights violations happened.

** Risky Business: The Grasberg Gold Mine: An Independent Annual Report on PT Freeport Indonesia, May 1998. Published by Project Underground, California.

This 24-page report gives a general overview of the human rights and environmental issues involved at the Freeport mine in West Papua. Its introduction explains its purpose: "[I]mportant facts about the mine are not disclosed by the company pertaining to future risks facing the operation. This report changes that by exposing some of the liabilities facing PT Freeport Indonesia (hereafter simply referred to as PT Freeport) and its parent companies Freeport McMoRan Copper and Gold and Rio Tinto. In particular:

* a pattern of human rights violations around Grasberg that has resulted in ongoing litigation against the parent company, Freeport McMoRan

* the involvement of PT Freeport Indonesia staff in the death of local people, as recently as September 1997

* the destruction of local water quality, and pollution of the environment, as assessed by an independent consultant

* the long-term environmental threats posed by the mining activity

* the potentially illegal exploration inside the neighbouring National Park

* the poor track record that the partners in PT Freeport Indonesia bring to the operation

* Freeport McMoRan’s corporate culture, established by the men at the top, which obstructs real solutions to these problems."

Rio Tinto critic gagged

Survival International media briefing May 1998

Report on the treatment of Yosefa Alomang on account of her criticisms of the Grasberg mine and the prevention by the Indonesian authorities of her travelling to Britain for the Rio Tinto AGM in May 1998 to state her case. Overview of the human rights situation in West Papua and its connection with the mine.

Indonesian torture victim stopped from coming to UK, as biggest ever protest mounts for Rio Tinto AGM.

Press release from Survival International and World Development Movement, 11.5.98.

Summarises media briefing above.

Again, hundreds of students in Jayapura demonstrating

Communication from Institute for Human Rights Studies and Advocacy, Jayapura, via Survival International, 5.6.98

Report on student demonstrations against human rights abuses and "the security approach implemented in Irian Jaya, security system at Freeport that has caused gross human rights violations".

Victory Again

Fax to Roger Moody from Regan and Boshea, PLC, counsel for Yosefa Alomang, announcing Freeport’s loss of appeal on 2.7.98 to Louisiana Supreme Court against decision in favour of Yosefa Alomang in lower court.

The Amungme gain upper hand over Grasberg

Information from CFMEU union in Australia press release, 10.7.98

Supreme Court of Louisiana denied appeal which Freeport had lodged after a lower court upheld right of Indigenous plaintiffs from West Papua to sue the company in its home town.

Hand in Glove: How Suharto’s Circle, Mining Firm Did So Well Together

Wall Street Journal, 29.9.98

Article about the circumstances in which Freeport’s contract was extended and the close links between Freeport and the Suharto family and its political allies.

Indonesian army kills and rapes tribal people

Urgent Action bulletin from Survival International, October 1998

Summarises military abuses of human rights in West Papua and notes that "the region of the Grasberg mine has one of the highest concentrations of soldiers in Indonesia."

** Results of the Conference of the Traditional Amungme Council

Press release from LEMASA, 12.12.98

December conference of Traditional Amungme Council criticised Freeport. "Millions of hectares of traditional lands have been given to multinational companies like Freeport for mining purposes that do not benefit the citizenry. Land to the Amungme is not a commodity to be bought and sold, but rather involves historical, cultural and sacred values. The seizures of natural resources seem to be systematic destruction of the Amungme people. As a result, the lives of the Amungme people are disrupted economically, socio-culturally and ritualistically. … Not only has land been taken, Freeport McMoRan has ruined our rivers by releasing hundreds of thousands of tons of talings in them each day. The rivers are our life, for we understand them to be our Mother’s milk. These tailings are killing thousands of hectares of our forests as well as sago palm hamlets of the Kamoro people. Besides that, the wealth of our resources, in the form of mining material, forest products, and wildlife is continually taken and exploited by outsiders without permits. They do not include us as proprietors of the wealth. … We insist that the government and Freeport McMoRan take responsibility for the destruction of our environment as a result of mining in the Amungsa region. We insist that Freeport McMoRan be responsible for the reclamation of our land that has been ruined by their mining activities. We insist that Freeport McMoRan stop polluting our rivers and that they stop depositing tailings in these rivers, along with starting to restore the integrity of the rivers wherever they need to. We also insist that Freeport McMoRan compensate us for our suffering up to now due to the polluting of our environment."

Also included: Resolution of the Council on the lawsuit against Freeport, which states among other things: "The many protests and acts of resistance by the Amungme people towards Freeport have been treated as nothing more than a joke by Freeport. Freeport has never taken seriously the sufferings and human rights violations that have occurred as a result of the exploitation of the natural resources on our land. … This lawsuit is an integral part of the struggle being waged by LEMASA to expose the many human rights abuses, the degradation of the environment and the robbery of our ancestral land that has occurred in the Amungsa region as a result of the mining operations of Freeport."

** Report of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, Ms Radhika Coomaraswamy. Addendum: Mission to Indonesia and East Timor on the issue of violence against women, 20 November – 4 December 1998; VIII. Irian Jaya

Published January 1999. Report into sexual violence by Indonesian troops against women in West Papua. Some extracts:

" 100. Since 1969 there has been a military presence in Irian Jaya. The reason given by certain commentators is that it is to protect Indonesian economic interests in the area. In the 1970s Freeport Indonesia Inc began operation in Irian Jaya, the location of the world’s largest open-pit gold mine. There are reports of widespread human rights violations by the military, which reached a peak in 1994. According to reports in February 1996 troops from all over Indonesia came to the Mapnduma area. It was alleged that the soldiers raped women there indiscriminately; girls as young as 12 were victims, as were mute, mentally retarded and pregnant women."

"105. … On 9 October 1994, in the middle of the night, A was arrested by six soldiers. She was not allowed to get dressed properly. There were many soldiers outside the house. She was forced into the back of a Freeport truck and taken to the district military command post. She was accused of having a relationship with Kelly Kwalik, the OPM leader, who was involved in the hostage-taking in Mapnduma. A stated, ‘I and another woman were taken to a room which was kee-deep in water and human excrement. We were detained there for one month and two days."

"107. In September 1995, the National Human Rights Commission (Komnas Ham) released its findings on human rights violations in the Timika area of Irian Jaya between October 1994 and June 1995. Its report confirmed that the Indonesian military operating in and around the Freeport project area were responsible for the killing of at least 16 civilians and the disappearance of at least 4 individuals living in the area. The Commission stated that the violations ‘are directly connected to [the military] acting as protection for the mining business of PT Freeport Indonesia … classified by the Government of Indonesia as a vital project’."

Irianese leaders decry Freeport expansion plan

Jakarta Post, 30.1.99

West Papuan Indigenous leaders rebuke President Habibie for supporting Freeport’s expansion plan, saying it would have disastrous environmental and social consequences. Leadres are upset that there has been no consultation with local people. Tom Beanal, Amungme leader, said: ‘People in Jakarta have never asked our opinion. The government has never allowed the Irianese people to think. If we protest their decision, they will send troops to kill us.’ The Vice-Chairman of the House of Representatives Commission V overseeing mines and energy urged the Government to consult with the provincial administration before deciding on Freeport’s plan.

Indonesian political fallout hits U.S. mining giant

The Times-Picayune, New Orleans, Louisiana, February 7th 1999

The article deals with the circumstances surrounding the extension of Freeport Indonesia’s contract in West Papua. Article states that Freeport Chairman Jim-Bob Moffett "addressed the allegations of cronyism, saying Freeport operated according to what was standard in Indonesia under Suharto. Indonesia, Moffett said, is not the only place where well-connected people make money from government contracts. ‘Do you know what FOB is in Washington?’ Moffett asked. ‘It’s Friends of Bill. That’s how you get contracts with the U.S Government – Friends of Bill. … If you come to Louisiana it was Friends of Edwin, Friends of Foster. People close to the government have a way of ending up in these deals.’ … ‘So to me it’s rather foolish for a Louisiana newspaper to wonder about cronyism, after we’va had an era of Huey Long and all of the people that ran the state of Louisiana,’ Moffett added. ‘And you’ve got to be educated by Indonesia about cronyism? I think it’s naïve.’… ‘The style of business that was done during the Suharto era was the acceptable style,’ Moffett said."

Irianese oppose PT Freeport’s expansion plan

Jakarta Post, 22.2.99

West Papuan Indigenous communities living near Freeport mine continue opposition to company’s plan to increase production. "Tribal representatives urged the government … to reject the expansion plan because they believed it would cause intolerable ecological damage. They contended the firm was unable to protect the environment even at lower production levels. … Amungme’s chieftain Tom Beanal told the Jakarta Post late last month that life in the area was ‘hellish’ under current production conditions and he opposed any expansion. … Duga’s chief was concerned by the prevalence of alcohol in the area, which he blamed on the firm. ‘Freeport should stop distributing alcohol here since it makes tribes fight against each other.’"

Freeport expansion plan gets govt approval

Jakarta Post,1.4.99

Government approves expansion plan on condition of increased royalties and greater attention to environmental impacts.

** Memorandum to Board of Directors, Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold, Inc.

from: Amnesty International – USA and Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Center for Human Rights

re: Freeport Social and Human Rights Policy May 5, 1999

Mama Yosefa takes Amungme-Lemasa class action lawsuit claim against Freeport to the United Nations 14.5.99

Notice of Arbitration. The claimant, Yosefa Alomang, individually and on behalf of the Amungme Tribe – who are the local people injured by PTFI between 1967 and the present and who lived or live in an area defined by the Freeport Project Area Map and pursuant to Article 3.3 of UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules demands the Amungme’s dispute with PT Freeport Indonesia and its predecessor corporations be referred to arbitration.

** Freeport McMoRan Copper and Gold Inc announces Judge Gabrielle McDonald as Human Rights Adviser; appointment praised by US Ambassador Gelbard

Freeport McMoRan Copper and Gold Inc press release, 29.11.99

In announcing the appointment of Judge McDonald (formerly a Judge of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia) as "Special Counsel to the Chairman on Human Rights" and a member of the Board of Directors, Freeport brushed aside the history of Indonesian annexation of West Papua, the clearly expressed opposition of West Papuan people to Indonesian annexation and the increasing support for greater autonomy among provincial legislators with the following words: "Even though the United Nations has recognised Irian Jaya as part of Indonesia, a separatist group known as the OPM (Organisasi Papua Merdeka) has operated there. The OPM has engaged in numerous violent incidents throughout Irian Jaya, including, in recent years, several hostage takings – two of which ended with the murder of four hostages. As a result of these violent actions, the Indonesian armed forces have maintained a presence throughout the province, and there have been a number of clashes between the OPM and the Indonesian armed forces." Freeport also claimed to have been exonerated by all the investigations into human rights abuses in the area, despite the fact that several of the reports point out the use of Freeport facilities by the military and suggest the possibility of involvement by Freeport security personnel. "Human rights violations have been alleged in many of these incidents. FCX and PT-FI have taken a very clear position condemning these violations. There have been at least five investigations of the human rights violations in the vicinity of PT-FI’s operations conducted with PT-FI’s full co-operation and none of these inquiries determined that PT-FI or any of its employees participated in any human rights violations."

Dutch Government agrees to review West Papua handover
Pacific News Bulletin
,  December 1999
Dutch Minister for Foreign Affairs, J.J. Van Aartsen, has informed Parliament that he has no objection against a historical reexamination into the handover of sovereignty of the former Dutch New Guinea (West Papua). Member of parliament Van Middelkoop of the political party Gereformeerd Politiek Verhood (GPV) had asked for this reexamination, following a seminar on West Papua on 20 November organised by the Foundation for the Study and Information of Papuan Peoples (PaVo).

Papuans from Timika say: ‘Withdraw army and police from Timika’

Detikcom, Jakarta, 12.1.00

"A group of 48 people from Timika, led by Rev Izaak Onawane, and including Mama Yoshepina Alomang, paid a visit to the regional assembly in Jayapura to demand the withdrawal of army and police forces who are present in the area to protect the Freeport gold and copper mine. They accused the security forces of frequently over-acting and abusing human rights and often using violence against the local people. … Dr Anthonius Kelanangme [said] ‘The security forces at the Freeport concession frequently violate human rights.’ He said that alcoholic drinks were being widely consumed in the area and women were being used a sex objects. … There have been many complaints about the human rights situation in Timika, with Freeport being at the heart of the conflict between the security forces and the local people. ‘Timika is like a military base and virtually every army unit is present there.’"

Residents protest against Freeport

The Jakarta Post, 17.1.00

Report on the same delegation from Timika to Jayapura mentioned above. Izaak Ondawane is quoted as saying: ‘We have come to the conclusion that as long as the company continues its exploitation, more Papuans will fall prey to rights abuses.’

Bank agrees: "serious damage" by Freeport-Rio Tinto

Parting Company, Winter 1999/2000 – source: Reuters, May 6 1999

The whole article runs as follows: "From 1995 onwards, Friends of the Earth Netherlands waged a campaign to get ABN Amro, the major retail and investment bank, the disinvest from the Freeport/Rio Tinto mine in Papua. Early in 1999, the bank promised to obtain an independent audit of the mine’s impacts – or else consider disinvesting. At the bank’s AGM last may Paulus Kanonggopme, a Komoro, told shareholders how mine waste water ruins the river and forests on which his People depend. ABN-Amro chair Jan Kalff agreed that there was ‘serious pollution’. Though meetings had been held between ABN-Amro and Freeport-Rio Tinto, ‘no change in policy had resulted’. But the bank still refused to divest."

West Papua’s 1969 referendum re-visited
Tapol Bulletin Online 156 - Jan/Feb 2000
In August 1969, the Indonesian authorities conducted an Act of Free Choice in West Papua as required by an agreement with the Dutch government concluded under UN auspices in 1962. There was nothing free about the Act which involved 1,025 hand-picked tribal chiefs who decided at gunpoint that their country should remain part of Indonesia. Recently de-classified information shows that the West connived in the betrayal. The Dutch government has now acknowledged that the 1969 Act should be re-examined.

Supports call for an end to EU arms exports to Indonesia on the grounds of human rights abuses being committed by Indonesian government in West Papua; considers Freeport as implicated in these abuses.

Govt told to review Freeport deal
Jakarta Post
The House of Representatives asked the government to review its contract with mining company PT Freeport Indonesia, saying the deal violated investment regulations and the 1945 State Constitution.

The recommendation was announced by House commissions I and II following a visit to Irian Jaya during the recess in December of last year.

Freeport Indonesia Dismisses Call to Review Contract
Asia Pulse 3.2.00
The management of PT Freeport Indonesia, a U.S. copper mining company operating in Papua, said the decision to review its contract lies with the government.

Demand for Freeport contract review blasted
Jakarta Post
A legislator criticized two commissions of the House of Representatives for recommending a review of the contract of work held by copper and gold mining company PT Freeport Indonesia.
Head of the House's Commission VIII for mines and energy Irwan Prayitno said the Commission I for defense, security and foreign affairs and the Commission II for home and legal affairs had gone beyond their authority by making such a recommendation.

The UN's former role in Irian Jaya, by John Saltford
Jakarta Post 8.2.00
Recently declassified United Nations documents shed new light on the UN monitoring exercise exercise in Indonesian-controlled West Papua. The people of West Papua were promised independence by their Dutch rulers, but Indonesia claimed the territory and threatened to invade. To avoid this, the Netherlands signed an agreement in 1962 transferring control to the UN on condition that the people would have self- determination within six years. In reality, this was little more then a face-saving device for the Dutch. Within seven months, without any consultation with the inhabitants, the UN had pulled out leaving Indonesia in charge.

Freeport Mine may be shut down for pollution
Pacific Islands Report
, 12.2.00
State Minister for Environment Sonny Keraf says he will recommend the closure of Freeport Indonesia if the U.S. copper mining company operating in Irian Jaya is found to have caused environmental pollution. Keraf's threat came amid reports that Freeport's tailings had contaminated mollusks, a food source for locals, in the nearby rivers and destroyed mangrove forests. Freeport had carried out an environmental audit voluntarily and a report of the audit had been published by Indonesian mass media. Keraf said if the environmental report by Montgomery was not objective, the government would force Freeport to verify its audit result.

** Letter from Abigail Abrash of Robert Kennedy Foundation to Ward Morehouse of Council for International and Public Affairs, New York, regarding the background to the Foundation’s inquiry into human rights at the Freeport mine in West Papua 15.2.00

Amdal on Freeport examined
Jakarta Post 21.2.00
State Minister of Environment Sonny Keraf said his office would audit, and perhaps redo, the environmental impact analysis (Amdal) of copper and gold mining company PT Freeport Indonesia as the company’s analysis report done by Montgomery Watson contained several irregularities.

Report blasts Freeport for environmental damage
Indonesian Observer
Some 133,000 hectares of land in PT Freeport Indonesia’s mining concession in Irian Jaya have been seriously damaged and nearby rivers have been polluted, says the Environmental Impact Assessment Agency (Bapedal). "Of that figure, only 124 hectares have been rehabilitated by the company," head of the local Bapedal office, Ali Kastella, was quoted as saying by Antara yesterday in the Irian Jaya capital of Jayapura. Bapedal recently inspected Freeport’s Tembagapura, Grasberg and Ertsberg mines in Timika.

** Statement issued by the Grand Assembly (Musyawarah Besar) held in Port Numbay (Jayapura) from 23 - 26 February, 2000:
(Extract) "The people of West Papua regret and regard as unlawful the transfer of sovereignty of the people of Papua from the Dutch, through the intermediary of the United Nations to the Indonesians on 31 October 1963 (sic). This transfer took place without the agreement of the people of West Papua and the West Papuan National Council which had the power and authority to determine the fate of the people of West Papua; this power and authority was arbitrarily ignored in the New York Agreement concluded on 15 August 1962. In view of the unlawful transfer of sovereignty of the people of West Papua by the Netherlands via the intermediary of the United Nations to Indonesia, the people of West Papua categorically reject the results of the 'Act of Free Choice' (Pepera) which was conducted by the government of Indonesia on the basis of the New York Agreement."

Digging for Trouble: Separatist rage runs loose in wild West Papua
Newsweek International, 28.2.00
Article suggests that West Papuans are now dependent on Freeport but that the mine has destroyed traditional livelihoods while bringing relatively few advantages to local people. This has fuelled pro-independence sentiment because local people indentify Freeport with the Indonesian government and military.

'Modern' Way of Life Brings Insecurity for Native Folk
By Kafil Yamin, IPS, 29.2.00
Article examines impacts of latest relocation on Komoro people, which has happened as a result of PTFI expansion. It notes forced cultural change from a nomadic to a settled existence and the loss of traditional economic activity based on the river and sago plantin, and growing dependence on imported rice. The officer in charge of the relocation says that nonetheless the people will be better of because the impacts of riverine tailings disposal are so destructive.

Walhi protests Kissinger's Freeport statement
Indonesian Observer 1.3.00
The Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi) slammed former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger for urging Indonesia not to review business deals with giant copper and mining company PT Freeport Indonesia. Walhi said the statement was a form of "intimidation" against the Indonesian government considering that Freeport Indonesia was accused of pollution in West Papua.

Irian Jaya governor urges Freeport to renegotiate mining contract
AFP 3.3.00
Irian Jaya Governor Vice-Admiral Freddy Numberi urged PT Freeport Indonesia to renegotiate its contract with Indonesia to incorporate a shareholding for the provincial government. The Freeport contract and others like it no longer reflect the prevailing conditions, Numberi told a business luncheon here.

Act of Free Choice for Papuans was a farce
Frontpage of Dutch national newspaper NRC Handelsblad March 4, 2000  
In 1969, the Indonesian government manipulated the 'Act of Free Choice' about the status of the former Dutch New Guinea (Irian Jaya). 'By all means, proper or improper', Jakarta wanted to prevent the Papuan people from choosing against final integration into Indonesia. This appears from a so-called 'secret instruction' in May 1969 given by Soemarto, the Indonesian commander in Merauke, to the regent of that area. NRC Handelsblad possesses a copy of this letter in which it is stated that participants to the musyawarah (deliberating popular meetings) must be selected on their loyalty to Indonesia. If there is no loyalty, then 'one has to have the courage to use improper methods to remove the delegates concerned'.

Papua Demands a Stake in Freeport Indonesia
Antara/Asia Pulse 6.3.00

The regional administration of Papua has called for amendment of the working contract of PT Freeport Indonesia to include the province as a shareholder in the U.S. company. Papua Governor Freddy Numberi said the amendment could put an end to frequent disputes between the local people and copper and gold mining company.

Calls for UN to oversee independence referendum in West Papua

Radio Australia - World News, 7.3.00 (
Members of a major conference on the future of West Papua have called on the United Nations to oversee an independence referendum.Around 80 members of various independence factions met in the West Papua town of Sentani. Clemens Runaweri, a leader of the West Papuan independence movement based in Papua New Guinea attended the meeting, and says the various factions managed to achieve a degree of unity.

TAPOL Urgent Action Bulletin 7.3.00

Asking members to contact British MPs to urge them to sign the following Early Day Motion concerning the Act of Free Choice:

EDM 475: West Papua
This House recalls that in August 1969 an 'Act of Free Choice' ('the Act') took place in the former Dutch colonial territory now known as West Papua or Papua, then under Indonesian administration, which was intended to be an act of self-determination conforming with 'international practice'; further recalls that the Act in fact involved an unrepresentative group of 1,025 persons selected by Indonesia voting under duress to become part of Indonesia; is concerned that the Act was not free and fair and was not a proper act of self-determination in accordance with international law; notes that in December 1999 the Government of the Netherlands agreed to investigate the circumstances under which West Papua was incorporated into Indonesia; further notes that in February 2000 the Grand Assembly of West Papua, comprising representatives from across the territory, voted to reject the result of the Act because it did not conform with international practice and took place amidst intimidation and murder by the Indonesian military; and calls upon Her Majesty's Government to recognise that the inalienable right of the people of West Papua to self-determination has not yet been realised in accordance with international law  and to press the UN to investigate the Act with a view to carrying out a proper act of self determination in the territory; and further calls upon Her Majesty's Government to press the Government of Indonesia to enter into meaningful dialogue with West Papuan representatives to seek peaceful and democratic solutions to their grievances.

Indonesian Environment Minister says Freeport deal still open to change: Sonny
Jakarta Post 7.3.00

Minister of the Environment Sonny Keraf said that the mining contract between the government and PT Freeport Indonesia remained open to change, pending the results of an environmental audit of the company. Sonny said there remained the possibility of the government reviewing or renegotiating the deal if a joint team comprising officials from his office and the Ministry of Mines and Energy found the contract was flawed.

Police, military vow to take action on Papua separatists
Indonesian Observer 10.3.00
The National Police and the Military yesterday vowed to take harsh action against any separatist movements made by Papuan groups that plan to set up a new state within the country. The vow was made yesterday by West Papua Police Chief, Brigadier General Wenas, following statements from separatist leaders Theys Eluay and Don Flasi that they will establish a transitional government in May. The transitional government is part of the preparation for an independence declaration on December 1.

Indonesia Should Review Freeport Contract: Soemitro
Asia Pulse
The request by Freeport McMoran's commissioner Henry Kissinger that the government not amend PT Freeport Indonesia's contract of work would be against Indonesia's interest, said Indonesia's senior economist Soemitro Djojohadikusumo.

Freeport Indonesia Sets Aside US$150 MLN for Land Reclamation
Antara/Asia Pulse
PTFI has set aside US$150 million to rehabilitate 23,000 hectares of the vast land and forest devastation wrought by its tailing disposal areas, to start in 2016. This constitutes an admission by the company that its tailings disposal has indeed caused immense damage.

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