Victor Yeimo's arrest on December 1 (Photo: West Papua Media/KNPB)

KNPB leader reportedly resurfaces after disappearing upon release from police detention

Tabloid JUBI, with additional breaking news from Victor Mambor

3 December 2012

On 2 December. members of the National Committee of West Papua (KNPB) were still seeking information regarding the whereabouts of their chairman, Victor Yeimo who was released by the police after being interrogated in connection with the demonstration organised by the KNPB on 1 December.Yeimo was arrested on 1 December but then released on Saturday afternoon, but since then he has not been in contact  with other KNPB activists.

‘Today, after he was taken into custody  by the police in Abepura he was released because we were unable to continue with the questioning,’ a police spokesman told JUBI, when inquiries were made about the status of Yeimo and two others who had been arrested with him.

Although they have been released, the spokesman of KNPB, Wim Medlama  said that they have been looking for them but have not been able to find them.

‘Since yesterday,’ he said, ‘we have been trying to find out where they are but we have been unable to find them. We have searched every place we can think of  without finding them.We are now very confused about what has happened to them.’

He said that they have decided to go to the police in the morning to inquire about this. He also said that they would go to the police in the morning together with the WPNA, AMP and AMPTI.

According to information received obtained by JUBI from other sources,  Yeimo had separated from the  other activists in front of the Post Office in Abepura. Since then, they have not been able to find out anything about his whereabouts. When JUBI tried to contact Yeimo on his mobile, the phone was not active.

However, early Monday morning, Jubi journalist and editor Victor Mambor reported that he had confirmed that Victor Yeimo was already gathered with colleagues.  “Last night, I got an SMS from Mr. Waterpauw (Wakapolda) who says Victor Yeimo was been contacted by Alfred Papare (Kapolresta) on Sunday afternoon (02/11). Victor Yeimo is fine and he switched off his mobile phone for personal reasons. This morning, I got (an) sms from KNPB members who said Victor Yeimo already (was) gathered with them,” Mambor wrote in an email alert.
West Papua Media has attempted to independently contact Papuan police, but no reply has been forthcoming if Yeimo is under charge at the moment, nor to questions of Mr Yeimo’s treatment whilst in the hands of the police.  It is not known if Yeimo has been able to contact human rights lawyers.

Written and verbal questions to Jayapura police to determine Detachment 88 counter-terror unit involvement in his interrogation have also gone unanswered, as have questions as to why Yeimo was released while he is on a Wanted (Daftar Pencarian Orang or DPO) list, allegedly for subversion, and unfounded charges of his alleged involvement in “unknown persons” (Orang Terlatih Khusus) shootings – widely believed by Papuans to be the work of Indonesian special forces.  West Papua Media has documented several cases since the assassination of Mako Tabuni by Detachment 88 troops in June, of scores of highland Papuans who have been brutally mistreated by security forces in the hunt for Yeimo, who has been in hiding for most of this time.

 

[Additional reporting from West Papua Media, Translated by TAPOL]

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