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Theo Hesegem : I Will Testify If Two French Journalists Testify in This Trial

by Ronny Hisage, from our partners at Papua Daily and tabloidjubi.com

Feb 19th, 2015 (apologies for the delay on posting)

Areki Wanimbo in the trial at Wamena District Court on Wednesday (18/02/2015) - Jubi

Wamena, Jubi – A witness in Areke Wanimbo’s case, Theo Hesegem, refused to testify in the trial against Areki Wanimbo in the Wamena District Court on Wednesday (18/02/2015).

He said the prosecutors should present two foreign journalists because they are the reason behind the arrest of Areki Wanimbo. When both journalists were tried in Jayapura, Wanimbo appeared as a witness.

“The Prosecutors must present both of them in this trial because Wanimbo testified in their trial as a witness,” Theo Hesegem said in his statement in front of judges in the Wamena District Court on Wednesday (18/2/2015).

He also refused to testify because he believed there is an inconsistency consisted in the sentences between the prosecutor’s charge and the police’s charge.

“In his indictment, the prosecutor said the witness Theo introduced Domi Surabut to the suspect Areki Wanimbo, while the police said I didn’t know Domi. Based on this difference, I refuse to testify in this trial,” Hesegem said.

Based on this rejection, the prosecutor assumed to recall him as witness next week. Meanwhile other witness Pither Wanimbo testified in the trial that the suspect had no connection with the letter of circulation on donations issued by the Papua Customary Council.
“I am the Lanny Jaya Customary Chief, not Areki Wanimbo. But because of the short of time to distribute the letter, I asked him to sign it because he is the tribal chief. But he didn’t know what was it about,” Piter Wanimbo testified in the Wamena District Court.

After Piter Wanimbo’s witness, the Presiding Judge Benyamin Nuboba suspended the trial and it will resume next week on Wednesday, 25 February 2015.

Meanwhile, Areki Wanimbo’s laywer Simon Patirajawane told reporter after the trial that Hesegem’s objection is part of his right as witness.
“At the time of examination, a witness (Theo Hesegem) objected to testify in the trial because he wanted two foreign journalists to become witnesses in this trial. Because they caused him to go behind bars,” Patirajawane said.

Related to witness Piter Wanimbo, he thought many things were not suitable with the Police’s charge.
“As a lawyer, I thought there are many things improper with the Police’s charge. For example there is a point in the charge that he (police prosecutor) pulled out.  It actually benefits us because the suspect was accused in relation to the letter on donation, but the fact is the suspect didn’t know about it,” he said.

Areki Wanimbo was a resource person of two French journalists Thomas Charles Dandois and Valentine Bourat who arrested by the Jayawijaya Police on 6 August 2014 in Wamena.

additional editing by West Papua Media

Jubi: Indonesian Youth May Launch Cyber Attack on Australia : Minister

Indonesia's Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs Tedjo Edhy Purdijatno

Jayapura, Jubi/Antara – Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs Tedjo Edhy Purdijatno remarked that Indonesian youths may launch a cyber attack on Australia in retaliation for the Tony Abbott government’s threat.

“Some time ago, Australians hit Indonesia through a cyber attack. Now, Indonesian youths might retaliate in the same way,” Tedjo Edhy Purdijatno said while attending the 14th congress of the National Committee of Indonesian Youth (KNPI) here on Thursday (26/2/2015).

He delivered his statement in front of a thousand Indonesian youths who were attending the congress in Papua. He was explaining the government’s stance on foreign pressure to cancel the death penalty.

According to the minister, President Joko Widodo is committed to combating drug abuse and trafficking. The policy of death sentence for drug dealers is not negotiable.

“The President is not going to pardon drug offences,” he added.

Therefore, the Indonesian government is not afraid of threats related to the execution of foreign drug dealers. Australia, he noted, will issue four threats if the Indonesian government executes two Australian drug smugglers, Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran. The four threats will be withdrawal of ambassadors, boycott of Indonesia’s tourism destinations, withdrawal of aid to Indonesia and its citizens overseas.

Last week, while making a plea for two Australian drug traffickers on death row, Australia’s Prime Minister Tony Abbott mentioned the country’s relief aid to Indonesia following the 2004 tsunami disaster.
“Abbott’s comments hurt Indonesia’s people,” he pointed out.

In response to Abbott’s comments, a group of people in Jakarta collected coins to raise funds to symbolically return Australia’s financial aid for the tsunami disaster in Aceh in 2004. The move was in protest against Abbott reminding Indonesia about his country’s humanitarian aid while he was making a plea for the lives of Andrew Chan and Sukumaran.

A similar action was launched by Muslim students in Aceh, saying they felt insulted by Abbott’s statement.

Earlier, an academic from the University of Pelangka Raya, Central Kalimantan, Prof. Dr. HM Norsanie Darlan said the death penalty will serve as a deterrent.

Drug abuse causes death; therefore, drug dealers deserve death,” Prof. Darlan noted here on Sunday night.

“We hope that death sentence, in addition to serving as a deterrent, would be a lesson that will stop other people from smuggling drugs into the country,” he remarked.

He stressed Indonesia should not be bothered by protests from other countries, such as Australia and Brazil, and even the United Nations Secretary-General.

According to him, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s statement, which reminded Indonesia about its humanitarian aid while attempting to save two Australians from execution, reflected his frustration.

“He (Abbott) is not aware that two of his people have caused much damage to the Indonesian people, mainly young boys and girls,” he pointed out.

Earlier, the Indonesian government stated that drugs claimed at least 50 Indonesians daily.

President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has said he will turn down all clemency appeals from drug convicts.

According to the government, the country is in a state of emergency and that it has the third largest number of drug addicts in the world and has become a major centre of international drug syndicates.

The government’s decision to issue the harshest punishment to drug dealers has received wide support, including from religious organizations and parliament.

The General chairman of the country’s largest non-political Islamic organization Nahdatul Ulama, Said Aqil Siradj, stated, “we should not waste time listening to protests from other countries.” “We should execute drug criminals to save our 240 million people,” Aqil added.

A lawmaker from the Commission III, Asrukl Sani, observed that Abbott was capitalizing on the death sentence issue to prop up his declining popularity.

The Attorney General’s Office is preparing to execute 8 drug convicts and three prisoners convicted of premeditated murders whose appeals for clemency have been turned down by the President.

Besides Myuran Sukumaran and Andre Chan from Australia, the other convicts are from the Philippines, France, Ghana, Spain, Brazil, and Indonesia.

The three convicts facing execution for premeditated murders are all Indonesians.

Sukamaran and Chan were arrested in April 2006 for attempting to smuggle in 8.3 kilograms of heroin to Bali. (*)

Police shoot two more civilians in Kontiunai, Yapen, killing one

by West Papua Media
 
February 16, 2015

More information has emerged that Indonesian police have shot two more West Papuan civilians in the Yapen Island village of Kontiunai, killing one, after the unprovoked killing of another civilian the day before by a Police patrol.

According to credible local human rights investigators interviewed by West Papua Media, Indonesian Brimob police shot Soni Fairumbab (25 years), and Yosias Sineri (35 years) in an unprovoked follow up action close to the February 11 shooting of Faris Rumanggito, which was at the 5km mark of the main Trans Yapen road.

A silver Toyota Avanza police van with eight fully armed police officers was seen at 8pm on February 11 by witnesses driving towards Serui city, having passed Angkaisera Police station, through the village of Kontiunai and on towards the north coast of Yapen.

However at the 4 kilometre post of the Trans Yapen (Serui to Saubeba) Road, the Avanza parked and the eight police inside it set up an impromptu roadblock, using a 2 metre piece of timber.

The two victims, Soni Fairumbab and Yosias Sineri, arrived at the roadblock on motorbikes as they were returning from buying food at the local store.  They were employees of a businessman named Sala, who is handling the North Shore drainage project along the North Shore.

According to statements from Sineri, the surviving victim, the “actors” (Police perpetrators) shone their police torches and floodlight into the victim’s faces at the road block, to disorient them and preventing their further movement, and proceeded to beat Fairumbab in the face with the torch, injuring him severely.  Sineri panicked and broke away from the police officers, and started to run, where without warning several officers opened fire simultaneously from their automatic rifles, hitting both Fairumabab and Sineri in each’s right leg.

Fairumbab’s right calf wound, combined with his head and face injuries were mortal and he was quickly dead at the scene, whereas Sineri was struck by a minor bullet wound to his right foot, and fearing for his life, jumped into the surrounding jungle darkness.

From his hiding place and backed up by other independent witnesses, Sineri witnessed the eight officers get back in the car and leave at very high speed back towards Serui city.  Local villagers separately to a WPM source reported that at precisely 10pm two trucks (almost 50 paramilitary police) of heavily armed POLRES Yapen Dalmas (Brimob “public order” commandos) descended on Kontiunai village to commence a patrol and occupation.  According to local sources, civilians in the village asked each other “What else is going to happen later?,” as at the time they did not know if there was a shooting that occurred nearby.

At 8am the next morning (February 12) the severely injured Yosias Sineri, who had been hiding through the night, made his way to Kontiunai to tell the news that he and Fairumbab had been obstructed then shot by the police in the silver Avanza, and villagers knew then that a shooting had occurred.

At the crime scene Soni Fairumbab was found lifeless, together with 11 used bullet casings from used in the shooting, and also one ejected unused bullet.

Yapen police were contacted by WPM for comment, but hung up when asked.

Westpapuamedia

Coalition calls on Bupati to revoke PT Nabire Baru’s permit

Report by our partners AwasMifee

February 13, 2015

A group of organisations using the name “Coalition caring for oil palm victims in Nabire” is urging the Bupati of Nabire to revoke PT Nabire Baru’s oil palm plantation permit. This would follow a precedent set by the Bupati of Mimika last December, who revoked PT Pusaka Agro Lestari’s permit. Like PT Nabire Baru, that company had already been operating for a few years, and had cleared thousands of hectares of forest.

PT Nabire Baru is possibly the most controversial plantation in Papua. There are many aspects which are seen as problematic, from the way the company dealt with customary land rights to the lack of an environmental impact assessment before land clearing started. The plantation has divided the community and there have been a string of violent incidents at the hands of Police Mobile Brigade (Brimob) guards employed to guard the company’s operation.

The organisations involved in the coalition are: Dewan Adat Meepago, Dewan Lingkunagan Masyarakat Adat Papua, PUSAKA, Greenpeace, FIM. Here are their demands:

In line with law 21 of 2001 concerning the recognition and protection of the rights of customary communities and Law No 39 of 1999 concerning human rights, and in order to avoid misunderstandings between the Yerisiam people and the Nabire Consultative Leadership Board (Muspida), together with indigenous communites we recommend that:

  1. The Governor of Papua province should revoke PT Nabire Baru’s plantation permit (IUP) and arrange a meeting between PT Nabire Baru and the Yerisiam indienous community. If PT Nabire Baru doesn’t want to meet these demands then its plantation permit should be revoked.
  2. In the spirit of Papuan special autonomy, PT Nabire Baru and PT Sariwana Unggal Mandiri must start negotiations with customary landowners, in this case from the Yerisiam and Mee ethnic groups, to talk about a MoU with the Yerisiam people and compensation for the wood that has already been extracted
  3. It must be stated that the transfer of land from Yunus Monei to Imam Basrowi which took place on on 15th October 2008 was invalid because it violated the rights of customary communities, as in customary law it is impossible for one person to own land covering thousands of hectares.
    Source: Pusaka

Papuan News website Majalah Selangkah, which is based in Nabire, also filed the following story:

To protect the people, Nabire’s Bupati urged to shut down oil palm company PT Nabire Baru

There are indications that an oil Palm company, PT Nabire Baru, which has taken over the Yerisiam people’s lands, has violated the terms of Law 21 of 2001 concerning recognition and protection of the rights of customary communities as also laid down in Law No 39 of 1999 concerning human rights. This is believed to have caused new conflicts between the indigenous communities, the company and the Nabire Regency government.

The issue has attracted a response from a member of Commission 1 of the Papuan Provincial Legislative Council, Laurenzus Kadepa. Kadepa supports the closure of PT Nabire Baru.

He said that the Bupati of Nabire needed to learn from the Bupati of Mimika who recently shut down the PT Pusaka Agro Lestari company which was operating in his administration’s territory. According to Kadepa, that action was taken by a brave leader who valued human rights and the survival of local communities, including future generations.

Kadepa appealed for the Bupati of Nabire to look at Merauke and Keerom regencies, where after local governments accepted oil palm companies, negative impacts for local communies followed. There, Kadepa continued, a glaring divide had emerged between different segments of society.

“Dont let that haappen in Nabire,” was Kadepa’s clear reminder

“I fear that problems like that in Degeuwo Bayabiru in Kabupaten Paniai will also happen in Nabire Regency , to the Yerisiam people. They are taking wood as it suits them, and recklessly grabbing ancestral land”. Kadepa made clear [translator’s note: Degeuwo is an informal gold-mining area where migrants mostly from Sulawesi have been accompanied by violence and social problems into a previously inaccessible forest area].

According to him, the companies have been creating a “living hell” for the indigenous people on their own ancestral lands.

“Giving permits to corporations to clear land is ‘hell’. It will only bring new conflicts to the local indigenous people”, Kadepa said.

It is hoped that the government will make the people’s interests their priority, acting out of humanity and thinking about indigenous people’s livelihoods into the future. “Don’t look at the company’s money, look towards the people. Don’t just prioritize private and corporate interests, because the impacts will be terrible, especially in Nabire which is the main route into several regencies in the central mountains”, Kadepa made clear.
Source: Majalah Selangkah

Police shoot farmer in Yapen

February 13,  2015

by West Papua Media

(Updated for correct date)

Early  reports have been received from West Papua Media sources of police killing on Yapen Island on Wednesday, February 11..

Police officers on patrol in Yapen, approaching the village of Saubeba, have shot dead a civilian named Faris RUMANGGITO (FR), approximately 40 years of age. FR was shot dead by police in unknown circumstances by Indonesian BRIMOB officers at 5:47AM near the KM 5 junction of the Ambaidiru – Saubeba road.

The bodies have now been brought to the village Kontiunai, in Angkaisera District, Yapen.

A farmer, Rumanggito is from the village Yobi, but he lived in the village Kontiunai.  According to local officials questioned by a WPM stringer, Yobi may have been shot by police “because they were looking for Michael Merani,” the local West Papua Revolutionary Army guerrilla commander.

More information as it becomes available.

Westpapuamedia