Category Archives: News alert

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

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

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

Police Officers Allegedly Back Up the Palm Oil Company and Intimidate Local Residents

From our partners at

(please note: this article was published just before the sad news of Chief Hanebora’s untimely and sudden death was received and confirmed)

Yerisiam Tribal Chief Simon Petrus Hanebora, left - Jubi

Yerisiam Tribal Chief Simon Petrus Hanebora, left – Jubi

Jayapura, Jubi – Yerisiam Tribal Chief Simon Petrus Hanebora said he was expecting the attention from Papuan NGOs for investigating and doing advocacy on the palm oil plantation issue at Sima and Wami villages of Yaur Sub-district in Nabire Regency, Papua.

“We have tried to terminate the activity of PT. Nabire Baru through an official letter, but the company is still conducting its operation and get support from the Police Mobile Guard officers,” Hanebora said through email to Jubi on Wednesday (11/2/2015).

He further said on behalf of Yerisiam Tribe, he has sent letter to the Nabire Legislative Council and local government asking them to follow up their aspiration to shut down the company. However, both parliament and local government have not given their answer until now.
“Why do government and law enforcement keep silence about Yerisiam’s trouble? Though an intimidation, human rights violation and genocide towards Yerisiam tribe are on going. If we fought them back, they would accuse us as separatist, rebel and so on. What is truly happening?” said Hanebora.

For that reason, he expected both environmental and humanitarian NGOs could take part in the palm oil plantation issue in Nabire, in particular to conduct investigation and advocacy.

Meanwhile, as published in surapapua.com, as land tenure right owners whose land used palm oil plantation by PT. Nabire Baru, some Yerisiam tribal residents always been terrorized and threatened by police officers by accusing them involving with the Papua Free Movement (OPM) although it never existed.
“So we can make conclusion that those officers only made an argument to justify their acts to arrest and intimidate to customary landowners,” a coalition member of Nabire palm oil company’s victims, Charles Tawaru told suarapapua.com on Tuesday afternoon (3/2/2015).

“People protested the company for not being concerned towards their rights, including hire the police officers to intimidate and arrest them. There’s really no OPM headquarter here,” Tawaru said. (Arnold Belau/rom)