Category Archives: Urgent Action

opening fire

Shootings, killings, beatings, arrests as Hundreds flee to jungle after Indon Police open fire on peaceful KNPB demo

From the entire West Papua Media team in PNG and West Papua

November 28, 2013

WPM apologises for the delay in posting due to the remote location of the WPM team, and the delays in finding independent witnesses to help in cross-checking of this extreme situation.  This situation is developing and will be updated as more information comes to hand.

Key developments:

  • Indonesian police open fire on peaceful protesters in Jayapura, with at least four gunshot wounds and one death;
  • West Papuan activists and families forced to flee to the jungle for safety;
  • Indonesian security forces conduct scores of raids, sweeps and offensives against West Papuan civilians;
  • Attacks happen during visit of National Police Chief General Sutarman
  • over 200 people arrested across West Papua;
  • Journalists attacked by Indonesian police;

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Images from the crackdown in Jayapura (Credit:West Papua Media/MS); Images from Arrests in Timika (Credit: KNPBNews.com); and Wamena (Credit: WestPapuaMedia/KNPBNews.com).

Indonesian forces have again opened fire on a peaceful Jayapura gathering of about 500 people held by the West Papua National Committee (KNPB), with the shooting of at least 4 demonstrators, and the confirmed death of at least one, on November 26.  A total of 15 people are still in serious condition in hospitals around Jayapura with a range of wounds sustained during the live fire dispersal by Indonesian police.

In the worst single act of Indonesian state violence since the October 19 2011 crackdown on the Third Papuan Peoples Congress, ongoing sweeps and arrests have been continuing in the time since, causing most members of the KNPB fleeing with their families into the relative safety of the jungle.  Unconfirmed reports have also surface that the police have called in the Indonesian Army (TNI) to hunt for KNPB members.

Correspondents have also reported to West Papua Media that Indonesian radio stations in Papua have been broadcasting repeated messages from the Indonesian police against all pro-independence forces, starting with the KNPB.  “We will use force to break apart the KNPB,” a senior Indonesian Police figure in Papua was heard to say on all Jayapura radio stations early on Wednesday morning.  Unconfirmed reports have said that these broadcasts have been repeated hourly across West Papua, with the National Police Chief also issuing warnings that separatism will not be accepted any more.

The rally was part of a nationwide day of mobilisations in solidarity with the opening of the Free West Papua Campaign office in Papua New Guinea on November 28.  31 people were arrested by Police in Timika, and 3 arrested in Sorong as KNPB chapters there also organised rallies and prayers to support the opening of the PNG office, which is being held with the involvement of thousands of people throughout Papua New Guinea, including senior members of the PNG Parliament.

A rally in Wamena drew several thousand enthusiastic and cheering supporters wearing traditional dress (many bedecked in the banned Morning Star flag) on a long march mass action, led by KNPB Wamena region Chairman, Simion Dabi  This was the only rally where police were vastly outnumbered by participants, and police blockaded several points along the route but did not attempt to prevent the rally from going ahead.

Jayapura
The Jayapura shooting victim, KNPB activist Matthius Tengget from near Oksibil in the Star Mountains, died of his wounds in custody.  However, his body was not retrieved until Wednesday evening after it was dumped into the lake, allegedly by those members of the Brimob paramilitary police units who shot him as they were conducting the dispersal.  At time of writing, his family were conducting his funeral in Sentani.

According to a statement from KNPB General Chairman Victor Yeimo, currently in Abepura prison, “KNPB and family members of the victims are also looking for four (4) other KNPB members that are missing: their whereabouts are unknown or their bodies have not yet been found. Three of the victims carry the Mul surname and the fourth Lambe. We strongly suspect that the police shot them and disposed of their bodies.”

“Until now we are still looking for possible victims of yesterday’s mass action who were most presumably shot and disappeared: in their attempt to disperse yesterday’s demonstration, the Police and the Mobile Brigade fired a lot of shots and they chased many demonstrators towards Buper, the Housing Complex III, Ekspo, until Iyoka and all the way to the edge of Sentani Lake,” said Yeimo.

Up to 15 people were hospitalised from both gunshots and beatings, including a group of three young women from the Yahukimo dormitory who were savagely beaten by police during their arrests.  More reports have also been given that scores of female activists were rounded up and severely beaten by Indonesian police and military officers.

The shootings were under the operational field command of the notorious hardliner Deputy Jayapura Police Chief Kiki Kurnia, Abepura area POlice commander Deky Hursepunny, together with Jayapura Police Chief Alfred Papare, with the Deputy Papua
Police Chief Paulus Waterpauw and Papua Police Chief Tito Karnavian allegedly sighted monitoring the situation from their private Kijang vehicles.

Police have predictably launched a propaganda offensive across its tame colonial media networks in West Papua, accusing the KNPB of conducting a riot.  However, stringers for West Papua Media, independent witnesses in the busy Waena shopping area, and KNPB spokespeople have all vehemently denied riotous behaviour by the protesters, instead describing how a peaceful sit-in was brutally dispersed under the orders of a cohort of four senior police officers, who have been personally responsible for ordering significant and ongoing human rights abuses against KNPB members.

Direct Witness to Brutality
A survivor of Tuesday’s violence fled to Papua New Guinea immediately after the shooting, was directly interviewed by West Papua Media  – unidentified for their own safety – and has described how police opened fire without targeting, instead firing indiscriminately into the crowd.

Before the shooting, a mass of people had gathered in the field outside the Expo Waena bus terminal and market in front of the Museum, mainly sitting and chatting while listening to speeches.  According to the witness, police surrounded the gathering on three sides, and the protest leader Buchtar Tabuni attempted to negotiate with senior police present, including the Alfred Papare, Kiki Kurnia and Deky Hursepunny. As it became clear that police were refusing to negotiate with Tabuni, demonstrators agreed to maintain the peaceful action.

According to the witness, Senior police then yelled to the crowd, ordering them to disperse.  However, almost immediately, and without further warning of escalation of the threat, Police commanders ordered the front ranks of police in front of the bus terminal to open fire.

“When the the shooting started, as I was running, I saw the KapolSek Deky Hursepunny and Kapolresta Alfred Papare standing at the gate, directing his police where to fire,” the witness said.

Upon questioning, the witness testified that police initially fired tear gas, but switched very quickly to automatic weapons.   The witness also confirmed that instead of individually targeting demonstrators, police seemed to be firing wildly into the crowd, firing indiscriminately.

Both the order to open fire without warning, and the subsequent excessive use of firearms against civilians are direct violations of both Indonesian and international law.  International Lawyer Jennifer Robinson, Convener of the International Lawyers for West Papua and currently meeting in PNG, told West Papua Media that “This use of excessive force against KNPB members is in breach of international law and Indonesia’s own police regulations on the use of force”.

“This latest incident falls within a repeated pattern of the use of excessive and lethal force by Indonesian police against peaceful activists in West Papua which is indicative of a broader state policy. Continued impunity for the police involved is unacceptable and the failure to punish gives rise to command and state responsibility,” Robinson said.

Many beatings were meted out on KNPB members by Police during the arrests, with allegations that rifle butts were repeatedly used – a standard practice for the Indonesian police against peaceful demonstrators in Papua.

Plain clothes police special forces, described by the witness as “Polisi Preman” (Police gangsters), then continued two days of terror against West Papuan civilians, some in no way connected with the civil resistance movement.  This campaign, at time of writing, shows no sign of lessening.

“We were running across Waena.  Police used many rental cars and were driving around in balaclavas like terrorists, pointing automatic weapons outside their vehicles, and shooting now around Perumnas 1, causing all who could see it to hide in their houses.  At the same time a black Avanza stopped in front of us, followed by white and red Avanzas, pointing weapons at all Papuans present. We ran, because we knew we were about to be shot – we had to seek safety with Indonesian transmigrants, who were unaware of the situation,” the witness told West Papua Media wearily.

“After police shoot the demonstrators, participants fled to the forest.  Police then conducted a brutal sweep, targeting anyone who was wearing dreadlocks, beard, or even wearing sunglasses, and arresting them all,” the witness said.  Civilians have fled in panic, and the witness described Waena as deserted when they fled.  Families of those at the demonstrations have fled to the jungle.  It is not known of normal social functions are continuing, due to the difficulty in getting direct contact with sources in Jayapura.

Our witness reported that two days prior to the demonstration, Indonesian army helicopters were searching extensively around the hills in areas that would be the the first point of refuge for civilian after any shooting.

The witness survivor believes that this indicated that the shootings by police were premeditated and planned, although West Papua Media has been unable to independently confirm this.  However the attacks on protesters occurred just prior to the arrival at Sentani airport of National Police Chief General Sutarman, who has exploited the lack of honest reportage by colonial media to issue more threats against any Papuans who dare dream they can freely express themselves.

“We will take firm action against groups or individuals wanting to separate Papua from Indonesia because Papua is part of Indonesia,” State media Antara quoted Sutarman telling the colonial press in Jayapura.

Tabloid Jubi reported that the Papua Deputy Police Chief Waterpauw has denied KNPB the right to freedom of expression, permanently. ” I made it clear to the group West Papua National Committee ( KNPB ), immediately stop the steps that are likely to violence . Whatever the form of their intention and desire to perform activities in public hearings, (it) will never be given permission or recommendation to implement it , because we know the purpose of the organisation and their desire is clear , (they) want to form a state , split off and so on , “said Waterpauw on Tuesday ( 26/11 ) evening in Jayapura City police headquarters.

An independent international observer in Jayapura contacted by West Papua Media just prior to publication, speaking on condition of anonymity, went even further than the witness now in PNG, stating unequivocally that the crackdown was a “premeditated, highly engineered manufacturing of consent of the type that Tito Karnavian is such a master of, just like his OTK killings.”

“It beggars belief that Karnavian, hoping to please his boss – or more to the point those who would seek to replace the boss with Karnavian – would not be the engine of of a textbook counterinsurgency operation to smash a pesky bunch of separatists.  The only problem is, those separatists are unarmed and were conducting a peaceful gathering.  It looks like the whole thing was organised for a long time.  It is well beyond time those gangsters were held to account,” the observer said, naming Karnavian, Kurnia, Papare and Waterpauw as the perpetrators of massive human rights abuses against Papuan civilians.

The observer added that they saw the gathering just prior to its dispersal and can vouch for the gathering’s peaceful conduct, but was disturbed at the large number of security forces that were surrounding Waena.  “There were at least ten platoons of Brimob, and hundreds of swanggi (ghosts) everywhere, surrounding on three sides the KNPB sitting in a park,” the observer said – confirming maps drawn by the survivor witness.  “They were itching for brutality.  How is this Policing?”

A total of twenty eight people were arrested, but were released by Wednesday night.  KNPB national spokesperson Wim Rocky Medlama told SuaraPapua.com that they are fed up with the police’s actions, which are arrogant and excessive. “This is too excessive. And I think that the police have much to learn. So that they undertake their duties in accordance with the orders”, as quoted in SuaraPapua.com.

Olga Hamadi, the coordinator of the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (KontraS) Papua, also told SuaraPapua that the police’s actions were excessive and the pattern of arrests should stop.

“I’ve only just heard this information. I think that the police are too excessive. Patters of arrests such as this should no longer be necessary. This is included under the rights of each person to express themselves. Moreover this is a democratic country right”, she said in an SMS message sent to Suara Papua, adding that people expressing their views should not be attacked and arrested. “They should be given space. The issue of expressing views in public should not be responded to with arrests and law enforcement. If [the police] are going to be like this it won’t solve the Papuan problem”, said Hamadi.

More arrests
Earlier on Tuesday morning at 8:13 local time. KNPB Secretary-General Ones Suhun was arrested with 6 members of the KNPB (Assa Asso, Okram Wanimbo, Sam Lokobal, Meminda (Mendenas) Sol, Konoru Wenda, and Bonsan Mirin) by Indonesian Police outside the Student dormitories at Putaran Perumnas 3, Waena, Jayapura.  They had just begun to hand out leaflets about the afternoon’s peaceful rally calling for the respect of West Papua’s right to self-determination. Most were released by Wednesday night.

Reports received by West Papua Media overnight from distressed sources fleeing through the jungle have confirmed that a further series of brutal sweeps and raids had occurred all afternoon and evening on Tuesday and continuing through Wednesday, with unconfirmed reports of Puma helicopters being used to find activists.  Hundreds of heavily armed Police were used to raid the offices of the KNPB Secretariat on Tuesday afternoon, also confiscating  all the contents and destroying what was left.

At least thirty more people were reportedly arrested overnight on the 26th, although this has not been independently verified by West Papua Media, however Buchtar Tabuni was moved by his supporters to a safe location.

Across Papua
In Sorong, the KNPB rally was also forcibly broken up by Police, and Marthinus Yohame (regional Chairman of KNPB), Kantius Heselo (Vice chair KNPB Sorong), Natalis Surabut Gebby Mambrasar, Nius Loho and Welem Surabut, were arrested for holding the rally, but were released overnight.

In TImika,  31 people were arrested by a Joint Police and TNI taskforce at Kelly Kwalik’s Cemetery Park at about 8.15 in the morning as they began to gather for their demonstration.  Police also arrested The Chairman of KNPB Region Timika, Steven Itlay and the chair of Mimika’s Parliament, Abihut Degey  while leading peaceful rally in demand the right of Self-determination in West Papua and are being held still at the Police Post, Mile 32. Their names are:
1. Steven Itlay
2. Abihud Degey
3. Billy Hagawal
4. Dony Mote
5. Petrus Bobii
6. Bony Bora
7. Yulianus Edoway
8. Paulus Doo
9. Martinus Pekey
10. Paulina Pakage
11. Agustin Pekey
12. Sony Ukago
13. Daniel Kotouki
14. Seprianus Edoway
15. Argenes Pigay
16. Menase Dimi
17. Timotius Kossay
18. Welius Kogoya
19. Demianus Kogoya
20. Kasianus Kamke
21. Aduart Suruan
22. Melianus Gobay
23. Pais Nasia
24. Makson Kotouki
25. Maria Piligain
26. Markus Entama
27. Yustinus Pigome
28. Sior Heselo
29. Semuel Edoway
30. Agus Itlay
31. Yakonias Womsiwor

Biak also saw its KNPB rally broken up police, with several arrests reported and injuries sustained.  KNPB Biak Chairman Apollos Sroyer reported to West Papua Media that the actions of police were again excessive in preventing a prayer session from going ahead, using scores of police and troops to blockade access to the church.  Police dispersed the crowd later in the afternoon.

In Manokwari, KNPB members were also banned from holding any events in solidarity with the PNG office opening, but were able to negotiate with the hundreds of riot police, and the rally went ahead with several hundred participants, dispersing peacefully after a prayer in the late afternoon.

In remote Yahukimo in the highlands, an action supported by KNPB Yakuhimo in support of the IPWP/ILWP meeting at Parliament Haus in PNG on Nov 27, and FWPPNG office opening in PNG was held in front of the Ruko Putra store.  The action was carried out in face of threats from Brimob officers and a platoon of fully armed TNI of Kodim Wamena 1702 (Battalion 752), and also 15 Kopassus special forces brought in from Jakarta.  They were backed up by a large but unknown number of police from from POLRES Dekei Yahukimo under the command of the local Polresta Eliakin Ap.

The forces presence was was requested by Ones Pahabol, the Yahukimo Bupati (District Head). Ones Pahabol is also the local head of the Committee of the 17th District of the GIDI (Indonesian Evangelical Church), who is considered extremely pro-Indonesian.  According to KNPB sources in Yahukimo, Pahabol’s reason for requesting military support was to break up any KNPB demonstration, and he ordered the dispersal of the KNPB activists because he was prohibiting the expression of the KNPB in public.

However the KNPB reported that even though the local government, police and local church committee refused to give permission for the rally to go ahead, the district head of gidi church did give them permission. However the KNPB commented that it was “as if the church were giving permission to the military to kill their parishioners.  Despite this military threat we give our full support to the IPWP meetings happening in PNG on the 27th – 29th.” said a KNPB spokesperson from Yahukimo.

Media Attacks
Several Journalists were also attacked by police during the Waena dispersal, forcing an apology from the Jayapura police chief Alfred Papare.   Police officers reportedly beat and threatened the journalists at a scene behind the administrative court offices , Waena , Jayapura.  According to a report in SuaraPapua.com, the three West Papuan journalists that suffered intimidation from police, were Aprila Wayar ( tabloidjubi.com ) , Micelle Gobay ( SKH torch Papua ) , and Arnold Belau ( suarapapua.com ), Hengky Yeimo (MajalahSelangkah) as well as a national reporter , Alvarez Oru Maga ( Reuters )

In addition, independent media website Suara Papua has been subjected to a denial of service attack, after they published accounts conflicting from the official police version of the story.  It is believed by many season observers on cyber conflict in Indonesia, that this is the work of a shadowy  cyber- division of the Indonesian police trained and funded by the Australian government, despite the fake outrage generated by the Canberra-Jakarta spy scandal.

In news to hand just before publication, two more bodies have been recovered from around Jayapura suffering gunshot wounds, though it is unconfirmed whether they were victims of the November 26 shootings, or further murders by security forces.

A highly credible source reported to West Papua Media that on November 27 at 3.30pm, a Papuan youth named Ottis Membilang (17), was shot by two TNI soldiers.  According to witnesses, Membilang was standing on the side of the road in front if his home near the Mega store at Waena when 2 TNI members arrived in an unidentified vehicle and shot and killed him for no apparent reason.  This is within metres of the area that West Papua Media’s witnessing survivor of November 26’s violence described troops and police  driving around in Avanzas, wearing balaclavas and threatening to shoot all nearby Papuans.

At the time that the first victim Mathius Tengget was being buried by his family, another body was found at Koya Barat (West Koya), at Wlara Tami near Skouw. KNPB sources have yet to confirmed if the body belongs to one of those missing since Tuesday’s brutality. The Tami River has long been a notorious dumping ground for victims of the Indonesian security forces’ Ninjas, as the river after rain sweeps all bodies far out into the Pacific Ocean into shark infested waters.

More to Come.

West Papua Media

Preliminary report into Waghete deaths and sweepings

Report compiled by Selpius Bobii in Abepura

September 26, 2013

On Monday 23 September 2013 in the town of Waghete which is the main town of the region (kabupaten) Deiyai (district Tigi) at 11.30 am local time, an action of violence by the Indonesian armed forces causing death and bloodshed of unarmed civilians occurred. The incident arose as a result of arbitrary sweeping carried out by joint forces of Paniai based BRIMOB (‘Mobile Brigade’ being an Indonesian National Police special operations force unit), Paniai regional Police together with Indonesian military Unit Timsus 753 (TNI) based at the Paniai Koramil (Regional military headquarters). The sweeping was carried out under the command of the Head of the Paniai Regional Police High Police Commissioner Sammy Rony.

The target of the sweeping which included confiscation of items was as follows:

  1. Sharp weapons including smaller knives, larger (machete type) knives, axes and bows and arrows;
  2. Hand shovels;
  3. Mobile phone cards for checking of any activist photos or other photos related to the Papuan Freedom movement such as the Morning Star Flag;
  4. Civilians with long dreadlocks or long beards, who are all suspected by the Indonesian armed forces of being members of the TPN/OPM (these persons were to be detained).
Waghete villagers mourning the police murder of priest’s son Alpius Mote

During the sweeping the Police detained 15 people based on nonsensical reasons, and at this time they are all incarcerated in the jail cells at the Paniai District Police Command headquarters. These include a female by the name of Alfrida Dogopia. They were detained under conditions of torture, intimidation and insult carried out by the TNI Timsus (Tim Khusus or Special Team unit from Kopassus special forces)unit, BRIMOB and Paniai regional police.

The local community responded to the above by protesting to the local police. The Head of the District Police commanded those under him to shoot any civilians that protested to the operation. Accordingly BRIMOB, ordinary police and the TNI joint forces responded to any behaviour of protest by civilians with extremely excessive violence by shooting civilians. The consequence was 3 civilians were shot by members of BRIMOB in the Waghete field (open grassed area in the town) at approximately 11.30 am local time.

The shooting victims were as follows:

  1. Alpius Mote, a student at the Deiyai Upper Secondary State School in Waghete, child of the local Church Minister Daud Mote. He was shot dead. The bullet entered on the right side of his chest and went through exiting his back.
  2. Alex Mote, a youth from Deiyai was shot. He is presently being treated at the Paniai Hospital.
  3. Yance Pekey, an English Teacher from the Deiyai State Upper Secondary School. News is that he was shot and beaten at the school offices and at this time is being detained at the Paniai Police District Headquarters.

The local community didn’t accept the actions of the joint armed forces and considered them to be extremely excessive. The body of the shooting victim was taken to the police offices by community members  at 19.00 hours and the police were asked to take responsibility for the death.  Until this moment the Waghete community is still struck by fear by the events that occurred.

According to the Head of the Paniai District Police High Police Commissioner Sammy Rony, the sweeping was carried out to make the area safe for civilians and intended against those who were in the practice of gambling, getting drunk and carrying sharp instruments. According to Rony property of local government was damaged as a result of the drunkenness. He said the disturbance had started five days before the shooting incident. “Since last Wednesday a group of people  have done damage to a number of houses of government officials in the town of Waghete, including that of the Deiyai Region Bupati (i.e. Head of the local regional (kabupaten) government) Dance Takimai and of the Kabupaten Secretary Basilius Badii” stated Rony.  He claimed that the damage to the officials’ houses was suspected to have been carried out by a group of supporters of a certain candidate for the bupati position that failed to be elected in the recent elections for the head of the Deiyai Kabupaten. “So in this there is an influence from alcohol and also problems regarding local elections” Rony stated to a journalist from Tempo, Jerry Amona.

According to the Head of the District Police Command the alleged culprits of the damage to the officials’ houses who were also suspected of intentionally starting the commotion at the time of the mobilisation of the joint police and Indonesian military armed forces to carry out the sweepings through the town of Waghete. “ Suddenly a group of people arrived and attacked our forces, hitting them with pieces of wood. I immediately gave the order to shoot” he stated (source: m.tempo.co/read/news/2013/09/23/058515978).

According to the spokesperson for the Papuan Provincial Police AKBP Sulityo Pudjo Hartono, the conflict between the civilians and the joint armed forces occurred at the moment the sweeping was being carried out to “make the area safe from a number of social sicknesses including gambling, drunkenness and carrying of sharp implements”. According to Hartono, the civilians didn’t accept the raids and there was even provocation with civilians throwing rocks at the armed forces, who responded by shooting into the air.  However according to Hartono, the civilians were becoming increasingly anarchist even to the point that one of the military was hit, so the joint forces fired in the direction of the civilians shooting one civilian. Hartono stated that the citizen shot critically aged 25 years was evacuated to the Paniai hospital, however he died before arriving at the hospital.

The spokesperson for the Papuan Provincial Police tried to justify the act of the police from a legal perspective, stating that the shooting of the forces was in accordance with procedure as the civilians were increasingly anarchist. He said if they hadn’t fired the actions of the civilians would have developed into something bigger (source: www.news.viva.co.id/news/read/446352-bentrok-aparat-dan-warga-di-papua–1-tewas).

However the a local activist at Waghete, Yohanes Mote, contradicted the statement of the Police that the community attacked the joint armed forces.  According to Mote, the community did not attack the police (BRIMOB and ordinary regional police) and TNI with arrows, wood or otherwise, but rather it was the police and TNI carrying out the sweeping with excessive use of agression that caused the disturbance amongst the community.

“I was there at the location at the time it happened. The community was not using arrows and did not attack in any way.  We were disappointed about the way the police were carrying out the checking operation to the point that they were even checking inside the koteka (i.e. traditional penis sheath worn by males) of men.   As there can be nothing possibly inside a koteka other than the male genitals. So why did they have to check inside the koteka? We want to ask why did the police not confiscate and ban the drinking of alcohol and gambling! It’s the alcohol and gambling that kills Papuans but they (armed forces) didn’t ban those, but rather acted to annihilate our people”  Yohanes Mote, human rights activist in Waghete.

To respond to this bloody tragedy, youth and students of Papua in Jayapura have united to form ‘In Solidarity and Concern for the Shooting of the State Upper Secondary School’ and carried out a demonstration on the office of the Papuan Parliament (DPRP) on 25 September 2013.  The student demonstration was received by the Chairperson of Parliamentary Commission (A) Ruben Magai together with a member of Parliamentary Commission (D) Nason Utty, where the students demanded the Head of the Indonesian National Police to remove from office the Head of the Papuan Provincial Police, the Head of the District Police in Paniai and the Head of the Sub-District Police Command, being those 3 persons being responsible for the Waghete incident. The students also demanded that those responsible for the shooting be forced to face transparent legal process and strongly urged the Papuan Parliament to immediately form an Investigative Team to look into the case at hand.  Together with a number of representatives from the student demonstration the DPRP this date formed an Investigative Team for the Bloody Tragedy at the Kabupaten of Deiyai.  It is planned that in the immediate future that this team will travel to Deiyai to gather accurate data from all parties involved at Deiyai (source; www.sindonews.com/read/2013/09/25/26/787221/gedung-dprd-papua-diduduki-mahasiswa).

In regard to this same incident, the community demanded that the Head of the Paniai Kabupaten Police who gave the instruction to shoot at the civilians and the member of BRIMOB who carried out the fatal shooting be required to face legal process as they have both committed serious human rights violations. It was requested that the Head of the Indonesian National Police that the Head of the Tigi Kecematan (i.e. Sub-District) Police, the Head of Paniai Kabupaten Police and the Head of Papuan Provincial Police all be stood-down from their positions as they were all assessed as not acting responsibly.

It is also hoped by the community together with the youth and students that the Deiyai Case Investigative Team that has been formed by DPRP in Jayapura would go immediately to the District of Tigi in Waghete to gather accurate data that can be trusted in relation to this incident.

Reported by: Selpius Bobii, General Chairperson – Front PEPERA –

(NOTE: WPM HAS CONFIRMED ALL FACTS IN THIS REPORT)

 

1 dead, 3 shot in Waghete, Paniai by Brimob for refusing to shave dreadlocks

by West Papua Media team

September 25, 2013

West Papua Media (WPM) stringers have received credible disturbing reports of a major escalation in Indonesian police operations against civilians in the Waghete, outside Enarotali in Paniai, resulting in the shooting of three civilians and the death of one.

Three men were shot by Brimob paramilitary police on September 23 after refusing to cut their hair or beards, and another two were arrested.  Alpius Mote (20) was shot dead by Brimob in the chest and died on the spot.  Fransiskus Dogopia (30) is in a critical condition after being shot with automatic fire by Brimob in his stomach and in the right side of his neck.  The third shooting victim, Alex Mote (29), has unknown gunshot injuries and his condition is also unknown at time of writing.
Police also arrested Frans Bukeja (21) and Yance Pekei (22), also for refusing to cut their hair, according to human rights workers.  Bukeja has been since released by Police, however Pekei is still being detained at the Enarotali District Police Command Post, and his family is gravely concerned for his safety, according to WPM sources.

According to local witnesses, speaking to WPM by telephone on condition of anonymity,  the operations in Waghete occurred on Monday, September 23, with house to house sweeps by hundreds of heavily armed Brimob, looking for any supporters of Papuan independence, and confiscating mobile phones searching for Papuan pro-independence songs and music,  and searching for nukens (dillybags) with any image of the banned Morning Star Flag.

During Monday night’s raids, all Papuan men with long hair, long beards or dreadlocks were allegedly ordered at gunpoint by Brimob officers to cut their hair or beards on the spot or they would be shot dead.  Long hair or beards are stigmatised by Indonesian occupation forces as an indicator of pro-independence activities, and “offenders” are summarily punished regularly in Paniai for their hairstyles, according to local human rights workers, and previous investigations by WPM.

These sweeps have been a weekly occurrence since  Operation Matoa began in late 2011, putting the Paniai regency in a unofficial war zone in a bid to wipe out armed and then nonviolent civilian resistance to Indonesian occupation.  West Papua Media reported in December 2011 on the ruthless Operation Matoa which was launched across the region to destroy the TPN forces of Jhon Yogi – resulting in the displacement of over 14,000 people, almost 150 villages burnt down and the failure of basic services that is still ongoing.

These latest sweeps, local human rights workers who visited Enarotali told WPM, are an extension of Operation Matoa, but Indonesian security forces have openly told sweep targets that nothing less than total loyalty to Indonesian security forces will be tolerated.  Extreme state violence is justified by security forces, to make an example of anyone who questions Indonesian rule, according to the human rights sources.

Local sources have also reported to WPM that a large number of security forces have amassed around Enaratoli together with several companies of the notorious 753 Battalion of  Indonesian army (TNI).  Local residents are preparing to survive another arbitrary military offensive against civilians, according to the sources.

 Several attempts to contact Police in Enaratoli or Paniai in the last 24 hours have been rebuffed.
Westpapuamedia.info

 

Sorong Police arrest Papuan customary leaders at Freedom Flotilla ceremony

West Papua Media

August 29, 2013

Indonesian police in Sorong, West Papua, yesterday arrested four leading Papuan customary leaders for organising a welcome celebration and prayer for the safe arrival of the Aboriginal-led Freedom Flotilla, currently sailing from Australia.

2000 people gathered in Sorong for prayers for the West Papua Freedom Flotilla (Photo: NFRPB/WPM sources)
2000 people gathered in Sorong for prayers for the West Papua Freedom Flotilla. *note – men in blue berets are from Petapa, West Papua’s community security / police force guarding West Papuan civilians against Indonesian police violence. (Photo: NFRPB/WPM sources)

The four were arrested after over 200 armed police surrounded a peaceful prayer gathering at Marantha Church in central Sorong yesterday afternoon, after thousands of local people joined with religious and adat (customary) leaders, and leaders of the self-declared National Federated Republic of West Papua (NFRPB) alternative government, to  express their solidarity with the aims of the Freedom Flotilla.  The Freedom Flotilla is  a journey being conducted with Aboriginal and West Papuan elders and Australian activists to highlight internationally the human rights situation in West Papua and is currently enroute sailing from Australia to West Papua.

Internationally renowned environmental defender, researcher and customary leader, NFRPB Sorong secretary Yohanis Goram,  was arrested together with  Apolos Sewa (Vice chair of Dewan Adat Papua, Greater Sorong),  Amandus Mirino (NFRPB State Secretariat senior worker), and  Samuel Klasjok (NFRPB’s alternative Chief of Police (Security) for  region 3, Doberay).  Sorong Police Chief Harry Goldenhad met with the organisers of the gathering, and initially “approved the activities with the proviso that they did not disturb the peace, and maintained security,” according to witnesses statements provided by established credible sources to West Papua Media.

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Police surrounding event just prior to arrests of organisers (Photo: NFRPB/WPM sources)

Over 2000 people had gathered for the solidarity event that spilled outside the large church compound.

About 45 minutes after the prayer meeting had finished, as participants were preparing for a press conference with local media including such as Radar Sorong, West Papua Post, and Fajar Papua, Police Chief Goldenhad took ten heavily armed officers into the church and arrested the four activists.

According to local sources who spoke with police and activists, Based on information collected on site, the arrests were made in connection with the unfurling of the Morning Star, Aboriginal, and Torres Straits flags inside the church.

Apolos Sewa in the Police interrogation room (Photo: West Papua Media)
Apolos Sewa in Police interrogation room (Photo: West Papua Media)

The four activists are still being held at Sorong Police headquarters according to local sources, and their condition is unknown.  However grave fears are held for their safety, as these are the first West Papuans to be arrested over a connection to the Freedom Flotilla, which has attracted significant international media interest, and ignited major controversy and comment from Indonesian and Australian government ministers.

International human rights organisations have reacted quickly to the arrests, with Amnesty International (AI) in London expressing concern about the arrests of the four Papuan political activists.  AI’s Indonesia and Timor-Leste Campaigner, Josef Benedict said that AI “believes they have been arrested and detained solely for their peaceful political activism and call for their immediate and unconditional release.”

Activists raise the banned West Papuan Morning Star flag during the ceremony, prompting the arrests of the organisers under makar (treason) provisions Photo: West Papua Media sources)
Activists raise the banned West Papuan Morning Star flag together with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islands flags, during the Flotilla ceremony, prompting the arrests of the organisers under makar (treason) provisions Photo: West Papua Media sources)

textsecure-1571866598-1 “Amnesty International calls on the Indonesian authorities to respect the rights of Papuans to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly which are guaranteed in Article 19 and Article 21 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), to which Indonesia is a state party. Our organisation is concerned that the Indonesian government has consistently failed to make a distinction between violent armed groups and peaceful activists, and between peaceful expression of opinion and acts of physical violence, ” Benedict told West Papua Media by email.

textsecure-1857961604-1Activists on board the  Freedom Flotilla have reacted with dismay at the news of their supporters being targeted inside West Papua, but say this highlights the daily denial of Freedom of Expression for Papuan people, that originally motivated their plans for direct action.

sorong freedom flotilla congregation  2
The Maranatha Church in Sorong during the prayer service (Photo: NFRPB/WPM sources)

Ronny Kareni, the spokesperson for the Freedom Flotilla said “It is shocking and yet not surprising, but completely unacceptable in this day and age that peaceful demonstrations of basic freedom of expression is censored in such an extreme way. We demand the immediate release of the 4 prisoners in Sorong.”

Kareni explained, “The asorong freedom flotilla congregation  1rrests yesterday of the four Papuan leaders are a reflection of the reality that there is no space for democracy in Papua and West Papua Province under the Indonesian occupation, and yet foreign governments are complicit to these ongoing abuses. The Freedom Flotilla to West Papua is aiming to highlight this entrenched long-term brutality that is demonstrated by these arrests.

Arabunna elder, Uncle Kevin Buzzacott, the elder who inspired the journey, said in a statement to West Papua Media, “Indonesian government – you must immediately release those 4 prisoners and not to harm them in any way. They need to be released and not to be harmed because they have not committed a crime. We felt very sad when we seen it in the news today. We are waiting for the other mob to turn up here on Horne Island so we can work out how to respond a bit more but for now we need to ask all Australians to take a firm position on this issue, to be strong for Human Rights in West Papua. They are hurting them everyday, for years and regardless of the Freedom Flotilla this is happening, but we having a go, tryin’ to get the World to see, to look and listen and take a stand for these people. The Papuans have had it rough for too long with Indonesia there and this can’t keep going on. The prisoners must be released immediately”.

Izzy Brown, one of the organisers of the Freedom Flotilla said: “We are dismayed to hear that the peaceful act of prayer has resulted in such extreme actions by the police and military in West Papua, highlighting once more the lack of basic human rights and freedoms that we in Australia take for granted every day. We need immediate international pressure to be placed on the Indonesian government to ensure that no harm comes to these good people who have simply undertaken to express themselves in a democratic way.:

Kareni sums up the feeling of Flotilla members: “This is the time Australia, to stand up for people who are being militarily controlled and attacked for simply trying to have a voice.”

West Papua Media, with local sources

Brimob officer shoots dead mentally ill teenager in Wamena, beat witnesses

by West Papua Media
August 12, 2013
(Apologies for the delay in posting, due to fact checking)
An Indonesian Brimob police officer has shot dead an unarmed mentally ill Lani youth in Wamena on Thursday, after the youth allegedly verbally ridiculed the passing heavily armed police patrol on Jalan Ahmad Yani, according to witnesses interview by West Papua Media stringers.
Irwan Janengga, also known as Irwan Wenda (18) was shot dead without verbal warning by a Brimob anti-terrorist officer from Ambon, BrikPol Lua Lusman from the Jayawijaya brigade, who was a member of a five-man patrol that encountered Janengga outside the police post, according to witnesses interviewed by human rights activists and our stringers.
According to witnesses with the initials AW and BK,  Janengga taunted the officers with nonsensical words and said, “”The plane has landed so (are) storing the goods,” (referring to corruption in the police).  The five man patrol took offence to this taunting, and several members fired two warning shots from their automatic rifles without a verbal warning.  Janengga took no notice of these warning shots, according to the witnesses, and continued his “crazy talk”.
Peluru di Perut Irwan WendaAs the Brimob officers were preparing to shoot Janengga, the two witnesses shouted to BrikPol Lusman, “Just ignore him, he has  nervous disorders of the brain, do not shoot him!”.  Brikpol Lusman ignored this plea, and opened fire on Janengga, aiming multiple shots directly at the legs, abdomen, head and left hand of victim.  Janengga died instantly according to witnesses.
Immediately after the shooting, the 5 police officers began an unprovoked attack and beatings on the two witnesses, and arrested them with force.  Polisi Tembak Kepala Irwan WendaThey were taken then to the Jayawijaya Police HQ, where the witnesses reported to West Papua Media’s stringer that they were forcefully interrogated by police, allegedly with the aim to manipulate the official witness statements of the shooting incident according to BK and AW.  Upon learning of their detention, the victims families demanded the immediate release of the witnesses a demand with which Police complied by early afternoon on Thursday.

Janengga’s body was then brought by another police unit to the General Hospital in Wamena.
The body of Janengga was retrieved from the hospital by his family late on Thursday afternoon, and brought to his home, where the family conducted mourning ceremonies.  At the time of publication, the victim was still unburied.

Irwan Wenda Tiko Kogoya, the victim’s aunt, told human rights workers after learning of the testimony of two witnesses after the shooting. “Our victim’s family is upset over the shooting of our son.”Tempat Penembakan Irwan Wenda
“Our Boy, he was (with) nervous disorders of the brain, he just simply said ‘why police shoot’,” said Tiko Kogoya.

Tiko continued, “we the victim’s family, ask that the perpetrators should be prosecuted in court, act honestly, and be punished accordingly,” she said.
Footage shot by local witnesses has emerged of the aftermath of the shooting, showing local people outraged at another unprovoked killing by Indonesian forces on unarmed  indigenous Papuan citizens.
 Meanwhile Ogram Wanimbo, an activist with the West Papua National Committee (KNPB) Wamena chapter, told our stringer, “The shooting that happened, it is a human rights abuse, since police shot a mentally ill young man because of a nervous breakdown in the brain.. who was sayings word without (being) conscious (of the meaning)”, he said.
Ogram also said “We strongly condemn the perpetrators of the shooting, and we are annoyed by his preaching of the case in local and national media, engineering the chronology of the incident, without interviewing witnesses and families of victims… the fraudulent news does not fit the facts of incident,” he said.
A human rights worker in Wamena told West Papua Media: “This shooting that was done in service of a State mission, that continues to be done, and will be done by the Indonesian invader forces, through military and police in Papua, are unlawful acts under International law, the ICCPR and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, (all of) which have been ratified into law of the Republic of Indonesia.”
WestPapuaMedia