Category Archives: Urgent Action

Indonesian Air Force Members Torture Amsal Marandof and Ida Marandof at the Arafat Village, Samofa District, Biak

Urgent Action / Verified Field Report

by JPIC, GKI-TP Synod*

November 23, 2015

On June 5th, 2015, 14:20hours, a member of the Air Force heavily maltreated Amsal Marandof (22 Years old), leading to an injury above his right eyebrow.  As Amsal’s elder sister named Ida Marandof (Around 26) wanted to intervene in the beating to help her brother she was severely beaten on the chest by one Air Force member causing the victim to loose consciousness.

Biodata of Victims:
Name : Amsal Marandof
Age : 22 Years
Date/Place of Birth : Biak, 4 April 1994
Occupation : private sector
Gender : Male
Status : Single

Name : Ida Marandof
Age : +/- 26 years
Date/Place of Birth : –
Occupation : private sector
Gender : Female
Status : Married

Case Narrative


On Wednesday June 5, 2015, around 14:20 pm, local Biak man Amsal Marandof went to his brother’s grave on the left side of the “Papan Kuning” road.  Amsal was bringing a machete with him to cut the grass around the grave. When Amsal arrived there he saw 2 Army Air Force soldiers approximately 200 meters ahead of him, following activities on a piece of land that had previously led to a conflict between Amsal’s family and the Army Air Force. For that reason Amsal walked
over to them and intended to asked what they were doing at the location.
As The Victim approached 2 air force members, one security force member panicked and stepped backwards and fell down. Thereupon the Air Force member became angry and kicked Amsal into the face. The kick caused a bleeding injury above the victim’s right eyebrow.

The air force member’s aggressive behaviour made Amsal angry, so he fought back using the machete with the intention strike the Air Force member’s head and hit his helmet. Subsequently,  Amsal panicked and retreated.  After several minutes,  many Air Force members came running out of their headquarters to chase after Amsal.  One air force member ran towards him and pointed his gun at the Amsal.  Other Air Force members threw wooden sticks and rocks at him shouting “You are an OPM member” (Papua Freedom Movement).

Thereupon the victim sought rescue at Arafat work shop. Around 50 Air Force members caught him in front of the workshop, where they kicked and punched Amsal.

When the victims’ elder sister named Ida Marandof (26) received information about the incident she directly went to the location to help her brother, by stopping the security forces (from beating him).  As Ida Marandof intervened in the beating one of the Army Air Force hit her on the chest, causing the victim to lose consciousness, so Ida was immediately brought to the Air Force Base Hospital at Singamangaraja Street, Biak City.  Amsal Marandof victim was brought to Biak
District Police Office where he was taken into custody.
Ida received medical treatment and was supplied with oxygen. As she became conscious, a member of the Army Air Force questioned Ida, but she refused to answer.

After that the Air Force member gave Ida Marandof IDR100.000 (less than US$10) as transport cost and said “This problem ends here ya”. Subsequently Ida left the hospital, still feeling pain in her stomach.

Around 15.15 local Papuan time, local residents became angry and blocked the “Papan Kuning” road in front of the grave of Amsal and Ida Marandof’s brother.  The demonstrators cut the trees and broke some bottles in the middle of the road which caused a traffic jam.  Around 17:00 the road block was reopened by the community members and police.
Pictures of Amsal and Ida Marandof revealing injuries caused by members of the Indonesian Airforce (JPIC/WPM)

Wound above Amsal Marandof's right eye
Wound above Amsal Marandof’s right eye
Amsal's body is covered with bruises caused by Airforce military members
Amsal’s body is covered with bruises caused by Airforce military members
Ida Marandof during the interview
Ida Marandof during the interview


*Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation (JPIC) Desk of the
Gereja Kristen Injili di Tanah Papua (GKI – Evangelical Christian Church in Papua)

West Papua is still dangerous for journalism: Urgent reminder to all foreign journalists applying to report in West Papua

WestPapuaMedia Editorial / Urgent Safety Briefing

May 11, 2015

WestPapuaMedia is greatly concerned that the statements made on May 9 by Indonesian President Joko (Jokowi) Widodo in Jayapura regarding the ending of the foreign media ban for journalists to visit West Papua, is not being given due diligence by foreign media, and reminds all foreign media workers that West Papua is and still remains an incredibly dangerous place for journalists to report, and present an even greater threat to the safety of all journalism sources.

A full analysis of the actuality of the so-called “lifting” of the foreign media ban in West Papua will be released by West Papua Media’s team in the coming days, including analysis from our clandestine journalists who operate daily in the reality of the Papuan media environment, under threat constantly from Indonesian security forces.

This statement was made in the context of travelling the following day to Papua New Guinea, in bid to quash Melanesian support for West Papuan aspirations for self-determination, specifically the West Papuan bid to be granted observer status at the upcoming Melanesian Spearhead Group meetings

Despite Jokowi’s graceful and well executed “Juru Bicara” (Straight Talking) image, the reality on the ground in West Papua is that he has little control over the actions of security forces.  In west Papua.  Journalists, media workers, fixers and sources are routinely denied access, harassed, surveilled physically and electronically,, threatened, arrested, monstered, beaten, disappeared and even murdered by all the various organs of Indonesian colonial control in West Papua, with a list of perpetrators including (but not limited to) Police, Australian Trained Detachment 88 anti-terror commandos, military, National Intelligence Body (BIN), military intelligence, police intelligence, Kopassus special forces, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, forestry officials, customs, immigration, mining officials, Indonesian bureaucrats, pro-Jakarta transmigrant militias, and the ever-present Ojek (motorbike taxi) riders / intelligence officers.

The media freedom status in West Papua reached its lowest point in 2011, due to a series of murders, stabbings and disappearances of journalists across West Papua  This situation that prompted Reporters Without Borders to rank Indonesia at 146 out of 180 in the World Press Freedom Index, only climbing to 139th place for 2014, due to international monitoring led by West Papua Media and our network partners in West Papua.

This lifting of the foreign media ban is completely without power or credibility until both a formal Presidential Instruction is made, together with a national law is passed and enforced that penalizes anyone who prevents free, full and unfettered access for ALL media workers in Papua.

Jokowi’s real attitude is telling however.  Just a few hours later in Merauke, he was quoted in Antara with his real attitude to “media freedom” in West Papua. “Don’t ask that question, that’s enough,” Antara quoted Jokowi saying when he was asked about a fact that usually foreign journalists prefer to cover activities of illegal armed groups.

Operating in West Papua for journalists will remain an extremely dangerous activity.  Even though it is unlikely a foreign journalist will be physically harmed it is not unknown.  Foreign journalists have been beaten, poisoned, interrogated, and some have died in highly suspicious circumstances in the past.

However, it is journalists’ sources that are most at risk, especially if communications and data are left unsecured.  All journalists have an unbreakable ethical duty to ensure the safety of sources, and without specific technologies used.  West Papua Media has a suite of digital and practical technologies developed from our Safe Witness Journalism training units, and we also can provide secure handsets for journalists travelling to West Papua.

West Papua Media also can provide an unparalleled secure fixing service that ensures foreign journalists are fully briefed to the security situation in all parts of Papua, and to be able to report without putting any sources at risk.

Last August, one person died, many went into hiding, and 5 were arrested due to unsecured data, notes, emails and phone calls allegedly held by the two French journalists arrested in Wamena in August, against the express guarantees on source security given to West Papua Media.

Only journalists can prevent their sources being put in danger.  Make no mistake, Indonesian occupation forces will harm journalists’ sources and journalists seeking to report on human rights abuses and violations of freedom of expression.  We suggest all journalists seeking to report on Papua read our Source Protection Policy for more information, and contact us to arrange training for full data and communications security for mobile journalism.  WPM also offers the ONLY civil resistance coverage media safety training available, which we can arrange for a  reasonable cost.

However, WPM remains sceptical on the latest claims of lifting the foreign media ban.  There have been too many previous claims that this will end, including several by Jokowi himself. Let’s wait and see how and if the security forces even listen to their president.

There are some minimum tests that will prove if the media ban is lifted in Papua:

  • Will the most outspoken foreign journalists be allowed to report from West Papua with full media freedom and access?
  • A large number of Independent and Mainstream Journalists who have previously reported inside West Papua have been threatened and banned from WP by security forces – will our bans be lifted?
  • Journalists who seek to report on topics opposed by government or security forces must be allowed full and free access without let, danger or hindrance from security forces.
  • One of the WPM editors still have outstanding arrest warrants on Makar (Treason and Subversion), Destabilisation and Espionage charges for Legitimate journalism activities – charges that need to be rescinded immediately;
  • the assassination threats on all sources and journalists, including WPM staff, need to be ended, and those making them arrested;
  • all DPO (Daftar Pencarian Orang – or Wanted Persons list) listings on all media workers in Papua must be cancelled;
  • all journalists must be allowed free and unfettered access across Papua and West Papua without intelligence agencies, police or military harassment, surveillance (physical or electronic) or intimidation of journalists, witnesses, sources, fixers and assistants or their families;
  • and of course, free and unfettered access to ALL areas of Papua, including mining, forestry and resource extraction areas, prisons, and military operations areas .

To reiterate, until these minimum conditions are guaranteed by an actual InPres (Presidential Instruction) in law, with penalties enforced for any official that prevents or ignores it, then this is just an utterance.

Nevertheless, Jokowi did say it, he was interviewed about it, and this was the statement that was made. Whether or not it is really enacted doesn’t take away from the fact that here is a clear undertaking.

Of course, letting in foreign journalists who don’t believe the hype, who are currently on charge or banned from West Papua by Indonesia will be the real test.

And making sure that the police and military answer critical questions when they kill civilians is part of that (including not hanging up on phone calls from WPM).  It is highly unlikely that the State Violence Forces are going to suddenly stop tailing and harming journalists, human rights defenders and media workers, unless they are arrested for it.

WPM will still operate with great scepticism the alleged lifting of the Foreign media Ban in West Papua, and about anything Jakarta (or any government) ever says: that is the job of journalism. WPM will still need to operate clandestinely, and we will still need support to train and supply people for safe witness journalism. Now more than ever, West Papua Media needs you support to train and supply independent clandestine journalists with the tools to safely report from the ground in West Papua.  It costs $3000 to support one journalist with secure and robust equipment for mobile newsgathering, $3000 to provide intensive Safe Witness Journalism training.  You can help by visiting this page to make a donation or longer term support.

This alleged end of the media ban is stage-managed and not at all genuine.  As far as we are concerned, the Papua Media Blackout remains firmly in place.

WestPapuaMedia Editorial

Breaking: Police Raid KNPB in Merauke ahead of May 1 demos


by West Papua Media, with sources in Merauke

May 1, 2015

Information from KNPB has just been confirmed from independent credible sources.

On Friday May 1, 2015, at 01.06 WPB (Papua time) heavily armed police officers of Merauke Polres forced entry into the West Papua National Committee (KNPB) Secretariat office in Merauke, and arrested 15 KNPB activists, together with their Mother, PRD (Parleman Rakyat Daerah or Regional People’s Parliament) Chairperson Panggresia Yeem, who were still preparing for a rally today to commemorate the forced takeover of West Papua by Indonesia.

Earlier on Thursday night , the Merauke KNPB sent an alert that an attack was imminent:

“Police and military apparatus have surrounded the KBPB MERAUKE SECRETARIAT this night.  KNPB this News.  Tonight, hundreds of Police officers from Merauke police station and members of the military from Kodim Merauke came down at 20:00 WPB.  They are placed in the driveway exit of the secretariat and PRD Merauke.  The KNPB chairman Merauke reported via phone ‘that we were surrounded by military / police with full force being placed around the secretariat KNPB Secretariat building) in Merauke.”

An independent source confirmed to West Papua Media that police were heavy-handed during the arrest, allegedly causing damage and rough treatment, however it is unknown at this stage whether any injuries have been sustained.  An urgent call from West Papua Media to the Polres HQ went unanswered.

Those 16 arrested in Merauke overnight are:
4. YOSEP IMBANOP, Chairman of PARLIAMENT of MUJU District

and 11 other KNPB members whose names are not yet available.

Heavily armed Police have just taken all 16 people, including the matriarch head of Merauke PRD for interrogation at the Police HQ in Merauke.

The raids come after the KNPB refused to accept the local police chiefs threats (see Jubi article below) against holding democratic gatherings to mark the May 1st Day of Mourning.

More information as it comes to hand.
West Papua Media

from our partner Tabloid Jubi’s West Papua Daily

April 29, 2015

Jayapura, Jubi – The chairman of the Merauke People’s Representatives (PRD) in Pancrasia Yem said they were not afraid and intimidated by threats from security forces in Papua, especially the Merauke Police chief.

Merauke Police Chief Adjunct Senior Commissionaire Sri Satyatama said police will not allow the West Papua National Committee (KNPB) to conduct activities including the prayer on 1 May 2015 and warned they would be disbanded if they ignored the ultimatum.

“The Police Chief’s statement is not big deal. He’s part of invaders. The invaders will keep doing anything to suppress any action taken by Papuans. KNPB and PRD Merauke Region will keep fighting.  We will do something on 1 May to express the injustice that had occurred in 1963,” he told Jubi on Tuesday (28/4/2015) from Merauke, Papua.

According to Yeem, KNPB and PRD Merauke Region will keep fighting to bring West Papuan people’s aspiration to decide self-determination in accordance with the mechanism of international law.  (Arnold Belau/rom)

Unconfirmed reports of FRWP delegation to Jakarta arrested upon returning to Jayapura.

April 16, 2015
from West Papua Media sources
WestPapuaMedia has received the following alert, which has not yet been independently verified:”On Friday, April 10, 2015 a Delegation of the provisional government of the Federal Republic of West Papua ‘ (held a) Joint Meeting with Minister of Defence in Jakarta. This meeting is part of lobbying (that) recognition of the Federal Republic of West Papua state should emerge from both side, namely negotiation from the Indonesian government, and to pursue International recognition.

Don Flassy
FRPB Vice President Don A.L.Flassy, second from left (photo: FRPB/ File)


After joint meeting with Minister of Defense, on April 14, 2015 they returned to Jayapura. (When) they arrived the Papuan Regional Police arrested them and put them in Papuan Police Regional headquarters now.

Names of the arrested are:
1. Don A.L Flassy, Vice President of the Federal Republic of West Papua
2. Ones Banundi, Vice Chairman of the Papua National Council of the Federal Republic of West Papua
3. Masjohn Sueabu, Staff
4. Lawrence Mehue, Staff
5. Eyias Ayakeding, Chief of Papua National Police of the Federal Republic of West Papua
6. Deki Pahabol, staff”

Indonesian police have allegedly charged the group under Article 106 (makar or treason/subversion) of the Indonesian Criminal Code (KUHP), which carries up to 20 years or life in prison.

A spokesperson for the group, Yoab Syatfle, has called for International pressure on the Indonesian government to immediately release the 6 men.

More to come.