Tag Archives: civil resistance

Arrests at Sorong demo demanding oil palm justice from PT Permata Putera Mandiri

From Pusaka, Tabloid Jubi and awasMifee

Translated by awasMifee

Published: May 18, 2015

Photo: from Jubi’s report of the action

Dozens of local people involved in the IPPMI (Union of Iwaro Youth and Students) held a protest action outside the offices of PT Permata Putera Mandiri (PPM) on Jalan Ahmad Yani in Sorong City on Friday lunchtime. The participants were demanding justice and a resolution of the situation whereby local people had lost out due to work carried out by PT PPM. This oil palm plantation company is owned by the Austindo Nusantara Jaya Group.

IPPMI together with others from Imeko have held several demonstrations and dialogues since the beginning of the year, in Sorong City, in Teminabuan [capital of South Sorong regency] and at the work site in Puragi village. At the end of March 2015, local people demanded that PT PPM compensate the people in the Metamani area’s losses to a value of 6 trillion Rupiah, that the company should withdraw the organic army and police mobile brigade troops stationed there, and the government should review the permits which they believe have been misused to fell valuable ironwood trees and explore for oil. However, the company has yet to show any signs that it will accede to the people’s demands.

At the protest action on Friday 15th May, the participants were angry because they found that PT PPM’s offices had been closed suddenly, with the fence locked and the office door shut. Tensions rose because there were no staff from the company present. Dozens of joint security forces from the city police station were guarding the site, but also could not get anyone from the company to come and talk, so anger rose.

Participants on the action forced open the fence and concreted1 PT PPM’s office door. At this point the police who were present reacted directly, arresting dozens of local people who they then took to the Sorong city police station, including several leaders of IPPMI including Simon Soren, Fiky Utoy, Leo Iji and Fery Onim.

By Friday night, most of the arrested were released. On Saturday morning (16/5), Pusaka’s local contact, Wenan, reported from Sorong that two of the participants on the demonstration were still being held, Obeth Korie and Lodik Aitago. It appears that they are being threatened with being charged under article 170 of the Indonesian Penal Code concerning violence towards people or property, which carries a maximum prison sentence of five years and six months.

IPPMI’s protest actions against PT PPM.

February 2015
IPPMI held a demonstration outside the offices of PT ANJ Agri in Sorong.

March 2015
IPPMI reported the company’s wrongdoings and their demands to the leadership of the West Papua Province Papuan People’s Assembly (MRP). On 31st March a meeting was held with the company and the South Sorong administration, which was attended by the local Bupati (district head) and police and military leaders, and took place in a meeting room at the South Sorong police station. IPPMI conveyed seven demands which had been agreed by the people of Imeko.

April 2015
IPPMI threatened to blockade PT PPM’s office and occupy the office of the South Sorong Bupati.

May 2015.
IPPMI urged the South Sorong administration to find a solution to the PT PPM issue, or if not it could cause chaos in the forthcoming election of a new district head. During a meeting to sit down together based on customary law, someone who was thought to be following company orders punched one of the students in full view of the police.

   awasMIFEE note: not sure this is the right translation. Bahasa Indonesia original: mengecor ↩

LP3BH holds a meeting ahead of May 1st

Statement by the Executive-Director of LP3BH-Manokwari, Yan Christian Warinussy

April 30, 2015

Today, Thursday, April 30th. the LP3BH organised a discussion on
the subject, Papua’s Integration with the Republic of Indonesia on 1
May 1963: A Blessing or a Disaster? Fifteen people took part in the
discussion. including community leaders, academics, activists, LP3BH
staff members and several other people.

One of the important points that was discussed is the immediate
necessity for Papuan people to come together and express their full
support for the international campaign which is urging the Indonesian
government to immediately allow access to Papua for journalists as
well as Indonesian and international human rights organisations.

Those attending the discussion agreed that it is very important for
the Papuan people to set up a local political party to provide a
means of communication to support the efforts of the Papuan people in
accordance with the provisions in the Special Autonomy Law for Papua.

They agreed on two points that should be discussed in another
discussion which is to be held next week.

During today’s discussion, we received a report from a colleague in
Nabire saying that special police units there had arrested a
journalist, Yohanes Kuaya, from an online publication ‘selangkah.com’
who was reporting on a shooting incident that occurred outside the
Nabire Hospital at noon, today.

According to the LP3BH contact in Nabire, this colleague was
arrested because he was wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with the words:
Free West Papua (Papuan Students Alliance) and was accused of
entering a restricted area wearing this T-shirt. After being
interrogated for about an hour, he was released and ordered to change
his T-shirt which the police regarded as being completely
unacceptable. He subsequently changed his T-shirt and went home.

During the discussion organised by the LP3BH today, the chairman of
the KNPB (National Committee of West Papua) Alexander Nekemen, who was also present at today’s discussion, left the meeting before the
discussion it had ended, in order to check the situation of several
members of the KNPB who were handing out leaflets to people in the
streets, calling on them to take part in a peaceful action that is due
to take place on May 1st.

As far as we know at the moment, several of these KNPB members are
still being held by the chief of police of Manokwari and we have not
yet heard about what is happening to Alex and the other local KNPB


Yan Christian Warinussy, Executive-Director of LP3BH.

Translated by Carmel Budiardjo

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)

Papuans Behind Bars October 2014: ‘Bloody Yotefa’: police turn a blind eye to violence against indigenous Papuans

From our partners at Papuans Behind Bars, with additional reporting from West Papua Media and JPIC

17 November 2014

At the end of October 2014, there were at least 69 political prisoners in
Papuan gaols.

At least 46 members of the West Papua National Committee (Komite Nasional Papua Barat, KNPB) were arrested in Jayapura and Merauke this month for participating in peaceful demonstrations. The demonstrators were urging the Indonesian government to release two French journalists who faced trial for breaching immigration rules.

In likely reference to the Social Organisations Law (RUU Organisasi Kemasyarakatan, RUU Ormas), police claimed during the mass arrests that the KNPB is an illegal organisation as it is not registered with the Department of National Unity and Politics (Kesatuan Bangsa dan Politik, Kesbangpol) and affiliated symbols or attributes are also therefore illegal. Last June, police conducted a mass arrest in Boven Digoel under the same auspices.  Indonesian human rights group Imparsial challenged the shutting down of peaceful demonstrations in Jayapura and Merauke, stating that freedom of expression in Papua is the worst in Indonesia, particularly when it comes to the treatment of KNPB rallies. The criminalisation of peaceful demonstrations, often under the auspices of the Ormas Law, restricts democratic space and stigmatises Papuan civil society groups.

On 27 October, two French journalists, Thomas Dandois and Valentine
Bourrat, were released after 11 weeks in detention. However, Lanny Jaya
tribal leader Areki Wanimbo, who was arrested alongside the pair, still
faces charges of conspiracy to commit treason. Lawyers from the Democracy Alliance for Papua (Aliansi Demokrasi untuk Papua, ALDP) have stated that the legal process for Wanimbo has been fraught with irregularities and that his case has been handled unprofessionally. Wanimbo faces charges different to those he was first accused of, and unsuitable evidence was used to build a case against him. The decision to impose a two-and-a-half-month prison sentence on the two journalists instead of acquitting them was a harsh blow for the campaign to open access to Papua. As noted by Human Rights Watch researcher Andreas Harsono, foreign journalists face a complex system of applying for visas to Papua, which requires the approval of 18 different government agencies – a process that severely restricts journalistic access. It remains to be seen whether Indonesian president Joko Widodo will make good on his promise of opening access to Papua.

Bloody Yotefa

In our July update we raised concerns regarding an incident which has come to be known as ‘Bloody Yotefa,’ that took place on 2 July at Yotefa market in Abepura. Early reports stated that three Papuan men were killed following a police raid on a gambling den at Yotefa market.  At least four Papuan men from the Central Highlands were tortured and 40 people arrested according to a Report from the Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Desk (Keadilan, Perdamaian dan Keutuhan Ciptaan, KPKC) of the Evangelical Christian Church (Gereja Kristen Injili, GKI). Following the raid on the market, police arrested and handed over two Papuans, including a 14-year-old boy, to a mob of non-indigenous Papuans who publicly tortured and beat them while police stood by, later continuing the job themselves at Bhayangkara Police Hospital. While police beatings, torture and killings of indigenous Papuans are not new phenomena, the public involvement of non-indigenous mobs to achieve this is a particular low point.

Bloody Yotefa challenges the government perspective that torture and killings are carried out by a rogue police in isolated cells, showing instead that these arbitrary violations are becoming social events in which the non-indigenous community can participate. This dynamic
perpetuates a culture of fear and domination in which indigenous Papuans are exposed to constant risk of public violence, even in traditionally ‘safe’ spaces such as hospitals and university campuses. Police discrimination and profiling of indigenous Papuans, especially those who come from the Central Highlands, makes them still more vulnerable to public torture, violence and arbitrary arrest.

You can read the full update here:

Papuans Behind Bars team

Papua-Wide meeting calls for 10 year Moratorium on Plantation and Forestry Industries

From our partners at AwasMifee

Between 4th-7th November 2014, representatives of indigenous communities, environmentalists and human rights defenders from every corner of West Papua met in Jayapura to discuss problems linked to the forestry and large-scale plantation industries, which in recent years have been expanding rapidly throughout the island.

This was an important meeting, as the difficulties and expense of travel around Papua means that communities are frequently isolated to face the companies alone, even though the problems they face are remarkably similar.

With many more plantation companies set to start operations within the next few years, and timber companies still keen to harvest high-value logs, it is also vital to share the (often bitter) experiences of communities which have already seen how these industries operate, and also to formulate some common platform of demands with which to confront government and policy makers.

Participants at the event heard about the long-term injustices connected with plantations in Jayapura, Keerom and Boven Digoel, where land was taken with military backing during the Suharto dictatorship causing problems which are still not resolved. In Papua’s deep south, participants told of how they have been marginalised by plantations connected to the MIFEE agribusiness development. Others from Sorong, Nabire and Mimika, told of how they were unprepared for the problems which started unfolding as the companies moved in. Delegates from Bintuni and Wondama Bays explained how the effects of the timber industry on communities are no less destructive.

In many of these cases, the same problems could be seen to emerge time and time again: intimidation from military and police officers supporting the companies, loss of livelihood as the forest is destroyed, companies’ broken promises to bring development to communities, environmental problems such as pollution, flooding and loss of water sources. Taking all this into account, the participants agreed to call on all agencies involved in allowing these industries to address these problems.

Top of the list was a call for a 10 year moratorium into for large-scale plantation and forestry investment, during which time part violations should be resolved, and the challenge of finding a way that these industries could exist on indigenous land without disadvantaging indigenous people. Hopefully we will translate some of the testimony on this site soon, in the meantime here is the full list of recommendations:

Organisations involved in organising the event were: Yaysan Pusaka, Greenpeace Papua, SKP Jayapura, Jerat Papua, Foker LSM Papua and Jasoil Papua. A copy of this declaration in Indonesian together with a list of participants can be found at: http://pusaka.or.id/demo/assets/REKOMENDASI-TEMU-RAKYAT-ADAT-KORBAN-PAPUA-Nov-2014.pdf


Meeting of Community Victims of the Forestry and Large-scale Plantation Industries.

Dialogue on Building a Green Economy and Sustainable Development

Today, Friday the seventh of November two thousand and fourteen, in the Maranatha Convent, Waena, Jayapura,

After hearing and discussing Reports of Victims of the Forestry and Large-scale Plantation Industries from throughout the land of Papua, and also discussing various developments in development policy, we as representatives of indigenous communities from twelve Regencies or cities throughout the land of Papua, want to hereby make clear that the state has violated and ignored our human rights, by not protecting, respecting and advancing the rights of indigenous communities throughout the land of Papua, including: acts of discrimination, repression and expropriation of what rightfully belongs to indigenous people throughout Papua. These human rights violations, which have occurred between 1982 and 2014, have caused great loss for indigenous people, as their social and cultural fabric and their natural environment disappear. Because of this, we as representatives of indigenous people who have suffered because of the forestry and large-scale plantation industries, coming from twelve regencies and cities, hereby state the following:

1. To the President of the Republic of Indonesia, to issue a ten-year moratorium on forestry and large-scale plantation development throughout the land of Papua. During the moratorium period, the government would resolve the different problems and violations of indigenous communities’ rights that have already occurred, and amend policies and legislation currently in force in the land of Papua.

2. To the Governors of Papua and West Papua Provinces, to reconsider all policies concerning the granting of permits for the forestry and large-scale plantation industries which disadvantage indigenous people across the land of Papua.

3 To the Commander of Military District XVII Cenderawasih Command and the Papuan Police Chief, to discipline and take action against any members of the military and police forces who openly participate in pressurising and intimidating indigenous people that wish to defend their rights throughout the land of Papua. Also to take action against members of the forces who are either directly engaged in illegal business involving forest products, or back-up and protect others in such businessses.

4. To Bupatis and city mayors throughout the land of Papua, to end the practice of unconditionally giving out permits and recommendations in the forestry and large-scale plantation sector.

5 To the honourable members of the Papuan and West Papua People’s Assemblies (MRP), to hold a Special Dialogue with the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry, and the Environment and Forestry Ministry, concerning making changes in policy and regulations related to forestry and large-scale plantation investment in the land of Papua, both ongoing and in the future, which would be based on indigenous peoples’ rights and the spirit of Papuan Special Autonomy.

6 To the Provincial Legislative Councils in Papua and West Papua, to form a Special Committee to conduct investigations into the violations of indigenous communities’ human rights in the land of Papua, which are a result of policies and investment activities in the forestry and large-scale plantation sector.

7 To Customary Tribal Councils throughout the land of Papua, to organise reconciliation and customary assemblies in each area to map the customary lands of each tribe/ethnic group and follow up the findings of this Meeting of Community Victims of the Forestry and Large-scale Plantation Industries.

8 http://pusaka.or.id/demo/assets/REKOMENDASI-TEMU-RAKYAT-ADAT-KORBAN-PAPUA-Nov-2014.pdf, to take an active role in reporting violations in human rights and environmental problems so they can be brought to the attention of wider society and institutions that are actively attempting to protect, respect and advance human rights at the Papuan, national and international levels.

9. Participants of the Meeting of Community Victims of the Forestry and Large-scale Plantation Industries – Dialogue on Building a Green Economy and Sustainable Development hereby declare the foundation of the Indigenous People’s Environmental Council in the Land of Papua (Dewan Lingkungan Masyarakat Adat di Tanah Papua).

These are the recommendations which have been made and agreed together, and we hope they will be heeded and implemented. May our ancestors and the Creator be with us all.