Tag Archives: criminalization of peaceful dissent

Papuans Behind Bars: March 2015: Plans for increased Brimob presence as new cases of violence emerge

syndicated as an update from our partners at Papuans Behind Bars

In brief

At the end of March 2015, there were at least 38 political prisoners in Papuan jails.

On 6 March, 17-year-old high school student and West Papua National Committee (Komisi Nasional Papua Barat, KNPB) activist Deni Bahabol was kidnapped, tortured and murdered, and his body dumped in a river in Yahukimo regency. Early reports indicate the involvement of Special Forces Command (Komando Pasukan Khusus, Kopassus) officers in the murder. Bahabol’s murder echoes the Martinus Yohame case in August 2014. Yohame, who was also a KNPB activist and active in leading peaceful demonstrations, suffered a similar fate.

On 19 to 21 March, under the orders of Papua Police Chief Inspector General Yotje Mende, Papuan National Police and Mobile Brigade (Brigade Mobil, Brimob) officers were deployed from Jayapura to Yahukimo to forcibly disperse, shoot and arrest Papuans taking part in a peaceful campaign to collect donations for victims of Cyclone Pam in Vanuatu. At least 21 people were arrested and six people were shot. A 48-year-old village head, Obang Sengenil, died from gunshot injuries.

In another incident in Jayapura, four Papuan youths aged 14 to 23 were publically attacked by Brimob officers. One of them, Lesman Jigibalom, is believed to be in a critical condition as a result of torture.

The arbitrary nature of police action this month – from shooting people collecting donations in Yahukimo to torturing and beating four young men seemingly without reason in Jayapura – highlights the lawless and reckless manner of policing in Papua. This dynamic of imposing public torture, violence and arrest breeds a culture of fear and distrust amongst indigenous Papuans.

Despite demands for accountability from Papuan civil society groups into these cases of state violence, police have yet to launch investigations. The lack of political will to seek transparency and accountability in cases of state violence ensures that perpetrators continue to enjoy total impunity. Instead of addressing long-standing violations committed by the Indonesian military in Papua, the authorities have opted to ramp up militarisation by establishing new plans to build a Brimob command base in Wamena. Jakarta-based solidarity group PapuaItuKita issued a ten-point statement rejecting the new plan, stating that the increased presence of Brimob forces would only serve to further destabilise the area.

On 2 March, hundreds of armed security personnel forcibly dispersed a peaceful socialisation seminar and detained at least three people in Jayapura. The seminar, on the theme of “Reclaiming Papuan Identity in Melanesia”, was organised by the newly formed United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP), which consists of different factions of the West Papuan pro-independence movement. In a statement to the Papuan press this month, Police Chief Yotje Mende called for the KNPB to be banned as it supports Papuan independence. This zero tolerance approach by security forces towards demonstrations and gatherings associated with Papuan independence, despite their peaceful nature, is a violation of the rights of freedom of expression, association and assembly as guaranteed in the Indonesian Constitution.

Arrests

Fundraisers for Cyclone Pam victims shot and arrested in Yahukimo; three arrested in Timika

Yahukimo

Information received from various human rights and media sources reported that on 19 to 21 March at least 21 people were arrested and six people shot by Papuan National Police (Polda Papua) and Mobile Brigade (Brigade Mobil, Brimob) officers in Yahukimo regency for being involved in collecting donations for the victims of Cyclone Pam in Vanuatu. At least one person, Obang Sengenil, a 48-year-old village head, died from gunshot injuries. While reports indicate that most of those arrested have been released, it is unclear how many people remain in detention in Yahukimo regional police station.

The previous week, from 11 to 19 March, the Yahukimo group of the West Papua National Committee (Komite Nasional Papua Barat, KNPB) had coordinated a donation drive involving community members and KNPB activists.

On 19 March, according to Majalah Selangkah, a prayer session was planned to take place at 15:00, as part of a closing ceremony of the week’s events. At 09:25, security forces composed of Papuan National Police and Brimob officers shot into the crowd that had gathered in preparation for the prayer session. Tabloid Jubi reported that Isai Dapla, a 37-year-old KNPB member, suffered gunshot injuries to the chest, while Salomon Pahabol, a 47-year-old primary school teacher, was shot in his left leg. Elias Kabak, a 40-year-old KNPB member, was arrested. Security forces reportedly confiscated items belonging to the KNPB organisers, including banners, megaphones, and a camera, as well as donations which had been collected.

In retaliation, a member of the crowd stole a firearm belonging to a Yahukimo police officer. According the Head of the Yahukimo People’s Local Parliament (Parlemen Rakyat Daerah, PRD), Aminus Balingga, as reported in Jubi, on 21 March the firearm was returned to the police by KNPB Yahukimo members. There were also reports of Indonesians from the non-Papuan community being attacked and suffering injuries during the commotion.

Media reports stated that at around 15:10 that afternoon, security forces shot a further four people and arrested 16 others. One of the four shot, Obang Sengenil, died of his injuries. Titus Giban, a 39-year-old primary school teacher, Simon Giban, a 42-year-old village head, and Inter Segenil, a 16-year-old high school student, suffered serious gunshot injuries. Local sources reported that 16 people were arrested, some of whom were KNPB members. There were unconfirmed reports that the 16 detainees may have been tortured on arrest and while in detention in Yahukimo Regional Police Station.

On 21 March, Yahukimo Regional Police and Brimob officers arrested four men – Yason Balingga, Yeniut Bahabol, Nefen Balingga, and an unnamed man. Local sources reported that police also conducted search operations in the surrounding area, and damaged and looted several homes. Reports stated that thousands of indigenous Papuans fled the violence and are hiding in the forests.

On 30 March, the Yahukimo Independent Student and Youth Forum (Forum Independen Mahasiswa dan Pemuda Kabupaten Yahukimo, FIMPY) held a demonstration involving students and the Yahukimo community, calling for the Papuan Provincial Parliament (Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat Daerah Papua, DPRP) to launch an investigation into the incident.

Timika

On 13 March, three people raising funds for Cyclone Pam victims were arrested in Timika. Else Rumrawer, Yuli Adokor and Yuliana Inggobou were detained in Mimika Regional Police Station. It is unclear whether they are currently still in detention.

Brimob officers tortured and severely beat four Papuan youths

Suara Papua reported that on 18 March four Papuan youths were attacked in Jayapura by 11 armed Brimob officers dressed in plain clothes. Media reports indicate that they were attacked seemingly without reason.

17-year-old Timotius Tabuni was stopped in front of Cigombong market in Kotaraja and forced to handover his motorcycle keys to Brimob officers. He was beaten with rifle butts and slashed with bayonet blades. As a result of the beatings, he suffered a deep gash on his head, slash wounds on his back, bruises on his face and knees, and also lost a front tooth. Two friends of Tabuni, 23-year-old Lesman Jigibalom and 17-year-old Eldy Kogoya were stopped in front of Kotaraja Mosque and threatened at gunpoint to walk in a squatting position. When they refused to do so, they were forced to lay down. Eldy Kogoya was dragged by the legs some distance away along an asphalt road. He suffered cracked ribs and bruises on his back and knees. Lesman Jigibalom was slashed with a bayonet blade and suffered a pierced lung and bruises all over his body. He underwent an operation the following day and is thought to be in a critical condition. 14-year-old Mies Tabo, who witnessed the incident and attempted to call for help, was kicked and beaten by the Brimob officers.

Papuan civil society members from KontraS Papua (Komisi untuk Orang Hilang dan Korban Tindak Kekerasan Papua) and Speak for Truth (Bicara Untuk Kebenaran, BUK) rejected statements from Brimob Deputy Head of Unit, Assistant Police Commissioner Tono Budiarto, that Brimob officers had instead saved the four youths from a mob attack. Human rights defender Peneas Lokbere of BUK stated that testimonies from the victims, their families and eyewitnesses show clearly that the perpetrators were Brimob officers. KontraS Papua lawyer Olga Hamadi stated that the perpetrators should be brought to justice. Jayapura police have yet to launch an investigation into the incident.

Three men detained for participating in ULMWP seminar

On 2 March, Benu Rumbiak, Simeon Alua and Yes Wenda were arrested during a police raid of a seminar in Jayapura. Hundreds of armed security personnel disrupted and forcibly dispersed a peaceful socialisation seminar held by the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP). Police also confiscated seminar material. Academics, church leaders, Papuan Provincial Parliament (DPRP) and Papuan People Assembly (Majelis Rakyat Papua, MRP) representatives had been invited to speak at the seminar on the theme of “Reclaiming Papuan Identity in Melanesia”. It is unclear whether the three men are currently still in detention. Ones Suhuniap, the General-Secretary of the KNPB, criticised the police actions as a violation of the rights to free expression and assembly as enshrined in the Indonesian Constitution.

Releases

There were no releases reported in March 2015.

Political trials and cases overview

Pisugi detainees sentenced to one-year imprisonment

On 1 April, the five detainees in the Pisugi Election Boycott case were each given a one-year prison sentence. Prosecutors had previously called for a five-year prison sentence each for Yosep Siep, Ibrahim Marian, Marsel (alias Marthen) Marian, Yance (alias Yali) Walilo and Yosasam Serabut (alias Jhoni Marian). The five men were charged with conspiracy to endanger security under Articles 187 and 164 of the Indonesian Criminal Code under accusations of making Molotov cocktails in attempts to boycott the Presidential Elections in July 2014.

During the court hearings in Wamena in March, Ibrahim Marian, Marthen Marian, Yance Walilo and Yosasam Serabut testified that they had been forced to confess to the charges under torture. Yosep Siep, who was not considered well enough to stand trial due to the lack of psychological treatment available in Wamena, has returned to his home village in Pisugi district.

Court hearings revealed that on 11 July 2014, the night of their arrest, they had gathered at the home of Yosep Siep to take part in a prayer session and had then spent the night there. The detainees testified that at around 04:00 security forces arrived at their village and arrested them. On arrest, their hands were tied behind their backs, they were chained together by the neck, and dragged along the ground.

Yosasam Serabut aka Jhoni Marian testified that during his interrogation he was repeatedly beaten and electrocuted by police officers. He stated that he confessed to the charges as he was afraid that police would shoot and kill him. When questioned on his ability to read and write, Jhoni Marian stated that he was illiterate. He went on to say that police investigators had not read out the Police Investigation Report (Berita Acara Pemeriksaan, BAP) to him after his interrogation and that he was forced to give his thumbprints to verify the results of his interrogation. Furthermore, appeals by the defence lawyers to provide a translator for Jhoni Marian, who struggles to speak and understand Indonesian, went unheeded by the court.

Marthen Marian testified that a Police Brigadier named Endy tortured him in detention. He was forced to remove his clothing and his arm was slashed with a machete. He stated that he was also stabbed and beaten with arrows until they were broken. He added that other officers took turns in entering the interrogation room and beating him with weapons and knuckleduster gloves.

Ibrahim Marian testified that Police Brigadier Alex Sianturi interrogated him in detention. Ibrahim stated that he was beaten with knuckleduster gloves which resulted in broken teeth. He said that police investigators also crushed his fingers by placing them under chair legs after which officers would take turns to sit on the chair. He was also beaten on the head with hammers. He was told that he would be killed if he did not admit to the charges against him.

Yance Walilo testified that Police Brigadier Yeskel F.M. had interrogated him in detention. He stated that he was beaten with wooden beams and rifle butts in a locked detention room. His legs were also stamped on by police officers.

During court hearings in March, Police Brigadiers Endy, Alex Sianturi and Yeskel F.M. denied that they tortured or ill-treated the five detainees.

The four detainees also stated that they rejected the Police Investigation Reports filed against them and denied making Molotov bombs and boycotting the Presidential Election last July. Defence lawyers argued that the confessions extracted under torture could not be used as evidence against the detainees and that such practice contradicted the right of the detainee to testify without pressure in any form, as stated in Article 117 of the Indonesian Criminal Procedure Code. They also argued that the evidence presented in court differed from the evidence described in the Letter of Indictment (Surat Dakwaan), and concluded that evidence used against the detainees had been fabricated.

Cases of Concern

KNPB Yahukimo activist murdered and dumped in river

A report from a local human rights source revealed that on 6 March, 17-year-old high school student and KNPB activist Deni Bahabol was murdered and his body dumped in a river in Yahukimo regency. Information received showed that two days earlier, on 4 March, Bahabol had led a peaceful KNPB march in support of a campaign tour of South Africa by Benny Wenda, leader of the Free West Papua Campaign.

It is believed that Bahabol was attacked by Kopassus forces while he was on his way to the KNPB Secretariat in Yahukimo. He is reported to have been tortured and beaten with stones. His body was dumped in the Brazza river and was found by fishermen in Patipi village in neighbouring Asmat regency four days later. He was buried by his family in Yahukimo on the same day. As at the end of March 2015, police have not conducted any investigations into the incident.

KNPB Merauke Secretariat searched following bomb scare; Papuan police chief calls for KNPB ban

On 5 March, the KNPB Merauke Secretariat was searched by military and Merauke Regional Police officers following a bomb scare which the KNPB believes had been orchestrated by the police.

At around 18:00, a KNPB member found a suspicious looking box at the gates of the Secretariat which was then reported to the police. Security forces who arrived at the scene entered the Secretariat, damaging equipment and confiscating flags, banners and documents. The KNPB asserts that the Police had orchestrated the bomb scare as an excuse to raid the Secretariat offices.

On 24 March, Papua Police Chief Inspector General Yotje Mende stated that the KNPB should be banned as it is a pro-independence organisation. KNPB spokesman Bazoko Logo told Jubi that Mende’s statement was in reaction to police failure to take responsibility for the shootings and arrests in Yahukimo earlier in the month (see Arrests).

News

University students commemorate Bloody Abepura; Head of Jayapura Regional Police warns against pro-independence demonstrations

On 16 March, Cenderawasih University (Universitas Cenderawasih, UNCEN) students held a peaceful commemorative gathering at their campus in Kota Jayapura remembrance of the victims of Bloody Abepura. Nine years ago, on 16 March 2006, violence erupted between demonstrators and security forces during a demonstration calling for the closure of the Freeport McMoran mine in Timika. The violence resulted in the deaths of five security officers. Dozens of demonstrators were hospitalised and 24 people were tortured in detention.

During the commemorative event, the Head of Jayapura Regional Police, Kiki Kurnia, told student demonstrators that any demonstrations related Papuan independence would not be tolerated. He stated that pro-independence demonstrations would be forcibly dispersed and that participants would be arrested and detained.

Elsham study: Women and children severely impacted by military violence and impunity

On 15 March, a public discussion on military impunity and violence and its impact on women and children was held by Papuan civil society groups in Jayapura. Research by Elsham Papua (Lembaga Studi dan Advokasi Hak Asasi Manusia, Institute of Human Rights Studies and Advocacy) reported that women and children were severely impacted by military violence in Papua. Violence against women was not only recorded in instances of domestic violence, but also in cases of rape, ill-treatment, arbitrary detention and murder inflicted by military forces. Elsham data collected from 2012 to 2014 revealed 389 cases of military violence resulting in 234 deaths, 854 people injured, and 880 arrests.

PapuaItuKita calls for rejection of new Brimob base in Wamena

On 31 March, Jakarta-based West Papua solidarity group PapuaItuKita demonstrated outside the Presidential Palace in the capital city against the building of a new Brimob (Brigade Mobil, Mobile Brigade) command base in Wamena. PapuaItuKita stated that increased militarisation only serves to increase violence, terrorisation and impunity in Papua. It added that the indigenous community in Papua is against the plans and that the Government can no longer adopt a militaristic stance to solve issues in Papua. Alius Asso, a youth leader from Wamena, told Majalah Selangkah that instead of increased militarisation, the Government should focus on the economy, health, education, and dealing with HIV/AIDS in Papua.

March 2015 Papuan Political Prisoners

No Prisoner Arrested Charges Sentence Case Accused of violence? Concerns reported re legal process? Prison / Place of detention
1 Areki Wanimbo 6 Agustus 2014 Pasal 106 and 110 On trial French journalists arrests in Wamena Uncertain Yes Wamena
2 Yosep Siep 9 Juli 2014 Pasal 187, 164 1 year Pisugi Election Boycott Yes Yes Wamena
3 Ibrahim Marian 9 Juli 2014 Pasal 187, 164 1 year Pisugi Election Boycott Yes Yes Wamena
4 Marsel Marian 9 Juli 2014 Pasal 187, 164 1 year Pisugi Election Boycott Yes Yes Wamena
5 Yance Walilo 9 Juli 2014 Pasal187, 164 1 year Pisugi Election Boycott Yes Yes Wamena
6 Yosasam Serabut 9 Juli 2014 Pasal 187, 164 1 year Pisugi Election Boycott Yes Yes Wamena
7 Alapia Yalak 4 Juni 2014 Tidak diketahui Police investigation pending Yahukimo arrests Yes Yes Papua Police Headquarters
8   Lendeng Omu 21 Mei 2014 Tidak diketahui Police investigation pending Yahukimo arrests Uncertain Yes Yahukimo Regional police station
 9 Jemi Yermias Kapanai 1 Februari 2014 Pasal 106, 108, 110 and UU Darurat 12/1951 3.5 years Sasawa military raid arrests Yes Yes Sorong
10 Septinus Wonawoai 1 February 2014 Pasal 106, 108, 110 and UU Darurat 12/1951 3.5 years Sasawa military raid arrests Yes Yes Sorong
11 Rudi Otis Barangkea 1 Februari 2014 Pasal 106, 108, 110 and UU Darurat 12/1951 3.5 years Sasawa military raid arrests Yes Yes Sorong
12 Kornelius Woniana 1 Februari 2014 Pasal 106, 108, 110 and UU Darurat 12/1951 3.5 years Sasawa military raid arrests Yes Yes Sorong
13 Peneas Reri 1 Februari 2014 Pasal 106, 108, 110 and UU Darurat 12/1951 3.5 years Sasawa military raid arrests Yes Yes Sorong
14 Salmon Windesi 1 Februari 2014 Pasal106, 108, 110 and UU Darurat 12/1951 3.5 years Sasawa military raid arrests Yes Yes Sorong
15 Obeth Kayoi 1 Februari 2014 Pasal 106, 108, 110 and UU Darurat 12/1951 3.5 years Sasawa military raid arrests Yes Yes Sorong
16 Soleman Fonataba 17 Desember 2013 106, 110)1, 53, 55 On trial Sarmi 2013 Morning Star flag arrests No / not yet clear No On bail, cannot leave Sarmi
17 Edison Werimon 13 Desember 2013 106, 110)1, 53, 55 On trial Sarmi 2013 Morning Star flag arrests No / not yet clear No On bail, cannot leave Sarmi
18 Piethein Manggaprouw 19 Oktober 2013 106, 110 2 years Third Papuan Congress demo in Biak No Yes Biak
19 Oktovianus Warnares 1 Mei 2013 106, 110, UU Darurat 12/1951 7 years Biak flag-raising, 1 May commemoration Yes Yes Biak
20 Yoseph Arwakon 1 Mei 2013 106, 110, UU Darurat 12/1951 2 years and 6 months Biak flag-raising, 1 May commemoration Yes Yes Biak
21 Markus Sawias 1 Mei 2013 106, 110, UU Darurat 12/1951 2 years Biak flag-raising, 1 May commemoration Yes Yes Biak
22 George Syors Simyapen 1 Mei 2013 106, 110, UU Darurat 12/1951 4.5 years Biak flag-raising, 1 May commemoration Yes Yes Biak
23 Jantje Wamaer 1 Mei 2013 106, 110, UU Darurat 12/1951 2 years and 6 months Biak flag-raising, 1 May commemoration Yes Yes Biak
24 Isak Klaibin 30 April2013 106, 107, 108, 110, 160 and 164 3 years and 6 months Aimas 1 May commemoration No Yes Sorong
25 Isak Demetouw (alias Alex Makabori) 3 Maret 2013 110; Pasal 2, UU Darurat 12/1951 2 years 2 months Sarmi treason No Yes Abepura
26 Niko Sasomar 3 Maret 2013 110; Pasal  2, UU Darurat 12/1951 2 years 2 months Sarmi treason No Yes Abepura
27 Sileman Teno 3 Maret 2013 110; Pasal  2, UU Darurat  12/1951 2 years 2 months Sarmi treason No Yes Abepura
28 Jefri Wandikbo 7 Juni 2012 340, 56,  UU 8/1981 8 years KNPB activist tortured in Jayapura Yes Yes Abepura
29 Darius Kogoya 1 Mei 2012 106 3 years 1 May demo and flag-raising No No Abepura
30 Wiki Meaga 20 November 2010 106 8 years Yalengga flag-raising No Yes Wamena
31 Meki Elosak 20 November 2010 106 8 years Yalengga flag-raising No Yes Wamena
32 Filep Karma 1 Desember 2004 106 15 years Abepura flag-raising 2004 No Yes Abepura
33 Yusanur Wenda 30 April 2004 106 17 years Wunin arrests Yes No Wamena
34 Linus Hiel Hiluka 27 Mei 2003 106 19 years and 10 months Wamena ammunition store raid Yes Yes Nabire
35 Kimanus Wenda 12 April 2003 106 19 years and 10 months Wamena ammunition store raid Yes Yes Nabire
36 Jefrai Murib 12 April 2003 106 Life Wamena ammunition store raid Yes Yes Abepura
37 Numbungga Telenggen 11 April 2003 106 Life Wamena ammunition store raid Yes Yes Biak
38 Apotnalogolik Lokobal 10 April 2003 106 20 years Wamena ammunition store raid Yes Yes Biak

 

GEMPAR Otsus Plus rejection rally banned, blockaded by Police in Jayapura

News article

from West Papua Media stringers in Jayapura

March 11, 2014

Several hundred students and civil society members led by the Papuan Student Movement (GEMPAR or “Uproar”) holding a peaceful demonstration in Jayapura today were again blockaded by around 200 armed riot Police who imposed a ban on the gathering, after a similar gathering on March 4 drew world attention.

The demonstration was called to show the extent of public opposition to the proposed new Special Autonomy “Plus” (Otsus Plus) legislation due to be imposed on Papua and West Papua provinces later in 2014.

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Scenes from Gempar rally rejecting OtsusPlus, Jayapura, March 11, 2014 (Photo: WestPapuaMedia/NareYare and Sauri Bounas. Please contact WPM before outside non-commercial use of any of these images for exact crediting)

Despite having rights of freedom of expression guaranteed under Special Autonomy legislation, large numbers of  Indonesian occupation force Police banned the gathering and prevented students from leaving the Cenderawasih Universtiy (UNCEN) grounds.  Scores of police were also on hand at other GEMPAR rallying points, at the new UNCEN gate, the old archway entrance to UNCEN, campus dormitories, and also outside the main Post Office in Abepura.

Police prevented unarmed civil society participants from joining the rally according to witnesses, and blockaded several groups of Papuan civilians across Abepura and Jayapura with scores of riot police in full armour, several ranks of heavily armed Brimob commandos from the Sabhara Perintis and Gegana anti-terror units, including several members of the Australian funded Detachment 88 counter-terror unit, backed up by over a hundred plain clothes armed intelligence agents dispersed throughout the town.

The Jayapura Police Chief, Alfred Papare, had banned the rally due to a highly restrictive set of conditions and threatened to use for against the protesters, however negotiation ensured that the day remain without violence, despite intelligence agents menacing violence.  West Papua Media (WPM) stringers reported and photographed several instances where media workers were being filmed and identified by intelligence officers and police.

Jayapura Police chief Papare demonstrated his opposition to democratic rights in Papua by providing a letter that outlined ten reasons for the rally ban, saying:

    • that GEMPAR is not an approved organisation in the eyes of POlice;
    • it didn’t pre-approve all pamphlets and banners with police beforehand
    • it refused to name individual organisers and speakers at the action;
    • did not provide Police with crowd numbers, nor get traffic clearance
    • Police would not recognise the local time zone of WPB, as it considers observance of local time as an act of separatism.  Indonesia only recognises time zones as WIB ( Western Indonesian Time), CET/WITA ( Central Indonesian Time ) and WIT/EST ( Eastern Indonesia Time)
    • That previous rallies caused traffic jams;
    • Gempar Chairman Yason Ngelia had previous shouted slogans and made speeches against government policy and the state, and was therefore allegedly “spreading hatred against Indonesia”
    • That all acts of free expression, collective action, mass rallies and peaceful protest were banned “To maintain the internal security situation conducive to smotth implementation of the democratic  legislative elections and the 2014 presidential election in the city of Jayapura” as that “could destabilise internal security.”

West Papua Media journalist Nare Yare (pseudonym) reports that despite these bans, students were undeterred and began a several peaceful gathering at the old arch gates of the university at 8.30 in the morning, also gathering outside the student dormitories at Perumnas 3 Housing Complex in Waena.  Other participants in the days events began a traditional cultural long march around 0920 to the UNCEN office of Lukas Enembe, Indonesia’s appointed Governor in Papua province.

However Police began to confront  and blockade the peaceful protesters at 1040am outside Perumnas 3 to prevent the marches from joining up, and about 15 minutes of shield charges, flying wedge attacks, physical pushing and shoving occurred between students and riot police.  There were no arrests reported, nor significant injuries at his time.

Later, protesters regrouped and attempted to read out statements at the Governor’s office, but police again moved in to prevent the statement criticising Otsus Plus being read in front of the Governors office.  Protesters then finished the  rally outside Perumnas 3, a site of martyrdom for West Papua youth, after several human rights abuses took place there, including the broad daylight extrajudicial assassination of former KNPB leader Mako Tabuni in 2012 by Detachment 88 officers.

At the archway entrance to UNCEN, Gempar coordinators conducted speeches and street theatre, with a creative theatre of West Papuan students, one by one, stamping into the dust and asphalt a copy of the draft Otsus Plus legislation, shouting “Tolak Otsus Gagal!” (“Reject Special Autonomy Plus!”).  This was then symbolically set on fire to finalise its rejection.

Protest coordinator Yason Ngelia said in a speech at Perumnas 3, “we reject Autonomy Plus.  Special autonomy has failed , we must determine our own fate.  The Special Autonomy Plus draft is prepared not from the desire of the people of Papua , but for the Governor and the interests of bureaucrats.  We will keep demonstrating until there is a solution for the fate of Papuans ”

The GEMPAR demonstration in its rejection of Otsus Plus demanded three points, namely:

  • that the Government of Jakarta , the Government of Papua and West Papua stop discussion of implementation Special Autonomy Plus;
  • The Government of Papua and West Papua, along with the DPRP and MRP, begin facilitating Public Hearings of the support or rejection of Otsus Plus for all components of Papuan society;
  • A Referendum to be held on whether Papuans want Special Autonomy Plus.

Even during this peaceful reading of the opposition of Papua people to legislation seen as imposed by Jakarta on West Papua,  Police still blockaded the road with large numbers growing to more than 300 police,  4 trucks carrying Dalmas Papua Police from Abepura and one from Jayapura, 3 Brimob police Trucks , 1 Armoured assault vehicle, a water cannon, and two commanders vehicles.   Also in Old Abe Uncen , 2 trucks Dalmas Police from Jayapura Police Station were attending with several dozen police, and a 25 member Dalmas platoon/section at  Expo Waena taxi terminal.

Due to this intimidation and threats of further violence from security forces, organisers cancelled the rally and dispersed just before 2pm local time.

Organisers have vowed to renew their attempts to hold a peaceful demonstration on March 12.

West Papua Media will be monitoring.

WESTPAPUAMEDIA

Papuan cultural parade blockaded then broken up by Jayapura Police

From KNPB and West Papua Media sources in Jayapura

February 20, 2014

http://westpapuamediaalerts.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/565e1-dscf2364.jpg?w=448&h=336
Traditional Cultural Action, Jayapura, 17 February 2014

A cultural parade organised by university students in Jayapura was blockaded and then dispersed with force by Indonesian police on February 17, after Indonesian police refused to recognise West Papuan cultural expression.

The demonstration of culture, music, art and dance from across Papua’s indigenous tribes, in which several hundred students in two groups marched wearing traditional Papuan dress, was to highlight the demand of “Save the Papuan Culture”.  The manifestation was organised by the Youth Coalition for the Rise of Students (Koalisi Pemuda mahasiswa bangkit or KPMB) and the Cenderawasih University’s (Uncen) Student Executive Body (Badan Eksekutif Mahasiswa or BEM).

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Speakers, songs and dances were performed from 8-10am local time in two locations, outside the Uncen Waena Housing Complex (Perumnas III) and in front of the post office in the town of Abepura, and at 10am, the Perumnas III mass began to march and dance their way to Abepura.

However Police blockaded the mass action once the crowd reached the Waena traffic lights.  Despite having previously notified police of their intention to hold the parade, field coordinators of the action were forced to negotiate with the police, pointing to the KPMB’s intention to hold a peaceful action that day in the form of Papuan cultural art.

However, in an outburst witnessed by a West Papua Media stringer, the Deputy Commander of the Jayapura District Police, the notorious hardliner Kiki Kurnia refused to let the gathering continue, warning the crowd that he would not tolerate “introducing some culture from an unknown place”.  “There is no such culture such as that in Indonesia,” Kurnia asserted, dismissing over 45,000 years of Papuan language, culture and art.

Kurnia then prohibited the students from displaying any form of Papuan culture, and further stated that the crowd “was prohibited from carrying out any action of any form whatsoever as the Governor had prohibited all forms of actions,”. according to independent sources and verified by WPM.  Just after 10am local time, ordered several platoons of heavily armed police to blockade and disperse the cultural gathering.  Several injuries were reported but unconfirmed.

After being forcefully dispersed,  a much larger mass returned and gathered in front of UNCEN’s main entrance, lighting a bonfire on the road in response.  According to witnesses, this crowd was spread out as far as Perumnas III in Waena, a distance of several kilometres.

According to the cultural event organisers, the crowd outside UNCEN was angrily voicing their objections to the continued silencing of the democratic space throughout all of Papua by the Police, with speakers expressing outrage at the betrayal of the culture of Papua.

“That the police had been obstructing the mass action stating ‘Where are you bringing this culture from? We don’t have any culture like that in Indonesia’ angered us all, as it is seen as a denial of the Papuan culture,” an organiser told West Papua National Committee (KNPB) media workers.

Members of the gathering clearly spoke out that if the police continued to betray and deny Papuan culture in such a way, that Papuans would mount an even larger scale action asserting the Papuan culture, and that they would boycott the 2014 presidential election, according to reports from the KNPB.  The action Coordinator Beny Wetipo then called upon the Papuan community and all parties to save the Papuan culture from being replaced by a foreign culture that was threatening the existence of the Papuan race.

Karnavian: 11 prominent security cases in West Papua for 2013

From Victor Mambor at  Tabloid Jubi

December 1, 2014

Head of Papua Police, Inspector General of Police Tito Karnavian (Jubi)
Head of Papua Police, Inspector General of Police Tito Karnavian (Jubi)

Jayapura, 1/1 (Jubi) – Head of Papua Police, Inspector General of Police Tito Karnavian said, during the year 2013, there were eleven prominent cases related to Security and Public Order.

“There were eleven prominent cases during the Year 2013. Such as attacks carried by unidentified peoples, fifteen cases, and assault in the area of ​​PT Freeport Indonesia, eleven cases,“ said Tito Karnavian to reporters on Tuesday (31/12) night.

The eleven prominent cases are :
1. Tribal warfare, 3 cases;
2. Shooting in the area of ​​PT. Freeport Indonesia, 11 cases;
3. Mass attacks against members of the police, 6 cases;
4. Attacks by Armed Civilian/The National Liberation Army of Free West Papua Movement, 15 cases;
5. Deprivation against foreigners, 1 case;
6. Plane crash, 0 cases;
7. Protests against Special Autonomy Law, 3 cases;
8. Possession of illegal weapons , 4 cases;
9. Shootings by police, 3 cases;
10. Anarchist demo, 3 cases;
11. Raising of the Morning Star, 5 cases.

In addition, Papua Police had eleven operation carried out in the year 2013.
Eleven of these operations include Operation Mantap Praja II,  Operasi Mantap Praja III, Operasi Sahabar Matoa, Operasi Simpatik Matoa, Operasi Dian, Operasi Patuh Matoa, Operasi Zebra Matoa, Operasi Lilin Matoa dan Operasi Aman Matoa III.

“To eradicate corruption, from ten activities with 122 existing cases in police report, the State suffered a loss of Rp. 58,166,994,730, – but money returned to the state was Rp. 15,066,951,566, – , ” said Tito Karnavian.

Papua Police have predict public order and security situation (Sitkamtibmas) for 2014 will still be dominated by mass demonstrations relating to the Legislative and Presidential Elections. (Jubi/Aprila Wayar/Victor Mambor)

BRINGING AN END TO THE CONFLICT IN PAPUA THROUGH JAKARTA-PAPUA DIALOGUE

Opinion / Analysis

By: Selpius Bobii

December 31, 2013

Peace is critical to the continuation of life for human beings, though we find it hard to achieve in even our everyday lives. West Papuan Nehemia Yarinap stated that “Christ Jesus came to bring peace to the earth, however the characteristics of humans are such that they sometimes fail to reach peace and truth due to acting in the interests of political economics, oppressing other nations of peoples in the name of peace. At this time in the modern world, there are  powerful nations oppressing and usurping the rights of other nations.” Yarinap’s points to the annexation of the sovereign independence of the nation of Papua into the Republic of Indonesia, commenting “ to realise peace and justice in Papua so many have sacrificed themselves and continue to sacrifice their lives just as Jesus Christ sacrificed himself to bring peace to humans on this earth….. Christmas reminds all people about peace and speaks to us that those characteristics that oppress other nations must change.”(1)

The dynasty of tyranny of Indonesia is now firmly established in Papua. In all areas of life  the Indonesian State has firmly established those pillars that ensure the continuation of Indonesia’s oppression, even in religion. Indonesia has to that end consistently brought  pressure to bear on those key Papuan figures in the churches who have continued to speak openly about the realities of discrimination, marginalisation, injustices and humanitarian atrocities that are occurring against the indigenous people of Papua. There have been accusations made that those such church persons too are themselves involved directly in the politics of Papua. Accusations that are particularly of recent times aimed at weakening the case for dialogue between Jakarta and Papua which has been encouraged by particular church figures.  If the Church also becomes a pillar of support for this dynasty of oppression by Indonesia, then the church itself will in so doing lose both its very foundation as well as its direction.  In that instance the church would be torn from its very roots and mission as handed down by Jesus Christ, being to save the world.  The church in Papua  must stand strong as a beacon of hope to the people and not become a partner of the State of Indonesia in the colonial domination of the indigenous people of Papua.

The Papuan Writer Usman Yogobi stated that “ The countenance of the Church in the land of Papua is such  that it has become  a partner for the Indonesian Government, with some reverends, bishops, pastors, pilgrims and monks supporting the colonial domination of the land of Papua. ‘Papua the Zone of Peace’ as declared in 2002 has never been realised, with the reality being quite the opposite – Papua has become a region of humanitarian disaster!

The term ‘Zone of Peace’ which arose from leaders of the different religions in Papua in 2002, has even been adopted recently by the Indonesian Military Commander in Papua (XVII) and the Head of Papuan Provincial Police. They have used the term in speech, letters or on banners, whilst in practice the Indonesian military and police have continued to carry out acts of violence and human atrocities against the indigenous people of Papua” stated Yogobi. The Church in Papua needs to learn and better understand its mission as handed down by Christ Jesus, being to bring salvation to the world. The salvation of souls is not just a matter of becoming oriented with the hereafter, but rather it’s about saving lives on this earth.

The law of the church prohibits representatives of the church being practically involved in politics, however at the same time it’s important to understand that the very teachings of the churches stress the importance of the church being involved in a real way in the life of the people. There is no such thing as evangelisation without social involvement; no such thing as mission without the struggle for justice. The church has a moral responsibility to be socially involved and to fight for justice and for respect of the dignity of humanity.

Dialogue between Jakarta and Papua which is being urged by the Peace Network of Papua – coordinated by the Catholic Priest Neles Kebadabi Tebay (Pr) – is a part of the involvement of the church in the upholding of justice and the respect of humanity dignity. If the church only speaks of justice and criticises human rights violations but does nothing to point to a way to bring an end to the conflict in Papua, then the human rights violations in Papua will continue without ceasing. Rather the church needs to itself open a way or point to a way forward.  Dialogue between Jakarta and Papua is a way of enabling such discussion as required to deal with  the many problems so as to find a dignified solution to the Papuan issue.

So let’s work together to lead the way to bringing about dialogue between Jakarta and Papua to find a solution that upholds the dignity of all.  Indeed there are more than one way to bring about an end to the problems in Papua and it is important that other approaches being made are also continued such as the legal approach and the United Nations decolonisation approach.  And as we struggle let’s always remember that the Struggle of Papua does not use violence or physical force but rather our means are always peaceful. As wherever violence is used there are inevitably human victims lost and indeed Indonesia has and continues to kill Papuans by a range of violent means. Over this more than 50 years endless innocent victims have been killed as a result of Indonesia’s actions in Papua. There’s been enough killing by Indonesia. Let’s bring an end to this cruel colonial domination using strictly peaceful means.

Indonesia and Papua really need to be enlivened to bring this about and its important we leave any narrow thinking paradigms. As the consequence of such is but to extend this conflict and more fallen victims, which are not small in number. Let’s take this never-ending conflict between Papua and Indonesia to the table and carry out unconditional peaceful dialogue as between two equal parties, facilitated by a neutral third party and in a third and neutral location. The international community including the USA has previously expressed its support for the path of dialogue between Jakarta and Papua; and it is the Writer’s conviction that all those who seriously uphold the values of the human rights, democracy, truth, justice, honesty and peace will also support a peaceful and dignified approach to finding a solution to bring an end to the problems in Papua. So let’s all work together to make dialogue between Jakarta and Papua a reality!

The Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono  has numerous times stated in speeches that the problems of Papua will be brought to an end in a peaceful and dignified way. Also is recalled the words of the Head of the Council of Presidential Advisors Dr Hasibuan in January 2013, that the President had promised to arrange dialogue between Jakarta and Papua during the year 2013. However that promise has not yet been fulfilled.  A ‘promise’ is as something that is owed and must be paid and President SBY needs to fulfil that promise. It is dearly hoped that before President SBY’s term as president comes to a close on 20 October 2014 that this very extended conflict between Indonesia and Papua can be brought to an end through peaceful and dignified means and that it might become the hope of all parties to make that a reality.

Footnote

  1. 1.        The Bible of the Christian Religion  talks about the ‘Garden of Eden’ that radiated the glory of God and where there was peace and prosperity.  Where there were no wild beasts but rather all creatures lived together in peace. Then it is written, that peace was destroyed by the wrong of the first humans and therein began anarchy on the earth. Humans in all places seek after that peace which the Bible speaks of. Yet we see in the world that powerful humans prey on those weaker than themselves. The rich get richer and the misery of the poor becomes greater.

Selpius Bobii is the  General Chairperson of Front PEPERA & is a Papuan Freedom Political Detainee in Abepura Prison, Jayapura