Tag Archives: criminalization of peaceful dissent

Oil Palm companies in Nabire using Brimob to terrorise local villagers

OIL PALM COMPANY IN NABIRE SUPPORTED BY PAPUAN BRIMOB POLICE FORCES

August 25, 2015

By Santon Tekege for West Papua Media

Nabire based human rights activist Gunawan Inggeruhi has stated that an oil palm company managed by PT New Nabire and PT SAD, has caused uneasiness amongst citizens of Wami and Sima, Yaur district, in Nabire region.

Citizens in this area have been falsely and maliciously stigmatised by the companies as being suspected OPM (Free Papua Movement) members or activists, with the result that they are constantly made frightened and anxious by security forces.

Joint Brimob/TNI sweep team in Nabire oil Palm plantations. Photo:FIle
Joint Brimob/TNI sweep team in Nabire oil Palm plantations. Photo:FIle

On 4 January 2015, paramilitary BRIMOB police forces arrested a villager who is the traditional landowner of the location, by the name of Otis Waropen (aged 34 years). He was arrested at the PT New Nabire oil palm company plantation in the village of Wami in Yaur District, Nabire. In a  direct telephone interview on 22 August 2015, Waropen revealed that he was arrested by BRIMOB police on “suspicion resulting from stigmatisation of being an OPM member,”  and “on suspicion of making a movement of troublemakers in the vicinity of the PT New Nabire Oil Palm plantation.”

“It is not only (waropen) who has experienced such stigmatisation from BRIMOB who are acting as the protectors of that oil palm company,” Gunawan Inggeruhi told me.

“Many citizens who claim their traditional customary land rights, asking for the company to be closed and its license to operate be revoked, have been accused of being OPM members and ‘part of a movement of troublemakers’.  When in fact the reality is that those who make trouble and terrify the village community in Wami and Sima are the Papuan BRIMOB forces.”

Inggeruhi explained, “Citizens previously lived in this area in a peaceful and calm atmosphere.  These people are not OPM and they are not making some sort of opposition or troublemaker movement against the oil palm companies (PT New Nabire or PT SAD Perkasa).”

He described how most observers perceive that the actions of the Police and the Companies “are themselves making anarchy and intentionally killing the freedom of the people,” and creating fear amongst the people, even arresting and imprisoning them.

Inggeruhi went on to say that “All entrances into the plantation are guarded strictly and protected by Papuan BRIMOB Police. There’s around 50 BRIMOB armed forces there and they are assisted by intelligence personnel, all the way along the road from Wanggar until the village of Sima.”

“If we go to that location BRIMOB chase us and spy on us all the way along that road.”  Inggeruhi said that even himself had been chased and spied on in that area.

The community feels most oppressed by the presence of PT Nabire Baru and PT SAD Perkasa in the area with BRIMOB forces supporting them. He added that “the local government is indifferent over the closure of the space experienced by local residents and their inability  to move freely around in their own local area.”

He is urging the Papuan Police to immediately withdraw their BRIMOB forces from the area of the oil palm companies, and called that the oil palm plantations of PT Nabire Baru in Wami, and PT SAD Perkasa in Sima in the Yaur District of Nabire should cease immediately.

The Writer is a pastoral worker in the diocese of Timika, Papua.

YCW: Will Nekenem and his colleagues be given clemency?

From Yan Christian Warinussy, Executive-Director of LP3BH

12 July 2015

On May 20th this year, a group young people, students and activists from the National Committee of West Papua (KNPB) took part in a peaceful action during which several people delivered speeches. However, the group was dispersed by the local security forces, the Manokwari police.

Following this action, about one hundred activists were taken away by members of the police force and Brimob who had arrived there in several trucks and who drove them to the headquarters of Brimob.

Four days later, four of those who had taken part in the action
were arrested, Alexander Nekenem, Yoram Magai, Mikael Aso and Narko Murib, for allegedly committing a crime as well as being accused of incitement, as provided for in Articles 160 and 55 of the Criminal Code.

The article reads as follows: ‘Whosoever, in public or in writing
is involved in incitement, or is involved in an act of violence
against the authorities … shall be taken into custody and sentenced to up to six years or ordered to pay a fine of up to one thousand, five hundred rupiahs.’

It would appear that these four people had been taken into custody because of their involvement in a peaceful action on May 20th and for being connected with the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP).

It should be noted that during the meeting of the MSG (Melanesian
Spearhead Group) which took place on 25th and 26th June, the ULMWP was accepted by the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) as an observer.

Indonesia was also accepted as an observer. The Papuans were accepted as associate members from five provinces, Papua, West Papua, Maluku, North Maluku and East Nusa Tenggara.

From now on, the ULMWP will always be invited to attend meetings
convened by the MSG.

So surely we should ask, who is it who has acted in violation of
the law? Was it Alexander and his colleagues who responded to the move to recognise the ULMWP as an organisation which has unified the indigenous people of West Papua and will become a permanent member of the MSG?

As a lawyer and Defender of Basic Human Rights, I would like to point out that the ULMWP has been officially accepted as a member of the MSG, an organisation that was set up to unify the struggle of three initiating organisations, namely the National Parliament of West Papua, the Federal Republic of West Papua and the West Papua Coalition for Liberation in December 2014 in Vanuatu.

On 3 July 2015, Abnel Hegemur and his colleagues were organising a joint service at the Secretariat of the ULMWP to celebrate the fact that they had been accepted as observer members of the MSG at a meeting in Honiara, the Republic of the Solomon Island States held from 18-26 June 2015 in Honiara.

They were subsequently arrested and taken to the headquarters of
the police command in Fak Fak and questioned, after which they were accused of having committed an act of subversion as stipulated in Articles 108 and 110 of the Criminal Code. This was subsequently changed to Article 510, according to which anyone who organises an event to march together in a public area may be charged.

Does this mean that any Christian or Indigenous Papuan who wishes
to hold a service must first obtain a permit from the police? If so, what about the guarantee regarding joint ventures stipulated in the 1945 Constitution.

This would suggest that all judges in the Land of Papua should pay close attention to such matters as this, when anything is organised by Indigenous Papuan People. And what about the decision of the President of the Republic of Indonesia, Ir. H. Joko Widido who recently granted clemency to five political prisoners who were being held at the prison in Abepura-Jayapura. as well as the intention to free almost one hundred political prisoners being held in various prisons in the provinces of West Papua, Papua and Maluku?

Surely this would mean that Alexander Nekemen, Michael Aso, Yoram Magai and Narko Murib should also be granted clemency by President Jokowi.  Or they should be granted abolition in accordance with the commitment of President Jokowi, as a move to resolve once and for all the problems in the Land of Papua and turn it into a Land of Peace.

Peace!

Yan Christian Warrinusy is the Executive Director of the LP3BH – Institute for Research, Analysis and Development for Legal Aid, and recipient of the John Humphrey Freedom Award in Canada in 2005.

Translated by Carmel Budiardjo

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
members.

Peace!

Yan Christian Warinussy, Executive-Director of LP3BH.

Translated by Carmel Budiardjo

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

POLRES MERAUKE POLICE ARREST 15 KNPB ACTIVISTS and CHAIRMAN of the PRD MERAUKE.

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:
1. MS. PANGGRESIA YEEM, PRD CHAIRMAN of MERAUKE
2. GENTO EMERICUS DOP, CHAIRMAN KNPB MERAUKE
3. YOSEP MUYAN, KNPB MERAUKE MEMBERS
4. YOSEP IMBANOP, Chairman of PARLIAMENT of MUJU District
5. The CHAIRMAN of the ONGKATMIT SECTOR, KNPB

6. ZAKARIAS Y SRAUN
7.EMANUEL MATEMKO
8.YOHANES KAYOP
9. IBRAHIM DEWAP
10. JAN OBAKAM
11.IKNASIUS WAMIN
12.THOMAS PISAKAI
13. FRANSISKU PISAKAI
14 . JULIANUS TABIET
15. ISAK SOSOCHOM
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)

Nabire youths arrested for cleaning memorial park

By our partners at MAJALAH SELANGKAH in Nabire

28 April 2015

Photo caption text: From left to right, , Marthen Iyai (28 yrs old), Martinus Pigai (17), Anton Pigome (24) detained in the Nabire Police station Tuesday (28/4/15). (Photo: MS)

A BRIMOB Police unit together with Nabire Regional Police on 28 April have arrested three Papuan youths whilst they were cleaning the Papuan Nation’s Flower Park in Ovehe in Nabire town centre, Papua province. Those arrested are Martinus Pigai (aged 17 yrs), Anton Pigome (24 yrs) and Marthen Iyai (28 yrs).

According to arrestee Anton Pigome, speaking with majalahselangkah.com from detention at the Nabire Police station at Tuesday midday: “This morning we were cleaning the ‘Papuan Nation’s Flower Park’ in Ovehe together with our older people. We were cleaning the park for a church service to mark 100 days since the passing away of Father Nato Gobay (see: Wakil Uskup Timika, Pastor Nato Gobay, Pr Wafat) and at the same time to communicate to the community there regarding Mubes Meepago ( Mubes Miras dan HIV Wilayah Meepago) as planned for 9 or 10 May 2015.  At approximately 8.00 am BRIMOB forces came in a vehicle and ordered us to get into the BRIMOB vehicle. They then took us to the Nabire Police station.”

Anton continued “ We were not beaten at the time of arrest, however we were shocked and confused why we would be arrested. We were just cleaning the park so why would we be arrested?”

Well known Papuan human rights activist Yones Douw said they confronted police. “After we heard the news we went directly to the Police station and demanded the three be released as they had done nothing wrong. They were just cleaning the area for the church service to mark 100 days since the death of Father Nato Gobay” stated Yones.

Yones explained after meeting Deputy Head of the Nabire Police Kompol Albertus Andreana, it had been agreed to release the 3 youths. “ When we momentarily met with the Head of Police earlier I stated that the 3 youth must be released. He had to leave and suggested we speak with the Deputy Head of Police which we did. They have promised to release the 3 this afternoon.”

According to Yones, the Police believed the park was being cleaned in relation to upcoming 1 May activities, being the anniversary of the date Papua was annexed into Indonesia. As that anniversary is now close the National West Papuan Committee (KNPB) has called for demonstrations to be held simultaneously throughout Papua to reject the presence of the Indonesian population in the Land of Papua.(See: Seruan KNPB Menuju 1 Mei 2015).

It needs to be pointed out that the ‘Papuan Nation’s Flower Park’ is the location of the past offices of the Regional Committee of Community Representatives (DPRD). After the DPRD offices were burnt down and moved to Kelurahan Bumi Wonorejo, the Papuan community used the place as a centre for political expression.

Majalahselanghkah.com noted that back on 1 December 1999 the ‘Papuan Nation’s Flower Park’ had once been used for a West Papuan Political Ceremony during which two flags were raised on high steel poles with the Papuan Morning Star flag on the right and the Indonesian Red and White flag on the left. Those raised flags were maintained for 8 months before joint armed forces of Police and Indonesian military took them down during what’s become known as ‘Bloody Nabire’ which occurred from 28 February to 4 March 2000. (IRIAN JAYA (WEST PAPUA, NEW GUINEA): THE QUEST FOR INDEPENDENCE–THE RECORD: REPORT ON THE NABIRE SHOOTING SITUATION- 28 February 2000 to 4 March 2000). At that time 3 people were shot dead and others were wounded. Those shot dead were Menase Erari, Maximus Bunai and Wellem Maniwarba. They were buried in the ‘Papuan Nation’s Flower Park’ and to this date the steel pole remains standing there.

Then again on 13 August 2013 there was an incident when access to the park was closed off by joint armed police and military forces (see: Taman Bunga Nabire Dipalang, Sejumlah Tokoh Mengadu ke DPRD). Human rights activists together with well known church and community figures, tribal and customary law leaders pressured DPRD to hold a meeting with the Regional Government, the district Commandant and the Head of Police to return the park to the community. Finally the closure to the park was lifted and until now the community has been able to use the park as a place for political expression.
(Yohanes Kuayo/Yermias Degei/Putri Papua/MS)