Tag Archives: Indonesian Army

Selpius Bobii: “Stop violence in Paniai, proceed with heart to heart communication”

(Apologies for the delay in posting due to significant funding shortfall and time over-commitments from WPM team)

Analysis/ Opinion

27 March, 2013

 by Selpius Bobii, Abepura Prison

The ongoing conflict in Papua is deliberately generated and professionally driven by Indonesian government through its defence system, purposely to defend the sovereignty of Indonesia over Papua.  Beside political conflicts, economic factors play a certain role in initiating conflicts in Papua. As a result, both Papuan and non-Papuan civilians suffer the consequences, but mostly indigenous Papuans suffer the worst outcome of these conflicts.

One of the regions in Papua that draws major attention of the Indonesian military is Paniai.  The conflicts there that are deliberately initiated by the Defence force of the Republic of Indonesia in confronting the OPM troops led by John Yogi has left the people of Paniai in great devastation.

These ongoing conflicts have left the civilians in a frightening and intimidating situation because Indonesian Police and Indonesian National Army have been doing mass military mobilisation and convoys, committing sexual harassment and assaults on woman and girls, carrying out unlawful arrests, torturing innocent civilians, and raids from house to house, confiscating hunting tools like bows and arrows, axes, and knives.  The local people had to move to the neighboring villages searching for refuge, food and health. Some of them got sick and died, some were shot dead by the Indonesian military.

Violence, intimidation and unlawful detentions by Police  Army are escalating in Paniai in the last few weeks, especially to combat the (local) OPM movement led by John Yogi.

Marko Okto Pekei, SS (Activist from Timika Catholic Parish) reported that the tense situation in Paniai has been going for a long period of time following the forceful disbanding (by Indonesian security forces) of the OPM HQ in Eduda in October 2012. After the incident, Indonesian Security Forces deployed massive number of Indonesian Military personnel in Paniai.

On the afternoon of February 24th 2013 the people of Paniai witnessed the deployment of Indonesia Military into Paniai, 53 trucks dropped them.  During the deployment, a source that did not wish to be named mentioned that an Indonesia police officer (told him)  that, in February 2013 alone, the government ( especially the Defence Ministry) of Indonesia has deployed more than one thousand military personnel from Kelapa Dua Jakarta to Paniai.  As a result, people in Paniai, especially fathers and young men, feel intimidated everywhere they go.  They could not go out for gardening because of the fear that they would be suspected as members of OPM.

During that tensed situation, Marko Pekei also reported that there has been raids carried out in the middle of the night in the villages, unlawful arrest, torture, and forceful kidnapping, abduction and killing of innocent civilians in Paniai.

The latest cases for example are, Stefanus Yeimo who was shot dead by Indonesian Police (Brigade Mobile) at 15:30 (west Papuan time) in Kopo Paniai. He was shot when he and his friend were at a local store buying cigarette. According to the Indonesian Police (POLRI) the reason behind the shooting is, he was suspected to be member of OPM.

At 18:00 on the same day, Stefanus was buried by his family in Kopo village, Paniai.

Meanwhile, according to report from an Activist from Justice and Peace Division of Timika Catholic Parish, there is another victim from the Moni Clan; Indonesian National Army Special Team 753 in Uwibutu tortured him on Saturday March 23rd 2013 at 21:30 local time.

After the victim was arrested he was beaten, kicked and was dragged along the asphalt road. At that time few by passers witnessed that violent and unjust treatment. The victim was even dragged into the police checkroom and brutally tortured until the next day and he was rushed to the hospital for medication.

According to the relative of the victim who did not wish to be named, the victim was intoxicated but was not violent when he went to visit a family friend at the hospital. He left the hospital at 21:30 local time. That was when the Indonesian Army Special team 753 from Paniai unlawfully arrested him took him to their base and beat him up, tortured him and they took him the hospital.

In response to the escalating and ongoing violence in Paniai, We the Front PEPERA (Act Of Free Choice) would like to take this opportunity to demand:

1). Indonesian Army (TNI) and Indonesian Police (POLRI) to stop excessive terror, torture, kidnapping and unlawful arrests and shootings in Paniai.

2). Cenderawasih Regional Military Commander XVII and Provincial Police Commander to stop deploying military personnel in Paniai and as soon as possible withdraw the additional personnel that was deployed from Jakarta.

3). The military personnel who violates human rights in Paniai be brought to justice.

4) Cenderawasih Regional Military Commander XVII and Provincial Police Commander as soon as possible sack the Indonesian Army (TNI) and Indonesian Police (POLRI) personnel who are responsible for the ongoing violence in Paniai.

5). People, Government and Church to work together hand in hand, establishing communications from heart to heart in order to curtail the violence and human right abuses that has been going on in Paniai for a very long time.

6). Journalists to truthfully and honestly expose the real situation that has been happening in Paniai

7) Violence will never solve the conflicts in Papua, therefore We the PEPERA (Act Of Free Choice) Front would like to take this opportunity to demand the United Nation or a neutral third-party to immediately act unconditionally and according to the international law to end the political and social injustice in Papua.

This statement serves as guide and to be carried out by the concerning parties who thinks Papuans deserves justice, peace and security in Papua and especially in Paniai.

Selpius Bobii, Abepura Prison: Wednesday, 27th March 2013.

Selpius Bobii is the General Chairperson of Front Pepera (The United Front of the Struggle of the People of Papua)  and is currently one of the “Jayapura Five”, Political Prisoners held in Abepura Prison, Jayapura, West Papua.  The five (Bobii, Forkorus Yaboisembut, Edison Waromi, Dominikus Sorabut and Agus Kraar) were found guilty in an opaque and predetermined trial of  Treason (Makar) charges, laid after the violent Indonesian security force crackdown on the Third Papuan People’s Congress  in October 2011.

 

Paniai villages reportedly razed as Densus 88 resumes sweep operations in search of TPN’s Jhon Yogi

West Papua Media

January 8, 2013

Unconfirmed reports from local activists and credible human rights observers in Paniai have claimed that 13 houses have been burnt down as sweep operations by Indonesian security forces have resumed, causing panic amongst local Papuan civilians.

The operation by a joint Indonesian army (TNI) and police unit, allegedly led by a large number of Detachment 88 troops (the elite Australian-funded counter-terror unit) is searching for Free Papua National Liberation Army (TPN-OPM) guerrilla leader Jhon Yogi, has begun with up to 13 houses burned to the ground, allegedly claimed by Detachment 88 officers to be TPN posts.

Activists from National Papua solidarity (Napas.com) have reported that Detachment 88 (d88) troops began to raid houses across the area around Pugo village on January 7, from 11am local time.   According to field reports, the searches lasted well into the night, causing many people in surrounding villages to flee the area in fear of their lives.

Five Companies (approx 500 armed men) of the joint strike force (including one company of D88 troops) reportedly laid siege to the alleged headquarters area near Waididi Pogo of Yogi’s TPN-OPM Paniai region command on Monday.  According to Napas.com, Yogi’s men returned heavy fire on the strike force.

According to the local community members, the civilian houses in Pogo were burned quickly on Monday by rogue Indonesian military, together with plain clothes militia or Intel (military intelligence officers), according to SMS messages sent to the media.

Since 13 December 2011, the Indonesian military forces have been regularly attacking, and systematically dismantling and burning villages and traditional buildings alleged to be posts or headquarters of the TPN-OPM Division II  in Paniai.

Community members have reported to Napas.com, the movements of Yogi have been well know n by the Indonesian military, who are allegedly using the situation to have a “show force with full war equipment”, using this opportunity to surround the new TPN headquarters.

Separate reports received by West Papua Media,which have been unable to be confirmed to our verification standards, have claimed that “unknown persons” units have also fired on both civilians and military units. including gunfire that erupted from a suspected military source on a hill behind the Paniai General Hospital area at Uwibutu Madi.

According to human rights sources, Paniai people are greatly fearing for their safety amid another escalation in military offensives.

Previous offensives in the  Paniai since December 2011 have displaced tens of thousands of civilians, and burnt down hundreds of villages.

(For background, please visit http://westpapuamedia.info/tag/Paniai/)

West Papua Media

Soldier arrested as seven Papuan fisherman shot by the TNI

Bintang Papua,
28 December 2012
Seven Papuan fisherman were shot by members of the TNI (Indonesian army) near Pulau Papan district, Misol Perairan Raja Apat, West Papua. It is not clear why they were shot, but one TNI soldier is now being questioned by POM, the military police in Puncak Rafidin.The commander of 1704/Sorong, Lieut-Col. Rachman Zulkarnain refused to make any comment about the incident but he did not deny that a TNI solider was being interrogated by the military police. They were still trying to find out more about those responsible for the shooting. ‘I want the process to continue , until we can decide who should be charged for the incident,’ said Zulkarnain.

A spokesman for  the Cenderawasih XVII military command  also said that a member of the army is being interrogated intensively by POM.  The matter must be handled through legal channels, he said. He said that the commander would ensure that the person responsible would be firmly dealt with.

The spokesman also said that  the person who did the shooting was thought to be a member of Babinsa Koramil (low level military command personnel ) and one of those responsible has been identified as Praka BJ.

Head of public relations of the military command, I Gede Sumerta Jaja told the press that the case was still being investigated, while attention was at present concentrated on finding one of the victims.

One of the victims is at present being treated at Sorong Hospital  but he is not yet fit enough to be asked to make a statement. ‘We must respect his rights and not try to force him to make a statement,’ he said.

The bodies of four of the victims were discovered in a state of decomposition on Wednesday, La Nuni, 55, La Jaka, 30, La Edi, 20 and La Diri, 20. A fifth victim , La Ful, 13 is still being sought by a TNI/Police unit. The bodies were under water for almost a week but officials were able to identify them when they were  found.

Two other fisherman have also been found alive and are now being treated in hospital.

A representative of the military police met the families of the victims  and members of South Sulawesi  Families Association to continue with the process of identifying all the victims to finalise the process of identification and then moving them away from the area. The Association has called on the military command to make a statement, following information that indicated that the military and police were responsible for the shooting but the military have as yet failed to clarify the case. A spokesman of the Association said that they were still trying find other victims of the shooting.

Translated by TAPOL

Indonesian army units torch houses, shoot villager, during Wamena sweep operation

by West Papua Media

November 7, 2012

Credible Reports have again emerged detailing a rampage by troops from the notorious Indonesian Army (TNI) Battalion 756, who have reportedly run amok burning houses and beating up Papuan civilians, during a recent security sweep against Papuan civil society activists.

At 2pm local time on November 4, a joint force of 756 BTn troops, together with Brimob paramilitary police units and troops described as “non-organic special forces” – most likely troops from the Australian-supported Detachment 88 counter-terror unit – conducted a sweep of the houses behind the New Jibama market in Wamena town. The troops laid siege to a group of houses and started shooting at the houses and directly at residents, according to witnesses interviewed by local human rights sources.

One person was reportedly seriously injured by gunshot wounds sustained during the attack, and many more people received major burn injuries after being caught in three houses that were torched by the joint force. Exact casualty figures have been unable to be ascertained and the gunshot victim has yet to be identified, however family members confirmed that several people had been treated at the Wamena hospital for their injuries.

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Family members of those targeted, spoken to by stringers for West Papua Media, have fled Wamena after their houses were set on fire by the joint force. According to local sources, they fled to the forest outside Wamena, and are too scared to return for fear of being shot by Indonesian security force. Those fleeing are being forced to survive on the resources in the forest, as the security presence makes in difficult to return home, according to our sources.

Local human rights activists have also claimed that people in Wamena are confused over the reason behind the attack and the arson, and have questioned who has commanded the attack. “What forces are behind this? This case is not obvious, but the combined forces commit arson and loot residents’ property in the home of all three victims,” said the activist.

The behaviour of security forces against Papuans “is very exaggerated beyond procedures that should be enforced under applicable human rights law in Indonesia and Internationally,” he continued.

On june 7, members of Battalion 756 went on another rampage of arson, looting, shootings and beatings after one of their members was killed after an accident that seriously injured a young boy. In recent months, Detachment 88 troops have also led an intensifying and brutal crackdown on activists from the West Papua National Committee (KNPB), after claims of their involvement in a bombing campaign.

Many credible observers have cast doubt on the motivations of the security forces in this crackdown, accusing them of engineering a situation to criminalise legitimate peaceful free expression.

Related Articles:

PRD Merauke Secretary badly beaten by TNI 755 Btn

by West Papua Media and local sources

November 6, 2012

Information and video footage has emerged from Merauke, Papua, documenting the beating by Indonesian soldiers of the Secretary General of the Parlemen Rakyat Daerah (People’s Regional Parliament), further fulling tensions in the area between occupation forces and the local population.

The incident occurred around 3pm local time on November 3 , as the SekJen, Peter T. Katem was riding his Yamaha motorcycle with a community member, Mr Robert Mayonim.  The pair lost control of their bike due to newly made but rough village roads in Domba Empat street,  accidentally nudged a military officer with their motorbike outside the office of E Company, 755 Battalion (Merauke) of the Indonesian Army (TNI), according to witnesses.

Citizen journalists, Lintah Digoel and Rade Minyak. who interviewed the victims reported that the TNI member and two colleagues then gave chase after they refused to accept the accident, and attacked the pair at the crossroads outside the Company post.  As the beatings continued, more soldiers arrived on the scene and joined in, some in plain clothes and some in uniform.  The beating was filmed (below) by a witness.

According to local sources, Katem and Mayonim were taken forcibly to the E/755 Btn Post with beatings continuing as they were being dragged.  Arriving at the office, they were then tortured for about an hour and a half, they were punched, kicked and beaten with wood, fruit and bamboo.

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The persecution ended after a number of Domba Empat community members   came to the office to demand their release, which occurred two hours later, Digoel and Minyak reported.

So far, none of the perpetrators have been investigated.

 

with KNPBNews.com