Statement/ Media safety briefing from Oktovianus Pogau, SuaraPapua.com
October 27, 2012
I (Oktovianus Pogau, a journalist at suarapapua.com and a freelancer for The Jakarta Globe) will report on a beating that I experienced, perpetrated by police in Manokwari, West Papua.
On the 24th October, 2012, at around 16.00 Eastern Indonesian Time, I was accompanied by three journalists, two from Cahaya Papua (Duma Sanda and Patrick Tandilerung) and one journalist from Tabloid Noken (Jo Kelwulan) to Manokwari police station to meet with the Chief of Police for Manokwari, AKBP Agustinus Supriyanto S.Ik, as had been arranged on the evening of Tuesday (23/10) with the officer.
The Chief of Police had initially stated that he was not aware if members of the force had beat up journalists, then, when many journalists from Jakarta began to call the station inquiring about the incident, Supriyanto became adamant that there were no beatings of journalists by police.
Then, continued Supriyanto, 5-10 minutes later at around 20.00 Eastern Indonesian Time, there was a brief message from me to his phone (whereas I sent him an SMS at 13.29 WIT, 30 minutes after the beating) which stated that there had been a beating and that my neck had been strangled while I was covering an action by Komite Nasional Papua Barat (KNPB) (National West Papuan Committee) on Tuesday 23/10 in front of Kampus Universitas Negeri Papua (Unipa) (Papuan State University) which was supporting an international lawyers meeting in London.
Then, the Chief of Police conveyed himself as the supervisor and manager of all the police in Manokwari, Papua Barat, and didn’t question that the media publish (when shown the news headlines in Cahaya Papua which detailed the violence perpetrated by members of the police force against me) news about the aforementioned incident.
Supriyanto said that the relationships between all journalists in West Papua, particularly in Manokwari, is really good, and because of this, he personally regrets the incident of the beating, and in fact, was surprised that a member of the force would do something like this to a journalist.
Supriyanto said that he wished to offer a personal apology for the incident. He also said that there was also a possibility that the incident occurred because the police didn’t realise I was a journalist, and that they were also carried away with the emotion of the moment.
Because of this, the Chief of Police firmly requested that I identify the men responsible for the incident so they could be subject to due legal processes, as in line with my request.
However, Supriyanto also suggested that the case didn’t have to be resolved amicably, that is, to be resolved by making peace with the offenders. According to the chief of police, it could be a rather difficult process to find the offenders, as there were many members in the force, and certainly no-one would be honest, but he said again that it depended on me.
After the chief of police opened this conversation, he gave us all the chance to talk. Duma Sanda explained that there was an issue of freedom of the press, in which the work of journalists is universal, meaning, it doesn’t mean that just because I didn’t live and become a journalist in Manokwari, I didn’t have the right to cover the demonstration by KNPB.
Duma also firmly requested that the Chief of Police teach the men to respect the profession of journalism, and also to respect journalists like myself. And, to make himself clearer, Duma also requested that the Chief listen to a chronological account of the beating I experienced.
I introduced myself (officially) to the Chief of Police. I told him about my work writing news for the paper Papua Pos Nabire and Tabloid JUBI during high school, about writing several columns in Tabloid Suara Perempuan Papua, the newspaper Bintang Papua, along with Papua Pos Nabire. And I conveyed to him that I’d also covered stories for The Jakarta Globe and that this is still continuing, and then that I established suarapapua.com as an online media outlet.
I explained to the Chief of Police in chronological order the incident of the beating (you can read my previous email). After this, I conveyed a number of important issues to the Chief of Police that have to be understood about the incident of the beating.
I said that firstly, his men had violated the article KUHP on disorder; secondly, the men had violated article UU Kebebasan Pers 1999 (UU on Freedom of the Press 1999) by preventing the work of a journalist; thirdly the UU anti-discrimination; and fourthly, Intelligence didn’t have the authority to capture let alone beat someone and certainly they violated their work code.
Because of this, I requested that the problem not be resolved amicably/peacefully, but should be followed up through a more direct process of law. I said that it was important that the police officers be aware, and law enforcement officers should be an example, that if there are officers who are at fault, then they have to be punished as criminals so that the public can know.
- End the violence against Papuan journalists: Oktovianus Pogau (westpapuamedia.info)
- Crackdown Across Papua: October 23 Knpb Demo Updates (westpapuamedia.info)
- Okto Pogau: Police beating of journalist in Manokwari (westpapuamedia.info)
- Warinussy: Poor Protection of Human Rights Defenders in Indonesia (westpapuamedia.info)
- Anti-Violence Forum: ‘Shooting demonstrators should be investigated. (westpapuamedia.info)
- We Need The World to Help West Papua (pacific.scoop.co.nz)
- Indonesian police attack journalist, shut down West Papua protest with shootings (pacific.scoop.co.nz)
- Security forces open fire, 5 police injured, 11 detained in West Papua protest (pacific.scoop.co.nz)
- West Papuan protesters shot (theage.com.au)
- No terrorists in Papua, says governor (westpapuamedia.info)
A statement issued by Pantau Foundation and Southeast Asian Press Alliance (SEAPA)
Jakarta (23 October 2012):- Police today attacked a journalist covering a rally organised by the West Papua National Committee (KNPB) in Manokwari in West Papua. Oktovianus Pogau, a reporter with Suara Papua and a contributor to the Yayasan Pantau, was beaten by five policemen while trying to take pictures of police use of excessive violence against the KNPB demonstrators in front of the State University of Papua, Manokwari. Pogau had displayed his press card, but some police did not stop the beating. He sustained injuries to his face.
The security forces had attempted to stop the rally but the KNPB activists went on with the demonstrations.
In Jayapura, police dispersed thousands of demonstrators using the water cannon and tear gas. In Manokwari, five people were reportedly shot but it is still not clear their conditions.
In 2011, two journalists were killed in Papua, eight were kidnapped and 18 attacked. Foreign journalists are required to apply for special permits to enter and cover stories in Papua since Indonesia took over the administration of West Papua in 1963. Only three news organizations, including BBC, obtained the permits last year.
Pantau Foundation and the Southeast Asian Press Alliance condemn the attacks against the media, especially in Papua where activists, human rights defenders and journalists are frequently targeted for their work. Since October, two veteran human rights defenders, respectively from Wamena and Jayapura, have moved out of Papua due to serious threats against them.
We call on the police to:
1. Respect the rights of citizens to freedom of expression;
2. Ensure the safety of Oktovianus Pugao;
3. Stop all forms of violence against journalists;
4. Arrest and prosecute the perpetrators of violence.
We also call on the Indonesian government to:
1. Open up Papua to international journalists and human rights monitors; and
2. Guarantee the rights of all journalists working in West Papua to ensure they can work free of violence, hindrance or intimidation from any members of the security forces
- Crackdown Across Papua: October 23 Knpb Demo Updates (westpapuamedia.info)
- Indonesia cannot kill our spirit for freedom: West Papuan leader (westpapuamedia.info)
- Breaking News: Security Forces Attack Knpb Demo in Jayapura (westpapuamedia.info)
- Indonesian special forces hunt West Papuan environmentalist (westpapuamedia.info)
- Densus 88 sweeps force hundreds to flee from Baliem Valley villages (westpapuamedia.info)
- TAPOL Urgent Action: Fears for Papuan activists (westpapuamedia.info)
- Demos commemorating FRWP 1st anniversary held across Papua (westpapuamedia.info)
PUBLISHED ON WEDNESDAY 11 APRIL 2012.
Reporters Without Borders offers its condolences to the family and friends of Leiron Kogoya, a journalist with the newspapers Pasific Post and Papua Pos Nabire, part of the Pacific Post group, who was killed in an attack by gunmen on a plane at Mulia airport in the province of Papua three days ago.
“Although the journalist did not appear to be the target of the attack, it illustrates the insecurity that prevails in the region, where at least two other journalists were killed late last year,” the press freedom organization said.
“Covering the Papua region is highly risky for journalists. Leiron Kogoya was among those courageous reporters who strive to keep the world informed about the region, which has been the scene of violent clashes. Our thoughts go out to his family and friends.”
“We expect the authorities to shed light on the attack. Contradictory information about the identity of those behind the shooting said to have been provided by security forces to journalists indicates that an independent investigation must be carried out as soon as possible.”
The plane, a Twin Otter of the Indonesian airline Trigana Air, landed at Mulia at about 8 am when at least five gunmen opened fire. The pilot and co-pilot, who were both hit, lost control of the aircraft, which then crashed into one of the terminal buildings. Four people were wounded. Kogoya, was fatally shot in the neck.
The 35-year-old reporter was flying to Mulia in the Puncak Jaya district to cover local elections in the provincial capital, Jayapura.
Photo by: Agus Fakaubun
The news website westpapuamedia.info quoted the head of public relations for the Papua police, Commander Yohanes Nugroho Wicaksono, as saying the gunmen were hiding in the hills 50 metres from the airport. It said police had not yet been able to identify the perpetrators or the type of guns they used.
According to military intelligence, the separatist group Free Papua Movement (Organisasi Papua Merdeka, or OPM, in Indonesian) was behind the attack, while local police said they had no information about the identity of the attackers.
Indonesia is ranked 146th of 179 countries in the 2011-2012 world press freedom index compiled by Reporters Without Borders.
- Doubts grow of OPM responsibility for Puncak Jaya aircraft shooting (westpapuamedia.info)
- Gunmen attack plane in Indonesian Papua, kill one (newsinfo.inquirer.net)
- West Papua Report March 2012 (westpapuamedia.info)
Sally Pelu, co-ordinator of the Papuan Peoples Solidarity Action for Press Freedom, said ‘Journalists are continually being subjected to acts of violence and there is no guarantee that we can do our work of gathering information freely.’
The journalists condemned the violence used against their colleague and called on the DPR, the central legislative council, to support the right of journalists to conduct their work freely.
The journalists met a member of the DPRP West Papua, Jaxat who apologised for the fact that many members of the DPRP were absent, because they were involved in other activities.
According to reports, Duma also lost his camera, handphone and motor-bike which were all seized by Freeport workers. ‘They beat me , grabbed my camera and took my motor-bike,’ said Duma.
When he was attacked he was gathering information about the burning of three trucks belonging to Freeport which had been set on fire by Freeport workers. The trouble occurred after people heard that three of their colleagues had been shot dead during a demonstration. ‘I said that I was a journalist but nevertheless they beat me and threw stones at me. Luckily, someone came by on a motor-bike otherwise I could have been killed from being beaten by so many people.’
He went on to say that he was later chased by about ten people, ‘my sandals fell off while some people pelted me with stones.’
Johannes Samuel Nussy, the chairman of the Timika Community of Journalists, also condemned the acts of violence against Duma and said that another journalist working from Radar Timika, Syahrul was also attacked by Freeport workers in Gorong-Gorong, Timika and was bruised in his face. He said: ‘They beat me because they didn’t want journalists to be there,’
According to Johannes, some journalists in Timika have formed a relationship with Freeport. ‘They see the work of journalists as something threatening.. They say we are defending Freeport, which is not true. We hope that the workers trade union can urge their colleagues not to see journalists as a threat.’
- DAP chairman calls for the withdrawal of police and army from around Freeport (westpapuamedia.info)
- INDONESIA: Police in Timika kill one union protester and injure others at Freeport (westpapuamedia.info)
- Reports of Securicor being used to break the Freeport strike (westpapuamedia.info)
- Three hundred Freeport workers ordered home (westpapuamedia.info)
- One killed in Papua mine clash (bbc.co.uk)
13 October 2011
The killing and abduction of journalists in Indonesian-occupied West Papua has been highlighted in a special new report on Pacific media freedom over the past year by Pacific Journalism Review.
“By far the most serious case of media freedom violations in the Pacific is in West Papua—far from international scrutiny,” says the journal in an editorial.
The 39-page report on the state of media freedom in the Pacific in 2011 notes that in August, in particular, “sustained repression has also hit the news media and journalists”.
At least two journalists have been killed in West Papua, five abducted and 18 assaulted in the past year.
West Papua has replaced Fiji as the most urgent media freedom issue in the region, says the journal. The report has been published just as regional protests have been voiced over the brutal suppression of a strike at the giant Freeport copper mine in the past week in which at least one person was reported shot dead.
Ten West Papuan activists were arrested by Indonesian authorities in Jayapura last week for being in possession of material that featured the banned West Papuan Morning Star flag of independence.
Poengky Indarti, executive director of the Indonesian human rightsmonitor Imparsial, said recently: “Freedoms of expression, association and assembly are routinely violated in Papua, which seriously fuels tensions. Besides, gross human rights abuses, such as acts of torture, remain unaccounted for.”
This free media research report, compiled by Pacific Media Watch contributing editor Alex Perrottet and Pacific Media Centre director Dr David Robie with a team of contributors, including West Papua Media editor Nick Chesterfield, is the most comprehensive and robust media freedom dossier on the region published in recent years
“The state of Pacific media freedom is fragile in the wake of serious setbacks, notably in Fiji, with sustained pressure from a military backed regime, and in Vanuatu, where blatant intimidation has continued with near impunity,” says the report.
“Apart from Fiji, which has a systemic and targeted regime of censorship, most other countries are attempting to free themselves from stifling restrictions on the press.
“Coupled with governments that are sluggish to introduce freedom of the information legislation and ensure region-wide constitutional rights to free speech are protected, there are limited media councils and advocacy bodies with few resources to effectively lobby their governments.
In New Zealand, another major threat to media freedom has been the consolidation of contemporary transnational corporate ownership patterns.
Researchers Merja Myllylahti and Dr Wayne Hope demonstrate in another special report on global capital and media communication ownership that NZ media corporations treat news as a commodity and news organisations as revenue generators.
This is the third in a series of media ownership papers published in PJR and initiated by Bill Rosenberg’s mapping of media ownership (2007, 2009). This ongoing project has now been adopted by AUT University.
The report authors point to the closure of the 20-year-old influential business and politics newspaper The Independent and the phasing out of the 130-year-old cooperative news agency New Zealand Press Association (NZPA) as key symptoms of the malaise: ‘Consequently, public media space is shrinking as the practice of journalism declines.’
This edition of PJR is themed on “Media, cultural diversity and community”, and includes articles on Australia’s Reporting Diversity Project, the Yumi Piksa community television project in Papua New Guinea, a study of the use of te reo Māori by Fairfax-owned Suburban Newspapers in New Zealand by the Te Rōpu Whariki research team, reporting of Islam in Australia, the Australian country press, and the development of a cross-cultural communications degree in Oman by a New Zealand university.
Book reviews include investigative journalist Nicky Hager’s Other People’s Wars: New Zealand in Afghanistan, Iraq and the war on terror.
This edition, published in partnership with the Australian Centre for Independent Journalism in Sydney is being published next week on October 20.
Edition editors: Professor Wendy Bacon, Dr Catriona Bonfiglioli and Associate Professor David Robie.
More information on the Pacific Media Centre website: www.pmc.aut.ac.nz
- Pacific media freedom report can be downloaded online.
- NZ media ownership report can be downloaded online.
Contacts: Dr David Robie (Pacific Media Centre) + 64 9 921 9999 x7834
Alex Perrottet (Pacific Media Watch) + 64 9 921 9388
- Greens concerned over escalation of conflict in West Papua (westpapuamedia.info)
- Pacific cannot be truly free until West Papua is free, say activists (westpapuamedia.info)
- Indonesian security forces open fire on West Papuan striking miners – kill one (westpapuamedia.info)
- Statement from the West Papua solidarity gathering at Nga Wai o Horotiu, Tamaki Makaurau / Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand (westpapuamedia.info)
- NZ: Harawira discusses West Papua with Ban Ki-moon (westpapuamedia.info)
Acts of violence and terror that have been perpetrated against human rights defenders as well as against journalists have led to a sense of deep concern among human rights NGOs and religious organisations which are members of the Coalition of Human Rights Defenders in the Land of Papua
The following NGOs held a press conference in Jayapura on Friday 17 June, to convey their problems:
KomnasHAM- Papua, the Synod of the Kingmi Church in Papua, the Synod of the Baptist Church in Papua, Foker NGO (NGO Working Group) Papua, Kontras Papua, LBH – Legal Aid Institute in Papua, and BUK, United for Truth.
Foremost among the agencies criticised was the TNI, the Indonesian army whose members were involved in a number of acts of violence. They drew attention in particulate to five incidents that had occurred during the past five months in which members of the TNI were involved:
‘Up to June this year, there have been at least five incidents which reflect the arrogance and random actions perpetrated by members of the TNI,’ said Olga Hamadi, the co-ordinator of Kontras Papua. Others present at the press conference included the Rev. Benny Giay, chairman of the Synod of the Kingmi Church in the Land of Papua, Mathius Murib, representative of Komnas HAM-Papua, Eliezer M, LBH-Papua, Julian Howay of the ALDP, and a number of human rights activists.
They said that the much-vaunted reforms within the TNI were rarely reflected in the activities of members of the TNI on the ground. ‘Is this what the commander of the TNI was praising so profusely during his recent visit to Papua,’ wondered Rev Giay.
Mathius Murib said that the incident that occurred in Puncak Jaya a few months ago had drawn a great deal of public attention, nationally as well as internationally. [This refers to the acts of torture against Papuans that were circulated by video.]
‘All their talk about Love and Peace is far from been applied by members of the security forces on the ground. Isn’t it time for them to change their tune?’
They said that the continued occurrence of acts of violence and intimidation by members of the TNI is a clear indication that no actions have been taken against members of the TNI who have violated the law.
‘We are concerned about the impact this is having on the reputation of the Indonesian state and wonder what is being done to protect the rights of human rights defenders,’ said Olga Hamadi.
She said that in cases where members of the TNI had been involved in acts of violence, all that had happened was that they had been moved sideways. ‘Or, in those instances where they had been taken to court, they had appeared before a military tribunal and the verdicts were often unclear or had had little if any effect.,’ said Peneas Lokbere, co-ordinator of BUK.
The Coalition of Human Rights Defenders in the Land of Papua therefore issued the following statement:
1. Protection is needed for human rights defenders in Papua in carrying out their humanitarian activities throughout the Land of Papua. Such protection can be provided by the introduction of a special law, while at the same time setting up an independent commission at state level for the purpose of monitoring and advocacy as well as taking sanctions against those individuals who commit violence against human rights defenders.
2. As a short-term measure, we regard it as important to set up a special bureau within Komnas HAM to focus on the protection of human rights defenders.
3. In view the many acts of intimidation and violence perpetrated by members of the armed forces, we urge the military commander of Cenderawasih XVII military command to take firm measures in the law courts and administration against all violations perpetrated by members of the TNI on the ground.
4. To provide moral guidance to all officers of the armed forces as well as disseminate an understanding of human rights so as to ensure that acts of violence perpetrated by members of the armed forces are not committed against civil society or against human rights defenders in the Land of Papua.
[Translated by TAPOL]
- Human rights NGOs in Papua may seek international action about violations in Papua (westpapuamedia.info)
- Amnesty:URGENT ACTION PAPUAN ACTIVIST AT RISK FOLLOWING BEATING (westpapuamedia.info)
- ‘If You Mess With Us You’re Dead’ (westpapuamedia.info)
URGENT APPEAL- THE OBSERVATORY
IDN 001 / 0311 / OBS 049
March 25, 2011
The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint
programme of the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and the
International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), has received new
information and requests your urgent intervention in the following
situation in Indonesia.
Description of the situation:
The Observatory has been informed by reliable sources of the brutal
attack against Mr. Banjir Ambarita, journalist, after the publication of several of his articles in the local newspaper Bintang Papua of Jayapura, Papua province, and in the Jakarta Globe, denouncing sexual abuses committed by police officers in Jayapura.
According to the information received, on March 3, 2011, Mr. Banjir
Ambarita was riding his motorcycle in front of the Jayapura Mayor?s
office, when two unknown men on a motorcycle reportedly approached him, stabbed him twice in the chest and stomach and fled. As he began to bleed, Mr. Banjir Ambarita drove to the nearby police station. Police officers took him to the Marthen Indey Hospital in Aryoko, Jayapura, where he underwent surgery. He has reportedly recovered since then.
The Papua Regional Police and the Jayapura Police have set up a joint
force to investigate the case, but to date, perpetrators remain unknown.
Mr. Banjir Ambarita had recently written articles in the Bintang Papua and in the Jakarta Globe about two alleged rape cases involving the police.
In the first article, he had written that four police officers and three
civilians allegedly raped and tortured a 15 year old girl in February
2011, in Biak, Papua province. The last article, dated February 27,
2011, covered a second case in which three police officers forced a
woman detainee to perform oral sex on them from November 2010 to January 2011 at the Jayapura Police Detention Centre in Papua province. The media coverage of this incident led to the resignation of the Jayapura’s Police Chief, Mr. Imam Setiawan, and to the sentencing to 21 days of jail for the officers involved.
The Observatory expresses its deepest concern about the attack on Mr. Banjir Ambarita, which seems to merely aim at sanctioning his
denunciation of human rights violations, and urges the authorities to
ensure his protection and to promptly investigate into the
The Observatory urges the authorities of Indonesia to:
i. Guarantee in all circumstances the physical and psychological
integrity of Mr. Banjir Ambarita, as well as all human rights defenders
ii. Carry out a prompt, effective, thorough, independent and impartial
investigation into the above-mentioned events, the result of which must be made public, in order to prosecute and try the perpetrators of these violations before a competent, independent and impartial tribunal;
iii. Conform in all circumstances with the provisions of the Declaration
on Human Rights Defenders, adopted on December 9, 1998 by the United Nations General Assembly, in particular:
- Article 1, which states that ?Everyone has the right, individually or
in association with others, to promote the protection and realization of
human rights and fundamental freedoms at the national and international levels;
- Article 6, which provides that: “Everyone has the right, individually
and in association with others: (a) to know, seek, obtain, receive and
hold information about all human rights and fundamental freedoms (?);
(b) freely to publish, impart or disseminate to others views, information and knowledge on all human rights and fundamental freedoms”;
(c) to study, discuss, form and hold opinions on the observance, both in law and in practice, of all human rights and fundamental freedoms and, through these and other appropriate means, to draw public attention to those matters”,
- Article 12.2 which provides that “The State shall take all necessary
measures to ensure the protection by the competent authorities of
everyone, individually and in association with others, against any
violence, threats, retaliation, de facto or de jure adverse discrimination, pressure or any other arbitrary action as a consequence
of his or her legitimate exercise of the rights referred to in the present Declaration”;
iv. Ensure in all circumstances the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with the Universal Declaration of
Human Rights and with international and regional human rights
instruments ratified by Indonesia.
- HE. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, President of the Republic of Indonesia, Presidential Palace, Istana Merdeka, Jakarta 10110, Indonesia; Fax: +6221 345 2685/526 8726
- Mr. Gamawan Fauzi. Minister of Home Affairs, Jl. Medan Merdeka Utara No. 7, Jakarta Pusat, Indonesia, Fax +62 21 385 1193 / +62 21 384 6430, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org⁢mailto:email@example.com>
- Mr. Patrialis Akbar, Minister for Justice and Human Rights, Department of Justice and Human Rights, Jl. H.R. Rasuna Said Kav No. 4-5, Kuningan – Jakarta Selatan 12950, Indonesia,
Fax: + 62 21 525 3095/ 310 4149/ 522 5036,
- Indonesian National Commission on Human Rights, Jl. Latuharhary No 4B, Menteng, Jakarta Pusat 10310, Indonesia, Fax : +62 21 392 5227, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Permanent Mission of the Republic of Indonesia in Geneva, Rue de Saint-Jean 16, Case Postale 2271, 1211 Geneva 2, Suisse, Fax: +41 22 345 57 33, Email: email@example.com
- Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia to the Kingdom of Belgium, Boulevard de la Woluwe 38, B-1200, Brussels, Belgium, Fax +32 27 72 82 10, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please also write to the diplomatic representations of Indonesia in your
Geneva-Paris, March 25, 2011
Kindly inform us of any action undertaken quoting the code of this
appeal in your reply.
The Observatory, an OMCT and FIDH venture, is dedicated to the
protection of Human Rights Defenders and aims to offer them concrete
support in their time of need.
To contact the Observatory, call the emergency line:
· E-mail: Appeals@fidh-omct.org
· Tel and fax OMCT + 41 22 809 49 39 / + 41 22 809 49 29
· Tel and fax FIDH + 33 1 43 55 25 18 / +33 1 43 55 18 80
- Ai Urgent Action Journalist Stabbed in Indonesia (westpapuamedia.info)
- AFP: Papuans Rally for Independence from Indonesia (westpapuamedia.info)
- INDONESIA: Widespread impunity in Papua aggravating tensions (westpapuamedia.info)
- The Indonesian Government: closing window for peace in West Papua (westpapuamedia.info)
A Veil of Silence is Killing Papua
December 22nd, 2010
By John Barr
Isak Jeksen Mebri shot dead by an Indonesian soldier in Wutung border area with Papua New Guinea on 11th February; an estimated 30 people killed in the Paniai Regency in July: a journalist, Ardiansyah Matrais, found dead in a river near Merauke on 27th July; Naftali Kwan and Septinus Kwan shot dead by Police Mobile Brigade in Manokwari on 16th September; video footage obtained in October showing the torture of Papuans by the Indonesian military in the Tingginambut area; Ismail Lokobal found dead from a bullet wound after police shoot indiscriminately and Amos Wetibo shot dead in the head after refusing to get down from a police vehicle in Wamena on 4th October; 29 homes burned in Brigiragi Village in Puncak Jaya by officers of the Police Mobile Brigade on 11th October – and the list goes on.
Violence against the local population continues in Papua, the most eastern part of Indonesia and few people are held accountable.
Komnas HAM is the National Human Rights Commission in Indonesia and its report on the human rights situation in the Land of Papua (commonly known as West Papua) is disturbing reading. Matius Murib, Vice Chair in Papua, highlights a serious scenario where Papuans continue to suffer human rights violations at the hands of the Indonesian military and police.
“The actors most responsible are not held accountable” says Matius. Indeed, law enforcers and military officers operating in many parts of Papua gain impunity due a lack of media and public exposure. Arbitrary detention of protesters and sexual violence against women is common. Community leaders and their families are harassed and threatened. People live in constant fear.
Papua rarely makes the news. This is because media is restricted and international scrutiny is minimal. Much has changed in the rest of Indonesia in recent years with the process of “reformasi” and real progress towards democracy. These developments deserve recognition and significant praise.
But things remain the same in Papua. Little has changed since the days of Suharto and his “New Order” regime. The military are in control and no-one appears to be answerable to the violence that is continually inflicted on locals.
A veil of silence encircles Papua and justice appears to be as aloof as ever. The Papuans I know fear the future. Effectively, they are experiencing a slow death.
This is simply not good enough. The world must take note!
ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION – URGENT APPEALS PROGRAMME
Urgent Appeal Case: AHRC-UAC-128-2010
8 September 2010
INDONESIA: Killing of a journalist in Papua explained as suicide by local police
ISSUES: Human rights defenders; freedom of expression; extrajudicial killings
The Asian Human Rights Commission has been informed about the killing of a journalist and human rights defender in Merauke, Papua, Indonesia. Mr. Ardiansyah Matra’is (25 years old) was found dead on July 30, 2010 floating naked in the Maro River after he disappeared two days previously. Several journalists received intimidating SMS (short message service) in the weeks before the killing. Unofficial police reports have indicated that his ribs were broken and his lungs filled with water.
CASE NARRATIVE: (according to information received from Foker LSM – NGO Forum for Coorperation in Papua)
In the late evening of July 28, 2010 Mr. Matra’is was reported missing after his wife had not seen him returning home all day. After the police was informed, a special team searched for him for two days. They had only found his helmet and motorbike parked near the Waliwali Tujuh Bridge on the Maro River. At 7 am on July 30, 2010, fishermen found his naked corpse floating near the Dermaga Gudang Arang Warehouse, Merauke. (warning: this image is graphic in detail. Photo of Mr. Matra’is body as it was found in the river). The body was brought to the hospital and identified by his family. The first formal autopsy result did not acknowledge any signs of violence while according to an informal notice from the District Police the lungs were filled with water and two ribs were broken which indicates the use of physical violence. The regional police announced the conduct of a second autopsy at a different location, to which several of Mr. Matra’is organs were sent.
The bridge where Mr. Matra’is motorbike was found is a popular place where locals frequently go for recreation to enjoy the scenery. Mr. Matra’is was known to have often visited for taking photos near the bridge where his motorbike was found. The Police chief of Merauke, Djoko AKBP Prihadi SH concluded this case to be a suicide based on interviews with the victim’s family and colleagues and the evidence on the bridge and the first autopsy report by the local district hospital. According to the police the suicide would have been committed as a result of the stress that he must have experienced from the daily work as a journalist.
(photos’ source: http://kebebasan-kebebasancom.blogspot.com)
Journalist work and intimidation
(according to information received from the local journalists community)
Mr. Matra’is had been working as a journalist for several years including for the national private TV channel ANTV. He joined http://www.tabloidjubi.com, a Papuan civil society media in May 2009. After he published a video about illegal timber mining in Keerom, several journalists received intimidating messages. Following the increasing threats Mr. Matra’is temporarily left Jayapura, his place of work at that time. He continued to feel intimidated and often reported to have been followed by unidentified persons. Colleagues reported that he had received SMS threatening the security of his children. Months later Mr. Matra’is worked with a local TV station in Merauke.
Journalists are reported to have frequently received threats in the period before Mr. Matra’is’ killing. The threats are allegedly related to local elections in which a large scale food estate project with international investors became the subject of controversy. For example, a fellow journalist received the following message, “To the coward journalists: never play with fire if you don’t want to be burned. If you still want to make a living on this land, don’t do weird things. We have data on all of you and be prepared for death.”
Please write letters to the concerned authorities below requesting them to conduct a thorough investigation into the victim’s death. The intimidation against other journalists should also be investigated and pursued.
The AHRC has also written letters to the Special Rapporteurs on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions and on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression for their intervention.
INDONESIA: Short title describing the type of violation
Name of victim: Mr. Ardiansyah Matra’is (25 years old)
Date of incident: July 28, 2010
Place of incident: Maro River, Merauke, Papua
I am writing to voice my deep concern regarding the death of Mr. Ardiansyah Matra’is, a journalist and human rights defender in Papua.
In the late evening of July 28, 2010 Mr. Matra’is was reported missing after his wife had not seen him returning home all day. After the police was informed, a special team searched for him for two days but only found his helmet and motorbike parked near the Waliwali Tujuh Bridge at the Maro River. At 7 am on July 30, 2010, fishermen found his naked corpse floating near the Dermaga Gudang Arang Warehouse, Merauke. The first formal autopsy result did not acknowledge any signs of violence while according to an informal notice from the District Police the lungs were filled with water and two ribs were broken which indicates the use of physical violence. The regional police announced the conduct of a second autopsy at a different location, to which several of Mr. Matra’is organs were sent.
Mr. Matra’is as well as other journalists in Merauke received intimidating messages via SMS (short message service) in recent months. Many see them related to local elections as well as other critical activities of journalist in Papua. The heavy military presence and the ongoing corruption had since been the serious obstacles for the region to sustainably develop and results in ongoing human rights violations and aggravates social tensions. The free and critical work of the media is central to the development in the region.
I request you to conduct a thorough investigation of the killing of Mr. Matra’is, as well as the intimidation against journalists in Merauke and other areas in Papua. I would like to point out that strongest action needs to be taken in accordance with law to ensure the safety of all journalists, the freedom of the press and the freedom of expression in Papua.
I am calling for your intervention into the case to ensure an independent and qualified investigation in the killing of Mr. Matra’is as well as into the intimidating climate for journalists in Merauke.
PLEASE SEND YOUR LETTERS TO:
1. Drs.Bekto. Suprato. M.Si
Head of Police Area Headquarters Jayapura, Papua province
Jl. Samratulangi No. 8 Jayapura
Tel: + 62 0967 531014
Fax: +62 0967 533763
2. Gen. Bambang Hendarso Danuri
Chief of National Police
Jl. Trunojoyo No. 3
Fax: +62 21 720 7277
3. R. Widyopramono SH,M.Hum
District Attorney Papua
Kejaksaan Tinggi Papua
Jl. Anggrek No.6 Tj. Ria Jayapura
4. Paulus Waterpauw
Director of the Criminal Unit
Papua Regional Police
No. 8 Jayapura
5. Mr. Susilo Bambang Yudoyono
Republic of Indonesia
Jl. Medan Merdeka Utara
Jakarta Pusat 10010
Fax: + 62 21 231 41 38, 345 2685, 345 7782
6. Mr. Ifdhal Kasim
KOMNAS HAM (National Human Rights Commission)
Jl. Latuharhary No. 4B Menteng
Jakarta Pusat 10310
Fax: +62 21 3151042/3925227
Urgent Appeals Programme (email@example.com)
Indonesia Desk (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Asian Human Rights Commission
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Bintang Papua, 31 August 2010
AJI to continue investigating the murder of Ardiansyah
Following the investigations which were undertaken by the Jayapura branch of AJI (Aliansi Jurnalis Indonesia) into the death of the journalist Ardiansyah Matra’is, the national AJI is planning to undertake a more thorough investigation into the case.
A member of the central board of AJI, Eko Matyadi, who is responsible for advocacy, said he would be flying to Merauke the following day. Besides trying to discover more data about the death, he will seek to verify the earlier results of AJI’s investigations that the journalist’s death was not due to natural causes.
‘Although no autopsy is available yet from the police, our findings are that he did not die of natural courses; There were signs of injuries on his body that were the result of violence. This is what we what to confirm.’
He said that his organisation was coordinating with the police about their trip to Merauke.
He stressed that the state must accept responsibility for investigating the death of a journalist because journalists are citizens just like other citizens. ‘Jouranlists are human beings with the same rights to life and for the safeguard of their personal security,’ he said.
Meanwhile, Victor Mambor, the chairman of AJI in Jayapura, said that AJI will continue to insist on the four demands made recently to the police in Papua, calling on them to be more serious in their investigations of the death of Ardinasyah. Victor also expressed regret that a statement by PWI on behalf of Papuan journalists had apologised to the police for the peaceful action by Journalists Solidarity on 23 August.’While there is no issue between AJI as an institution and the PWI, for me personally there is still an issue to be resolved.’
He said that the demonstration to the Papuan police was well within the constitutional rights of all citizens of the state, there had been no violation of the law, while actions undertaken by journalists in solidarity with their professional colleagues were entitled to the protection of the law.’
Radio contributor attacked in Indonesia’s Papua
Source : BBC Monitoring 31.08.2010
On 24 August 2010 Musa Kondorura, a contributor to Kantor Berita Radio (KBR) 68H in Wasior Sub-district, Teluk Wondama District, West Papua Province, was attacked by two men, Luki and Hendra, who claimed to be members of the State Intelligence Agency (BIN).
Kondorura reported the incident to the local military sub-district commander. Along with the Teluk Wondama regional secretary, the commander organized a meeting between Kondorura and his two attackers, however the pair did not attend, saying that they had already reported the incident to the district head.
The motive behind the attack is not yet known.
News from Papua: Autopsy of Ardiansyah suggests he was murdered; Papuans will cease to exist in 50 years time
Slightly abridged in translation by TAOL
JUBI, 20 August 2010
According to a police statement, the autopsy of the body of Ardiansyah
Matra’is has revealed that he was struck several blows before falling
into the water and drowning in Maro River, Merauke.
Police public relations officer Untung Yoga told journalists that
several of his teeth were missing and there were swellings in several
parts of his body, all of which were likely to have been the result of
his having been struck with a blunt implement.
However, the police official said, before concluding the the victim had
been murdered, a further investigation would take place at the forensic
laboratory in Makassar.
The autopsy results confirm what members of his family said, namely that
there were unexplained things about his body when it was lifted out of
the river, in particular marks around his neck indicating that he had
been tortured and swellings in several parts of the body.
Investigations by the journalists organisation, AJI, conclude that he
left home at around 13.00 on the day he was reported missing. He
apparently met someone and may have spent about three hours with that
person but he never returned home afterwards. His car was found near
the location of the incident with no signs of having been damaged at
around 16.00. But several truck drivers who went back and forth across
the bridge (over the river) say they saw the vehicle at 16.00, which was
later removed at around 18.00 but was brought back to the original place
where it was found
A spokesman for the Alliance of Journalists AJI, Victor Mambor, said
that the police should immediately investigate who it was who murdered
Ardiansyah, adding: ‘It is highly likely that his murder is connected
with the terror situation for journalists which was occurring at the
time of Ardiansyah’s death, aimed at creating a tense situation in
Merauke.’ According to AJI, a week before Ardiansyah went missing, a
person who was not known to his family visited him several times and
spoke with him.
JUBI, 18 August 2010
Papuans will no longer exist in 50 years time
An Arso community leader, Tyam Tua, believes that in fifty years’ time,
the Papuan people will have ceased to exist
‘This is because the forests that are the source of their everyday
livelihood will have been completely cut down,’ he said
The development that is now underway does nothing to safeguard the
welfare of the Papuan people, he said.
Pastor John Djonga also holds the same views. ‘If the government and the
TNI continue to pursue their present policies, the Papuans will have
disappeared and all that will remain is the name. The many killings of
hundreds of indigenous people mean that they will not last more than
fifty years,’ he said.
‘Also, the felling of trees such as has been happening in Arso and
their replacement with palm oil plantations will make it very difficult
for the local people to make a living and stay alive.’
Though no reliable data is available, it is thought that the total
number of Papuans is around one and a half million.
Pastor John Djonga is also quoted as saying that the situation in Papua
is still under threat, with discrimination against the Papuan people
happening in all fields.
They suffer discrimination in education and in health. ‘Special autonomy
should have stopped this from happening,’ he said.
The Papuans are also being marginalised and elbowed out by non-Papuans.
He went on to say that the churches are struggling to overcome these
problems but they are accused of being separatists. ‘All we are doing is
trying to put an end to the many wrong things that are happening,’ he said.
It also happens when people are recruited for the civil service.
‘Discrimination is very clear and it is occurring to this very day.’
TAPOL and DTE press release
Journalist’s death overshadows launch of Papua food project
11 August 2010 – The death of a local journalist has increased concerns about a giant food estate launched today in Merauke, Southeastern Papua by Indonesia’s Minister of Agriculture.
TAPOL and Down to Earth, the International Campaign for Ecological Justice in Indonesia are calling for a moratorium on the food project, known as MIFEE (Merauke Integrated Food and Energy Estate) until independent assessments of the political, economic, socio-cultural, environmental and gender impacts of the project have been undertaken.
The suspicious death of the journalist, Ardiansyah Matra’is, in late July, following threats against him, has been linked to his coverage of this week’s local elections for the district head in Merauke.
Other journalists have also been threatened in what appears to have been a concerted campaign to stifle free expression ahead of the elections. Current district head, Johannes Gluba-Gebze, has been instrumental in planning and promoting the food project.
“The potential adverse impacts of MIFEE for the local population are massive such that full transparency and accountability are required. A free media is essential to ensuring effective democratic oversight of the project,” say TAPOL and Down to Earth who are closely monitoring the project.
“President Susilo Bambang Yudhyono’s ambition to ‘feed Indonesia then feed the world’ may come at the expense of many Papuans, and could add to wider frustrations about the lack of political, social and economic autonomy in Papua,” they add.
The project is likely to contribute to the marginalisation of indigenous Papuans by taking over the customary-owned land and resources which provide their livelihoods. It is also likely to exacerbate existing human rights grievances, and accelerate environmental deforestation and degradation.
“The enhanced security presence likely to be associated with MIFEE will increase tensions and add to the vulnerability of Merauke’s inhabitants, especially as Indonesia’s notorious Kopassus special forces are active in the area”, warn TAPOL and Down to Earth.
Background and issues
MIFEE is a collection of commercial plantations, planned to cover 1.6 million hectares. The project is being promoted as a means of stabilizing Indonesia’s food security. It has received support from the Government of Indonesia, and Merauke has been designated a national ‘Special Economic Zone’ (SEZ) in order to attract the US$8.6 billion of investment needed for the project. Over 30 investors from Indonesia, Japan, China, Singapore, Korea and the Middle East have expressed an interest in MIFEE, Their involvement appears to be part of a global trend to make money by buying up lands abroad for food production.
Tens of thousands more workers and economic migrants, mostly from outside Papua, are expected to settle in Merauke and the surrounding areas. The indigenous people of Merauke have already felt the impact of transmigration programmes, first implemented under Dutch colonial rule and continued under Indonesia’s Suharto regime. Population growth, changes in population demographics and the further loss of land and resources as a result of MIFFE could have a devastating and irreversible impact on the livelihoods of the local population, especially indigenous Papuans.
The huge number of newcomers may strain Merauke’s underdeveloped services and further marginalise an already minority indigenous population. The commercialisation of land and takeover of indigenous Papuans’ land will affect the livelihoods of Papuans and could prevent the transfer of knowledge, culture and language from one generation to the next.
Sustained local knowledge of tribal boundaries, land rights, land use, customary law and taboos are all dependent on having access to land and respect for traditional rights over the land. If MIFEE goes ahead, indigenous people will be faced with new boundaries and non-traditional crops such as oil palm, rice, sugar cane, corn and soyabean.
There has been strong opposition to MIFEE from local NGOs such as SKP-KAM, FokerLSM, SORPATOM and AMAN. However, the death of Ardiansyah Matra’is and campaign of terror against journalists have closed down the space for criticism. These groups have emphasised on-going concerns about targeted surveillance and intimidation of NGOs and journalists. In 2009, a joint report by the Indonesian environmental NGO Telapak and the UK’s Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) stated that ‘irregular groups allied to [Johannes Gluba] Gebze’ operate in Merauke and ‘work in unison with the state security forces to monitor and intimidate any dissenters in the region.’
The security strategy for MIFEE is unclear, as is the resulting direct and indirect impact on the local population. Merauke is located near the Indonesia-Papua New Guinea (PNG) border and is already a highly militarized area. A 2009 Human Rights Watch report details abuses committed by Kopassus, who have close ties with Gebze.
In other parts of Papua where natural resources are being exploited, state security forces are routinely employed to protect commercial assets. There has often been an expansion in these areas of the sex and alcohol industries, which are run by migrants or the police and military themselves. The potential impact on the population’s health is made clear by FokerLSM which reports that Merauke has the highest number of HIV/AIDS cases after Mimika district, where the giant mining company Freeport operates.
The scale of MIFEE raises major environmental and ecological concerns. The conversion of protected forest for agricultural use seems likely, despite both Indonesia’s Forestry Minister and the Coordinating Minister for the Economy stating otherwise.
Widespread licensed deforestation in Merauke would contradict the Government of Indonesia’s commitment to reduce green-house gas emissions by 26% by 2020. It also raises questions over a recent billion dollar REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) agreement with the Government of Norway to preserve Indonesia’s rainforests, in particular in Papua.
Contact: Paul Barber (TAPOL) on +44 1420 80153 or +44 7747 301 739 or Carolyn Marr (DTE) on +44 16977 46266
 Medco Group; Artha Graha Network; PT Bangun Cipta Sarana; Comexindo International; Sumber Alam Sutra; Korindo; PT Rajawali Nusantara Indonesia; Sinar Mas; PT Kertas Nusantara; Mitsubishi (Japan); Wilmar (Singapore); LG International (Korea).
 Office for Justice and Peace of the Archdicese of Merauke (SKP-KAM); Papua NGOs Cooperation Forum (FokerLSM); Solidarity for Papuans (SORPATOM); The Indigenous People’s Alliance of Indonesia (AMAN)