WestPapuaMedia has received the following alert, which has not yet been independently verified:”On Friday, April 10, 2015 a Delegation of the provisional government of the Federal Republic of West Papua ‘ (held a) Joint Meeting with Minister of Defence in Jakarta. This meeting is part of lobbying (that) recognition of the Federal Republic of West Papua state should emerge from both side, namely negotiation from the Indonesian government, and to pursue International recognition.
After joint meeting with Minister of Defense, on April 14, 2015 they returned to Jayapura. (When) they arrived the Papuan Regional Police arrested them and put them in Papuan Police Regional headquarters now.
Names of the arrested are:
1. Don A.L Flassy, Vice President of the Federal Republic of West Papua
2. Ones Banundi, Vice Chairman of the Papua National Council of the Federal Republic of West Papua
3. Masjohn Sueabu, Staff
4. Lawrence Mehue, Staff
5. Eyias Ayakeding, Chief of Papua National Police of the Federal Republic of West Papua
6. Deki Pahabol, staff”
Indonesian police have allegedly charged the group under Article 106 (makar or treason/subversion) of the Indonesian Criminal Code (KUHP), which carries up to 20 years or life in prison.
A spokesperson for the group, Yoab Syatfle, has called for International pressure on the Indonesian government to immediately release the 6 men.
There is never a day that passes when the people of Papua as individuals, do not express their longing to see peace. Instead of responding to their cries for peace, their daily lives are continuously spattered with violence and conflict created by Indonesian Armed Forces.
Even at those everyday moments when people eat and drink, in every place and at all times, people of Papua are speaking of their longing for peace. They dearly hope that the Government of Indonesia will bring an end to the violence being committed in their land. Yet their cries for over 50 years have gone unheard: the Government just ignores their pleas, showing no response whatsoever. One can’t but question what really is the underlying desire of the Indonesian Government in regards to Papua.
It is little wonder that the people of Papua no longer trust the Government of Indonesia. They feel so deeply that they are not truly regarded by Indonesia as being a true part of the Republic of Indonesia. As a result they don’t refer to themselves as Indonesians, but rather as Papuans. For it is the very Forces of the State itself that are carrying out the constant acts of violence. Papuans accordingly speak of the State of Indonesia as being a coloniser, as an oppressor and as a murdering state. What is it going to take for Indonesian to rid itself of such labels and develop a new image in the hearts of the people of Papua? To date Indonesia has never listened to the voice of the people of Papua. The people’s constant pleas for peace , which the Government has just ignored, are not just empty words. They are an expression that comes from the bottom of people’s hearts in response to what they are experiencing and facing up to every day of their lives. Of course Papuans question Indonesia’s true intent in Papua, when for over 50 years now the State has not only allowed the violence against the population to continue, but in fact in every instance, it has been violence and conflict created by the State’s own Forces. Indeed the Government of Indonesia has failed miserably to date in regards to Papua. It is this failure of the State to bring an end to the conflict in Papua which has given rise to a lack of confidence towards the Government in the hearts of the people of Papua. Yet despite all this, many people still hang on to a hope that the Indonesian Government will stop the violence and conflict against their people. But when?
The people of Papua have faithfully waited on the Government of Indonesia to act to bring about their hopes for peace in their land. Yet those hopes have fallen on deaf ears. The State needs to start hearing the cries of the people, to open its eyes and ears and act humanely and take responsibility for the continuous violence committed by its Forces. As the root of all problems in Papua lie with the Indonesian Government itself. The Indonesian government is responsible to protect the people of Papua and to take actions to bring an end to the conflict in the land. It must change its attitude and show an intention to listen to the people and together to search for the solution that will bring about peace.
Do not ignore the cries of our people Indonesia! Bring an end to the violence in our land!
The Writer is a post-graduate level theological student at the Catholic Seminary in Abepura, Papua.
JAYAPURA (Pacific Media Watch): The West Papua National Committee’s [KNPB] Timika chairman, Steven Itlay, has been released from prison after being arrested by the Indonesian police yesterday.
The news site KNPB has reported that Indonesian police shot 10 bullets into the campaign’s office in what seemed to be an attempt to provoke a fight in order to arrest activists inside.
KNPB reported that when West Papuan activists asked the police why Itlay was being arrested, they told them: “Steven Itlay is a suspected Free West Papua activist”.
The Free West Papua Campaign said Itlay’s relatively speedy release was due to international pressure being placed on the police.
Just hours earlier, the campaign had published the phone number of the head of the Indonesian police in Jayapura on its Facebook page. It is understood that activists from all over the world phoned the number to call for Itlay’s release.
In a statement issued yesterday, the campaign said: “We would like to thank you all with all our hearts for all your incredible support for Mr Itlay and the people of West Papua, especially after the international plea for his release was made earlier today. Following his release, Steven also asked us to thank you all for the support of the suffering people of West Papua”.
Meanwhile, Papuans Behind Bars has released its April 2014 report, which details 12 incidents of torture of West Papuans in custody last month.
In one case, two West Papuans were “stabbed and slashed” by Indonesian police for objecting to police brutality against a third person, while “another seven men were tortured on arrest with electric stun batons”, the report says.
On April 2, the international day of protests for a Free West Papua, Indonesian police tortured two students at the campus of Cenderawasih University in Jayapura.
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)
By Selpius Bobii writing from Abepura State Prison, Jayapura
December 24, 2013
Every religion teaches values of goodness and kindness and has teachings that are intended to create happiness and peace on this earth and in eternity. We hear so many people speak of the importance of peace, but the reality is that it’s not that simple to realise peace in our everyday lives. In the Papuan province of Indonesia it feels like peace is so far from becoming a reality for the indigenous people who live there.
Of late the Cenderawasih XVII Military Commander in West Papua has been coining the phrase “Peace is beautiful” and yet at the same time the Indonesian Armed Forces continue to be the number one culprit committing acts of violence and humanitarian atrocities against the indigenous people of Papua. Behind the mask of these sweet words the Armed Forces are clearly acting very much against the creation of peace in Papua.
Peace can be realised in a place when every person, every group, every faction, respects the rights of others; and this extends to nations and tribes. Where each is able to exercise their rights and at the same time fulfils their obligations towards others. It seems however in Papua that the realisation of peace is something that’s incredibly difficult to achieve, with the root cause of that being the lack of recognition of the very basic political rights of the people of Papua by all three Indonesia, the USA and the United Nations (UN).
With the USA and UN’s active support throughout the entire process of annexation of Papua into Indonesia in the 1960’s, they indeed played a part in the actions of violence and atrocities against the indigenous people of Papua. They achieved their goal of making Papua into ‘the kitchen of the world’, opening it to the many international companies that have been stripping Papua of its rich natural resources ever since. It was not to end at the annexation of Papua, as they have continued these last more than 50 years to support Indonesia’s hold on Papua which in turn keeps the door open for exploitation of the land. There have been various forms of aid and in particular joint programs in security and defence, which of course are critical to Indonesia’s continued domination of Papua.
The Indonesian Armed Forces have by intention made Papua into a centre of conflict, but for what end? In so doing they create a situation where the indigenous people can be paralysed, can be annihilated and the world just keeps quiet, with Indonesia saying they are dealing with the conflict. The result? Papua remains permanently part of Indonesia and its natural resources can be exploited with ease by international parties.
Let’s not be fooled that the partnerships going on between Indonesia and other nations of the world in the areas of security and defence are aimed at peace building and protecting the people of the region as claimed. Nothing could be further from the truth! The reality is they have quite the opposite goal! The Indonesian Armed Forces are the main agents intentionally creating violence, bondage and theft of natural resources, discrimination, marginalisation, injustice, terror, intimidation and humanitarian atrocities against the indigenous peoples of the land of Papua. Their military and civilian operations both overt and covert are intended to slowly but surely annihilate ethnic Papuans.
The many forms of both visible and hidden violence and humanitarian atrocities undertaken by the state of Indonesia against indigenous Papuans are intended to stifle the political aspirations of Papuans for independence and at the same time annihilate the people. In the face of this continued violence against their people the indigenous peoples of Papua continue to express their opposition to the many human rights violations by peaceful and dignified means, primarily by means of peaceful demonstration. Yet even the narrowest space for a voice calling for democracy has been blocked by the Armed Forces in recent times, especially by the Provincial level of Indonesian Police. The Provincial Police are known for their practice of taking advantage of occasions when there are peaceful demonstrations to create conflict and to terrorise, torture, kill, arrest and imprison Papuans who struggle peacefully for change. Indonesia’s Armed Forces are constantly manipulating activities of the Struggle to create incidents of violence. Nevertheless Papuans continue to struggle peacefully in keeping with their decision at the 2000 2nd National Papuan Congress.
And so in the midst of all this, now it is Christmas. Where all parties in Papua hear of the message of ‘the coming of the King of Peace’. A message that reminds humanity that Jesus Christ came to bring peace to this earth. A message that starts to have real meaning only when entire communities of humans make space to allow for peace in their hearts. To that end let’s all prepare our hearts with simplicity, faithfulness, honesty and love for one another. We are each one of us reminded by the message of Christmas.
It is dearly hoped that the message of Christmas will also touch hearts and bring awareness to those who are committing the many forms of violence against indigenous Papuans. That there might be a commitment to bring an end to all forms of oppression towards indigenous Papuans and to enter into dialogue between Jakarta and Papua with a neutral facilitator. To reach that end we need to be ready and willing to humble our hearts, to be faithful, honest and to act in love. Only in that way can we bring peace to the land of Papua. We are all called to bring an end to the latent conflicts in Papua and to create peace, no matter who we are and wherever we may be.
Peace and joy at Christmas to all and throughout 2014!
1. The Dutch previously tried to prepare Papua to become an independent nation whilst still under their control, with those preparations reaching a peak on 1 December 1961. However less than a month later on 19 December 1961 Indonesia by a political and military invasion marked by what’s known as Trikora (a three prong command which demanded the dismantlement of the “puppet” Papuan state created by the Dutch; the raising of the Indonesian Red and White flag over Papua; and preparation for a general mobilisation in Papua) succeeded in annexing Papua into the Indonesian Republic.
Selpius Bobii is the General Chairperson of Front PEPERA & is a Papuan Freedom Political Detainee imprisoned in Abepura State Prison, Jayapura, Papua, for another Christmas.