Tag Archives: TNI

What should be the role of the Australian government as a member of the UN Security Council ?

Opinion / Analysis
By Herman Wainggai
September 11, 2013

Papuan women wearing the banned Morning Star flag as clothing at Manokwari demo to welcome Flotilla (Photo: West Papua Media stringers)
Papuan women wearing the banned Morning Star flag as clothing at Manokwari demo to welcome Flotilla (Photo: West Papua Media stringers)

Knowing  the history of the Indonesian state’s Army and Police invasion of West Papua there is no surprise in the fresh news of increased Indonesian military troops to the region, who are growing rapidly on this Melanesian ground like fertile mushrooms.

The Freedom Flotilla sailboat is currently on its voyage from Australian waters to the land of West Papua , and it has been confirmed that it is due to arrive within the next few days. Throughout the land of West Papua citizens and activists have been holding a number of peaceful demonstrations as a signal to welcome this boat. Thousands of West Papuans have bravely taken to the streets, high in enthusiasm and taking with them a variety of traditional instruments used in West Papua – ukuleles , guitars , drums , flute drums. They are also wearing traditional dress, and along with raising banners of the Freedom Flotilla sailboat, they are also displaying the national symbols of West Papua – the Morning Star flag.

This represents a challenge to and hope for the Indonesian government, that it ‘opens up’; that Jakarta demonstrates that it possesses genuine democratic maturity to negotiate peacefully with the political leaders of West Papua.  The people of West Papua, moreover, sincerely look forward to the newly elected Australian Federal government, especially in its new role as one of the member states of the UN Security Council, to act as a  mediator and by standards of international law help resolve the long running political conflict between the Indonesian government and the people of West Papua.

Demonstration welcoming Freedom Flotilla, Sorong (photo: supplied from Herman Wainggai, NFRPB)
Demonstration welcoming Freedom Flotilla, Sorong (photo: supplied from Herman Wainggai, NFRPB)

Our hope is that the precise opposite does not happen – that the Australian Government merely lets the Indonesian government continue to unilaterally kill the political, human rights and democracy activists of West Papua. This has been their lot for over 50 years – arrests, kidnapping, detention, shooting, killing, raping, long imprisonments.

The people of West Papua also hope that the Australian government will not forget this tiny Freedom Flotilla who will be facing the storm of the Indonesian military whose numbers have been newly swelled in the border area. Whatever happens, Australia needs to be assured that the people of West Papua will maintain their struggle to govern themselves, and will fight for that freedom by non-violent means.

The Freedom Flotilla to West Papua logo
The Freedom Flotilla to West Papua logo

The history of Indonesian brutality in West Papua over decades must be stopped by the international community, which includes Australia in its significant roles in the UN and  the Asia-Pacific region.  The data has been clearly documented from year to year – how long must West Papuans continue to be slaughtered like animals? The question is very pertinent then – what will be Australia’s role, and the USA and the United Nations – in regards to West Papua?  This land of the Mambruk – the beautiful Crowned Pigeon and symbol of Papua – which we love, shall we close our eyes and stop our ears to the injustices?

In the same way that attention is currently being given to the political situation in Syria, so must attention be given to the little Freedom Flotilla, and to the suffering people of West Papua, who have struggled for freedom and justice under the brutal regime of the military of the Indonesian state

Whoever shot at an ambulance must be caught, says Baptist leader

Tabloid JUBI
August 5, 2013
The director of Baptist Voice Papua, Matius Murib, said that the shooting of an ambulance which killed a nurse and seriously wounded two other people in Puncak Jaya has compelled him to speak out.He was deeply concerned about this  incident because the victims were ordinary civilians who know nothing about what is going on. He said that it was up to the police to investigate this incident and bring the perpetrators to justice so that we know who it was who was behind the incident.’I have raised this matter with the chief of police because the victims were civilians and not members of the security forces which means that the police must  investigate the incident and arrest those responsible.

‘What we must remember,’ he said, ‘is that the state of Indonesia is based on the rule of law.

‘The three victims of this incident were all civilians, not members of the security forces. ‘

He said that he had reported the incident to the chief of police who promised to look into the incident.

‘Even in a time of war, there are regulations that have to be complied with. Medical personnel, children, mothers and civil society  must be properly protected. There can be no justification for killing civilians.’

He pointed out that all the victims were medical personnel and are not members of the armed security forces. ‘It is absolutely clear that unarmed people  must not be targets for a firearms attack.Firearms should only be used against people who are armed.’

The name of the person who was killed is Herry Yoman, 32 years old.

Giving a detailed account of what happened, a police spokeman said  that at 11.20am, three people arrived at the Intensive Care Department of Mulia Hospital  and asked for an ambulance and medical personnel to collect the person who had been seriously injured in the District of Tingginambut.

‘As they were on their way back, passing through the Urgele Kampung, just 100 metres from an army post in Puncak Senyum, the ambulance was shot at by unidentified persons, as a result of which three people  were hit.

The police officer said that one person, Herry Yoman, a Dani, died after being shot in the jaw with some teeth torn out.

The other two people both of whom were Dani, were wounded in their arms.

[Translated by TAPOL]

Papuan politician criticises the security forces for failing to solve shooting incidents

Bintang Papua
 
August 3, 2013

Jayapura: While on the one hand, the human rights activist in Papua, Mathias Murib has urged the police chief in Papua, Drs Tito Karnavian, to investigate the shooting of three medical personnel who work at the Mulia General Hospital, a member of Commission A of the DPRP (provisional assembly) for Politics, Law and Human Rights has said that the intelligence activities of TNI/Polri (Indonesian Army and Police) in Papua are far from satisfactory. Every time a shooting incident occurs, all they say is that that it was perpetrated by ‘unknown persons’.

“There are large numbers of troops and intelligence agents spread all over Papua but they have achieved nothing. Moreover, a vast amount of money has been allocated to the security forces.”

These remarks were made by the chairman of DPRP’s Commission A for Politics, Law ad Human Rights, Ruben Magay S.I.P, speaking at the office of the DPRP in Jayapura.

According to Magay, who is  a member of Partai Demokrat, the activities of the TNI and Polri are highly questionable.

‘They always say that ‘unknown persons’ (OTK) are responsible and do nothing to give victims  a sense of justice.

There have been many shooting incidents against civilians, the most recent being the shooting of three medical personnel who work at the General Hospital whose names are Heri Yoman, 27 years old, who is reported to have died, as well as two nurses, Darson Wonda, 27 and Fritz Baransano, 42. both of whom were seriously wounded.when the ambulance in which they were taking a patient to the hospital was shot at by an armed gang in the District of Puncak Senyum, District of Tinggnambut on Wednesday, 31 July.

He said that incidents like this must be investigated by the intelligence forces and not simply blamed on ‘unidentified people’.

[Translated by TAPOL]

 

Killing Papuan Fighter will not solve the problem, says Indonesian MP

Tabloid JUBI
8 April 2013
A Papuan member of the Indonesian Parliament, Diaz Gwijannge said that he  cannot agree with the decision to place the OPM leader, Goliath Tabuni on the WANTED list. Killing Papuan leaders can never solve the problem, he said.’I cannot agree with the decision to place Goliath Tabuni on the wanted list so that he can be killed because this will not solve the problem.’

‘A number of Papuan fighters for independence have been killed, such as Theys Eluay, Kelly Kwalik and Mako Tabuni have been killed but this has solved nothing. Even though that have died, the problem about Papuan  independence still continues,’ he said.

No-one has been forcing the Papuan people to call for independence. This is the political ideology of the Papuan people. Even if those who are fighting for independence are killed, the independence struggle will continue,’ he said. ‘There should be dialogue or whatever you want to call it because the solution must be sought by political means.’

”Dont think that we can be deceived. Just see what happened in Timor-Leste. If such things continue, people will call this an act of genocide in Papua. I think that the chief of police should be careful.  Dont  just accuse people and put them on the WANTED list. There are procedures which must be used which should guarantee people’s right to life. Only God himself can take someone’s life, not another human being,’ he said.

Gwijannge explained “The solution must be comprehensive not just partial, especially considering that the indigenous Papuan people have taken the ethical path to find a solution.  The Papuan Peace Network is pressing for dialogue and there needs to be a response to that from the Indonesian Government, by involving the OPM in dialogue,” he said.

“Aceh and Papua are very much the same, there is no difference between then. It is indeed true that GAM’s structure was very well organised. So why is it that the Acehnese conflict was resolved by the Helsinki agreement, but this is not possible for Papua? This means that there is discrimination between the two.”

“Moreover there is inconsistency in the Government’s policy  towards Papua. They were granted OTSUS – Special Autonomy – but there has been great inconsistency in its implementation. The central government has also divided the territory which has frequently led to conflicts between the Papuan people themselves.”

‘The two sides must sit down together for talks. And if necessary a third party should be involved, as was the case with GAM. Why can’t Papua be handled in the same way? It would appear that the Indonesian government is not serious about finding a solution with the result that acts of violence continue to occur,” said Gwijannge.

[Translated by TAPOL]

 

Paniai sweeps intensify misery under Indonesian control as security forces ban music and torture priest

by West Papua Media

March 6, 2013

Local residents in Paniai regency are bracing for more repression in sweep operations by Indonesian security forces after two separate incidents across the Paniai have intensified ongoing crackdowns on West Papuan independence sentiment, torturing a  local priest and even banning the possession of traditional music.

The latest crackdown, imposed in Paniai after guerrillas from Paniai commander Jhon Yogi’s Paniai unit of the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPN-PB) were involved in armed engagements with the Indonesian army (TNI) and Police throughout February .

Reliable human rights sources in Paniai have reported to West Papua Media that an influx of joint TNI and police have “arrived with total war equipment” to bolster sweeps and raids across Paniai against civilians accused of holding pro-independence sentiments.

“In order to confront the TPN PB and on orders from President SBY, a brigade of TNI / Police have arrived with total war equipment. There were drops of TNI/POLRI in Paniai on 3 March 2013. The brigade arrived by 7 ‘Inova’ vehicles via the coast road,” the source told West Papua Media.

Helicopters belonging to illegal gold miners in Degouwo were again being used by Indonesian troops to support the operation, similar to the massive offensive against Paniai people during 2011 and early 2012, according to both human rights and church sources.

“A yellow and white helicopter owned by an illegal business in Degouwo at 13.00 WPB (west Papua time) made two drops of personnel and logistical war equipment. The first drop was to the Enarotali airport in Paniai district, and the second helicopter drop of the brigade forces together with war equipment was at Obano also, in the west of Paniai district,” the human rights source told West Papua Media.

Independent sources are also reporting that Indonesian colonial occupation forces are putting massive pressure on local civilians, with routine violations of civilian’s dignity, and arbitrary strip searches, that have created opportunities for brutality and torture on local people.

The notorious battalion 753 from Nabire has erected scores of “state of emergency tents” every 5-10 kilometres along the main road between Nabire and Paniai, according to witnesses. “TNI are carrying out very strict checking of everything. The TNI from unit 753 are undoing the clothes of every passenger in the area to check them including females. Advocacy and monitoring is requested,” said the human rights worker.

Military Destruction of traditional culture amounting to cultural genocide
Papuan independent media outlet Tabloid Jubi  has reported remarkable accounts of the extraordinary measures Indonesian police commandos from Paniai police headquarters are taking to destroy traditional Papuan culture by banning music.

Father Saul Wanimbo, the Director of the Commission for Justice and Peace (SKP) in Timika diocese, told Tabloid Jubi that during police sweeps, local people are being forced to hand over their mobile phones.  They analyse the memory cards on the mobile phones to find songs in Papuan language, and if the memory card is found to contain either one or many Papuan folk songs, police will smash the memory card with stones, according to Fr Wanimbo.

“The police are sweeping HP (Handphone) memory cards of Enaro society (people) for the last two months,” Wanimbo told Jubi, citing his own experiences and stories directly from Enaro residents from 1-20 Febrruary 2013.  Wanimbo said that Paniai people have been so demoralised that they just accept the oppressive actions of the occupation forces.

Wanimbo said that the actions by Police were killing three values:  “There is destruction of cultural values, murder of the people’s creativity, and character assassination.”

“The situation is conditioned in such a way so that people cannot resist. How can the people fight if the area has a variety of (security force) members lurking there,” Fr Wanimbo told Jubi.  The police acts were morally and legally wrong, police could not arbitrarily violate people’s privacy for no apparent reason, and such actions must be done with a warrant, he said.

“Paniai Police must explain the meaning of this sweeps. Or the Papua Police chief must stop the actions of the Kapolresnya (local police command) men in Enaro. This is serious. We can say it’s the beginning of the genocide, ” he said.

Priest tortured by police who then demand bribe for his release

Meanwhile, again in the Paniai regional centre of Enarotoli, local human rights workers have documented a serious case of torture of a local priest.  According to human rights workers attached to the Kingmi church, at 8.30 in the morning on March 2, Reverend Yunus Gobai (55 years) was arrested, threatened and tortured by local and Brimob commando police at the Enarotali (Kapolresnya) police compound in Paniai district.

According to the report received and confirmed by West Papua Media, as a result of beating Gobai’s nose was bleeding, his upper and lower lips were split and  bleeding, and he sustained abrasions on his hands, swelling on his forehead and cuts on his head, after which he he was put in a cell at the Police Sector command (Polsek) in Enarotali.

Family members went to request his release from the Police station, but the Paniai police demanded a bribe or ransom money to free him, according to the report.  Family members reported they were forced to gather money in order to pay the police, and a Paniai member of the DPRD directly handed over to police one million rupiah (about US$103) at Polsek Paniai.  Reverend Gobai was then released at 1030am local time, and taken straight home to his village by his family, according to the report.

Rev Gobai is the former pastor and head of the council of the community of KINGMI Maranatha Nabire. According to his family, after Rev Gobai became pastor of the community he suffered from (an undefined) mental disturbance together with epilepsy.  Gobai’s family reported that he would regularly be seen “shouting for no reason or running around shouting”.

Reverend Gobai was arrested after exhibiting these symptoms outside the police station in Enarotoli, causing his arrest, but police did not treat the issue as an illness and used unwarranted torture and inhumane treatment on the pastor, according to the report.

(WPM Editor’s Comment: Whilst the KINGMI report uses unclear terminology describing the pastor’s behaviour as “mental illness”, often random outbursts of unintelligible shouting and psychotic visions are perfectly normal and accepted behaviour of Christian pentecostal pastors, Muslim imans, Hindu holy people, and almost all other religious leaders and clerics across human history.  To arrest and torture someone for this behaviour is to ignore the experience of humanity.)

Paniai is no stranger to unrestrained Indonesian security force violence and torture against local people, primarily made up of members of the Mee tribe.  Previous offensives in the  Paniai since December 2011 have displaced tens of thousands of civilians, and burnt down hundreds of villages.  Paniai was the scene of widespread military operations between 1963-1969, 1977-1978, and again in 1981-1982. During this period U.S. supplied Bronco aircraft were used to bomb villages while helicopters strafed Papuans with machine gun fire.

West Papua Media