Tag Archives: TNI

Arrests in Mantembu, Yapen ahead of major demonstrations

West Papua Media

January 16, 2013

Local human rights and independent media sources have reported that an Indonesian Army (TNI) unit has arrested seven non-violent activists in Serui on January 16, ahead of major planned demonstrations.

The raid on the heavily targeted village of Mantembu, on Yapen Island, was carried out at 0830 am local time by Kostrad Unit of Indonesian Army led by Corporal Gidion Karubaba, arrested the seven for allegedly “supporting Papuan independence”, according to local human rights sources.

The names of the arrestees are:
1. Yohan Ayum,
2. Lamkiur Ayum,
3.Penina Pangkurei,
4. Oki Warkawani,
5. Mambiwa Wandamani,
6. Simeon Ayum,
7. Isak Warkawani.

No information was received if those arrested were subjected to mistreatment during their arrest, however Mantembu has been long targeted with extreme brutality by Indonesian security forces seeking to quell pro-independence sentiment.  Regular raids and house burnings are arbitrary conducted, and the village has seen one of the highest rates of oppression of any single village in Papua.

The ex-political prisoner Yawan Wayeni, who was disembowelled, taunted and left to die whilst being filmed by Brimbob paramilitary police in Mantembu in 2009, has his death seen by the world on a Youtube video that galvanised awareness of the systemic brutality of the Indonesian occupation forces.

The arrests came the day before large demonstrations for Papuan basic rights were to be held on January 17 in Yapen and Manokwari, organised by activists from the Federated Republic of West Papua alternative government.

Westpapuamedia

Again, families question TNI legal processes after November shooting of Pastor Frederika Metalmeti

by Oktovianus Pogau
January 7, 2013
Merauke, Papua: Anis Jambormase, a family member of female pastor Frederika Metalmeti (38 years old), is questioning the legal process against the shooting of their child in Boven Digoel, Papua, on 21 November 2012.
http://suarapapua.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/TNI-AD-Kontingen-Lomba-Tembak-AARM-ASEAN.jpg
“We still have hope Danrem (KomanDan Korem or Battalion level Commander) 174/ATW from Merauke and the Commander XVII from Cenderwasih will close the legal proceedings.”
When contacted by Suara Papua (suarapapua.com) on 7 January 2013, a statement was delivered by Jambormase in Tanah Merah, Digoel, Papua.
According to Jambormase, through Danrem 174/ATW Merauke, the TNI has confirmed one of the shooters was from the military.  Accordingly, the TNI has pledged to fire any corrupt officers.
“Our family will continue to wait for the trial to take place in the Supreme Military Court in Jayapura”, said Jambormase.
Sadis, Pendeta di Papua Ditembak
Meanwhile, when contacted by the media this afternoon, Lieutenant Inf Jansen Simanjuntak from Cenderwasih, claimed all suspects had already been handed over to the military in Mahmil (Mahkamah Militer or Courts-Martial / Military Court).
Speaking on the telephone, “The military in Mahmil are currently going through the files.  If they’re satisfied, the trial will be held in the near future”.
According to Kependam, since the beginning of the trial, the Commander vowed to proceed with the case.  Any individual members who commit such acts will be severely punished.
“We ask for the family to believe in the Commander’s promise, he is not messing around with this case, the legal proceeding will take place”, said Lieutenan Inf Jansen Simanjuntak.
As reported in the media (Ironis, Dua Oknum Anggota TNI Tembak Mati Pendeta) on 21 November 2012, two people shot dead female priest Frederika Metalmeti close to the police headquarters in Tanah Merah, Digoel.
A hospital official who had conducted an autopsy on one of the victims said gunshot wounds and bruises were found on the body.
There were three shots to the body: the head, the left chest and right arm.  Sharp tools had caused bruises and cuts on the face.
When the national Commission on Human Rights met Commander XVII Major General Zebua Christian from the Cenderawasih military on 30 November 2012, he promised to severely punch rogue member of the military, and that a dismissal process will be considered.
(Translated by West Papua Media volunteer translators)

FIVE MONTHS AS REFUGEES EATING ONLY SAGO WORMS AND WOOD WORMS

ELSHAM NEWS SERVICE

16 November 2012

Keerom, – It was early and the streets were not too crowded  when I started my journey from Abepura, Kota Baru District at 6.30 a.m. (Papuan time) to Arso, in Keerom which is a drive of about two hours and a half by two wheeler.

After arriving in Arso, I went on to the village of Kwor and arrived at about 9:16 a.m., and from the village of Kwor I continued the journey towards the bivouacs of the internally displaced people (IDPs) who had run into the forests, out of fear for their lives.

During the six-hour drive through the gardens, rivers and forest, I arrived at the bivouacs of the IDPs: the 38 people were scattered in four different bivouacs; they came from three villages, namely, Sawyatami (11 IDPs), Workwana (9 IDPs) and of PIR III Bagia (18 IDPs).

The group of IDPs who settled in the bivouacs in the middle of the forest, is composed of 20 men and 18 women. Among the IDPs, there are seven (7) children under the age of five (toddlers).  In addition to parents and toddlers, there are 15 students consisting of eight (8) elementary school students, four (4) junior high school students and three (3) high school students. These students have not attended school for the last five months.

In the camps, the IDPs could rely only on food collected from around the bivouacs likesago, sago worms, wood worms and wild boar. “We have stayed out here in the forest for five months, and in order to survive, the only thing we could eat were sago worms and wood worms and the only thing we could drink was water from the creek,” said LK (68yr), a traditional leaders who is also on the run.

The condition of the refugees is very deplorable: there are two pregnant women, namely the two-month pregnant Rosalina Minigir (36 yr), and the four-month pregnant Agustina Bagiasi (35 yr). Another woman, Aleda Kwambre (28 yr) gave birth to a baby girl at the shelter camp. At the present, two babies were found to be in very poor health conditions: Penina Pekikir (3 yr) and Ruth Kimber (1 yr), and if the situation persists they could turn critical.

“I am afraid of Kopassus [the Indonesian special forces]. I saw how they came with their guns, entered into the village of PIR III and started shooting. So I was afraid of going to school,” said CK (17) who ran away and stopped attending school because he did not feel safe anymore, after all the acts intimidation by the security forces.

NY (8yr) expressed the same fear as CK, as she says with a timid voice:”It’s been a long time since I attended school, I was afraid when I saw the soldiers flying over the village with their helicopters.”

MT (38yr) also expressed disappointment with the local government of the Keerom District, as it was unable to ensure safety and security for the indigenous Papuans in Keerom. “I am angry because these high officials, local government officials, regents, scholars, community leaders, traditional leaders and religious leaders,  do not care about us in this forest. I was scared when I saw these police officers, they went into the villages and they just started shooting. I was afraid so I had to run into the forest” she said, sobbing.

The refugees expressed the hope that ELSHAM Papua would return with international human rights institutions to mediate their return to their respective villages. “Christmas is near; we were not able to gather money for the celebrations. These children have not attended school for five months. So we really hope that ELSHAM can help us so we can return to our village,” said FK (50yr), filled with hope.

As reported earlier by ELSHAM, the 38 locals had fled from the three villages because they were afraid of ongoing sweeping operations conducted by the joint Indonesian military and police forces in Keerom, since the shooting of Yohanes Yanuprom, the head of the village of Sawyatami on 1 July 2012.

Up to the date of this report, the IDPs remain in the forest without proper food and adequate medicine.

Elsham News Service

 

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

 

Violence continues to intensify across Paniai, towns emptied as TNI/Polri conduct reprisals after TPN attacks.

October 21, 2012

By Nick Chesterfield at West Papua Media

Special Investigation

As a major crackdown by Indonesian security forces deepens against West Papuan civil resistance activists ahead of mass mobilisations across Papua, West Papua Media is examining Papuan nationalist motivations for resistance, revisiting a region that has been continuously wracked by security force violence connected to illegal gold mining and resource extraction.

The Paniai regency, which straddles the “neck” of the Papuan “bird of Paradise” landform, is the site of a new gold rush that has resulted in brutality against ordinary indigenous tribal and townspeople.

Intensifying acts of violence by Indonesian security forces has reportedly emptied towns in the Paniai district of West Papua, with civilians allegedly fleeing in their thousands to the jungle outside the Enarotoli region, according to human rights sources in Paniai.

Regular reports have been received over recent weeks from church human rights sources detailing a campaign of arbitrary brutality committed by soldiers from the notorious Nabire-based 753 Battalion of the Indonesian army (TNI) , together with Brimob paramilitary police, against indigenous people primarily from the Mee tribe.  Random attacks on ordinary villagers, drunken altercations at gambling venues, and sporadic attempts by indigenous Mee people to claim any share of the vast sums of wealth flowing out of their lands, have all contributed to a sense of brutalization endured by the Mee people in recent months.

Engagements between forces of the Paniai command of the West Papuan National Liberation Army (Tentara Pembebasan Nasional) and both Brimob and 753 Btn troops have been used as justification for violence against civilians, and several incidents connected to TNI business activities across the regency have increased tensions.

Daily confirmed reporting from church human rights sources in the Paniai have detailed a litany of abuses by security forces, including, torture, unprovoked killings, shootings, and beatings over economic turf wars.

Torture over taxi turf

On October 1, a misunderstanding quickly escalated to a torture incident in Waghete, in the Deiyei district of Paniai, illustrating perfectly the mundane economic triggers of abuse carried out by security force members.  A local district official Marion Dogopia, Head of Bouwobado District, Deiyai, was been driven in an official car (with yellow government plates) from Enarotoli to Waghete.  In the car were Dogopia’s driver, and his Papuan Police officer bodyguard, Ones Pigome.  The car turned into the Waghete bus terminal to pick up further family members, where a TNI Btn 753 soldier, moonlighting as a taxi driver, started an argument with the driver, according to a church human rights investigation seen by West Papua Media.

Across Indonesia, the TNI control the taxi and ojek (motorbike taxi) industry, which is used as both a good source of intelligence and a lucrative, effortless cash source for bored soldiers – who protect their turf ruthlessly.  According to witnesses quoted in the human rights investigation, the soldier taxi driver  – who was first in line at the taxi rank – angrily accused the official’s driver of being a taxi and picking up passengers  at the bus station, a place where taxis are not allowed to operate.  Despite the driver and Dogopia trying to calmly explain that the vehicle was a private vehicle and was not taking fares, the soldier refused to listen.

At this point, the municipal police officer Pigome, started to get angry at the soldier, and shouted and slapped the soldier, demanding he stand down.  The soldier resisted and called out his colleagues from Battalion 753, who were loitering at an army post 50 metres away.    According to witnesses, several dozen soldiers rushed over complete with their equipment and weapons, and pulled Ones Pigome out from his car. They severely beat the victim, kicked him, tore his clothes, and stomped him with their boots after he fell helplessly. As a result, Pigome sustained deep lacerations , contusions and swelling upon his head , face and body.

In a chilling reminder of the dangers faces to both journalists and witnesses to Indonesian state violence – and a sign of the fear that state abuse perpetrators in Papua have of being held to account by growing citizen media power – witnesses reported that several soldiers were standing guard while their colleagues were beating up Pigome, keeping watch after the voices of several 753 members could be heard saying “see who is taking photos or videos”.  Witnesses reported that soldiers took their rifles up to low ready positions and intimidated citizens, so that nobody was allowed to take photos.   The beating was reported to have lasted over an hour.

Despite the very public nature of the beating and ill-discipline in torturing another member of the security forces, no sanction against the offending 753 soldiers was reported.  This further example of impunity has contributed to the tension and feeling that the TNI is out to cause indiscriminate violence to Papuans, as collective punishment for the temerity of any challenge to Jakarta’s colonial plunder.

Military contacts increase

Indonesian army officers from 753 have also recently been implicated in several other incidents.

On Thursday October 11, a joint Indonesian army and Brimob patrol sent to secure logistics from the TPN for local elections, was moving in a speedboat up the Kebo River from Enarotoli.  According to reports, the army was using a civilian speedboat on Waneuwo Creek, Agadide District, and a TPN patrol saw this and opened fire on the boat, allegedly with a rocket propelled grenade according to MetroTV, though no evidence was provided for this claim.  In the firefight, the boat carrying food and logistical supplies for the TNI was sunk, and two TNI soldiers sustained gunshot wounds in their hands and feet.

The military conducted reprisals immediately by opening fire indiscriminately on civilian fishing boats tied up at the Aikai fishing hamlet in Enarotoli.  Civilians were then rounded up at gunpoint in the suburb of Bobaigo in Enarotoli, arrested without charge or justification – all are still being held at different police posts for interrogation.  West Papua Media has been unable to ascertain the identities of those arrested.

Prior to the latest wave of violence, throughout August a series on attacks on military posts, local officials, ordinary people and transmigrant workers were widely blamed on the ubiquitous “unknown persons” (OTK) killed 5 people, and critically injured another 6.  These OTK attacks, now wryly interpreted by Papuans to mean “Specially Trained Persons” (Orang Terlatih Khusus), were used as justification by security forces to conduct widespread reprisals against Papuan civilians.  As is the usual case, police have been in no hurry to identify the perpetrators with evidence, or do anything other than cooperate in extra-judicial operations, according to independent sources in Enarotoli.

In August, the reprisal by security forces forced a closure of the town of Enarotali, with schools, public transport and food supplies paralysed.  All health services in the District General Hospitals across Paniai were not running, as nurses, medical staff and patients were forcibly discharged by the security forces.  Civilians were unable to engage in farming, causing crops and food supplies to suffer, and were unable to gather firewood in the forest or fishing in the lake.  According to testimonies, the atmosphere was constantly coloured by the sounds of gunfire.  This situation was experienced by people in the city Enarotali, Madi (Paniai regency capital) and surrounding areas in Paniai.

After a period of relative calm in September, this situation is again being repeated through the behaviour of 753 Battalion and the members of Brimob, who are intricately entangled in the illegal gold mining trade.  West Papua Media reported in December 2011 on the ruthless Operation Matoa which was launched across the region to destroy the TPN forces of Jhon Yogi – resulting in the displacement of over 14,000 people, almost 150 villages burnt down and the failure of basic services for almost a year.

Violence over illegal gold control

Brimob paramilitary police, who were stationed in the Degeuwo and Derero River alluvial gold diggings, were providing a lucrative protection racket for the Australian-owned West Wits Mining and other foreign small scale mining companies, which was detailed in an original investigation by West Papua Media.  During Operation Matoa, helicopters leased by West Wits were allegedly provided to Indonesian security forces, who used them to strafe and napalm villages in the TPN stronghold of Eduda.  Then, as now, creating conflict to be suppressed is a powerful economic motivator for Brimob and 753 troops, who would otherwise be without “legitimate” reason to be around the gold diggings, and all the opportunities for profit that entails.  Brimob troops are contracted in lucrative business interests across the alluvial gold mining sector as they provide security for diggings, and also provide site security for several joint operations

The TPN forces of Jhon Yogi have long been suspected by observers as entangled in a mutually beneficial relationship of violence with both Brimob police and 753 Btn, as they both vie for control of artisanal alluvial gold mining operations across the rich rivers and streams that lead into Lake Paniai.

One observer of the Paniai struggle spoken to by West Papua Media today questioned if the perpetrators of ongoing repression were “simply bored 19 year olds with guns, Mafioso soldiers protecting their turf, or entangled business relationships between all actors in a classic horizontal resource based conflict.

On October 12, another armed contact occurred between Yogi’s TPN troops and another joint Brimob/753 patrol on a road near Tanjung Toyaimoti, Agadide District, according to TPN sources.   Citizen media sources reported that Jhon Yogi’s TPN unit was ambushed by the Brimob while Yogi’s men were on their way from Pasir Putih District to Komopa.  The sources claim that TPN were startled by gunshots near the village and returned fire in a shootout for several minutes.   Two TPN members were shot, one (Dabeebii Gobai, 26 years old) critically, and died the next day.

It is unclear how or why the vastly outgunned TPN unit was able, or allowed, to escape by Brimob officers, despite having several mobile units on call.  The failure to capture Yogi has raised significant questions as to desire of Brimob to capture him.

A senior church source in Paniai questioned the conditions behind the conflict and the commitment for actors in the conflict to actually seek peace.  According to the source, this situation has created a psychological trauma where “Paniai people are still living in the same uncertain circumstances (as when) the area was considered to be a ​​military operations area (DOM) until 2002. … We predict that such incidents are likely to continue to occur because both parties have still not demonstrated an attitude to restrict their areas of movement nor invite each other to prioritise persuasive (unarmed dialogue-based) approaches. It is often difficult to accept such offers.”

He continued, “All parties in Paniai remain indifferent to these problems occurring, even though the victims are often civilians. Maybe it’s because violence is considered normal in Paniai?”

Westpapuamedia