Tag Archives: Victor Yeimo

War of Nerves between Papuan Governor and Papuan Political Prisoners

OPINION* / ANALYSIS

By: Selpius Bobii

Abepura State Prison, 19 August 2013

This was the first time the Governor of Papua had visited the Abepura State Prison. The Governor Lukas Enembe together with the Provincial Secretary, the Chairperson of the Papuan People’s Consultative Assembly, the Implementation Officer of the Chairperson of the Papuan Legislative Assembly, the Territorial Military Commander (of XVII Cenderawasih) and a high-ranking officer from the Police Headquarters in Papua, together visited the Abepura Indonesian State prison on 17 August 2013. The stated aim of the visit being to represent the National Indonesian Government in reading out the giving of remission to the political prisoners and to read the speech from the national Minister for Law and Human Rights.

However there was also another hidden agenda for their visit and that became apparent once the Governor commenced his address inside the prison.  On Enembe asking the prison warden how many political prisoners were there who had been charged with treason and hearing there were ten, he then questioned the prisoners “What is it that you who have committed treason are looking for?  Stop your struggle. We will achieve freedom in prosperity. In the very near future the Government will pass the Regulations for Governance in Papua and once that occurs we will already have our independence within the Republic of Indonesia and I will be the president. So don’t cry out anymore for independence for Papua.”

Only one political detainee attended the ceremony for the giving of remission, whilst the remaining 25 Papuan political detainees chose not to attend but rather to stay in their cells to avoid the hidden agenda of the Governor and his entourage. However because the Governor used loud amplification to give his address, so all the political detainees could not avoid hearing his words despite their choosing not to attend the ceremony.  The Governor stated “I have many family members who have died because they have spoken about independence for Papua, whilst others have fled to PNG, Manokwari and in all directions. Since I was small people have always said ‘Tomorrow we will have freedom!’  But where are the results? Now I have become governor.”

Several political detainees including Victor Yeimo and a number of others in the same cell block raised their voices from their cells to assert their protest against Enembe’s statement in the middle of his address. Police Officers, plain-clothed Indonesian military (TNI) and prison officers quickly moved to deal with the few vocal detainees. However the Governor who heard the detainees’ voices of protest instructed  “Let them yell back there.”  One of the officers present said he would deal with them later.

Following the ceremony the Governor and his entourage moved towards a cell block occupied by several well-known Papuan Freedom Political Detainees. Filep J.S. Karma was suddenly met by the Governor and his entourage, so he was forced to receive their visit even though he had no prior intention of speaking with them. Filep Karma stated “It’s impossible for the people of Papua to unite with the people of Indonesia as until now the majority of Indonesians consider Papuans to be half animal. I myself also experienced that whilst studying higher education in Java. Recently when I was taken to Jakarta for medical treatment I asked friends there whether attitudes towards Papuans had changed, however they responded there had been no change at all in attitudes towards Papuans and that Indonesians continued to regard Papuans as similar to human monkeys”. Filep Karma went on to say “So many Papuans have become victims because of the Papuan Struggle for Freedom and we also are imprisoned for that same Struggle. Therefore we reject the offer of clemency from the President of Indonesia.  Thank you for your efforts Governor however we political detainees cannot accept the clemency offered.”  Governor Enembe merely responded with “Very well.”

Victor Yeimo was also in the same block with Filep Karma and stated “I am Victor Yeimo, the Chairperson of the West Papuan National Committee (KNPB), and I tell you that the time will come when Papua will get independence. So please don’t offend us by making statements that Papua will not get independence.” He continued “Go ahead Governor and guard your position, but our commitment is due to our old people suffering back in the villages. Suffering not because of welfare needs or some similar problem, but because Papua must be independent.” Governor Enembe responded “I also was previously part of the struggle for ten years, but my work now is to develop Papua and to make the community prosperous. I have been shot and orally abused also and I live with that, but I have recently come out from that and am now governor.”

At the moment the Governor and his entourage started to leave the area the Writer left his cell and approached them introducing himself as the Chairperson of the Organising Committee of the3rd National Papuan Congress. Then expressing in a harsh voice “At the Congress we declared Papua to be a state and because of that we are here in prison. Tell President SBY that the nation of Papua is ready to negotiate. Also tell him that the nation of Papua firmly rejects Special Autonomy Plus and the Regulations for Papuan Governance. Furthermore we as Papuan political detainees reject the giving of clemency in whatever form that may take. We have been imprisoned not because we struggle for food and drink or because we are chasing some position in government. So many Papuans from the 1960’s until now have been sacrificed, not because they were chasing food and drink or positions of influence but for full independence (of Papua).”

Governor Enembe replied “I also previously lived with the Struggle but no longer, as my work is now to address welfare needs of the people of Papua. You have been a long time in the city but I have only recently come from the mountains.” To which the Writer in a harsh tone responded “Sir coming here from the mountains is not to save the people of Papua, but rather to shatter that which is your way of stating that we will achieve our freedom whilst within the Republic of Indonesia; and that we will achieve freedom through prosperity. Stop saying that! The people of Papua struggle for full sovereignty!”  With the conversation closed the Governor’s entourage wanted to shake hands but the Writer refused and withdrew to return to his cell.  However the Territorial Military Commander and the head of the regional Department of Law and Human Rights Demianus Rumbiak together with a guard, followed the Writer from behind. They still wanted to shake hands so the Writer stated to the Territorial Military Commander “I’m sorry I cannot shake hands with you. We are fellow human beings yes but in terms of political ideology you and I are enemies”. The Writer then shook only the hand of the head of the regional Department of Law and Human Rights. The Governor and his entourage then left.

It is ironic that since that visit the political detainees in Abepura prison have been informed by family members that certain persons have been spreading stories that at the time of the Governor’s visit the Political Detainees chased the Governor with blocks of wood until the Governor was forced to leave the prison. That is but a story created by the Indonesian forces or perhaps Indonesian National Intelligence. The truth is that what really happened that day was a war of nerves between the Governor and several Papuan Freedom Political Detainees at the Abepura State Prison.

Lukas Enembe is showing himself to be very different from previous Papuan governors. He is the most arrogant and seems to really dislike the movement of the Papuan Freedom Struggle. On a number of occasions he has openly asked Papuans who are part of the Struggle to give up and instead work to develop Papua within the Republic of Indonesia and to find freedom in prosperity. He has even asked the OPM/TPN who have for many years endured in the remote forests to give up the Struggle; and now he asks the political detainees. This really touches on some very deep old wounds for the people of Papuan who for more than 50 years have constantly struggled and their people been sacrificed again and again, losing  thousands of their people killed by both overt and covert means in the long struggle for freedom. Enembe’s words are deeply hurtful for Papuans.

It’s understood that Lukas Enembe is playing the role of the representative of the National Indonesian Government in the Province of Papua.  However his ways are so unlike that of previous Papuan governors. He is much more confrontational in dealing with those from the Struggle.  It’s clearly evident that one of the tasks that have been entrusted by Jakarta to Lukas Enembe is to ensure Papua remains within Indonesia. Enembe is from the Democrat Party so it’s to be expected that he would implement SBY’s instructions with the latter as the leader of the Party as well as the leader of the Nation and the Indonesian Government. Enembe has clearly been pushed by Jakarta to use this confrontational method but in so doing his statements are most hurtful and indeed deeply saddening coming from a Papuan.

We are aware that several months ago Enembe requested of President SBY that he be provided with security by the police and military for as long as he was carrying out the required task of approaching members of the Papuan Struggle (including both civilians and member of the OPM/TPN in the forests). This was proven once again with Enembe’s visit to the Abepura Prison on which due to his hidden agenda he asked to be escorted by the Territorial Military Commander and a high-ranking officer from the Police Headquarters in Papua.  The Governor is holding hands with TNI and the police not only to try and make a success of Jakarta’s ‘project’ in Papua but also with the hidden intention of indirectly terrorising and intimidating those of the Papuan Freedom movement. However his agenda as he visited the Abepura Prison totally failed, being received with only protest and warnings from a number of the Papuan Freedom Political Detainees. The Political Detainees at that moment had not the slightest fear in conveying the position of the community of the nation of Papua to the Governor together with the Territorial Military Commander and senior ranking officer from the Papuan police headquarters. They were mistaken to think the detainees would be fearful in the presence of the police and TNI leaders escorting Enembe. The political detainees fear only God and the community of the nation of Papua that longs for the sovereignty of the nation of Papua.

The Indonesian Government is really pushing a number of Papuans – both officials and certain members of the community – to confront members of the Papuan Freedom Struggle.  Indonesia is also using certain Papuans by sending them to foreign countries to try and silence any support for the Papuan freedom movement from the international community. So the entire community of the nation of Papua  together with the international community in solidarity, are reminded wherever you may, to be on alert and careful to avoid any approaches that could be political manoeuvres of Indonesia. Manoeuvres aimed at weakening the motivation of the Struggle and at repressing support from the international community in solidarity with the movement for the liberation of the nation of Papua from the colonial domination of Indonesia and its allies.

Let us struggle without ceasing! ‘Salam solidaritas without limits1’

Selpius Bobii,General Chairperson – Front PEPERA West Papua & Papuan Freedom Political Detainee

*OPINION PIECES REPRESENT THE VIEWS OF THE AUTHOR, AND DO NOT NECESSARILY REFLECT THE VIEWS OF WEST PAPUA MEDIA

Gustaf Kawer: Legal team ready to assist KNPB Baliem leader Simeon Dabi

Tabloid Jubi

by Benny Mawel

January 6, 2013

Jayapura (6/1)- The Family of Simeon Dabi, Baliem Valley Chairman of the West Papua National Committee (KNPB), made complaints about the absence of a lawyer to assist Simeon, (a call which was responded to) by the Coalition for Enforcement of Democracy for Papua, Gustaf Kawer.  Kawer said the team was now ready to assist the hearing of Simeon Dabi.  (However) the readiness of the Coalition team for democracy can not be (automatically) realised because of  funding constraints, according to Gustaf,

Lawyer Gustaf Kawer

“Since the beginning we have shown the will to assist them (every trial of a KNPB activist) The problem is that we do not have operational funds for Wamena, “said Gustaf in response of complaints by Simeon Dabi’s family about detention proses, dossier creation and submission of the detainees from police custody to the prosecutor without a lawyer, Thursday (2/1).

Meanwhile, another lawyer, Olga Hamadi said she had not been contacted in the case of assisting  Simeon during the hearing.  However, according to Olga, they are ready to assist if the family  contacted  them. “I have not been contacted about it by the family. Later, when contacted, surely I will respond, ” said Olga Hamadi, human rights lawyer and Coordinator of Kontras Papua.

Previously, the family is hoping that the central executive of KNPB could help  finding a lawyer who will assist Simeon. “We hope Simeon’s friends in Jayapura can help find a lawyer,” Simeon’s family said.

KNPB central executive members admitted that they already tried to contact a lawyer who will assist Simeon.  The contacted lawyer is ready to go to Wamena. “We act at a level of coordination with the lawyer.  The lawyers Gustaf Kawer and Olga Hamadi are ready to go to Wamena,” KNPB central spokesman, Rocky Wim Medlama, said to tabloidjubi.com, Thursday (3/1)

However, according to Rocky Medlama, there are parties who restrict them. “The lawyer is ready to leave for Wamena but there are parties who make problems about this,” Wim said on Wednesday (3/1).

Neither Gustaf nor Olga commented on this.

(Translated and edited for clarity by West Papua Media team)

Andreas Harsono: Is Repression Against KNPB Legal?

January 4, 2013

by OKTOVIANUS POGAU of SuaraPapua.Com

http://suarapapua.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/HARSONO-ANDREAS.jpg
ANDREAS HARSONO, Indonesia Consultant for Human Rights Watch. (FOTO: RIDHA/SuaraPapua)

SUARAPAPUA, Jakarta -  Human Rights Watch (HRW) consultant  for Indonesia, Andreas Harsono, questioned the actions of the Indonesian security forces whose shootings led to the death of 22 members of the West Papua National Committee (KNPB) during the year 2012; 55 people were arrested, and hundreds of others were injured.

‘Given that 22 KNPB members died from shootings, dozens were arrested and unknown hundreds were injured, there has been no transparent judicial process, and no internal mechanism to question police procedures in Papua, we have to raise the question of whether this repression of the KNPB is legal?’.

The statement was re-affirmed by Andreas, when interviewed by suarapapua.com on Thursday 3rd Jan 2013).   According to Harsono , the police may justify their actions by incriminating KNPB members in violence, attacks on transmigrant settlers and security forces, but they still need to make their case transparent.

“The problem for police is working with transparency – can the police show this? At the same time, the KNPB needs to carry out an internal investigation in response to police accusations of involvement in violence’, he said.

Harsono also hopes that the organisation led by Victor Yeimo will quickly announce the outcome of the investigation, along with decisions to dismiss KNPB members found to be involved in acts of violence. As previously quoted, the KNPB head Victor Yeimo has stated that 22 KNPB members were killed in 2012 by Indonesian forces, 55 arrested and many among them are currently listed on the police wanted list.

(Translated by West Papua Media translators)

 

Victor Yeimo: 22 Members of KNPB killed in 2012

Thursday, January 3, 2013

by OKTOVIANUS POGAU at SuaraPapua.com

PAPUA, JayapuraIn 2012 Indonesian security forces murdered twenty-two activists from the West Papuan National Committee (KNPB) and a further fifty-five are behind bars, some of whom are also on a search list from the regional Papuan police.

Victor F Yeimo, Ketua Umum Komite Nasional Papua Barat (Foto: Ist)
Victor F Yeimo, head of West Papua National Committee (KNPB) (Photo: Ist at SuaraPapua.com)

The following information was conveyed by the chairmen of the KNPB, Victor F Yeimo, when he was telephoned by suarapapua.com on the afternoon of Thursday (03/01/2012).

Yeimo predicted that in 2013 the murder and arrest of KNPB activists will continue to be conducted by Papuan police under terrorism laws.

“We will continue to struggle and demand independence for West Papua. We will continue to oppose the modern pattern used by the Indonesian government to colonise us,” Yeimo said.

Yeimo also said he, along with the members of the KNPB, would continue to fight with their hearts, thoughts and actions to free West Papua from the colonial Indonesian government.

Dorus Wakum, a human rights activist in Jakarta, said the brutal actions of the Indonesian military and police that caused the death of dozens of KNPB activists in 2012 needed serious attention from the international community.

“The KNBP fights to uphold the dignity of indigenous Papuans. Why are the security forces accusing them of insurgency and killing them? They have to be responsible for this disgraceful act,” said Dorus to the media.

Dorus also called for KNPB activists and the wider West Papuan community to not withdraw from the fight but to continue to work for the humanity and dignity of Indigenous Papuans.

As was mentioned in the previous media post, Hubert Mabel, a member of KNPB, was shot dead by the military/police at the end of  2012 (see: Aparat TNI/Polri Menembak Mati Aktivis KNPB di Wamena).

Although Papuan police accuse KNPB of being a terrorist organisation and a security threat, these allegations are not true; rather, it is working to free Papua from its Indonesian colonisers.

 

“Victor, we are ready to wreak havoc and clash with all of you” : Reflections by an unrepentant leader

by Victor Yeimo

Witness: Participant Analysis

December 3, 2012

Police Captain Kiki Kurnia: “We’re Ready To Clash.”

“Victor, we are ready to wreak havoc and clash with all of you.”

Those are the words spat out by police captain Kiki Kurnia, who yesterday (December 1) led hundreds of fully-armed police officers to put a stop to the Long March of students and the people. I was very sad to hear these words so righteously issued by the police, who present themselves as being on the side of safety. Do the police want safety, or do they not?Yeimo-ditangkap

When I was the leader of the Long March headed for Expo Waena on December 1 in Sentani, police backed by the Indonesian military had already closed off access to the people of West Papua who would pray. Since the late afternoon (30/11), Theys H. Eluay field, which is the field of (great significance and sacredness to) the West Papuan national struggle, had been controlled by the military and by the national police, although all the civil society organizations had long since said that their prayers and celebrations would take place there.

On November 19, police entered a prayer room in Aula STAKIN in Sentani and tried to stop me as I was giving a reception after prayers, and then yesterday on December 1 the people wanted to worship and eat at the Theys H. Eluay field but were prohibited, blockaded and arrested by the full force of the military. The question is, why did the military and the police force deliberately take control of the field and then shamelessly hold a traditional stone cooking event (a Indonesian-appropriated Papuan Custom) with a handful of residents who were offered money?

If the police are tasked with security, why exactly is that security so insecure when facing inhabitants who are conducting prayers peacefully? Is the Theys H. Eluay field, owned by the traditional people of West Papua, only permitted for use by the Indonesian military and the police force? If the law is just, why wasn’t police captain Kiki Kurnia charged with incitement to violence? As he himself clearly  (attempted) incited the mass action I led to commit violence on the streets in front of Dian Harapan Hospital yesterday.

If the police prohibit students from campaigning to put a stop to AIDS on West Papua’s Independence Day, why must it be prohibited? Do the police not want HIV/AIDS awareness campaigns to take place? Isn’t his proof that the police are ensuring and championing ethnic cleansing in West Papua? Why do the police prevent worship on West Papua’s Independence Day? Why do the police see more political and economic motivations than the goodwill and intentions of the people who want to interpret December 1, 2012 as World AIDS Day, the opening of Christmas festivities and the Independence Day of West Papua?

I lead my people safely and with restraint. I have personally guaranteed that I will be arrested or shot if there is a criminal act committed by people, but why in the safe Long March were we forcibly dispersed and captured like animals? Actually, who was it that committed the crime? Was it the people, or the police?

The police did not only incite the violence that happened, but yesterday (1/12) the police, through (Adjunct Senior Commissioner) Alfred Papare, publicly lied. Myself and the masses did not throw rocks at the police, however it was covered by several media sources that the police chief said we did so. In an era of openness such as this, why is there a need for mutual deceit when everybody saw yesterday that the police had no reason to blockade, arrest and attack people with tear gas? After I “escaped” from Abepura Sub-District Command, I had not received a call from the Jayapura Chief of Police, the aforementioned Alfred Papare, as stated by Wakapolda Papua, Paulus Waterpau, to Tabloid Jubi.

Better for the Police to become the Social Services

The idea of Papua’s Chief of Police, Tito Karnavian, to give out groceries and distribute help the mountain people of Papua in Jayapura and the Jayapura municipality makes me wonder a little. Has the police chief already switched functions from a chief of police who must preserve security, only to become the head of the Department of Social Services who must give social support to the people? Is this country unhealthy? Money for providing support to the people is redirected into the Police Department and the Police Department takes over the functions of the Department of Social Services.

For me, the efforts of the police department to muffle and destroy the basis of the Papua Independence conflict are obviously speculative, as well as inappropriate. Go ahead, if the police department and the Republic of Indonesia believe that our ideology can be bought off with money. Tens to hundreds of millions have been redirected to the Asrama Rusnawa Uncen, since becoming the basis for conflict, and the police are very hopeful that students will regard them as righteous people, as kind people. Well, again, it is better that the Police Institution in Jayapura be renamed as the Department of Social Security or the Department of Education, so that matters concerning the improvement of the Asrama Rusnawa Uncen and student welfare can just be taken over by the police.

Does Indonesia believe that money can silence the aspiration and ideology of independence for the people of West Papua? I am convinced the people of Papua that are given money and material aid from the police are only making use of them, because within the individual West Papuan person there is a flesh-and-blood desire for Papuan Independence, however difficult it is. So, go ahead, half-dead police and a waste of money to the people of Papua. Go ahead and pan the sympathy and dreams of the people who have hated the occupation of this land. Almost half a century practicing the policies of the Republic of Indonesia, and all models of development cannot turn the people of West Papua into people of Indonesia. Papua will rise and awaken by itself alone.

Idea of Separatists and Terrorists is a project of the TNI and Police 

There are no separatists and terrorists in West Papua; only those who demand the right to self-determination as legally protected under international law. The idea of separatists and terrorists is created by the state to disgrace the legal struggle of the West Papuan people, and created by the Indonesian military and the police with a view to expanding their territory, and their wealth. For the sake of money alone, the circumvention of the state apparatus and the deception of the state apparatus, alias “bullshitting a lot” (direct translation).

My organization, the National Committee of West Papua (KNPB), struggles in peace and does not want to create chaos that will strengthen the funds of the military and the police force. Consequently, the national police force does not like peaceful action, because in a situation that is safe and peaceful, the military and the police force will be poverty-stricken. Many security institutions in Indonesia have hundreds of troops that must be paid by the state. Moreover in Papua, there are now many civilian militias formed by the state; thousands have been recruited, and must be paid. All are created with the objective of “stripping bare” the security responsibility from the Indonesian government in West Papua that fall under the name of “eradicating separatists and terrorists.”

Forgive me; my group and I will not accept food from the military or the police, so there is no need to criminalise or drop that bomb on the National Committee of West Papua to stigmatise us, so that the project money can be maintained. These ways have become commonplace, and we are bored of them. The people are smart, and getting smarter: they have already been taught these ruses by the colonialists. Ways such as this will finally tarnish the image of the Republic of Indonesia in West Papua. So it is best not to try to painstakingly search for such an image. Oh, and yesterday in Guyana, Member of Parliament told Benny Wenda: “Oppression alone will burn the spirit of the independence struggle.”

Why not kill me, or imprison me? Why was I released? Oh, it is certainly not because I cheated. I will see this for what it truly is. There are demonstrations in the streets. Now that I have planted the seeds of resistance here and the invaders sow these seeds with their own actions. I must thank the colonialists for continuously teaching us to aspire to true humanity by means of rebellion.

Victor Yeimo wrote this article immediately upon his release from police custody on Monday December 3. 

Translated by West Papua Media volunteer translators