Monthly Archives: August 2010

DAP Hubula area office torched in Wamena

Attackers have burned down DAP’s (Dewan Adat Papua – Papuan Customary Council) Hubula area office on the outskirts of Wamena in West Papua’s Central Highlands. Coming days before a public event planned there and amidst a state campaign of intimidation against DAP, the attack is believed to have been coordinated by Indonesian military and police intelligence and adds to the climate of repression facing West Papuan activists.

(more follows after latest images)


During the night of August 25 2010, unknown attackers torched the Hubula area office of DAP (Dewan Adat Papua – Papuan Customary Council) in Kama village, Wamena district, in West Papua’s Central Highlands region. Three members of PETAPA (Penjaga Tanah Papua – Defenders of the Land of Papua) who were sleeping in the wooden thatch-roofed building managed to escape unharmed. The office had been completed in May 2010, and was scheduled to host a public unveiling on September 1.

DAP is a Papua-wide network of customary communities working to uphold the cultural rights and restore the self-determination of indigenous Papuans; its presence is particularly strong in the Wamena region. In the weeks leading up to the attack, local DAP members have built new communication posts (‘posko’) in several villages surrouding Wamena. In response to DAP’s growing organized rural community presence, the Kapolres (regional police commander) travelled to the sites of of upcoming posko unveilings and warned local community leaders against associating with DAP, calling it a ‘wild organization’ and accusing it of disturbing the peace. Amidst the growing tension, additional units of Brimob’s (Police Mobile Brigade) US-funded counter-terrorism unit, Special Detachment 88, have been deployed to Wamena from the Papuan capital Jayapura. In the eyes of DAP activists, the burning of their Hubula office carries all the signs of being organized by state security forces: “This attack is clearly the work of Indonesian intelligence agents, who are worried about the widespread support for DAP at the grassroots level in the region” according to DAP spokesperson Dominikus Sorabut.

On August 23, members of Indonesia’s state security and intelligence agencies, including BIN (State Intelligence Body), the US-funded Kopassus (Military Special Commando) and Regional Police, organized a meeting with a select group of local ‘tribal chiefs’ known as BMP (Barisan Merah Putih – Red and White Front). BMP is an indigenous militia sponsored by the Indonesian security forces and linked to LMA, the official state customary organization with close ties to the Indonesian military. After the meeting, a notice was repeatedly broadcast on their behalf on state radio RRI urging local people to stay away from DAP activities and alleging that DAP’s opening of posko ‘disturbs public security’. Though neither BMP nor LMA can claim any widespread support among indigenous Papuan society, the ongoing support they receive from the military and the latest violent incident raise the specter of the type of Kopassus-organized anti-independence militia violence previously seen at the peak of the brutal repression of East Timor’s struggle to secede from Indonesia.

The escalation in intimidation, manipulation and repression being organized by the state security forces sends an ominous signal of Jakarta’s unwillingness to heed growing calls to resolve the political conflict in Papua through peaceful dialogue. The latest attack against DAP comes on the heels of unprecedented widespread mass mobilization, with a wide coalition of Papuan groups uniting to reject Jakarta’s Special Autonomy package, demanding a referendum on independence, internationally mediated dialogue, the closing of the US-owned Freeport MacMoran gold and copper mine, and a halt to the transmigration that threatens to reduce Papuans to an indigenous minority. Mass rallies in all the main towns of Papua have been met with repression and threats from security forces. While Papuan activists such as Filep Karma, Buchtar Tabuni and Victor Yeimo continue to be imprisoned for organizing rallies calling for self-determination, the recent murder of Papuan journalist Ardiansyah Matra’is has extended the climate of intimidation to the press, making it even more difficult to access critical coverage of unfolding events in Papua.

Meanwhile, in the Puncak Jaya region near Wamena, police and military units continue to carry out harsh collective punishment against local communities suspected of supporting the poorly-armed OPM units operating out of remote mountain strongholds. Calls by Papuan human rights advocates for the state forces to cease their punitive operations have been met with disregard and intimidation, with the outspoken church leader Socrates Sofyan Yoman summoned for interrogation regarding his criticism of police action. In the face of such threats, DAP leaders have shown no intention of backing down from their community mobilization in defence of indigenous rights and livelihoods. The international community has an important role to play in pressuring the Indonesian security forces and their Western backers to withhold from violent repression of Papuan activists.

To contact the head of regional police in Wamena and to urge him to stop intimidating DAP, please call Kapolres Jayawijaya, GD S. Jaya at (+62) 8123881989.

An Indonesian-language message to be conveyed could be:

“Kami minta Polres segera hentikan tindakan represif terhadap Dewan Adat Papua di Wamena. Terima kasih.”

(Translation: “We ask Regional Police to stop repressive actions against DAP in Wamena. Thank you.”)

News from Papua: Journalists will boycott police for failing to investigate Ardiansyah's murder; Restrictions on alcohol to combat spread of HIV; Women traders promised their own market

Bintang Papua, 23 August 2010
Abridged in translation

Ardiansyah murder repercussions

Journalists to boycott police news

About one hundred print and electronic journalists, following a
demonstration in Jayapura, announced their decision to boycott all news
from the police as from 23 August for failing to reveal the perpetrator
of the murder of Metro TV journalist, Ardiansyah Matra’is whose body was
found on 28 July floating in the Maro River.

They also called for the chief of police in Papua to be dismissed for
his failure to thoroughly investigate the journalist’s murder.

Victor Mambor, the chairman of the journalists organisation AJI, said
they had waited for hours to meet the police chief but he never appeared.

According to the results of an autopsy by the police, there were many
swellings on the journalist’s body, several teeth were missing and his
neck showed signs of his having been strangled. At the time of the
tragic incident, other journalists had been receiving terror threats by
SMS. [Other reports suggest that Ardiansyah was still alive when he was
thrown into the river where he drowned.]

During the demonstration, the journalists carried banners calling for
an end to the terror. A journalist from Tempo said it was up to the
police to investigate the case.

‘Today, our colleague is murdered. Tomorrow it could be one of us,’ he
said.

Cenderawasih reporter Ronald Manurung said: ‘We are partners of the
police. Every day we report about police activities in safeguarding
security in Papua, but the chief of police doesn’t show any interest in
the sufferings of our colleague and his grieving family.’

At this point, a police official appeared and said the demonstrators
should delegate someone to meet the chief of police but this was rejected.

Then another journalist, Cunding Levi read a joint statement setting a
deadline for the police to show results in their investigation to
discover the perpetrator of Ardiansyah’s murder. The statement will be
sent to the president and other ministers as well as the National Human
Rights Commission, whose deputy chairman Matius Murib was present. He
invited those present to bow their heads in tribute to their murdered
colleague. All sections of the community in Papua should pay close
attention to the human rights cases in Papua, he said. Thereafter, the
journalist dispersed in an orderly fashion

—————————–

Bintang Papua, 23 August 2010

Alcoholic drinks and the increase in HIV in Papua
With the number of HIV/AIDS sufferers in Papua continuing to increase,
the Papuan provincial government has announced its intention to restrict
or to stop the sale of alcoholic drinks throughout the province of
Papua. The number of sufferers in Papua reportedly reached a total of
more than 5,000 in 2009.

Provincial governor Barnabas Suebu said that during a two-month tour of
many kampungs, many people had urged the government to pay more
attention to this problem. ‘So we have now drafted a regulation to end
the sale of alcohol which will soon be submitted to the DPRP.’

The governor said that the alarming rise in the number of HIV sufferers
was a warning to Papuans that this sickness must be brought under control..

—————————

Bintang Papua, 23 August 2010
Special market for women traders to be built

The Papuan provincial government has said that it is still committed to
the plan to build a special market for women traders. A spokesman said
that a location had been chosen and once the legalities of the
conversion of the land ere completed, construction would begin.

The spokesman Jansen Monim said this was an example of the governor’s
determination to listen to the wishes of the people.

For the past nine years, Papuan women traders have been pressing for a
special market but as yet, their demands have not been realised and they
have been pushed from one location to another, having to do their
business under the open sky and sitting on the bare ground. During th
course of their struggle, some of the women have died.

One location that was offered to the women was rejected because, they
said, it was too far away from people coming to buy things. After
submitting their demands to the governor, he has now promised that the
special market for women traders will be built in 2010. The governor
also promised to provide other facilities for the women traders. There
are also plans to provide the women with special training for marketing
management and to supply four trucks along with fuel to help transport
their goods.

It was also said that the governor’s commitment applies not only to
Jayaura but to the whole of Papua.

[Comment: The reference throughout this item was only to Papua, meaning
that this pledge does not apply to the province of West Papua. ]

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.’

————————-

News from Papua: Police will persist in summoning Sokrates; Police urged to stop summoning Sokrates; Lawyers speak out about Sokrates case

Bintang Papua, 19 August 2010

Abridged in translation

Police will continue to summon Sokrates
The police force in Papua have said that they will persist in summoning
Duma Sokrates Yoman to appear for interrogation, in connection with his
allegation that the incidents in Puncak Jaya are part of a business
project of the army and the police (TNI/Polri).

Sokrates Yoman is president of the Fellowship of Baptist Churches in Papua.

The chief of police in Papua now says that his patience is exhausted and
they regard him as a witness. ‘In two or three days,’ said the Wachyono,
head of public relations of the police, ‘we will summon him as a
witness, instead of just asking him for clarifications,’ he said.

Yoman Sokrates has twice been invited by the police to give
clarifications about the events in Puncak Jaya and his charges that the
TNI/Polri are engaged in business activities in Puncak Jaya. After his
failure to respond to two summonses, he will be summoned as a witness,
on the basis of article 112 of the criminal code which states that
anyone summoned as a witness or as the accused is under obligation to
appear. If he still refuses to appear, he will be sent an official order
to appear. ‘This is what the law states and is not just what the police
are saying,’ said Wachyono.

As has been reported earlier, Sokrates Yoman has been accused of trying
to ‘corner’ the army and the police in connection with a series of
shootings against civilians in Puncak Jaya that have been going on since
2004.

Earlier reports in Bintang Papua stated that Sokrates Yoman declared
that he was undaunted by the police summons. He said that many people
have spoken out about the situation in Puncak Jaya but, ironically, he
was the only person to have been summoned by the police. He accused the
police of behaving unfairly and unprofessionally. ‘It is my belief that
the law enforcement agencies are acting on the orders of a sponsor who
are keen to exert pressure on me as a church leader,’ said Sokrates.

He was quoted as saying that he was ready to face the consequences and
would never run away. I will remain in my office or at home because this
is our homeland.’

Sokrates has called on the legislative assembly in Papua, the DPRP, to
summon the military commander of Papua and the chief of police of Papua
to explain what they have been doing and what their strategy is
regarding the situation in Puncak Jaya which has been going on for six
years.

‘We need to know who are the brains behind this and who stands to gain
from incidents that have resulted in many victims among the ordinary people.

——————————-

Police urged to stop summoning Sokrates
Bintang Papua 12 August 2010

The police summons to Sokrates and the failure to resolve the prolonged
conflict in Puncak Jaya has attracted the attention of the churches,
which are now calling for a national dialogue as the only way to resolve
the never-ending conflict.

On 12 August, a meeting held at the office of the Synod of the GKI was
attended by the leaders of all the main churches, Rev Miriono-Krey,
chair of the Synod of the GKI, Rev. Lipius Biniluk, chair of the Kingmi
Church in the Land of Papua, Dr Rev. Benny Giay, of the Fellowship of
Baptist Churches in Papua, Rev. Andreas Kogoya, and the Bishop of
Jayapura, Leo Laba Lajar.

The meeting reached agreement on several statements expressing their
concern with a number of cases in the Land of Papua and especially in
Puncak Jaya.

The church leaders called for a national dialogue to be held as soon as
possible to find a solution to all the problems in Papua on the basis
of the princiiples of justice, dignity and humanitarianism, mediated by
a neutral third party. The churches stated that they would consistently
and firmly fight for the rights of God’s people, in accordance with the
teachings of Jesus Christ.

The churches called on the governor of the province of Papua, church
leaders throughout the land of Papua, the Papuan Customary Council
(DAP), the Papuan People Assembly (MRP), the Papuan Legislative
Assmbly, DPRP, the military command of Papua and the chief of police of
Papua to enter into dialogue, facilitated by the church.

The church leaders also urged the chief of police to stop summoning
Sokrates Yoman, the president of the Fellowship of Baptist Churches.
They also called on the people living in the district of Puncak Jaya and
on the people throughout the Land of Papua to remain calm in face of the
on-going tragedy in the Land of Papua.

The DPRP and the MRP were urged to open their eyes and ears to the
series of shootings that have been occurring in the district of Puncak
Jaya and to summon the governor of the province of Papua as the civil
authority in Papua, the Papua chief of police and the military commander
as those responsible for the security situation to explain the many
incidents of violence that have been occurring in Puncak Jaya up to the
present.

In particular the chief of police should say what the police have been
doing to reveal those responsible for the terror shootings in that
district. The National Human Rights Commission representative office in
Papua should set up an independent team to investigate to discover the
people behind all this, and to produce accurate data in the interests of
law enforcement and for justice and truth.

——————————

Lawyers speak out about the Sokrates case
Bintang 13 August 2010

A number of lawyers have expressed their opinions about the police
summons to Sokrates Yoman, head of the Fellowship of Baptist Churches.
The fact that the police have made statements in the media has attracted
their attention.

According to the lawyer Gustaf R. Kawer, if Sokrates is regarded as a
witness, that means that there must also be a defendant. The police may
summon him up to three times and if he fails to appear, then force may
be used in accordance with the law.

If Sokrates is believed to be in any way connected to the accused, this
must be based on initial evidence. There should be two witnesses as well
as the necessary evidence. It is not correct for the police simply to
say something in the media and then go ahead and arrest Sokrates.

If it is simply about a statement made by Sokrates in the press, he is
protected by the law on the press. ‘According to the press law, when a
journalist publishes his comments, he should be confronted by the person
against whom the charge was made. Once the institution that has been
charged has used its right of reply, the matter should be regarded as
closed.’

If the matter results in defamation of the person in question, said
Kawer, it is premature of the police and means that they are acting
unprofessionally. They are simply reacting to something while at the
same time showing that they cannot accept criticism.

Speaking along similar lines as Kawer, Johannis Maturbongs, the
coordinator of Kontras, said that the army and the police should accept
the remarks made by Sokrates as a form of control from civil society.
‘The police summons was premature because all that Sokrates was doing
was exerting control on behalf of civil society regarding the events
that have been occurring in Puncak Jaya.since 2004.

What has been happening is highly regrettable because there have been
casualties not only among members of the security forces but also a
considerable number of casualties among the ordinary people. The events
there have been quite extraordinary yet the police have failed to
perform their function which is to discover the perpetrators. It is as
though the police are using the words of Soktrates as proof against
those responsible. ‘They are not treating Sokrates as a community
leader and church leader who is feeling deeply concerned about the
situation.’

Johanis also said it is the duty of the National Human Rights
Commission, KomnasHAM, in Papua as as well in Jakarta to respond.

‘It is up to Komnas HAM to thoroughly investigate what has been
happening in Puncak Jaya because there have been many civilian casualties.’

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL: End criminalization of peaceful political activities in Maluku

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL
Public statement

AI Index: ASA 21/017/2010
19 August 2010

INDONESIA: End criminalization of peaceful political activities in Maluku

The decision to charge at least 22 political activists in Maluku for “rebellion” once again highlights the failure of the Indonesian government to distinguish between armed groups and peaceful political activists. Amnesty International urges the Indonesian government to release immediately and unconditionally the activists, who are all men, if they have been arrested solely for their peaceful political activities.

On 13 August 2010 the Maluku police announced that they were planning to charge the political activists with “rebellion” against the state (makar) under Articles 106 and 110 of Indonesia’s Criminal Code (KUHP, Kitab Undang-Undang Hukum Pidana). The police pointed to evidence which included possession of dozens of “Benang Raja” flags, a symbol of the South Maluku independence; Republic of South Maluku (RMS) membership cards; and photos and stickers of the independence flag.

According to local sources, the activists were planning to use the visit of Indonesia’s President, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, to Maluku in early August as an opportunity to disseminate materials related to alleged human rights violations there, including posters calling for the release of political prisoners in Maluku arrested for their peaceful political activism.

Amnesty International is also concerned about their safety in custody, as detained political activists are known to have been tortured and ill-treated in Maluku. The authorities must ensure that the men are allowed access to legal counsel of their choosing, their families and any medical treatment that they may require.

Background

The Republic of South Maluku (RMS), an armed pro-independence movement, officially ended in Maluku with the execution of its leader by the Indonesian authorities in 1966. However, some villagers continue to raise the “Benang Raja” flag there as a peaceful political act of protest against the central government.

Amnesty International has documented dozens of arrests in past years of political activists who have peacefully called for independence, particularly in areas where there has been a history of pro-independence movements such as Maluku and Papua.

Amnesty International takes no position whatsoever on the political status of any province of Indonesia, including calls for independence. However the organization believes that the right to freedom of expression includes the right to peacefully advocate referendums, independence or other political solutions.

The rights to free expression, opinion and peaceful assembly are guaranteed under the Indonesian Constitution and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), to which Indonesia is a state party. While the Indonesian government has the duty and the right to protect life and to maintain public order within its jurisdiction, it must ensure that any restrictions to freedoms of expression and peaceful assembly are no more than is permitted under international human rights law.

In June 2007, 22 political activists in Maluku province were arrested for unfurling the “Benang Raja” flag while performing a traditional “Cakalele” dance in front of the President. After their performance, the police, particularly the anti-terrorist unit Detachment-88, detained all 22 of the dancers. They were tortured or otherwise ill-treated, charged with “rebellion” under Articles 106 and 110 of the Indonesia Criminal Code and are serving sentences of between seven and 20 years’ imprisonment. Amnesty International considers them to be prisoners of conscience. A twenty-third dancer, also a prisoner of conscience, was arrested in June 2008 and sentenced to four years’ imprisonment in March 2009.

ENDS/

Public Document
****************************************
For more information please contact Amnesty International’s press office in London, UK, on +44 20 7413 5566 or press@amnesty.org

Amnesty International, 1 Easton St., London WC1X 0DW, http://www.amnesty.org
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