Socrates is not afraid; DPRP should summon military command and police chief

Bintang Papua, 11 August 2010

Sokrates is not afraid

DPRP should summon military command and police chief

Jayapura: Although faced with the threat of the use of force by the police, the chairman of the Central Board of the Baptist Churches in Papua, Reverend Socrates Sofyan Yoman, is not afraid.

On the contrary, he has accused the police of lack of fairness in their law enforcement in the Land of Papua. He said that complaints about the involvement of the police and the army have been made by many other people but he is the only person to have been summoned by them.

‘I am very concerned at the unfairness of the police and their lack of professionalism,’ said Socrates in a short statement to the press..

He said that many other people have criticised the security situation in the district of Puncak Jaya but none of them have been summoned by the police. ‘In my opinion, the forces of law enforcement are acting on behalf of sponsors keen to exert pressure on me as a church leader.’

He has repeatedly said that he is ready to face any consequences and will never run away should the police use force against him.

‘If they want to come and arrest me, I am waiting for them in my office or at home. I am not going anywhere because this is my homeland,’ he said.

It is worth recalling that Yoman rejected a decision by the Constitutional Court in April this year to prohibit the delivery of several of his books to the shops, and he said quite frankly on the Kick Andi programme on Metro TV that he totally rejected this ban. The Baptist Church believes that the security forces are imprisoning justice and democracy.

He said that the Papuan Baptist Church has called on the Indonesian parliament, the DPR, to summon the military commander of West Papua and the chief of police of Papua to explain why it is that the Puncak Jaya case which has been going on since 2004 has never ended, to reveal who is behind it and who is benefiting from a case that has caused so many casualties among the people.’


Bintang Papua, 11 August 2010

Sem Yaru not afraid of being punished

On Thursday 12 August, the court in the case against Semuel Yaru aka Sem Yar, Luther Wrai and Alex Mebri (on the wanted list) who are being tried for rebellion in conection with a peaceful demonstration and flying the Morning Star flag, is due to announce its verdict, according to a member of legal team, Gustaf Kawer.

He said that the defendant Sem Yaru has said on several occasions during the trial that he is ready to face the verdict and will comply with the court’s decision. ‘I have been confronted for years with the issue of ‘makar’ (rebellion). I am ready for whatever happens,’ he said.

Making it clear that he is not guilty, Sem Yaru said that he is not afraid of whatever happens, however harsh the sentence will be. ‘Why should I be afraid? This is a democracy and everything that I have done is in accordance with [the principles of ] democracy.’

On 16 November 2009, Sem Yaru, along with Luther Wrait and Alex Mebri mobilised the masses and produced a leaflet, as well as making other preparations for a demonstration in the forecourt of the office of the Majelis Rakyat Papua in Koraraja. On that occasion, Sem Yaru held aloft the Morning Star flag and tied it to a tree.

Thereupon he was arrested by the police and charged under Article 106 of the Criminal Code for rebellion and under Article 110 for incitement.

Komnas HAM calls on security forces to halt military operations in Puncak Jaya

Bintang Papua, 11 August 2010

Komnas HAM calls on security forces to halt military operations in Puncak Jaya

The Papuan branch of the National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM) has called on the police and the army to immediately end their military operations in Puncak Jaya district because they will never solve the root of the problems in the area.

The Komnas HAM statement was made public at its office in Jayapura by deputy chairman Mathius Murib on Wednesday.

He said that from 17 August 2004 up to August 2010 the inhabitants of Puncak Jaya have lived in a constant state of trauma because of reports that dozens of people as well as members of the security forces have been shot dead and murdered in Puncak Jaya. ‘As a result, the people there are traumatised and unable to carry on with their activities, with some of them leaving the area in search of tranquillity elsewhere.’

Murib said that in order to avoid further casualties, the police and the army (Polri/TNI) should immediately stop all operations to hunt people down in Puncak Jaya district and consider other ways of resolving the problems there.

‘We believe that force of arms or other forms of violence will never resolve these problems and will only lead to yet more problems and more casualties.’

He also urged the civilian population in the area to remain calm and consolidate their efforts so as to be able to function normally, and to avoid being provoked by issues coming from irresponsible elements.

Murib said that Komnas HAM will be urging the district chief of Puncak Jaya as well as civil society, in particular the church, to draft a comprehensive account of developments during the current year.

He said that the role of the church was important because church mediation has been able to solve a number of problems in the Land of Papua, and moreover those involved in the conflict were all members of the church.

The Komnas HAM team which has just returned from Puncak Jaya has also called on senior police officers in Puncak Jaya to initiate legal proceedings against all those persons or groups deemed to be involved in the Puncak Jaya case from 2004 up to 2010.

‘The Puncak Jaya case is not a new case and thereforre all individuals or groups involved in the case for the past six years should be brought to account in accordance with the laws in Indonesia,’ said Murib, who has just returned from Puncak Jaya where he conducted investigations.


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