Bintang Papua: Komnas HAM confirms torture video and denies any manipulation

Bintang Papua, 2010 21 October 2010

Komnas HAM confirms torture video – nothing to do with manipulation

Jayapura:  Although the military commander of the Cenderawasih military command will be conducting an investigation into the use of violence against Papuans by members of the TNI – Indonesian armed forces – as seen on a video that is widely circulating on the internet, the National Human Rights Commission Papuan branch has confirmed that members of the TNI did indeed torture a citizen. The reports have nothing to do with manipulation.

Mathius Murib SH, deputy chairman of Komnas HAM Papua , who is himself from Puncak Jaya, told journalists on  Thursday that the events shown on the video occurred on 17 March, 2010 at 3pm in Kelome, district of Tingginambut, and the victim was Rev. Kindeman Gira who was shot dead by a member of the TNI.

‘The victim was a God-fearing man and a member of the congregation of the GIDI Church in Turagi, Tingginambut. Although other sources have said that the incident occurred in April 2010, Komnas HAM sticks by its findings based on an investigation at the location of the crime.

One of the victims of the violence which lasted for six minutes and which was  photographed was able to escape with his life, but his physical condition was very bad and he is badly traumatised, making it impossible for him to give an account of what happened.

Military operations should stop
Komnas HAM has meanwhile called on the military commander of Cenderawaih military command and the chief of police in Papua to halt all operations in the area and not to increase the number of troops there which can only lead to yet more trauma and more victims among the civilian population in Puncak Jaya.

The circulation of the video showing the violence has led to strong condemnation from a variety of sources. Murib said that acts of violence have been occurring in Puncak Jaya  for a long time, ever since 2004 and up until 2010, but such an approach has not resulting in ending the conflict  and has only made things worse.

The security forces and those in charge of law enforcement were urged to behave in a more professional way and act in accordance with Human Rights Principles and Standards in everything that they do in Puncak Jaya and everywhere else in Papua.

Those civilian groups who bear arms in any parts of Papua  should immediately halt their actions and engage in consolidation to restore the situation in Puncak Jaya to normal.

Murib said that from 17 August 2004 until 2010, 50 deaths of civilians and members of the security forces have been reported.

Komnas HAM has also asked the governor of the province to make it possible for the church to enter into negotiations with their followers in the region to behave in a spirit of love and friendship and eschew all methods of violence.

The chairman of Front Pepera, Selpius Bobii said that a number of bloody incidents had occurred right across Papua and West  Papua, giving clear evidence that the Indonesian state is committing acts of violence as is revealed in the two videos lasting one minute and ten minutes. He said that the army and the police should stop denying the use of violence against the civilian population in the central highlands. ‘There is authentic evidence and it cannot be denied by the security forces, saying that the situation is under control. The commander should also admit that this is being perpetrated by his subordinates and should not try to deny things.’

He said the military commander and chief of police must take responsibility* *for all the human rights violations occurring in Papua and West  Papua and stop telling lies about the s ituation in Papua being normal. He also called upon the Indonesian people  to open themselves to talks  with the Papuan people to find a solution to all the problems occurring i the Land of  Papua.

The number of victims since 2004:

2004: seven people died and four were seriously wounded.
2005 five  people were seriously wounded.
2006 two people died.
2007 one person died.
2009 five people died and eight were wounded.
2010 four people were taken hostage, five people were wounded and four people died.
In 2004, five hartop vehicles were destroyed by fire and one police patrol vehicle was shot at.
In 2007. a rifle was seized.
In 2009 six weapons were seized, as well as 29 bullets, two ammunition magazines taken, one S-Trada Troton was shot at, two TNI command posts were destroyed as well as a steel bridge, while two primary school buildings and one lower secondary school – SMP – were burned down.

In 2010, a sircraft was shot at and there was an attack on a TNI command post.

Source: Komnas HA Papua report.

Translated in full by TAPOL


From Bintang Papua, 20 October 2010

Abridged in translation by TAPOL


Jayapura: The video showing members of the Indonesian army (TNI) using violence against Papuans is still being hotly discussed here.

Many  people doubt whether the incident occurred while quite  a few people are convinced that it did. The military commander of the Cenderawaih military command, Major-General Hotma Marbun, has promised to  investigate the video, a decision that has been welcomed by DPRP member Deer Tabuni who formerly fought alongside the TPN-OMP in Tingginambut, Puncak Jaya. He urged the military commander to keep his promise and investigate the video. .He said: ‘If what is shown on the video is indeed true, then the security forces and all groups in society should get involved in cross-checking at the grassroots, to confirm the authenticity of the video. If it is indeed true, then whoever produced the video must be summoned as a witness and take responsibility for circulating the video. If it proves not to be true, then the person was trying to create a situation that is not conducive must be called to account. so as to prevent the local people from being victimised, chased and tortured..’

He also said that whether this is true or has been manipulated, it would appear that human rights were violated. He also said that members of the TPN/OPM in Tingginambut and friends of Goliath Tabuni have called on the provincial government, the I

News from Papua: Villagers flee to PNG, 7 arrested; DAP leader on Papua's peaceful struggle; Imparsial on need to criticise Komnas HAM

>From Bintang Papua, 19 October 2010


After the Papuan Morning Star Flag was recently flown outside a
customary dwelling in Kampung Ambora, dozens of villagers have fled
across the border to Papua New Guinea, fearing that they are likely to
be hunted down by the security forces.

This was confirmed for Bintang Papua  by Decky Yakore, a member of the
district legislative council  - DPRD of Jayawijaya district..

In connection with this incident, the local police force in Jayapura -
polres Jayapura - have taken seven people into custody. They have
already been designated as suspects and will face charges under Article
110 and Article 107 of the Criminal Code, regarding conspiring to
engaged in acts to overthrow the government, and face punishment of up
to 15 years.

According to a local inhabitant named Daud (not his real name), the flag
flying occurred as the result of a provocation, and others too were
arrested. News was spread that Papua was now free, following a visit to
the area by chairman of DAP, Forkorus Yaboisembut who had just returned
from the USA, which inspired the people to unfurl the Papuan flag.


JUBI 19 October 2010

Papuan people will use peaceful means in their struggle

Forkorus Yaboisembu, chairman od DAP, the Papuan Customary Council has
said, on his return from the USA that the US government (sic) has
promised to support the struggle of  the Papuan people.He said that
fifty members of the US Congress, along with 80 representatives of a
variety of NGOs have proclaimed their support for the Papuan struggle.

The Papuan people he said are gathering together as much data as
possible and continuing to formulate their strategy for a peaceful
struggle, he said, citing the words of the leader of the Republican
Party in the US, Michael Steele.

Forkorus also met John Miller, director of the East Timor Action
Network, to discussed ETAN's support for the Papuan struggle for

'You supported Timor Leste in their struggle for freedom, which means
that you should also support Papua's struggle for freedom.

Forkorus also used this visit to Washington to inform the US government
via the intermediary of Congress about why the Papuan people want
independence . He said they had also had a  private meeting with the
Republican Party.


JUBI, 18 October 2010

IMPARSIAL:  Komnas HAM should be criticised

Imparsial issued a statement in Jakarta  in which it said that Komnas
HAM, the National Human Rights Commission, needs to be criticised in
connection with a number of cases of gross violations of human rights
that have occurred in Papua.

Imparsial director, Poenky Indarti said that there are many human rights
violation cases in Papua that still not been resolved. Many of the cases
have got stuck with the police and the attorney-general's office.
Poengky said: 'The police are not capable of resolving these cases.'

She said that the police are always spying on civilian activists,
especially those involved in defending human rights and always making
accusations of separatism against human rights activists.

She also said that incidents of violence continue to occur. These
include the case of Opinus Tabuni who was killed in August 2008 and the
case of the JUBI journalist Ardiansyah Matrias, who was killed on 30
July 2010.

'Human rights activists need to continue to sruggle about these cases,'
she said.

TAPOL calls for Papua torture enquiry

Open letter to the UK Foreign Secretary:

19 October 2010

The Right Hon. William Hague, MP
Foreign Secretary,
Foreign and Commonwealth Office,
King Charles Street,
London SW1A 1AA

Dear Mr. Hague,

We have just learnt of an incident involving two Papuan men who were
reportedly subjected to very serious acts of torture while being
interrogated in the region of Puncak Jaya in West Papua by two or
more men who appear to be members of the Indonesian security forces.

The incident, which appears to have occurred earlier this year, was
recorded on a mobile phone by an individual who was on the spot and
circulated widely on YouTube four days ago.  The video has since been
removed by YouTube, according to yesterday's issue of The Jakarta
Post, 'because of its shocking and disgusting content'.

Monday's edition of The Sydney Morning Herald, which reported the
incident at length after having obtained a copy, describes one of the
men under interrogation as having been stripped naked and bound, with
one of the interrogators placing his foot on the man's chest, while a
colleague administers the torture with a stick that has been
burnt  and is smoldering, causing the man to scream in agony.

This incident is clearly a grave violation of  the Convention against
Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
which Indonesia signed in 1985 and subsequently ratified in 1988.

In view of the extreme seriousness of this incident and the light it
sheds on alleged actions by members of the Indonesian security
forces, TAPOL urges the British Government to make immediate
representations to the Indonesian Government for an investigation to
be conducted by independent experts in order to verify the accuracy
of this report.

We in TAPOL are well aware that the British embassy in Jakarta
regularly follows the situation in West Papua which means that our
Government is well placed to seek the cooperation of the Indonesian
authorities in matters of this nature.

We believe that action by our Government is bound to be taken
seriously by the Indonesian Government and will impress upon them the
need to conduct an immediate investigation. If the incident is
confirmed, the men responsible for these acts of torture should be
called to account and should be severely punished.

Finally we urge the UK Government to suspend all forms of military
cooperation with the Indonesian security forces until there is full
accountability for this incident.  We would be grateful if you could
let us know the current extent of such cooperation and the action you
propose to take.

Yours sincerely

Carmel Budiardjo

SURVIVAL INTERNATIONAL: Shocking video of Papuan torture prompts calls for inquiry


October 20, 2010

Shocking video of Papuan torture prompts calls for inquiry

Disturbing and graphic footage of two tribal Papuan men being tortured, allegedly by Indonesian soldiers, has led to widespread demands for an independent inquiry. One of the victims is an elderly man.

The incident is believed to have been filmed on the mobile phone of one of the soldiers as a ‘trophy’. Analysis of the footage suggests it was taken in May this year in the highland region of West Papua, where a military operation has been taking place.

The shocking footage shows an elderly man stripped naked, a plastic bag being forced over his head, and screaming in agony as a burning stick is held to his genitals. Exact details of the victims are hard to confirm due to military control of the area and a ban on journalists and human rights organisations from entering the region. However, reports suggest that the elderly man is still missing, presumed dead and the younger man, who is shown with a knife held to his face and throat, has since been released.

The Papuan tribal people have suffered enormously at the hands of the Indonesian military since 1963. The Indonesian army has a long history of human rights violations against the Papuans, including killings, torture and the rape of women, and children as young as three. For many years Indonesian soldiers have taken trophy photos, and now films, of killings and rapes, which they use to intimidate and humiliate Papuans.

Survival International’s Director, Stephen Corry said, ‘This footage of an elderly man being tortured, allegedly by Indonesian soldiers, is truly horrific. There must be a full, independent investigation into this atrocity. Soldiers have been killing, raping and torturing Papuans with impunity for almost 50 years. The international community cannot sit back and allow this to continue.’

To read this story online:

Notes to Editors:

Survival campaigner, Sophie Grig, who has been to West Papua, is available for interview.

This video clip is an excerpt of a longer video, most of which is unsuitable for general viewing. Broadcasters can contact Survival for further footage.

For more information and images, or to use the attached image, please contact Miriam Ross:

T (+44) (0)20 7687 8734 or (+44) (0)7504543367

In the US:

Christina Chauvenet (before 12 pm EST)
T: (+1) 202 525 6972

Tess Thackara (after 12 pm EST)
T: (+1) 415 503 1254

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