Daily Archives: October 20, 2010

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

DOZENS FLEE TO PNG

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
independence.

'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

SURVIVAL INTERNATIONAL PRESS RELEASE

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: http://www.survivalinternational.org/news/6598

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
E mr@survivalinternational.org
W http://www.survivalinternational.org/

In the US:

Christina Chauvenet (before 12 pm EST)
T: (+1) 202 525 6972
E: cc@survivalinternational.org

Tess Thackara (after 12 pm EST)
T: (+1) 415 503 1254
E: tt@survivalinternational.org

WPAT: Torture video reveals "Indonesia's Abu Ghraib" on eve of Obama visit

WPAT: Torture video reveals “Indonesia’s Abu Ghraib” on eve of Obama visit

Contact: Ed McWilliams (WPAT) +1-575-648-2078

October 19, 2010 –  A new video shows the torture of helpless men in the Indonesian-ruled territory of West Papua. Monitoring groups are already describing the footage as “Indonesia’s Abu Ghraib.”The video reveals indisputably Indonesian security force brutality, and raises serious questions about the Obama administration’s decision to embrace cooperation with Indonesian security forces engaged in active and ongoing torture.

The video, available at http://material.ahrchk.net/video/AHRC-VID-012-2010-Indonesia.html, is the second in recent months to offer graphic footage of Indonesian  to offer graphic footage of Indonesian security force torture of Papuans. In it, a Papuan man is held to the ground while a hot stick, still smoldering from a fire, is held against his genitals. A plastic bag is wrapped around his head several times, a rifle held against him. Another man has a large knife held against him while he pleads: “I’m just an ordinary civilian, please…” One of his interrogators responds: “I’ll cut your throat… Do not lie, I will kill you! Burn the penis!” The video appears to have been taken on the cell phone of one interrogator. Although the interrogators are dressed in plain clothes, they speak in Javanese and in Indonesian with non-Papuan accents. Plain clothes dress is common for Indonesian security forces in West Papua. The techniques used mean they are almost certainly trained security personnel in the Indonesian army or police. The dialect of the victims places them in the Puncak Jaya region, where security forces are accused of repeated rights abuses.

The extreme brutality revealed in this footage is not new. What is new is that there is now additional video evidence of the brutality suffered by Papuans for nearly five decades. The international community can now clearly witness the indisputably harsh reality of life for Papuans. While Indonesia continues on the path of democratization and peaceful resolution of disputes, one region is sent on the opposite path: towards ongoing military domination, widespread suppression of political activity, and routine use of torture and other severe violations of basic human rights. In West Papua, the brutal and unaccountable Indonesian military and its accomplices, the militarized police ( Brimob), special forces ( Kopassus) and “anti-terror” force (Detachment 88) continue to operate with impunity under the old dictatorship’s rules: peaceful dissent is criminalized; civil society leaders are humiliated and intimidated and the international community is precluded from any effective monitoring of conditions in this besieged community.

Thanks to the courage of Papuan human rights advocates in the face of harsh security measures designed to silence them, the world periodically has been witness to the harsh rule of West Papua. In the past, the faith in international justice and humanity demonstrated by these courageous Papuans has been betrayed by the international community’s deference to the Indonesian government’s insistence that neither its course nor rule there not be challenged. Numerous governments have placed the territorial integrity of Indonesia and the desire to support its democratization process first. In the process, however, they have abandoned what could have been constructive efforts to uphold human rights in West Papua, which continue to be systematically violated.

Geopolitical and commercial goals led the U.S. government to ignore Suharto dictatorship atrocities targeting its own people and the people of East Timor for decades. President Bill Clinton acknowledged this when East Timor gained its independence in 2002, saying: “I don’t believe America or any of the other countries were sufficiently sensitive in the beginning and for a long time, a long time before 1999, going all the way back to the ’70s, to the suffering of the people of East Timor.” It was the suffering of the people of East Timor that led to Congress deciding to suspend military cooperation with Indonesia.

The system of security force rule and repression of peaceful dissent has been dismantled in much of Indonesia, but the same security system and the same systematic human rights violations continue in West Papua today. Such stopgap solutions as “special autonomy” have been clearly rejected by the Papuan people. Despite the continued human rights violations, the Obama administration has continued the Bush administration’s policy of support to the Indonesian security forces. It has continued support to the Indonesian military through the IMET program, and support through the Anti-Terror Assistance Program to the notorious Detachment 88 of the Indonesian National Police, credibly accused of torture and other rights violations. It has resumed cooperation with the Indonesian special forces (Kopassus) notwithstanding that unit’s  decades-old record of human rights abuse including recent, credible accounts of brutality targeting Papuan civilians.  In so doing the Obama Administration, like its predecessors, has wittingly or unwittingly made itself complicit in the repression now underway in West Papua.

The United States, under President John F. Kennedy, was responsible for the transfer of West Papua to Indonesian rule. In that act, the United States made itself co-responsible for the outcome of its actions. Successive administrations have not been sufficiently sensitive to the ongoing human rights violations, including torture to this day, which resulted from Indonesian rule.

President Obama’s upcoming visit to Indonesia offers an opportunity to end the silence on West Papua, and to craft new policies that advance human rights rather than lending support to human rights violators. Information about the ongoing human rights violations in West Papua was heard on September 22 by the House of Representatives Sub-committee on Asia, the Pacific.

The Obama administration should:

    Insist upon an investigation and prosecution of those who recently tortured Papuans in Puncak Jaya

    Seek an investigation by relevant United Nations human rights rapporteurs of this and other instances of torture in West Papua Suspend cooperation with Indonesian security forces accused of systematic human rights violations, including Detachment 88 and the Brimob (Mobile Brigade) of the National Police and the Indonesian special forces (Kopassus) Call for full and open access for journalists, humanitarian assistance personnel including the International Committee of the red Cross and other international monitors to all of West Papua Seek meetings between President Obama and Papuan human rights and civil society leaders during his visit to Indonesia Call upon the Indonesian government to carry out an internationally facilitated, senior-level dialogue process with Papuan officials and civil society designed to resolve the Papuan conflict peacefully, as was done in Aceh province

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Posted with additional links: http://etan.org/news/2010/10video.htm