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

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