(not for publication as a press release)

December 1 2010

Dear Friends and Colleagues,
as the silly season of spending on stuff approaches, we are asking you to spare a thought for those being dispossessed in West Papua, and to help their voice become their weapon by giving a gift to West Papua Media Alerts.  West Papua Media can only exist with the support of people who believe in change, like yourself.  Please visit westpapuamedia.info and click on the “donate”  button, or you can go directly to our Paypal donations page.  For those who prefer not to use Paypal, Bank Details are at the end of this appeal.

Currently in West Papua, after decades of brutal oppression by the Indonesian occupation, Papuan people are skilling up and speaking out, alerting the world to the ongoing situation in Papua and helping create change on the ground.They have embraced the opportunities of citizen media to advance their struggle, and are reporting to the world their previously unreported stories of how they are surviving constant Crimes Against Humanity.  For the last few months West Papuan people across all sectors of society have been holding unprecedented mobilisations to reclaim their land.  But they need your help to broadcast their call to action.

West Papua Media Alerts, now online, was started to provide a professional service to international media interested in covering the issue of West Papua,  the moves of the Papuan people to end human rights abuses, to hold the Indonesian security forces to account for their systematic human rights abuses, and to bring unreported Papuan issues to the front page.  We have been taking a leading role in the hard work  in raising the profile of West Papua this year, with significant investigations that have broken several major stories this year, and we have gained deep trust from the people of Papua in reporting their stories.

We have established very close working relationships with key international media organisations, and have been doing much quiet behind the scenes work as well as several very public coups.  A few examples include:

  • the sourcing, verification and release of deeply shocking leaked videos of Indonesian military brutality;
  • Joint investigation with Fairfax media on the abuses conducted by the Australian trained and funded Detachment 88 “counter” terror unit of the Indonesian military and police in Maluku;
  • Reporting the murder of journalists in West Papua by members of the Indonesian security forces;
  • Intensive coverage and media capacity building for the June/July mass actions of West Papuan people rejecting Special Autonomy and calling for independence;
  • Fixing and organising for many international journalists working undercover in West Papua;

Some of our real time work has assisted directly in the prevention of mass acts of violence by the Indonesian security forces, such as our coverage and media advocacy fixing of the July 8-9 occupation of the  regional Parliament House.  With less than ten minutes before the deadline for dispersal of the 2 day rally of over 45,000 people, the Indonesian security forces were forced to back down due to a BBC report, organised by West Papua Media Alerts, that brought international attention the crisis situation.   Extensive international diplomacy occurred in that 15 minutes, together with the extreme discipline of the mass protest, forced Indonesian security to back down.  That is just one example of the power of a real time media tool such as  West Papua Media Alerts to avert disaster and save lives.  Help keep us effective well into 2011.

Once again, you can donate by clicking to our Paypal site:
or by visiting westpapuamedia.info and clicking on the Donate button at the top right of the page;

This has primarily been self funded, and our well has run dry.  Several of our members can no longer contribute funding as they have to pay for medical costs associated with overwork.  We are at the stage that without funding soon we will have to review our operations.  Please help now to allow us to continue, we can only survive with your help.

This work  comes at a cost.  After the release of the torture videos, West Papua Media was the first of five organisations subjected to a massive, organised Distributed Denial of Service cyber-attack, which investigating agencies have classified as an act of cyber-terrorism.  We have had to spend a great deal of time and money to make our systems resistant to further acts of aggression. However, these attacks only increased our resolve to keep working harder to expose Indonesian abuses in Papua

In 2011, West Papua Media is conducting groundbreaking citizen and human rights media safety and investigations training, and is also seeking to engage and support many more Papuan journalists to tell their peoples story to the world.  Simply to break even and cover our immediate costs for this work, we have an initial target of A$6000 while we search for ongoing funding for this groundbreaking project. your contribution will help secure major and safe citizen media development outcomes for West Papuan people.

Once again, you can donate by clicking on the link below:
https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=ACBNBWT6XA4KJ or by visiting westpapuamedia.info and clicking on the Donate button at the top right of the page;

or (if you are in Australia) by depositing directly into the following Bank Account:
Bendigo Bank
BSB:  633000
Account Number:  140780594

If you are from outside of Australia and wish to do a bank transfer, please contact us directly at wpmedia_admin@riseup.net .

The development of West Papua`s own media voice is something which needs your support.  Please help us to help West Papuan people make their voice their weapon.

With deep appreciation and solidarity,

Nick Chesterfield,
on behalf of West Papua Media.

Video Testimony of Torture Victim Tunaliwor Kiwo

Video Testimony of Kiwo

(Subtitle – English)

From Dewan Adat Papua via EngageMedia.org

In this video West Papuan farmer Tunaliwor Kiwo recounts the details of his torture by Indonesian soldiers on May 30 2010. Indonesian soldiers arrested Kiwo and his neighbor Telangga Gire on May 30 in Papua’s Puncak Jaya regency. This video was shot on October 23, 2010 and released by the Papuan Customary Council. Kiwo describes the torture he suffered for 2 days before escaping from the soldiers on June 2.


Related content

* News Item Transcript of Kiwo’s Torture Testimony (English)
* Video Torture of Tingginambut men (Papua) – English Subtitles
* Video Video Testimony of Kiwo (Subtitle – Bahasa Indonesia)
* News Item Transcript: Tunaliwor Kiwo Testimony (Bahasa Indonesia)
* Video Kiwo Testimony, High-res, no subtitles

Full Description

After the public release of the torture video the Indonesian government promised to investigate but now claims it cannot identify the perpetrators and is dragging it’s feet on taking action.

In the 10-minute torture video previously released to the public on October 18, soldiers are seen kicking Kiwo’s face and chest, burning his face with a cigarette, applying burning wood to his penis, and placing a knife to Gire’s neck. Indonesia is party to the UN Convention Against Torture and has strict obligations to promptly investigate and prosecute all incidents of torture and to ensuire that victims and witnesses are protected against all ill-treatment or intimidation as a consequence of any complaint or evidence given.

Copyright 2009, by the Contributing Authors. Cite/attribute Resource. dewanadatpapua. (2010, November 19). Video Testimony of Kiwo (Subtitle – English). Retrieved November 23, 2010, from EngageMedia Web site: http://www.engagemedia.org/Members/dewanadatpapua/videos/kiwotestimony_en.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License

Bintang Papua: Rejection of OTSUS intensifies DPRP should convene plenary session

[All items abridged in translation]

Bintang Papua, 1 November 2010

Rejection of OTSUS intensifies
DPRP should convene plenary session

The rejection of OTSUS, the Special Autonomy Law of 2001,  has intensified  with a demonstration outside the office of the regional legislative assembly, the DPRP calling for it to convene a plenary session to discuss  the eleven recommendations adopted recently by the MRP which included the rejection of OTSUS.

‘We declare that the OTSUS law adopted in 2001 has resulted in no significant  improvements in the living conditions of the Papuan people, and we state that OTSUS has failed.’

The chairman of Pepera PB, Selpius Bobii said that OTSUS provided for a system that sides with the Papuan people, and which protects and empowers them. But in the nine years since the enactment of the law, not a single special regulation as required under the law has been adopted. There have been inconsistencies between the attitude and the actions of the central government.

The chairman of the Customary Youth  of Papua, Wilson Uruway, presented a joint statement to the deputy chairman of the DPRP who was urged to make a statement in response. He said that all the aspirations of the people submitted to the assembly had been discussed. Those concerning the central government would be quickly forwarded to the government in the same way that the eleven recommendations of the MRP has been forwarded.

The joint statement was supported by a large number of groups and NGOs.

Hardly any of the OTSUS funds  has not been used in ways that would assist and help indigenous Papuans but had been misdirected as ‘fictive funds’. The central government was accused of thwarting the MRP at all levels of its activities, as a result of which it has be incapable of struggling for the rights of the Papuan people.

Among the indicators of the problem was the tardiness in adopting special regulations – Perdasi and Perdadus – regarding management of the administration and  for economic development. Dualism between provincial and districts administrations has occurred in their adoption of different regulations

Before demonstrating in front of the DPRP, the crowd gathered at Expo Waena, where they waited for a group from Sentani Customary Council to join them.

One speaker called on the government  to speak out against acts of intimidation, threats and killings of Papuans perpetrated by the TNI/Army and the Police.

A group led by the chairman of DAP Forkorus Yaboisembu arrived at the DPRP travelling on several trucks.

The demonstration was surrounded by two special Brimob units and members of the local police. Nevertheless, the action proceeded peacefully


Historic Papua day commemorated

Bintang Papua, 19 November 2010

19 November 1969  is a historic day for the Papuan people, a day regarded as been sacred by many sections of the people struggling for independence. On this day in 2010,  groups gathered to recall the historic event when the  Papuan issue was discussed in the US Congress, although it did not clearly stated that the US Congress fully supports Papuan sovereignty.

At a gathering held to socialise the events at the US Congress, Wilson Waimbo Uruwaya  announced that they would hold a peaceful demonstration calling for the peaceful solution of Papua’s status which was discussed by the UN General Assembly in 1969.

Wilson said that all elements of the Papuan struggle were united in their determination to socialise the results of the US Congress on which occasion, a discussion took place about crimes against humanity and the need to seek a solution to the difficult problems that were being faced by the Papuan people to the present day.

The discussions in the US Congress which had occurred for the first time have taken the Papuan people a step forward in their history of struggle.

HRW to Indonesia: Stop Stalling on Investigating Torture Video Episode

Human Rights Watch logo
Image via Wikipedia


For Immediate Release

Indonesia: Stop Stalling on Investigating Torture Video Episode
Papuan Farmer Describes Days of Abuse by Soldiers

(New York, November 22, 2010) – The Indonesian government should use the newly available video testimony of a torture victim to mount a thorough, impartial, and transparent investigation into the episode, Human Rights Watch said today. The torture of Tunaliwor Kiwo, a Papuan farmer, and his neighbor, was recorded with a mobile phone on May 30, 2010, and the video came to light in October. Kiwo recounted the details of his torture in videotaped testimony only made public in recent days.

Soldiers arrested Kiwo and Telangga Gire on May 30 in Papua’s Puncak Jaya regency. In a 10-minute video of the torture session, soldiers are seen kicking Kiwo’s face and chest, burning his face with a cigarette, applying burning wood to his penis, and placing a knife to Gire’s neck. In the newly available videotaped testimony, Kiwo describes that torture and details other forms of torture he suffered for two more days before he escaped from the soldiers on June 2. Soldiers also tortured Gire, who was finally released after interventions by his wife and mother. The government has promised to investigate, but claims it cannot identify the perpetrators.

“Once again, the authorities are sitting on their hands rather than fulfilling their obligations and proactively identifying and prosecuting the soldiers responsible,” said Phil Robertson, deputy director of Human Rights Watch’s Asia division. “Kiwo has shown tremendous bravery in coming forward – he deserves justice and protection from retaliation, not another half-hearted army investigation and cover-up.”

Indonesia is a party in the United Nations Convention Against Torture and has strict obligations to investigate and prosecute promptly all incidents of torture and to ensure that victims and witnesses are protected against all ill-treatment or intimidation as a consequence of filing a complaint or giving evidence.

Kiwo said in his testimony that he and Gire had been riding a motorcycle from their hometown, Tingginambut, to Mulia, the capital of Puncak Jaya, when soldiers stopped them at a military checkpoint in Kwanggok Nalime, Yogorini. Kiwo said that soldiers seized and hit them, bound their arms with rope, dragged them to the back of the army post, and tied their feet with barbed wire. He said the soldiers tortured him for three days, beating him with their hands and sticks, crushing his toes with pliers, suffocating him with plastic bags, burning his genitals and other body parts, cutting his face and head and smearing the wounds with chilies, and using other forms of abuse.

Kiwo’s videotaped testimony with subtitles in English and Indonesian can be viewed on the Engage Media website.

“The Indonesian government at the highest levels should guarantee that Tunaliwor Kiwo and Telangga Gire will be protected from retaliation and considered witnesses to crimes,” Robertson said. “The testimony of these two men will be critically important in prosecuting the soldiers who tortured them, so protecting them needs to be a top priority.”

The October media coverage of the May 30 torture video prompted President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to hold a limited cabinet meeting on October 22, after which the coordinating security minister, Marshall Djoko Suyanto, admitted that the video showed Indonesian soldiers torturing Papuan villagers. Yudhoyono reportedly ordered the military to investigate immediately, but the government has provided no information about the progress of the investigation.

The National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) estimates that as many as 50 civilians have been killed in the area since the Indonesian military and police began military operations there last year.

Representatives of the Papuan Customary Council provided the video of Kiwo’s testimony to the National Commission on Human Rights on November 5. The Commission set up a team to investigate the torture episode as well as other human rights abuses alleged to have occurred in Puncak Jaya. The Commission has scheduled a trip to Papua to investigate further, though an earlier visit in late October to investigate the Kiwo-Gire torture video was frustrated by a lack of access and cooperation from military and local officials.

Unexpectedly, Maj. Gen. Hotma Marbun, the Indonesian military commander in Papua, was removed from his post on November 12. It was announced as a “routine transfer” even though Marbun had only been in Papua since January. Human Rights Watch has no information indicating that this transfer is punitive or connected in any way with the torture video. His replacement, Brig. Gen. Erfi Triassunu, should ensure that investigations in the torture case are carried out thoroughly and impartially, and that army officials under his command fully cooperate, Human Rights Watch said.

“Changing military commanders will not root out impunity,” Robertson said. “The victims deserve justice. The Indonesian military and police in Papua should fully cooperate with investigators from the National Commission on Human Rights.”

To view the videotaped testimony of Tunaliwor Kiwo, please visit:


To read the October 2010 Human Rights Watch news release “Indonesia: Investigate Torture Video From Papua,” please visit:

To read the June 2010 Human Rights Watch report “Prosecuting Political Aspiration: Indonesia’s Political Prisoners,” please visit:

For more information, please contact:
In Jakarta, Elaine Pearson (English): +1-646-291-7169 (mobile); or +62-812-8222-3591 (mobile)
In Bangkok, Phil Robertson (English, Thai): +66-850-608-406 (mobile)
In Washington, DC, Sophie Richardson (English, Mandarin): +1-202-612-4341; or +1-917-721-7473 (mobile)

Appendix: Confusion over two different torture videos from Papua

March 17, 2010 video
On November 5, 2010, the Jayapura military tribunal opened the trial against Master Pvt. Sahminan Husain Lubis, Pvt. Second Class Joko Sulistiono, Pvt. Second Class Di Purwanto, and their commander Second Lt. Cosmos N. of the Kostrad 753 battalion on the charge of “disobeying orders.” Cosmos led a 12-person unit to man a checkpoint in Kolome village, Illu district, Puncak Jaya. Many international and national reporters, and some Indonesian officials, mistakenly believed the trial was to focus on the torture of Kiwo-Gire as captured in the video of May 30, 2010.

During the trial, it became clear that the case involved a different incident of torture also caught on video but filmed on March 17, 2010. In the proceedings, the soldiers admitted the torture depicted in the video. According to Cosmos, the incident happened when his team conducted a routine patrol. He said he received intelligence information suggesting that there was an AK-47 and Mauser weapons stockpile in Gurage village.

The team entered the village and separated the men and women. One by one, they questioned all the men, and when they did not receive responses they considered acceptable, the soldiers began kicking and punching the villagers. Second Pvt. Ishak used a Nokia N-70 mobile phone to record the interrogations and beatings. He told the court that Cosmos had ordered him to do so.

Observers at the trial reported to Human Rights Watch that a judge, Lt. Col. CHK Adil Karo Karo, told Ishak, “You’re stupid. Knowing how sensitive it was, why did you keep recording it anyway?” It was a quick trial with only two sessions for hearings and not a single external witness was summoned by the court. On November 12, the Jayapura military tribunal found Cosmos and the three privates guilty of “disobeying orders.” Cosmos was sentenced to seven months. The three privates were sentenced to five months each.

May 30, 2010 video
The May 30, 2010 video showed a number of soldiers with two bound Papuan men lying on a dirt road. An electronic analysis of the video showed that it was taken at 1:30 p.m. A Puncak Jaya-based official of the Papuan Customary Council reported in August 2010 that two men had been tortured on the afternoon of May 30: Tunaliwor Kiwo and Telangga Gire. Moribnak had managed to interview Gire in July. Moribnak wrote that the torture had probably taken place in Yogorini village, Tingginambut district, Puncak Jaya regency. It allegedly involved members of Kostrad 753rd battalion. Given government restrictions on international organizations entering these areas, Human Rights Watch has not been able to independently confirm the actual location where the torture took place or the identity of the unit of the soldiers.

Kiwo escaped from the soldiers on June 2, and the soldiers released Gire after his mother and his wife had pleaded for his life.

Human Rights Watch issued a statement on October 20, calling on the Indonesian government to investigate the incident seriously.

Brimob should act professionally and be loved by the people

Bintang Papua, 15 November 2010

Abridged in translation

Brimob should act professionally and be loved by the people
The commander of the Brimob unit in Papua has called on his men to avoid acts of violence in resolving problems that may arise. Speaking on the occasion of Brimob’s 65th anniversary, Police Commissioner Prasetyo said: ‘We need to be firm but without using violence. We may feel angry but we should not act in a spirit of anger.,’ he said.

Saying that these words were aimed at members of the force in Papua, he acknowledged that this would involve a process, over time. ‘It’s not something that is easy to do, like turning your hand upside-down and could take quite a long time.’

He said that the changes must start from the top. ‘We must set an example. We should not behave arrogantly towards the people but behave as leaders towards their subordinates, and stop beating up people.’

Measures were also being taken to reinforce the number of personnel and improve their equipment to ensure that they preserve security in those places where their presence is needed, without bringing in extra forces from elsewhere.

He referred to statements made recently by a number of Papuan leaders concerning the TNI (armed forces) and the police that had been reported in the media about the use of violence towards Papuans. He said that in principle, the presence of Brimob in these places was legitimate.’If any of our members behave incorrectly, then they should face sanctions,’ he said.

The national chief of police spoke abut the history of Brimob which was established in November 1946 as a special police force that had been active during the Japanese occupation of Indonesia. In 1961, Brimob was highly praised by President Suharto.

He said that the occurrence of many disturbances within the community meant that the presence of Brimob was necessary. It was, he said. a unit that was trained to handle all high-intensity disturbances of security.

[Comment: Brimob is a special unit of the Indonesian police force, Polri. Some years ago, it was decided that the Indonesian army, the TNI should take a back seat in West Papua and it would left to the police force to be in charge of maintaining ‘security’ in Papua. Members of the regular police force are frequently condemned in many parts of Indonesia for using violence against ordinary members of the public and for corruption. But as far as we know, it is only in Papua that Brimob has been brought in and deployed on a permanent basis.

As readers will know, several serious cases of the use of torture against Papuans have been condemned after being widely circulated on the internet, and several officers were last week tried before a military court and given very light sentences for these terrible crimes. Reports of these incidents have not identified which police units were involved but it is likely that the personnel involved were members of Brimob. TAPOL]

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