Daily Archives: January 27, 2011

Buchtar Tabuni complains to police chief about his treatment


Police Isolation Cell, 18 January, 2011

Police-General Bekto Suprapto,

With respect,

With regard to my detention in a police isolation cell for almost two
months, I wish to raise the following problems with the Chief of Police
in Papua:

1. Will the police in Papua explain what my status is, whether I am a
detainee (tapol) or a convicted political prisoner (narapidana). If I am
being held as a detainee in connection with the riot that occurred in
Abepura Prison on 3 December 2010, I ask to be given an arrest warrant
by the police for the period that I have been held in a police isolation
cell . And whether what I myself did together with Filep Karma at the
time of the riot was not in fact an attempt to calm things down while
trying to be a link between the prison officers and the prisoners who
were involved in the riot. If my status is that of a narapidana, I
hereby ask to be transferred to Abepura Prison Class IIA. This is
because being held in an isolation cell by the police in Papua has had
the following very damaging consequences for me:

a) My father, Jen Tabuni, who was 54 years old, passed away on
Sunday, 9 January 2011 in Papani Kampung, in the Papuan interior. The
cause of death was that, after hearing that I had been taken from a
police cell and thinking that I had been kidnapped, he suffered a
stroke, fainted and died. This was because there was no information
about my whereabouts after I had been separated and placed in an
isolation cell by the Papuan police, without any clear reason being
given for this;

b) Ever since being separated and held in an isolation cell of the
Papuan Police, I have not received any edible food and on some
occasions, I have not been given any food and drink at all, as a result
of which I have been drinking the water in the tub in the bathroom. The
lack of decent food and drink has given me serious gastric problems;

c) My body is turning yellow and I often feel giddy when I stand up.
This is because of the lack of sunlight, the lack of vegetables and
because the vegetables I do eat are boiled as a result of which I am
anaemic as well as suffering from gastritis which means that my health
is deteriorating.

2. If the police here in Papua fail to respond speedily to my
complaints, I will go on hunger strike until my complaints are dealt with.

Letter of complaint from:

Buchtar Tabuni

Papuan political prisoner

Buchtar Tabuni

AFP: Papuans Rally for Independence from Indonesia

Thousands of Papuans march in a rally in Jayapura on July 8, 2010 to urge the provincial parliament to demand a referendum on self-determination, and reject the region's special autonomy within Indonesia. (AFP Photo/Banjir Ambarita)

Hundreds of Papuans have protested in Jayapura rejecting the region’s special autonomy within Indonesia and demanding a referendum on self-determination.

Carrying a wooden coffin covered with a black cloth which said “Special Autonomy is Dead in Papua,” more than 1000 activists, students and church leaders protested on Wednesday in front of the provincial parliament, witnesses said.

“Independence for Papua, reject special autonomy,” they shouted.

“Indonesia the coloniser, Indonesia the oppressor, Indonesia the robber.”

They also called for the upper house of tribal leaders called the Papua People’s Assembly (MRP) to be disbanded.

“The MRP had done nothing to improve the welfare of Papuans. Our people are poor in their own land,” protest coordinator Selpius Bobi said.

“We reject special autonomy as that is the Indonesian government’s policy which has never supported the natives. We want a referendum that will allow us to determine our own fate,” he added.

Papua’s special autonomy status, introduced in 2001 after the fall of former president Suharto’s military dictatorship, has seen powers including control of most tax revenue from natural resources devolved to the provincial government.

However many Papuans say it has failed to improve their rights and activists accuse the Indonesian military of acting with brutal impunity against the indigenous Melanesian majority in the far-eastern region.

A court martial jailed three Indonesian soldiers on Monday for up to 10 months for abuse and insubordination after graphic video footage showed them torturing civilians in Papua.

The sentences were criticised by the United States and rights campaigners as too lenient.

Foreign media and aid workers are not allowed into Papua and West Papua provinces to investigate allegations of human rights abuses against the indigenous people.

Papua has been the scene of a low-level insurgency for decades and despite Indonesia’s vast security presence in the region, Jakarta remains extremely sensitive about any sign of separatism.

Indonesia has sent mixed messages about its willingness to loosen its grip on Papua, offering talks with separatist rebels on the one hand while jailing and killing their leaders on the other.
© 2011 AFP