Two Papuan prisoners allowed ten days respite

JUBI: 17 February 2011

Two Papuan prisoners, Melkianus Bleskadit and Dance Yenu, both of whom are alleged to be involved in flying the 14-Star flag in Manokwari, West Papua on 14 December 2010 have received notification from the attorney-general in Manokwari giving them respite from their imprisonment (pembantalan?).

Simond Riziard Banundi, one of the lawyers working for the two men, said that the letters have been issued to give them time to rest at home. ‘Our two clients have received these letters from the attorney-general to free them for a time, so as to rest in their homes,’ said Banundi. But he said that this would not be possible because what they need is treatment to deal with their physical conditions.

He said it was true that the attorney-general had given the two men ten days respite, from 12 till 21 February . ‘We have received the letters,’ he said, ‘and our clients are currently being treated in hospital.’

[NOTE: The word used for the letter – pembantalan – is one that we are not familiar with in this connection and our dictionary hasn’t helped. We posted several articles about these prisoners yesterday. TAPOL]

Human rights situation raised with US diplomat visiting Papua

Bintang Papua, 16 February 2011


Biak: The traditional Papuan community in Biak reported the current
social and political situation in Papua to the first secretary for
political affairs at the US embassy, Melanie Higgins, when she visited
the office of DAP (Dewan Adat Papua) in Biak. Their representatives drew attention in particular to the human rights situation and the
deteriorating welfare since the enactment of the Special Autonomy Law (OTSUS) which had led to the failure of OTSUS.

The issue that came to the fore was that for the Papuan people the
solution was merdeka – independence. ‘This poured forth from the hearts of the indigenous people during their meeting with the US diplomat on Wednesday. They said that this would be the best solution for the accumulation of problems in Papua,’ said Yan Pieter Yarangga, chairman of DAP in Biak-Supiori, following his meeting with Higgins.

He said that the visit by Melanie Higgins was consistence with the US
decision to evaluate OTSUS in Papua. She was able to hear how OTSUS had been implemented in the ten years since its enactment.

Besides talking about the failure of OTSUS, they raised some specific
cases, such as the beating of a civilian by a member of the security
forces (TNI) over a land dispute regarding land being held by the Air

They also talked about such matters as history, the development process and the growing number of poor Papuans. Women who were present spoke about the growing number of HIV/AIDS victims in Biak and everywhere in Papua.

‘We talked about many serious problems which were an indication of
genocide. ‘But we very much regret the fact that according to the US
there is no genocide in Papua,’ said the chairman of the local DAP.

He said that the indigenous people of Papua nevertheless warmly
appreciated the visit by Melanie Higgins and the present position of the US, and understood their US support for NKRI (Unitary State of the
Republic of Indonesia.).

‘But they should realise that we will not retreat and will continue to
struggle until we reach a solution for the political status for the
people of Papua and hope that Melanie Higgins will pass on the views of the indigenous Papuan people to the US government, in so that they would be passed on to the central government in Jakarta for them to take steps in favour of a comprehensive solution of the Papuan problem.’

‘Actually, there were many problems to raise with her but time was
short, so we came to the conclusion that we should raise a number of
basic indicators about problems of a very substantial nature.’

Socratez Sofyan Yoman reject the MRP now being set up

JUBI, 15 February 2011


The chairman of the United Baptist Churches in Papua, the Rev Socratez Sofyan Yoman, is of the opinion that the new MRP (Majelis Rakyat Papua -Papuan People’s Assembly) now being formed will only add a new dimension to the suffering of the Papuan people.

‘Please don’t add to the people’s suffering. The Papuan people should be consistent in making no compromises with the members of the MRP now being appointed.’

He said that Special Autonomy (OTSUS) has been rejected by the people which means that the MRP, which is at the heart of OTSUS, will do nothing to protect the interests of the indigenous Papuan people (orang asli Papua) and its presence is not acceptable. He also said that the political elite should not try to utilise the present moment to promote their personal interests and cause further sufferings for the people.

He said that there is no legal justification or reason to continue with
the nomination of the new MRP because most of the churches are not
involved in the process, although some have allowed themselves to be

He called on the Papuan people to consistently refuse to get involved in the political process that is now under way. The people’s struggle must stay pure and press for something better.

‘We from the churches will stand by the voice of God’s congregation and continue to consistently reject OTSUS. ‘

Churches push for Jakarta-Papua dialogue

JUBI: 15 February 2011 

Speaking on behalf of the United Baptist Churches in Papua, the Rev. Socrates Sofyan Yoman   said since it is clear that OTSUS (Special Autonomy) in Papua is a failure, they will be pressing for a dialogue between the Papuan people and the central government, mediated by an international party.

‘A dialogue is the dignified way forward for the two sides,’ he said.

He said that the implementation of the OTSUS law had only resulted in oppression and discrimination  of the indigenous Papuan people while promoting the interests of the political elite in their efforts to press forward with their mission to strengthen the Indonesian state in the pursuance of its claim that Papua is an integral part of Indonesia.

‘We have repeatedly said that we reject OTSUS and will not compromise on this, unless the government is willing to enter into dialogue, mediated by a neutral body,’ he said.

‘We cannot sleep at night for thinking about the ever-worsening sufferings of  the Papuan people and we will continue to struggle for this with our last drop of blood.’

He said that he was currently visiting Jakarta to undertake diplomatic efforts in favour of dialogue.

‘We are pressing for dialogue as the way to solve the root of the Papuan problem and so as to ensure that the conflict with the Indonesian state does not continue endlessly, as well as for our mutual benefit,’ he said.

[A photograph alongside this item includes three Papuan leaders, Dr Beny Giay, Socratez Yoman and a third person who face we cannot identify.]

Police urged to say who shot Miron Wetipo

JUBI: 17 February 2011

A lawyer in Jayapura, Gustaf Kawer, has called on the police to be transparent and explain what happened to Miron Wetipo, who was being held in the Abepura Prison. He was shot dead by the police/TNI and Densus 88 during a sweeping operation and searches being undertaken by BTN Puskopad (an army unit).

‘The police must be transparent and explain publicly what happened to Miron Wetipo. All the more so since Miron was not the person who was behind the shooting in Nafri. The police should tell his family and the general public what happened,’ said Gustaf Kawer. He also said that it was important for the name of the peron responsible for the shooting to be made public so as not to cast suspicion on the whole of the police force.

‘They must have the courage to say who it was in the security forces who shot Wetipo. They cannot ignore this case because it involves a violation of human rights that must be resolved,’ he said.

Miron Wetipo was shot dead by forces of the police/TNI and Densus 88 while they were on sweeping operations and were searching the home in the location of BTN, Puskopad, in the district of Abepura, Jayapura, Papua. He was also thought to be a leader of the OPM and was involved in the shooting that occurred inNafri Kampung on Sunday, 27 November 2010.

[The article includes a photo of a poster saying: ‘Who is it who murdered Miron Wetipo’.

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