Daily Archives: August 26, 2011

KNPB Press Release: Papuan people don’t need welfare, they want a Referendum

The People of PAPUA DO NOT NEED WELFARE Measures, But a REFERENDUM Needs to Take Place Immediately!

West Papua National Committee [KNPB] –
Press Release London, August 25, 2011.

After the mass mobilization of the people of Papua on 2nd August 2011, and the conference of the International Lawyers on West Papua (ILWP) in Oxford England, conflicts and various cases of violence continue to occur in Papua. The events attracted reactions from various parties as they gave their boisterous opinions, statements, and speculative solutions, which do not touch the essence of the conflict in West Papua. The Government of the Republic of Indonesia and various other parties still consider that the conflict in Papua is a consequence of an accumulation of problems rooted in poverty and underdevelopment, as well as the mere result of the failure of special autonomy.

In that perspective, the Government of the Republic of Indonesia feels compelled to issue a variety of policies and development programs in Papua. On the one hand, there are also groups claiming to act on behalf of the people of Papua and that take advantage of the people’s movement to negotiate a solution for a peace dialogue in the Republic of Indonesia, while at the same time, the Government is advised to unfold a Presidential Unit to Accelerate the Development of Papua and West Papua (the so-called “UP4B”).

Whereas, in fact, the people of West Papua clearly and openly demand the respect of their right to self-determination through a referendum. In the heart of every Papuan, there is the burning and irresistible desire to determine their own fate, a principle by which they strongly wish to run their own affairs and to stand as an independent country, free from any occupation. That inner voice resounds in every statement, every speech, every pamphlet and banner, every single time thousands of Papuans come together in mass actions mediated by the West Papua National Committee (KNPB), every single time demonstrations continue to unfold in Papua.

We see and hear in every speech that they, the people of Papua, have never demanded welfare and development through the policies of the special autonomy, nor did they call for UP4B or any other unit or plan, as a guarantee of life within the framework of the Unitary Republic of Indonesia. They do not complain because they are hungry or poor, as they live on their own land which is extremely wealthy, and which continues to be exploited by colonialists and capitalists. The one thing they want is the restoration and respect of their political right, a right that was seized by the forced integration in Indonesia in 1962 and the implementation of the 1969 so-called Act of Free Choice. The people of Papua form a legal entity under international law and by virtue of this they have the right to freely determine their own political future, through the mechanism of a fair and democratic referendum.

Because of the above reasons, we assert that the Government of Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY) has been mistaken in its understanding of the political upheaval in West Papua that continues to smolder. Speculative assumptions should not be used as a solution in the making of policy. Because in the end, policies that are disproportional will worsen the image of the SBY Government: the trillions of money which continue to be poured into Papua for the realization of Special Autonomy projects, the UP4B, as well as the financing of the army (TNI) and the police, will only add to the already poor record of corruption and persistent human rights violations.

Out of all these policies, the people of Papua will not accept a policy which would be the result of a compromise. The Papuan people will continue with rebellion. And all the way through, the Papuan conflict will never be suppressed by manipulation policies presented under the label of accelerated development.

We convey to the government of Indonesia that they should immediately stop all these policies and immediately show the political will to open up democratic space for the people of West Papua through a referendum, because under international law, the 1969 Act of Free Choice was flawed.

Victor F. Yeimo
International Spokesperson for KNPB


Victor F. Yeimo,
International Spokesperson for the West Papua National Committee [ KNPB ]
“Tidak ada kemenangan revolusioner tanpa teori revolusioner”

Seven months and 16 days for Dance Yenu

JUBI, 24 August 2011

Dance Yanu has been sentenced to seven months and 16 days by a judge at the Manokwari court after being found guilty of makar (subversion).

Reporting the verdict, one of the defence lawyers, Simon Riziard Banundi, said that they were not convinced about the court’s verdict.  ‘We members of the defence team cannot accept the verdict passed by the judges.  There is every reason to doubt their decision.’

Banundi said that his client should be released because the court failed to prove that he was guilty of makar (Rebellion or Subversion charges). The defendant’s colleague Melkianus Bleskadit has been found guilty of makar.

In a previous hearing at the court, the prosecutor asked for a sentence of five years. Dance Yenu was arrested together with Melkianus Bleskadit as they were unfurling a flag on the anniversary of Melanesian independence day on 14 December 2010.




25 August 2011

Index: ASA 21/ 027 /2011

I ndonesia Papuan activist imprisoned for peaceful political activities

Papuan activist Melkianus Bleskadit has been imprisoned in West Papua province for his involvement in a peaceful protest and for raising an independence flag. His sentence highlights the continuing use of repressive legislation to criminalize peaceful political activities in the province. Amnesty International calls for his immediate and unconditional release.

On 14 December 2010 a group of activists including students took part in a peaceful march in Manokwari, West Papua province, protesting against injustice and human rights violations by the Indonesian security forces against Papuans. The march ended at the Penerangan field in Manokwari where other political activists had gathered to commemorate the anniversary of the independence of “West Melanesia”.

During the ceremony the “14 Star Flag”, a symbol of West Melanesian independence, was raised. The Manokwari Sub-district Public Order Police (Polres) arrested seven political activists: Melkianus Bleskadit; Daniel Yenu, a priest; and five students – Jhon Wilson Wader, Penehas Serongon, Yance Sekenyap, Alex Duwiri and Jhon Raweyai.

All seven men were charged with “rebellion” under Article 106 of the Indonesian Criminal Code which carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment, and with “incitement” under Article 160.

On 18 August the Manokwari District Court sentenced Melkianus Bleskadit to two years’ imprisonment while Daniel Yenu was sentenced to seven months and 16 days’ imprisonment on 23 August 2011. Daniel Yenu has been released as he has spent more than eight months in detention. The trials of the five students are ongoing.

Daniel Yenu’s lawyer has also raised concerns about his trial. The lawyer alleges that evidence not obtained from the location of the incident was introduced during the trial and that Daniel Yenu was brought before the court on 16 August and forced by the judges to defend the charges against him without the presence of his lawyer, who was preparing a written defence brief.

The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), to which Indonesia is a state party, and the Indonesian Constitution guarantee the rights to freedom of expression, opinion, association and peaceful assembly. While the Indonesian government has the duty and the right to maintain public order, it must ensure that any restrictions to freedoms of expression and peaceful assembly are no more than is permitted under international human rights law.

Amnesty International calls on the Indonesian authorities to withdraw government regulation No. 77/2007 that bans the display of regional logos or flags, which are used by separatist organizations. Amnesty International believes that this regulation is contrary to the spirit of the 2001 Special Autonomy Law that granted Papuans the right to express their cultural identity. Furthermore, the ban on waving these flags cannot be considered legitimate grounds for restricting freedoms of expression and association as set out in the ICCPR.

Amnesty International is aware of al least 90 political activists in the provinces of Maluku and Papua who have been imprisoned solely for their peaceful political activities. Amnesty International considers them to be prisoners of conscience and calls for their immediate and unconditional release.

Amnesty International takes no position whatsoever on the political status of any province of Indonesia, including calls for independence. However the organization believes that the right to freedom of expression includes the right to peacefully advocate referendums, independence or any other political solutions that do not involve incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence.

Papuan goes out to pick bananas but never returns home

From Elsham News Service, 22 August 2011

On a short journey to his banana garden, a Papuan peasant is killed

Das Komba, 30 years old, left home early in the morning on Friday, 19
August to go to his banana garden, two hundred metres from home to cut
down some bunches of bananas for a family celebration. After filling his
sack with several bunches he started for home but then went back,
feeling that he had not cut down enough. But Das Komba never returned home.

Two days later, on Sunday, search parties were sent out to look for him
and his body was found in a ditch about one km from his garden.

According to information received by Elsham, a local man, TD, left home
by car to go to Youtefa market in Abepura. On the way, about 200 meters
from Arso, several passengers were stopped by a group of men in
military uniform. Two passengers were ordered to get off the bus and
questioned by the soldiers ‘What are you carrying there?’ they were
asked, said TD as he watched the men pulled the goods out of the sacks.

At 7am next morning. WO, 30 years old was about to take his children to
school but when he opened the front door of his home, he was startled
to see about five men outside. When he said ‘Good morning’, the men did
not reply but just stared at him. After returning home, WO went to his
garden which is about 600 metres away, but after walking about 50
meters, he found some leftovers of food and thought that some soldiers
must have rested there to have a bite to eat. He then decided to return
home. WO later said that their clan chief, Fabion, had warned people not
to leave their homes to collect things from their gardens because the
army would be coming there.’But if we dont go to our gardens, we will
have nothing to eat,’ the people said.

A woman, TB, 27 years old, said that on that morning she had gone to her
garden which was a short distance from the garden of Das Komba with her
children walking in front, listening to music on their hand phones, when
they heard the sound of gunfire coming from the direction of Das
Komba’s garden. As they continued their journey, three men in army
uniform appeared and, holding their guns out, said: Where are you
going?’ When she said she was going to her garden, the men told her to
go home. When she arrived home, she told her family that she had heard
shots coming from the garden where Das Komba. was harvesting some bananas.

When Das Komba failed to return home, several people went out to look
for him but they found no trace of him.. All they found was his hat, but
there was no trace of his sacks or his machete. As it was getting dark,
they decided to return home and continue to search on the following day.

On Saturday, 20 August, five members of his family went out to look for
him . All they could see was that banana trees has been slashed down and
the fruit had been trampled on. There were signs that something had been
pulled along, perhaps timber but they didn’t find Das Komba, so they
went home to ask other people to help in the search for Das.

WO then went together with several others to the police station, and
later went together with the chief of the clan to the cemetery , where
they found some empty food cans, a jerry can and a few plastic bags,
which the police took away as evidence.

On the next day, Sunday an extended family from Angkasa and Entrop
Jayapura travelled by truck to Arso, and when they arrived there they
divided into three groups to continue the search for Das Komba. From
there, a group of people climbed a nearby hill and at about 3pm , they
discovered the body of Das Komba which they decided to bury.

Several people then went to the police station to tell the police where
they had found Das Komba. The police went there, dug up the body and
took it in an ambulance to Dok 11 Hospital for an autopsy.

According to WO, Das Kombawas just a simple peasant who was not a member
of any organisation. ‘All he did was to tend his garden,’ said WO,
looking very sad.

Because of this incident, the people of Arso are very afraid to leave
their homes and dont want to go to their gardens to collect food.

[Abridged translation by TAPOL]