1530 21/10/2011 Updates From West Papua

By Newmatilda.com and westpapuamedia.info

Anywhere between 300 and 800 activists arrested, most released
Core group of 5 in custody at least but could be more, all feared tortured:

– Forkorus Yaboisembut – elected as leader of the broad based movement for peace and justice – possibly paralysed witnessed by another detainee
– Edison Waromi – deputy leader
– Argus Krar
– Selfius Bobii
– Dominikus Sorabut

– Abraham Kareni (who’s son lives in Melbourne) with fractured skull

Charges include treason, rebellion, crimes of hatred against the state. These are colonial laws left over from the Dutch era and they carry long sentences — in some cases up to 20 years.

Police violence, dead and wounded
DFAT have confirmed four people are confirmed dead, activists claim six
People identified (all from Petapa or family of:
– Dani Kabepa
– Yakovus Sabonsaba
– Mathias Maidepa
– Martinus Siep
– Tanepi Kobeta
– One additional unidentified member of Petapa, the West Papuan paramilitary guard formed to protect Forkorus Yaboisembut, the man delegates elected as their leader.

– Numerous people have been savagely beaten, many are in hiding for fear of arrest or worse
– Unverified claims people were shot at point-blank range and bundled into armoured personnel carriers and other vehicles.
– Five people at the Dian Harapan Hospital suffering several wounds: ”One is a woman, Ana Ana Adi, 41. She has got wounds at her right thigh. Pilatus Wetipo, 40, was shot in the right leg. Wiler Hobi (22) has some wounds in his head because of being beaten by the weapon, the other two have blistered wounds
– four people in Sabron Yaru wounded

  • Members of the community security force (Petapa) are arrested. Photo: West Papua Media Alerts

Reports of violence by Indonesian troops continue to emerge from West Papua. New Matilda is in contact with local sources. We’re publishing regular updates on the situation here. (Warning: graphic content)

On Thursday, New Matilda published a report on the violence at the Third People’s Congress in West Papua. Indonesia military and police opened fire on participants and took activists and leaders into custody. Reports of fatalities and injuries continue to emerge from Jayapura.

Read Alex Rayfield’s initial report here.

New Matilda is in contact with local sources and will continue to update this page as new information emerges.

UPDATE, Friday 21 October, 10am:
This is a phone interview with journalist Alex Rayfield.

“Ferry Marisan, the director of Elsham — a leading human rights organisation based in the capital, Jayapura — has said that six people are confirmed dead.

“We think that a couple of people were shot as the security forces raided the stage, and some later. There are also lots of people with gunshot wounds, some of whom are in hiding and too scared to get medical assistance.

“We’ve had multiple reports that there were 800 people in jail. Many of those have been released, but a core group is still detained, charged with a range of offences including treason, rebellion, crimes of hatred against the state. These are colonial laws left over from the Dutch era and they carry long sentences — in some cases up to 20 years.

“It’s important for people to know that [Congress] is not a radical fringe movement. It’s made up of mainstream Papuan society: academics, church leaders and senior tribal leaders. In fact the radical fringe stayed away from this event because they think it’s not radical enough. So if the Indonesian government thinks this is a minority view, they are sadly mistaken. It is a mainstream view.

“Meanwhile, we should add for Australian audiences, that the strike continues at the Freeport mine [which is part owned by Anglo-Australian company Rio Tinto]. The two events are intimately connected.”

For more information on the Freeport strikes read New Matilda’s coverage here andhere.

UPDATE Friday 21 October, 4.30PM
These photos were sent by a credible source to West Papua Media Alerts and allegedly show injuries suffered in police custody. They have not been verified by New Matilda.

Photo: West Papua Media Alerts

Photo: West Papua Media Alerts

Photo: West Papua Media Alerts

Listen to an interview with Elsham’s Ferry Marisan here.

Read Amesty International’s statement on the incident here.

Read an article on Australia’s foreign policy response by Greens spokesperson on West Papua, Richard di Natale, here.

8 thoughts on “1530 21/10/2011 Updates From West Papua

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  1. I have seen on this site that a guy named Martinus Siep has been killed. I am from France (Perangis) and i went two times in West-Papua for trekking by the past in the 1998 and 2000. I was in Wamena and my guide was Martinus Siep, he worked as a tourist guide and i really appreciate him. So i am anxious and i wouid like to know if it is to him this happen or is it another one with same name. I repeat, he was guide for trekking, based in Wamena, often at hotel Trendy or Balliem Pilamo. Thanks to anyone who can give me information.

    1. Dear Pascal,
      we will check closely for you on this issue. Unfortunately some of our sources for this story have been arrested by Densus 88, so it may take some some time.

      We do have to say that it is very likely, as many people have been killed by Indonesia who only have a vague family connection to wanted persons, and as a guide, he would have been known to the security forces. Again, we will check very closely and get back to you.

    2. Dear Pascal,

      yes, we went through our records and also through the Komnas Ham reports, and yes, I am sorry to confirm that Martinus Siap was amongst the dead at the Third Papuan People’s Congress. He was amongst the Petapa, the Guardians of the Land of Papua, who were providing a (sadly ineffective) peaceful community security presence at the Congress. However Indonesian troops targeted Petapa first. It is still unknown if his body was recovered. We will try to schedule an interview with his family the next time a human rights team goes through his home village area.

      Between 6 and 17 people were killed in the shootings, with special forces disposing of several bodies according to reliable sources in Papua. Officially only 5 people died, but our records indicate much higher.

      There have been no prosecutions (only refused promotions) for any of the perpetrators of the killings, which included members of the Australian trained Detachment 88.

      Pascal, from reports, he died trying to protect ordinary civilians from brutal Indonesian state violence. He is considered a hero for West Papuan people.

      with solidarity and sympathy

      Nick Chesterfield
      Coordinating Editor
      West Papua Media

      1. Dear Nick , Thank you very much to reply me so fast. It is very sad to know this happen to Martinus. i feel really touch, he as such a nice and kind man, and i discovered a lot of Papua wit him. Sometimes we were still in contact, i even sent him some customers for trekking. I never met his family, but as i know, he has a wife and a young daughter. I pray for him, all i can do and think about the nice time i had there. Thank you again, and wish you success for Papua independance, Papuan peoples desserve it. Pascal

Please leave a comment. Keep it nice to other users, and remember, no disrepect tolerated. Yell at the killers, not each other; Criticise the abusers deed, not their race or faith.. And please keep it relevant and punchy.

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