Daily Archives: October 22, 2011

AJE: Forces raid Papuan independence gathering

Al Jazeera reports “exclusively” on Indonesia operation that left at least two people dead.  (WestPapuaMedia note: Al-Jazeera has utilised footage that was FIRST provided by West Papua Media  but has not been acknowledged by Vaessen.  see http://wp.me/p1aPlR-UY and http://wp.me/p1aPlR-Vy )

Indonesian forces have raided a meeting of the Papuan independence movement, killing at least two of its members and arresting hundreds more.Rights group Amnesty International is asking the government to release the leaders, who have been charged with treason.Papuan groups have also requested that the United Nations investigate the violence.

Meanwhile, the Indonesian government defended the security forces response, saying participants of Wednesday’s meeting were committing a coup d’etat.

Journalists are banned from travelling to Papua, but Al Jazeera obtained exclusive footage of the raid.

Step Vaessen reports from Jakarta.

Global outrage may be the only hope for West Papua

by Kim Peart

East Timor was still on the list of colonial territories at the United Nations, even though Australia led the World in recognising Indonesian occupation and incorporation.

After the fraudulent 1969 vote, when 1025 hand-picked men we lectured under the shadow of guns and told to step over a line drawn in the dirt as the method of voting, the United Nations accepted Indonesian occupation and the incorporation of half of New Guinea, an area the size of France, into Indonesia.

Recent events in West Papua demonstrate that Indonesia will continue to use brutal force to maintain control, even when people peacefully call for natural justice from a world that has so brutally betrayed them for since 1962, when the United States intervened to rig the theft of West Papua and the slave trade in all her people, to buy an alliance with Indonesia.

In 1957 Australia had signed an agreement with the Dutch to work toward the independence of the whole island of New Guinea, where the outcome could have been one large and strong island nation of Papuans and there were many Australians on the ground helping to prepare the West Papuans for independence.

When Washington told Holland to get out and Australia to butt out, we were deeply humiliated, as we learnt a brutal truth; that we had been a British nation, but were now no more than a vassal state of the United States.

No wonder we have never found the spirit of independence and become a fully independent nation, as we enter an era when we may find ourselves obeying the wishes of Beijing; never having found our own independence, we may all too easily slide into becoming a vassal state of yet another empire.

With China’s hunger for our resources and their need for secure shipping lanes through Indonesia, they are unlikely to look kindly on any political change in New Guinea, especially with their own West Papua type situation in Tibet and on-going demand for the acquisition of Taiwan.

That we stepped out of our colonial responsibilities in Papua New Guinea so swiftly in 1975 and have allowed the emergence of a basket case of poverty, violence, disease and illiteracy in the north, hardly signs our care of the Papuan people, no matter how often we praise the Fuzzy Wuzzy angels who braved Japanese bullets with us on the Kakoda Trail.

The only hope for justice in West Papua and for New Guinea as a whole, is if a wave of rage spreads around the World, against how the West Papuans were enslaved, their lands stolen and all their aspirations so brutally trampled into the mud with the blood of this ancient people.

If a wave of rage goes global to demand justice for the long suffering people of West Papua, then there will be hope of a proper UN run plebiscite on self-determination and Australians may again step forward to help New Guinea, if we can get government stupidity out of the way and justice on the table.

We may even find our independent spirit as a nation and avoid the slide toward vassal status with China; and be able to resist any further expansion of Indonesia, as the geopolitical power of the World steadily shifts to our north.

At Papuan Congress, a Brutal Show of Force

via Jakarta Globe

by Oktovianus Pogau

October 22, 2011

Jayapura, Papua. Anxiety was apparent among the participants of the Third Papuan People’s Congress on Wednesday as they marched toward the event venue in Abepura, passing by lines of military and police officers in full combat gear and holding assault rifles.

By 8 a.m. that morning, the final day of the three-day congress, security officers were standing at the ready. Five Barracuda armored jeeps were parked not far from the Zakeus oval, the site of the event, as were seven police trucks and three trucks from the region’s Cendrawasih Military Command.

As the congress drew to a close, the 3,100 officers sprang into action, marching toward the venue with their fingers on the triggers of their Pindad SS1 assault rifles. As the prospect of a full-blown attack became evident, fear could be seen in the eyes of many congress-goers.

Minutes later, the situation descended into violence.

Soldiers from the Armed Forces (TNI) and police officers fired bullets into the air and ordered the participants to disband. Some of the officers pointed their weapons directly at the unarmed civilians.

As the crowd dispersed in panic, the troops pressed forward.

A four-by-three-meter gate collapsed, shaken down by TNI officers. It fell onto the some 100 members of the Papuan Caretakers Movement (Petapa) who were guarding the congress.

Those outside the gate did not escape unscathed. Soldiers and police beat them with batons, bamboo poles and the butts of their rifles. Man after man fell to the ground, pleading with the officers to stop the show of force. Their pleas were met with kicking, stomping boots.

“Disband them, disband them immediately,” a high-ranking officer ordered his men. “They have committed acts of treason. Disband them now.”

Several men wearing kotekas, the traditional Papuan penis gourd, tried to push authorities back, but they were greatly outnumbered.

Less than 100 meters from the congress was a monastery and a pastors’ dormitory. Security forces raided it.

“Nobody leave the house. Everyone stay where you are,” several TNI officers shouted, shooting into the air and toward the pastors’ homes.

Later, bullet holes could be seen in some of the walls, and bullet fragments were found in some bedrooms.

“Dozens of officials forced their way into the monastery and walked back and forth for two hours in front of us,” the Rev. Adrianus Tuturu said. “We were so afraid we hid in our rooms.”

More than 300 people were arrested. They included Forkorus Yoboisembut, chairman of the Papuan Customary Council (DAP), and Edison Waromi, president of the West Papua National Authority. The congress had earlier declared the men as president and prime minister of an independent Papua, respectively.

“So you want to be the president of Papua?” an officer told Forkorus, grabbing his shirt. “Try to protect your citizens who we are arresting.”

The arrested were told to squat down with their hands behind their heads for two hours. Some were made to take off their trousers and shirts and lie on the earth. Blood stained many of the Papuans’ cheeks.

“Papua will never be independent. Don’t you dare dream. Forkorus will not set you free,” witness Yustinus Ukago quoted a police officer as saying.

Eventually, security forces told the men to march, still squatting, to the police trucks. As the congress-goers made their way slowly forward, some officers kicked them in the back and side.

Some Papuans managed to escape. They hid in nearby food stalls and pretended to be innocent bystanders or made for bushes or gutters. Others fled into the forest.

Free expression or treason? 

Papua has seen a low-level insurgency since Indonesia annexed the resource-rich province in 1969. Following the annexation, exploitation of Papua’s mineral resources, most notably at the hands of American mining company Freeport McMoRan, and a massive security presence fueled resentment toward Jakarta.

In 2000, Indonesia granted the province special autonomous status, giving Papuans greater control over their economy. But the plan opened the floodgates for migrants into the province, further marginalizing the natives.

The recent congress was a continuation of a similar one in 2000, held to unite Papua’s seven tribal areas and discuss the natives’ basic human and political rights.

This year’s congress once again declared independence. “The Papuans’ freedom and independence must be restored in the West Papua country which was stolen by the Indonesian government in 1962,” leaders there proclaimed, announcing the Victoria Crowned Pigeon as a national symbol, the banned Morning Star flag as the national banner and the song “Hai Tanahku Papua” (“Oh My Land Papua”) as the national anthem.

Amnesty International condemned the crackdown, saying it “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.”

The heavy-handed repression, the group said, was “a clear violation of the rights to freedom of expression, opinion and peaceful assembly which are guaranteed under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Indonesia is a state party, as well as the Indonesian Constitution.”

But chairman of the House of Representatives commission on defense, Mahfudz Siddiq, said security forces “should have been firmer” and refused to issue a permit for the congress.

The Jayapura Police chief said he would do whatever it took to quash subversion.

“Whoever supports separatism or subversion activity, I will do the same as yesterday [the day of the congress]. I’ll finish them,” Adj. Sr. Comr. Imam Setiawan told state news agency Antara.

Imam said the congress had not been conducted according to the permit it had been issued, so he was forced to take action. He said he was paid to protect civilians and the unity of the nation.

“If there is anyone supporting such movements, I’m ready to die and finish them,” he said. “This is my duty.”

Djoko Suyanto, the coordinating minister for political, legal and security affairs, also defended the government’s tactics, according to Antara.

“The police raided the rally because it was considered as a coup d’etat,” Djoko said. “They declared a state within a state and did not recognize the president of Indonesia.”

The brutality of the crackdown was further revealed the following day, when all but six of the arrested were released. Many of the congress-goers had sustained cuts and bruises, and one man who had been beaten with an automatic rifle had marks all over his body.

Another man had scrape marks on his stomach. He said they came from police dragging him, face down, on the field’s jagged ground.

Of the six who remained in custody, five were charged with treason. The lone exception was Gat Wenda, who was charged under the 1951 Emergency Law for carrying sharp weapons.

The five who face treason charges are Forkorus, Edison and event organizers August Sananay Kraar, Dominikus Sorabut and Selpius Bobii.

Despite military and police claims that security forces only fired warning shots, three dead bodies were found on Thursday morning just behind a military compound some 50 meters away from the congress venue. They were 25-year-old university student Daniel Kadepa and Petapa members Maxsasa Yewi, 35, and Yacob Samonsabra, 53.

That afternoon, three more bodies were uncovered: James Gobay, 25; Yosaphat Yogi, 28; and Pilatus Wetipo, 40.

“The security forces should have used dialogue and persuasion to disperse the crowd,” said Matius Murib, deputy chairman of the Papua branch of the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM). “Next week, officials from the central Komnas HAM office will conduct an investigation.”

The Rev. Benny Giay, a respected religious leader and human rights advocate in Papua, said the TNI and police had used disproportionate force by using heavy fire power to quell a meeting of unarmed civilians.

This report is supported by the Pantau Foundation.

Report by GKI on Third Papuan Congress and Declaration of Independence

[Full translation by TAPOL of the report received from KPKC, Synod of GKI, Indonesian Christian Church on 21 October 2011]THE THIRD PAPUAN CONGRESS

The Third Papuan Congress was held from 17 October and attended by Papuans from across the territory of Papua. After facing difficulties regarding the venue of the Congress, the Congress was held in the Zakheus Tunas Harapan Padang field.

On 19 October, Prokorus [normally spelt Forkorus] Yaboisembut was elected the President of West Papua and the evangelist Edison G. Waromi was elected the Prime Minister. Following the elections, Prokorus Yaboisembut read out the Declaration of a New State, the Federal State of West Papua, the symbol of the state – the Mambruk Bird, the currency – the guilder, the national anthem Hai Tanahku Papua, and the national languages, Pidgin, Indonesian Malay, local Papuan languages and English, and the geographic territory of the Papuan Federal State.

The text of the DECLARATION OF AN INDEPENDENT PAPUA **and the confirmation of the Declaration of West Papua which was read out by Prokorus Yaboisembut stated: ‘On this day, 19 October 2011, we proclaim the full independence and sovereignty  of our state’  and therefore the State of Indonesia must speedily end its occupation of Papua. All components of the leadership who were elected at the Third Papuan People’s Congress shall immediately discuss the basic principles of the State of West Papua.

Selpius Bobii, the chairman of the Third Papuan People’s Congress, declared: ‘We the people of West Papua in this highest forum declare that the proclamation of the Papuan National Committee on 19 October 1961which now marks its fiftieth anniversary, was a time when the Papuan people lived freely, during the era of the Dutch/UNTEA and we want to return to the sovereignty which once existed.’

The declaration of the Papuan Congress is as follows:

1.    The restoration of the Independence and Sovereignty of the Papuan people in the state of West Papua.
2.    On this day, 19 October 2011, we declare our complete Independence and Sovereignty  as the Papuan people and the state of West Papua.
3.    The establishment and enactment of the Constitution of the State of West Papua.
4.    The formation of the Government of West Papua shall come into being from the moment of the adoption of the Constitution on 19 October 2011.
5.    The Indonesian government must quickly end its occupation from the moment of the adoption of the Constitution on 19 October 2011.
6.    We propose that the Secretary-General of the United Nations and members of the UN, in particular the US Government and the Indonesian Government, should recognise and regularise governmental powers within the shortest possible time and register the state of West Papua as a member of the UN within the shortest possible time, in order to uphold human rights, democracy and just and basic rights in the world.
7.    We grant a full, official mandate  to International Parliamentarians for West Papua and International Lawyers for West Papua and supportive countries to advocate all matters with regard to the annexation of sovereignty and independence of the Papuan people and to follow this up through lawful international mechanisms or at the International Court, until such time as the full and complete transfer of power from the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia to the Federal Government of  West Papua which has already been established and formulated at the Third Papuan Congress in Jayapura-Portnumbay, the Papuan part of Federal State of the Republic of Papua.
8.     In the name of the Papuan people in the state of West Papua and the adoption of the Declaration of Decision No. 0012/03/10-2011 by the Third Papuan Congress, to consider and take cognisance of the general views of various components of the West Papuan people, as set forth in the reports of the commissions that were agreed at the Third Papuan Congress.
—————–

[Note: According to the observations of the KPKC of the GKI Synod, the location of the Third Papuan Congress was heavily guarded  by troops of the Indonesian army and police who were in a state of readiness, accompanied by six police armoured vehicles and trucks that were stationed outside the location of the Congress.]

RAW FOOTAGE OF THE ATTACK ON THE PAPUAN PEOPLE’S CONGRESS

by Numbay Media — via our partners EngageMedia.org

This is raw footage of Wednesday’s attack by the Indonesian military and police on the Third Papuan People’s Congress in Jayapura. The footage shows people dancing, soldiers closing in, and gun shots. The video was shot by several observers. The last sequence was shot while the camera person was hiding from gunfire. Police have now confirmed that five people were killed in the attack – human rights groups say it was more.