Radio Australia: Footage of violent Papuan crackdown emerges

Updated October 27, 2011 16:57:44

More footage has emerged of a shooting in the Indonesian province of West Papua last week… that human rights campaigners say left at least seven people dead and dozens more injured.

Soldiers reportedly opened fire after thousands of people declared independence from Indonesia at the Papuan People’s Congress.

Papuans in exile say that despite the crackdown their campaign for independence is growing – and they want the Indonesian Government to start negotiating.

Presenter: Liz Hobday
Speaker: Professor Peter King, University of Sydney


From: Socratez Yoman

24 October 2011

Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) today urged the Indonesian Government to take urgent steps to address the grievances of the Papuan people after tension escalated in West Papua last week.

On 19 October, the Indonesian military and police brutally suppressed a peaceful Papuan People’s Congress after delegates raised the Morning Star flag, a symbol of West Papua’s resistance to Indonesian rule, and declared independence. At least six Papuan people were killed and six have been charged with treason. Several hundred were initially arrested, although many have since been released.

According to media reports, the police and military fired shots into the air to disband the gathering, but some soldiers reportedly pointed weapons directly at people. Delegates were beaten by the police and soldiers with batons, bamboo poles and rifle butts. Security forces raided a nearby Catholic seminary and priests’ residence.

In a chilling warning, the police chief in Jayapura, Imam Setiawan, told the media, “Whoever supports separatism or subversion activity, I will do the same as yesterday. I’ll finish them.”

Rev Socratez Sofyan Yoman, Chairman of the Alliance of Papuan Baptist Churches, told CSW, “We call on the Indonesian authorities to open the door for peaceful dialogue between the Papuan representatives and the Indonesia Government. Dialogue must take place without preconditions and be mediated by  a neutral party. The Indonesian military and police must respect the Papuan people’s dignity and rights and stop the violations. As church leaders we strongly support genuine dialogue between the Indonesia Government and West Papuan leaders to solve West Papua’s problems.”

CSW’s Advocacy Director Andrew Johnston said, “It is overwhelmingly clear that the Indonesian military and police used disproportionate force against a peaceful gathering, flagrantly violating human rights and brutally beating and killing unarmed civilians. As a member of the UN Human Rights Council, Chairman of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and a member of the G20, Indonesia has a responsibility to uphold the rule of law, protect human rights and respect international law. The tragic and bloody escalation in tensions serves as a wake-up call to Indonesia and the international community, that the grievances of the Papuan people must be addressed. Indonesia cannot continue to suppress the Papuan peoples’ freedom of expression as it did last week. Instead, a dialogue process is urgently needed, in which concerns about human rights, health care, education, development, environmental degradation and the impact of migration should be discussed, and Papua’s political future negotiated. We urge the Indonesian government to take the following steps to build confidence with the Papuan people, which has been further damaged by last week’s brutal crackdown: release all political prisoners, lift the ban on raising the Morning Star Flag, demilitarize Papua by reducing the military presence, and start to address the basic needs and rights of the Papuan people. The time for genuine dialogue is now.”

For further information or to arrange interviews please contact Kiri Kankhwende, Press Officer at Christian Solidarity Worldwide, on +44 (0)20 8329 0045 / +44 (0) 78 2332 9663, email or visit

Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) is an organisation working for religious freedom through advocacy and human rights, in the pursuit of justice.

End the theft, end the violence, close Freeport now Joint statement in solidarity with Freeport Indonesia worker – Indonesian Labour Unions

October 20, 2011

PT Freeport Indonesia,  a subsidiary of Freeport McMoran Cooper and Gold – of which 90.64 percent of the shares are owned by Freeport CEO James R. Moffet – is the largest mining company in the world. Freeport contributes 95 percent of the entire production of gold by Freeport McMoran and a significant percentage of its copper production.The controversial corporation obtained the exploration and mining rights through Work Contract I, several months before the enactment of Law Number 1/1967 on Foreign Capital Investment and Law Number 11/1967 on the Basic Provisions of Mining during the rule of the New Order regime of former President Suharto. Odd but true!

Work Contract I was then renewed by Suharto in 1991. As a result Work Contract II will expire in 2040 and the area of exploration and exploitation was extended to cover 6.5 percent of the total territory of Papua province. It also includes the right to conduct of underground exploration. Freeport began operating 44 years ago but it was not until 1971 that the company began extracting minerals (gold, copper, silver, molybdenum and rhenium).

In the first decade of its operations, Freeport extracted more than 1 million tons of gold, copper and shiver annually. By 2010 this had reached 3.4 million tons a year. Freeport reaps profits of as much as 114 billion rupiah a day, so in one year Freeport’s net profit is a high as 41.04 trillion or US$45.60 billion.

The irony is that the total combined wages of all Freeport’s employees is only 1.4 trillion rupiah a year or $2.1-3.5 dollars US per hour. This is far lower than the wages received by Freeport workers in other countries who receive US$15 or 128,250 rupiah per hour. The proportion received by workers is only 3.4 percent of Freeport’s total profits and 60 percent of its net profit are turned over to Freeport McMoran.

Based on this compression, it is understandable that the Freeport Indonesia All Indonesia Workers Union (SPSI) is demanding a wage increase of between US$17.5 to US$43 per hour. Never mind that Freeport workers in the US receive 30-250 dollars US per hour. Meanwhile the wage increase awarded to Freeport Indonesia workers every two years have only been US40c an hour.

The Freeport Indonesia management meanwhile has responded to workers’ demands with accusations of separatism, psychological intimidation, prohibiting workers from joining the strike, criminalisation of workers and most recently repressive acts by police that resulted in the fatal shooting of two people, Petrus Ayamiseba and Leo Wandagau, and the wounding of seven others.

Acts of violence involving Freeport are not new. During its 44 years of theft, there have been numerous cases of violence in Papua and the Freeport mining area of Timika against Freeport workers and indigenous Papuans.

This clearly demonstrates that Freeport is using violence as a tool and means to secure its vital assets. And, of course, the state since the time of the Suharto regime through to the current administration of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Vice President Boediono, has fully supported Freeport’s interests.

It is already public knowledge that since the 1970s Freeport Indonesia has been providing a huge sums of money for security. A number of documents have cited that between 1998 and May 2004, Freeport paid at least 20 million dollars (around 184 billion rupiah) to the TNI (Indonesian military) and the police in Papua. There has also been an additional 10 million dollars (around 92 billion rupiah) paid to the military and police over this period bringing the total to around 276 billion rupiah. And as admitted by the Papuan regional police themselves, out of a total of 720 police and military personnel that are deployed in the Freeport exploration area, each officer receives 1.25 million rupiah a month in additional wages outside of regular funds.

In contrast to this, in 2011 the Central Statistics Agency (BPS) recorded that the poverty rate in Papua province stood at 80.07 percent or 1.5 million people living in poverty. This is clear evidence that Freeport does not provide any contribution to the welfare of the Papuan people.

Freeport, which is the largest gold and cooper mine in the world, not only steals the country’s natural wealth, muzzles democracy, violates human rights and impoverishes the Papuan people, but also destroys the environment. In a single day of operation, Freeport disposes 230,000 tons of waste into the Aghawagon River and other rivers in the vicinity. The acid rock drainage, or the disposal water containing acid (around 360,000-510,000 tons a day), has already destroyed two valleys covering an area of 6.5 kilometers to a depth of 300 meters.

It becomes increasingly clear that there are no grounds to for Freeport Indonesia to be allowed to continue its exploration and mining activities. Freeport must be closed down!

Based upon the fact above we make the following demands:

– The withdraw all non-organic TNI and police personnel from the Freeport area and Papua
– The arrest of James Moffet, Freeport Indonesia President Director Armando Muhler, Freeport Executive Vice President Sinta Sirait and company spokesperson Ramdani Sirait
– The broadest possible dialogue for the Papuan people that is democratic and free from coercion
– A full investigation into human rights violations at Freeport and in Papua;
– An end to union busting
– An end to the use of contract labour
– An international standard wage
– Freeport must be held liable for its past and current crimes
– Dismiss the national police chief, the Papua regional police chief and the Timika district police chief
– Freeport must take responsibility for the environmental damage it has caused

We call on all people, let us unite. We are the 99 percent in the world who are oppressed. Freeport, James Moffet, President Yudhoyono and Vice President Boediono, the political elite and the Indonesian political parties that benefit from Freeport, are the 1 percent that oppresses the rest of us. Yesterday it was Petrus Ayamiseba and Leo Wandagau who were murdered. Next anyone who resists will suffer the same fate. We must therefore unite, act in solidarity and fight back!

44 years of theft, 44 years of state protection, end the violence and close Freeport now

Jakarta, October 20, 2011

Tri Puspital
Public Relations Officer

This joint statement is supported by:

The Student Alliance Against Neoliberalism (AMAN), the Working People’s Association (PRP), the People’s Liberation Party (PPR), the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras), the Papua Student Alliance (AMP), the Free Women’s National Network (Perempuan Mahardika), the Papuan Traditional Social Community Against Corruption (Kampak), the Indonesian Legal Aid and Human Rights Association (PBHI), the Indonesian Trade Union Congress Alliance (KASBI), the National Solidarity Committee (KSN), the Papuan NGO Forum for Cooperation (Foker Papua), the PT Freeport Indonesia All Indonesia Workers Union (SPSI PT FI), the National Students Front (FMN), the Association of Independent Trade Unions (GSBI), the Indonesian Independent Union (SMI), the Greater Jakarta Workers Federation of Struggle (FPBJ), the Indonesian Center for Labour Struggle (PPBI), the Student Struggle Center for National Liberation (PEMBEBASAN), the Indonesian Transportation Trade Union of Struggle (SBTPI), the Working People’s Association-Organisational Saviours Committee (KPO-PRP), the Green Indonesia Union (SHI), the State Electricity Company Trade Union (SP-PLN) and the United Student Action (KAM Laksi).

[Translated by James Balowski.]

AWPA: Increasing tension in West Papua

Press Release

26 October 2011

In light of the dangerously deteriorating situation in West Papua AWPA has again written to the Foreign minister (letter below) urging him to use his good offices with the Indonesian Government to call for the halt to any (or proposed) military operations in West Papua as a way of avoiding further escalation of the situation and avoiding further bloodshed.
We point out that during military operations in West Papua the security forces have great difficulty in distinguishing between civilians and what they term separatists.

We also urge the Government to hold an inquiry into how our aid and training to the Indonesian military impacts on the lives of the West Papuan people and in the short term to immediately halt any aid or training to any military unit found to have committed human rights abuses.


Australia West Papua Association (Sydney)
PO Box 28, Spit Junction, Sydney, Australia 2088

The Hon Kevin Rudd MP
Minister for Foreign Affairs
Parliament House
ACT 2600

26 October 2011

Dear Mr Rudd,

I am writing to you concerning the increasing tension in West Papua. I wrote to you on the 20 October concerning the crackdown by Indonesian security forces on delegates who were attending the 3rd Papuan People’s Congress which was held between the 17 and 19 October. Reports now indicate that the casualties were more numerous than first thought. Six people have been confirmed killed and six charged with treason. A large number of West Papuans received serious injuries as they were beaten by the security forces with batons, bamboo poles and the butts of rifles during the arrest of up to 300 delegates. There may be more casualties as many of those attending the congress fled into the bush in fear of their lives from the security forces.

In other recent incidents around the giant Freeport copper and gold mine, three miners were ambushed by unknown gunmen and two other miners killed in a clash with police. The Mulia Police chief was also shot by unknown gunmen at Mulia Airport in Puncak Jaya regency on Monday and an unidentified group also set fire to the Mulia food resilience office. As a result of these incidents and in an effort to tighten security and to conduct military operations for those responsible for the killing of the police chief, up to 300 members of the security are being sent to West Papua.

AWPA believes that this deployment of extra security will only increase fear amongst the West Papuan people who are already traumatised by numerous military operations that have taken place particularly in the Puncak Jaya region.

A report in the Jakarta Globe (25 October) said that human rights groups believed that there were “strong indications” that security forces committed rights abuses during last week’s deadly crackdown on a pro-independence rally in Abepura, Papua. An extract from the Jakarta Globe article
Ridha Saleh, deputy chairman of the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM), said it appeared likely that officers assaulted and fired at participants at the Papuan People’s Congress, which took place last week. A day after the incident, the bodies of six participants were found near the local military headquarters, reportedly with gunshot wounds. “The participants did not put up any kind of resistance, yet they were taken down, beaten and shot at,” Ridha said. “That this resulted in fatalities clearly makes this a serious rights violation.”

The security forces always try to blame the OPM for many of the incidents that occur in West Papua. However, Ikrar Nusa Bhakti, a researcher with the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), said on Tuesday that it was difficult to pinpoint the cause of the recent spike in violence, but that there were only three elements influential enough to trigger the turmoil: the separatist Free Papua Organization (OPM), the Indonesian Armed Forces (TNI) and the police. “But we can’t really tell which one of them actually started the whole thing because the information coming out of Papua is limited and sketchy,” he said, adding that reports from security forces were also unreliable. In one scenario he points out that “But if it’s the TNI or National Police manipulating events to try to get more troops and supplies posted to Papua, then that’s even more worrying.” 
He added that the tactic of boosting the security presence there by creating unrest was “not a new practice,” having been carried out frequently under the New Order regime. Earlier this year, the military said there was a need to increase the TNI’s presence in Papua, citing the province’s huge energy and mineral riches and increasing potential for secession.

AWPA points out that 300 security forces have just being deployed to West Papua.

In light of the dangerously deteriorating situation we urge you to use your good offices with the Indonesian Government to call for the halt to any (or proposed) military operations in West Papua as a way of avoiding further escalation of the situation and avoiding further bloodshed.
We point out that during military operations in West Papua the security forces have great difficulty in distinguishing between civilians and what they term separatists

We also urge the Government to hold an inquiry into how our aid and training to the Indonesian military impacts on the lives of the West Papuan people and in the short term to immediately halt any aid or training to any military unit found to have committed human rights abuses.

Yours sincerely

Joe Collins
AWPA (Sydney)

CC. Indonesian Embassy, Canberra

Australian Embassy, Jakarta

various human rights organisations and the media

DPRP members say police and army chiefs should be held responsible for casualties

Bintang Papua, 25 October 2011
[Abridged in translation by TAPOL]

Jayapura: A member of the Provincial Legislative Assembly of Papua, the DPRP, had called for the Chief of Police in Papua and Commander of the Cenderawasih Military Command to be held responsible for the loss of life when the Papuan People’s Congress was broken up last Wednesday.

‘The actions of the security forces in dispersing the Congress exceeded all bounds and exceeded their authority and in so doing were in violation of the laws in force,’ said Yan Mandenas, chairman of the Pikiran Rakyat group in the DPRP.

‘They exceeded their powers in attacking and shooting people who happened to be in the location, whether or not those people were involved in the Congress.’

‘If indeed they were committing an act of subversion, then those responsible should be arrested, not beaten up and shot. This is a serious violation of human rights and should be thoroughly investigated,’ he said.   ‘This is not a trivial matter but something which attacks the self-respect of Papuan people. It seems as though  whenever anything happens in Papua, the security forces act uncontrollably and start shooting.’

‘Killing innocent people is inhumane and it is always Papuans who are the casualties. If we want to develop Papua and preserve the unitary Republic of Indonesia, then we should stop hitting out at people and treating Papuans as if they are worthless.’

As for the claim of the chief of police in Papua that the casualties were only stabbed and not shot, if this is true, there should be autopsies. ‘Why have there been no reports of the result of autopsies?’

He said that if Papua is an indivisible part of Indonesia, then why do so many conflicts occur there. ‘There have been a number of mysterious shootings, none of which has been properly investigated.’

Mandenas said that an investigation team should be set up immediately to see whether violations were committed. ‘If there were violations, then those members of the security forces who were responsible should be sacked.’

Similar views were expressed by Ruben Magay, chairman of Commission A on Politics and Law of the DPRP.

He went on to say that he had urged the chief of police to withdraw his men because it (the Congress) was already over, but what in fact happened was that even though the event was at an end, they started chasing people, hitting them and shooting at people who happened to be in the vicinity;  And no one was fighting back. ‘This is clearly a violation, with armed people shooting at random, hitting people who were not showing any resistance or carrying firearms.’

‘The National Human Rights Commission, Komnas HAM, as the competent body should carry out an investigation and say whether human rights were violated or not.’ He went on to say that the DPRP will press for an investigation team to be set up.

Meanwhile, a man named Yosep Nawipa who was happened to be in the vicinity became a casualty and was held in custody at police command headquarters. He said that he has been struck with a rifle butt by a member of the security forces, then pushed into their vehicle and taken to the police station.  ‘Just as the event was being dispersed,’ he said.   ‘I happened to pass through the location and I too was beaten up,
dragged into their vehicle and struck on the crown of my head,’ he said, pointing to the injury that he had sustained.

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