Daily Archives: November 5, 2011

Indon Commando Btn 755 brutalise Puncak Jaya villagers

by Nick Chesterfield at westpapuamedia.info

November 5, 2011

Indonesian army (TNI) commandos have  terrorised and severely beat villagers in Kurulu District in Puncak Jaya in another show of extreme  brutality against West Papuan civilians.

Soldiers from the Kostrad (Strategic Reserve) Battalion 755 stationed at the Kurulu army post stormed the village of Umpagalo, near Wamena, on the night of November 2, breaking up a meeting and severely beating 12 men, including 3 West Papua National Committee (KNPB) members.

This comes after a series of violent events across Papua in recent months, and just hours before a horrific attack on a student in nearby Wamena town, when Yusuf Hiluka (23) was set alight with glue by two officers from Satpol PP (Satuan Polisi Pamong Praja), the district civil security unit.

According to local activists from KNPB, in a chronology provided to West Papua Media, villagers were holding a peaceful gathering and discussions about local tribal and community issues, and the elections to be held for the Hubulu area Tribal Council (DAP or Dewan Adat Papua).

Local human rights sources claimed that the attack happened after a Kurulu villager, who reportedly drank and gambled with members of the pro-Jakarta militia Barisan Merah Putih, falsely reported to soldiers that a squad of TPN/OPM guerrillas were in the village.  From the Area Security post a platoon of Kostrad troops, an elite Commando unit from Jakarta, descended on the village in full battle gear and proceeded to terrorise villagers by opening fire with machine guns as they arrived.

From 11pm local time Kostrad soldiers rounded up and tied all the elders and young men, according human rights sources, and subjected them to a humiliating torture and beating in front of their wives and children.  Then men were beaten with rifle butts to the head, and whipped across their face and backs using rattan canes.  Soldiers then proceeded to “stampede” on the detained villagers, according to the chronology, telling the victims when holding bayonets to their throats “”watch out, your neck will Decide”.  Women in the village were also hit on their heads by the soldiers, according to the witnesses.

It is also alleged by local human rights sources that the soldiers opened fire at least four times, shooting into the air, and also stabbed four people with bayonets.  Furthermore, the sources allege that some victims were tortured by being hung by a hook for 2 hours, and then immersed in water for one hour.   After this torture, victims were allegedly taken to 755 Battalion branch Kurulu Wimanesili Wamena for 2 hours.  The exact identity of those particular victims have not yet been provided.

Melianus Wantik, Edo Doga, Mark Walilo from KNPB Wamena, and Pilipus Wantik, Kosy Wilem, Elius Dabi, Lamber Dabi, Othi Logo, Nilik Hiluka, Hukum Logo, Martinus Mabel and Saulus Logo, all from the Umpagalo village., all were injured by the TNI operation at the village.

Photographs supplied to West Papua Media and Tapol appear to show significant beating injuries, and several deep tissue injuries caused by Indonesian troops.

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As the soldiers left around 2am,  villagers dispersed to the police station in Kurulu and summoned help from the Indonesian police, who refused to assist.  Local human rights sources allege that the TNI performed the operation andconducted arrests without a formal letter of Command authorisation and was therefore illegal, and by torturing acted illegally and inhumanely.  Torture is an offence under Indonesian law, however it is rarely punished when carried out by security forces.


New Report Reveals Extent of Papua Human Rights Violations

Press Release from Tapol, Franciscans International, Asian Human Rights Commission and Faith Based Network on West Papua (FBN)

NGOs meet in Geneva to address their concerns on the situation of Human Rights in Papua

Geneva, 3 November 2011

 Following last month’s violent dispersal by Indonesian security forces of the Third Papuan Peoples’ Congress in Jayapura, Indonesia has been confronted with the full scale of human rights problems in Papua by the new Report ‘Human Rights in Papua 2010/2011’.[1] This was launched yesterday in Geneva, by the Faith Based Network on West Papua (FBN), Franciscans International (FI), and the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC).

The Report portrays the bleak reality of the abuse of civil and political rights, as well as economic, social and cultural rights in Papua in 2010 and 2011. The aim of the Report is to raise awareness of the human rights situation in Papua and to create in Papua a ‘land of peace’.

More specifically, the Report draws attention to the hardship faced by national and international civil society as well as by local human rights defenders who are too often victims of intimidation, harassment and arbitrary detention on the charge of makar (treason) while exercising their right to freedom of expression in their struggle for justice and accountability. The Report further denounces the policy of the Government of Indonesia aimed at discrediting, limiting and jeopardizing the work of international human rights organizations working in Papua, including denied access to international media through the manipulation of bureaucracy. As a result, certain international organizations are directly or indirectly forced to withdraw from the country, as was the case of the International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC) and Peace Brigades International (PBI).

With a view to presenting the Report and raising awareness on the recent tragic events, Franciscans International organised a round table discussion. This was attended by representatives of the Faith Based Network on West Papua, Geneva for Human Rights, Human Rights Watch, Papua Peace Network (JDP -Jaringan Damai Papua), Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders TAPOL, World Organization Against Torture (OMCT), and the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Indonesia to the United Nations.

In response to the numerous issues and concerns raised during the discussion, the representative of the Permanent Mission of Indonesia made an official statement asserting that “human rights protection is a national priority”. Despite the appreciation for the participation of the Permanent Mission of Indonesia, this statement was visibly met with strong disagreement by NGOs. They attested that “Political statements are not enough to address human rights violations in Papua, since – the reality is -a climate of fear prevails in Papua”.

The NGOs present concluded by calling upon the Government of Indonesia to: Immediately release all political prisoners; Immediately cease intimidation, harassment and physical violence against human rights defenders, journalists, and religious leaders in Papua; to criminalise torture and ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture; ratify the International Convention on Enforced Disappearances; and to Start a genuine dialogue with national and international civil society.

For more information on the report Human Rights in Papua 2010/2011, please contact:

Kristina Neubaeur –Faith Based Network on West Papua, Coordinator

Francesca Restifo – Franciscans International, International Advocacy Director

Paul Barber – TAPOL, Coordinator: +44 7747 301 739; paul.barber@tapol.org

Wong Kai Shing – Asian Human Rights Commission, Executive Director

1] Available at http://tapol.gn.apc.org/press/files/Human-Rights-in-Papua_Report-2010-2011.pdf