Villagers flee to Papua’s forests fearing further Police attacks

by Yason Sambom

Edited by West Papua Media

December 5, 2011

[West Papua News with additional reporting from West Papua Media] – About 110 residents of Berap and Genyem villages, near Lake Sentani in Papua, have been forced to flee to the forest after Indonesian Police terrorized the village on November 30 in retaliation for an incident in which two officers including the head of Criminal Intelligence were injured.

Indonesian media have reported the bow and arrow attack on the police officers as an unprovoked attacked by National Liberation Army Guerillas, but independent media sources have been provided information that show that the shooting occurred in self-defence.  Ordinary villagers from Berap were attacked by Brigadier Ridwan Napitupulu and his colleague Budi, who were allegedly drinking heavily despite claiming they were patrolling to seize any Morning Star flags that were to be raised on December 1

The correspondent for West Papua News, a local citizen media outlet, met refugees  who testified the chronology of events in Berab-Genyem Village, in Nembukrang District.  Villagers were shocked by acts of terror carried out by two plainclothes Police intelligence officers, who arrived after drinking in the village on Suzuki motorcycle No. F6611BT Police.  The two officers carried out an armed robbery of a young man who was calling his wife on a mobile phone, demanding to know who the villager was speaking with.  According to the chronology recorded, the following exchange occured:

Police: “. You call what?, In the village you bring any activists?

Victim said, “I do not know”,

“In the village of Berab, would you raise the Morning Star flag?” asked the two policemen who then marched the young man into the village.

After being brought into the Berab, the two drunk officers immediately allegedly pushed and almost hit several young villagers on night patrolling duty.  The young men did not accept the officers’ pushing them, so they chased on foot the two officers to the Blue River (Kali Biru) tourist sites.

Both officers felt besieged by the youths and the panicked villagers, and fired warning shots that narrowly missed a youth PK, who then tried to beat the officer to stop him shooting.  At this point, an unidentified person allegedly shot Napitupulu in thigh with a traditional hunting bow, hitting the officer in the thigh, allegedly severing an artery.  He then escaped by diving in to the Biru River, that carried him clear.

Local human rights sources are investigating the claims further

Ridwan’s colleague, Budi, ran away and hid in foliage overnight, only emerging on December 1 when light amidst the arrival of senior officers and an armed platoon.  Budi was allegedly observed by witnesses lying to his superiors who were chastising him, saying (according to the witnesses) “I was surrounded and beaten villagers because they want to grab a weapon”.

Police then conducted a sweep operation through the village, causing many to flee.  The six villagers that were captured by Police were identified as:
1.Ruben Manggo (Berab Village Head),
2.Thomas Tarko (Member KNPB Tabi),
3.Zet Manggo (Member KNPB Tabi),
4.Yonathan Tarko (Member KNPB Tabi),
5.Joseph Manggo (Member KNPB Tabi),
6.Kalfin Tarko (Member KNPB Tabi).
The six were interrogated at the Jayapura police headquarters.  Of the six victims, Berab village Head Ruben Manggo was released by police officers on Friday at 13:00 WP with injuries from severe beatings, and is being cared for in Berab village.
These conditions make citizens feel threatened because of the mental-psychological trauma for several years in a state of trauma due to forces that normally act without compromise to act arbitrarily and brutally against village residents.This makes the act itself displaced villagers in order to save themselves from the property and their lives were shot dead drift alias.
This event took place amidst security force repression after the Third Papuan People’s Congress on October 19, 2011.  The subsequent crackdown legitimized a deep sense of trauma after the declaration of the Federal State of West Papua by the Chairman of the Tribal Council (DAP), Forkorus Yaboisembut, SPd,.  Yoboisembut as President of the Federal State of West Papua, had called for peaceful resistance on December 1, 2011,  by flying the Papuan Morning Star flag across all the land of Papua.
These conditions are making citizens feel threatened and living in a state of psychological trauma for several years, due to the arbitrary and brutal behaviour of security forces acting without compromise against villagers.  This has caused villagers to flee to the forest where they are living without access to security, displacing villagers in order to save themselves.  The refugees have had to abandon all property and are greatly anxious for their future.
Abridged report from West Papua News

STOP PRESS: has reported that Napitupulu died on Monday morning in Youwari hospital, Sentani, Jayapura.

National police spokesman Sr.Comr. Boy Rafli said that Second Brig, Ridwan Napitupulu died on Monday at 00:35 Indonesian Eastern Time after being treated at the hospital for three days. He added that the body would be brought to his family’s home in Medan by Garuda this afternoon at 12:20, reported.
Police have named three suspects in the case, Thomas Tarko, Yonathan Tarko, and John Calvin Tarko.

Last Updated on Saturday, 03 December 2011 09:31

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