Forkorus: Independent Papua will come in a matter of days

Bintang Papua, 28 February 2012Jayapura: The trial of Forkorus Yaboisembut which is now under way  in Jayapura has not lessened Papuan calls for Merdeka – independence. On the contrary, people are intensifying their calls for independence and secession from Indonesia. Forkorus is even saying that a free West Papua will come into being in a matter of days. This was clear from the speech he made after the hearing that was held today. They also said prayers together.

As he and others left the courthouse, they burst into song, and Forkorus said in a speech that it would not be long before West Papua would be free and no longer part of Indonesia. The Republic of Indonesia will have to recognise the sovereignty of the Federal Republic of West Papua  and withdraw all its troops from the Land of Papua.

The hearing was held to hear the testimony of more witnesses.  But some of the witnesses did not turn up and the prosecutor asked the permission of the judge to read out their statements, although the five defendants said that this was unacceptable because the witnesses should first be sworn in. Nevertheless, the prosecutor was allowed to read out a statement by one of the witnesses, Hans Makabory, 39 years old, a civil servant who witnessed the events on 19 October, following the end of the Third Papuan Congress.

In the statement, he said that as he went onto the field (where the congress had been held). [See note below.] He stood behind a barrier  and watched the large crowd running round the field. He intended to go home but the pathway to his house had been closed so he returned to the field so as to leave through a gateway from the field. He said that crowd continued to run round the field. Some members of the security forces pushed him back onto the field and then dragged him to police headquarters.

He said that the Congress had agreed to establish the Federal Republic of West Papua which would be a state independent of Indonesia.

A statement by another witness, Linus William  Waprawiri, said that he was standing behind the tent where the congress had been held and heard that the chairman of DAP, Dewan Adat Papua, Forkorus  said that people should not fly the Morning State flag at that moment but should do so on 1 December, the anniversary of the West Papua state, when the flag would be flown everywhere throughout the territory.

The witness said that he supported the Third Papuan Congress and West Papua had won its freedom since 1961, with the support of the Dutch.

Another witness, Bernard Done said in his statement that the Papuan people have the right to self-determination. He said that the Congress had been held to establish the Federal Republic of West Papua and had elected Forkorus as its President.

Th next hearing of the trial will be held on 2 March.

[Note:The original intention was for the Third Papuan Congress to be held at Cenderawasih  University or another building in Jayapura. But the authorities had denied permission for these venues to be used. This despite the fact that permission had been given for the Congress to take place. It had even been agreed that a senior official of Indonesian Department of the Interior would deliver the opening address of the Congress. Having been denied a venue, the Congress organisations decided to hold the Congress in the open air, in a field normally used for sports events.]

24 Feb Update on Forkorus trial: Testimony from witness

Bintang  Papua, 24 February 2012 

One of the witnesses to appear in the trial, Eliezer Awom told the court that the declaration of establishment of the Federal Republic of West  Papua had come about as a result of pressure from the Papuan people, as had been expressed during the Third Papuan Congress which was held in October last year.

Eliezer Awom was the only one of nine witnesses who were due to testify at the hearing. The other witnesses did not turn up.

Awom reminded the court that the Third Papuan Congress had been attended by around four thousand people.

The witness described the decision that was taken at the conclusion of the Congress and the subsequent arrest of Forkorus, along with a number of other people, including the witness himself. He insisted that the Congress was a manifestation of the wishes of the Papuan people and said that the Congress which had taken place and had been given official permission to take place. He said that the Congress had agreed to the establishment of the Federal Republic of West Papua and had elected Forkorus Yaboisembut as the President of the Federal Republic, along with Edison Waromi as its prime minister.

He described how Forkorus made his statement very public through loudspeakers and that two hours later, the security forces had started shooting the participants  in order to force them to disperse. He described the banners that had been unfurled at the Congress and insisted that they were simply restoring the Federal Republic of West Papua, and that West Papua belongs to the West Papua people.

Around 400 people were taken into custody at the time, many of whom were subjected to maltreatment such as kicks and punches by the security forces.

Forkorus and the other four Papuans who are on trial with him confirmed that what the witness said in court was true.

He said that the declaration should be sent to the United Nations in order for the Federal Republic of West Papua to obtain formal recognition from the international community.

As with previous hearings, security forces were out in force around the courthouse.

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