Monthly Archives: April 2012

Photo Report: Scores of Morning Star flags flown in Serui demo, despite police objections

from Tabloid JUBI and West Papua Media
20 April, 2012
Over 400 Bintang Kejora (Morning Star) flags were flown by scores of people on a demonstration in Tanggal, Serui, West Papua.  According to media sources, they were demonstrating to  express support for launching of a US branch of International Lawyers for West Papua (ILWP) – this is spelt out as the International Parliamentarians, not Lawyers – in the United States.  However sources on the ground confirmed to West Papua Media that the demo was carried out by over 5000 people in support of the Federal Republic of West Papua, and demanded full international legal recognition of Papuan’s desire for independence and to uphold the universal right to self-determination.

Confirming the event, Aston Situmorang of the NGO Working Forum of Cenderawasih Bay said that thousands of people had gathered to take part in the demonstration from all parts of the district of Serui. The participants first gathered  in three places and then converged on the location of the demonstration.  After they had made their way to Tanggul, a number of speeches were delivered in support of the ILWP.

When the local chief of  police was contacted regarding this demonstration, he denied that anyone had flown the kejora flag. ‘No such thing happened,’ he said. ‘It’s a lie.’ He said that  people marched together but no flags were flown. The demonstrators had only carried banners expressing support for the establishment of the ILWP in the US.

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Pictures from the mass flaying of banned Morning Star flags, Serui, 20 April 2012.  According to Indonesian police: “No such thing happened… It’s a lie.” 

Organisers of the demonstration contradicted the police version of events, claiming several groups of up to 470 flags (in each group) were flown, after Police and military attempted to blockade the rally with force.  However given the sheer number of flags, security forces did not attempt to intervene and allowed flags to be flown, an act which carries severe prison terms under the provisions of makar (treason).

A successful tactic employed by rally participants was  mass body painting of the Morning Star flag, an act that although challenging makar provisions remains unenforceable under Indonesian Law.

According to another report about the demonstration in JUBI on the same day, the local police chief in Serui had allowed fifty flags to be flown at the demonstration. According to the organisers, the majority  of the participants were waving flags.

[A photo illustrating the article shows a large number of people, certainly more than fifty, and in this section of the crowd, I was able to count about twenty flags. Translator.]

It was reported that the local police had refused to allow people at the demonstration to take photos. According to the organisers, ‘As we were marching along the road, the police prohibited the use of cameras, but after the people arrived  at the location (Tanggul), the police then allowed photos to be taken.’

Aston Situmorang said  that demonstrators had come from all parts of the district; some were arrested in several places in the town centre, but they were not held for long and after being released, they were able to rejoin the demonstration. As they arrived at the location of the demo, a number of people made speeches..

Many of the participants had walked a long distance from Mantembu, with the whole march proceeding peacefully. After the speeches had been made, they dispersed.

The local chief of police, Yohannes Nugroho Wicakasono, said that the demonstration had been organised by the West Papuan National Authority (WPNA) and had proceeded peacefully, lasting from 9am till 1.30pm. He said that kejora flags had been flown, but after they had been given warnings, the flags  were taken down, collected and put away.

A more senior police chief in the town of Seruis, Daniel Prio Dwiatmoko denied that kejora flags had been flown, saying that the demonstrators had only carried banners   expressing support for the  ILWP which has just been set up in the US.

with West Papua Media, and translated by Tapol (UK)

Forkorus’ eye problems not properly dealt with

JUBI, 18 April, 2012
Forkorus Yaboisembut, one of five Papuan activists who was recently sentenced to three years for his participation in the Papuan People’s Congress held last October, is now known to be suffering from eye problems.This was stated by Olga Hamadi, a member of the team of lawyers who have been defending Forkorus and his four co-defendants.

‘Forkorus complained about his eye problems  when we paid him a visit last week,’ said Olga Hamadi, and added that he was not getting proper treatment for the problem. ‘I was taken to the polyclinic but the treatment I had there was not satisfactory,’ Forkorus told his lawyer.

The Dewan Adat Papua – Papuan Customary Council of which Forkorus is the chairperson said that they too have reported the problem to the authorities at the Abepura Prison where Forkorus is being held. Forkorus has also sent a letter about the problem to  the High Court in Jayapura.’ His lawyer said that Forkorus had asked for their help to submit his letter to the High Court.

According to Olga Hamadi, the eye problem is not too severe and Forkorus is otherwise in good health.

Don’t blame OPM for mysterious shootings, says DPRP member

JUBI, 18 April, 2012
There have been a number of shootings in Papua in recent months but mystery surrounds the problem of who is responsible.Ruben Magay, the chairman of Commission A of  DPRP, the provincial legislative assembly  of Papua, said that  the failure of the police to deal with this problem was a sign of their lack of professionalism. This is what is worrying the Papuan people, ‘ he said ‘What they are doing is far from what the people expects. and hope for.’He said that he had warned the chief of police and the military commander to stop blaming the OPM. Making such claims is a sign of the lack of ability of the security forces.’

‘We can only accuse the OPM if there is clear evidence of their involvement.’ He said that the police should also stop talking about unidentified persons. It is only when someone is arrested and charged before a court of law on the basis of evidence that things become clear.’ We need to make things clear for the people. It is as though the police are trying to conceal their own incompetence.’

He said for a second time: ‘Dont keep talking about the OPM until you have evidence. And don’t talk about geographical problems as the facilities available are the ones that have been provided by the state.. Is anything lacking?’

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL: PRISONER’S MEDICAL TREATMENT PREVENTED

PRESS RELEASE
http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/ASA21/017/2012/en
UA: 109/12 Index: ASA 21/017/2012  Indonesia        
Date: 19 April 2012
AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL
URGENT ACTION
PRISONER’S MEDICAL TREATMENT PREVENTED
Indonesian prisoner of conscience Filep Karma is in urgent need of medical treatment. He needs to travel to receive this treatment, but the prison authorities have refused to pay for his transport and medical costs.Filep Karma is serving a 15-year sentence at the Abepura prison in Papua province for raising a banned regional flag. Doctors at the Dok Dua hospital in nearby Jayapura conducted a medical examination last month and suspect a tumour of the colon. They have confirmed that he requires a colonoscopy and follow-up treatment. However the necessary equipment is not available in Papua province and they have referred him to the Cikini hospital in the capital, Jakarta. The Abepura prison authorities have given permission for Filep Karma to travel to Jakarta, but they have refused to cover the cost of his medical treatment and travel. By law, all medical costs for treatment of a prisoner at a hospital must be borne by the state (Regulation No. 32/1999 on Terms and Procedures on the Implementation of Prisoners’ Rights in Prisons).

Filep Karma has suffered a number of medical problems in detention, including bronchopneumonia, excess fluid in the lungs and a urinary tract infection. In July 2010 he was sent to a hospital in Jakarta for prostate surgery and other care. In November 2011 he was transferred to the Dok Dua hospital in Papua for an operation after he experienced bleeding haemorrhoids, chronic diarrhoea and blood in his stool. He has continued to pass blood in his stool since the operation. Filep Karma is also undergoing physiotherapy for an injury to his hip bone from a fall he suffered in detention in 2006.

Please write immediately in English, Indonesian or your own language:
– Urging the authorities to ensure that Filep Karma receives full and immediate access to any medical treatment he may require;
– Urging them to cover the cost of such treatment in accordance with the UN Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment (Principle 24) and Indonesian regulations;
– Calling on them to release Filep Karma, and all others prisoners of conscience in Indonesia, immediately and unconditionally;
– Urging them to ensure that prison conditions and the treatment of prisoners meet standards provided for in Indonesian law as well as UN Standard Minimum Rules on the Treatment of Prisoners.

PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 31 MAY 2012 TO:
Head of Abepura Prison
Liberty Sitinjak
Lembaga Pemasyarakatan (Lapas) Abepura
Jl. Kesehatan 11, Jayapura
Papua 99351, Indonesia
Fax: +62 984 24721
Salutation: Dear Liberty Sitinjak

Head of Papuan Provincial Department of Justice and Human Rights
Daniel Biantong
Jl. Raya Abepura No. 37,
Kotaraja – Jayapura 99117,
Papua, Indonesia
Fax: +62 967 586112
Salutation: Dear Daniel Biantong

And copies to:
Director General of Prisons
Drs. Untung Sugiyono
Ministry of Justice and Human Rights
Jl. Veteran No. 11
Jakarta Pusat
Indonesia
Fax: +62 21 3483 2101
       

Additional Information

Filep Karma was arrested on 1 December 2004 after taking part in a peaceful ceremony in Abepura, Papua province. He was among approximately 200 people who took part in the ceremony during which the banned “Morning Star” flag, a symbol of Papuan independence, was raised. He was charged with “rebellion” (makar) under Articles 106 and 110 of the Indonesian Criminal Code, and sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment on 26 May 2005. His sentence was upheld by the Supreme Court on 27 October 2005. Amnesty International considers him to be a prisoner of conscience.

In November 2011 the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) declared Filep Karma’s detention to be arbitrary on the grounds that he was imprisoned for the exercise of his rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly – Opinion No. 48/2011 (Indonesia). These rights are guaranteed in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), to which Indonesia is a state party, and in the Indonesian Constitution. The WGAD also found Filep Karma’s detention to be arbitrary because he had been subjected to an unfair trial. Article 14 of the ICCPR guarantees the right to a fair and public hearing by a competent, independent and impartial tribunal established by law.

The Indonesian authorities have an obligation under national law and standards to provide medical treatment to all prisoners in the country. Article 17 of the Indonesian Government Regulation No. 32/1999 on Terms and Procedures on the Implementation of Prisoners’ Rights in Prison requires the prison authorities to provide adequate access to medical treatment. International standards also provide for medical treatment for prisoners. The UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners provides that prisoners needing treatment not available in the prison hospital, clinic or infirmary should be transferred to an appropriate institution outside the prison for assessment and treatment. Principle 24 of the UN Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment requires that prison authorities cover the costs of such treatment.

In view of the potentially serious nature of Filep Karma’s medical problem, Amnesty International believes the authorities’ refusal to arrange prompt and appropriate examination and medical care for him could amount to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.

UA: 109/12 Index: ASA 21/017/2012 Issue Date: 19 April 2012


Sentences of Forkorus and colleagues lengthened by sixty days

JUBI, 16 April 2012
Gustav Kawer, a member of the defence team of Forkorus and his co-defendants, has confirmed that the sentences of his clients have been lengthened for the second time.The reason for the second lengthening was that the documents relating to the case  had not been sent  by the District Court to the High Court in Jayapura.Following the first addittion of thirty days, the material had not yet been examined, resulting in another thirty days been added to the sentences.

Olga Hamadi, another member of the defence team, confirmed that the sentences had been lengthened, saying that the High Court in Jayapura had issued a statement to the effect that the sentences of the five men, Forkorus Yaboisembut, Edison Waromi, Selpius Bobii, Dominikus Surabet and Agust Kraar had been lengthened.

Meanwhile, Gustaf Kawer said that they would be holding a press conference with regard to their appeal against the sentences. This will take place on Wednesday  this week,’ he said.

He said that the men were  put on trial following the Third Papuan People’s Congress which was held last October because events during that Congress were deemed to be an act of treason.