by West Papua Media team
May 30, 2012
The transitional government declared by the Federated Republic of West Papua organised another peaceful demonstration on May 29, with participants from Yapen, Waropen and Mamberamo gathering to peacefully condemn ongoing acts of violence, terror and intimidation by members of the Indonesia Police and military forces (TNI).
Villages such as Daway, Kainui, Ansus, Wadapi and others around Yapen are under constant threat and fear from Indonesian security forces, according to rally organisers outlining the reasons for holding another demonstration on the restive island.
Crowds began to gather for a series of long marches in the villages of Mantembu, Warari and at the courtyard of the DPRD (Papuan Legislative Council) office in Serui. At 9:30am, WP local time, police and TNI were already blockading the road to prevent the peaceful action from going ahead, with police seizing one car being used for the rally.
More than five hundred people were expected at the gathering, with large numbers of heavily armed police and military personnel creating a show of force against the peaceful gathering. According to sources in Serui who spoke to West Papua Media, the security forces were present to intimidate and stimulate fear to discourage activists from carrying out the action.
Meanwhile, Police seized nine black banners outlining Papuan people’s demands and aspirations, with one banner demanding an end to constant military intimidation and terror. As another long march was making its way from Mantembu, it was blockaded and stopped by the military-police apparatus in the village of Warari.
At 4 pm, local time, two trucks from TNI attacked Wadapi village and many locals seek refuge in the bush. Many people are still in hiding until now.
Pieter Hiowati, spokesperson for FRWP Governor of Yapen/Waropn and Mamberamo Daud Abon, told West Papua Media that the DPRD office in Serui has been turned into an Indonesian military headquarters. The DPRD office was fully guarded by heavily armed military and police, both inside and outside of the building. “It is sad but it’s a reality, the demand of the people falls on deaf ears from staff members in DPRD and responded with heavy military presence,” said Hiowati.
Approximately 800 representatives of indigenous people from Saireri went to the DPRD office to express their aspirations in a peaceful and disciplined manner, however police still arrested four people. Those still held in the Serui police station cells include a mother, Lea Kumumbuy (later released at 7 pm), while three others – Josep Mangge, Josep Rudamaga and Jeremias Rabrageri – are still shackled in Serui police prison, according to local advocates.
On Friday May 25, governor of Saireri under FRWP, Daud Abon, has been presented with a police summons for him (No: S.Pgl/251/2012/Reskrim), notifying that he has been charged with a criminal act of treason (makar) and investigation must be carried out for the rally organized on May 23.
West Papua Media
- Unconfirmed reports of mass arrests and sweeping in Serui (westpapuamedia.info)
- Protest demands expulsion of Yapen police and military chiefs for brutal policies (westpapuamedia.info)
- Thousands across Papua demand UN step up to protect Papuan people: PHOTO AND VIDEO REPORT (westpapuamedia.info)
- Mass Rallies across West Papua challenge anniversary of Indonesian invasion (westpapuamedia.info)
- West Papua Report May 2012 (westpapuamedia.info)