Peaceful protest against human rights violations in Yapen leads to arrests

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.

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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

Papuan Peace Network continue to make preparations for dialogue

JUBI, 26 May 2012According to Muridan Widjojo of the Papuan Peace Network (JDP), the network is still working on the correct format for a dialogue between the Indonesian government and the Papuan community.

‘We are still preparing the best format for the dialogue. The Revd  Neles Tebay is working on consolidation in Papua and we here in Jakarta are trying to find the correct format. It// may seem as though the JDP  is now stagnant but this is because  we are not revealing everything we are doing to the general public,’ Muridan told JUBI.

He went on to say that the JDP is doing everything it can to reach the maximum possible consolidation regarding all the components within the network so as to make sure that the situation doesn’t go backwards, as well as trying to consolidate components  which are not yet involved in the dialogue.’

He said that there was still a question about who will be invited to take part in the dialogue. ‘Will it be with Forkorus and his colleagues? Will it be with the West Papuan National Authority? Or who will it be with? And will the Papuan people  accept the results? These are questions that we are still discussing.’

Asked about the influence on Indonesia of the session of the Human Rights Council of the United Nations which took place in Geneva from 23 – 25 May this year, he said that it would certainly have an influence on the government as well as on the implementation of the dialogue itself.

‘Particularly with regard to the security situation, this must be the priority of the  Indonesian government,’ said this senior academic of LIPI, the Indonesian Association of the Sciences.

Translated by TAPOL

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