Daily Archives: June 15, 2012

Unreliable Police allegations against Mako Tabuni

Bintang Papua, 14 June 2012

Following the assassination of Mako Tabuni, the deputy chairman of the KNPB (National Committee of West Papua), the police are now alleging that the man they murdered was responsible for seven cases of violence perpetrated by the KNPB, and say they are now conducting investigations to see whether he was responsible for seven acts of violence including the shot fired against a German visitor. They are alleging that this is based on confessions made by the Buchtar Tabuni, the chairman of the KNPB, and other KNPB members who are now facing charges. The chief of police is quoted as saying: ‘According to confessions by KNPB members, Mako Tabuni was responsible for a numbe of violent actions, all of  which are now under investigation,’

The police also claim that they found a pistol and bullets among Tabuni’s possessions which have now been sent to Jakarta to establish whether the bullets are the same as those found in the bodies of persons who have been shot.

Asked about the furore that has followed in the wake of the killing of Tabuni, the police chief said that was ‘incidental’  ‘In some cases the members act as if they are wiling to surrender but then put up resistance and try to seize weapons which is why the police opened fire.’

He also said that his men are now hunting down eight members of the KNPB who are alleged to have been involved in recent acts of violence.

According to the police, Tabuni was shot four times, twice in the thigh, once in the head and once in the waist.

[Comment by TAPOL: Can we now draw the conclusion that the police themselves have been responsible for the recent spate of shootings that have occurred, so as to be able to pin the blame on an organisation such as the KNPB which has been involved in peaceful advocacy such as calling for a referendum to be held in West Papua?]

[Translated by TAPOL]

Papuans allege Australian trained D88 personnel shot dead Mako Tabuni

Breaking News

West Papua Media

 21:00 (WPB) 14 June 2012

As tensions across West Papua ratchet up in the wake of the execution of KNPB leader Mako Tabuni, senior Papuan leaders accuse Australian and U.S trained Detachment 88 of being behind the slaying.

Domi Surabut, a senior Papuan Tribal Council leader from the Central Highlands sent West Papua Media the following message by sms at 21:35 tonight (AEST): “Mako Musa Tabuni was shot dead by Densus 88 with three bullets. Twice in the thigh and once in the stomach. His corpse is still being held at the Bhayangkara Police Hospital. His death will cause blood to flow. Please pray and urge peaceful intervention in Papua.”

As of 21:30 tonight the Indonesian police are still refusing to release his body to Tabuni’s family saying that they will bury him themselves.

As outrage builds church, tribal and independence leaders from the nonviolent movement are urging their followers to maintain discipline fearing that a violent reaction will give the TNI and Indonesian police all the justification they need to crush the independence movement.

In a text circulating around activist circles Selphius Bobii, a political prisoner writes “The killing of Tabuni is part of a scenario to destroy the Papuan struggle’s commitment to a peaceful path and push Papuans towards violence. So let’s control ourselves. Don’t get caught in this scenario which will only weaken our peaceful struggle that right now is echoing across our country and up to the UN.”

As armoured personnel carriers, water cannons and heavily armed troops position themselves around the streets of Jayapura tonight that commitment will be sorely tested.

WPM 22:00 (AEST) 14 June 2012

Imparsial criticises police for the death of Mako Tabuni

JUBI, 14 June 2012

Imparsial, the Indonesian Human Rights   Monitor, has expressed its deep regret at the action by the police who shot Mako Tabuni, the chairman of KNPB, the National Committee of West Papua, resulting in his death.

The executive director, Poengky Indarti said that if the police suspected that Mako Tabuni was involved in recent acts of violence , they should have acted in accordance with the provisions of the Criminal Code

‘It is extremely regrettable that  the police shot Mako Tabuni, as a result of which this activist died,’ she said.

She went on to say that the police would have needed evidence in order the conduct an investigation. and if they did have such evidence in this case, Mako Tabuni should have been taken into custody and treated as a suspect.

‘The procedure would then be for the police to summon the person in question for interrogation. He can only be detained  if there is reason to fear that he may abscond or commit a further crime.

A person can indeed be arrested if he is caught red-handed. But bearing in mind that this was not the case, the action by the police in arresting and shooting Mako Tabuni was a violation of the criminal procedural code, KUHAP.

‘Even if he had resisted, the security forces should not have taken action that resulted in his death. If he had offered resistance with a sharp weapon or with a firearm, the police should have first warned him of the consequences, and if forced to shoot, they should have made sure that this would not cause any fatal injuries.’

The Imparsial executive-director said that  it was also very regrettable that the  death of Mako Tabuni had made the situation in Jayapura worse than ever. The response to his death by members of the KNPB has resulted in the situation in Jayapura becoming very tense indeed. ‘We urge the security forces to take greater care in handling a case like this, and they should always act in accordance with the provisions of the law.’

The failings of the police can only result in the situation getting worse, reinforcing the occurrence of further acts of violence and causing the people to feel even more insecure.

[Translated by TAPOL]

HRW: Indonesia – Lift Restrictions on Reporting, Access to Papua



Indonesia: Lift Restrictions on

Reporting, Access to Papua [1]

Invite UN Rights Experts to Increasingly Violent Eastern Provinces
June 13, 2012

(New York) – The Indonesian government should allow foreign media and civil society groups access to Papua to report on violence and rights violations since May that have left at least 14 dead.

Human Rights Watch urged Indonesia to accept calls made at the United Nations Human Rights Council to permit access to the province and to issue standing invitations to UN human rights experts.

“By keeping Papua behind a curtain, the Indonesian government is fostering impunity among military forces and resentment among Papuans,” said Elaine Pearson, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “It needs to let the media and civil society shine a light on conditions in the province.”

Human Rights Watch said that the Indonesian government has failed to hold to account those responsible for recent violence in Papua. On June 6, 2012, a crowd stabbed one Indonesian soldier to death and seriously injured another after their motorcycle struck a Papuan child in Honai Lama District in Wamena, a city in Papua’s Central Highlands.

In retaliation, hundreds of soldiers from the 756th battalion swept through Honai Lama and elsewhere in Wamena, beating and stabbing residents and burning homes. A Papuan civil servant, Elianus Yoman, reportedly died from bayonet wounds. Seven other Papuans were injured and hospitalized. The soldiers set numerous buildings and motor vehicles on fire, causing many villagers to flee into surrounding forest.

An Indonesian military spokesman in Jayapura, Papua’s capital, initially denied that soldiers had injured any Papuans. But Indonesia’s president, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, later conceded [4] that the Indonesian security forces overreacted in their response.

There have been a number of other violent incidents reported recently in Papua’s capital. Since May 23, unknown gunmen shot dead several non-Papuan migrants. A German tourist was shot on May 29 and was sent for treatment to a hospital in Singapore. The police forcibly broke up a protest on June 4 by the National Committee for West Papua (Komite Nasional Papua Barat or KNPB), a militant Papuan independence group, reportedly killing three student members. A KNPB member was also reported shot to death earlier on May 1.

The response of the national government to the growing violence in Papua has been inadequate, Human Rights Watch said. Yudhoyono told reporters on June 12, “The action [attacks in Papua] can be said to have happened on a small scale with limited victims.… The figure is far [lower] than the violence in the Middle East, [where] we can witnesses, every day, attacks and violence with huge numbers of deaths.”

“President Yudhoyono should stop making excuses for his government’s failure to investigate the violence,” said Pearson. “Allowing full access to the province for UN rights experts, the press, and other monitors could curtail the rumors and misinformation that often fuel abuses.”

The Indonesia government sharply restricts access to its easternmost provinces, Papua and West Papua. Military forces have been deployed there since 1963 to counter a long-simmering independence movement. Foreigners are required to obtain a special permit to visit the areas. Such permits are routinely denied or the processing delayed, hampering efforts by journalists and civil society groups to report on breaking events.

During the Universal Periodic Review of Indonesia at the UN Human Rights Council on May 23, France called on Indonesia to ensure free access for civil society and journalists to Papua and West Papua. The United Kingdom noted the “increase in violence” in Papua and “encouraged Indonesia to tackle violence against minority faiths and accept visit requests by Special Rapporteurs.” Austria, Chile, the Maldives, and South Korea called on Indonesia to accept standing invitations to the UN rights experts and groups known as special procedures. Mexico specifically asked the Indonesian government to invite the special rapporteurs to Papua.

The previous UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Philip Alston, made a request to visit Indonesia in 2004 and again in 2008, to which he never received a response.

“Several states registered concerns at the UN Human Rights Council about Indonesia’s failure to invite UN experts to the country,” said Pearson. “If Indonesia wants to be taken seriously in Geneva, it shouldn’t continue to ignore this request.”

[1] http://www.hrw.org/news/2012/06/13/indonesia-lift-restrictions-reporting-access-papua
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[4] http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/news/sby-sanctions-for-papua-law-enforcers-committing-inappropriate-actions/523951

© Copyright 2012, Human Rights Watch

Papua could soon become an Emergency Zone

Bintang Papua,
13 June 2012

Leaders of two of the main churches in Papua, the Kingmi Church and the Alliance of Baptist Churches in Papua, say that many of their church members are now afraid to leave their homes in the evening.

The chairman of the Baptist Alliance, the Revd Socratez Sofyan Yoman said that the efforts by the Papuan people to transform West Papua into a zone of peace are being obstructed by certain forces. The recent series of shootings is turning Papua into an Emergency Zone.

According to the Rev. Socrates, the core of the conflict in Papua is greed on the part of those who violate human rights.  The Indonesian government is dealing with the situation in Papua by strengthening the repressive security forces, the TNI and the police, while  paying no attention  to the health and educational needs of the Papuan people.

‘The government  continues to split the province up into more districts in order to be able to increase the number of the security forces,’ he said.

The actions of the government could result in the emergence of youth groups who will fight for the aspirations of the Papuan people by peaceful means. Rev Socrates urged the Indonesian government to enter into discussions as soon as possible with  representatives of the Papuan people in order to create a permanent state of  peace in Papua as a way of reducing the the process of radicalisation of the young people which is further promoted by acts of violence and the neglect of human rights abuses.

He also called  upon the international human rights institution of the United Nations  to do what it can to help reduce the crimes being committed in Papua. He called upon his own congregation to remain vigilant and do everything they can to preserve an atmosphere of peace and prevent the actions of those who  are trying to make the conditions worse.

The Rev. Benny Giay said that the people live in a sate of fear because of the situation in Jayapura that has developed in the past two months and said that the there is no end to the shootings even though the city of Jayapura is more controllable than mountainous regions such as Puncak Jaya  and Timika

With regard to the recent statement by the chief of the intelligence agency BIN that the people doing the shooting have come from the mountains, the Rev. Giay said that the BIN agency chief should take action to arrest the people responsible for the shooting instead of raising new issues which do nothing help to clarify the situation.

He also said that the  policies being pursued by the government such as setting up the UP4B (development unit) are not rooted among the Papuan people. ‘The Papuan people  cannot understand the policies that the govrnment is pursuing. The central and provincial governments should respond to what the Papuan people have been yearning for for years. ‘Only the Papuan people can know what conditions are necessary for the sustenance of their lives.

[Translated by TAPOL]