Statement by Oktovianus Pogau
October 23, 2012
I’m going to describe the beating I (Oktovianus Pogau, Journalist) http://www.suarapapua.com experienced by the Manokwari district police in front of Papua State University campus in Manokwari, West Papua, on the afternoon of Tuesday 23rd October.
At about 10.00 am Eastern Indonesian Time I arrived at the place of the incident, in front of the Papua State University campus. I saw around 300 armed officers holding/restraining a crowd of 300 people. The crowd was planning on marching to Lapangan Borarsi, Manokwari. There were three trucks blocking the road, and also 1 TNI (military) truck with dozens of personnel.
There were negotiations between the police and the crowd. Police requested the crowd express their opinion there, on the main road, in front of the campus. The crowd insisted on continuing to Lapangan Borarsi. There was some commotion, then the crowd yielded and didn’t continue to Lapangan Borarsi (except) for a few people who continued there to wait for another crowd of demonstrators to arrive.
At about 10.40 am Eastern Indonesian Time, a police officer neared the crowd and took a photo. The crowd didn’t accept this, and moved nearer to the police and requested that they not take photos so close. Then, several people from the crowd spontaneously threw rocks in the direction of the officers, and from here, the officers responded brutally. Hundreds of people dispersed and the officers loosed thousands of shots in front of the campus Uncen. 11 people were arrested. 2 people suffered from gunshot wounds.
At this time I wasn’t far from where this was happening. I was trying to take footage and photos. A plain-clothed police officer approached me and told me to leave the area in a rude tone. I told him I was a journalist and carried a press card. He demanded I show him my card. I found my wallet so I could show him my card but suddenly a police officer in full uniform turned up. The officer strangled my neck and threatened me, so that I’d leave to the action. I resisted and said I was a journalist, then three more officers in uniform came and barked at me, ‘Where’s your press card . . . where’s your press card.’ I moved to look for it, but one of the police threw punches at my face and lips.
At this time my neck was aching from the strangulation by the officer and my lip was swollen and bleeding. Then several of my journalist friends came and stopped them and said I was a journalist, and only then did they release me.
- Crackdown Across Papua: October 23 Knpb Demo Updates (westpapuamedia.info)
- End the violence against Papuan journalists: Oktovianus Pogau (westpapuamedia.info)
- Indonesian police attack journalist, shut down West Papua protest with shootings (pacific.scoop.co.nz)
- A statement issued by Pantau Foundation and SEAPA (pacific.scoop.co.nz)
- Security forces open fire, 5 police injured, 11 detained in West Papua protest (pacific.scoop.co.nz)
- West Papuan protesters shot (theage.com.au)
- UNCEN students call for an end to stigmatisation (westpapuamedia.info)
- Indonesian police fire shots, tear gas after 100s of Morning Star flags fly at peaceful demo in Manokwari (westpapuamedia.info)