Launch of Papuansbehindbars.org website for Papuan political prisoners

Website launch: www.papuansbehindbars.org

Jayapura, Tuesday 16 April 2013 

Today the Civil Society Coalition for the Upholding of Law and Human Rights in the Land of Papua, working together with a number of human rights NGOs in Jakarta and internationally will formally launch the Papuans Behind Bars website www.papuansbehindbars.org, or in Indonesian, ‘Orang Papua Dibalik Jeruji. The website is intended to support advocacy for the rights of the political prisoners who are currently languishing in jails across Papua. Based on the data collected by the Civil Society Coalition for the Upholding of Law and Human Rights in the Land of Papua, at the end of March 2013 there were at least 40 political detainees being held in Papuan jails.This website shows the existence of political prisoners today and the history of Papuan political prisoners who have been subjected to torture, denied access to lawyers, forced to confess and suffered all manner of other human rights violations. The existence of political prisoners cannot be denied despite statements to the contrary by Indonesia’s Coordinating Minister for Legal, Political and Security Affairs, Djoko Suyanto., that those in custody in Papua are criminals who are undergoing rehabilitation. The website will also provide updates on the situation in the prisons.

It’s important to respect the rights of detainees in police detention when they are being detained or interrogated on suspicion of treason, as well as those who are serving sentences having been found guilty of treason. This is because there have been a number of stories of human rights violations such as torture which begin from the moment of arrest and interrogation and continue while people are serving sentences.

Despite the fact that Indonesia has already ratified the International Covenant On Civil and Political Rights via Law 12/2005 and the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment of Punishment via Law 5/1998, treason cases tried in the Papua state courts continue to be tried under politically-motivated charges of Article 106 of the Indonesian Criminal Code and Emergency Law 12/1951. Treason suspects and convicts are treated like any other criminals such as thieves and rapists. So it’s unsurprising that with the brutal attitude of the security forces at the moment of arrest, detention and even while serving their sentences, they experience human rights violations which should not be allowed to take place.

With the www.papuansbehindbars.org website, the Civil Society Coalition for the Upholding of Law and Human Rights in the Land of Papua will work together with various other human rights groups in monitoring those political prisoners who continue to languish behind bars, both those under interrogation and those who are serving sentences in Papuan jails, in order to ensure that their human rights are protected.

Taking into account Indonesia’s ratification of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights by Law Number 12 of 2005, and the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment through Law 5 of 1998, we make following recommendations to the Government of Indonesia:

1. Release all political prisoners in Papuan prisons in Papua and immediately begin a peace dialogue with the Papuan people.

2. Guarantee the rights of political prisoners, including access to health care and legal services.

3. Especially the Coordinating Minister for Legal, Political and Security Affairs, to meet with political prisoners who are languishing in various Papuan jails to get fact for their situation and existence.

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The Civil Society Coalition for the Upholding of Law and Human Rights in the Land of Papua consists of the following organisations:

Within Papua: Foker LSM, KontraS, ALDP, ElsHAM Papua, LBH Papua, KPKC Sinode GKI, TIKI, AJI Papua, Baptis Voices, Sinode Kingmi Papua, Sinode Baptis Papua, BUK, SKPKC FP, Sinode GIDI, Septer Manufandu, Gustaf Kawer, Cs, Yan Christian Warinussy.

Jakarta: KontraS dan Nasional Papua Solidarity (Napas)

International: Tapol, Asian Human Rights Commission, East Timor and Indonesia Action Network, West Papua Network, Faith-based Network on West Papua

Coordinator: Septer Manufandu (Mobile: +62 (0) 8124876321/email: septer_manufandu@yahoo.com)

FROM TAPOL

Yapen treason trial accused testify of torture in custody

from West Papua Media, with local sources

April 15, 2013

Defence witnesses have revealed the extensive and systemic use of casual torture and inhumane treatment by Indonesian police, whilst testifying at the Makar (treason) trial of two West Papuan peaceful political activists in Yapen District Court, Serui, on April 9.

IMG-20130409-00019
Yan Piet Maniamboi (defendant seated on Left) during cross-examination by Matius Matulesi, SH

The activists had been threatened with twenty years jail for organising a nonviolent march about media freedom in West Papua. The two men, Edison Kendi (38) and Yan Piet Maniamboi (36) were arrested for their involvement in organising peaceful demonstrations in Yapen on May 1, and August 9, 2012 for World Day of Indigenous Peoples,  and have been held in atrocious conditions in Serui prison and have been subjected to routine and regular torture since their arrest.

Banner at freedom of expression rally rejecting Indonesian rule in Papua on the International Day for Indigenous People. Photo via Alex Rayfield from West Papua Media stringers in Yapen.

The treason trial has been beset by procedural mistakes and the failure to appear of several police officers as prosecution witnesses.  Edison Kendi is the National Federated Republic of West Papua’s Governor of Saireri region.

According to independent observers present at the April 9 hearing, the four defence witnesses testified that they were beaten and tortured during detention and interrogation by Yapen police, and were forced to provide false information to stop the torture.  The presiding judge suspended the trial for five minutes to talk with witnesses as the BAP (Case Records) were in danger of being revoked by the judge, legally inadmissible as they were based on testimony extracted under torture.

One of the witnesses, named John, answered Prosecutor Matius Matulesi’s questions on the validity of the Case Records version of testimony, the prosecutor disagreed with John and called him “Swanggi” (Devil or Ghost).   Matulesi also began to threaten both the witnesses and defendants with hoax charges for testifying about their mistreatment.  Matulesi, a Christian native of Maluku, is known as a hard-liner and being “very inhumane in demanding punishment to the fullest extent on  native Papuans in Serui, according to human rights observers at the trial.

Edison Kendi had previously testified about the brutality inflicted on him and Maniamboi whilst being held at Yapen police station, and then after their transfer to Serui  prison on December 9, 2012 .  Kendi wrote in statement provided to observers:

“Since we were arrested we were tortured, kicked, pierced with wood, hit with wood, so we suffered extraordinary bruises and swellings, but (we were) never treated (for injuries) during our detention at the Yapen police station. Police did not allow us to be treated, for the  reason we are OPM (Free Papua Movement).”

Failure to provide medical attention for injuries whilst in custody is a grave human rights violation in and of itself, under the UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, and also the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment – obviously in addition to the torture suffered by the defendants.

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Defendants Yan Piet Maniamboi (fourth from left) and Edison Kendi (5th from right), with family, supporters and legal counsel, in court before the hearing. (photo: West Papua Media stringers / NFRPB)

Matius Matulesi has also come in for heavy criticism over his violations of basic prisoner rights to medical treatment in this case, for injuries sustained by the defendants whilst under torture by Yapen police.  According to Edison Kendi, “On December 19, 2012 I submitted an application to the clinic in the Prisons for medical treatment, but I was not allowed to go out (to the hospital) by the Attorney on behalf of Matius Matulesi, SH –  so we just keep quiet and bore the pain. I’ve been treated at the clinic LP / prisons but with no improvement. I was sick when swelling on both my legs because of torture when captured and examined at the police Yapen station. I have repeatedly applied for treatment outside of LP / prisons but it’s all just all in vain since the detention December 6, 2012 – January 21, 2013 is not permitted by the prosecutor Mathius Matulesi, SH”.

Matulesi also allegedly prevented Kendi from attending the funeral of his father, allowing him only two minutes with his father’s body before being taken back to prison, despite other Indonesian prisoners, including prisoners convicted of violent terrorism offences, routinely granted this basic right.

The trial was adjourned for the prosecutor to present two investigators from the police station at the next session to be confronted with the witnesses’ testimony.

West Papua Media

Arbitrary arrests, disappearance of civilians by police in Tolikara and Mulia

Apologies for the delay in posting
by West Papua Media with local sources
April 13, 2013

Independent human rights workers in Puncak Jaya regency have reported that Indonesian police and army in the remote highlands district of Tolikara have been continuing to arbitrarily arrest civilians, allegedly to fill arrest quotas required for promotion, as part of routine crackdowns on civilians harbouring pro-independence thought in Papua.

Three civilians were also arrested by a combined Indonesian army (TNI) and Police platoon on March 9, at the Pasar Lama market in Mulia town, Puncak Jaya.   Nonggop Tabuni, Delemu Enumby and Jelek Enembe, were arrested based on false allegations according to witnesses interviewed by human rights workers, though the exact nature of the false allegations was unreported.

Credible sources have also reported that the same motive was behind the arbitrary arrest and an alleged beating by Papua Police (POLDA) in Tolikara on April 1.

Police from Tolikara station arrested a 35-year-old farmer, Josiah Karoba, 9,.25 am on April 1, while he was standing in front of a kiosk on Jalan Irian Tolikara.  The victim was arrested on the pretext of failing to carry his KTP (National Identity Card), a Suharto-era law designed to identify Communists that has been relaxed everywhere but Papua.

Karoba was then arrested “roughly” and taken to the police station Tolikara, according to witness reports, however Karoba’s family have no information about his current status or whereabouts since his arrest.   Karoba’s family and human rights workers hold grave fears for his safety and freedom from torture.

Human rights sources have told West Papua Media that the Tolikara arrests are  motivated in the interest of police promotion, by arresting innocent civilians and continuing to make victims of innocent Papuan civilians.

There is no indication as yet that the arrests are connected with a massive operation currently ongoing targeting National Liberation Army fighters under Goliat Tabuni, hunted after their killing of six Kopassus special forces soldiers on February 21.  With independent media heavily restricted by the operation, details of sweep arrest of other civilians during the operation has been unverifiable, but local sources have reported that hundreds if not thousands of civilians have been detained or forced to flee from their villages during the operation.

westpapuamedia

 

Quid pro quo: Goliath Tabuni allegedly threatens to shoot police chief after police place Tabuni on wanted list

Bintang Papua
7 April 2013
In response to the announcement by the police that they have placed Goliath Tabuni on the WANTED list, Goliath Tabuni told Bintang Papua last Saturday that he had laughed at the announcement, and said it was very strange bearing in mind that he has been waging a struggle already for several decades, so how come he has only now been put on the  WANTED list.
He said that he was not troubled by the announcement: ‘We know that our struggle bears risks, but making this announcement at the present time suggests that there is a certain purpose in doing so.’He went on to announce that he has ordered his men to shoot the chief of police Inspector-General Tito Karnavian.  ‘Since the chief of police has issued an announcement, I too, issue a call to my men to be prepared to  shoot the chief of police if he comes here to Puncak Jaya.”Last week’s announcement by the chief of police stated: ‘The chief commander of TPN/OPM Gen. Goliath Tabuni  is wanted in connection with the shootings which occurred on 21 February 2013 in Sinak and Tingginambut.’

Goliath Tabuni’s statement was made in a press release which stated: “In  connection with the announcement by the chief of police, the TPN/OPM herewith declares to the Indonesian government and to the general public as well as to the international community that the aim of the struggle of the TPN/OPM is clear and justified.  That is to say, it is waging a struggle for the independence of the Papuan people and to have the right to determine their own future.”

It also stated that Goliath Tabuni, as the commander-in-chief of the TPN/OPM, will issue an operational order for the chief of police Inspector-General Tito Karnavian to be shot dead if he comes to the Central Highlands for operational purposes whenever this may occur. “We are ready to shoot down the plane in which the chief of police may be travelling because we are able to classify all flights into the interior.”

“We warn the chief of police that, before issuing a ‘wanted’  order, he should take effective measures to find a solution to the political conflict in West Papua,” the statement said

“We herewith warn (Indonesian President) SBY and the Indonesian Government to take effective action to resolve the conflict about the status of  West Papua, bearing in mind its status as part of the Republic of Indonesia is illegal according to all the facts that can be investigated.”

‘There must be tripartite talks between the United Nations, the Indonesian Government and representatives of the Papuan people who shall be determined by the TPN/OPM,” he said.

He finally declared that the TPN/OPM will continue with its struggle and can never be intimidated by acts of terror and intimidation by the Indonesian security forces which are carried out by the chief of police and the commander of the Cenderawasih/ VII Military Command.

[Translated by TAPOL]

 

Killing Papuan Fighter will not solve the problem, says Indonesian MP

Tabloid JUBI
8 April 2013
A Papuan member of the Indonesian Parliament, Diaz Gwijannge said that he  cannot agree with the decision to place the OPM leader, Goliath Tabuni on the WANTED list. Killing Papuan leaders can never solve the problem, he said.’I cannot agree with the decision to place Goliath Tabuni on the wanted list so that he can be killed because this will not solve the problem.’

‘A number of Papuan fighters for independence have been killed, such as Theys Eluay, Kelly Kwalik and Mako Tabuni have been killed but this has solved nothing. Even though that have died, the problem about Papuan  independence still continues,’ he said.

No-one has been forcing the Papuan people to call for independence. This is the political ideology of the Papuan people. Even if those who are fighting for independence are killed, the independence struggle will continue,’ he said. ‘There should be dialogue or whatever you want to call it because the solution must be sought by political means.’

”Dont think that we can be deceived. Just see what happened in Timor-Leste. If such things continue, people will call this an act of genocide in Papua. I think that the chief of police should be careful.  Dont  just accuse people and put them on the WANTED list. There are procedures which must be used which should guarantee people’s right to life. Only God himself can take someone’s life, not another human being,’ he said.

Gwijannge explained “The solution must be comprehensive not just partial, especially considering that the indigenous Papuan people have taken the ethical path to find a solution.  The Papuan Peace Network is pressing for dialogue and there needs to be a response to that from the Indonesian Government, by involving the OPM in dialogue,” he said.

“Aceh and Papua are very much the same, there is no difference between then. It is indeed true that GAM’s structure was very well organised. So why is it that the Acehnese conflict was resolved by the Helsinki agreement, but this is not possible for Papua? This means that there is discrimination between the two.”

“Moreover there is inconsistency in the Government’s policy  towards Papua. They were granted OTSUS – Special Autonomy – but there has been great inconsistency in its implementation. The central government has also divided the territory which has frequently led to conflicts between the Papuan people themselves.”

‘The two sides must sit down together for talks. And if necessary a third party should be involved, as was the case with GAM. Why can’t Papua be handled in the same way? It would appear that the Indonesian government is not serious about finding a solution with the result that acts of violence continue to occur,” said Gwijannge.

[Translated by TAPOL]

 

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