JUBI: 13 May Action is a Call for Justice Regarding Human Rights in Papua

15 May 2013

A human rights solidarity group in Papua, SPP-HAM declared that the action that took place on Monday, 13 May was clearly a call for justice  with regard to human rights violations which occurred in West Papua . But even so, the action was banned by the police.

As has been earlier reported, actions to Commemorate  the 1 May which Papuan activists regard marking the 50th anniversary of West Papua’s annexation by the Republic of Indonesia occurred in a number of places.

The Indonesian security forces, (TNI and Police) took repressive and brutal  action against these actions which occurred in a number of places, such as Sorong, Fak-Fak, Biak, Nabire and Timika.

Wim Rocky Medlama, spokesman for KNPB (National Committee of West Papua) said: ‘The Indonesian security forces are clinging firmly to the controversial claim that Papua had returned to the fold of the Motherland and therefore, the authority of the Republic of Indonesia in Papua cannot be questioned and cannot be challenged.’

He said that on the evening before annexation day, 1 May 2013, a tragic incident  occurred which resulted in the loss of life. This was when the security forces launched an attack on Papuan people in the complex in Aimas, Sorong. ‘During this attack a number of people were injured, two of whom died – Abner Malagawa (20 years old) and Thomas Blesia (28 years old) died after being hit by a bullets. Furthermore a woman, Salomina Klambin (37 years old) was also shot and subsequently died after attempts by doctors at Sorong hospital to remove bullets from her body failed.

‘In response to the repressive actions of the Indonesian security forces  in various parts of Papua on 1 May and the tragic incident in Aimas Sorong, a number of Papuan activists in Jayapura, including young people and students, held meetings  in order to coordinate their actions in several places in the vicinity of Abepura.. These meetings were focussed on efforts to take joint action about the bloody incident in Aimas, Sorong.

As a result of these meetings  which were attended by activists from a number  of organisations, they reached agreement to respond to the repressive actions by the security forces against the Papuan people in Sorong and other places by organising human rights solidarity actions.

‘These solidarity actions would take the form of  issuing press statements and meeting journalists, which would then be followed up by holding mass demonstrations outside the offices of the MRP, the DPRP and the Governor’s office.’

After considering various levels of coordination, they decided that the action would take place on 13 May. The solidarity team would send a letter of notification of their intention to the chief of police in Jayapura and to the local chief of police. The letter was sent on 10 May,

The letter to the police contained the names of several  people who were responsible for these actions. They were: Yason Ngelia and Septi Maidodga as representatives of the BEM-MPM Uncen (Cenderawasih University), Bovit Bofra as the chairman of Garda-P (Democratic Papuan People’s Movement), Victor Yeimo as chairman of the KNPB, and Marthen Manggaprouw as the representative of the West Papuan National Authority WPNA).

Later that day, these meetings were followed up by further coordination between the activists who were involved in the planned solidarity action.

One day after the announcement reporting their intention to carry out this action, a representative of the police force in Papua from the intelligence and security staff (Intelkam) phoned to say that those responsible for the action should meet the director of Intelkam regarding the planned action. Bovit Bofra and Yason Ngelia as representatives  responded to the summons at police headquarters in the centre of Jayapura on 11 May at 9am where they met  the director of Intelkam, Chief Inspector Yakobus Marzuki. During this tense and difficult meeting, the director of Intelkam asked them to explain the action that was being planned.

‘In addition to questioning the names of several groups which were involved in the solidarity action whose existence has not been registered, they also complained about the politicisation of the situation because it could potentially be disruptive for the population.’This was because the announcement of the planned action talked about a ‘humanitarian tragedy ‘ in Sorong in which Papuan civilians had fallen as victims.

The use of the word ‘tragedy’ in the announcement was, according to the police, groundless and completely unacceptable. This was because the actions taken by the security forces were fully in accordance with legal procedures that are in force in the Republic of Indonesia. According to the police officer, there were indications that the people mentioned would be damaging national stability by organising an action on 13 May. Following the issuing of a  statement, the director of Intelkam issued a letter refusing permission for the action that was planned for 13 May.

But the only name that was mentioned in the police letter rejecting (the action) was that of Victor Yeimo, the chairman of the KNPB whereas the announcement of the intention to take action mentioned a number of other names from various different organisations that were not registered.

The Director of Intelkam also referred to the position adopted by the governor of Papua, Lukas Enembe, who said that taking such an action would only disrupt development in Papua.

In response, Bovit and Yason explained their position regarding the lack of permission by the police and clarified their intention to go ahead with the action. But this discussion revealed many differences and led to a bitter argument that lasted for twenty minutes.

Because no agreement was reached,  Bovit and Yason stated their firm commitment that, in accordance with the agreement (between the organisations), the action planned for 13 May would go ahead.

However, the director of Intelkam, said that the police had not given permission for the action to go ahead, and if it did, all those responsible as well as those who took part would have to face the consequences which included the likelihood of legal action.

Translated by TAPOL

One thought on “JUBI: 13 May Action is a Call for Justice Regarding Human Rights in Papua

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