March 14, 2013
by OKTOVIANUS POGAU at SuaraPapua.com
with additional reporting from West Papua Media
PAPUAN, Jayapura — Dorus Wakum, a human right activist in Papua has examined that the Head of Papua Regional Police (Kapolda Papua), General Inspector (Pol), Tito Karnavian is the authorised “mastermind” behind widespread acts of arrests, killings and plunder of activists in Papua.
“Since Tito Karnavian was appointed on September 3, 2012, democratic space in Papua has been closed for meetings. Many Papuan activists were arrested, killed, and even imprisoned for no apparent reason,” said Wakum, when contacted by suarapapua.com, Tuesday, (14/05/2013) afternoon.
Prior to his Papua appointment in 2012, Karnavian was the feted head of the controversial elite anti-terror unit Detachment 88, funded, armed and trained by Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom. Under his command, the unit became known for its extrajudicial killings of suspects, and was embroiled in documented case of torture and and excessive force in Maluku and Papua, most notably with its involvement in the brutal crackdown on the Third Papuan People’s Congress in October 2011.
Karnavian’s first major engagement in Papua was commanding the openly boasted extrajudicial assassination of at-the-time-unarmed legendary West Papuan guerrilla fighter and Commander of the National Liberation Army, Kelly Kwalik, in Timika on December 16, 2009.
Wakum assessed that Tito Karnavian is not worthy to serve as Kapolda (Chief of Police) Papua, because the activities of the people of Papua are not based on terrorism, as he was assigned prior to serving as Kapolda Papua.
“Since Tito came to power, we already heard about the discovery of bombs in Sorong, Wamena and Biak, and this is a big conspiracy. The objective of Tito Karnavian is that this is acceptable in Papua, and hopes to gain support from the international community and non-Papuans. There are no terrorists in Papua, we the people of Papua fought for our political rights peacefully,” said Wakum.
Wakum also evaluated that if Tito Karnavian continues to be stationed in Papua, the escalation of violence will increase because all peaceful mass demonstrations would be faced with gun and muzzle of rifle.
“Try observe all the previous Kapolda, although they utilised full force, but not as bad as the current Kapolda. People can still demonstrate, (were still) permitted to hold fellowship at Theys Cemetry Oval, but now not at all, as an example that occurred on May 1, and May 13, yesterday, this is the action of Tito Karnavian,” said Wakum.
Thobias Bagubau, a human right activist in Jayapura agreed with Wakum’s assessment. He emphasised that Tito Karnavian is not appropriate to be position in Papua because the situation will intensify and the number of Papuan political prisoners will increase.
“Currently, we are not able to demonstrate, if sleeping at night, certainly mindful of (tomorrow) we’ll be arrested, tortured and beaten while staging the action and lucky enough if not shot dead. This is now the policy and command from Kapolda Papua,” said Bagubau.
Bagubau also observe on one hand that Tito Karnavia’s socio-cultural approach to partially soften the people of Papua, especially the central highlanders, but on the other hand, continues to undermine the democracy with murder, arrest and imprisonment of Papuan activists.
“The soft approaches actually obstruct his actual image. Kapolda should be someone who understand the demands, desires and expectations of the society. The total number of political prisoners recently stated by Papuan Behind Bars are 40 people and now there is addition of 7 people in Sorong, 4 people in Jayapura and 7 people in Timika, which totalled to 58 people. The total is extraordinary,” added Bagubau.
Both Wakum and Bagubau agreed that Kapolda Papua Tito Karnavian, has shut down democratic space in Papua to fulfil his personal ambition as a police career, that is, to become Head of Republic Police (Kapolri) in the future.
“This is for the sake of Kapolri position in the near future, Papua will be a springboard for his career advancement, we’ll see,” concluded Wakum.
A glance of Tito Karnavian’s life:
Born in Palembang, South Sumatera, Indonesia, on October 26, 1964. He was an officer of the Indonesian National Police, who managed to dismantle the terrorist leader’s Noordin Moch Top networks. At that time, Commissioner Tito Karnavian was promoted to Brigadier General and was promoted as the Head of Detachment 88 anti-terror unit at Polri headquarters. Tito Karnavian replaced Brigadier General (Pol) Saut Usman Nasution, who served as the first Director of Security and Transnational Criminal Investigation Polri Headquarters.
In accordance with TR Kapolri dated, September 3, 2012, Tito was appointed as Kapolda Papua as a replacement of Inspector General (Irjen Pol) Bigman Lumban Tobing, who had been criticised in Jakarta for allowing a spiral of “unknown persons” (OTK) shootings to occur without investigation, shootings which were widely believed by credible Papuan obsevers to be carried out by members of Indonesia’s notorious special forces, Kopasssus, and allegedly even members of Detachment 88.
Some positions that Tito Karnavian held were:
- Head of Intelligence Unit (Kasatserse)
- General Director of Regional Intelligence Unit (Umum Ditserse);
- Jakarta Provincial Police (Polda Metro Jaya);
- Head of Densus 88/anti-terrorism unit (Kadensus 88/Anti Teror),
- Head of District Police in Serang,
- Head of sub-division Densus & Police Intel Detachment 88/Anti Terrorism Unit (Kasubden Intel 88/Anti Terror Intel Densus);
- Republic Criminal Investigative Unit (Bareskrim Polri);
- and Head of Densus 88/Anti-Terrorism Unit (Kadensus 88/Anti Terror) from 2009 til 2010.
- He’s also the head of the education section and capacity building (Pembinaan Kemampuan BNPT) from 2010-2012, and after that he was “entrusted as the best person to maintain Papua”.