Papuan political prisoners reject offer of Indonesian Government for amnesty

Written by at Tabloid Jubi
May 25, 2013
Filep Karma (Doc. Jubi)

Jayapura, 25/05 – The bid by the Indonesian Government through the Ministry of Law and Human Rights, to grant amnesty for some political prisoners in Papua was rejected by political prisoners at Abepura penitentiary.

The Papuan political prisoners’ statement which was signed by 25 political prisoners serving sentences in Abepura prison stated the following: “We reject the plan granting clemency by the President of the Republic of Indonesia.”
This statement, received by Jubi on Friday (24/05) reinforces the position of these political prisoners: they themselves do not need to be released from prison, but they demand the release of the people of West Papua from the colonial occupation by the Indonesian Republic.

A few hours earlier, the Minister of Law and Human Rights, Amir Syamsuddin, had conveyed to journalists at the Parliament Building in Jakarta that amnesty would be granted to political prisoners in Papua.
“We are considering the granting of amnesty for political prisoners, because of the political background, especially the situation in Papua,” said Law Minister Amir Syamsuddin.

The 25 political prisoners who rejected the amnesty offer by the Indonesian Government are:
1. Filep J.S. Karma
2. Victor F Yeimo
3. Selpius Bobii
4. A. Makbrawen Sananay Krasar
5. Dominikus Sarabut
6. Beni Teno
7. Alex Makabori
8. Nico D. Sosomar
9. Petrus Nerotou
10. Denny I Hisage
11. Dago Ronald Gobai
12. Jefry Wandikbo
13. Mathan Klembiab
14. Rendy W. Wetipo
15. Boas Gombo
16. Jhon Pekei
17. Oliken giyai
18. Panus Kogoya
19. Warsel Asso
20. Yunias Itlay
21. Timur Waker
22. Kondison Jikibalom
23. Serko Itlay
24. Japrai Murib
25. Yulianus Wenda

In Papua, until last April, according to the UK-based NGO, Tapol, there are around 40 political prisoners scattered in several prisons in Papua and West Papua. (Jubi)

Beheadings and dumped bodies pile up as Indonesian special forces rampage again in Tingginambut

Special Report by West Papua Media

May 27, 2013

Credible and disturbing reports are continuing to emerge from Tingginambut, Puncak Jaya, in the West Papuan highlands, detailing evidence of another violent rampage by the Indonesian army special forces (Kopassus) against civilians throughout May, allegedly by Kopassus officers stationed in the district which has been suffering war conditions since February.

The death toll is mounting, with six of the victims village chiefs and social leaders returning from invited attendance at the inauguration of new Papua Governor Lukas Enembe in Jayapura, and were intercepted, tortured and killed by Kopassus officers mounting a roadblock at Ilu on the Mulia road on May 8, 2013, according to preliminary evidence uncovered by human rights investigators in the field and provided to West Papua Media.

Photo: One of the victims, as yet unidentified. (supplied from human rights investigators)

At least 18 headless, mutilated or amputated bodies have since been confirmed found in roadside ditches and drains, and named as victims from around the Mulia and Pirime areas of Tingginambut, with unconfirmed but credible reports putting the total toll of the “mysterious killings” at over 41 people to date.  Activists from the West Papua National Committee (Komite Nasional Papua Barat or KNPB) have said that the discovery of so many bodies points to “a covert operation of killing and forced disappearances of indigenous Papuans in Puncak Jaya that has been operating since 1 April 2013 until now”.

Those confirmed dead are:

  1. Mili Tabuni (37),
  2. Sony Tabuni (35) ,
  3. Ella Enumbi. Born Mewoluk DOB 12 March 1986, Secondary school student at Mulia State School Class III, Male,
  4. Yerson Wonda,  Born at Wondagobak, Mulia, Male. Tertiary College Student in Technical Trade in Jayapura; Also worked as Secretary of KNPB Puncak Jaya Region at Puncak Jaya.
  5. Yos Kogoya (40) Former village head Mewoluk;
  6. Pauwuli Tabuni (35) Village Head of Regional District Tingginambut;
  7. Yaningga Tabuni (37) Village Head Regional District Yembuni Tingginambut;
  8. Tepaus Tabuni (40) Village Head of Regional District Tingginambut;
  9. Terius Enumbi (39) Shepherd of the Church of Kampung Kalome;  and
  10. Yemundan Enumby (35)
  11. Inoga Wonda,
  12. Deniti Telenggen,
  13. Telapina Morib,
  14. Aibon Tabuni,
  15. Yomiler Tabuni,
  16. Bongar Telenggen,
  17. Eramina Murib.
  18. Regina Tabuni.

West Papuan human rights activists in Puncak Jaya have also reported that women in villages under occupation by the TNI are being regularly raped by soldiers, with at least 12 documented cases since April and unconfirmed reports of many more.   Two female high school students among the dead were found to have been brutally raped and beaten in Tingginambut by Kopassus officers,   West Papua Media is not publishing the names of these sexual assault victims in line with ethical journalism practice.

Relatives of the a total of 30 missing adults are still searching across Puncak Jaya for their family members, though unconfirmed reports have emerged that Kopassus have arrested and detained at least 15 more people while searching for their family members.  Grave fears are being held for the safety of these detainees, with at least one case of torture believed to have occurred on family members.  According to statements from the West Papua National Committee (KNPB), a senior high-school aged youth of class III was arrested in the town area and is believed to have been tortured over a period of 2 weeks after which he was killed and beheaded, with his beheaded body placed in a sack and thrown under a bridge. His family is still hunting for his head, according the KNPB.

Wim Medlama, the spokesperson for the KNPB, told, “Every person in the community known for activist activities in Puncak Jaya has been interrogated such that the whole community is now terrified to even carry out their usual daily activities.”

TNI soldier aims .50 Calibre heavy machine gun at Papuan villagers in TIngginambut during recent sweep operations in May 2013 (Photo: supplied by indp human rights investogators)

Independent human rights investigator Yasons Sambon have just returned from Puncak Jaya interviewing surviving victims and witness who have pointed the finger at new Papua governor Lukas Enembe, detailing that six of the victims were returning as invited guests from Enembes inauguration in Jayapura.  Enembe’s electoral team provided the six with transport to attend the inauguration, but allegedly left them stranded in Jayapura after allegedly reneging on their transport home, however Enembe’s team finally covered their fares back to Wamena only after the Governor had arrived back in Jayapura from a visit to Jakarta..

On the afternoon of May 8, 2013, the six men,  (Yos Kogoya (40) Former village head Mewoluk; Pauwuli Tabuni (35) Village Head of Regional District Tingginambut; Yaningga Tabuni (37) Village Head Regional District Yembuni Tingginambut; Tepaus Tabuni (40) Village Head of Regional District Tingginambut; Terius Enumbi (39) Shepherd of the Church of Kampung Kalome;  and Yemundan Enumby (35) Society of Kampung Yembuni), left Wamena to return home by car to their villages in TIngginambut, Puncak Jaya, when they were stopped at the Ilu military infantry post on the Mulia road.  According to the testimony from surviving witnesses interviewed by Sambon, the victims were forced out of the car and were beaten and tortured whilst being interrogated by the soldiers and detained through the night.

The testimony provided by the witnesses reported that at 0800 the next morning (May 9), the victims were then confronted by” a number Kopassus officers in the middle of the road”, further adding that “Kopassus in Puncak Jaya were assigned to kill people in a way like the mafia”.  (Kopassus officers are regularly referred to across Indonesia as Mafia or gangsters, given their well-documented control of vast, well organised criminal cartels of drugs, money laundering, prostititution, illegal logging and mining, finance, human trafficking, and a myriad of other illegal business activities.)

Heavily armed Indonesian military look towards heir target, a small village near Mulia in the highlands of West Papua, during recent deployments (photo supplied by local human rights investigators)

“Then victim number 6 is tortured until killed by inhumane way, gunshot victims by Kopassus and cut the legs and head off, and waste (dumped) in different places,” the witness reported to Sambom.  Sambom described the witness as an ordinary villager who found the bodies of the chiefs, and who begged for his name not to be published for “fear he will be searched again by Kopassus and removed after being found as the the source of this news report”.

According to the sources interviewed by Sambom, “we found the victims dead, they (perpetrators) had dismembered the head and feet and hands in different places, we gathered all of the victim’s body.”   “Once we found them, we made a grave all in one place. Right now we’re done mourning, and sympathizers close to the family who came to pay respects had returned to their respective villages,” the village witness said.

“We now, all the people are afraid, because Kopassus kill again we are all scared,” he said.

Indonesian military interrogating villagers during a raid of unidentified village near Mulia, TIngginambut, during sweep operations, May 2013 (Photo supplied by indp human rights investigators)

The driver, who according to witnesses was a “newly posted” member of the State Intelligence Agency BIN provided by the pro-military Governor Enembe, has not been seen since, and witnesses have questioned if he was a participant in the murder of the Chiefs, or if he himself was murdered by the Kopassus officers seeking to cover their tracks.

According to sources from the KNPB, two more victims, Yerson Wonda – the Secretary of KNPB in the Puncak Jaya region  – and KNPB member and high school student  Ella Enumbi were also arrested by Kopassus at Ilu TNI post, then killed and their bodies beheaded. The body of Yerson Wonda and the head only of Ella Enumbi were thrown under a bridge in a sack, and their bodies were found on 26 April 2013.   KNPB News reported that “It is suspected that for two weeks following the date of their deaths that their bodies were hidden by Kopassus at the place of detention at the Kopassus Post at Purume (Pirime), Mulia. The family is still searching for the remainder of the body of Ella Enumbi.”

Sweep operations by Indonesian security forces have not lessened in intensity since December 2012, when a new phase of repression against local civilians and non-violent political activists began with the violent raids by joint Detachment 88 counter terror and TNI soldiers on the home villages of the KNPB political activists.  Several of those still missing include non-violent political activist members of the local chapter of the West Papua National Committee (KNPB), which has seen a massive and violent crackdown led by new Australian trained Papua Police Chief Tito Karnavian, the former head of the notorious counter-terror unit turned extrajudicial death squad, Detachment 88.

The area of the latest alleged TNI rampage is the same area in Sinak subdistrict, close to Mulia, where troops from General Goliat Tabuni’s West Papua National Liberation Army (TPN-PB) unit attacked Kopassus soldiers who had built a military post on a sacred burial ground in on February 21.  A massive influx of several thousand soldiers from the Indonesian Army’s (TNI) Kostrad (strategic reserve),  notorious locally based Indonesian battalions 753 and 756, several hundred Kopassus special forces soldiers, and members of the Australian-trained and funded Detachment 88 counter-tterror unit flooded into the area to hunt Tabuni’s unit.  Since the influx, constant operations have caused thousands of people to be displaced from their villages, whilst those remaining behind are subjected to arbitrary and brutal treatment from the military and police on a daily basis.  Hundreds of houses, livestock and food gardens have been destroyed in a collective punishment against civilians that breaches international laws on war crimes.
Disturbing footage from human rights investigators has also been released showing the brutal conduct of Indonesian troops terrorising unarmed civilians as they raid a unidentified village in Tingginambut during this years sweep operations.  The video can be viewed below.
The KNPB has reiterated a call made from local residents for human rights monitors to be present in the region.  “We urgently seek the help of KOMNAS HAM (National Human Rights Commission) in Papua, and any independent persons with humanitarian concerns to please immediately come to Puncak Jaya to investigate,” said Wim Medlama.  “These covert operations and mysterious killings are still to this moment continuing.”
Sambon also contacted General Tabuni by phone on May 23 and reported that Tabuni was shocked at the killings and denied involvement. “They are the people and the village head, not my TPNPB-OPM members who do not shoot” …  According to Tabuni, “the public spotlight is on me, why Goliath is silent? But the village head make themselves part of the Indonesian government, why should they be shot like that? I have no link related to this event. It is the responsibility of the Governor,” Tabuni said.


Yoman: Papuans are ready for a Peaceful and Equal Dialogue with Indonesian Government

By Socratez Sofyan Yoman
May 26, 2013
Sultan Hamengku Buwono X recently stated

“…Dialogue is not a solution, but a media or a forum provided to break through the political communication deadlock between Jakarta and Papua. A more intense and regular communication is a necessity in order to overcome the tension, suspicion and disbelief so far. Peaceful dialogue does not happen in an instant, it is a result of long process which has to be thoroughly prepared. Though complicated, a preliminary dialogue is a very possible to formulate prerequisite and conditions which can convince both sides to enter the dialogue.”

Sultan suggested that the prerequisites of the dialogue should be the following: “First, equality, openness and mutual respect. Second, solving the root of violence includes the release of political prisoners (tapol/ napol), resolution of land issues (land politics), security apparatus management and resolution of human rights violations with justice and dignity. Third, the national dialogue has to be based on  political decision of the central government, because without an official decision, it is almost certain that there will not be a peaceful dialogue.”

“Dialogue does not mean Independence for Papua, neither does it mean NKRI (Negara Kesatuan Republik Indonesia), Special Autonomy, or Acceleration of Papuan Development. The essence of the dialogue is as a media, a way of communicating for the participants to open themselves, see the other as an equal with dignity and the goodwill to sit together then talk about the issues which has become the source of dispute, tension, conflicts and the origin of violence.” (Source: Seminar 50 Tahun Papua Dalam Indonesia, Jakarta, May 15,  2013).

The state speech by the President of Indonesia, Dr. H. Susilo Bambang Yudoyono, on August 16,  2008, mentioned “The persuasive, proactive and even nature of the government policies managed to convince various faction that violence is not the best way to solve the problem.”  The state speech of the President in August 16, 2010 said, “the government continues to study the dynamics in Papua, and will continue pursuing constructive communication in for the development of a better Papua.”   The speech of President Susilo Bambang Yudoyono on August 16, 2011 stated, “Handling Papua with a heart is the key to every step taken to successfully develop Papua”.

The government of United States fully supports a peaceful dialogue to solve the problem Papua,” US Foreign Secretary Hillary Clinton in Honolulu, Hawaii stated on November 10, 2011, “there is a need of continuous dialogue and political reformation to fulfil the legal need of Papuans and we will raise the issue again and push for this kind of approach.”

On December 16, 2011 Papua Church leaders with leaders from PGI (Persekutuan Gereja-gereja Indonesia, Communion of Churches in Indonesia) had a meeting with the president of Indonesia in Cikeas and conveyed “the crystallized demand of Papuans for self-determination and unconditional peaceful dialogue involving a third-party.”

On May 17, 2013 Papuan Church leaders held a meeting with US ambassador for Indonesia in his residence. In the meeting the ambassador mentioned, “the government of US fully support the problem of Papua with a peaceful dialogue between Papuans and the government of Indonesia.”

On May 3, 2007, the Churches in Papua stated that the implementation of Special Autonomy in Papua has become a new problem and failed. Thus, the solution is “an honest and peaceful dialogue like the solution to the problem in Aceh. The dialogue mediated by a neutral third party requested and approved by native Papuans and the government of Indonesia.”

On December 3-7, 2007, all religious and church leaders in Lokakarya Papua Tanah Damai (Papua Land of Peace Workshop) urges the government of Indonesia ‘to immediately resolve the the ideology difference in Papua with an honest and open dialogue between the central government and native Papuans involving a neutral third party approved by both sides.”

On October 22, 2008 Churches in Papua stated that ‘the pro and cons of the Pepera implementation cannot be solved with road blockings, arrests, imprisonments or beating by apparatus. Arresting, putting to trials and imprisoning every Papuans will not solve the problem of Pepera. We believe there is no violence great enough to solve the problem of Pepera. Thusm to hinder all kinds of violence and to stop Papuans from becoming victim, we suggest the resolution for this by a peaceful dialogue.”

On October 14-17, 2008 Konferensi Gereja dan Masyarakat (Conference on Church and Society) called ‘the Central Government to open themselves to a dialogue with Native Papuans in the evaluation of  the implementation of UU No. 21 tahun 2001 on Special Autonomy and Revising Papuan History. To stop using the stigmatizing labels “separatists, TPN (the National Liberation Army), TPN, OPM (Free Papua Movement), GPK , makar (traitors)’ of kind given to Papuans and return their rights and dignity as human made by God. The “innocent until proven guilty principle should be upheld.”

On October 18, 2009 it was stated ‘to hinder all kind of violence we suggest the problem of 1969 Pepera (Act of ‘Free’ Choice) to be resolved by a peaceful dialogue. We request the Indonesian government and Papuans to discuss the issue of Pepera through a dialogue facilitated by a neutral third party. However sensitive,the problem with Papua has to be solved by a peaceful dialogue between the government and Papuans. We believe that through a dialogue, a peaceful solution can be found.”

On August 12, 2010 Papuan Church leaders in a moral and empathic appeal stated, “Papuan Church Leaders call for a national dialogue to resolve the problems in Papua in a just, dignified, and humane way mediated by a neutral third party.”

On January 10,  2011 the Communique of Papuan Church Leaders urges the Indonesian government to enter a dialogue with Papuans soon to end the legal and political uncertainty in Papua which has been the root of the prolonged conflict and  cause distress to the flock of God on the land.

On January 26, 2011 Papuan Church Leaders appealed to the Indonesian government to open themselves for a dialogue with native Papuans with mediation of a neutral third party.

Persekutuan Gereja-gereja Di Indonesia (PGI, Communion of Churches in Indonesia) in their Sidang Majelis Pekerja Lengkap (Worker Plenary Assembly) in Tobelo on February 4-8, 2011 affirmed to: ‘hearing the cry of Papuan people on their value and dignity and various humanity problems caused by the failure of UU Otonomi Khusus (Special Autonomy), and paying attention to the criticisms made by churches in Papua on the governance, political and social progression.  Genuinely attend to the urges of Papuan churches and indigenous people to carry out a Papua-Jakarta dialogue.”

The Position Paper of Pokja Papua-PGI (CCI Working group) on Papua, No. 3 point B: “urges for a National Dialogue as a democratic platform to find the best, just and dignified solution for a society who deem themselves ‘colonized’ since 1969.”

The World Communion of Reformed Churches also supports a peaceful dialogue mediated by third party. World Communion of Reformed Churches supports a referendum for the native West Papuans.

Papuans held the Konferensi Perdamaian Papua (Papuan Peace Conference), July 5-7, 2011 in Jayapura. The conference was opened by the Coordinating Ministry of Political, Law and Security Affairs who also gave a Keynote Speech along with the Governor of Papua, Pangdam XVII Trikora/Cenderawasih (the military commander of XVII Trikora/ Cenderawasih area), the Head of Papua regional Police, Bishop Dr.Leo Laba Ladjar, Dr. Tonny Wanggai, and myself (Socratez Yoman).

Through this conference Papuans have chosen 5 (five) people and determined them as negotiators of Papua in the dialogue with Jakarta: (1) Rex Rumakiek (Australia), (2) John Otto Ondowame (Vanuatu),  (3) Benny Wenda (United Kingdom), (4) Leonie Tanggahma (The Netherlands), (5) Octo Mote (United States of America).

Indonesian government cannot use an excuse that Papuans consist of many factions and have no leaders in a dialogue. Right now, Papuans already have leaders and negotiators chosen by Papuans through a conference officially opened by Indonesian government. Indonesian government can neither use the excuse that the problem of Papua is a domestic problem.

In the understanding of Papuans the problem of Papua is a problem with international dimension.

A famous intellectual and LIPI researcher, Dr. Ikrar Nusa Bhakti acknowledges:

“From the past to present, the problem of Irian Jaya (now: Papua) is not only between Indonesia and Papuan people, but also related to the international world. It doesn’t just connect the relation among people, between people and government, government and government, but also between the churches.”

Accurately Rev. Dr. Karel Phil Erari has declared: “For Papua, the construction of the conflict has local, national and international dimension. With that kind of construction, peace building  efforts to create a whole and comprehensive wellbeing, has to involve the three components connected in the ’cold war’ history in Papua. Why? Because the effort to build peace for the security of Papua, will only last briefly and be vulnerable, if the root of the problem and parties involved in the ‘cold war’ history are outside the peace construction.  The international community involves The Netherlands, USA and UN.  The three parties were directly involved in the conspiracy to carry out an Act of Free Choice which was against International law principles. The practice of Pepera with a representative system shows a public lie, because the 1,025 “peoples representatives” were given military and political pressure to choose Indonesia.” (Read Erari: /Yubileum dan Pembebasan Menuju Papua Baru, Lima Puluh Tahun Gereja Kristen Injili Di Tanah Papua 26 Oktober 1956-26 Oktober 2006/, pg.182).

Writer: Reverend Socratez Sofyan Yoman is the Chairman of  Fellowship of Baptist Churches in Papua .

Translated by Tapol


22 May 2013
by Nafatli Edoway
A short while ago, Tapol, an NGO which is based in London, reported that up to March 2013, there where about forty Papuans in prison who have been found guilty of violating the law on treason – makar. [See Suara Papua: TAPOL Calls on the Indonesian government to  stop saying that there are no Political Prisoners in Papua]It is quite clear that Articles 106  and 214 of the Criminal Code are being used as a weapon by the Indonesian government  to clamp down on the nationalism of the Papuan people. In addition, military operations and intelligence operations.are still occurring.

The large number of political prisoners – tapol and napol [convicted political prisoners] – as well as the  many military operations which occur, and the impoverished condition of the Papuan people mean that there are many problems between the two sides.

Moreover, the most basic problem is not about welfare but about ideology. On the one hand, there are those who want an independent Papua, while on the other hand there are those who want to preserve the territorial integrity of the Republic of Indonesia  These two ideologies will continue to exist if the two sides stick firmly to their own beliefs and do nothing to resolve the differences between them.

There are altogether forty Papuans political prisoners who are in detention because of their  support for an independent Papua.  They have chosen this path for humanitarian reasons.  For the past fifty years,  Papuan humanitarianism has not been respected.  Instead, heavily armed members of the Indonesian security forces have been used against the Papuan people.

Their political rights were violated at the time of the Act of Free Choice in 1969 [See John Saltford: ‘The Role of the UN in the Act of Free Choice in Irian Barat, 1968-1969.]

It is highly regrettable that the Indonesian government continues to deny that there are any political prisoners.  According to the government all the prisoners in Papua are criminals.  So why has article on treason remained in force?

In fact, what the Indonesian government is doing in Papua is simply a repetition of what happened in the past.

Back in the days of the Indonesian struggle for independence, many people who opposed the Dutch government were arrested and exiled.  The Dutch government did everything possible to silence them because they were regarded as being treasonous separatists.  These are the names of men who were allegedly trying to undermine the Dutch colonial regime: Soedirman, Soekarno, Pramoedya Ananta Toer, Mohammad Hatta, Sutan Syahrir and many others. Moreover, some of these leaders of Indonesia’s revolutionary struggle were shot dead by the Dutch.

In Papua,  there are a number of political  prisoners: Filip Karma, Selpius Bobii, Forkorus Yaboisembut, Dominikus Subarut, and others. They are referred to as separatists and have been put on trial and accused of violating the treason article. Their protests are regarded as being a violation of the sovereignty of Indonesia (NKRI).

The treason article is no longer in force  in The Netherlands which is where it was first enacted into law.  In former days, the article was only valid in the colonial system.  Subsequently, it was repealed because it was considered to be in violation of freedom of expression and opinion.

But the article has been kept in force and is being used by the Indonesian government for the Papuan people which means that the Papuan people are a colonised people.

So, what is to be done? I think that the Indonesian government should recognise the reality that there are political prisoners – tapol/napol – in Papua.

The second point is that the government should give an indication of its good intentions by repealing the article  because it is in contravention of the 1945 Constitution and the law on freedom of expression which is still in force in Indonesia and throughout the world. If it does not do so, it will automatically lead to more violations of human rights.

Finally, we can say that this treason article which has dragged down the Papuan people, in particular those who are now being treated as being tapol/napol, is  constantly being used by the government to safeguard the status quo, politically as well as economically in West Papua. And this is what is constantly being challenged by the Papuan people to the present day.

Translated by TAPOL

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