Daily Archives: June 1, 2013

MIFEE: Customary Landowners Block Access to PT Rajawali’s Land

[also: Meeting with Company, Local Communities Received Compensation of IDR 1 Billion – see below]

Source: Tabloid Jubi

English Translation by AwasMIFEE

Customary Landowners Block Access to PT Rajawali’s Land

The issue of PT Rajawali’s compensation to villagers in Kampung Domande, Merauke, has still not been resolved. The villagers, who are the customary landowners, have blocked access to around 10,000 hectares of the land which the company wants to use to plant sugar cane.

When Tabloid Jubi met Efendi Kanan, the head of the forestry and plantation department of Merauke Regency, in his office on Thursday (30/5), he confirmed the blockade was taking place. “There is a blockade, and an accompanying letter has been sent to the Regency Leader, Romanus Mbaraka. I’ve just received a copy of the letter and now I’ve called the company to request further discussions. However, so far only company staff have responded. We were hoping the executives would come”, he said.

If company leaders would join the process, Efendi continued, there could be further discussion about how to approach a solution. “I also have to communicate directly with my superiors. But I hope that in the next couple of days we can arrange a meeting and then go to the village to discuss with the people”.

If representatives from the regency government and the company went to Kampung Domande, Efendi explained, they would bring a final decision. “I don’t know what sort of compensation has been given, but maybe it relates to the company’s recent logging activities. I doubt it has to do with the land issue itself. Because that issue has definitely been discussed between the company and the local people”, he said.

According to Gubernatorial regulations, Efendi explained, the amount of the people’s timber that the company has logged must be counted up and paid for by the company. The problem now is whether that has happened or not. “As far as I know, the company is currently logging the trees on the land. But it is still not clear and certain whether the trees felled have been counted and paid for”.

Meanwhile, when tabloidjubi.com met Merauke District Legislative Council member Hengky Ndiken on Friday (30/5), he said that he had urged the company clearing the villagers land to make the local people’s security their first priority, as those people hold the customary land rights “I feel that since the company has already taken over the people’s land, it is their clear duty and responsibility to think about how to attend to their needs”, he said.

Aside from this, Ndiken continued, the people as customary landowners have to be directly involved, both in the office and in the field. They can’t just make all sorts of enticing promises, but then ignore the people once the operations start. “Despite all the local people’s limitations and lack of skills, the company must provide training and other activities,” Hengky said.

Furthermore, Ndiken states, if they were given opportunities and space to become involved, it is sure that the people would not get carried away with too many protest actions. In that way the investment could continue without encountering obstacles. “I am optimistic that if they are involved, the enterprise should proceed well,” he said.

He also hopes that attention is paid to village development. Of course when a company arrives and presents its plans to the people, they always also present a work program to ensure the people’s security. But this program must be actually put in  place once the company starts work in the field.

Ndiken also requests the Merauke Regency Government to remain vigilant towards company operations, including regarding the people’s rights. “As a representative of the people, I will be involved in monitoring the situation regarding people’s rights. They are the owners of this country, and we need to pay attention to them”, he requested.

Meeting with Company, Local Communities Received Compensation of IDR 1 Billion

In the beginning of April 2013, in the Company’s Training Centre of Bio Inti Agrindo (BIA), another meeting was held again with the local Customary Councils of Mbian and Mandobo tribes. The Head of Ulilin District attended the meeting as well as local Police Chief of Ulilin and Muting Districts, Commander of local military station in Asiki, and representatives of Marind Mbian Customary Agency.

The agenda was to discuss a claim of Mandobo people to BIA to pay a penalty of IDR 70 billion (USD 7.7 millions) for appropriation of their traditional forests and land by the company.  The negotiation was hardly moved, spent time of almost twelve hours overnight, from 18:00 afternoon until 05:00 early morning.  Finally, an agreement took place that company will pay of in advance of IDR 1 billions (USD 111,111) for three clans: IDR 100 millions (USD 11,111) for Basik-basik clan; a similar amount for Mahuze clan; and IDR 300 millions (USD 33,333( for Mandobo clans.

The rest will be paid later as a compensation for all of trees in the forests cut down by the company.

from Silvester Y. Ndiken, Villager of Muting, District of Muting, Merauke

Source: Sorak http://blog.insist.or.id/sorak/en/archives/2551

Chronology of the arrest of seven activists involved in the Aimas, Sorong incident

May 31, 2013
Human Rights Report by GKI Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation (JPIC) DeskIntroduction

In accordance with an agreement reached between the following mass organisations, the KNPB (National Committee for West Papua), the West Papua National Authority, the Students Executive Board of the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences of Cenderawasih University (BEM-FISIP Uncen), various NGOs  and the church, they would hold a demonstration on 13 May 2013 calling on the Regional Military Commander, the Chief of Police and the Governor of Papua to accept responsibility for  the acts of violence committed on 1 May 2013.  These acts of violence resulted in three deaths in Aimas, Sorong and the arrest of dozens of Papuans who were detained in prisons in Biak, Timika and a number of other places in Papua  where events had been held to commemorate the annexation of Papua by the Republic of Indonesia.

On 13 May, at 6.00 am, Uncen students closed the gate into their campus and people started making speeches. The co-ordinator of the event was  the Chairman of BEM-FISIP Uncen (Yason) who had since early morning been delivering speeeches in front of the campus.  The closing of the gate resulted in the Deputy Rector  of Uncen, Mr Homer, as well as other Uncen lecturers arriving to negotiate about re-opening the gate.   In response, the students said that the day was being devoted  to holding peaceful demonstrations in solidarity with people in civil society who had been shot dead by members of the TNI – Indonesian Army – and Polri, the Police Force in Sorong.

While the negotiations were under way, at 8.00am. the police led by the chief of the local area (Abepura), Kiki Kurnia pushed their way into the area in order to take control of the situation by intimidating the mass of people who had already gathered since early morning.  The commander of the police operation said that this was not permissible and they were told to disperse while remaining at the site.  Negotiations then took place with the chief of police of Jayapura City, Alfred Papare, with those who were responsible for continuing the peaceful demonstration, among others Viktor Yeimo (KNPB), Yason (BEM Uncen), Bovit (Garde-P) and Alfares Kapisa (WNPA)  As a result of the negotiations, twenty students representing the mass of people who had gathered went to the MRP (Papuan People’s Assembly) riding in a truck. As more and more people wanted to accompany the group, Victor Yeimo asked for an additional truck.

While negotiations were still proceeding and people were still making speeches, the chief of police ground operations started to provoke the crowd of people, using the megaphone to stir the emotions of the demonstrators, but these provocations only caused the demonstrators to smile.  Before the demonstrators started to get onto the trucks, those responsible for the action called on all the demonstrators to abide by the guidelines ‘SAFEGUARD SECURITY AND PEACE’.  Then the crowds were led to the two trucks and a pick-up. Things began to get tense when the Chief of Operations KIKI KURNIA prevented the demonstrators from using motorbikes.  The chief of operations ordered the police along the road to stop all those who were travelling in convoy by motorbikes to the MRP.   When they reached the Perunas Junction, the police began to attack those who were on motorbikes which led to chaos because the police began to attack the riders who abandoned their motorbikes leaving the bikes unattended.  The police then began to destroy the motorbikes which infuriated the owners of the vehicles.  There were furious arguments and objects began to be thrown at the police.  It is not clear who was responsible for doing that.

The police then began to act brutally and started beating those who were on board the trucks.  The chief of the operation then ordered Victor Yeimo to be arrested; he was beaten in the face which caused his face to start bleeding. Victor was pushed onto a Barracuda (armoured assault vehicle) and a short while later, he taken from the Barracuda and put onto a police van for detainees.

After Yeimo had been beaten and arrested, Marthen Manggaprouw was also arrested and beaten. and pushed onto a police detention truck.  The police then started beating two other students while pushing them onto the trucks.

Following the arrests, four of the detainees were taken to Polresta Jayapura and as soon as they arrived there, they were interrogated while being driven to  police headquarters. which they reached at 12 noon. Soon afterwards, another three students were arrested and beaten by the police and taken to police headquarters. So, altogether seven activists were arrested and beaten.

They are:

  • Yongky Ulimpa, 23 years old, studying at FISIP Uncen. He was beaten on the head with rattan causing swellings in his head.
  • Ely Kobak, 17 years old, a student. He was beaten in the face and rattan was tied round his neck  making it difficult for him to eat or drink.or to stand up straight.
  • Marthen Manggaprouw, 33 years old, a WPNA activist, who was repeatedly struck in the face and kicked from behind as well as in his private parts. He is still suffering  from pain in his penis.
  • Victor Yeimo, 33 years old,  who was struck in the face causing his face to start bleeding; he is  still in a lot of pain.
  • Markus Giban, 19 years old, a student. He was beaten in the face and lips  causing bruises and he has become doubled up with pain.
  • Nius Matuan, 22 years old, who was struck with an M16 rifle butt which damaged his left eyebrow, making him feel dizzy.
  • Wily Kombo, 22 years old, a student, who was kicked by a member of the Dalmas police unit.causing him to suffer serious bruising in his ribcage.

The seven activists, after having been beaten, were placed under detention. Victor Yeimo and Marthen Manggaprouw were interrogated by police officers while the other five were interrogated at Polresta.  Manggaprouw, who is secretary-general of WPNA, was told he was being interrogated for crimes against Article 106 (treason) and also for incitement. Victor Yeimo, after being interrogated was immediately taken away by police officers to the attorney-general’s office, in connection with an old case in 2011, and was taken to the Abepura Prison, to undergo investigation.

After the interrogations, six of the activists were allowed to go home just before  midnight, because there was no evidence that they had committed treason or incitement. Meanwhile, four activists – Marthen Manggaprouw, Yongky Ulimpa, Willy Kombo and Nius  Matuan were taken to a local military command post  KOREM 751 in Padang Bulan at 1.15 am. The other two were sent home. after having been given a check-up, because of the injuries they suffered.

Several of the activists are still suffering from the effects of the beatings they sustained.

According to Bintang Papua on 16 May, the police chief, Alfred Papare has declared that all the organisations involved – KNPB, Garda-P and others) will not be allowed to organise any more peaceful demonstrations.
[Translated by TAPOL, edited by WPM]