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.
- 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]