Monthly Archives: December 2013

Key OPM Figure Danny Kogoya dies from injuries from Densus 88 shooting

danny kogoya in vanimo
Danny Kogoya. Photo: Liam Cochrane/ ABC

From our partners in Jayapura, MAJALAH SELANGKAH with additional reporting from West Papua Media

December 16, 2013

A well known figure in the armed wing of the Papuan Independence Organisation (Organisasi Papua Merdeka (OPM)) Danny Kogoya, is reported to have died at a location in PNG close to the Indonesian PNG border on Sunday (15 December 2013).

A contact for majalahselangkah.com in Jayapura explained that Kogoya died as a result of an infection in his right leg, which had been amputated following being shot  when arrested by Police in Jayapura at the Dani Hotel in Entrop Jayapura on 2 September 2012.

Police at the time said Kogoya was attacked due to him being a suspect in a shooting at Jayapura and was shot in the foot when trying to flee through the back of the hotel. Following being shot he was taken to the police hospital (Bhayangkara) at Kotaraja for acute medical treatment.

He was then detained in a cell at the Jayapura Police Headquarters, after which he was moved to the Abepura Prison. He faced the State Court (Class I.A) in  Jayapura for suspected involvement in the abovestated shooting but was eventually released by the law.

Once released he went to Camp Victoria (an OPM Camp) close to the border between PNG and Indonesia. Whilst there a member of the governing forces in the border region sent a photo of Kogoya to the police in Jayapura, resulting in him being yet again threatened with arrest. So finally he fled to PNG.

The journey to PNG led to an infection in the wound where his foot had been amputated, so he was given traditional treatment in the forest of PNG. At that time he was quoted by the ABC as having urged the leaders of the OPM who had gathered at Camp Victoria, to continue the struggle to separate from Indonesia.

“ My foot has been cut-off because I am a member of the OPM and I personally urge for independence (for Papua). Papua must be independent of Indonesia” stated Danny Kogoya to the ABC.

Kogoya’s Body to be Taken Home

Activist Matius Murib wrote on Facebook  that it was planned for the body of the late Danny Kogoya to be taken back to Papua to be buried. He stated that coordination and administrative requirements to enable that had already been arranged.

“In relation to the plan to send the body of a Papuan activist Danny Kogoya from Vanimo, PNG back to Jayapura city this date (16/12/2013), technical coordination at the border and the arranging of administrative matters, protection and family to receive the body at Vanimo have already been organised and the family have guaranteed security in regards to the order of things and also that all will run smoothly” noted Murib on Facebook.

He requested the Police to not enter the area in the vicinity of the funeral home at Kamkey Abepura. Journalists have been banned from joining the funeral ceremony from the time of the funeral procession, at the funeral home and until the end of the funeral proceedings.

On Tuesday afternoon, stringers for West Papua Media had reported that heavily armed police and army had deployed in their hundreds around the home area of Kogoya outside Jayapura, escalating an already tense situation.  Our sources have also reported that no protest actions are planned, amid intelligence agencies actions to focus on a propaganda campaign discouraging local residents from commemorating Kogoya’s death.  According to our stringers, present in Jayapura, this campaign of broadcasts and public announcements is threatening the use of force if any mourning “crosses over to support pro-independence”.

The situation is being monitored closely, and may escalate.  For urgent updates, please see our Twitter feed @westpapuamedia .

(AE/GE/IST/MS/WPM)

(Translated by West Papua Media)

Related articles

Warinussy: More makar cases in Papua

Comment by Yan Christian Warinussy, senior lawyer in West Papua, recipient of the John Humphreys Freedom Award, 2005
December 13, 2013

The latest treason verdict against seven West Papuans is yet another example of the serious human rights situation in West Papuan, in particular with regard to the right to freedom of expression. The seven men were headed by Isak Kalaiban.

Based on the facts revealed during the course of the trial, it is clear that there was a plan between the accused to freely give expression to their views in a way that is based on the rule of law.
This occurred on 1 May 2013 after Isak and his colleagues brought the families of the accused together on the previous day at their home  in Aimas-Sorong. While they were meeting together,  a police patrol in Sorong began to opened fire at the group of people, as a result of which four people were killed or wounded.
At the trial, the men were charged with treason (makar)  by the court in Sorong before a panel of judges headed by Maria Magdalena Sitanggung.
None of the witnesses questioned at the trial said anything about what had taken place on the day before, 30 April.
For the legal team defending the accused, the question is who indeed is it that perpetrated treason in view of the fact that none of the witnesses who appeared in the trial knew anything about the men who were being charged.
This is yet another case in which the accused were charged under Articles 106, 108  and 110 to prevent people in Sorong from giving free expression to their rights to freedom of expression and freedom of assembly  as provided for by Law 39/1999 on Human Rights and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Translated by Carmel Budiardjo

Wilmar’s New ‘No Deforestation, No Peat, No Exploitation’ Policy: What will it mean in Merauke?

From our partners at awasMifee

First Published: December 11, 2013

Apologies for the delay in republishing:  No donations mean no internet for West Papua Media

On 5th December, Wilmar International, one of Asia’s biggest agribusiness corporations and the world’s biggest palm oil trader, announced a broad new environmental and social policy, including a commitment to no deforestation and the principle of Free, Prior Informed Consent when dealing with indigenous communities.

As these new ethical criteria would apply not only to Wilmar’s own plantations but also other companies who supply the palm oil, sugar and soy that Wilmar trades, it would seem that this pledge might have a big effect on the plantation industry’s environmental record – especially for palm oil where Wilmar controls 45% of world trade.

The question is, will it be implemented? This new policy was launched at the same time as a deal between Wilmar and food and household products giant Unilever, which has its own target to only use traceable palm oil by the end of 2014. As more multinationals come under pressure to use less environmentally-damaging ingredients, the commercial benefits to Wilmar of appearing to be an environmental leader are clear.

However the company has frequently been accused of violating ethical standards that is has signed up to in the past – for example as a member of the Round Table on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) and recipient of funding from the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation(IFC). That means many groups with experience of the company’s track record are sceptical about this new commitment.

PT Anugerah Rejeki Nusantara: a test of whether the new policy is serious.

In West Papua Wilmar has plans for two 40,000 hectare sugar-cane plantations in Merauke and two more in neighbouring Mappi regency, and these could be a key test for the company’s new policy. If these plantations for ahead, they will clearly contravene the ethical standards. Let’s take a look at the situation with PT Anugerah Rejeki Nusantara (PT ARN), one of those plantations:

  • No deforestation. Wilmar has committed to end deforestation in High Carbon Stock and High Conservation Value forest. The definition is quite broad and includes most forest that has not been cleared within the last ten years. PT ARN’s concession is an ecologically-rich area, largely forested, with some grassland and swamps.
  • No peat. Wilmar says it will not start plantations on peat of any depth. Data from Wetlands International shows intermittent shallow and medium peat within PT ARN’s concession.
  • Respect the rights of local and indigenous people to give or withhold their Free, Prior, Informed Consent (FPIC). PT ARN has been trying to convince communities in the area to hand over their land for two years now, but many people are still determinedly opposed. A recent study in four villages affected by PT ARN revealed that the company was falling far short of FPIC principles. Where people have clearly not consented, the company keeps making its approaches, until the community feels it really has no choice. Often Wilmar only speaks with community and clan leaders individually, which was causing the seeds of conflict within the village. Security forces brought to discussions also have an intimidating effect. There are other tools of deception too – in one village PT ARN’s Public Relations Manager even pretended to be a priest to get the people’s support.

Wilmar’s policy covers a number of other areas, such as workers’ rights and dealing with land conflict. The full text can be read here.

What about the Ganda Group?

Wilmar commits itself to stop deforestation and development on peat immediately, and will not start buying from any suppliers who are deforesting or developing peat. Existing suppliers have until the end of 2015 to comply. Of particular interest is to see how this will affect the Ganda Group (Agro Mandiri Semesta Plantations), a palm oil company which sells its produce to Wilmar.

Wilmar has a special relationship with Ganda Group, which is owned by Ganda Sitorus, the younger brother of Wilmar founder Martua Sitorus. In recent years the Ganda Group have taken over plantations which do not meet Wilmar’s previous ethical commitments to the RSPO and IFC. The most notorious case is in Jambi, Sumatra, where after going through the motions of two years of IFC-facilitated mediation to resolve a land conflict with the indigenous Suku Anak Dalam Batin Sembilan, Wilmar suddenly sold it’s subsidiary PT Asiatic Persada to the Ganda Group, rather than abide by any agreements produced by that mediation. On Saturday 7th December, the Ganda Group once again violently evicted Suku Anak Dalam communities which had reoccupied their ancestral land in the plantation.

The Ganda Group also has plans for two plantations in Merauke: PT Agrinusa Persada Mulia and PT Agriprima Cipta Persada. These companies are also accused of deceiving local villagers and paying shockingly low compensation rates, as well as clearing forest for an oil palm nursery before receiving a plantation permit. The plantations, which also involve clearing natural forest, would clearly not meet the RSPO standards which Wilmar has signed up to in its bid to be seen as a responsible company, but the Ganda Group is unencumbered by such commitments.

However now Wilmar’s policy states that it it won’t be buying from companies that are clearing forests. Does that mean the Ganda Group are going to have to look elsewhere to sell their tainted palm oil?

AwasMIFEE wrote to Wilmar on 6th December to ask whether its new ethical policy would mean that it would be cancelling its plans in Merauke. No response was received by the time this article was published.

 

Police say exchange of shots with armed civilians, the family say it was the police who shot Eduard

by Victor Mambor, Editor, Tabloid Jubi

December 1, 2013

Jayapura 1/12 [Jubi]- The statement of the Vice-Captain of Papua Police Region, Police Brig-Gen Paulus Waterpauw to a national media source about the incident that killed a citizen of Depapre has been refuted by locals from Yongsu village, Depapre District, Jayapura Regency.

The Police Vice-Captain said that there had been armed contact between a mobile brigade [Brimob] of the Indonesian Police with an armed civilian group in the Depapre area of Jayapura, killing one of the civilians on Saturday. Apart from that it was claimed that a Brimob member was shot in the hand. However when Yongsu villagers were contacted by Jubi on Sat 30/11 evening, they said there had been no armed contact in Depapre. A villager who didn’t want to give their name said that a villager named Eduard Okoseray [40] who worked as the village secretary of Yongsu, Depapre District had died from being shot by Brimob Papua forces.

Another Yongsu villager who wanted his name concealed who was contacted by Jubi Sat 30/11 night said the same thing. ‘The event happened on 29 Nov 2013. Eduard was not looking after the operational aid money for the village. The District head facilitated police from Brimob. The Papuan police arbitrarily shot Eduard’.

The event was also noted by Matius Murib, Director of Baptist Voice. Matius said, ‘the victim Eduard, male 40, was village secretary of Yongsu, a victim of Brimob brutality at Yapsi village, Depapre [29/11].

The police’s different version of the incident as exchange of fire was declared by Kabid Humas Papuan Police AKBP  Sulistyo Pudjo Hartono, Sat 30/11 afternoon. He said one police was hit by a bullet that exploded by itself before the exchange of fire. To this journalist, Pudjo said it happened during an ambush by an armed group calling themselves Cycloop King Group [Kelompok Raja Cycloop]

‘The bullet was too active, it went off as soon as it was put in the gun and someone was hit. But that happened on top of the vehicle. The soldier was hit in the cheek and shoulder but is in a stable condition, still at Bhayangkara Hospital’

Pudjo also claimed that the police seized some evidence.

But the Yongsi villagers said it was not true there was armed conflict. ‘The police make up false opinions, please help to advocate for the people of Depapre who are scared. There was no police victim. He shot himself when holding the rifle loosely on the very bumpy road to Yongsu’ explained the Yongsu villager [Jubi]

A Tale of a Flag

Opinion/Analysis
by Sri Lestari Wahyuningroem
1 December 2013
This is a tale about a flag named Bintang Kejora, or Morning Star.

As with other flags ever created, it symbolises identity and conveys particular messages the creator would like other people who see it to understand.

Morning Star flag being raised by Yali tribesman (supplied)
Morning Star flag being raised by Yali tribesman (supplied)

But unlike other flags, the Morning Star flag is different. Its creation rendered the power outside of it to repress the identity and message it wants to convey. It conversed sovereignty into sufferings, as more and more human bodies, the West Papuans, have to be ill-treated or persecuted of being accused of committing wrong to the Indonesia state.

What is right, human rights, then turned out to be very wrong for the power that rule the territory. Unlike other flags ever raised in other areas in Indonesia, such as the Yogyakarta Kraton flag, the raising of Morning Star is subversive to the very fundamental base of Indonesia’s territorial unitary state, or Negara Kesatuan Republik Indonesia (NKRI).

December the 1st, each year, marked the conversion of the flag. Fifty three years ago, the Dutch who colonized the territory called Dutch New Guinea gave the recognition to the flag to raise together with the Netherlands’ national flag, and marked the commitment for the Dutch to prepare the transition for independence. The flag raised high to the sky but only lasted for two years, before Indonesia state banned it. And so it has never been up again, to tell the world about peace and sovereignty. Every West Papuan who tried to raise it will bear the consequences of loosing his lives either in prison or in grave. Or perhaps in none of those places when both life and body are unknown their whereabouts such as tens to hundreds of West Papuans that went missing after military tanks and personnel crushed a gathering of the flag raising led by Filep Karma in Biak, 1998.

It was a Papuan named Thom Beanal, with ninety-nine other Papuans, who loudly state that the day when the flag was first raised, 1st of December, is the day of West Papuan independence. He said it in front of Habibie, Soeharto’s  successor as the President of the Republic of Indonesia. A scholar, Richard Chauvel, notes that the perception of the flag’s raising on that particular date in the then new political transition in Indonesia gave a new meaning for a nationalist identity of the West Papuans, and convey a message for a new hope for independence (Chauvel, 2005).

In 2001, the then President Abdurrahman Wahid, allowed the flag to rise again that year. The Papuans were overwhelmed with joy and new hopes, despite of the facts of their self-proclaimed leader Theys Eluay were jailed by Indonesia’s authority (which then released and murdered in the same year).

The next story is again dark and dishearten.  The Bintang Kejora has again conversed from a symbol for sovereignty any human need to continue his/her life, into a symbol of the oppressed body, the body full of sins of being itself and thus eligible to be destroyed by the power that rule over it. Every body and soul, who wish to see this piece of cloth with a picture of morning star perform its symbol of sovereignty, will add to more stories of grievances. At the same time, this flag has become more and more strongly wave up in every Papuan’s heart, as hopes for sovereign souls and nation becomes stronger each day.

At the flip side of the coin, the flag is more and more threatening for Indonesian authority. Every years before and during 1st December the central government overly reacted to their own insecurity by deploying thousands of military and police personnel to Papua. It’s for the sake of the security of the Indonesian power, indeed, not for the West Papuans, by showing off power and brutally suppresses anyone who has the intention to raise the flag.  Anyone.

This year, since the last few weeks before 1st of December, already 33 activists members of Komite Nasional Papua Barat (KNPB or National Committee for West Papua) has been arrested and local media Tabloid Jubi reported intimidation against four of its journalists. Amnesty International reported the strong indication of torture and other forms of ill-treatment they have in detention, and extrajudicial killing against some of the activists (Amnesty International, 2013). The last few days when I’m writing this, already several shootings were reported in some areas in Papua.

No willingness for any peace dialogue by the Indonesian government has ever expressed. Instead, the choice is always by force and new promises. But no beautiful promises from the central government can ever compensate every injured and destroyed body of the West Papuans who gave their lives to see the flag up in the sky all these times. Not even a promise of a new special autonomy scheme called ‘Otsus Plus’, nor the recent decision by Indonesian parliament to dissolve Papua into another 33 districts and three new provinces. A small numbers of local elites, unfortunately, would trade their souls with such promises, abandoning justice and dignity the rest of the West Papuan people have been struggled and sacrifice all these time.

Justice, dignity, and sovereignty. These are the message every soul in Papua wish to convey through the recognition of the Morning Star flag.

Sri Lestari Wahyuningroem is a Political Scientist and ANU PhD candidate, and has been a teacher and researcher at University of Indonesia, and has been involved in social activism for issues on gender, democracy, human rights and post conflict.  She is also currently a researcher in transitional justice in Indonesian democratisation.