West Papua to take to streets today amid major crackdown threats from Indonesian forces

by westpapuamedia, with reporting from awasmifee, taboid jubi and local sources.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Rolling coverage will be occuring across the day:  please send any first hand updates or media to Editor @ westpapuamedia.info (no spaces) or via SMS to +61498239869.  Secure SMS and calls to this number can be made with Signal from WhisperSystems

A coalition of about 50 Papuan and Indonesian civil society organisations has called for Indonesian security forces to stop repression, and respect West Papuan’s Right of Freedom of Expression as major mobilisations are planned across Papua for April 13. (Press Release in full, below)

The West Papua National Committee (KNPB) have called the demonstrations to pressure Melanesian countries to admit the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) to full membership of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG).  As the mandated external representative body of West Papuan civil resistance to the international community, the ULMWP currently has observer status, despite Indonesian machinations for Indonesia to have full membership also.

Actions are planned in seven cities: Jayapura, Fak-fak, Manokwari, Yahukimo, Sorong, Timika and Merauke, with th possibility of major centres in West Papua, as well as across Indonesia, however the Indonesian Police have prevented several gathering from going ahead already, and are feared to be nmmunted a major joint police-military operation to prevent demonstrations from occurring.

West Papua Media is proividing montoring also as the day progresses, and has evidence at time of publication early Wednesday morning of large amounts of public order hardware and security force mobilsations already in all centres, especially around Taman Imbi in Jayaura.  This will be a developing story.

Five KNPB members were arrested in Dekei, Yahukimo for giving out leaflets promoting the event tomorrow.  They were reportedly being interrogated without a lawyer or legal support (see http://tabloidjubi.com/2016/04/12/bagi-selebaran-demo-akbar-5-anggota-knpb-yahukimo-ditangkap/ for more info)]

A Press conference was held at the Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation (LBH Jakarta) yesterday, raising the concern of possible state repression of the KNPB-led mobilisations across Papua.  The release (Below in full) shows the support of nearly 50 mostly Jakarta-based organisations and trade unions for the respct of rights of Papuan organisations and people to engage in free expression of their political aspirations.

PRESS RELEASE
No. 792/SK-RILIS/IV/2016

Stop Repression and curbs on Freedom of Expression for the Papuan People!

It is strongly suspected that a joint police/ military operation will repress mass actions on 13th April 2016 in Papua

(Jakarta, 12 April 2016) Dozens of civil society organisations comprising elements of the labour, student, women’s, urban poor and other social movements support the Papuan people’s right to freedom of expression.

On 5th April 2016, the Timika branch of the West Papua National Committee (KNPB) organised a prayer meeting in the grounds of the GKII Golgota church in Timika, Papua to support the United Liberation Movement for West Papua’s participation in a Pacific Diplomatic Forum, the Melanesian Spearhead Group. However as the event was taking place, a joint police and military force suddenly appeared, and proceeded to disperse the event by firing shots in the air and attacking the crowds. Dozens of participants were punched, kicked or struck with rifle butts by the joint command. Banners, clothing and noken string bags were seized by the police. One solider forced a KNPB member with the initials IT to strip naked. Two more KNPB members with initials AD and AE were seriously injured and needed hospital care.

The security forces’ attack culminated in the arrest of 15 KNPB members, 13 of which were released the next day with a requirement to report to the police station for an as yet unspecified length of time. Two others, Steven Itlay and Yus Wenda are still in custody. Yus Wenda is being held under article 351 of the Indonesian Criminal Code, violent harassment, even though the maximum sentence that can be given for this article is 2 years 8 months, which means Yus Wenda should have the right to not be remanded in custody. Steven Itlay is charged with treason under article 106. The treason article is frequently used in Papua as a tool to muzzle freedom of expression and freedom of opinion. Steven Itlay was moved from the Mimika Police headquarters to the Police Mobile Brigade detention centre which is far from Timika City. There is strong reason to believe that this is an attempt to isolate him and keep him incommunicado, which raises serious concerns for his safety.

Papuans will join a similar event organised by the KNPB on the 13th April 2016, however on a much larger scale, and taking place in seven cities: Jayapura, Fak-fak, Manokwari, Yahukimo, Sorong, Timika and Merauke. This action is supported by local churches.

Many people have been arrested in Papua since 2013. According to International Coalition for Papua data, 653 people were arrested between April 2013 and December 2014 (ICP 2015). The KNPB has calculated that 479 people were arrested between the 30th April and 1st June 2015 alone. In the 18 months which Jokowi and Jusuf Kalla have been in power, more thaan 1000 arrests have taken place, especially targetting
pro-independence activists, indigenous people fighting to keep their customary lands and ordinary people who have become the object of state repression for no clear reason.

Bearing in mind the patterns of repression and police/military impunity that keep on repeating themselves in Papua, as demonstrated once more last April 5th, it is reasonable to believe that the Papuan people will face repression once more on 13th April.

For this reason we state that we fully support the Papuan people’s constitutional rights to freedom of expression. We also urge the joint police and military forces not to take repressive action against the Papuan people, and in particular against the major actions which will take place on 13th April

Respectfully,
Lembaga Bantuan Hukum (LBH) Jakarta, Human Rights Working Group (HRWG), Lembaga Studi dan Advokasi Masyarakat (ELSAM), Yayasan Pusaka, Yayasan Satu Keadilan, Imparsial, Honai Center, Lembaga Bantuan Hukum (LBH) Pers, Solidaritas Perempuan, The Convention on the Elimination of all
Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) Working Group, Institut
Perempuan, Perempuan Mahardhika, Kongres Aliansi Serikat Buruh Indonesia (KASBI), Federasi Serikat Buruh Indonesia (FSBI), Federasi Sektor Umum Indonesia (FSUI), Federasi Buruh Lintas Pabrik (FBLP), Federasi
Pertambangan dan Energi (FPE), Federasi Serikat Pekerja Pulp dan Kertas
Indonesia (FSP2KI), Federasi Buruh Transport Pelabuhan Indonesia
(FBTPI), Serikat Pekerja Aneka Sektor Industri (SPASI), Gabungan Serikat
Buruh Independen (GSBI), Gabungan Solidaritas Perjuangan Buruh (GSPB),
Serikat Buruh Kerakyatan (SERBUK), Aliansi Buruh Kontrak Menggugat
(ABKM), Papua Itu Kita, Aliansi Mahasiswa Papua (AMP), Belantara Papua,
Perkumpulan Jubi, Indonesia Tanpa Militerisme (ITM), Gerakan Masyarakat
Sipil Melawan Kriminalisasi (Geram Kriminalisasi), Front Perjuangan
Rakyat (FPR), Partai Hijau Indonesia (PHI), Partai Pembebasan Rakyat
(PPR), Solidaritas Kebudayaan Masyarakat Indonesia (Sebumi), Konfederasi
Pergerakan Rakyat Indonesia DKI (KPRI DKI), Serikat Perjuangan Rakyat
Indonesia (SPRI), Komite Perlawanan Rakyat (KPR), Politik Rakyat, Urban
Poor Consortium (UPC), Jaringan Relawan Kemanusiaan (JRK), Jaringan
Rakyat Miskin Kota (JRMK), Mahasiswa Progresif Universitas Indonesia
(Semar UI), Federasi Mahasiswa Kerakyatan (FMK), Front Mahasiswa
Nasional (FMN), Forum Kesatuan Aksi Mahasiswa (FKAM) Universitas 17
Agustus Jakarta, Wilson Obrigados, Andreas Iswinarto, Bonnie Triyana

 

Please leave a comment. Keep it nice to other users, and remember, no disrepect tolerated. Yell at the killers, not each other; Criticise the abusers deed, not their race or faith.. And please keep it relevant and punchy.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s