Category Archives: Briefing by Papuan Civil Society members

Police should investigate the collision which killed Robert Jitmau now

Robert Jitmau, a respected Papuan activist who fought for the rights of Papuan women market traders, died in the early hours of May 20th, after being hit by a car. While the incident may have been entirely accidental, many people in Papua are concerned that the police have assumed this conclusion before conducting a proper investigation to eliminate the possibility that his death was deliberate.

The press release translated below, from the legal team following up the incident, can be read at http://papuaitukita.net/polisi-segera-selidiki-kasus-penabrakan-robert-jitmau/

Police should investigate the collision which killed Robert Jitmau now.

Press Release: Legal team for the case of Robert Jitmau, killed in a car crash.

Jayapura, 27 May 2016

On the morning of 20th May 2016, Robert Jitmau died after being hit by an Inova car bearing a police numberplate (DS1497 AO) on an entrance to the ring road in Hamedi, near Jayapura.

Before the crash, Robert Jitmau had been picked up from Entrop by Yusup Sraun and Alpius Jitmau, and then went towards Dok V and afterwards to the TVRI station in Bhayangkara. From Bhayangkara Robert and his two friends went to the Hotel Aston where Yusup Sraun got out of the car to met Krispus Kambuaya at the hotel. The four men then went towards Entrop and then to the ring road. They used two cars, with Krispus Kambuaya travelling alone.

Shortly after arriving at the ring road, Robert Jitmau called two companions, Nehemia Yarinap and Melianus Duwitau, asking them to come to the ring road. Shortly after 04.00am the two friends arrived at the Ring Road on motorbike taxis. Robert sat down and chatted to them. The crash which killed him took place shortly afterwards.

The police have told local media that the crash which killed Robert Jitmau was completely accidental. They have also stated that they have questioned witnesses Yusup Sraun, Krispus Kambuaya, Nehemia Yarinap and Musa Rujatobi, as well as three people believed to be responsible for the crash: Herep Patay (the owner of the vehicle with police number plates DS1497 AO), Ronald Edwin Metiaman and Dolfinus Abraham Sefia.

In the police statement to the media the police didn’t mention that:
1. There was a fight between one of Robert’s friends, Nehemia Yarinap, and someone who got out of the car that crashed into him.
2. The police have not yet questioned another friend, Melianus Duwitau, who was at the incident location. Melianus Duwitau is still being treated in the Dian Haarapan Hospital as he was also injured in the crash.
3. Also, the whereabouts of Alpius Jitmau are still unknown, even though he was a witness who was present when the incident took place.

Unfortunately however, the police have been too fast to draw the conclusion that Robert Jitmau’s death was a purely accidental traffic collision, even before all the witnesses to the incident had been questioned.

The police have been given the authority to unearth the facts, and have a duty to conduct a full and professional investigation, prioritising the truth and justice over all other interests.

Because of this, the Legal Team for the Robert Jitmau case are asking the police to carry out a thorough, full, comprehensive and transparant investigation of this case before coming to any conclusions about the collision which killed Robert Jitmau.

ends

Brimob and how the Yerisiam Gua people’s sago groves were cleared: PUSAKA

By Zely Ariane for Yayasan Pusaka

English Translation by AwasMIFEE

11 May 2016

Sima village, Nabire – During a discussion on Monday 9th May community representatives were asked if they agreed with PT Nabire Baru’s statement that police mobile brigade (Brimob) were stationed on the company’s premises because the community had requested their presence. They instantly replied that they didn’t.

“How could we have asked for them? How could bringing in Brimob to work as security guards be anything to do with us? We have never asked Brimob to come here. Actually their presence makes us feel nervous, not safe”, said Karel Maniba during the discussion.

The communities were protesting the presence of Brimob guards who protect the company’s operations fully armed, causing anxiety within the community. Brimob were seen on the ground when the Manawari sago grove was first cleared on 12th April 2016.

That day Enos Abujani was the first to notice two excavators clearing the sago grove and immediately went to tell his neighbours. Armed Brimob guards were there, watching over the land clearing.

Around 550 square metres were cleared on the 12th April 2016, including 15 stands of sago palms. “I felt my stomach churning as I watched them work. It was as if they were destroying the contents of my stomach”, said Gunawan Inggeruhi who joined three other community members in protesting the land clearance the following day. [The sago palm is the staple food of lowland Papuans].

The community challenged the land clearance four times. On the 16th April, as the company still hadn’t stopped work, they went both morning and afternoon to complain.

“It’s just that sago grove that we are asking they don’t clear. Because that is our livelihood. If I pound the sago inside the trunk, I can get 100,000 Rupiah, I can buy the things I need, such as salt, MSG, soap. If the grove is cleared I feel I have lost out, I feel sorrow, as if I have been stripped naked”, said Mama Yakomina Manuburi, holding back her anger.

Some community members have already been to ask members of the District Legislative Council (DPRD) to help, or have sent complains about this problem to the Nabire police chief. A representative of DPRD Commission I has been to visit the area. However, neither the council or the police chief have shown any clear will to stop the sago groves being cleared.

The Yerisiam Gua community collect signatures to save the Sago Groves

The Yerisiam Gua indigenous group have collected 110 signatures supporting their opposition to the clearance of the sacred Manawari sago groves around Sima village, in Yaur sub-district by PT Nabire Baru.

The signatures were collected on Monday 9th and Tuesday 10th May, as a response to a letter from the company which stated that opposition within the Yerisiam community was only coming from a handful of people and had been provoked by certain individuals.

“This company is pretty smart at deception, everything it says in the letter is incorrect. There are currently quite a lot of people who know about the company’s lies and oppose its presence here”, said Yance Maniburi irritatedly when the letter of response was read out in the discussion between representatives of the Yerisiam Gua indigenous group on Tuesday.

Nabire Baru’s parent company Goodhope Holdings were responding to a protest letter from the Yerisiam Gua community concerning the company’s presence and the work being carried out. The company did not give a specific response concerning its current clearance of sacred sago groves.

In the letter addressed to Forest Peoples Programme and dated 29th April 2016, Aditia Insani from Goodhope said that PT Nabire Baru had settled all issues of community rights, was in possession of all the required permits and had corporate social responsibility programmes in place.

He also stated that Brimob were stationed in the company’s area because local people had requested protection from the threat of armed groups.

“Brimob forces are not involved in acts of violence”, Aditia said in the letter.

On the 19th April, the Yerisiam Gua commuity sent a letter protesting about PT Nabire Baru to the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil, via Yayasan Pusaka. The complaint was in connection with the expansion of the company’s work area to include the sacred Manawari sago grove and the presence of Brimob guards which was causing anxiety within the community.

According to Y.L. Franky, Director of Yayasan Pusaka who forwarded the Yerisiam Gua people’s request, four issues form the basis for the community’s position.

Firstly, PT Nabire Baru has from the outset attempted to win the support of a small group of community members to release community lands, without a general meeting or the agreement of the wider Yerisiam community which holds the land rights.

Secondly The Yerisiam indigenous community have repeatedly complained and spoken of the problems of this land expropriation, their suffering and losses and the violent practices used by Brimob security guards in their approach to these problems, but the government and company have ignored and failed to respect the community’s complaints or opinions about these matters.

Thirdly, the company has cleared ecologically important natural forest resulting in deforestation, and as a result the community have lost a source of income, and there has been recent serious flooding inundating Sima village where the Yerisiam people live.

Fourthly, the company’s attempts to clear the sacred Jarae and Manawari sago groves, contravening an agreement made with the community in February 2016 which opposed a smallholder scheme in the sago area.

The company had promised not to disturb the sago groves. “Previously they said that they would leave the sago groves as an enclave owned by the Yerisiam people”, said Agus Henawi. “But it seems as if their objective is to finish us off”.

The Yerisiam Gua community have stressed that the promises PT Nabire Baru made since it commenced its investment have still not been fulfilled.

“Right at the beginning they promised to build a school, a church and houses but not one of these promises has been met yet”, said Mrs Yance Rumbiak.

She feels that since the company arrived the people have been made to suspect each other, causing divisions within families, setting people against one another and making village life uncomfortable.

Zely Ariane reporting from Sima Village, Nabire.

We Will Lose Everything: CJPC Brisbane’s shadow fact finding mission finds no improvement in human rights in West Papua

WE WILL LOSE EVERYTHING: A Report on a Human Rights Fact Finding Mission to West Papua

Conducted by the Catholic Justice and Peace Commission of the Archdiocese of Brisbane

1 May 2016

CJPC Brisbane’s report on its shadow human rights fact finding mission to West Papua this year finds that there is no improvement in human rights in West Papua.

It calls for action at the UN to investigate human rights abuses and for the Indonesian Government to negotiate with the United Liberation Movement for West Papua to find a pathway towards self determination.

“We will lose everything!” This was the grim prediction made by the four members of the Executive of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) when they presented their three year campaign strategy to a Brisbane meeting of representatives of solidarity groups from around the South Pacific in January 2016. When ULMWP Secretary-General, Octovianus Mote, uttered these words on behalf of his colleagues, both the anguish of the people of West Papua and their grim determination to overcome their oppression was evident in his voice. Faced with becoming a small minority in their own land within a few short years and living with unrelenting intimidation and brutality at the hands of the Indonesian Government’s security apparatus together with rapidly growing economic and social marginalisation, he stressed the need for urgent action to stop the violence in their land and to secure an international commitment to give their people a genuine opportunity to freely determine their future. The message was clear. The situation in West Papua is fast approaching a tipping point. In less than five years, the position of Papuans in their own land will be worse than precarious. They are already experiencing a demographic tidal wave. Ruthless Indonesian political, economic, social and cultural domination threatens to engulf the proud people who have inhabited the land they call Tanah Papua for thousands of years.

One week after the meeting in Brisbane, a two person delegation from the Catholic Justice and Peace Commission of the Archdiocese of Brisbane set foot on Papuan soil to speak to Papuans directly about their situation. The Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) Leaders Summit in Port Moresby in September 2015 had agreed to send a human rights fact-finding mission to West Papua, but the Indonesian Government has not allowed this to happen. One of the Commission’s objectives in sending the delegation was to build relationships with the Church in West Papua for future collaboration on human rights and environmental issues. However, because of the Indonesian Government’s unwillingness to accept a PIF mission, our delegation effectively became the first of a number of shadow human rights fact finding missions to West Papua from the Pacific.

Read the full report at the https://cjpcbrisbane.files.wordpress.com/2016/05/we-will-lose-everything-may-2016.pdf

 

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

 

Investigation report: December 1 Nabire beatings and arrests of Papuans by army and police

By JPIC-GKI Nabire* with additional reporting from West Papua Media

February 2, 2016

apologies for the delay in publication due to verification and translation delays

On December 1, 2015 the indigenous Papuan community in Nabire   intended to hold worship to commemorate the December 1 Day of Papuan Independence at the community park of Oyehe,  Nabire. However organisers were unaware their worship service in the park had been prohibited by Indonesian Police as an illegal gathering  A joint Army and Police force dispersed the gathering with force, severely beating civilians, and then took arrested civilians to  the Police Headquarters in Nabire.

Chronology
Every 1st of December in Nabire,  a Christian worship service is held to commemorate the anniversary of thwarted Papuan independence, but it goes ahead without raising the banned Morning Star Papuan independence flag.  For the 2015 commemoration, the Papuan Community in Nabire announced and sought permission from the Kapolres (District Police Chief) to hold a Worship service at Oyehe Garden, Nabire, however the  Kapolres disallowed it from going ahead. Organisers cancelled the event, but many people didn’t find out about the cancellation, so they came anyway to the venue

The joint Army-Police force blockaded the garden entrance, so that the community could not access the venue, however more civilians arrived and stood outside the blockade.

Leader of the worship group, Zet Giay, attempted to come to the garden to explain to the gathered people that the Worship had been cancelled, however at 10:30 am Security forces ordered the dispersal of the gathered crowd.  This occurred without any negotiation with Zet Giay,  and so the joint Army/Police task force severely beat, attacked and arrested Zet Giay,  Mikhael Zonggenu, Mirna Hanebora and another 29 Papuans, with rifle butts and pistols, according to witnesses and victims  On the truck, Mikhael Zonggenaw was beaten by a police officer severely with a rifle butt.  All 32 people who were then taken to the Nabire Police HQ sustained injuries from the security force beatings.

The Papuans that were arrested on December 1st 2015, around 10:30 am in Oyehe, Nabire are;

1. Mikhael Zonggenau, 45, Civil Servant , injuries to Nose & Mouth;
2. Zeth Giay, 42, Civil Servant , beaten on head with wooden pole;
3. Pius Gobai  19 years old, Student;
4. Yosep Giay, 18 years old , Youth;
5. Hendrikus Yeimo, 18 years old , Youth;
6. Naftali Gobai, 19 years old, Youth;
7. Yanuarius Pekei, 19 years old, Youth;
8. Anton Kadepa, 18 Years old, Student;
9. Martinus Youw, 19 Years old, Student;
10. Marthinus Adii 23 Years old, Academic;
11. Peni Kayame, 18 Years  Old, Student;
12. Sely Ogetai,  26 Years old, Academic;
13. Derika Keiya, 27  Years old, Academic;
14. Samuel Kotouki, 23  Years Old, Student;
15. Agus Auwe, 22 Years Old, Youth;
16. Yus Degei, 24  Years Old , Student;
17. Angkian Douw, 23 Years Old, Student;
18. Yulibert Pigome, 16 Years old, Student;
19. Neles Waine, 15 Years old, Student;
20. Mesak Wakey, 26 Years old, Youth;
21. Bernard Belau,  31 Years old, Civil Servant;
22. Habel Douw,  56 Years old, Civil Servant;
23. Lince Waine,  22 Years Old, Student;
24. Willem Ikomou,  24  Years Old, Student;
25. Mina Hanebora, 33  Years old, House wife;
26. Nelius Pigai,  26 Years  old, Academic;
27. Melkias Douw,  16 Years old, Student;
With 5 unknown name victims. Total of the victims are 32.

Top: Mikhael Zonggenaw's Upper lip was beaten by the Police. Bottom: Martinus Adii, Lower lip was beaten by the Police
Top: Mikhael Zonggenaw’s Upper lip was beaten by the Police.
Bottom: Martinus Adii, Lower lip was beaten by the Police
Picture of 32 Papuans that was arrested by the Police in Nabire, Papua. The picture was taken after they were released from Nabire District Police office. When they were arrested they were not allowed to take pictures. Source : JPIC KINGMI Nabire.
Picture of 32 Papuans that was arrested by the Police in Nabire, Papua. The picture was taken after they were released from Nabire District Police office. When they were arrested they were not allowed to take pictures. Source : JPIC KINGMI Nabire.

 

*Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation (JPIC) Desk (Keadilan, Perdamaian dan Keutuhan Ciptaan (KPKC) Bidang), Evangelical Christian Church in Papua (Gereja Kristen Injili di Tanah Papua (GKI))