Category Archives: coverage arising from WPM breaking story

Investigation Report: The Tolikara Arson and Shootings Incident

by JPIC, GKI-TP*
January 19, 2016

(apologies for the delay in publication due to verification issues)


On Friday, July 17, 2015, 10 youths from the GIDI (Evangelical Christian Church in Indonesia) suffered gunshot wound, and 1 died from mortal wounds inflicted by Indonesian military and police.

Closeup of Incident Location next to the Tolikara airstrip (photo: JPIC/WPM)
Closeup of Incident Location next to the Tolikara airstrip (photo: JPIC/WPM)

After the shooting, the demonstrators became mad and burned gasoline outlets and the other outlets, with the fire spreading into the surrounding kiosk stalls, including a mosque. 62 citizens suffered material losses as the result of the fire.

Chronology
On Friday, July 17, 2015, at 08.30am, approximately 15 young members of the GIDI Church (Evangelical Church in Indonesia) gathered at the GIDI complex, located at the end of the of the airfield of Karubaga township to continue a seminar and Christian Youth outdoor worship (KKR) on its third day. They went to meet the Muslim community, which had gathered at the office of the Karubaga Military Sub-District Command (KORAMIL) to conduct the morning prayer. The young GIDI members wanted to make a visit with peaceful intent, and wanted to convey that the Idulfitri prayer should take place inside the local small mosque, without the utilization of loudspeakers (Toa), due to the short distance of 300 meters between the mosque and the worship location. The young church members’ request was in line with a previous letter from July 15, 2015, with the number 90/SP/GIDI-WT/VII/2015 by the executive board of the GIDI church in Tolikara region stating that “1) The Lebaran opening prayer on July 17, 2015 is welcomed to take place in Karubaga, Tolikara regency; 2) it would be better if the prayer would not be carried out at an open field, but inside the mosque and its surrounding yard”.

Evidence for the use of fire arms by the by Muslim community praying at the  big field in Tolikara 2
Evidence of firearm use by alleged intelligence officer amongst Muslim community prayers at Tolikara big field. (Photo JPIC/WPM)

The Agreement to not using loudspeakers accompanying or initiating prayer of Muslim Community in Karubaga had already been agreed since 2010. On the 30th of July 2015 prior to the Seminar and Youth Worship occurring, the Regent had repeatedly instructed the Chief of Tolikara Regional Police via telephone, and also directly informed Muslim Cleric (Ustad) about the agreement. Despite this, the persons in charge used loudspeakers during the Idulfitri prayer at the Karubaga Military District Command, which caused the protest of the youth seminar participants and finally let to the Tolikara incident.

Incident Location next to the airstrip of Tolikara from distance (photo: JPIC/WPM)
Incident Location next to the airstrip of Tolikara from distance (photo: JPIC/WPM)

As all the seminar participants went to express their aspirations and protest in front of the military district command office, one youth was suddenly shot down by gunfire from the Koramil office.

Evidence of of firearms use by Muslim community praying at the  big field in Tolikara (Photo: JPIC/WPM) - Note: Firearms are Indonesian army intelligence service issue)
Evidence of firearms use by Muslim community praying at the big field in Tolikara (Photo: JPIC/WPM) – Note: Firearms are Indonesian army intelligence service issue)

Subsequently the security forces released shots, causing injuries to 11 of GIDI Youth. 1 youth died, named Endi Wanimbo (15 years old). As the result of the shootings, the mass of people released their anger over the incident and burned several small stores (kiosks) in the market area to the ground. The fire expanded and finally caused the burning of the mosque.

 

Names of Shooting Victims

Tollikara shooting victims (photo: JPIC/WPM)
Tollikara shooting victims (photo: JPIC/WPM)

All of the 11 victims received medical treatment in the public hospitals RSUD Wamena and RSUD Dok 2 Jayapura.

  1. Endi Wanimbo (15 years) died after bullet pierced his lower back and exited the stomach
  2. Amatin Sibolim, bullet wound in the leg
  3. Enembe Mus Jikwa, bullet wound in the right thigh
  4. Geradadus Kogoya, bullet wound in the right calf
  5. Yulianus Lambe, bullet wound in the left thigh
  6. Dasiduli Jikwa, bullet wound in the buttocks
  7. Atlelu Wenda, bulllet wound in the left thigh
  8. Ares Kogoya, bullet wound in the left knee
  9. Alesi, bullet wound in the left thigh
  10. Ciliben, bullet wound in the left thigh
  11. Edison Pagawak, bullet wound in the left leg

    List of injured tolikara victims (photo: JPIC/WPM)
    List of injured tolikara victims (photo: JPIC/WPM)
List of Citizens that were material/property Fire Victims in Karubaga, Tolikara, July 17 2015
No. Name From Religion
1 Nandina Karubaga Christian
2 H. Colleng South Sulawesi Muslim
3 Albetina Karubaga Christian
4 Bindo Yikwa Karubaga Christian
5 Ferianto South Sulawesi Muslim
6 Ilang Karubaga Christian
7 Nasiore Karubaga Christian
8 Merika Karubaga Christian
9 H. Suparman South Sulawesi Muslim
10 Mappe South Sulawesi Muslim
11 Zainal Abidin South Sulawesi Muslim
12 Andi Madda South Sulawesi Muslim
13 Andi Madda 1 South Sulawesi Muslim
14 Baharuddin Linta South Sulawesi Muslim
15 Baharuddin Linta South Sulawesi Muslim
16 Bastian Sulawesi Barat Christian
17 Yulius Ruru South Sulawesi Christian
18 Yoland South Sulawesi Christian
19 Agus South Sulawesi Muslim
20 Robert South Sulawesi Christian
21 Pak Sarno Center Java Muslim
22 Sudirman South Sulawesi Muslim
23 Silvi South Sulawesi Muslim
24 Mama Febi South Sulawesi Christian
25 Ali Usman Center Java Muslim
26 Ali Muktar East Java Muslim
27 Kondalina Karubaga Christian
28 Syamsul South Sulawesi Muslim
29 Hastang South Sulawesi Muslim
30 Ismail South Sulawesi Muslim
31 Ridwan South Sulawesi Muslim
32 Ansar South Sulawesi Muslim
33 Faizal South Sulawesi Muslim
34 Ali South Sulawesi Muslim
35 Mustafa South Sulawesi Muslim
36 Taslim South Sulawesi Muslim
37 Munta South Sulawesi Muslim
38 Mustaqim South Sulawesi Muslim
39 Madong South Sulawesi Muslim
40 Abu South Sulawesi Muslim
41 H. Darwis South Sulawesi Muslim
42 Sultan South Sulawesi Muslim
43 Udin South Sulawesi Muslim
44 Sudirman South Sulawesi Muslim
45 Mansyur South Sulawesi Muslim
46 Syukur South Sulawesi Muslim
47 Unding South Sulawesi Muslim
48 Asdar South Sulawesi Muslim
49 Iccang South Sulawesi Muslim
50 Madi South Sulawesi Muslim
51 Tagiling South Sulawesi Muslim
52 Bustam South Sulawesi Muslim
53 Darman South Sulawesi Muslim
54 Yusuf South Sulawesi Muslim
55 Mansyur South Sulawesi Muslim
56 Nurmin South Sulawesi Muslim
57 Massara South Sulawesi Muslim
58 Timombi Karubaga Christian
59 Billiar Karubaga Christian
60 UST. Junaidi Karubaga Christian
61 Mama Ari Karubaga Christian
62 Mosque

 Post Incident Mediation and Legal Process
Together with the legal process undertaken by Police Regency ,POLDA against GIDI leadership, the GIDI take the initiative to negotiate with the Muslims, in this case the national Islamic Ulama’s Council, Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), and encourage these cases to be solved through indigenous Papuan methods. On 27-28 July 2015 meeting between the two sides, which were mediated by the Rev. Benny Giay, representing Papuan ecumenical church leaders, and Toni Wanggai of NU Papua province. The leader of GIDI in Papua then communicated with Ustad Ali of Tolikara, and on July 29 reached an agreement which put forward the peaceful settlement and legal proceedings be lifted. Despite this agreement, the peace and reconciliation effort was ignored by the state, and the legal process is still running. Until the publication of this report, state prosecutions are still underway, and are currently at the stage of witness testimony.

Photo Evidence is presented within the report.

 *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))

HRW: Indonesia: End Access Restrictions to Papua

Press release

For Immediate Release
***To download video:
http://media.hrw.org/index.asp?ID=FJGNG〈=ENG&showEmbargoed=true

Indonesia: End Access Restrictions to Papua
Official Obstacles for Foreign Media and Monitors Defy Presidential Order

(Jakarta, November 11, 2015) – Indonesian authorities continue to restrict access by foreign journalists and rights monitors to Indonesia’s easternmost provinces of Papua, raising serious concerns about the government’s commitment to media freedom, Human Rights Watch said today in a new report. The restrictions defy a May 10, 2015 announcement by Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo – popularly known as Jokowi – that accredited foreign media would have unimpeded access to Papua.

“Government access restrictions have for far too long made Papua Indonesia’s ‘forbidden island’ for foreign media and rights monitors,” said Phelim Kine, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “Blocking media access on overbroad ‘security’ grounds deters foreign news reporting about Papua, raising troubling questions about what the Indonesian government might be trying to hide there.”

The 75-page report, “Something to Hide?: Indonesia’s Restrictions on Media Freedom and Rights Monitoring in Papua,” documents the government’s role in obstructing access to the provinces of Papua and West Papua (collectively referred to as “Papua”), including government backlash since Jokowi’s announcement.

The decades-old access restrictions on Papua are rooted in government suspicion of the motives of foreign nationals in a region still troubled by widespread corruption, environmental degradation, public dissatisfaction with Jakarta, and a small pro-independence insurgency.

Human Rights Watch interviewed 107 journalists, editors, publishers, and representatives of domestic and international nongovernmental organizations for the report. Foreign correspondents describe an opaque and unpredictable permit application process in which they often never received a final response. Many have waited fruitlessly for months – and in some cases years – for approval.

Jokowi’s May 10 announcement has faced strong resistance by some senior government and security forces officials, Human Rights Watch said. The government has also not followed that announcement with a specific written directive, which opened space for non-compliance by state agencies and security forces opposed to loosening restrictions on foreign observer access to Papua. Various senior officials have since publicly contradicted the president’s statement. Even the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which has announced that it has “liquidated” the 18-agency “Clearing House” that previously was used to vet journalists, has confirmed that prior police permission is still required for foreign media access to Papua. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is in some cases also continuing to ask some journalists seeking to travel to Papua to provide, in advance, details of their likely sources and dates of travel.

Foreign correspondents have reported mixed results from their efforts to take advantage of the announced loosening of Papua access restrictions. For instance, after Jokowi’s announcement, the Indonesian embassy in Bangkok processed and granted in just 15 days a Papua reporting visa for Cyril Payen, a Bangkok-based correspondent for France 24 television. The embassy also assured him that he was not obligated to have any check-ins with police or immigration officials while in Papua. “Whether I was lucky or not, I don’t know,” Payen said. “They really opened up.”

However, a Jakarta-based foreign correspondent showed Human Rights Watch a copy of correspondence with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from July 2015 in which a ministry official listed both a surat jalan, or travel permit, from the National Police’s Security Intelligence Agency, as well as a “letter of notification” specifying the journalist’s “purpose, time and places of coverage in Papua,” as prerequisites for access to Papua.

Foreign journalists who ultimately are granted Papua access permits often face surveillance and harassment after arrival in Papua. Several said that they were required to have an official “minder” from the State Intelligence Agency (Badan Intelijen Negara, BIN) for the full duration of their visits, significantly limiting their ability to report on issues deemed sensitive.

“President Jokowi needs to bridge the gap between rhetoric and reality by putting the guarantee of unimpeded foreign media access to Papua in writing,” Kine said. “He should make it clear to government officials and security forces alike that obstructing journalists is unacceptable in Papua and anywhere else in Indonesia.”

Indonesian journalists – particularly ethnic Papuans – are also vulnerable to restrictions on media freedom in Papua, Human Rights Watch said. Reporting on corruption and land grabs can be dangerous anywhere in Indonesia, but national and local journalists told Human Rights Watch that those dangers are magnified in Papua. In addition, journalists there face harassment, intimidation, and at times even violence from officials, members of the public, and pro-independence forces when they report on sensitive political topics and human rights abuses.

Journalists in Papua say they routinely self-censor to avoid reprisals for their reporting. That environment of fear and distrust is increased by the security forces’ longstanding and documented practice of paying some journalists to be informers and even deploying agents to work undercover in newsrooms as journalists. These practices are carried out both to minimize negative coverage and to encourage positive reporting about the political situation, and they generate distrust among journalists.

Representatives of international nongovernmental organizations, United Nations experts, and foreign academics have also faced official obstacles to visiting Papua. Since 2009, the International Committee for the Red Cross, the Dutch development organization Cordaid, and the Peace Brigades International have all limited or closed their Papua-based operations due to pressures from the Indonesian government.

In 2013, the Indonesian government blocked a proposed visit by Frank La Rue, then the UN special rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression. Diplomatic sources in Geneva told La Rue that the Indonesian government froze his requested visit due to his inclusion of Papua in his proposed itinerary. “[The Indonesian mission in Geneva] asked what areas I want to go to [and] I said Jakarta and bigger places like Bali, but for me, I said, it was very important to visit Aceh and Papua,” La Rue told Human Rights Watch. “They said ‘Great, we’ll get back to you.’ What it meant was that they postponed the dates and put the trip off indefinitely.”

“It’s clear from our research that removing access restrictions is not a silver bullet to resolve Papua’s deep-seated problems or dispel the suspicions of Indonesian officials toward foreign media and other observers,” Kine said. “But greater transparency and access are essential elements of a rights-respecting future for Papua to throw sunshine on abuses of power that for too long have remained hidden from view.”

For accounts from the report, please see below.

“Something to Hide?: Indonesia’s Restrictions on Media Freedom and Rights Monitoring in Papua” is available at:
https://www.hrw.org/node/283014

For more Human Rights Watch reporting on Indonesia, please visit:
http://www.hrw.org/asia/indonesia

For more information, please contact:
In Jakarta, Andreas Harsono (English, Indonesian): +62-815-950-9000 (mobile); or harsona@hrw.org
In Jakarta, Phelim Kine (English, Mandarin): +62-812 10877314 (mobile) or +1-212-810-0469 (US mobile); or kinep@hrw.org. Twitter: @PhelimKine
In San Francisco, Brad Adams (English): +1 347-463-3531 (mobile); or adamsb@hrw.org
In Sydney, Elaine Pearson (English): +61-400-505-186 (mobile); or pearsoe@hrw.org. Twitter: @pearsonelaine
In Washington, DC, John Sifton (English): +1-646-479-2499 (mobile); or siftonj@hrw.org. Twitter: @johnsifton

Accounts from “Something to Hide?”

Rohan Redheya, a Dutch freelance photojournalist who applied in The Hague for a journalist visa to Papua in July 2014, said that although the Indonesian embassy informed him that the approval process was “around two weeks,” the embassy never responded to his application. “I know many journalists who got ignored [by Indonesian visa issuance offices], and they simply never heard something again [after submitting a Papua access application].”

“The Clearing House system of consensus voting means any one person has veto power, which generally means that the opinion of the most paranoid person in the meeting carries the day. These restrictions fuel all manner of speculation about Papua: the notion that the Indonesian government has ‘something to hide’ finds purchase. But the Indonesian government finds itself in the illogical position where they hear of inflammatory reporting and this actually makes them impose restrictions, and then those restrictions prevent good journalists from writing of the complexities of the place.”
– Bobby Anderson, a social development specialist and researcher who worked in Papua from 2010 to 2015, describing the government’s “Clearing House” screening of foreign journalists seeking to report from Papua.

Marie Dhumieres, a French journalist, received a police permit to go to Papua in September 2015. A week later the police arrested and questioned three Papuan activists whom she interviewed. She published this tweet to President Jokowi, and the activists were soon released: “So Mr @jokowi, foreign journalists are free to work anywhere in Papua but the people we interview get arrested after we leave?”

“If you read all the news reports in all newspapers in Manokwari [in Papua], you will see that their sources are almost all, almost 100 percent, government officials. Their sources are always government officials, police officers, or military officers.”
– Agusta Bunay, a Papua Barat TV presenter, on self-censorship among journalists fearful of possible reprisals for independent reporting.

Cultural Destruction, Land Conversion Threaten Indigenous Papuans

from Abeth You, at our partners Tabloid Jubi’s West Papua Daily

October 21, 2015

Indigenous peoples of Papua - Jubi

Jayapura, Jubi – The destruction of Papuan culture is gradually happening and is threatening the lives of indigenous people, a student group said.

The issue at heart is not the reduced number of Papuans, or rates of birth and mortality, but most importantly is the loss of cultural values, patterns of dispossession (being ignorant of the sacred connection to land), a ban on the use of indigenous languages in some urban schools, as well as the loss of indigenous content education in school, said the Chairman of Papua Highland Student Association in Indonesia (AMPTPI) for Eastern Indonesia Region, Natan Naftali Tebay.

Tebay said the most crucial issue is the loss of customary tenure rights on land, water and the values of life. “The process of land conversion such as sago forest being destroyed for oil palm plantations, is a process of extermination of the values and Papuan planting heritage ,” Tebay said in Jayapura on Monday (19/10/2015).

According to him, once Papua was recognised as the “sago barn” but it is now recognised as the “oil palm barn”.   During this time the levels (of indigenous) population in Papua were politicised (inflated with inaccurate data)  by some bureaucratic elites, with claims the population of Papua grew to more than three million.

“The Papua Provincial Government should be firm and realistic about the population rate of indigenous people. The Regional Parliament, Papuan Representative Council, Papua’s People Assembly and Papuan Provincial Government must not stay still and (just) watch the reality of genocide,” Tebay said.

He added they must establish strategic planning, such as forming a Special Regional Regulation, or establishing particular institutions to manage the transmigrants, and enforce sanctions over them if necessary.

“This is also prohibiting the development process. The Central Government also implements several policies that are not in synergy with the Governor’s policies. The regents and mayors must observe this situation, therefore they shouldn’t necessarily ask the Central Government for support,” he said.

It could be seen that several oil palm plantations, illegal logging and illegal fishing went ahead without any prior communication (or permission) from the Provincial Government.

Further he asked the Papua Governor to immediately issue the regulation about the population restriction and form a special body about the population issue in Papua. He also suggested the requirement of the regulation of local transmigration be extended both to people and government officials.

Earlier, the Papua Governor Lukas Enembe said the transmigration program in Papua initiated by the Minister of Villages, Rural Development and Transmigration Marwan Jafar was a depopulation threat for indigenous Papua.

“We have rejected the transmigration program from the Central Government.  If they still want to realise it, it should be a local (ethnic Papuan) transmigration (within Papua) instead of replacing people from Java or other regions to Papua.  Replacing poor Indonesian people to Papua means taking the problem to Papua. It’s not only related to the economy, employment,  or social problems, but I do worry that the program will reduce the number of indigenous Papua on this land in ten or twenty years; the depopulation of indigenous Papua,” Enembe told Jubi at his official resident on Saturday evening (17/10/2015) in Jayapura.

Furthermore, Enembe said until today no institution has the valid data about the number of indigenous People.  “So how could we protect the indigenous Papua from transmigration is still running without knowing the accurate data on the number of indigenous people?”