Tag Archives: Abepura

KNPB leader Mako Tabuni shot dead by Aust-funded Indonesian Detachment 88 troops; riots in Jayapura

Breaking News
West Papua Media

June 14, 2012

Angry scenes have reportedly erupted in Jayapura and across West Papua after officers from the Australian- funded and trained Detachment 88 counter-terror troops shot dead the secretary-general of the West Papua National Committee (KNPB), Mako Tabuni, during a botched arrest attempt while he was chewing betel nut at a kiosk in Abepura, West Papua early on Thursday morning.

According to credible independent church human rights sources in Jayapura that spoke to witnesses in Waena, Mako Tabuni was shot and wounded by heavily armed Indonesian police as they stormed

Mako Tabuni as he lie dying in Jayapura (KNPB/ westpapuamedia)

the area outside the student dormitories at the Cenderawasih University Abepura.

Mako Tabuni.

Senior members of KNPB have told West Papua Media that Tabuni had been walking with friends to buy and eat Betel Nut from a kiosk near the university.  After he separated from his friends, they heard gunshots. and  they saw a white Avanza car drive up and ambush Tabuni, according to his friends.  Tabuni was shot at least six times, according to both witnesses and journalists in Jayapura.

Mako Tabuni as he lie dying in Jayapura (KNPB/ westpapuamedia)

Police took Tabuni to the police hospital in Jayapura, where he reportedly died from his wounds soon after arrival.  The Kapolres (police chief) has told media outlets including West Papua Media via SMS that Tabuni was killed because he resisted arrest and attempted to seize the weapons from the Detachment 88 troops.   According to the It has been confirmed independently that the Australian-funded and trained Detachment 88 troops were in command of the arrest operation.  Tabuni was unarmed at the time of his arrest, which is a violation of the United Nations Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials.

KNPB contacts report that a combined team of military and POLRI, BRIMOB, Detachment 88, and Intelligence officers are raiding dormitories of Papuan students in Abepura, chiefly those of highland origin students who are the traditional support base of the KNPB.    In this sweep, security forces have confiscated books, bags, clothing, computers, phones, and cameras.  Security forces are also conducting searches across Abepura, Jayapura, Kotaraja, Waena, Sentani and several other places.  Many students have been severely beaten and arrested in dormitories in Waena and Asrama by over six companies of Indonesian army (TNI) and Police. KNPB sources have expressed fear that the students, already beaten severely and taken to Rusunawa police centre, will be tortured and possibly killed by occupation forces.

Supporters of Tabuni have reacted angrily and have taken to the streets and are allegedly burning houses belonging to military and police in the Ruko, Waena and Abepura areas, in an eerie reversal of the June 4 rampage by Indonesian soldiers in Wamena.

Security forces are reportedly on the streets with orders to shoot rioters dead on sight, and the situation is described as extremely tense.  It is not clear if those who have caused property damage are in fact  members of the pro-independence movement, or are undercover Indonesian intelligence officers.

A senior highland human rights activist in Jayapura, whom West Papua Media cannot identify for safety reasons, told West Papua Media that the entire Papuan population is living in a state of constant trauma and fear due to the escalation of Indonesian repression.

“Pro-Independence activists and Papua human rights workers have become the operating target of the (ongoing)shootings, not to mention all the KNPB activists the security apparatus are seeking,” said the source.

“Finally, I spoke with three of our members hiding in the suburbs.  If the Indonesian security forces are still after us, then they would not want or like it if we had entered the woods and hid,” he said.

” To step into the forest is for avoiding premature death.”

Papuan activists are calling for urgent international attention to the rapidly deteriorating humans rights crisis in West Papua.  A senior KNPB activist has begged: “In this case our nation is pleading for UN Intervention to be done now, because Indonesia is planning to kill all us Papuans.”

More to come

AHRC: Prison guards tortured 42 prisoners and detainees at Abepura correctional facility in Papua

June 8, 2012

Dear friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information regarding the torture of 42 prisoners and detainees by prison guards at Abepura Correctional Facility on 30 April 2012 following an argument between one of the detainees, Selfius Bobii, and the Head of the Abepura Correctional Facility (Abepura Kalapas). The prisoners were beaten, kicked, hit with wood blocks as well as iron sticks and some of them were trampled by the prison guards. Their personal items were taken away and burned. The torture and property destruction took place under the order of the Abepura Kalapas.

According to several local NGOs such as The Commission for the Disappeared and Victims of Violance in Papua (KontraS Papua), Sekretariat Keadilan, Perdamaian dan Keutuhan Ciptaan (SKPKC) Fransiskan Papua, Papua Legal Aid Foundation (LBH Papua) and Elsham Papua, around 12pm on 30 April 2012, the prison guards at Class II.A of the Abepura Correctional Facility were going to put back and lock the detainees and prisoners in their cell. Amongst them was Selfius Bobii who was detained and received punishment for his involvement in the Third Papuan Congress in October 2011. Selfius had asked the Head of the Correctional Facility’s Security Unit (KPLP), Juwaini, for a permit to hold a creative activity with other prisoners but his request was dismissed by the KPLP. This led to an argument between him and the Abepura Kalapas, Liberti Sitinjak, who heard the conversation of Selfius and one of his staffs.

The argument between Selfius and the Kalapas ended with an order from the Kalapas to the prison guards to put Selfius into isolation. Selfius avoided the prison guards and insisted that he should not be isolated as he has not done anything wrong.

Other prisoners who were at their cell witnessed this and they also yelled at the prison guards asking them to put Selfius back to his cell instead of to the isolation. Their requests were ignored and the prison guards put Selfius in an isolated area. The prison guards later went back to the cells where the prisoners were yelling. The guards were offended with what the prisoners said so they took them out of their cell and beat, kicked and hit them with fists, wood blocks and iron sticks. The prisoners were also whipped with thick ropes supposed to use for controlling cows. They were also dragged to the yard in front of the block and were asked to walk whilst they were crouching for about 200 metres. As they were doing this, the guards kept beating and kicking them. The guards stepped on some of the prisoners and detainees’ fingers and toes. The guards also kept saying to the prisoners ‘you are all stupid, that is why you ended up here’. The torture and ill-treatment took place for about two and a half hours, approximately from 12.30-3.15pm. There were 41 prisoners in total who were treated this way by twenty prison guards. Two prisoners Hendrik Kenelak and Otto Ikinia fainted and one, Parmen Wenda, had his arm broken.

Before the prison guards put the prisoners back to their cell, the Kalapas asked them to search the cells and took away their personal belongings  and later burned them. Selfius was brought to the Papua Regional Police Station and was questioned. He did not receive any ill-treatment whilst he was there and was later sent back to Abepura Correctional Facility on 3 May 2012.

Principle 6 of the UN Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention and Imprisonment explicitly prohibits the use of torture and ill-treatment against persons whose liberty are deprived. The principle also emphasises that no reason can be used to justify any state officials to conduct torture and ill-treat prisoners. These principles are in accordance with the provisions under the UN Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (UN CAT) to which Indonesia is a state party since 1998. Yet although Indonesia has ratified the UN CAT, torture itself has yet to be criminalised in Indonesia in order to end the ongoing practice. For this reason, at the first and second Universal Periodic Review of the UN Human Rights Council’s session on Indonesia, several countries urged the Indonesian government to criminalise torture and to reform its Penal Code in accordance with its international human rights obligations.

The absence of articles making torture a punishable crime in Indonesia contributes to the low investigation rate seen in torture cases in Indonesian criminal procedure. Torture is often deemed merely as a violation to disciplines for which, in the majority of cases, the perpetrators received inadequate or no punishment. Military officers who tortured several Papuans in 2010 as shown in a video distributed on the internet, for instance, were sent only to 8 to 10 month imprisonment for disobedience but have not been held accountable for the torture they committed.


UA: 109/12 Index: ASA 21/017/2012  Indonesia        
Date: 19 April 2012
Indonesian prisoner of conscience Filep Karma is in urgent need of medical treatment. He needs to travel to receive this treatment, but the prison authorities have refused to pay for his transport and medical costs.Filep Karma is serving a 15-year sentence at the Abepura prison in Papua province for raising a banned regional flag. Doctors at the Dok Dua hospital in nearby Jayapura conducted a medical examination last month and suspect a tumour of the colon. They have confirmed that he requires a colonoscopy and follow-up treatment. However the necessary equipment is not available in Papua province and they have referred him to the Cikini hospital in the capital, Jakarta. The Abepura prison authorities have given permission for Filep Karma to travel to Jakarta, but they have refused to cover the cost of his medical treatment and travel. By law, all medical costs for treatment of a prisoner at a hospital must be borne by the state (Regulation No. 32/1999 on Terms and Procedures on the Implementation of Prisoners’ Rights in Prisons).

Filep Karma has suffered a number of medical problems in detention, including bronchopneumonia, excess fluid in the lungs and a urinary tract infection. In July 2010 he was sent to a hospital in Jakarta for prostate surgery and other care. In November 2011 he was transferred to the Dok Dua hospital in Papua for an operation after he experienced bleeding haemorrhoids, chronic diarrhoea and blood in his stool. He has continued to pass blood in his stool since the operation. Filep Karma is also undergoing physiotherapy for an injury to his hip bone from a fall he suffered in detention in 2006.

Please write immediately in English, Indonesian or your own language:
– Urging the authorities to ensure that Filep Karma receives full and immediate access to any medical treatment he may require;
– Urging them to cover the cost of such treatment in accordance with the UN Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment (Principle 24) and Indonesian regulations;
– Calling on them to release Filep Karma, and all others prisoners of conscience in Indonesia, immediately and unconditionally;
– Urging them to ensure that prison conditions and the treatment of prisoners meet standards provided for in Indonesian law as well as UN Standard Minimum Rules on the Treatment of Prisoners.

Head of Abepura Prison
Liberty Sitinjak
Lembaga Pemasyarakatan (Lapas) Abepura
Jl. Kesehatan 11, Jayapura
Papua 99351, Indonesia
Fax: +62 984 24721
Salutation: Dear Liberty Sitinjak

Head of Papuan Provincial Department of Justice and Human Rights
Daniel Biantong
Jl. Raya Abepura No. 37,
Kotaraja – Jayapura 99117,
Papua, Indonesia
Fax: +62 967 586112
Salutation: Dear Daniel Biantong

And copies to:
Director General of Prisons
Drs. Untung Sugiyono
Ministry of Justice and Human Rights
Jl. Veteran No. 11
Jakarta Pusat
Fax: +62 21 3483 2101

Additional Information

Filep Karma was arrested on 1 December 2004 after taking part in a peaceful ceremony in Abepura, Papua province. He was among approximately 200 people who took part in the ceremony during which the banned “Morning Star” flag, a symbol of Papuan independence, was raised. He was charged with “rebellion” (makar) under Articles 106 and 110 of the Indonesian Criminal Code, and sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment on 26 May 2005. His sentence was upheld by the Supreme Court on 27 October 2005. Amnesty International considers him to be a prisoner of conscience.

In November 2011 the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) declared Filep Karma’s detention to be arbitrary on the grounds that he was imprisoned for the exercise of his rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly – Opinion No. 48/2011 (Indonesia). These rights are guaranteed in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), to which Indonesia is a state party, and in the Indonesian Constitution. The WGAD also found Filep Karma’s detention to be arbitrary because he had been subjected to an unfair trial. Article 14 of the ICCPR guarantees the right to a fair and public hearing by a competent, independent and impartial tribunal established by law.

The Indonesian authorities have an obligation under national law and standards to provide medical treatment to all prisoners in the country. Article 17 of the Indonesian Government Regulation No. 32/1999 on Terms and Procedures on the Implementation of Prisoners’ Rights in Prison requires the prison authorities to provide adequate access to medical treatment. International standards also provide for medical treatment for prisoners. The UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners provides that prisoners needing treatment not available in the prison hospital, clinic or infirmary should be transferred to an appropriate institution outside the prison for assessment and treatment. Principle 24 of the UN Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment requires that prison authorities cover the costs of such treatment.

In view of the potentially serious nature of Filep Karma’s medical problem, Amnesty International believes the authorities’ refusal to arrange prompt and appropriate examination and medical care for him could amount to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.

UA: 109/12 Index: ASA 21/017/2012 Issue Date: 19 April 2012

Filep Karma referred to Jakarta hospital with a suspected colonic tumour: NKRI refuses to pay

from West Papua Media’s correspondent at Abepura Prison (with Eds)

April 16, 2012

Filep Karma referred to Cikini hospital in Jakarta

Papuan political prisoner Filep Karma, in prison for 7 years on treason charges after raising the banned Morning Star independence flag, has been referred to Cikini hospital in Jakarta for three months to undergo medical treatment.

However he must undergo treatment in Jakarta, because Dock 2 hospital in Jayapura lacks colonoscopy equipment to diagnose the condition of Filep Karma. Healthcare in Papua is poorly funded and supplied, if at all, and health workers are rarely paid properly.

Hospitalised in Jayapura’s Dok 2 hospital since 2008, FIlep Karma has been gaoled in atrocious conditions and subjected to early routine torture by Indonesian security forces and prison officers, including beatings causing internal injuries.  His health has been declining since 2008 due to numerous hunger strikes and illness caused by prison conditions in Abepura prison.

Karma has been complaining of a lump in his gut over the last 3 years. Since an operation was performed on 2 November 2011, Karma has continued to pass significant blood in his stools.

Karma has been referred by the Dok 2 Head of Trauma to the Department of Surgery Specialist, Dr D. Arnold, Sp.B (K) BD, in Cikini. Filep had already been undergoing treatment in Jakarta separately for his prostrate. On 13 April 2012, Dr Hidayathu Samawi, the general practitioner in Abepura prison, called Karma to his rooms. Dr Hidayathu said that Karma must provide a letter of permission from the family to consent to the treatment of Jakarta, and the Letter to commit the family to bear the full cost of treatment and transport to Jakarta.

Karma in this case ask for the Abepura Prison to issue a letter that the prisons are not able to bear the cost of treatment in Jakarta, but Dr. Hidayathu said that the prison would not certify its refusal to bear the cost of treatment in Jakarta.

During prison visiting hours at Abepura, Filep Karma told West Papua Media’s correspondent, “I was detained by the State of Indonesia, for 15 years, why are they unable to bear the cost of my treatment in Jakarta.  My case in July 2010, it was the same, treatment not covered by the State.  Abepura prison officials alone cannot issue a statement that they can’t afford the cost to Jakarta, yet I hardly have the foundation (strength) to have resort to outside solidarity as my only choice to help me for medical expenses to Jakarta,” said Karma.

The Indonesian government has an obligation to provide adequate healthcare to political prisoners.  According to Amnesty International, under Indonesian Government Regulation No. 32/1999 on Terms and Procedures on the Implementation of Prisoners’ Rights in Prisons, all medical costs for treatment of a prisoner at a hospital must be borne by the state, also in accordance with the UN Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment (Principle 24) .

In late February, in response to a petition filed by Freedom Now, the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention issued its opinion that the Government of Indonesia is in violation of international law by detaining Filep Karma. Amongst many other international voices, the Working Group called on the Government of Indonesia to immediately release the human rights advocate.



KNPB denies that violence occurred during its demonstrations

Bintang Papua, 1 April, 2012
The KNPB – National Committee for West Papua– has denied allegations that violence occurred during demonstrations which it organised  recently. In response to the decision by journalists to boycott activities organised by the KNPB which was recently announced, Mako Tabuni, the chairman of the national committee of the KNPB said at a press conference that the majority of journalists who operate in Jayapura are well known to the KNPB, and when people threw things at journalists, this occurred because the supporters of the KNPB were unable to  recognise who were genuine journalists and who were not journalists but were members of the security forces in civilian dress who were posing as journalists.’We deny allegations that every time we organise demonstration, violence occurs. The truth is that when things are thrown  and people are chased as happened on 20 March, these were members of the security forces wearing civilian clothing who were posing as journalists.’

Tabuni said that the KNPB would undertake to clarify any of the incidents that occurred during the demonstration which took place on 20 March.. ‘Ever since the KNPB has undertaken to promote the aspirations of the Papuan people, nothing has been done to harm national or local journalists, although some misunderstandings did occur.. Our activists and militants always do everything they can to protect journalists in all our activities, and we deeply regret what happened during our demonstration on 20 March.’

He referred to demonstrations which the KNPB organised on 2 May and 2 August 2011 when there were allegations that violence occurred and that someone at  demonstration had  stabbed a student.He denied that this had happened. He said that they had immediately gone to the  police in Jayapura to ask about this allegation , but were referred to the police in Abepura. However none of them had produced any proof that such incident had occurred,.They also went to the hospital in Abepura to ask whether anyone who had been stabbed was being treated there, but there was no one being treated.

He said that it was very regrettable  that such a report had appeared in the media  who should be independent and neutral, and should not report something without having proof that it happened.

He also said it was very unfortunate that reports in the media about the demonstrations organised by the KNPB on 20 March had been greatly exaggerated

Meanwhile it has been announced that the KNPB  will organise a Cultural Festival on 2 April on Taman Imbi, Jayapura.