Tag Archives: aksi massa

66 arrested, thousands rally for release of gaoled French journos, defying Police crackdown on calls to respect press freedom

By the West Papua Media team and local stringers,

with additional reporting from Tabloid Jubi and MajalahSelengkah

October 14, 2014

66 West Papuan activists were arrested by Indonesian Police in Jayapura and Merauke, Papua on Monday, as rallies calling for respect of press freedom and the release of two French journalists who continue to be imprisoned without charge, attracted thousands of people across Papua and Indonesia.

Indonesian police had prohibited the rallies in Jayapura and Merauke on the pretext that rally organisers the West Papua National Committee (Komite Nasional Papua Barat or KNPB) is an incorrectly registered organization, and that demonstrators may use the constitutionally legal but police banned Morning Star flag on banners, posters and paraphernalia.

Arrested by Indonesian police in Wamena on August 6 and 7, Thomas Dandois and Valentine Bourrat remain in immigration detention awaiting trial, with their detention repeatedly extended in an unprecedented case – which usually results in a simple deportation.

Indonesian police finally announced on October 14 that the two journalists would be facing trial on October 20, on immigration charges of “misusing a visa”, a mere 70 days after their initial arrest with a local school teacher Areki Wanimbo, two farmers and human rights defender in Wamena.

The trial will begin on the Inauguration day of new Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, in a move clearly seen by most Papuan observers to be a direct challenge by colonial status-quo forces in Papua to the stated plans of Jokowi, to end the ban on foreign Press to report from Papua without restriction.

The plight of the two journalists has elicited record levels of support amongst Papuan civil society, in solidarity against the arrest of journalists carrying out their legitimate professional tasks.

The rallies planned to highlight the widely held view that the continued imprisonment of journalists seeking to report West Papua parallels with the criminalization of Papuan people’s right to Freedom of Expression, by Indonesian occupation forces.

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Photos of rallies around Papua (Photo credits: KNPB, Ones Suhun WPM, and Majalah Selengkah

Many thousands of people openly defied the police ban, and attended rallies and marches in Timika, Nabire, Sorong, FakFak, Manokwari and remote Yahukimo held in solidarity with the detained journalists, and scores of fixers, human rights defenders and ordinary civilian sources that have been caught up in an unprecedented crackdown on the rights of Papuan people to speak with foreign journalists.

The rallies in Manokwari and Sorong were broken up forcibly by heavily armed riot police, however no injuries or arrests were reported in those centres.

In Java, members of the Papuan Students Alliance (Aliansi Mahasiswa Papua or AMP) in Surabaya, Jogjakarta and Bandung were joined at rallies by Indonesian civil society members.  Despite being under close surveillance by Police, the Java based rallies allowed to proceed unhindered, highlighting the disparity in rights to Freedom of Expression between Indonesia and its occupied colony of West Papua.

26 KNPB activists were arrested at dawn in Merauke prior to the rally, as they gathered on the steps of the local Immigration office making speeches, and were forcibly dispersed and arrested by heavily armed riot police. Police later arrested another 20 at the KNPB office in Merauke, according to Tabloid Jubi.

In Jayapura, activists were outnumbered by heavily armed police, which intimidated many supporters into waiting at the sidelines of the area. KNPB activists regardless pushed on with a peaceful demonstration at Imbi park in Jayapura.

The 17 KNPB activists held a moving but silent vigil symbolising the absence of free media and freedom of speech in Papua. Jayapura Chairman of KNPB Agus Kosay told West Papua Media “we chose a silent action, silenced with a black cloth, because Indonesia silences democracy in Papua”

Police then moved in and arrested all 17, who are still being held by Police at time of writing.

“We want to let the world see, (Indonesia says it is) a democracy but the democracy practised is in fact anti-democratic for Papua,” Kosay explained.

No Full Name Gender Occupation
1 Agus Kosay Male Chief KNPB Central
2 Bazoka Logo Male Spokesperson KNPB
3 Elieser Anggaingom Male Member
4 Regi Wenda Female Member
5 Ribka Komba Female Member
6 Jimi Boroay Male Member
7 Marice Mambrasar Female Member
8 Lazkar Zama Male Member
9 Isak Silak Male Student
10 Petrus Petege Male Student
11 Palina Pakage Wanita Member
12 Marten Suhun Male Member
13 Manu Moi Male Student
14 David Walilo Male Member
15 Deren Sorabut Male Member
16 Wilem Wandik Male Member
17 Tinus Heluka Male Member

Indonesian Police have regularly changed their at-times-wild allegations that Bourrat and Dandois – who openly admitted they were operating in West Papua without a highly restrictive and rarely granted Journalism Visa and reporting permit for West Papua – have variously been involved in subversion, illegal arms transfers, espionage, supporting armed groups, and part of a foreign conspiracy to undermine Indonesia. Despite the public slander campaigns in the media by the colonial Police forces in Papua, the final charge of “misuse of a visa” is clearly a backdown, at the same time as it is handing a gauntlet to the new administration of President Widodo.

An international campaign led by Paris-based Reporters without Borders has also called on Indonesia to immediately release the pair, saying they were engaged in nothing more that independent, legitimate journalism activities.   A petition launched by Reporters Without Borders and the Bourrat and Dandois support committee has been signed by more than 8,000 people worldwide.

Reporters Without Borders via a press release on October 15 “appeals to the Indonesian justice system, now responsible for their continuing detention, to release the two journalists and dismiss all charges.”

“Reporters Without Borders again calls for a display of leniency by the authorities in this case. Indonesia cannot pride itself on being the world’s third biggest democracy without respecting fundamental freedoms and human rights,” it said.

The Paris-based media safety organisation also highlighted Indonesia’s obligations to Press Freedom, by noting “As one of the latest countries to sign the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, in 2006, Indonesia cannot ignore the UN Human Rights Committee’s General Comment No. 34, adopted in 2011.  This comment says that it is breach of the covenant to “restrict freedom of movement of journalists and human rights investigators within the state party (including to conflict-affected locations, the sites of natural disasters and locations where there are allegations of human rights abuses).”

West Papua Media network members have also been caught up in the Indonesian police and army crackdown since the arrest of Bourrat and Dadois, including several local personnel who have been subjected to repeated death threats from Indonesian intelligence agencies.   Over 24 of our network members were under various degrees of security threats within West Papua, with family members threatened for speaking with the French journalists.  West Papua Media had been providing legitimate journalistic fixing services to Bourrat and Dandois for interviews with civil society figures outside of the Highlands.  Protection measures have now been put in place, enabling network members to return to newsgathering tasks over the last week, after having operations and reportage severely curtailed by serious security threats and incidents.

Physical threats and active surveillance to WPM personnel were also extended to key members of it editorial staff in Australia, with Indonesian Police Spokesman Sulistyo Pudjo saying that WPM Editor Nick Chesterfield was also to be charged with Espionage and subversion, and would be seeking and attempting extradition to Indonesia.   West Papua Media is still exploring legal options against the Indonesian police for defamation and stalking by sending its agents to carry out illegal activities on Australian soil.

westpapuamedia

The Arab Spring: a harbinger for a “global spring” against oppressive rule?

(published with especial relevance to West Papua)

by Edmund McWilliams

Democracy, respect for human rights, good governance – these are the themes that have been on the lips of peaceful demonstrators from the Mediterranean to the Arabian sea.

In country after country, Arab men and women, young and old have showed extraordinary courage, facing down dictators and autocrats even when those corrupt leaders have employed the full weight of their armed forces against the unarmed protesters.

The Choice of Papuan People (Photo courtesy KNPB)

The inspiration of one young Tunisian who sacrificed himself in protest has spread from one Arab nation to another, in each country people coming to the profound realization, ‘if they can do it there, we can do it here.’

The largely peaceful demonstrations have not had an Arab or a Muslim character. Rather, common to all these peaceful revolts is a pent up desire for freedom and a new sense that change is possible.

We have seen similar uprisings which have swept vast areas:  the East European spring in the late 1980’s; the anti-colonial movement that followed World War II.  These, like the “Arab Spring” were trans-cultural, and transnational.   They derived their power from a common frustration with abusive, and sometimes foreign rule and a conviction that, in the words of the revolutionary mantra, “a people united can never be defeated.”

So we are left with the question of whether this movement will be confined to
Arab peoples, and largely to Muslims.  Or will this struggle for democracy and respect for human rights extend to non-Arab and non-Muslim cultures and peoples who also have suffered under brutal rule?  Will Tahrir square be emulated in Beijing, in Tashkent, in Hanoi, in Vientiane, in Rangoon and Pyongyang.  Will the Papuans, Montagnards, Hmong and Karen draw inspiration from the “Arab Spring” and break the colonial chains that have enslaved them to demand genuine autonomy or even full independence?  The physical and cultural distance separating Papuans in the Puncak Jaya or Hmong in Phong Saly from the “Arab Street” may seem to place them
in different worlds but they have a common experience in their suffering under undemocratic rule.

Is the “Arab Spring” a harbinger for a “global spring” that challenges oppressive rule around the world? For now, we can only assume that autocrats around the globe are sleeping more fitfully.

May their nightmares come true.

Edmund McWilliams
Retired senior U.S. Foreign Service Officer

SONAMPMA: Photo Report of Show of Support by Papuan people for Referendum

Port Numbay,  Papua.

from National Organisation for Student Solidarity of Papua.

 Peace and Freedom !

 We are reporting on the  Demonstration of the People of Papua demanding a Referendum about Self-determination on May 2, 2011 ; for the people of Papua to have the right to determine their own fate. The demonstration took place at the Post Office in Abepura, Jayapura, as shown below :

 – The Show of Support by the people of Papua was coordinated by the National Committee of West Papua, made up by the following organisations :  Organisation of Students and Youth, DAP, Women, Religions, Intellectuals of Papua, and the whole people of Papua from this area. They marched from Sentani, through Waena and Abepura, towards Jayapura (Imbi Park), starting at 8 am.

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While waiting for the people to arrive from Sentani, there were political speeches from the coordinating body, and from several support organisations , all carrying street banners, leaflets and pamphlets, attracting the close  attention of the security forces, there to  « keep the peace », also tried to obscure some of the pictures.  Some of the banners  were saying :  Some of the leaflets said « Papua, Yes ; Indonesia No. », with each of their flags illustrated. Others said « Referendum » and « Papua Merdeka ».

 –          At another coordination point (the campus of USTP) that morning a group began to gather in front of the campus gateway fronting onto Jalan Raya, Sentani, while others came from the campus of UnCen-Abepura. They had banners saying REFERENDUM. There were speeches and the people began to move towards the main square of the campus.

 –          A large group of people assembled at Imbi Park in the early morning, not to avoid observation, because there were thousands of people already assembled there.

 –          About 5 or 6 detachments of Police from Jayapura were there and 3 units of Brimob (mobile police), observing the demonstration with some bodyguards, using 7 or 8 trucks and other vehicles, some of them equipped with weapo

–          Speeches went ahead until about noon, with 600 people who had arrived from Sentani began to assemble at Expo Waena. The whole procession gathered there were about 1000 people, preparing for the Long March to the Post Office at Abepura.

 –          The Long March began at 1 pm, and proceeded towards Abepura.  At the TNI  post at SIPUR, the demonstrators were surprised by an escort of Mobile Ambulance, together with a group of TNI (Army), fully armed, who accompanied the demonstration.

 –         Mass action continued its long march to the Central (shopping) centre , Post Office-Abepura escorted by security parties mentioned above.

–          There were speeches, which were answered by cries of « Referendum » and « Papua Merdeka ».  They stopped at the traffic lights at the Post Office at Abepura and began to sit on the road. All other activities in the town were halted and the town closed down early.

–          The total number of people eventually numbered about 2000 to 2,500. At about 2.15, the procession from Jayapura began to arrived and gathered together with the others at the Post Office.  The numbers swelled even more. The demonstrators stayed at this place, and listened to speeches from some of the leaders of the different groups representing the protestors.

– This demonstration was carried out peacefully until 6 pm, helped by vehicles which helped to keep the peace,   dispersing the people peacefully,  after which they resumed normal economic activities on the streets.

– The demonstration today, after marching well with vehicles and on foot, went off well and peacefully without any violence.

This report that we have made is completed by the Organising Committee for the Demonstration, 2nd May 2011, with great care, and we thank you for reading it.

SONAMAPA

KNPB: Action Appeals to DEMAND REFERENDUM IN WEST PAPUA

CRITICAL MEDIA ALERT

Action Appeals to DEMAND REFERENDUM IN WEST PAPUA

The West Papua National Committee [KNPB] will re-organize the people of West Papua to demand the UN to review the Act of Free Choice (Pepera) of 1969 and to held a referendum in West Papua as a solution to solve this political conflict in West Papua.

In its appeal, KNPB through vice chairman, Mako Tabuni as action coordinator appeals to the West Papuan people to understand and realize that the root problem of West Papua is the UN PEPERA 1969 which was not done through the standards and principles of international law, nor democratic, and very betrayed political rights of the people of West Papua.

Therefore, said Mako Tabuni, KNPB as the media expect the solidarity of the people of West Papua through prayer support, materials and attendance at a peace rally that will be held on Monday, May 2, 2011.

Buchtar Tabuni, Chairman ofr KNPB who is still languishing in jail through the papers stated that West Papua problem have to settle through democratic means which convey the demands through peaceful non-violent action, so he hopes that all the people of West Papua to involve as a form of commitment to end the suffering of the people of West Papua.

This rally will be followed in various areas throughout West Papua. In this action, masses is not allowed to carry sharp tools, alcohol, drugs, and the Morning Star flag. This action will be decorated with ornaments culture, graffiti from Papuan identity and demands in the form of Billboard, brochure and leaflets.

According to Victor Yeimo as the International Spokesperson for KNPB, this action will be done to encourage Indonesia and the international community to take immediate peaceful resolution of the issue of West Papua through international law, so that UN could held a referendum in West Papua. This process should be encouraged by the solidarity of the entire people of Indonesia and the international community who appreciate and care about and for human rights, justice and for the peace of the world.

For more info contact us at: papuaemergency@fpcn-global.org | +6282198854369

Deadline of 22 March for DPRP to return OTSUS

Bintang Papua, 8 March 2011

[Abridged in translation,]

Several hundred people attended a demonstration in Jayapura on Tuesday 8 March, mostly from the Central Highlands Students Association, urging the provincial legislative assembly, the DPRP, to convene a special session to declare that OTSUS (the special autonomy law) has failed and that it should be sent back to the central government at the latest by 22 March this year.

The demo coordinator Selpius Bobii said that OTSUS had been a complete failure, it should be repealed and the MRP should be disbanded. The government should respond without delay to the eleven recommendations made last June and foreign countries should stop providing money to support OTSUS.

The churches should withdraw their members from the second-term MRP now eing formed. He also called for a halt to all investments in Papua which are exploiting its national resources, including Freeport, MIFEE, the Degeweo mining company, Ilaga and PLTA construction works.

There was also a call to the Pope in the Vatican and the World Council
of Churches in Geneva to pay attention to the serious problems in West Papua in order to save the people from annihilation. The Papuan people and supporters abroad should organise large demonstrations from 22 to 24 March, calling on the executive and legislatures in Papua and West Papua to return OTSUS to Jakarta.

A spokesman for the National Committee of West Papua, KNPB, called on the younger generation of Papuans to show the world that they want freedom. ‘Since Papua became part of Indonesia, there has only been bloodshed, oppression and killings everywhere in Papua,’ he said. Other speakers spoke in the same vein.

Some members and leaders of the DPRP met representatives of the
demonstrators afterwards.

The chairman of Commission A of the DPRP, Ruben Magai said that the
blame for the failure of OTSUS rests with the executive and that the
DPRP has no powers to take decisions to affect the situation.

The demonstrators also took their demands to the governor of the province.

Selpius Bobii also read out a statement saying that they would boycott
the elections now under way for mayor and governor if the national
parliament does not respond to these aspirations. They also threatened to occupy the office of the governor if these demands continue to be ignored. He said that they would wait till 4 April, at which time they would occupy the governor’s office, a statement that was responded to very enthusiastically by the demonstrators.