Tag Archives: apartheid

Nabire youths arrested for cleaning memorial park

By our partners at MAJALAH SELANGKAH in Nabire

28 April 2015

Photo caption text: From left to right, , Marthen Iyai (28 yrs old), Martinus Pigai (17), Anton Pigome (24) detained in the Nabire Police station Tuesday (28/4/15). (Photo: MS)

A BRIMOB Police unit together with Nabire Regional Police on 28 April have arrested three Papuan youths whilst they were cleaning the Papuan Nation’s Flower Park in Ovehe in Nabire town centre, Papua province. Those arrested are Martinus Pigai (aged 17 yrs), Anton Pigome (24 yrs) and Marthen Iyai (28 yrs).

According to arrestee Anton Pigome, speaking with majalahselangkah.com from detention at the Nabire Police station at Tuesday midday: “This morning we were cleaning the ‘Papuan Nation’s Flower Park’ in Ovehe together with our older people. We were cleaning the park for a church service to mark 100 days since the passing away of Father Nato Gobay (see: Wakil Uskup Timika, Pastor Nato Gobay, Pr Wafat) and at the same time to communicate to the community there regarding Mubes Meepago ( Mubes Miras dan HIV Wilayah Meepago) as planned for 9 or 10 May 2015.  At approximately 8.00 am BRIMOB forces came in a vehicle and ordered us to get into the BRIMOB vehicle. They then took us to the Nabire Police station.”

Anton continued “ We were not beaten at the time of arrest, however we were shocked and confused why we would be arrested. We were just cleaning the park so why would we be arrested?”

Well known Papuan human rights activist Yones Douw said they confronted police. “After we heard the news we went directly to the Police station and demanded the three be released as they had done nothing wrong. They were just cleaning the area for the church service to mark 100 days since the death of Father Nato Gobay” stated Yones.

Yones explained after meeting Deputy Head of the Nabire Police Kompol Albertus Andreana, it had been agreed to release the 3 youths. “ When we momentarily met with the Head of Police earlier I stated that the 3 youth must be released. He had to leave and suggested we speak with the Deputy Head of Police which we did. They have promised to release the 3 this afternoon.”

According to Yones, the Police believed the park was being cleaned in relation to upcoming 1 May activities, being the anniversary of the date Papua was annexed into Indonesia. As that anniversary is now close the National West Papuan Committee (KNPB) has called for demonstrations to be held simultaneously throughout Papua to reject the presence of the Indonesian population in the Land of Papua.(See: Seruan KNPB Menuju 1 Mei 2015).

It needs to be pointed out that the ‘Papuan Nation’s Flower Park’ is the location of the past offices of the Regional Committee of Community Representatives (DPRD). After the DPRD offices were burnt down and moved to Kelurahan Bumi Wonorejo, the Papuan community used the place as a centre for political expression.

Majalahselanghkah.com noted that back on 1 December 1999 the ‘Papuan Nation’s Flower Park’ had once been used for a West Papuan Political Ceremony during which two flags were raised on high steel poles with the Papuan Morning Star flag on the right and the Indonesian Red and White flag on the left. Those raised flags were maintained for 8 months before joint armed forces of Police and Indonesian military took them down during what’s become known as ‘Bloody Nabire’ which occurred from 28 February to 4 March 2000. (IRIAN JAYA (WEST PAPUA, NEW GUINEA): THE QUEST FOR INDEPENDENCE–THE RECORD: REPORT ON THE NABIRE SHOOTING SITUATION- 28 February 2000 to 4 March 2000). At that time 3 people were shot dead and others were wounded. Those shot dead were Menase Erari, Maximus Bunai and Wellem Maniwarba. They were buried in the ‘Papuan Nation’s Flower Park’ and to this date the steel pole remains standing there.

Then again on 13 August 2013 there was an incident when access to the park was closed off by joint armed police and military forces (see: Taman Bunga Nabire Dipalang, Sejumlah Tokoh Mengadu ke DPRD). Human rights activists together with well known church and community figures, tribal and customary law leaders pressured DPRD to hold a meeting with the Regional Government, the district Commandant and the Head of Police to return the park to the community. Finally the closure to the park was lifted and until now the community has been able to use the park as a place for political expression.
(Yohanes Kuayo/Yermias Degei/Putri Papua/MS)

Leading Indonesian NGO Condemns the continued use of Treason Charges against Papuans

by ALDP (Alliance  for Democracy in Papua)

Opinion/Statement

September  6, 2013

68 YEARS SINCE INDONESIA BECAME INDEPENDENT, TREASON [MAKAR] IS STILL BEING USED AGAINST PAPUANS.

The  Indonesian people recently celebrated the 68th anniversary of their independence on 17 August 2013.   What lessons can we draw from this anniversary in order to resolve problems faced by our people who experience so many problems in various parts of the country,  especially in regions where there is conflict such as Aceh and Papua?

Especially with regard to Papua, it is not acceptable for the articles about treason  to be used any more.   This is because for a country that is now based on democratic principles, it clearly violates these principles.  Furthermore, the law on treason which is still included in Indonesia’s Criminal Code is no longer used in the country where it originated [The Netherlands].  The continued use of these articles will only widen the gap between Papua and Indonesia and lead to acts of violence because of  feelings of revenge about history, or may cause friction between different groups of people.

These articles on treason are always held ready for use against activists or anyone who demands justice and the right to express their views in public, in accordance  with the right to freedom of expression.

The treason articles were first included in the Criminal Code in the 19th century. The Dutch Minister of Justice adamantly refused a move to include an article on treason which could be applicable to anyone.  He said:  ‘These articles should be enacted to meet the needs of a colonial territory and should not be applicable to  European countries.’

The articles on treason were adopted by the Dutch colonial government and were based on Article 124 of the British Indian Penal Code.  In 1915. The Indian Supreme Court and the East Punjab High Court declared that they were invalid because they contradicted the Indian Constitution which upheld the principle of freedom of expression.  In The Netherlands, these articles were regarded as being undemocratic.   However, the Dutch East Indies government made use of the articles in their colonial territories.

In this day and age, several decades after Indonesia declared its independence, these articles should no longer be applicable to citizens of the country, including Papuans, bearing in mind that Papua is not a colony of Indonesia. {Eds – This statement does not reflect WPM’s position}

In judicial terms, treason is a unilateral act against the authorities, for the purpose of ensuring that part of its territory falls into enemy hands or should be ceded in order to become part of another state.

The crime of treason  is regulated under Articles 104 to 129 of the Criminal Code – KUHP.  Treason is also classified as a crime against the president and vice-president [the head of state and/or the head of a rival state], against the legitimate government or against government agencies, being involved in espionage on behalf of the enemy, resistance to government officials, rebellion and other activities that are directed against state interests.  Treason is also committed against the government (the head of state and his/her deputy) for the main purpose being to render an individual incapable of governing, to annihilate the country’s independence, to overthrow the government, to change the system of governance by unlawful means, to undermine state sovereignty by  separating part of the country on behalf of another country, or to create an independent state.

The crimes of spreading hatred or incitement are dealt with in Articles  154, 155 and 156 of the Criminal Code. These articles state that ‘public statements which express feelings of hostility or are offensive to the government’ are regarded as crimes as well as public statements which support such sentiments. These articles are punishable for up seven years.

During the era of the late President Soeharto, these articles were frequently used to restrict freedom of expression. They were also used against political opponents, critics, students and human rights defenders in order to silence them. The people in power used these articles like rubber, something which can be pulled in any direction as a way of restricting the right to freedom of expression.

Nowadays, in {after} the era of ‘reformasi’, the articles are frequently used to bring charges against pro-democracy activists.  In Papua. They are used in every way possible against pro-democracy activists on occasions when it has not been possible to charge them for involvement in treasonous activities.

In a report published by Human Rights Watch (HRW) in 2007, ‘Protest and the Punishment of Political Prisoners in Papua’ , Indonesia was mentioned as one of the countries where exceptions and restrictions apply that are in conflict with the basic principle of freedom of opinion. HRW drew attention to the many cases of people being arrested and imprisoned simply because they took part in peaceful protest or for peacefully raising flags. This is in violation of international law on basic human rights.  Indonesian courts frequently apply the law on ‘spreading hatred’ or ‘incitement’  towards people who are exercising their right to freedom of expression. These clauses also violate the spirit of the Indonesian Constitution which was adopted when the country became independent in 1945.

There is a tendency in Papua for a court, having been unable to prove that treason was committed, to use the crime of incitement. The articles about treason  were used when Indonesia was a Dutch colony to charge individuals or groups of people with rebellion. But these days, ‘the articles on treason are used against the civilian population when they publicly express their aspirations,’ said Harry Maturbongs, the former co-ordinator of KontraS.

A lawyer in Papua, Gustaf Kawer, said that the tendency of courts and prosecutors to use the charge of incitement when they are unable to prove that treason has been committed, is a sign that the court is apprehensive and wants to avoid the possibility of people who have been charged making counter-charges against the state, where the case against them had not be proven.

It is often the case that pro-peace Papuan activists who are brought before the courts are charged on several counts for a variety of misdemeanours.  In the trial of Buchtar Tabuni in 2010, he was charged under five articles.  Article 106 and Article 110, as well as Article 160, Article 212 and Article 218, for treason, for incitement and for disobeying an order by an official.  Another group of people were sentenced and convicted for treason. Forkorus Yaboisembut and his colleagues were arrested by the police for organising the Third Papuan People’s Congress on 19 October, 2011.  [After formally declaring the establishment of an independent Federated State of Papua] ‘President’ Forkorus, along with his Prime Minister Edison G. Waromi, were arrested with others who were involved in organising the Congress, Dominikus Surabut, Agus M. Sananay Kraar and Selfius Bobii. They were charged by a team of prosecutors headed by Yulius D.

Even today In 2013, the treason article continues to be used. A group of men were recently charged. They are Klemens Kodimko (71 years old), Obeth Kamesrar (68 years old), Antonius Saruf (62 years old), Obaja Kamesrar (52 years old), Yordan Magablo (42 years old), Hengki Mangamis (39 years ) and Isak Klebin (52 years old) . They were charged at the first hearing of their trial in a court in Sorong on Monday, 19 August 2013.

A spokesman for the police in Papua, I Gede Sumerta Jaya, said that the men were charged with treason because they are leaders of the OPM (Organisasi Papua Merdeka) or of radical groups that are active planning or speaking out in favour of resistance to the legitimate government.

Earlier this year, on 30 April, hundreds of people gathered at a posko  [a small construction] which they had  just set up. They sang together as they gathered there on 30 April to make preparations to celebrate 1 May on the following day.  While they were singing, shooting was heard aimed in the direction of the posko. The shots came from some people aboard an avanza vehicle with darkened windows, accompanied by a police patrol vehicle.

[Translated by TAPOL]

DPRP member criticises the absence of teachers and medics in Papua

JUBI
26 March 2012A member of the Papuan legislative assembly, the DPRP, said it was very regrettable that teachers and health personnel rarely go to the more isolated parts of West Papua. Kenius Kogoya,  secretary of Commission E of the DPRP, said that although this was nothing new, it was very unfortunate indeed that this was still happening.

‘This is happening all the time in Papua, particularly in the interior. We have seen it for ourselves and feel very unhappy about this situation. Aren’t the institutions monitoring the situation in the kampungs and other places which these people should be visiting? Do they never check up on whether these people come to these places?’ he said.

He said that there was widespread neglect by officials who were failing to check on whether teachers and health workers ever turned up in the interior for work. This was happening despite the fact that  these people were being paid and that this was in accord with government policy.

‘There are serious failings in the system. They get a decent salary but no one monitors to see whether they ever go to these places. .No-one should surprised to discover that is a number of districts and kampungs, these people never turn up. They are paid a good salary but they are living elsewhere.  It is the duty of the authorities to remind them (of their duties),’ he said.
/*_
_*/The difficult geographical conditions in Papua should not be used as a reason by public service workers. These workers in the fields of education and healthcare in the regions have been given certain rights, so they should also carry out their responsibilities, he said.

He said that a considerable amount of money was being spent on education and health. ‘People are always talking about the lack of personnel and complaining that the economic circumstances were not good, but who is it that they are not good for? The authorities are simply failing to take this matter seriously. And this is a  problem that exists in almost all the districts of Papua,’ said Kenius.

Structural discrimination against Papuans in many districts of Papua

[A very revealing report about how indigenous Papuans are being denied access to something as basic as education, thus maintaining their position as the underdog – TAPOL]JUBI, 23 March 2012

 

The author of the book, Paradoks Papua, The Papuan Paradox. said that there is systematic discrimination against the indigenous Papuan people in Keerom in all fields of endeavour.

Cipry  Jehan, the author, was speaking at a seminar on Just Development which was convened by the Catholic Church in the Diocese of Keerom.

‘There is structural social injustice in the district of Keerom and it is structured around peoples’ clans and religions.’

He said that this discrimination is apparent in all facets of life and is because the government concentrates all its development activities in the districts of Arso and Skamto.

‘Both these districts are populated by transmigrants (newcomers from outside Papua) whereas indigenous Papuans live mostly in Waris and Towe and they are not catered for in all this development.’

He said that discrimination in the field of education is evident from the nursery school level  right up to secondary school level. For example, in this district [Keerom], nursery schools [taman kanak-kanak] are spread right across  the districts whereas in the districts of Waris and Towe Hitam which is where the majority of the population are indigenous Papuans, there are no educational facilities at all. ‘Education facilities for the  Papuans  are very disappointing indeed.’

The author who is himself from the island of Flores.said he feels very sorry for the indigenous people in Keerom who are not getting their right to education. ‘This is after all one of the most important of all peoples rights. The government  pays no attention to this important matter.

‘The government is much more consistent about sending troops to this area than sending teachers.and doctors,’ he said.

Translated by TAPOL

Complaints about market space for Papuan women

Bintang Papua, 7 September 2010

[Abridged in translation]

Solidaritas Perempuan (Women’s Solidarity) Port Numbay has called on
the Papuan provincial legislative council (DPRP) to pay proper attention
to the needs of Papuan women – mama-mama – traders who have not been
provided with suitable space in the market, Pasar Hamadi to sell their
wares.

In a demonstration to represent the aspirations of the women, they
complained that the Jayapura municipal administration has failed to
promote the interests of the women and the customary rights of the
Ireuuw people to a decent place for stalls in the market. They said that
there were still quite a lot of the women without decent locations to
conduct their business.

This was in breech of the Special Autonomy Law 21/2001 which stresses
the need to take sides with the indigenous Papuan people. This is a
matter that needs the special attention of the government, especially
the provincial administration, they said.

Solidaritas Perempuan itself consists of eleven mama-mama. It insists
that the traditional rights of the people must be respected.

The chairperson of the organisation, Yosephine Hamadi, together with the
local coordinator, met a member of the DPRP and wants to meet members of
Commissions A and B.

A representative of Commission A, Hein Ohee, said that he felt unable
to respond to the demands of Solidaritas Perempuan because they did not
appear to be united among themselves on the matter.

He also said that the market’s location was still problematic following
a recent fire, and since the reconstruction of the market after the
fire, complications had arisen over the traditional rights of the Ireuuw
people and the compensation payments, all of which needs further
discussion, and the risk that anything done in the location might lead
to further problems.

The complaint by Solidaritas Peremmpuan that the decision about the
location for the women revealed a lack of justice and understanding,
reflects concerns not only of the Ireuuw people but of Papuan women in
other parts of Papua. They said that they would have further meetings
with the trade department to try to resolve the issue.