Manokwari Riots: Human rights investigation Report

Report of Human Rights Investigation by Monitoring Team from LP3PH (Institute for Research and Development of Legal Aid), Manokwari, as assembled from various local sources and members of the victim’s family.

December 6, 2012

Wednesday 5 December 2012, the weather was overcast without rain, seeming to restrain the usual busy activities of the local population, government and private company staff, white and blue collar workers, market traders, farmers, fishers, schoolkids and students, plus the security forces: army, police and intelligence.

From early morning the atmosphere was tense: from about 07.00 to 09.oo [Papua time] groups of local people could be seen moving to blockade various major road intersections in Manokwari Town.  Primary official routes like Jl. Yos Sudarso, [near Sanggeng in front of the Bank Mandiri, Bank BRI and Bank Papua complex] as far as the three-way intersection on Jl. Merdeka & Jl. Gunung Salju [Makelew Fanindi complex] were blocked by mobs using wood, old tyres set on fire, tables, and tree branches, all thrown on the road. Various intersections of roads heading out to the residential areas of Fanindi beach [beside the Swissbel Hotel], Arkuki [beside the Bahagia store], Sanggeng market, and Jl. Serayu Sanggeng were blockaded by a populace brewing with anger.

While the atmosphere in Manokwari has been tense there has never been any trouble between groups in civil society or between the local community and the security forces. Several witnesses said that ‘people are very emotional, they are making these protests because of the shooting of Timo Ap’. The police secretively shot and killed Timo Ap, and then took his body to his house in Wirsi, Manokwari.

All Photos: LP3PH/West Papua Media


A chronology of events has been put together as follows, from various civilian sources including the family of the victim Timotius Ap:

1)      More than 3 days ago the victim Timotius Ap, grandson of the late Timotius Ap, [former area head of Wirsi complex in West Manokwari], returned from Java to Manokwari: in Java he had been staying with family and working as a Marine;

2)      Timo Ap returned home to Manokwari with his wife Iwanggin;

3)     Timo was rarely present at the Wirsi house, he was mostly elsewhere due to being on the DPO [Wanted List], related to various cases that the Police accused him of;

4)     On Tuesday, 4 December 2012, as morning was turning to midday, Timo Ap was hanging out with his friends at Wirsi and wanting to eat areca nuts [?] but after eating them, his friends cannot account for his whereabouts;

5)     By the evening of 4 December, at around 09.00 Papuan time [21.00?] Timo was received and treated at the Dr Azhari Hospital [Navy Hospital] Manokwari;

6)     Around 10.00 [22.00?] Papuan time on 4 December, a friend of the family brought a message to Timo’s aunt Nelestin Ap, to ‘please come to the hospital to see Timo, whether he is still alive or already dead’. So then Timo’s aunt and other relatives hurried to the Navy Hospital but on the way they passed police and medical vehicles taking Timo’s corpse home to his grandmother’s house at Jl. Simponi Rindu, Wirsi, West Manokwari;

7)     On arriving at the house, there was only the victim’s grandmother, in her 70’s, living alone. She had no idea that her grandson’s body was being brought to her house. ‘The employees bringing in the corpse said nothing at all to the grandmother’, and then those employees just left the coffin there and went off;

8)     After several minutes the aunt and several of the victim’s loved ones arrived, or came back from the hospital and cried hysterically upon seeing the body wearing only underpants and a clean T-shirt that he had been dressed in. His friends said that he had no other clothes apart from the clean T-shirt and underpants he had been dressed in. At the hospital he had been wrapped up in bandages around his chin and neck as though he were injured, but there appeared to be no injury to his neck, chin or head in general. His only wound was discovered to be on his stomach near the centre, where a surgical incision to remove the projectile [bullet] had been stitched up.

9)     By 11.30 the news had started to spread widely, that the victim Timo Ap had been shot dead by Police, and the local community began arriving to pay their respects and condolences.

10)  In the morning at about 06.00 [Papua time] various family members began blockading the route into Wirsi [Jl. Simponi Rindu]. Blockades then spread to various road junctions in Manokwari, while the local daily paper MEDIA PAPUA released in its Headline news that Timo Ap had been shot dead by the OPNAL [Professional Operations Team] of Polsek [Police sector] Manokwari town at Maripi beach, South Manokwari district at about 16.00 Papua time. This was due to his opposing the officers with an improvised pistol; he was killed with a shot to the head;

11)   From around 07.00 to 09.00, Papua time, the community closed off the main roads of Mankwari such as Jl. Yos Sudarso, Jl. Merdeka, the route to Sanggeng settlement, Jl. Siliwangi, Jl. Soedjarwo Condronegoro [?], Jl. Gunung Salju [heading to Ambun];

12)   At the same time, activities in Manokwari came to a complete standstill. The business centre, Hadi department store, Orchid Swalayan, the market, stalls and shops were closed en masse by their owners. Offices also shut their doors – the Manokwari Regency Government office of West Papua province, schools, banks: from early this morning until mid-morning as this report is written;

13)  At 10.00 Papua time, large groups began violent action, smashing shops along the length of Jl. Yos Sudarso and Jl. Merdeka as far as Jl. Siliwangi. Tens of buildings along the road suffered quite serious damage, and many cars and motorbikes were wrecked by the mob;

14)  Around 12.00, as the mob moved towards the town centre right in front of the West Papuan governor’s office, patrols of Brimob [mobile brigade], Dalmas Polres [area police] backed up with Indonesian Army forces were seen closing off the intersection that the crowd wanted to pass;

15)  A local man, Demianus Waney held a megaphone in front of the security forces, asking the crowd to disperse and go home…. ‘I say go home’… said Demianus Waney….. but hearing those words, the crowd became more worked up. In the process of their demonstrations against Demianus Waney, a number of buildings, restaurants owned by transmigrants around the harbour and PT Pelni [national shipping line] became targets of their anger;

16)  The police, Brimob and TNI [Indonesian army] started to rush forward but were stopped by an attempt at negotiation by a priest, who said he had been the victim’s priest [i.e. Timo Ap who had been shot and killed]. However at the same time Demianus Waney said that every avenue had been tried already, inviting the armed forces to action;

17)  The security forces then moved forward to break up the crowd. The police, Brimob and soldiers using trucks, paddy-wagons and Barracuda vehicles moved rapidly to take over the main road that had been controlled by the mob;

18)  Around 13.00, Papua time, the situation had become calm and back to normal.

Papuan goes out to pick bananas but never returns home

From Elsham News Service, 22 August 2011

On a short journey to his banana garden, a Papuan peasant is killed

Das Komba, 30 years old, left home early in the morning on Friday, 19
August to go to his banana garden, two hundred metres from home to cut
down some bunches of bananas for a family celebration. After filling his
sack with several bunches he started for home but then went back,
feeling that he had not cut down enough. But Das Komba never returned home.

Two days later, on Sunday, search parties were sent out to look for him
and his body was found in a ditch about one km from his garden.

According to information received by Elsham, a local man, TD, left home
by car to go to Youtefa market in Abepura. On the way, about 200 meters
from Arso, several passengers were stopped by a group of men in
military uniform. Two passengers were ordered to get off the bus and
questioned by the soldiers ‘What are you carrying there?’ they were
asked, said TD as he watched the men pulled the goods out of the sacks.

At 7am next morning. WO, 30 years old was about to take his children to
school but when he opened the front door of his home, he was startled
to see about five men outside. When he said ‘Good morning’, the men did
not reply but just stared at him. After returning home, WO went to his
garden which is about 600 metres away, but after walking about 50
meters, he found some leftovers of food and thought that some soldiers
must have rested there to have a bite to eat. He then decided to return
home. WO later said that their clan chief, Fabion, had warned people not
to leave their homes to collect things from their gardens because the
army would be coming there.’But if we dont go to our gardens, we will
have nothing to eat,’ the people said.

A woman, TB, 27 years old, said that on that morning she had gone to her
garden which was a short distance from the garden of Das Komba with her
children walking in front, listening to music on their hand phones, when
they heard the sound of gunfire coming from the direction of Das
Komba’s garden. As they continued their journey, three men in army
uniform appeared and, holding their guns out, said: Where are you
going?’ When she said she was going to her garden, the men told her to
go home. When she arrived home, she told her family that she had heard
shots coming from the garden where Das Komba. was harvesting some bananas.

When Das Komba failed to return home, several people went out to look
for him but they found no trace of him.. All they found was his hat, but
there was no trace of his sacks or his machete. As it was getting dark,
they decided to return home and continue to search on the following day.

On Saturday, 20 August, five members of his family went out to look for
him . All they could see was that banana trees has been slashed down and
the fruit had been trampled on. There were signs that something had been
pulled along, perhaps timber but they didn’t find Das Komba, so they
went home to ask other people to help in the search for Das.

WO then went together with several others to the police station, and
later went together with the chief of the clan to the cemetery , where
they found some empty food cans, a jerry can and a few plastic bags,
which the police took away as evidence.

On the next day, Sunday an extended family from Angkasa and Entrop
Jayapura travelled by truck to Arso, and when they arrived there they
divided into three groups to continue the search for Das Komba. From
there, a group of people climbed a nearby hill and at about 3pm , they
discovered the body of Das Komba which they decided to bury.

Several people then went to the police station to tell the police where
they had found Das Komba. The police went there, dug up the body and
took it in an ambulance to Dok 11 Hospital for an autopsy.

According to WO, Das Kombawas just a simple peasant who was not a member
of any organisation. ‘All he did was to tend his garden,’ said WO,
looking very sad.

Because of this incident, the people of Arso are very afraid to leave
their homes and dont want to go to their gardens to collect food.

[Abridged translation by TAPOL]

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