Tag Archives: assasination

Densus 88 & Indon Police shoot dead unarmed Nabire High school student

by WestPapuaMedia, and local sources

June 28, 2016

WARNING: THIS REPORT CONTAINS DISTRESSING IMAGES

Australian-supported Indonesian Police special forces shot dead a teenage Papuan high school student in central Nabire city, West Papua, on Monday (27th June) afternoon, in an apparently premeditated ambush without provocation, according to credible reports and witnesses from the scene.  The student was unarmed.

Local independent media in Nabire, UmagiNews, are reporting that the extrajudicial killing occurred as the high school students were passing by the heavily armed police patrol near a roundabout in central Nabire.  WestPapuaMedia stringers have confirmed these reports.

Oen (Owen) Pekei, 18, a student from class 2, YPPGI (Senior High School) Karang Mulia Nabire West Papua, was shot dead at 5pm local time, Monday, after being chased by at least three vehicles full of heavily armed, militarised police, according to witnesses.

One witness, whose name has been withheld for protection, told UmagiNews that Pekei was seen riding on a motorbike carrying a noken bag with the outlawed Morning Star pro-independence symbol.  Police gave chase with three motorbikes, three unmarked police vehicles, and a truck full of fully armed and armoured Densus88 anti-terror police in balaclavas joined the chase.  Pekei was herded into an ambush area, where more Densus88 armed members of the police were awaiting him at three points, according to the witness.

Pekei was then shot in front of the new city complex at the Nabire regent’s office, allegedly from several directions simultaneously.  UmagiNews have published aseries of diagrams given by witnesses showing from where different armed units shot Pekei. One shot from Telkom head office, the second from within the memorial monuments, and the third from the D88 cars of Dalmas Porles Nabire.

Unconfirmed reports seen by WestPapuaMedia stringers allege that amongst the shooters both waiting and chasing Pekei, were a heavily armed patrol of black clad special forces police belonging to the Australian-trained and funded counter-terror unit Special Detachment (Densus) 88. Densus88 has been used extensively for several years to conduct extremely violent repression against Papuan civilians engaged in peaceful acts of free expression, and his currently deployed heavily across Papua, whilst still receiving funding and training from the Australian Federal Police.

The motive for shooting is not clear, however police have denied – in the military run colonial media outlet Nabire_Net  – that they shot Pekei, claiming instead that he died in hospital after hitting his head during the crash.  (WPM: The photos of Pekei – provided for publication by his family with permission – show the entry wound caused by a bullet, which is inconsistent with road impact at low-speed*).  However, human rights observers told UmagiNews that questions arose that if Pekei was considered a road accident victim that was unconscious, why he was dumped in the mortuary instead of receiving an attempt in the emergency room of hospital.

Other circumstances surrounding the shooting have not been confirmed at time of writing, and Indonesian Police in Nabire have refused to answer phone and SMS messages from WestPapuaMedia and also local stringers.

A human rights monitor in Nabire who exposed the news observed that the “Motive Appears unknown (as) conducted by the police, but people of Papua demand the Indonesian state carries out a just “crack down” on any human rights violations that occurred.” 

This shooting is not the first time an event like this has occurred. On 5 December 2014 the Bloody Paniai incident occurred that left four unarmed Papuan teenagers dead and 17 more Papuans injured when the Indonesian army and police opened fire on peaceful protesters in Paniai.

Some Papuans who have gathered outside the Regents office after the killing told UmagiNews that they “questioned the Indonesian government’s seriousness in resolving human rights violations by the Indonesian military.”

“Bloody Nabire has returned, the security apparatus of the Republic of Indonesia is shooting the indigenous people of West Papua, using the tools of State (guns)”

WestPapuaMedia

*Editor WPM has extensive Street Medic and HEFAT Combat First Responder/Aid experience

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Jubi: Papuans Must Stand Up to Fight

 April 29, 2015

Students held the event ‘In Memoriam of Arnold Ap’ in front of Cenderawasih University Cultural  - Jubi

Jayapura, Jubi – Dozens of students, activists, journalists and young people who are members of Papua Cultural Care Generation held the event ‘In Memoriam of Arnold Ap’ in front of Cenderawasih University Cultural Museum to commemorate 31 years after the death of legendary Papuan musician Arnold Ap, who was killed by the military on 26 April, 1984.

The Papua Bersatu Untuk Kebenaran (BUK/Papua Unite for Truth) Coordiantor, Peneas Lokbere said long after the murder of Arnold Ap Papuans continued to be victimised in many ways.

“Papuans shouldn’t forget their culture. Papuans must stand up to fight. Arnold Ap was killed by the state, but the Papuans’ spirit to fight should not be stuck in here. The struggle must go on,” he said when delivering messages in the murder day of Arnold Ap last Sunday in Cenderawasih University Cultural Museum.

Meanwhile, Papuan human right activist Rosa Moiwend said the Papua young generation today should not forget their culture. Papuans must take their culture as their identity.  Kork (Frizzy Rasta Community) Coordinator Teddy Pekei added Papuans must rebuild their identity through its culture and arts. Arnold Ap has showed that every Papuans must grasp their culture as the foundation of Papua nation.
“Arnold Ap teaches us Papuans not to discriminate every tribe and nation in the land of Papua. He showed it through his songs that compiled from various Papuan languages,” he said.

After thirty-one years, the Government of Indonesia has not realising that the murder of Arnold Ap and Eddy Mofu by the security force is the planned-murder and paralysed towards Papuan identity and character of culture.

In commemorating the thirty-one years of death of Arnold Ap, the President Joko Widodo is urged to apologise to Papuan people for the crime and violation against the human rights and the paralyse of the character of Papuan culture by State’s apparatus (Military/Police) in Papua.

While the Papua Provincial Government is asked to support and assist the development of Mambesak (folk) music as part of Papuan culture and Papuans unification as well as to renovate Arnold Ap and Eddy Mofu’s grave where located in Tanah Hitam in respecting them. (Arnold Belau)

As President celebrates ‘Sail Raja Ampat’, one of his critics is abducted, killed and dumped at sea

(Apologies for the delay in Posting to the site (all news still is being delivered to journalists direct as it breaks). WPM has been under severe security threat from Indonesian agents in Papua and Australia, associated with the arrests of French journalists).

Reports from our network partners at AwasMifee

On 19th August, Martinus Yohame in his role as the chair of the Sorong Branch of the West Papua National Committee (KNPB) held a press conference, explaining his organisation’s opposition to the Indonesian President’s visit to the area to open the Sail Raja Ampat event aimed at promoting tourism to Papua. He also raised the issue of illegal logging. The next day he disappeared.

As friends and colleagues spent the subsequent days searching for him, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono opened the sailing regatta, where he once again promised extra funds to develop infrastructure for infrastructure in Papua, and also inaugurated a statue of Jesus Christ on Marsinam Island near Manokwari.

Then on the 26th, a fisherman found the body of Martinus Yohame floating by the shore in at Nana Island, near Sorong. He had been shot in the chest, his face smashed up, and with another wound in his stomach. He had been placed in a sack, with his arms and legs tied. His abductors remain unknown.

This story has not yet received widespread coverage in the Papuan media, and at the time of writing the KNPB had yet to issue a statement on its website. Tabloidjubi however has picked up the story – here is a translation of one of their articles:

Deceased Sorong KNPB Chair believed to have been disappeared.

Jayapura, 26/8 (Jubi) – Martinus Yohame, Chair of the Greater Sorong area branch of the West Papua National Committee (KNPB) was found found dead floating near the shore of Nana Island, in the Doom Island area of Sorong. He is believed to have been disappeared.

A spokesperson for the Papua-wide KNPB, Basoka Logo made this clear to tabloidjubi.com. He said that previously on the evening of Wednesday 20th August, the KNPB had received information that Martinus Yohame had been abducted.

“But we can’t be sure yet who his captors were. Now today we have heard the news that he has been found dead. We cannot yet say which group is responsible for his diasppearance.  At the current time we are
still unsure,” Basoka Logo said via his mobile phone on Tuesday (26/8).

He explained that the late Martinus Yohame was responsible for the Bird’s Head peninsula area of West Papua. He could not give any further information at the time as he had not received a full report from his colleagues in Sorong.

“Just now we only received a short report about the death of the Sorong KNPB Chair – what I know is that he was found near the Kota Baru area, and his body is currently lying at the Sorong KNPB secretariat”, he said.

At present, according to Logo, colleagues in Sorong are still collecting data and statements about the death of the Chair of the KNPB in Sorong. “Only when this is done will we be able to give a full statement. The First Chair of the KNPB central organisation, Agus Kosay just arrived in Sorong by plane. It was him that officially reported to us that it was true the Chair of the KNPB in Sorong had been found,” he said.

The chair of the KNPB in the Bird’s Head region, including Greater Sorong, Martin Yohame, was tragically found dead some time before, his body was discovered by a fisherman on Tuesday morning (26/8) at around 7.00 am local time floating near Nana Island, not far from the Doom Island area. When found, Martinus’s body had been tied up tightly in a sack. Both his legs and arms had also been tied, presumably hoping his body would sink to the bottom of the ocean.

According to the Sorong City General Hospital’s examination, a gunshot wound was found on the left side of his chest. The victims face was also smashed up by being hit by a hard object, “We found a gunshot wound in his left chest. His face was destroyed,” said Yori, a worker at the hospital.
The Sorong police chief Adjunct Commissioner Harri Golden Hart confirmed that a body had been found. “We are still in the process of identification, and finding out whether it is true that he was killed,” Harri said.

After the autopsy, the victim’s family and KNPB members brought the victim’s body to be laid out in the house of mourning in Malanu village, in the Papua Christian University complex.

From data collected by tabloid jubi, the external examination conducted at the Sorong City General Hospital revealed a hole in the left chest 1x1cm, and another in the right side of the stomach of around 2x3cm. The man’s height was 179 cm and he had dreadlocks.

Before his body was found, the KNPB had issued a statement with some further details of the press conference and what happened afterwards, along with their guesses for possible abductors and their motives. This is an excerpt from that statement, as published on umaginews.com:

We believe that the Sorong KNPB chair was abducted by Kopassus [army special forces] or BIN [state intelligence agency] because on the 20th he received a phone call from someone and went outside. Now five days have passed but he hasn’t been found.

Previously on 19th August Martinus Yohame and other KNPB officials held a press conference at 15.00 Papuan time in front of the Sorong Mayor’s office, attended by several reporters from the Sorong area, in connection with the Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s visit to Papua and in particular to the Sorong area to open the Sail Raja Ampat event in Waisai, on Saturday 23rd August 2014.

Martinus Yohame, supported by the deputy chair of the KNPB, Kantius H, invited journalists from several print media organisations to use information from the press conference in their reports about the president’s visit KNPB used the opportunity to express their opposition to President SBY’s visit to the land of Papua.

At the same time they expressed their opposition to illegal logging, exploiting Papua’s natural riches and developing Raja Ampat as a Global Marine Tourism centre, all of which they judge to be stealing from and destroying Papua’s ecosystems and forests with no benefit for the people of Papua as a whole who own the land and resources.

This is why the KNPB and the PRD (People’s Regional Parliament) are clear in their opposition. We believe he was abducted by the security forces or the intelligence agency as part of their efforts to secure SBY’s visit, which the KNPB opposes.

Just two minutes after the press meeting finished at 3.15, a woman telephoned the KNPB Sorong chair. This woman claimed to be from the National Human Rights Commission in Jakarta, and she wanted to meet.  Several moments later, she came to meet the KNPB chair and his group outside the mayor’s office in a red Avanza. Inside was a man with a large Canon video camera, and they invited Martinus Yohame to accompany them to the Sorong Mega Mall, at the 9km post. The woman then took them to eat in a cafe next to the Megamall, and while they ate they held a meeting, although it is not known what they spoke about in this meeting.

Before the meeting broke up, he and the woman exchanged mobile phone numbers. The woman then said that “the next meeting will take place on Wednesday 20th August and we will get in touch”.

Afterwards they maintained communication via telephone and text message, with the last message on Wednesday 20th at 12.00 Papua time. That night they told Martinus to leave his house and it was on the street that they abducted him. He has not been found until now….

Source: Umagi News

The West Papua National Committee is an organisation that believes West Papua should have the right to self determination. It was formed in around 2009, but after it gained prominence with a series of large demonstrations demanding a referendum on independence there was a major crackdown, with many leaders around Papua jailed or killed, especially in 2012.  Since that wave of repression, the KNPB has found it difficult to organise, as local leaders are often detained a day or two days before a planned demonstration or significant event.

If elements of the Indonesian State were indeed responsible for Martinus Yohame’s disappearance, it is likely that he was targeted for his pro-independence stance. However, it is worth remembering that in the press conference before he disappeared Martinus Yohame also spoke of the problems of illegal logging and the tourism industry, and he is not the first KNPB leader have raised the issues of natural resource development that marginalises the Papuan people.  At the same time, indigenous people are threatened by state security forces of being treated as separatists when they state their opposition to development projects. The climate of intimidation in Papua is not limited to the independence movement alone, but impacts all areas in which Papuan people need to assert their needs and desires for a more just future.

As Martinus Yohame was being brutally beaten, or maybe he was already dead by that time, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono was nearby on Raja Ampat celebrating the progress made in his development-focussed strategy for Papua, making statements such as “ lets keep going with the positive development that has already been achieved in Papua and West Papua”.  His audience of civil servants and tourism executives listened and watched as a flotilla of boats including 14 Indonesian navy ships as well as warships from the US, Australia and Singapore joined a sail past. Media hailed the event as a great success.

West Papua Media has highly credible but unconfirmed reports that Martinus Yohame was also targeted by Indonesian intelligence for potentially having contact with the two French Journalists still being detained in Abepura.  Many of our people are currently in danger because of this situation.

ELSHAM: Reverting to the DOM era: Papua back to being a Zone of Military Operations

PRESS RELEASE FROM ELSHAM PAPUA

December 19, 2012

ELSHAM PAPUA
Lembaga Studi dan Advokasi Hak Asasi Manusia
(Institute for Human Ri ghts Study and Advocacy of Papua)

Reverting to the DOM era: Papua back to being a Zone of Military Operations

There was a significant increase in the intensity of the conflicts and violence in Papua between August 2011 and December 2012. ELSHAM Papua reported on several incidents that had resulted in serious casualties and although the growing severity of the incidents was disturbing, these did not prompt the Government to react.  These events include the overwhelming offensive called “Operasi Aman Matoa I 2011”, terror actions and shootings by unidentified perpetrators (OTK), cases of internal displacements,  as well as cases of extrajudicial killing of civilians by the police.

“Operasi Aman Matoa I 2011” is the designation for an armed crime prevention operation that was set up in the areas of Puncak Jaya and Paniai. This operation was under direct command  of the Chief of Police, and was run by the Operations Task Force (Satgas Ops) through police telegram letter No. STR/687/VIII/2011 dated 27 August 2011.

The Operations Task Force for Operasi Aman Matoa I 2011 was led by Drs. Leo Bona Lubis, the Commissioner of Police. During the execution of Operasi Aman Matoa I 2011 in the Paniai Regency, a number of grave human rights violations were perpetrated, which include:

(a) the taking of the lives of two civilians, Salmon Yogi (20) and Yustinus Agapa (30) who died as a direct result of the armed conflict,
(b) the inflicting of injuries to at least four civilians: Yulian Kudiai (22), Melkias Yeimo (35), Yohanis Yogi (25) and Paskalis Kudiai (21), who became victim as a result of the armed conflict,
(c) great material loss due to the armed conflict in Eduda District which includes 78 houses that were burnt by the Operations Task Force; educational activities at 8 elementary school (SD) and 2 Junior High School (SMP) that had to be halted; religious and worship services could no longer be ensured in eight Catholic churches, seven Kingmi churches and four GKII churches; hundreds of machetes, knives, saws, hammers, bows and arrows were confiscated;
(d) villagers no longer felt secure in their own homes and they fled. As many as 37 people perished while in displacement: 13 toddlers, 5 children, 17 adults and 2 elders;
(e) communities from the Districts of Komopa, Keneugida, Bibida, East Paniai and Kebo have endured material loss due to their displacement.  The villagers were forbidden from going to their gardens by the members of the Operations Task Force. As a result, this primary source of livelihood for the communities was left neglected and unattended. Prior to the evacuation, 1581 heads of livestock were forcibly slaughtered, including  as many as 478 pigs, 3 cows, 11 goats, 132 rabbits, 381 ducks, and 576 chickens. After returning to their homes and villages, the residents experienced severe food shortage. Members of the Operations Task Force had also damaged the fences built by the residents, as they used those as firewood.

Violent acts committed by the security forces, both the military and the police, are still common and they are in flagrant violation of a number of international humanitarian standards and principles. Some of the cases that we note are as follows:

a. The heavy-handed assault carried out by the police against Persipura fans at Mandala Stadium on 13 May 2012, which led to 18 people suffering from respiratory problems due to tear gas that had been fired indiscriminately and six others being detained arbitrarily.
b. The shooting of four people in Degeuwo by the police on 15 May 2012, by which one person was killed and the other three were seriously wounded.
c. The assault against civilians in Honai Lama Wamena on 6 June 2012, by members of the Indonesian army (TNI) Battalion 756 Wimane Sili, which resulted in one person dead and 14 others seriously injured.
d. The arbitrary arrest and torture by the police of 10 people in the town of Serui, as they were commemorating the International Day for Indigenous People on 9 August 2012.
e. The forced disbanding by the police of a KNPB-led demonstration that was about to start in front of the campus of the State University of Papua in Manokwari on 23 October  2012. A total of 15 people were detained by the police, nine of them were tortured, and 2 others suffered gunshot wounds.

Summary executions by the police of pro-democracy activists who are active within the West Papua National Committee (KNPB) continue to occur. The extrajudicial shooting of Mako Tabuni (34), First Chairman of the KNPB on 14 June 2012, is clear evidence of acts of police brutality against civilians. A similar killing occurred in Wamena on 16 December 2012, when the police shot dead Hubertus Mabel (30), militant KNPB Chairman for the Baliem region.

Other violent acts such as terror acts and shootings by unknown assailants increased, both in 2011 and 2012. From 5 July to 6 September 2011, there were 28 shooting incidents where 13 people were killed and at least 32 people were wounded. Meanwhile, throughout 2012, there were 45 attacks by unknown assailants, killing 34 people, injuring 35 people and causing severe trauma to 2 people.

One of the worrisome events that received very little attention from the Government was the crisis which lasted from July to November 2012 in the Keerom where villagers fled their homes as they no longer felt secure because of activities conducted by the security forces. A joint effort between ELSHAM Papua and the Keerom Catholic Church enabled the return to their homes of 38 internally displaced people (IDPs) who had fled into the jungle.

Various cases of violence and human rights violations that occurred in Papua totally escaped the attention of the central Government and that of local Papuans. Conditions such as these indicate that the status of Papua as an autonomous region has turned into a status of “Special Operations Region”, similar to what was experienced in the decades between 1970 and 2000 when Papua was designated as a Military Operations Area (DOM). Legal impunity for the perpetrators of the violence becomes flagrantly visible as the perpetrators of such violence are practically never brought to justice, nor do they receive fitting sentences.

Prohibiting international humanitarian organizations, international journalists and foreign researchers from accessing the Papuan region inevitably gives way to the increasing acts of violence by security forces in that region. Elite units, such as Anti-Terror Special Detachment 88, are conducting activities that are contrary to their mandate as they themselves are the ones creating terror against activists of the pro-democracy movement in Papua.

Bearing in mind the socio-political conditions faced by Papuans today, ELSHAM Papua is calling for:

1. the Indonesian Government, to open access to international humanitarian agencies, international journalists and foreign researchers to the region so they can freely visit and monitor the human rights situation in Papua;
2. the police of the Republic of Indonesia, to immediately reveal to the public the identity of those responsible for the numerous attacks and mysterious shootings that have occurred lately in Papua;
3. the Indonesian Government and groups opposing the Government, to choose dialogue as a way to end the conflict and the ongoing violence in Papua;
4. the military and the police, to uphold and respect the universal principles of human rights that have been ratified by the Government of the Republic of Indonesia.

 

Is Australia funding Indonesian Death Squads? Densus 88 in West Papua

Statement by the West Papua Project, Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Sydney, 16th July, 2012

Questions are being asked about the role that the partly Australian funded
and trained elite Indonesian police squad, Densus (Detachment) 88, has
played during the recent violence in West Papua. Set up in the wake of the
Bali terrorist bombings, Densus 88’s mandate was to tackle the rise of
domestic terrorism in Indonesia. Australian support might have been
motivated by revenge as well: 88 Australians were killed in the Bali attack.
While acclaimed for capturing or killing known and suspected terrorists,
Densus 88 also gained a reputation for extreme violence: many suspects being
killed rather than arrested. Now reports are suggesting that Densus 88 is
operating in West Papua, possibly clandestinely, and has been responsible
for the assassination-like killing of Papuan political activist, Mako
Tabuni, on June 14.

Detachment 88 troops firing live rounds at civilians during the brutal crackdown on the Third Papuan People’s Congress, October 19, 2011 (West Papua Media video still)

While Indonesian National Police spokesman, Saud Usman Nasution, has denied
Densus 88 is operating in West Papua he has left the door open for their
involvement, saying in the Jakarta Globe on June 27, “Densus will be
deployed if terrorism occurred there.” However other reports, for instance
from Kontras Papua, a local human rights organization, state that Densus 88
is already operating in West Papua “carrying out undercover activities”
(Cenderwasih Pos, June 23). Kontras Papua believes that Densus 88 was
involved in the Tabuni killing – where the victim is reported to have been
standing in the street eating betel nut when three unmarked cars pulled up
nearby. With no provocation a person emerged from one car and shot the
victim dead.

Police report that the victim had tried to snatch a weapon from the
plainclothes police involved and was killed in the resulting fracas. Police
also claim that Mako Tabuni was wanted for a series of shootings that had
occurred in Jayapura over the previous few weeks: a claim that seems
unlikely given his role as Deputy Director of KNPB (the West Papua National
Committee), which is a non-violent political organization. Tabuni had also
been publicly calling for an independent investigation into the recent
shootings of which he was accused. Nonetheless, any charges should have been
heard in court and given due legal process, now impossible with Tabuni’s
death. Other reports of Densus 88 activities in West Papua have come from
respected Papuan leaders. Reliable sources observed Densus 88 police arrest
KNPB member, Zakeus Hupla, in the lobby of the Dhanny Hotel, Entrop,
Jayapura, on the morning of June 23. Other reports indicate further arrests
of KNPB members by Densus 88 and their subsequent torture. According to
family members, no arrest warrants were issued by Indonesian police for
these arrests, and the Jayapura police deny that the KNPB members are in
their custody. Indeed it is unclear if these men have been arrested,
abducted or ‘disappeared.’

These events are of genuine interest and concern to Australia because
Australian taxpayers’ money is spent training and maintaining Densus 88.
This organization has a legitimate role to play in countering the rise of
terrorism, but it should act strictly within its organisational mandate. If
Australian taxpayers are indeed partially funding a clandestine force
involved in killings, abduction and torture of Papuan activists an
unacceptable situation has developed. These events and allegations must be
comprehensively investigated and all funding for Densus 88 frozen until
either the allegations have been disproved or the individual police officers
guilty of crimes arrested and tried in an open court. We call on the
Australian government to immediately halt the funding of Densus 88, to
investigate the claims of its misconduct, and to apologise to the Papuan
people if they are proven to be true.

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