Tag Archives: Bintang Papua

DPRP member warns: Continued detention of Tabuni could strengthen pro-independence ideas

Bintang Papua, 8 June, 2012
Weynand Watory, a member of Commission A of the DPRP, said that the arrest of Buchtar Tabuni and his two colleagues  would do nothing to help resolve the conflict in Papua. On the contrary, it would only intensify the conflict. He also said that the ideology of Tabuni would not end.  He pointed out that this was the second time that Tabuni had been arrested and that this would only encourage his supporters to continue with their activities.

He said that the best way forward would be for the  government to hold dialogue  with the Papuan people on the broadest possible basis to reduce  the spread of his ideas. He said that Tabuni had been able to establish a network of supporters not only in Jayapura  but also across the whole of Papua.

‘We can well imagine that more Buchtars will emerge everywhere,’ he warned.

‘Just see how their ideas are spreading everywhere. We need to make an evaluation of the system currently being used because it is clearly not the right way forward. It is up to the government to make a careful evaluation of  the way it is handling the problems in Papua. If we are honest, we will see that the problems are only getting worse and the approaches being made to minimalise the problems have only strengthened the pro-independence movement,’ he said.

Translated  by TAPOL

Indonesian police threaten Bintang Papua journalists in Yapen for reporting on demos

Threats against Bintang Papua journalists reported by JUBI

JUBI, 2 June 2012Jayapura: According to several journalists working in Serui, Yapen district in Papua, including a journalist from Bintang Papua,  they had been warned against publishing information about a demonstration that took place there on 29 May. Bintang Papua has  expressed its regrets about this information regarding what the police had done. Journalists have the right to report what happened regarding incidents like this.

The chief editor of the newspaper, Daud Sony  said in response to a query from JUBI: ‘I have just received information from Seo, our contributor in Serui. He said that the terror and threats made by the police were highly regrettable .This is now the era of reform and space should be given to anyone to exercise the right of response, including journalists.’

The Bintang Papua journalist who was in Serui had rung JUBI to tell them about intimidation and terror by the local police after they had sent a report  about a demonstration by Wadapi inhabitants to the Yapen Legislative assembly, DPRD regarding the arrest of John Nuntian. ‘We were accused of inciting discord by circulating this report, but we had already sought and received confirmation from the police.

In addition to Seo, another journalist, Ulis Makabori reported that he had been intimidated by the police for reporting information about the demonstration. Ulis wrote  a detailed report about happened during the demonstration.

Article 4 para (1) of Press Law 4/1999 states:  ‘The freedom of the press is guaranteed as a basic right of all citizens, The press shall be free of any attempt to prevent , prohibit or use other means  to prevent the population from receiving information.

[Abridged in translation b TAPOL]

DPRP member: ‘Journalists important for the Papuan people

Bintang Papua, 23 March 2012Journalists are very important for Papua
Ruben Magay

Jayapura: Without journalists, nothing would be known by the general public about the aspirations of the Papuan people, said Ruben Magay chairman of Commission A of the DPRP, the Papua Provincial Legislative Assembly.

Referring to recent demonstrations organised by the KNPB – National Committee for West Papua –  he warned that demos should avoid becoming ‘anarchistic’ and start throwing things at journalists.

‘Demonstrations to press for our aspirations are in accord with the laws in force in Indonesia but people should understand  that they must refrain from abusing or attacking journalists, as this is in violation of the ethical code of the press. A recent demonstration was held to call for a referendum, but if people resort to anarchistic behaviour, this would result in the aspirations not being made known to in public. He urged the KNPB to remember that the demos they organise should always be orderly and peaceful.. ‘They should avoid trying to force their wishes on other people,’ said Magay, who in earlier days often took part in  demonstrations himself.

He referred to Law 29/1998 on demonstrations in which it is stated that  people wishing to proclaim their aspirations and their opinions to the general  public were fully entitled to do so  and should always conform with the regulations in force.

[Abridged in translation by TAPOL]

Defence lawyer in Forkorus trial to be reported to the police

Bintang Papua, 1 March 2012

As a result of an incident during the 24 February hearing in the trial of Forkorus Yaboisembut, it is possible that a member of the defence team  is to be reported   to the police by the chief prosecutor at the trial.

One of the prosecutors, Julius Teuf, said that the problem is still under discussion at the prosecutor’s office. ‘But after having studying the matter and seeing whether we have strong evidence, it is clear that we will report a member of the defence team, Gustaf Kawar, for inappropriate behaviour during the hearing on 24 February.’

The incident occurred as the defence lawyer was interrogating a witness when there were a number of interruptions from the prosecutors. He therefore shouted to the prosecutor: ‘Cant you use your brain, I am still talking?’

In response, the prosecutor later said: ‘Why did he say such a thing? If I dont have a brain, how is it that I am sitting here as a prosecutor, an employee of the state as part of its legal apparatus?’

For his part, Gustaf Kawar said: ‘It is beyond comprehension that the prosecutor’s team will report me to the police. It is very usual for statements like that to be made during the course of any trial.’ He went on to explain what had happened.

‘The incident occurred while the lawyer was questioning one of the witnesses and the prosecutor kept interrupting me which is why I responding eventually by saying. ‘You should use your brain, I am still speaking so please be patient.’

According to Kawar, the prosecutor was very offended by these words, whereas it often occurs that words are used by either side or by the defendants in the course of a trial, causing tensions. He also said that he had reported the matter to the Indonesian association of jurists, Paradi.

The secretary of the central council of Peradi. Bob Wahyu Wibowo,  said that there was a general understanding  between the chief of police  and the leaders of Peradi, espressing their concern.  These words were said  during the source of the trial of Forkorusa and colleagues and what the lawyer said was all within  the framework of pursuing the defence of his client.’ He also referred to the law on advocates No 18/2003  which states that  a lawyer shall not be charged  for either  a criminal or a civil offence while in the process of performing his professional duties.

Kawar said: ‘I am a lawyer, one of the pillars of law enforcement. Some of us have things to support us during a trial such as the police who carry arms, but we lawyers have nothing. yet as a lawyer we can be arrested and face charges.’

Komnas HAM warns of human rights violations in Puncak Jaya

Bintang Papua, 20 January 2012Human rights violations are occurring in PuncakThe Papua branch of Komnas HAM, the Indonesian Commission for Human Rights, has confirmed that human rights violations have been occurring in Puncak. These include a number of deaths that have occurred during this prolonged conflict.

‘While not yet knowing the motive or who was responsible, the killings were clearly human rights violations. Lives were lost which is an indication that the right to life has been ignored.,’ said Matius Murib, deputy chairman of the Komnas HAM Papua branch. He made the statement after attending a Forces Group Discussion on Civil and Political Rights and Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ECOSOC) held by the Papuan branch of Komnas HAM.

When lives are lost, human rights are certainly violated.  No need to ask about the motive as this goes beyond the power of the Almighty. The state or government have no right to destroy life, which is totally without justification .’ The right to life  comes only from God and no one has the right to kill people,’ he said.

In this Puncak case, those involved were planning to conduct investigations in February and were planning to visit the site of the killings, in order to make recommendations to the authorities. Murib said that he could not make any comments until they had visited the site

Responding to a question about whether the government had been responsible fir triggering the conflict, he said that such a charge would need to be investigated. If this turns out to the true, then some individual or institution that had been granted powers by the state had failed o take action quickly enough to prevent the incident from occurring, and this is matter for KomnasHAM to issue a charge.

He recognised that  according to investigations reported in the media, there were indeed actions by the government and related persons, and the question was, why had the conflict occurred and why were casualties still occurring. ‘It is our task to investigate whether actions were taken by the state and whether they were   justified.’

As has previously been reported, the conflict that relates to the election of the head of the district of Puncak and has resulted in 49 casualties among the local community since 30 July 2011. This conflict was still on-going up until 14 January 2012 in the district and the government has not made any efforts to resolve it, nor have the police done anything to resolve the conflict, which is being described as a tribal war between people living in the Central Highlands. It relates to an internal dispute within the political party called Gerindra, between a number of candidates. Gerindra has turned this internal conflict into a conflict between the commnity in general  which has paralysed all development activities there.