Tag Archives: Carmel Budiardjo

Lawyer calls on judges to release Buchtar after all witnesses fail to appear


Bintang Papua,
11 September 2012
Jayapura: Gustaf Kawer, one of the lawyers defending the former chairman of the KNPB – National Committee of West Papua – said that the judges hearing the case of Buchtar Tabuni should have the courage to release the defendant  in the absence of any witnesses to testify against him. The lawyer said this followed the decision yesterday to postpone a further hearing in the trial.He said that from the start, he had commented that the the prosecutor in the case had shown no seriousness in handling the case against Buchtar. This is evident from the fact that none of the witnesses he had wanted to testify at the trial had appeared although several hearings had been held.

‘In the latest instance, the witness Matius Murib was to have appeared but he didn’t appear, even though he is known to be in Jayapura and his home address in known, so why  did he not appear?’

The lawyer   said Matius Murib is known to be well acquainted with the case and the judges should consider that if there is no evidence to prove that Buchter was responsible for damaging the  prison in any way, which was to have been proven by the witnesses all of whom had failed to appear, then the judges should take the bold  step of simply  releasing the man who is now on trial.

The lawyer also spoke about the many shootings  that have been occurring in the city of Jayapura  which have been linked to Buchtar, which was nothing more than a set-up. He said that Buchtar had been linked to the shooting of Miron Wetipo but that case has already been solved, so it was clear that the authorities were trying to make a scapegoat of Buchtar. Buchtar was arrested on 6 June 2012 which was just at the time when some shootings occurred in Jayapura which was followed by the arrest of Buchtar, whereas Buchtar was not in any way connected with those shootings. So instead of being charged with the shootings, he now faces the charge  of inflicting damage on the Abepura Prison in 2010, which means that he should have been arrested in 2010.

At the time, it was said that there were plenty of witnesses and now they were not even able to call Matius Murib as a witness.

The lawyer said that  the panel of judges should postpone further hearings until Matius Murib could be called as his testimony would be crucial for this trial. Gustaf insisted that there were plenty of witnesses who could give testimony regarding the damage inflicted on the prison, yet the prosecutors were not able to  get any of these witnesses to appear.

As is known, the hearing on 10 September was again postponed .

At the hearing held yesterday, the prosecutors were still not able to bring any witnesses to court.who would be able to testify about Buchtar’s alleged damage to the prison. The prosecutors has also been unable to summon Liberty Sitinjak who would have been a key witness  about the incident on 3 December 2010.

The prosecutor announced that Liberty was unable to appear to testify, even though he has been summoned three times. And now, the hearing held on 10 September was also suspended until 13 September while it was being said that Matius Murib, who was formerly and member of the National Human Rights Commission, would also not be able to  appear.

It has now been announced that the hearing that is due to take place on 13 September which was originally intended  to hear testimony from witnesses would now be devoted to questioning the defendant, Buchtar Tabuni.

[Translated by Carmel Budiardjo]


KNPB ask police to prove what charges were against Mako Tabuni


Bintang Papua,
6 September 2012
Jayapura: At a time when the media is busily reporting about plans for a dialogue between Papua and Jakarta, following the visit to Papua by the Presidential Consultative Council under the leadership of Dr Albert Hasibuan, the KNPB – National Committee for West Papua, has responded by saying that there are issues that need to be discussed before any dialogue can take place.

‘Our way to solve the Papuan problem is for a referendum to be held and for the Papuan people to have the freedom run their own affairs in a state of their own.,’ said KNPB spokesperson, Wim R. Medlama, who spoke with two other activists alongside. He said  people should not be spending too much time  talking about the dialogue, because ‘the support in favour of freedom is widespread, down to the very roots of Papuan society’.

Another issue that he spoke about was the accusations that had been levelled against the late Mako Tabuni. After the arrest of Danny Kogoya for alleged terrorism and the acts of violence that have been happening in the city of Jayapura,  led the KNPB to ask a number of questions. The police were directing their allegations  these acts of terror against the late Mako Tabuni.

‘We call on the police to reveal who these people are who have been involved in the series of shootings, and we would like to hear the evidence about this. And now the same charges are being levelled against Danny Kogoya, so we would really like to know what facts the police have in relation to all this,’ said Medlama.

He said that when Mako Tabuni was shot and killed, all the allegations about the shootings had been directed against the late Mako Tabuni, and then after the arrest of Danny Kogoya, all these allegations were directed against him. ‘So what we want to know is what are the facts that have been discovered about all these shootings?’

The KNPB also said that the police should say what ammunition they had discovered at the office of Danny Koyoga. The KNPB accused the police of  making this up so as to be able to close down the democratic space for activists in Papua.

The KNPB also called on the police to reveal the truth about the shooting of the German citizen in Base-G, and about the burning of vehicles and their drivers in the Waena cemetery.

{Translated by Carmel Budiardjo]


No terrorists in Papua, says governor



Bintang Papua,
9 September 2012
Manokwari: The governor of the province of West Papua, Abraham O. Atururi, said that there are no terrorists operating in Papua. He said that there are groups in Papua who are demanding independence for Papua, such as the OPM/TPN but these groups are quite different from the terrorists who are conducting acts of terror and shootings and bombings that are occurring  in Java and other parts of Indonesia.’If people say that there are Papuans who want independence, that is indeed true, but there are no terrorists.’

The governor was speaking at a public meeting in Manokwari.

The governor made this statement in order to contradict statements by political commentators  in the local press in Jayapura, claiming that terrorists are operating in Papua.

The paper also reported that the deputy chief of police in Papua, Brigadier-General Paulus Waterpauw recently denied that members of Densus 88 were operating in Papua.

(This is in contrast to the fact that the commander of Detachment 88, Tito Karnavian, was last week made the new Papua Police Chief, and repeated statements by police claiming Detachment 88 credit for apprehending so-called “terror suspects” across Papua in recent years – and significant video and photographic evidence of their presence at both armed raids, and against non-violent gatherings).[Translated by Carmel Budiardjo]


TAPOL letter to David Cameron

13 April, 2012


Rt Hon David Cameron, MP.

Prime Minister,

10 Downing Street

London SW1


Dear Mr Cameron,

TAPOL has been closely following your visit to Indonesia this week. We note that you praised Indonesia as a ‘Democracy (which) offers hope to the Muslim World’. You were also quoted as saying that you had decided ‘to relax controls of arms exports to Indonesia … as a sign of Indonesia’s democratic maturity’. Your delegation to Indonesia included representatives from several British arms manufacturers.


I would remind you that two years ago in an article on West Papua in The Daily Telegraph you were quoted as describing ‘the plight of the tribespeople as a terrible situation’. This is a valid description of what has been happening in the past few years.  Bearing that in mind, we would reasonably have expected you to use the occasion of your visit to Indonesia to express concern about the situation in West Papua.


The sufferings of the Papuan people are to a great extent due to operations by the Indonesian military, TNI, which has been conducting ‘sweep operations’, including several now underway in the Central Highlands of West Papua. Whole communities have been attacked and homes destroyed, along with churches, traditional meeting centres and public buildings. Such assaults, purportedly aimed at eliminating the poorly-armed Papuan resistance, have forced villages to flee their homes in search of security in nearby forests where they are cut off from their livelihoods and face the possibility of starvation and disease.


Allow me to draw your attention to certain other recent incidents and developments. According to data collected by TAPOL, since 2008 at least 80 Papuans have been arrested and charged with  ‘treason’ or related offences simply for peaceful actions such as raising the Papuan  Morning Star Flag. They have been imprisoned for terms ranging from 10 months to six years.  Under Article 106 of Indonesia’s Criminal Code, anyone found guilty of treason can face a sentence of up to 20 years or life. Among those now incarcerated is Filep Karma, a civil servant, who was arrested in December 2004, convicted of treason and sentenced to fifteen years in jail.


In October 2011, the Third Papuan People’s Congress was held in Jayapura, attended by hundreds of people. The Congress proceeded peacefully for three days. However, as the participants were dispersing after the final session on 19 October, police and army troops rounded up hundreds of the participants. Without provocation, the troops opened fire and killed three people. The fact that no-one has been held accountable for the killings is indicative of the impunity enjoyed by security forces personnel.  By contrast, five Papuan leaders who were taken into custody following the Congress were put on trial, found guilty of treason and last month sentenced to three years in prison. This exemplifies the severe restrictions on the right to free expression experienced by the Papuan people.


We call upon you to acknowledge that such acts of repression and human rights violations against unarmed civilians should never occur in a democratic country.


We further call upon you to take account of all of these facts and urge you not to  allow the sale of military equipment to Indonesia to proceed.


We hope that your government will use its close relationship with the Indonesian government to urge it to end to the practice of charging peaceful Papuan demonstrators with treason and press the Indonesian Government to release all those now serving sentences for peaceful political activities.

Yours sincerely

Carmel Budiardjo



Warinussy on importance of ILWP meeting in August

[Readers please note that TAPOL decided not to waste time on the item
that appeared in Bintang Papua on 4 August because of its many
inaccuracies. See below. We guessed to the time that this was the result
of TNI intervention, to block accurate reporting about an important
event for Papua in the UK. Readers should also note that the three-hour
meeting in Oxford on 2 August is constantly being reported in the
Indonesian press as a KTT, Konferensi Tingkat Tinggi, a Summit
Conference, an expression normally reserved for meetings of heads of
state, which of course was not appropriate for the meeting held in
Oxford, which was a meeting attended by academics and activists. ]

Bintang Papua, 5 August 2011

Yan Christian Warinussy, a human rights activist and law practitioner,
has expressed his appreciation of the demonstrations organised by Papuan
activists in Sorong, Manokwari, Jayapura and Biak which highlighted the
principle of peace.

He said it was important for all organisations, especially the Dewan
Adat Papua (Papuan Customary Council), to gather together documents and
visual material about the ILWP conference that was held in the UK in
August. These documents need to be analysed and circulated widely to
the Papuan people and district governments, including the security
forces of the Indonesian armed forces and police, to ensure that
everyone has the same understanding about these activities as well as
their impacts on the future of the Papuan people.

‘Whether or not the idea of a referendum has the support of many
components is a matter for the future because it needs a response from
many groups, including those who are for and those who are against the
idea of self-determination for the Papuan people.

‘We need to remember that the right to self-determination is a right
for all the people on earth, including the indigenous Papuan people, as
stipulated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.’ Warinussy also
said that the achievements of the Papuan people in organising the Papuan
Peace Conference on 5 – 7 July this year was an extraordinarily
important event which no one had ever predicted. It was at this peace
conference that all the problems that the Papuan people have been
wrestling with for the past ten years were studied and analysed by
various groups and reported on scientifically. There were thoroughgoing
discussions which led to conclusions and recommendations that were
drawn up by representatives of the Papuan people who participated in the

The Dewan Adat Papua (Papuan Customary Council ) should speedily
consolidate their networks in the Land of Papua and take action
together with all components of the Papuan people to prepare concrete
measures for the achievement of a Papua-Indonesia dialogue in 2011.

Meanwhile, a news item published by Bintang Papua the headline of which
was ‘ILWP conference failed to reach agreement on its agenda’ described
it as ‘breaking news from the BBC but it was of questionable origin.
According to the editor of Bintang Papua, they realised that they had
not been careful enough in confirming that the BBC was the source of the
item; as a result, on the following day action was taken against the
person who had contributed the item, according to a statement by the
Bintang Papua editor.

According to the editor-in-chief of Bintang Papua, Walhamri Wahid, the
contributor admitted that the source of the item was an SMS which was
widely circulated by a senior officer of the Cenderawasih military
command, based on an SMS from a former OPM member who subsequently
defected and who was in London when the conference was taking place.

The SMS commenced with the words BREAKING NEWS BBC LONDON (written in
capital letters) which was sent by Frans Albert Joku in a report to a
senior officer at the Cenderawasih military command which was then
forwarded to Bintang Papua. ‘We did not clarify where the information
had come from, there was no check and counter check on its accuracy and
it was published as if it had been sent by BBC-London, said Walhamri

Bintang Papua abides by the Journalists’ Code of Ethics but on that
occasion, the journalist was in a race against time, facing a deadline
and relied solely on the journalist who had sent the item from the
field. ‘Our conclusion for the time being is that this news item was
untruthful, using another news agency as the source.’ It was decided on
the following day that they would confirm (this mistake) and apologise
if it turned out to be true that this report was not from the BBC. We
have received no denial from the BBC. ‘When I was later browsing on the
internet, I found no such breaking news in any of the reports from the
BBC, said the editor in chief.

At the time it was early in the morning, at 2am on 3 August, and this
was a news item that people in Papua were eagerly awaiting. This was
seen as an important day when the conference was adopting decisions
about the future of the Papuan people. According to the Bintang Papua
editor, their journalist (in the UK) was having difficulty reporting the
matter from the location of the meeting, and the impression was that it
was deliberately blocked so as to ensure that the news would not be

The rest of this article regurgitates the erroneous information that was
contained in the BP report on 4 August.

[Reminder: Readers of this list may recall that we posted the following
statement on 4 August:

Note: The report in Bintang Papua today about the ILWP meeting in
Oxford on 2 August was so full of inaccuracies that it was a waste of
time to translate it. Suffice it to say that it described the meeting
as ‘a failure’.

Carmel Budiardjo, TAPOL