Tag Archives: Cenderawasih University

Okto Pogau: Police beating of journalist in Manokwari

Statement by Oktovianus Pogau


October 23, 2012
I’m going to describe the beating I (Oktovianus Pogau, Journalist) http://www.suarapapua.com experienced by the Manokwari district police in front of Papua State University campus in Manokwari, West Papua, on the afternoon of Tuesday 23rd October.

At about 10.00 am Eastern Indonesian Time I arrived at the place of the incident, in front of the Papua State University campus. I saw around 300 armed officers holding/restraining a crowd of 300 people. The crowd was planning on marching to Lapangan Borarsi, Manokwari. There were three trucks blocking the road, and also 1 TNI (military) truck with dozens of personnel.

There were negotiations between the police and the crowd. Police requested the crowd express their opinion there, on the main road, in front of the campus. The crowd insisted on continuing to Lapangan Borarsi. There was some commotion, then the crowd yielded and didn’t continue to Lapangan Borarsi (except) for a few people who continued there to wait for another crowd of demonstrators to arrive.

At about 10.40 am Eastern Indonesian Time, a police officer neared the crowd and took a photo. The crowd didn’t accept this, and moved nearer to the police and requested that they not take photos so close. Then, several people from the crowd spontaneously threw rocks in the direction of the officers, and from here, the officers responded brutally. Hundreds of people dispersed and the officers loosed thousands of shots in front of the campus Uncen. 11 people were arrested. 2 people suffered from gunshot wounds.

At this time I wasn’t far from where this was happening. I was trying to take footage and photos. A plain-clothed police officer approached me and told me to leave the area in a rude tone. I told him I was a journalist and carried a press card. He demanded I show him my card. I found my wallet so I could show him my card but suddenly a police officer in full uniform turned up. The officer strangled my neck and threatened me, so that I’d leave to the action. I resisted and said I was a journalist, then three more officers in uniform came and barked at me, ‘Where’s your press card . . . where’s your press card.’ I moved to look for it, but one of the police threw punches at my face and lips.
At this time my neck was aching from the strangulation by the officer and my lip was swollen and bleeding. Then several of my journalist friends came and stopped them and said I was a journalist, and only then did they release me.


UNCEN students call for an end to stigmatisation

24 October, 2012A number of students from Cenderawasih University (UNCEN) took  part in a rally outside the office of the DPRP, the Legislative Assembly of Papua, calling for an end to the stigma of makar (treason), separatism and terrorism against indigenous Papuans. One speaker, Yason Ngelia  said he was very concerned about the crackdown on the demonstration held on the previous day in Manokwari.

‘Is this how you treat a demonstration in this country, using firearms  as a result of which some people have been injured? We demand justice for our friends who became victims of terror and intimidation during the rally in Manokwari,’ he said

The chairman of BEM (?) at the Faculty of Law at UNCEN said that the military command post at Waena should be closed down because there is already a security group in the university. ‘Troops frequently  maltreat  people who are found drunk. This is in violation of the law  although the soldiers say that  they are here to protect the community, said Musa Sama.

‘We call for the release of the eleven student activists. some of whom were shot.’

The army post is not inside the university campus  but in a public place, near shops along Jalan  Kampwolker.

Another speaker said that there is no  democratic space for students to give expression to their aspirations. ‘The military should not be searching our dormitories  on the pretext that the they are searching for people who are on the wanted list.’ He said that all their belongings such as the eleven laptops  that were seized should be handed back

Another UNCEN activist  said that the demo was intended as  an action against corruption and to commemorate the Third Papuan Congress in 2011, yet these actions were banned by the security forces. According to Law 9/1998 about freedom of expression, the police do not have the right to issue permits but only to regulate the traffic.

‘The stigmas of separatism, treason and terrorism were used by the police to refuse to grant a permit for the rally, but this is against the law. We are being denied any space for democracy by the security forces. This can only lead to an accumulation of disappoinments  which could explode into the open during the forthcoming elections. ‘The lack of democratic space will become a boomerang for the government,’ said Benyamin Gurik.

In  response to the calls being made by the students, a member of the DPRP, John Rustam said that he would raise these issues at the next meeting of Commission A which handles these matters.

He said that the demands of the students were for an end to the abuse of human rights and for their right to express their aspirations publicly which until now has been silenced. The army is continually intervening as a result of which there is no security on campus while many students are being hunted down

Another official said that the students had now been released but they were being interrogated.

[Translated by TAPOL]


Indonesian special forces hunt West Papuan environmentalist

By Nick Chesterfield, with local sources

West Papua Media

October 20, 2012


Indonesian Special Forces officers have redoubled their efforts to hunt down non-violent womens’ and environmental rights activist Fanny Kogoya, after a failed attempt to capture her and Papuan student activists from the West Papua National Committee at a university dormitory on Tuesday night.

Fanny Kogoya was also elected the head of the Papua desk for the Indonesian branch of Friends of the Earth (WAHLI) on June 13, the day before her close friend Mako Tabuni, former KNPB leader,was extrajudicially executed by Detachment 88 troops in Jayapura.

Kogoya, also a women’s rights defender from the grassroots Papuan women’s network TIKI, has been been placed on a Papua wide wanted persons list (Daftar Pencarian Orang or DPO) by the Australian-trained and funded Detachment 88 anti-terror investigators. This is despite Kogoya having resigned from pro-independence activities, according to established credible sources in Jayapura. Kogoya is also accused by police of having knowledge of the whereabouts of activists from the pro-independence civil resistance group, West Papua National Committee (KNPB).

KNPB activists are in hiding after being ruthlessly hunted by security forces, in order to break the back of the civil resistance movement against Indonesian brutality in occupied West Papua.  This harassment  campaign has gained significant pace ahead of planned Papua-wide mobilisations against Indonesian colonial violence on October 23 – rallies widely expected to be subject to major Indonesian state violence.

The latest crackdown has seen brutal intelligence gathering techniques employed by security forces, including officers identified by witnesses as being from Detachment 88, arbitrarily targeting for beatings, kidnappings, arrests and torture on students and civilians from the highland tribes of Yakuhimo and Dani people – seen by many observers as the backbone of the KNPB effort to use civil power to defeat Indonesian state violence.

Confirmed reports from human rights activists in Jayapura have described heavily armed plain clothes officers – believed by witnesses to be members of either Kopassus or Detachment 88 – violently threatening highland students and civilians in a bid to hunt down members and associates of the KNPB.

Raids on student accommodation around Abepura and Jayapura have intensified ahead of a planned mass mobilisation across Papua on October 23rd by KNPB, which is calling for an end to these illustrated acts of Indonesian state violence – a move seen as makar (subversion) by the new Papua Police chief Tito Karnavian , the former head of the Australian- funded Detachment 88.

Attempts to contact Karnavian or his Papua Police spokespeople for comment for this article have been so far rebuffed and unsuccessful.

Additionally, witnesses and survivors have described a chronology of what is being described as a “fishing operation” by Indonesian intelligence officers. Attempts to capture Fanny Kogoya had been ongoing for several days, with police Avanzas permanently stationed outside houses and haunts of both Kogoya and her extended family and friends.

According to a detailed and disturbing testimony provided by Yakuhimo man and citizen media worker Simson Yohame to independent human rights monitors in Jayapura, the officers have heavily monitored highland students in the greater Jayapura area in a bid to isolate KNPB activists from their base.

Yohame, a friend of Kogoya, was himself kidnapped and tortured by suspected Detachment 88 officers on October 9 after accidentally leaving his motorbike helmet at a Javanese restaurant in Waena, near Abepura. He had been tailed for several days by intelligence officers, who suspected his friendship with Fanny would lead them to their quarry.

Upon leaving the restaurant, he was set upon by plain clothes police intelligence agents, whom he believed to be Detachment 88 officers.  They bundled him in to the back of a black police Avanza car, whilst soldiers who were stationed outside the Yakuhimo regencies student dormitory at Waena stood guard.  An intelligence officer from Makassar hit him repeatedly with a butt of a pistol, and other officers punched him systematically in the chest using a silat (traditional Javanese martial arts favoured by Kopassus) technique that can easily cause cardiac arrest.

He described being taken in a six car high speed convoy, initially to the back of an unknown facility close to the Jayapura police headquarters, before being subjected to psychological torture on a drive around the greater Jayapura area, and was hypnotized to disorientation.  Yohame described the brutal interrogations where he was threatened with knives, swords and cocked and loaded firearms by Detachment 88, according to his testimony.  Interrogators also subjected him to psyops by playing loud torture music and sound on headphones they held on his head, while they were sticking knives and pistols into his body.

Giving fascinating  if chilling insight, Yohame has detailed the processes that Intel attempted to use to turn him to spy on his friend Fanny. He refused eventually, but not before documenting the techniques utilized.

After the torture, the Detachment 88 officers allegedly moved onto “Stage 3” as Yohame described it, a combination of the classic good cop / bad cop routine. “They (intel) began to ask me the core question: ‘Do you know Fanny Kogoya? This picture is FK, FK stay close to you. You do not deny it. If you deny we will kill you.’”

“I asked why are you looking for FK? Intel said to me that ‘because the cases of murder that Mako Tabuni was doing involved FK. FK participated in designing all events Mako and comrades were doing’. Yohame reported the police as saying.

The police continued: ‘FK loves the money Mako and his friends had over the years. FK is the girlfriend of Danny Wenda. Wenda is now the number 1 Papua Police DPO’,” the interrogators said.

The interrogators then changed tactics, offering a payment. “In addition, if you (SY) can inform on where FK is, we will pay you (SY) Rp 10 million for initial operations,”. They demanded the locations of Danny Wenda, the Chairman of KNPB, Victor Yeimo, Tinus Yohame, Buktar Tabuni, Victor Yeimo, Assa Asso, and also fellow Yakuhimo clansmen allegedly involved in KNPB, alternatively offering payment, and threatening to kill him if he denied knowledge of their whereabouts.  Yohame was then trained in demonstration and civil resistance disruption and sabotage techniques, and fieldwork techniques employed by intelligence informants.

Yohame described how his tasking had traumatised him greatly, and he refused internally to carry out the actions. After his release having agreed to be an Indonesian agent, he was secretly informing Fanny Kogoya about the massive operation in effect to capture her and warning her to move outside the town to avoid arrest or disappearance.

Fanny Kogoya, who like other civil society activists on the DPO list is constantly moving from house to house, has so far eluded capture due to the diligence of the now underground non-violent independence movement in Papua.

For the whole night of October 12, a Cenderawasih University (UNCEN) dormitory in Waena was under siege by a large group of plain clothes armed and masked security forces, who surrounded the dormitories. During the night, the police overran the dormitories in their search for Fanny Kogoya, according to witnesses.

Three students who living at the UNCEN hostel – UL (32), IK (36), and PK (22) – said they had been beaten and terrorized by the police. “Police pry the door and entered. They say ‘we find the DPO who live here,'” the students explained in the human rights report. “They say the name of FK and Danny Wenda (DW).”

The Yakuhimo students at the dormitory were angered by the event, but held a peace blockade outside the gates of the Uncen campus in Waena, independent sources at the campus told West Papua Media. No reports were received of any forced dispersal, however tension is high and all West Papuan students are in fear that that they could be arrested or disappeared at any moment, according to human rights sources.

Yakuhimo students and supporters blockade outside Uncen Waena after the Detachment 88 raids, October 12 (West Papua Media)

These actions came after a campaign of arrests from late September of at least eight people in the highland town of Wamena after police targeted homes and offices of KNPB members, accusing them of involvement in bombings and terrorism, despite KNPB being committed to non-violent civil resistance tactics.

In a statement, UK based human rights group Tapol said that “The targeting of KNPB activists appears to have intensified after the killing of the KNPB leader Mako Tabuni, on 14 June 2012. Officers of Indonesia’s counter-terrorism unit, Special Detachment 88 (Densus 88), funded and trained by Australia, the US and the UK, are thought to have been involved in the killing of Mako Tabuni and the arrest of the KNPB members in Wamena.”

Tapol has called for Indonesian authorities to “end the campaign of terror, intimidation and violence against human rights defenders and political activists, particularly members of KNPB,” and to guarantee the safety of Fanny Kogoya, Viktor Yeimo, and others who have been targeted.

Tapol has also called on Jakarta to “end the deployment of Densus 88 to Papua, investigate all allegations of human rights violations by Densus 88 officers and other security forces personnel and bring those responsible to justice.”

Whilst tension remains high during the crackdown, KNPB activists have also warned their members not to be taken in by SMS messages that are being spread by intelligence personnel attempting to incite violence and horizontal conflict. Activists have circulated a list of mobile numbers that are responsible, and are urging all recipients to document any numbers that continue to spread these messages.

Many people have reported to West Papua Media of an upsurge in Special Forces activity, even around those who are not active on Papuan independence issues. There has been a significant increase on the presence of intelligence officers on the street. Selfius Bobii, the former Front Pepera leader serving out a three sentence at Abepura prison on a treason conviction for his role in the 3rd Papuan People’s Congress of October 2011, still maintains close and effective communications with a network of activists throughout Papua.

In an SMS sent to West Papua Media, Bobii described how the TNI “have stooped to making themselves out to be civilians, to carry out undercover operations in order muffle the independence aspirations.”

“Some are posing as Bakso (Beef offal noodles) Sellers on roadsides, some are posing as motorbike repair people and so on,” Bobii said.

Bobii described the following factual account: On 11 Oct at 2303 hours in Nabire, Yance Agapa was heading home and was given a lift by an ojek (motorbike taxi) rider to the front of the Indonesian Air Force Quarters in front of the ‘Glory’ internet cafe. When they arrived at Malompo he gave the driver Rp20000 (approx. AUD$2) who hurriedly put it into the pocket of the black jacket he was wearing. Then a pistol fell out of his jacket. Yance startled in fright to which the driver responded “Brother don’t be frightened because I’m from Ambon but my mother is from Sentani. I’ll tell you straight, I’m a member of DENSUS 88 sent from Central to get the government program happening. So let our people from the community know to be careful using hire motorbikes. ”

West Papua Media has independently verified this account.

KNPB activists, most living underground currently, have expressed significant fears for their safety and survival from the crackdown. Yohame begged in his testimony, “the condition of our current times is so dire, (we need) all my friends and the international support groups to be able to monitor our current situation. Virtually all KNPB activists are threatened at this time. “

It is unclear whether these intensified crackdown tactics will work on those close to DPO suspects to give up not just Fanny Kogoya, but other non-violent activists who are simply attempting to raise their universal human rights of self-determination and freedom of expression.

Certainly these hunting parties have confirmed one thing: that Australian trained counter-terrorism troops are without any doubt being used to suppress peaceful political activity, outside their legal mandate of counter-terrorism. This should be deeply concerning for Australia in its quest for advocating internationally the Rule of Law – and at the moment that it has just taken up a position on the UN Security Council it might prove to be an inconvenient turning of a blind eye.

West Papua Media.

Police torture students after brutal attack on Abepura university dormitory

Scores beaten, arrested, tortured and injured in major raid by Indonesian Police, Army and allegedly Australian Funded counterterror unit Detachment 88 on Yakuhimo Dormitory at Cenderawasih University, Abepura.

by West Papua Media

August 28, 2012

URGENT CORRECTION: Despite robust processes of cross-checking, armed attacks by security forces on civilians sometimes creates confusion on casualty figures.  NEW information has come to hand in the clear light of day, and two confirming witnesses have retracted their confirmation early Wednesday morning.  Only 1 person, Yalli Walilo, is confirmed dead, and he died after being set upon by a group of men believed to be transmigrants or plain clothes intelligence.  The other two victims were part of the group that received significant torture at the hands of police, but it is now NOT independently confirmed if these people are dead or severely injured.  More info as it becomes available.  West Papua Media apologises for the distribution of erroneous information.

(Jayapura)  Brutal scenes occurred at a highland students dormitory in Abepura early on Sunday night (26 August) as a massive assault was carried out on  students from the Liborang Asrama (dormitory)  by a joint force of Army (TNI) and Police.

The students were allegedly targeted because they come from the same tribal group as many members of the West Papua National Committee (KNPB), who have been consistently engaging in peaceful civil resistance in protest at the increasing terror tactics of the Indonesian security forces, which has escalated significantly since May 2012..

1 person been independently confirmed by West Papua Media sources as killed, and at least two are believed but not confirmed to have died from torture wounds inflicted in custody by police, according to human rights sources.  35 people were arrested, and 11 people remain in custody at time of writing undergoing significant and brutal beatings, and acts of torture.

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Independent human rights sources have alleged that the torture has been carried out by members of Detachment 88, the counter-terror unit funded, armed and trained by the Australian Government, however West Papua Media has not been able to verify this, although D88 has been present at every other dormitory raid this year.

According to credible witnesses the trouble began when a man named Yalli Walilo (26) was calling a friend in front of a shop and the Indonesian transmigrant owner of the shop came and angry him.  Walilo replied to  the colonist “what is my problem, i just want to buy (a) cigarette”.  He then sought refuge at the house of Ms. Nehemia Mabel, a member of the Majelis Rakyat Papua (Papuan People’s Assembly), 5 metres from the shop.  Walilo then tried to go home, when he was brutally set upon by a group of Indonesian transmigrants with one killing him, and more people again came to kick him until he was dead.

The exact circumstances of how police came to be involved is still unclear, but after Walilio’s killing, the Kepala Desa (neighbourhood chief) came and took his body to the Limborang dormitory.  Police were alerted by the Kepala Desa amid confusing allegations surround the death of an elderly man who died from a heart attack.  It is unconfirmed if these deaths were related.

At around 10 pm, Some of Walilo’s friends at the dormitory went to investigate the commotions at the shop, but were ambushed by the large group of transmigrants outside the shop.  The students retreated to their dormitory, known also as the Yakuhimo Asrama as large numbers of Yakuhimo highland students live there.

One hour later, Police and many troops arrived en masse at the dorm and attacked boarders without negotiations, and also severely beat of minors.  Independent witnesses have claimed that men in masks were also present.

Victor Yeimo, KNPB Chairman, told West Papua Media that many students in Asrama Liborang had “already been killed, intimidated and terrorised under Indonesian police troops yesterday (27/08). This morning, I have been in the place and I found how Indonesian police kill and intimidate them. I was there while some of them arrived from Papua Police in Jayapura and we have interview some victims and the chief (spokesperson) of the Students”.

According to Yeimo many police and troops began attacking the Asrama Liborang with tear gas and water cannon (fire hoses?)  inside at 11.00 PM on Sunday night.  Police stormed the building and smashed up facilities inside and arrested, and tormented the students, according to both Yeimo and other independent witnesses.

Yeimo alleged that the “Police talked to them and relate them (make threats to them) about the killing of Mako Tabuni (on June 14) . Police blamed them as being friends of Mako Tabuni.”

On Tuesday evening, Australian ABC television program “7.30 Report” aired an investigation into Mako Tabuni’s killing by Detachment 88, and the intensifying repression of peaceful political free expression by West Papuan activists seek an end to violence and impunity, and a referendum on the disputed territory’s future.  The Australian Foreign Minister, Bob Carr, has conceded Detachment 88 is being used on non-violent activists, and has claimed it is acting outside its mandate.

The victims names (at time of writing) are confirmed as:

1. Alex Sambom (Fractured Skull by police. Strangled around neck with metal chains. and repeatedly electrocuted in custody, in critical condition)
2. Usman Ambolon ( Killed after beatings in the head with lacerations and severe contusion)
3. Petru Lintamon ( Police kicked his eyes and head, shot dead with gun)
4. Yaton Lintamon ( Police beat him to death with rubber mallet)
5. Septinus Kabak (Fingernails removed with pliers at the police office)
6. Orgenes Kabak (Beaten severely in stomach, internal injuriess)
7. Awan Kabak (Police stabbed him with bayonets in the leg and thigh)
8. Other Victims to still be identified

More photos, video and information as it becomes processed/translated and available.


UNCEN students organisation condemns the education situation in Papua


JUBI, 20 July, 2012

The Executive Board of the Cenderawasih University students organisation, UNCEN BEM, believes that the decline in education in Papua is evidence of the failure of the Indonesian government, in particular its Education Service.

BEM has called on the provincial administration to pay serious attention to this issue. It believes that manipulations have conceal the failings of the administration.

Nason Ngelia, the organisation’s head of public relations, said: ‘All the top-level personnel  in the education sector throughout Papua should be sacked.’

He went on to say that in kampungs everywhere, the teachers can’t be bothered to do any teaching.  They even allow students who have not reached the right standard to pass the grade. ‘Most government employees  do nothing all day but they still receive their salaries. They don’t do any teaching but keep busy organising projects,’ said Leo Himan, a member of Uncen BEM.

‘We have no confidence in the people working in the education service at the SMPTN unit  at Uncen. There are two problems that we cannot accept. The national testing is not appropriate for Papuans because the education system here is different from that in the rest of Indonesia. The education system here needs to be overhauled,’ said Yoan Alfredo Wambitman, chairman of  the BEM branch at the Faculty of Technology.

In its press release, Uncen BEM appended  the results of the Survey of Political and Economic Risk Consultants (PERC) which states that the quality of education in Indonesia is inferior to education elsewhere in Asia and is at the bottom of the list of the twelve countries in Asia; it is even worse that Vietnam. ‘This  relates to education in Java.  If the situation in Java is that bad, how much worse it is in other places,’ said Nason.

Recently, the Jayapura branch of the Alliance of Independent Journalists published the results of a two-week research project in eight districts in Papua. The heading of the section on education is ‘It’s the same old song which everyone keeps singing’. So who is to blame?’

BEM called on the candidate in the election for governor of Papua to give top priority to the question of education in this the land of Cenderawasih..

[Translated by TAPOL]