Update on Manokwari police beating of journalist Oktovianus Pogau

Statement/ Media safety briefing from Oktovianus Pogau, SuaraPapua.com

October 27, 2012

I (Oktovianus Pogau, a journalist at suarapapua.com and a freelancer for The Jakarta Globe) will report on a beating that I experienced, perpetrated by police in Manokwari, West Papua.

Journalist Oktovianus Pogau (Photo: Andreas Harsono)

On the 24th October, 2012, at around 16.00 Eastern Indonesian Time, I was accompanied by three journalists, two from Cahaya Papua (Duma Sanda and Patrick Tandilerung) and one journalist from Tabloid Noken (Jo Kelwulan) to Manokwari police station to meet with the Chief of Police for Manokwari, AKBP Agustinus Supriyanto S.Ik, as had been arranged on the evening of Tuesday (23/10) with the officer.

The Chief of Police had initially stated that he was not aware if members of the force had beat up journalists, then, when many journalists from Jakarta began to call the station inquiring about the incident, Supriyanto became adamant that there were no beatings of journalists by police.
Then, continued Supriyanto, 5-10 minutes later at around 20.00 Eastern Indonesian Time, there was a brief message from me to his phone (whereas I sent him an SMS at 13.29 WIT, 30 minutes after the beating) which stated that there had been a beating and that my neck had been strangled while I was covering an action by Komite Nasional Papua Barat (KNPB) (National West Papuan Committee) on Tuesday 23/10 in front of Kampus Universitas Negeri Papua (Unipa) (Papuan State University) which was supporting an international lawyers meeting in London.

Then, the Chief of Police conveyed himself as the supervisor and manager of all the police in Manokwari, Papua Barat, and didn’t question that the media publish (when shown the news headlines in Cahaya Papua which detailed the violence perpetrated by members of the police force against me) news about the aforementioned incident.

Supriyanto said that the relationships between all journalists in West Papua, particularly in Manokwari, is really good, and because of this, he personally regrets the incident of the beating, and in fact, was surprised that a member of the force would do something like this to a journalist.

Supriyanto said that he wished to offer a personal apology for the incident. He also said that there was also a possibility that the incident occurred because the police didn’t realise I was a journalist, and that they were also carried away with the emotion of the moment.

Because of this, the Chief of Police firmly requested that I identify the men responsible for the incident so they could be subject to due legal processes, as in line with my request.

However, Supriyanto also suggested that the case didn’t have to be resolved amicably, that is, to be resolved by making peace with the offenders. According to the chief of police, it could be a rather difficult process to find the offenders, as there were many members in the force, and certainly no-one would be honest, but he said again that it depended on me.

After the chief of police opened this conversation, he gave us all the chance to talk. Duma Sanda explained that there was an issue of freedom of the press, in which the work of journalists is universal, meaning, it doesn’t mean that just because I didn’t live and become a journalist in Manokwari, I didn’t have the right to cover the demonstration by KNPB.

Duma also firmly requested that the Chief of Police teach the men to respect the profession of journalism, and also to respect journalists like myself. And, to make himself clearer, Duma also requested that the Chief listen to a chronological account of the beating I experienced.

I introduced myself (officially) to the Chief of Police.  I told him about my work writing news for the paper Papua Pos Nabire and Tabloid JUBI during high school, about writing several columns in Tabloid Suara Perempuan Papua, the newspaper Bintang Papua, along with Papua Pos Nabire.  And I conveyed to him that I’d also covered stories for The Jakarta Globe and that this is still continuing, and then that I established suarapapua.com as an online media outlet.

I explained to the Chief of Police in chronological order the incident of the beating (you can read my previous email). After this, I conveyed a number of important issues to the Chief of Police that have to be understood about the incident of the beating.

I said that firstly, his men had violated the article KUHP on disorder; secondly, the men had violated article UU Kebebasan Pers 1999 (UU on Freedom of the Press 1999) by preventing the work of a journalist; thirdly the UU anti-discrimination; and fourthly, Intelligence didn’t have the authority to capture let alone beat someone and certainly they violated their work code.

Because of this, I requested that the problem not be resolved amicably/peacefully, but should be followed up through a more direct process of law. I said that it was important that the police officers be aware, and law enforcement officers should be an example, that if there are officers who are at fault, then they have to be punished as criminals so that the public can know.

Oktovianus Pogau

Human Rights Commission urges police chief to withdraw his troops from Paniai

JUBI, 17 December 2011The National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM) has urged the chief of police  to immediately withdraw his Brimob troops  from the district of Paniai and not to send any more troops there.

This request is made in a letter signed by the deputy head of Komnas HAM, M. Ridha Saleh, which is a follow-up of the complaint made by   the chairman f the Regional Traditional Council (DAD)  in Paniai several days ago. He said that the complaint  was made  because of two recent incidents involving members of the police force. One was shooting in the vicinity of the copper-and-gold mine in Degheuwo which led to the death of a civilian and the other relates to the situation following the dispatch of 150 additional Brimob troops who arrived in Enarotali  on 11-14 November 2011

In the second place, the Brimob post which was set up in the midst of several kampungs. should be removed.

Thirdly, to immediately conduct an investigation into what caused the death of Mateus Tenouye. Fourthly, to restore a conducive situation so as to enable the people in the district of Paniai to go about their daily activities.

And fifthly, to speedily hold dialogue with all parties involved in conflicts and to help the community to resolve problems that have occurred in the district of Paniai.

‘This request is in accordance with the authority rested in Komnas HAM according to Article 89, para (3) of Law on Human Rights 39/1999,’ the letter said. Copies of the letter have been sent to the chairman of Komnas HAM, the chief of police in Papua based in Jayapura and to the Paniai chief of police in Madi.

Komnas HAM very much hopes that the situation of the people in Paniai will be more conducive, bearing in mind that all people have the right to live in peace and tranquillity and to be protected against threats of fear, in accordance with article 15, para (30) of Law 39/1999.

Komnas HAM also calls upon all people to do everything possible to safeguard a conducive situation for people living in Paniai.

‘The chief of police needs to re-evaluate  the policy of sending additional  Brimob troops to Papua, particularly to Paniai. His troops must be withdrawn  because the people there are very upset, especially because of the attack on Eduda several days ago which has only intensified these fears and are having a significant impact   because people are unable to organise activities  in preparation for Christmas Day which is fast approaching.’

At the present time, there are hundreds of Brimob troops and police in Eduda, which is the headquarters of TPN/OPM, after managing to occupy the area.

Calls for the withdrawal of these troops  have also be made by others, especially since, in the past couple of days, operations in the area have intensified  in an attempt to hunt down the group of John Magai Yogi, who recently moved into the forest.

Church officials in Papua Request Troops to be withdrawn from Paniai

from SuaraBaptis http://suarabaptis.blogspot.com

Jayapura – Chairman of the Fellowship Baptist Church of Papua, Socratez Sofyan Yoman, asked the police and TNI members to immediately withdraw from Paniai.  Paniai conflict has given rise to fallen victims and can lead to ongoing violence.
“The Church will not agree when the police stormed the gang falls victim to arise.” That’s barbaric acts, violation of human rights, the authorities what he want. OPM also God’s people, “
“TNI and the police should be immediately withdrawn. There is no reason the authorities are in Paniai in large numbers. First Paniai not like this, secure and peaceful. When there is an apparatus, then there is a conflict, “said Sofyan  Socratez Yoman, Wednesday evening, December 14, 2011.
He said the Papuan independence movement in Paniai not something new. “Why is not the first armed groups approached. Why only now approaching apparatus. What we regret is that approach instead by way of violence, “he said.
Yoman looked at repressive measures will only open the door for endless war between security officers and armed civilian groups. He asked the government and police review the policy of using weapons in the face of the Free Papua movement. “If more of its profits do not use weapons, and more losses through the exchange of fire, it just stopped.”
The Church will not agree when the police stormed the gang falls victim to arise. “That’s barbaric acts, violation of human rights, the authorities what he want. OPM is also God’s people, “he said.
Paniai gunbattle between Brimob and the OPM, Tuesday, December 13, 2011 yesterday, has given such great losses. “There are about 70 houses burned down the police, the commander’s house, we post all of them burned,” said Le Yeimo, a spokesman for the OPM Division II Makodam Pemka Paniai IV.
From the police, Bripka Supono shot in the leg. “The chase continues we did. For while the OPM headquarters in Eduda we have mastered. We are currently seeking a hiding place them again and try to clean up this movement, “says Police Chief Adjunct Senior Commissioner Paniai Police Janus Siregar.
He hopes the group who opposed surrender to avoid a shootout. “We will continue to pursue until they surrendered,” he said.

JG: Officers Involved in Deadly Crackdown On Papuan Congress Slapped on Wrist


Banjir Ambarita | November 23, 2011

Jayapura. The former Jayapura Police chief and seven of his subordinates were handed a token written warning on Tuesday for their role in a brutal crackdown on a peaceful gathering that led to the deaths of at least three civilians.

At a disciplinary hearing at the Papua Police headquarters, Adj. Sr. Comr. Imam Setiawan was ruled to have committed a disciplinary infraction by not prioritizing the protection of civilians.

A parallel hearing at the Jayapura Police headquarters found the seven others guilty of a similar breach. All were issued a warning letter, despite earlier findings by the National Commission for Human Rights (Komnas HAM) that the crackdown on the pro-independence Papuan People’s Congress violated a raft of basic rights.

A day after the incident on Oct. 19, six congress participants were found dead in a field near the scene and just outside the local military headquarters.

Komnas HAM had ruled that at least three of the deaths could be attributed to excessive use of force by the security forces, although it stopped short of specifically fingering the police or the military.

In his defense, Imam said his men had acted out of fear of a repeat of the clash that occurred in March 2006 between protesters and security forces at Jayapura’s Cendrawasih University that left five police officers dead.

Sr. Comr. Deddy Woeryantono, the provincial police’s head of internal affairs, said the punishment meted out to the eight officers was the “heaviest in the police force.”

“If in the next six months after receiving a warning they commit another disciplinary breach, it’s possible that their punishment could be increased,” said Deddy, who presided over the disciplinary hearings.

He declined to say how the heaviest punishment available could be made any heavier.

The other officers disciplined included Comr. Junoto, the Jayapura Police’s operations head; Adj. Comr. Laurens, the head of intelligence; Adj. Comr. Frans, the head of riot personnel; and Adj. Comr. Ridho Purba, the chief of detectives. Adj. Comr. K.R. Sawaki and First Insp. I. Simanjuntak, the North Jayapura Police chief and deputy chief, and Comr. Arie Sirait, the Abepura Police chief, completed the list.

Tuesday’s decision echoes similar cursory punishment handed down to soldiers accused of gross rights abuses. In August, three soldiers accused of killing a Papuan man were given 15 months in jail for insubordination by a military tribunal.

In January, the military was criticized internationally for handing out sentences of between eight and 10 months to three soldiers who had tortured two Papuan men, in an act caught on video and posted to YouTube.

Call for Brimob persnnel to be withdrawn from Paniai

JUBI, 16 November, 2011

The shooting which is believed to have resulting in the deaths of eight local residents in Bayabiru who were illegally panning for gold in Degeuwo in the district of Bogobaida, Paniai, took place three days after Brimob troops arrived in Enarotali from Timika. Full details of the incident along with a chronology and the reasons for the shooting are not yet known.

‘If this is true, no one can accept what happened. We herewith demand that the Brimob troops be withdrawn from Paniai,’ said Yakobus Dumupa, a member of the MRP, the Majelis Rakyat Papua.

The chairman of the Paniai district Customary Council (Dewan Adat Daerah Pania)i, John NR Gobai, asked in a press release what was the reason for sending 120 Brimob troops to Paniai where the security situation can be described as conducive. ‘We are seeking an explanation about this from the local Brimob chief as well as the chief of police in the district.’ He said that the Brimob troops that had been deployed to Enarotali had for the first three days caused a great deal of anxiety and trauma among the local people.’There needs to be some campaigning and advocacy from the NGOs and we need to set up a fact-finding committee to prove that this is true,’ he said.

‘Someone must take institutional responsibility for what happened. This is not just a matter of some rogue member of the unit. If there is no response from the institution itself, then the people will have to make an issue of this. The MRP will set up its own team to investigate the shooting of eight local people.’ he said.

He strongly condemned the brutal action that of the security forces in Bayabiru, Degenwo.It happened at a time when a number of things had occurred that require special attention from the government.’These serious violations of human rights are putting a heavy strain on efforts to hold a dialogue between the Papuan people and the central government, And they suggest that it is the TNI and the police who are the ones who are the separatists the ones who are trying to cause disunity within the NKRI.’

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