Tag Archives: cruel and unusual punishment

Buchtar Tabuni and friends are still in police custody

[Slightly abridged in translation by TAPOL]

Bintang Papua, 30 December 2010

Buchtar Tabuni and friends are still in police custody


Two convicted prisoners charged with treason [makar], Buchtar Tabuni and Filep Karma, along with three other prisoners, Dominggus Pulalo, Alex Elopere and Lopes Katubaba are still in police custody. Buchtar and the others are in police custody and face charges of causing damage and incitement in Abepura Prison on 3 December 2010.

Confirming this in a press release on the security situation at the end
of 2010, Police Inspector-General Bekto Suprapto said that although
Buchtar and his colleagues were convicted prisoners and already serving sentences in Abepura Prison , they now had the additional status of facing new charges. ‘This means that their sentences will certainly be increased,’ he said. (sic)

The police chief said that with their removal from Abepura Prison,
conditions at Abepura Prison had improved. It was much easier now to
keep control of the prisoners in Abepura than it was when Buchtar and
the others were there, he was quoted as saying. ‘We have received
reports that the prison inmates are easier to control, they are more
obedient and now do as they are told, whereas before they were not easy to control.’

He said this was an indication that Buchtar and the others had been
inciting the other prisoners to be disobedient.

Asked about the number of prisoners who had escaped from the prison, he said that they were all on the wanted list [DPO] and their capture was the top priority for 2011 but he did not mention the number of prisoners involved. According to information from other sources, at least fifty prisoners have escaped from the prison.

He said that Buchtar and the others would face several new charges such as causing damage (Article 170) and incitement (Article 160), and could face up to seven years in prison.

When Bintang Papua requested permission to take photos of Buchtar and his friends in police custody, this was refused. The police officer said that this would only infuriate the general public.

As previously reported, Buchtar and his friends [allegedly] caused
damage after an inmate Wiron Wetipo disappeared from the prison and was shot dead by a joint patrol of the police and the army, while they were raiding a house in Tanah Hitam which is suspected as being the
headquarters of the OPM/TPN.

On hearing that Wiron had been shot dead, the six persons [not five
which is the number of names given in this article] now face charges for causing damage and inciting the other prisoners.

Filep Karma is serving a 15-year sentence while Buchtar is serving three years. The other prisoners are serving sentences of two or three years.

[Note how this senior police has no doubt that Buchtar and Karma will
be found guilty of the new charges they face. Such is the rule of law in Indonesia. – TAPOL]

WPAT: Torture video reveals "Indonesia's Abu Ghraib" on eve of Obama visit

WPAT: Torture video reveals “Indonesia’s Abu Ghraib” on eve of Obama visit

Contact: Ed McWilliams (WPAT) +1-575-648-2078

October 19, 2010 –  A new video shows the torture of helpless men in the Indonesian-ruled territory of West Papua. Monitoring groups are already describing the footage as “Indonesia’s Abu Ghraib.”The video reveals indisputably Indonesian security force brutality, and raises serious questions about the Obama administration’s decision to embrace cooperation with Indonesian security forces engaged in active and ongoing torture.

The video, available at http://material.ahrchk.net/video/AHRC-VID-012-2010-Indonesia.html, is the second in recent months to offer graphic footage of Indonesian  to offer graphic footage of Indonesian security force torture of Papuans. In it, a Papuan man is held to the ground while a hot stick, still smoldering from a fire, is held against his genitals. A plastic bag is wrapped around his head several times, a rifle held against him. Another man has a large knife held against him while he pleads: “I’m just an ordinary civilian, please…” One of his interrogators responds: “I’ll cut your throat… Do not lie, I will kill you! Burn the penis!” The video appears to have been taken on the cell phone of one interrogator. Although the interrogators are dressed in plain clothes, they speak in Javanese and in Indonesian with non-Papuan accents. Plain clothes dress is common for Indonesian security forces in West Papua. The techniques used mean they are almost certainly trained security personnel in the Indonesian army or police. The dialect of the victims places them in the Puncak Jaya region, where security forces are accused of repeated rights abuses.

The extreme brutality revealed in this footage is not new. What is new is that there is now additional video evidence of the brutality suffered by Papuans for nearly five decades. The international community can now clearly witness the indisputably harsh reality of life for Papuans. While Indonesia continues on the path of democratization and peaceful resolution of disputes, one region is sent on the opposite path: towards ongoing military domination, widespread suppression of political activity, and routine use of torture and other severe violations of basic human rights. In West Papua, the brutal and unaccountable Indonesian military and its accomplices, the militarized police ( Brimob), special forces ( Kopassus) and “anti-terror” force (Detachment 88) continue to operate with impunity under the old dictatorship’s rules: peaceful dissent is criminalized; civil society leaders are humiliated and intimidated and the international community is precluded from any effective monitoring of conditions in this besieged community.

Thanks to the courage of Papuan human rights advocates in the face of harsh security measures designed to silence them, the world periodically has been witness to the harsh rule of West Papua. In the past, the faith in international justice and humanity demonstrated by these courageous Papuans has been betrayed by the international community’s deference to the Indonesian government’s insistence that neither its course nor rule there not be challenged. Numerous governments have placed the territorial integrity of Indonesia and the desire to support its democratization process first. In the process, however, they have abandoned what could have been constructive efforts to uphold human rights in West Papua, which continue to be systematically violated.

Geopolitical and commercial goals led the U.S. government to ignore Suharto dictatorship atrocities targeting its own people and the people of East Timor for decades. President Bill Clinton acknowledged this when East Timor gained its independence in 2002, saying: “I don’t believe America or any of the other countries were sufficiently sensitive in the beginning and for a long time, a long time before 1999, going all the way back to the ’70s, to the suffering of the people of East Timor.” It was the suffering of the people of East Timor that led to Congress deciding to suspend military cooperation with Indonesia.

The system of security force rule and repression of peaceful dissent has been dismantled in much of Indonesia, but the same security system and the same systematic human rights violations continue in West Papua today. Such stopgap solutions as “special autonomy” have been clearly rejected by the Papuan people. Despite the continued human rights violations, the Obama administration has continued the Bush administration’s policy of support to the Indonesian security forces. It has continued support to the Indonesian military through the IMET program, and support through the Anti-Terror Assistance Program to the notorious Detachment 88 of the Indonesian National Police, credibly accused of torture and other rights violations. It has resumed cooperation with the Indonesian special forces (Kopassus) notwithstanding that unit’s  decades-old record of human rights abuse including recent, credible accounts of brutality targeting Papuan civilians.  In so doing the Obama Administration, like its predecessors, has wittingly or unwittingly made itself complicit in the repression now underway in West Papua.

The United States, under President John F. Kennedy, was responsible for the transfer of West Papua to Indonesian rule. In that act, the United States made itself co-responsible for the outcome of its actions. Successive administrations have not been sufficiently sensitive to the ongoing human rights violations, including torture to this day, which resulted from Indonesian rule.

President Obama’s upcoming visit to Indonesia offers an opportunity to end the silence on West Papua, and to craft new policies that advance human rights rather than lending support to human rights violators. Information about the ongoing human rights violations in West Papua was heard on September 22 by the House of Representatives Sub-committee on Asia, the Pacific.

The Obama administration should:

    Insist upon an investigation and prosecution of those who recently tortured Papuans in Puncak Jaya

    Seek an investigation by relevant United Nations human rights rapporteurs of this and other instances of torture in West Papua Suspend cooperation with Indonesian security forces accused of systematic human rights violations, including Detachment 88 and the Brimob (Mobile Brigade) of the National Police and the Indonesian special forces (Kopassus) Call for full and open access for journalists, humanitarian assistance personnel including the International Committee of the red Cross and other international monitors to all of West Papua Seek meetings between President Obama and Papuan human rights and civil society leaders during his visit to Indonesia Call upon the Indonesian government to carry out an internationally facilitated, senior-level dialogue process with Papuan officials and civil society designed to resolve the Papuan conflict peacefully, as was done in Aceh province


Posted with additional links: http://etan.org/news/2010/10video.htm

SMH: Video shows Papuans being tortured

Video shows Papuans being


Tom Allard in Jakarta

westpapuamedia.info worked closely with SMH to break this story – it was released early after Papuan people released the footage on YouTube.  As predicted, YouTube had removed this footage completely due to the depiction of actual sexual torture by Indonesian security forces.  westpapuamedia.info is displaying the full unedited footage in the public interest.

October 18, 2010

‘‘Get a fire’’ ... video posted on YouTube shows two Papuan men being tortured by apparent members of the Indonesian security services.  One has a smouldering stick applied to his genitals.‘‘Get a fire’’ … video posted on YouTube shows two Papuan men being tortured by apparent members of the Indonesian security services. One has a smouldering stick applied to his genitals.

A graphic and disturbing video shows a Papuan man being poked in the genitals with a fiery stick as he is interrogated by a group of men who appear to be members of Indonesia’s security services.

The video has come to light as the Indonesian government faces continuing criticism about abuses by its security forces in Papua, scene of a long simmering separatist struggle.

The Papuan man, stripped naked, bound and with one of the interrogators placing his foot on his chest, is being asked about the location of a cache of weapons. After he tells his interrogators it has been hidden in a pigpen, one of them screams at him: ”You cheat, you cheat.”

Another interrogator then yells ”get a fire, get a fire” before a colleague administers the torture with a stick that has been burnt in a fire and is smouldering. The man screams in agony, and does so again when the treatment is repeated.

The video appears to have been taken with a mobile phone by one of the interrogators, who speak Indonesian with Javanese and Ambonese accents and wear plain clothes.

While it is common for Indonesian police and military personnel to wear civilian clothing, it is impossible to verify those in the video are members of the security services.

But the nature of the interrogation suggests professionals are at work, as does a later incident shown on the 10-minute video when an M-16 rifle is pointed at the man’s mouth.

”So you want me to shoot your mouth? So your mouth breaks?” the interrogator shouts.

The emergence of the video – it was posted on YouTube three days ago by someone using the moniker papualiberationarmy and obtained independently by the Herald – will do nothing to lessen criticism of abuses by security forces in Papua.

”We have been living under Indonesia for almost 48 years,” said Victor Kogoya, a member of the central committee of the Aliansi Mahasiswa Papua, a Papuan student group. ”For all this time, we have never felt calm, never peace. Why? Because ever since the security state has been chasing us, arresting us, killing, terror and intimidation.”

Although Jakarta made an autonomy deal with the province almost 10 years ago, its indigenous Melanesian people remain the country’s poorest while migrants flood into the resource-rich area and dominate business and paid employment, further marginalising the Papuans.

There have been repeated reports of abuses by the military and police, but foreign journalists are banned from entering Papua without special permission, while non-government groups, including the International Committee of the Red Cross, have been told to leave in the past year.

Two Papuan victims are recorded in the video – one naked and being burned, while the other is clothed and has a large knife placed under his nose as he is being questioned by the men. At one point, one of the interrogators says: ”I’ll cut your throat.”

The footage is graphic, with the men hit and threatened throughout the interrogation.

The victims speak in the Papuan dialect Lani, strongly suggesting the video was filmed in Puncak Jaya, a regency in Papua’s highlands where a unit of the armed Free Papua Movement commanded by Goliath Tabuni has been staging sporadic attacks on Indonesian police and military posts for the past two years.

Numerous weapons have been stolen in the raids and at least four soldiers and police have been killed in the past two years.

Jakarta has sent members of the national police’s mobile brigade and anti-terrorism unit, Detachment 88, to the region. Both units have been accused of using excessive force.

There have been repeated allegations of security forces making violent sweeps through villages in Puncak Jaya, a region characterised by soaring mountains covered in thick jungle. The military, including its controversial special forces unit Kopassus, also has a strong presence.

Papua, which was formerly known as Dutch New Guinea, was not incorporated into Indonesia when it became a state in 1949. It was held by the Dutch until 1962 when, following Indonesian military incursions into the area, an agreement brokered through the Untied Nations gave Indonesia administrative control of the region pending a referendum.

That ”referendum” involved just 1025 handpicked tribal leaders who unanimously agreed to join Indonesia. The so-called ”Act of Free Choice” has been labelled fraudulent and remains a source of great anger for many indigenous Papuans.

While separatist sentiment remains strong, it has little international support. Australia recognises Indonesia’s sovereignty over the region. The Herald was unable to obtain a response from the Indonesian military or police late yesterday.

Emergency: Papuan Political Prisoner Filep Karma refusing to Eat


Forwarding on:
Emergency: Papuan Political Prisoner Filep Karma refusing to Eat

Beginning today, Tuesday 5/10/2010 the Papuan Political Prisoner Filep Karma is refusing to eat because of the inadequate medical treatment being afforded to Papuan political prisoner, Fery (Ferdinand) Pakage who has been tortured by Sipir Lapas (jail authorities?) Abepura.

As a result of that torture that he has become physically disabled and totally blind in his right eye. This has now motivated Filep Karma to stop eating until the Indonesian government through Ministry of Law and Human Rights facilitate the medical treatment of Fery Pakage.

If this does not happen then Filep Karma has decided that he will no longer eat until Fery pakage has been evacuated for medical treatment. This report is released appealing for international advocacy.

Direct Message from sources inside the prison.

More to come