Ex Freeport worker murdered, mutilated in Timika OTK killing

by West Papua Media

January 23, 2013

The body of Henok Rumansara where found in Kwamki Narama (Photo: Kobawes Kores / Fb)

Papuan civilians around Timika have again been made wary of military provocations that may potentially revive a bloody horizontal conflict, after a former Freeport mine worker’s mutilated body was found in a roadside trench on January 19.

Villagers from Kwamki Narama, just outside Timika, found the badly mutilated body of Hanok Rumansara, 40, from Biak, in a roadside ditch in front of the village.  The autopsy on his body found Rumansara was riddled with over 23 stab wounds, plus a number of injuries cause by blunt objects, according to his human rights observers.

A human rights worker with Komnas Ham, going by the pseudonym Kobewas Kores, posted information on social media that Rumansara had been picked up by a motorcycle taxi (ojek) rider to take him to Kwamki Narama.  Whilst on the road, a group of unknown persons (orang tak kenal or OTK) set up a road block, and was not seen again until his body was found, according to witnesses interviewed by human rights workers.

Indonesian police have claimed that though there is little information to work on, they are pursuing the culprits, according to citizen media website malanesia.com.  Police have also claimed they have interviewed several witnesses and have secured arrows, bow, an axe and wood.  However, Indonesian police have rarely showed a willingness to properly investigate OTK cases, which most credible observers in Papua laying the blame squarely on Indonesian special forces from either Kopassus or Densus 88.

A former worker at the contentious Freeport-McMoRan run giant Grasberg gold and Copper mine, Rumansara had reportedly been active in the ongoing Freeport industrial dispute, according to initial information.  It is unclear why Rumansara had lost his job at the mine, but he was amongst hundreds of workers who failed to regain their jobs after the record-breaking seven month strike ended in December 2011.

Many Papuan ex-Freeport workers have been reportedly stranded from their home regions after not receiving any or enough severance pay from the management of the most lucrative gold mine on the planet.  West Papua Media has no information at this stage to indicate that he was targeted in relation to his involvement at Freeport, or in the strike.  If this were the case, it would represent a major escalation that would backfire significantly on the perpetrators, given the high political organisation of Freeport workers who are already tense given the recent gassing deaths of several workers.

However, Local human rights observers have questioned if the latest OTK killing – the first since community-led peace building put an end to a bloody military-fostered inter-tribal war from 20 May to 5 October 2012 – was a deliberate act of provocation to upset the current fragile peace.  The 2012 horizontal conflict claimed over 2o lives in numerous OTK killings, as well as direct tribal violence, while police and Indonesian military conducted operations deliberately designed to incite violence.

‘Kobewas Kores’ believes that indeed there was an OTK killing, but they got their targeting wrong and killed a man from another part of Papua.

“Is it possible that the killing was deliberately done to give birth to a conflict breaking out in Kwamki Narama village? I think the scenario actually missed the target of an indigenous person to Kwamki Narama.   In this case there are specially trained parties, the Indonesian military is trying to sow confusion in Timika and Papua in general,” Kobewas said.

West Papua Media

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ELSHAM: Reverting to the DOM era: Papua back to being a Zone of Military Operations

PRESS RELEASE FROM ELSHAM PAPUA

December 19, 2012

ELSHAM PAPUA
Lembaga Studi dan Advokasi Hak Asasi Manusia
(Institute for Human Ri ghts Study and Advocacy of Papua)

Reverting to the DOM era: Papua back to being a Zone of Military Operations

There was a significant increase in the intensity of the conflicts and violence in Papua between August 2011 and December 2012. ELSHAM Papua reported on several incidents that had resulted in serious casualties and although the growing severity of the incidents was disturbing, these did not prompt the Government to react.  These events include the overwhelming offensive called “Operasi Aman Matoa I 2011”, terror actions and shootings by unidentified perpetrators (OTK), cases of internal displacements,  as well as cases of extrajudicial killing of civilians by the police.

“Operasi Aman Matoa I 2011” is the designation for an armed crime prevention operation that was set up in the areas of Puncak Jaya and Paniai. This operation was under direct command  of the Chief of Police, and was run by the Operations Task Force (Satgas Ops) through police telegram letter No. STR/687/VIII/2011 dated 27 August 2011.

The Operations Task Force for Operasi Aman Matoa I 2011 was led by Drs. Leo Bona Lubis, the Commissioner of Police. During the execution of Operasi Aman Matoa I 2011 in the Paniai Regency, a number of grave human rights violations were perpetrated, which include:

(a) the taking of the lives of two civilians, Salmon Yogi (20) and Yustinus Agapa (30) who died as a direct result of the armed conflict,
(b) the inflicting of injuries to at least four civilians: Yulian Kudiai (22), Melkias Yeimo (35), Yohanis Yogi (25) and Paskalis Kudiai (21), who became victim as a result of the armed conflict,
(c) great material loss due to the armed conflict in Eduda District which includes 78 houses that were burnt by the Operations Task Force; educational activities at 8 elementary school (SD) and 2 Junior High School (SMP) that had to be halted; religious and worship services could no longer be ensured in eight Catholic churches, seven Kingmi churches and four GKII churches; hundreds of machetes, knives, saws, hammers, bows and arrows were confiscated;
(d) villagers no longer felt secure in their own homes and they fled. As many as 37 people perished while in displacement: 13 toddlers, 5 children, 17 adults and 2 elders;
(e) communities from the Districts of Komopa, Keneugida, Bibida, East Paniai and Kebo have endured material loss due to their displacement.  The villagers were forbidden from going to their gardens by the members of the Operations Task Force. As a result, this primary source of livelihood for the communities was left neglected and unattended. Prior to the evacuation, 1581 heads of livestock were forcibly slaughtered, including  as many as 478 pigs, 3 cows, 11 goats, 132 rabbits, 381 ducks, and 576 chickens. After returning to their homes and villages, the residents experienced severe food shortage. Members of the Operations Task Force had also damaged the fences built by the residents, as they used those as firewood.

Violent acts committed by the security forces, both the military and the police, are still common and they are in flagrant violation of a number of international humanitarian standards and principles. Some of the cases that we note are as follows:

a. The heavy-handed assault carried out by the police against Persipura fans at Mandala Stadium on 13 May 2012, which led to 18 people suffering from respiratory problems due to tear gas that had been fired indiscriminately and six others being detained arbitrarily.
b. The shooting of four people in Degeuwo by the police on 15 May 2012, by which one person was killed and the other three were seriously wounded.
c. The assault against civilians in Honai Lama Wamena on 6 June 2012, by members of the Indonesian army (TNI) Battalion 756 Wimane Sili, which resulted in one person dead and 14 others seriously injured.
d. The arbitrary arrest and torture by the police of 10 people in the town of Serui, as they were commemorating the International Day for Indigenous People on 9 August 2012.
e. The forced disbanding by the police of a KNPB-led demonstration that was about to start in front of the campus of the State University of Papua in Manokwari on 23 October  2012. A total of 15 people were detained by the police, nine of them were tortured, and 2 others suffered gunshot wounds.

Summary executions by the police of pro-democracy activists who are active within the West Papua National Committee (KNPB) continue to occur. The extrajudicial shooting of Mako Tabuni (34), First Chairman of the KNPB on 14 June 2012, is clear evidence of acts of police brutality against civilians. A similar killing occurred in Wamena on 16 December 2012, when the police shot dead Hubertus Mabel (30), militant KNPB Chairman for the Baliem region.

Other violent acts such as terror acts and shootings by unknown assailants increased, both in 2011 and 2012. From 5 July to 6 September 2011, there were 28 shooting incidents where 13 people were killed and at least 32 people were wounded. Meanwhile, throughout 2012, there were 45 attacks by unknown assailants, killing 34 people, injuring 35 people and causing severe trauma to 2 people.

One of the worrisome events that received very little attention from the Government was the crisis which lasted from July to November 2012 in the Keerom where villagers fled their homes as they no longer felt secure because of activities conducted by the security forces. A joint effort between ELSHAM Papua and the Keerom Catholic Church enabled the return to their homes of 38 internally displaced people (IDPs) who had fled into the jungle.

Various cases of violence and human rights violations that occurred in Papua totally escaped the attention of the central Government and that of local Papuans. Conditions such as these indicate that the status of Papua as an autonomous region has turned into a status of “Special Operations Region”, similar to what was experienced in the decades between 1970 and 2000 when Papua was designated as a Military Operations Area (DOM). Legal impunity for the perpetrators of the violence becomes flagrantly visible as the perpetrators of such violence are practically never brought to justice, nor do they receive fitting sentences.

Prohibiting international humanitarian organizations, international journalists and foreign researchers from accessing the Papuan region inevitably gives way to the increasing acts of violence by security forces in that region. Elite units, such as Anti-Terror Special Detachment 88, are conducting activities that are contrary to their mandate as they themselves are the ones creating terror against activists of the pro-democracy movement in Papua.

Bearing in mind the socio-political conditions faced by Papuans today, ELSHAM Papua is calling for:

1. the Indonesian Government, to open access to international humanitarian agencies, international journalists and foreign researchers to the region so they can freely visit and monitor the human rights situation in Papua;
2. the police of the Republic of Indonesia, to immediately reveal to the public the identity of those responsible for the numerous attacks and mysterious shootings that have occurred lately in Papua;
3. the Indonesian Government and groups opposing the Government, to choose dialogue as a way to end the conflict and the ongoing violence in Papua;
4. the military and the police, to uphold and respect the universal principles of human rights that have been ratified by the Government of the Republic of Indonesia.

 

Police who shot Papuans in Degeuwo must be arrested, says Imparsial

JUBI, 22 May 2012

The Indonesian Human Rights Monitor, Imparsial in Jakarta has urged the police in Papua to arrest those members of Brimob, the police elite force who shot five Papuans in Location 45, while they were engaged in panning for gold in Degeuwo on Wednesday 16 May.

The director of Imparsial Poengky Indarti furthermore said that the involvement of Brimob in this matter was a violation of the regulations, and even more regrettable was the fact that people had been shot and wounded, one of whom had died.

She said that Brimob is a force which was set up to handle major conflicts, not to deal with minor infringements like unauthorised panning of gold, and to face the possibility of attack from abroad. Brimob is regarded as para-military.

The five men who were shot and hit on Wednesday were: Melianus Abaa, 40 years old,who was shot from behind, the bullet penetrated his chest and he died as a result; Lukas Gegepa, 30 yrs, who was shot in the stomach, Alpius Kegepa, who was shot in the right arm, Amos Kegepa, 30 yrs, who was hit in one of this legs,  The fifth man who was shot was Yulianus Wegepa, who was shot in the back.

Translated by TAPOL

Papuan goes out to pick bananas but never returns home

From Elsham News Service, 22 August 2011

On a short journey to his banana garden, a Papuan peasant is killed

Das Komba, 30 years old, left home early in the morning on Friday, 19
August to go to his banana garden, two hundred metres from home to cut
down some bunches of bananas for a family celebration. After filling his
sack with several bunches he started for home but then went back,
feeling that he had not cut down enough. But Das Komba never returned home.

Two days later, on Sunday, search parties were sent out to look for him
and his body was found in a ditch about one km from his garden.

According to information received by Elsham, a local man, TD, left home
by car to go to Youtefa market in Abepura. On the way, about 200 meters
from Arso, several passengers were stopped by a group of men in
military uniform. Two passengers were ordered to get off the bus and
questioned by the soldiers ‘What are you carrying there?’ they were
asked, said TD as he watched the men pulled the goods out of the sacks.

At 7am next morning. WO, 30 years old was about to take his children to
school but when he opened the front door of his home, he was startled
to see about five men outside. When he said ‘Good morning’, the men did
not reply but just stared at him. After returning home, WO went to his
garden which is about 600 metres away, but after walking about 50
meters, he found some leftovers of food and thought that some soldiers
must have rested there to have a bite to eat. He then decided to return
home. WO later said that their clan chief, Fabion, had warned people not
to leave their homes to collect things from their gardens because the
army would be coming there.’But if we dont go to our gardens, we will
have nothing to eat,’ the people said.

A woman, TB, 27 years old, said that on that morning she had gone to her
garden which was a short distance from the garden of Das Komba with her
children walking in front, listening to music on their hand phones, when
they heard the sound of gunfire coming from the direction of Das
Komba’s garden. As they continued their journey, three men in army
uniform appeared and, holding their guns out, said: Where are you
going?’ When she said she was going to her garden, the men told her to
go home. When she arrived home, she told her family that she had heard
shots coming from the garden where Das Komba. was harvesting some bananas.

When Das Komba failed to return home, several people went out to look
for him but they found no trace of him.. All they found was his hat, but
there was no trace of his sacks or his machete. As it was getting dark,
they decided to return home and continue to search on the following day.

On Saturday, 20 August, five members of his family went out to look for
him . All they could see was that banana trees has been slashed down and
the fruit had been trampled on. There were signs that something had been
pulled along, perhaps timber but they didn’t find Das Komba, so they
went home to ask other people to help in the search for Das.

WO then went together with several others to the police station, and
later went together with the chief of the clan to the cemetery , where
they found some empty food cans, a jerry can and a few plastic bags,
which the police took away as evidence.

On the next day, Sunday an extended family from Angkasa and Entrop
Jayapura travelled by truck to Arso, and when they arrived there they
divided into three groups to continue the search for Das Komba. From
there, a group of people climbed a nearby hill and at about 3pm , they
discovered the body of Das Komba which they decided to bury.

Several people then went to the police station to tell the police where
they had found Das Komba. The police went there, dug up the body and
took it in an ambulance to Dok 11 Hospital for an autopsy.

According to WO, Das Kombawas just a simple peasant who was not a member
of any organisation. ‘All he did was to tend his garden,’ said WO,
looking very sad.

Because of this incident, the people of Arso are very afraid to leave
their homes and dont want to go to their gardens to collect food.

[Abridged translation by TAPOL]

Dogiyai villagers still in shock after Moanemani incident

JUBI, 28 June 2011Following the shooting of four civilians by members of the security forces in Dogiyai, Paniai, the people there are still in a state of shock.

A local man, Eli Petege said that all the inhabitants of four kampungs have fled their homes after being traumatised by the incident which led to the death of two inhabitants of Dogiyai.

‘Three kampungs evacuated but have now returned home, but they  are still in a state of shock.’ He said that the four kampungs that had been affected by the incident were Ikebo, Kimupugi, Muniyopa and Ekemani.

During the tragedy in Moanemani which  happened because a group of people were gambling, there were four casualties. The two men who died were Dominikus Auwa, 24 years, and Aloysius Waine, 24,  while three others were seriously injured, Otniel Yobee, 26, Agus Pigai, 24, and Wilibrodus Iyai.

The material losses included three pigs, the destruction of six homes along with the furniture and two motorbikes.

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