Tag Archives: Federal Republic of West Papua

Police violently break up 3rd Congress NFRPB commemorations across West Papua

October 19, 2013

West Papua Media team and local stringers

Early reports received from West Papua Media stringers have described another serious and violent crackdown across West Papua on October 19 by Indonesian security forces, against peaceful gatherings commemorating the second
Continue reading Police violently break up 3rd Congress NFRPB commemorations across West Papua

Police fail to provoke violence as demo in Manokwari ignores protest ban

January 18, 2013

by West Papua Media editorial and stringers

Well over 1000 people engaged in a colourful and vibrant demonstration calling for West Papuan independence on Manokwari on January 17, despite Indonesian police banning the march and the display of the Morning Star Papuan Independence flag.

Amid worries of a security crackdown and violence from Indonesian security forces, organisers of the rally reported a generally peaceful event, with participants well-disciplined against reacting over severe intimidation tactics, preferring instead to use music, drumming and free expression to get their message across.

Organised by activists from the former Federated Republic of West Papua, the Manokwari protest saw several groups of singers, dancers and drummers converged at the Sanggeng sports stadium, marching 7 kilometres to the church at Elim Kwawi over four hours.  They were shadowed at all times by at least police to secure the action is over 200 police personnel, 2 truckloads of soldiers, 8 armed motorcyclists, and an extra truckload of elite Dalmas Riot Police (a unit that includes personnel from the Detachment 88 anti-terror group funded by Australia).

To the shouts of “Merdeka!” (Freedom!), and accompanied by 4 groups of drummers and 2 flute bands, over 100 banned Morning Star flags were flown during the march, held high by mama-mama, youth, children and students.  Sources at the march reported to West Papua Media that spirits were high amongst participants due to the music and dancing.

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Speaking from Washington DC, Herman Wainggai, FRWP’s representative to the United Nations, said in a statement that “Over the years, peaceful demonstrators in West Papua have been terrorized, imprisoned and killed by Indonesian military police. Edison Waromi, one of West Papua’s human rights defenders, has been imprisoned for more than 14 years, and we were imprisoned together for two of those years. West Papuan activists Edison Kendi and Yan Maniamboy currently are threatened with 20 years in prison for organizing a nonviolent rally in support of the United Nations’ International Day of the World’s Indigenous People in New York in August 2012.”

Wainggai repeated the demand  “that Indonesia immediately and unconditionally free all West Papuan political prisoners and end its military occupation of West Papua. We also request that the UN Special Rapporteur, who is scheduled to be in Indonesia in January, visit West Papua and meet with imprisoned political leaders of the Federated Republic of West Papua, such as President Forkorus Yaboisembut, Prime Minister Edison Waromi, and others.”

International solidarity actions were held outside the Indonesian Embassy to the United States in Washington DC, and also in the Solomon Islands, and Melbourne, Australia.

Rexy Roses, from the new Solomon Islands for West Papua solidarity group, called upon the Indonesian government to immediately release West Papua and Malukan political prisoners, and to respect their rights to free expression.

“More than 50 years of tyranny and immeasurable human rights abuses suffered by the Indigenous people of West Papua at the hands of the occupying Indonesian Military forces is more than too much to bear, it is time now time for dialogue and negotiations to end violence in West Papua and to allow for a peaceful referendum. This year 2013 is going to be a very challenging year and we will make sure that the cries of the indigenous Melanesian people of West Papua be heard in every corners of Melanesia, the Pacific and beyond, it is time for change, together lets stand for the change we want to see in West Papua and Maluku, ” Rexy stated.

Police attempt to provoke trouble

Organisers of the rally had notified Indonesian Police of their rally but the Chief of Police in Manokwari forbade the rally from going ahead, contrary to the rights of peaceful expression guaranteed to West Papuan people under the now discredited (but still active) Special Autonomy legislation of 2001.  However, according to reports from witnesses and our stringers, police stood by and allowed participants to gather, instead focussing their attention on the seizure of Morning Star Flags.

Upon an attempt to formally raise the Morning Star on flagpoles, police moved in and attempted to seize flags, however organisers led by West Papua National Authority Executive Governor of Region II Manokwari Markus Yenu negotiated with police, who allowed the mass to continue after receiving assurances that no flag raising would occur again.  However, outside Biryosi petrol station, police seized flags from a young man, escalating into a tense situation due to the hostility between individual police officers and the youth.

According to West Papua Media’s stringer at the protest, ” the journey became increasingly tense as Police officers began intimidation by beginning to walk ahead (faster) than the rear of the masses,”  whilst in riot gear, using a common riot police tactic of dispersal.

“The Massa (collective group) felt that a scenario was being created by Indonesian police to disrupting the peaceful demonstration and provoke violence. This situation occurred precisely around Copal Sanggeng Manokwari. However our koorlap (Koordinator Lapangan or field coordinator) were able to ensure massa discipline and not be provoked by friction generated by these police officers,” one field coordinator, who cannot be named, told West Papua Media.

The Rally dispersed peacefully around 3.30 pm local time after speeches by West Papua National Authority, Federated Republic of West Papua, and other activists, followed by prayers, with no reports of further intimidation of participants from security forces.

In Yapen meanwhile, security force intimidation and the arrest of seven activists on January 16 in Mantembu village by an Indonesian Army (TNI) unit, prevented the planned demonstration from taking place in Serui town.  Reports received by West Papua Media from human rights sources early in the day described a tense atmosphere with several hundred heavily armed police and army patrolling key protest gathering point.  Unconfirmed reports claimed that a joint police and army unit blockaded roads outside Mantembu village and threatened violence on any potential protest participants.


Arrests in Mantembu, Yapen ahead of major demonstrations

West Papua Media

January 16, 2013

Local human rights and independent media sources have reported that an Indonesian Army (TNI) unit has arrested seven non-violent activists in Serui on January 16, ahead of major planned demonstrations.

The raid on the heavily targeted village of Mantembu, on Yapen Island, was carried out at 0830 am local time by Kostrad Unit of Indonesian Army led by Corporal Gidion Karubaba, arrested the seven for allegedly “supporting Papuan independence”, according to local human rights sources.

The names of the arrestees are:
1. Yohan Ayum,
2. Lamkiur Ayum,
3.Penina Pangkurei,
4. Oki Warkawani,
5. Mambiwa Wandamani,
6. Simeon Ayum,
7. Isak Warkawani.

No information was received if those arrested were subjected to mistreatment during their arrest, however Mantembu has been long targeted with extreme brutality by Indonesian security forces seeking to quell pro-independence sentiment.  Regular raids and house burnings are arbitrary conducted, and the village has seen one of the highest rates of oppression of any single village in Papua.

The ex-political prisoner Yawan Wayeni, who was disembowelled, taunted and left to die whilst being filmed by Brimbob paramilitary police in Mantembu in 2009, has his death seen by the world on a Youtube video that galvanised awareness of the systemic brutality of the Indonesian occupation forces.

The arrests came the day before large demonstrations for Papuan basic rights were to be held on January 17 in Yapen and Manokwari, organised by activists from the Federated Republic of West Papua alternative government.


Baptist leader calls for unconditional release of Forkorus

Bintang Papua
11 December 2012
The Indonesian government has been urged to free all political prisoners in Papua, including Forkorus Yaboisembut and Filep Karma. On the occasion of World Human Rights Day,  the human rights defender Socrates Sofyan Yoman spoke about the activities throughout 2012 of organisations such Polri (the police force), the TNI (the Indonesian military) and vicious armed civilian groups. He said 90  incidents of violence had been committed by these groups in all parts of Papua during the year so far.’As we celebrate Human Rights Day,’ he said, ‘we defenders  of human rights urge the Indonesian government to take the following actions:

‘Firstly, in accordance with its constitutional responsibility to safeguard its citizens, the government should acknowledge that the way it treats prisoners, convicts and the citizens in general is brutal, inhumane and demeaning. This includes the way it treats Papuan civil society and Papuan political prisoners. Such activities  should be prohibited, along with all practices that violate the law. Torture must be clearly identified  and criminalised. This would be seen as a concrete sign of Indonesia’s commitment to the International Covnention Against Torture which it officially ratified  by enactment of Law 5/1998

Secondly, the government should agree to adopt a policy that recognises Papuan citizens as victims. In those cases where legal processes have been resorted to, rehabilitation not imprisonment should be the method  chosen. The government should also adopt measures to  inform the general public about the many civilian victims in Papua.

His next point was to ensure that whenever the law on treason is used in a court of law, this should be non-discriminatory and concrete action should be taken to put an end to all criminal activities by the security forces, including judges, public prosecutors and all those people who are in charge of the prisons.

Furthermore,  the rights of all Papuan political prisoners must be safeguarded, including ending all illegal detentions. In cases where confessions were made under duress and without the presence of legal counsel, they should not be accepted as evidence in a court.of law.

The government should create mechanisms for people to be able to initiate charges. Such mechanisms should be available everywhere and in all places of detention and imprisonment.And in cases where charges are brought by detainees, this must be followed through by independent investigations by law-enforcement institutions as well as the National Human Rights Commission.

His next point  was to urge the National Human Rights Commision, the National Commission to End Violence Against Women and the Ombudsman  of the Indonesian Republic, to establish a mechanism  for a fully independent National Protection Unit to visit all places of detention, especially places of detention where persons charged with treason (/makar/) or other political prisoners  are being held as part of the state’s responsibility to act in accordance with the Anti-Violence Optional Convention.

The seventh point was to press the Indonesian government to enter in peaceful dialogue on the problem of Papua, mediated by a third party, one of the aims of which would to end torture and other forms of violence throughout the Land of Papua.

The eighth point was to press the Indonesian government to invite  the UN Special Rapporteur against Torture and Arbitrary Detentions to visit Papua.

The ninth point was to press the Indonesian government  to allow foreign journalists to visit Papua.

The tenth point was that the Indonesian government should accept responsibility for incidents of gross violations of human rights such as the incident in Abepura on 7 December 2000, the Wasior 2001 incident, the Wamena  2003 inicident and other incidents that have already been investigated by the  National Human Rights Commission, and to ensure that  the results of these investigations  are considered at the human rights court and dealt with in accordance with the principles of justice.

With regard to the role of the churches in Papua, it should be acknowledged that their main mission  has been paralysed by the state and governmental system in Indonesia.

Moreover, its prophetic voice is hardly ever heard in Papua, particularly since Papua was integrated into the Indonesian republic by military means and this the integration was preceded by the bloody events surrounding the Act of Free Choice, which continue to the present day.

‘The churches have forgotten or refused to recognise that Christianity arrived in Papua three centuries ago, on 5 February 1855.’

These thoughts were expressed by Socrates Sofyan Yoman during his opening address of the Congress of the Alliance of Baptist Churches in Papua at the Baptist Church in Wamena in October 2012.

He pointed out that his church  has supported the Papuan people with education, religious belief, healthcare and in the economic sphere, and has helped to improve access to the most remote areas by establishing small airfields which cater for small aircraft, with alll the risks this involves.

The church’s  missionaries live in close proximity with the Papuan people and help to foster the dignity of the Papuan people.in sharp contrast to what Indonesia has done since Papua’s integration, when it became a colonial power, a fact that is rarely criticised by the churches.

As a church leader, Yoman said that he not only studies the Bible but also learns from the history of Papua.  He has learned a great deal from this history, in particular the many untruths that have been told.  It is the role of the churches to insist on correcting these untruths, he said

Until now the churches talk about  ‘peace and well being’ but God’s people are continually  stigmatised as treasonous and accused of being part of the OPM.

As a church leader, he rejects all these allegations  and believes that Christians  must reflect of God’s will, as is stated in Genesis 1:26.  For all these reasons, he said in conclusion:

‘I will continue to speak out and will do everything I possibly can to share in the sufferings of God’s people. There is no future for Papua if it continue to remain a part of Indonesia. Papuans cannot live normal lives The churches must speak out about this and integrate themselves with those people whose very identity has been destroyed. It must speak out about  justice, equality  and the freedom  of all humankind regardless of race, ethnicity, culture or religion.

[Translated by TAPOL]


Forkorus calls for two flags to be flown side by side

15 October 2012

On the occasion of the first anniversary of the declaration of the Federal Republic of West Papua, the President, Forkorus Yaboisembut has sent a letter to the President of the Republic of Indonesia calling on him to take a step of guidance towards the restoration of the Federation in accordance with the determination declared at  the IIIrd Papuan People’s Congress.

Detachment 88 troops firing live rounds at civilians during the brutal crackdown on the Third Papuan People’s Congress, October 19, 2011 (West Papua Media video still)

‘We will peacefully report this and also seek support as we celebrate the first anniversary of Papuan independence with the Federal Republic of  West Papua, which will take place on 19 October this year’ said the President. which was the first point in his letter to the President of the Republic of Indonesia, copies of which were handed out to journalists during a press conference.

The second point he made was  to compile material for negotiation which would include an act of recognition of the Federal Republic of West Papua. ‘We willconvey the conditions for dialogue between the Papuan people and the Republic of Indonesia, for recognition and the transfer of administrative powers from the Republic of Indonesia to the Federal Republic of West Papua.’

He said that the Indonesian government should convey its willingness to hold peaceful negotiations by unfurling the Morning Star flag alongside the red-and-white flag of Indonesia. ‘The two flags should be flown alongside each other as from 19 October 2012 at seven places,’ he said.

In addition to making these points, Forkorus invited a representative of the Indonesian government to attend the celebration of the first anniversary of the declaration of the Federal Republic of West Papua on 19 October.

He also proposed that pre-negotiations and negotiations should occur from August 2012 (sic) until 1 May 2013, bringing to an end the annexation of West Papua.’

[Translated by TAPOL]

Video Documentary about the Third Papuan Congress (West Papua Media)