Tag Archives: filep karma

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]

 

Papuan Prisoner of Conscience Filep Karma in Jakarta for Medical Treatment

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Press Release – Karma family

Papuan Prisoner of Conscience Filep Karma in Jakarta

for Medical Treatment

Jakarta, Indonesia [27 September 2012].

Filep Karma, a political prisoner of conscience from Papua, has attended a two-week medical treatment in Jakarta hospital and now is back in the Abepura prison in West Papua. He arrived in Jakarta on September 14 and took a colonoscopy treatment in PGI Cikini hospital, Jakarta.

Indonesian physicians in Jayapura, who earlier examined Karma with simple equipment, suspected that he has a colon tumor. As it is not possible to conduct a colonoscopy in West Papua the physicians referred him to the hospital in Jakarta.

Karma was imprisoned in 2004 and is serving 15 years in prison for participating in a peaceful independence demonstration and for raising the Morning Star flag, an important Papuan symbol of independence.

The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention declared him a political prisoner in September 2011, asking the Indonesian government to immediately and unconditionally release Karma. The government, however, denies the existence of “political prisoners” in Indonesia. His injuries were sustained from acts of torture inflicted on him while in prison. He also injured his hip during a falling in 2006.

It took nearly six months for Karma to be able to be transferred to Jakarta despite this referral. Abepura prison officials, under the Ministry of Law and Human Rights, have refused to cover cost of his medical treatment and travel. The Indonesian government’s refusal to cover his costs is in direct contravention of national and international law.

According to United Nations Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment (Principle 24), and Indonesian law (Regulation No. 32/1999 on Terms and Procedures on the Implementation of Prisoners’ Rights in Prisons) it is required that all medical costs for treatment of a prisoner at a hospital be borne by the State.

Despite the Abepura prison authorities recently giving permission for Karma to travel to Jakarta, they still refuse to cover the cost of his medical treatment and travel. Funds have been raised through donations from the Prisoners of Conscience Appeal Fund (London), Rev. Socratez Yoman’s church service (Timika), STT Walter Post (Jayapura) and many individuals.

Not only Karma, there are seven political prisoners in Papua with variety of illness. They are Apotnagolik Lokobal (stroke); Ferdinand Pakage (stroke); Forkorus Yaboisembut (impaired vision); Kanius Murib (memory loss); Kimanus Wenda (hernia);  Jefrai Murib (stroke);  and Yusak Pakage (indigestion).  Karma urges the Indonesia government should release all political prisoners immediately and unconditionally and give them the proper medical treatment.

(Note from Andreas Harsono/ HRW: Note: Filep Karma finished his medication on Tuesday and returned to Jayapura Wednesday night. He has arrived safe and sound in Jayapura Thursday morning. But he’s back to his Abepura prison. A number of family members, assistants and friends helped his hospitalization in Jakarta.  I am sending you some photos from his medical treatment in Jakarta as well as the airport departure in Jakarta. His sister Margaretha, daughter Audryne (and her boy friend), assistants Cyntia Warwe and Soleman travelled with him back to Jayapura.

 

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Filep Karma refuses to take oath in Buchtar trial

JUBI, 26 July,2012

 

Filep Karma who has diligently fought for the basic rights of the Papuan indigenous people refused to take the oath when summoned as a witness in the ongoing trial of Buchtar Tabuni. He said that the court was a full of people who know only how to deceive and trick the Papuan people.

He said that his own declaration that he was speak the truth was enough. Both the prosecuting counsel and the judges urged Karna to take the other on the Bible but he refused to do so.

He said repeatedly that he did not want to acknowledge the law that was in the hands of people who were intent upon using deception. He reiterated his belief in God whose crown is embedded in within his own breast.

‘Jesus said, I am the word, the path towards  truth and life. I will offer my testimony on that basis,’ Karma told the court. However the judge failed to persuade Karma to take the oath in the way required by the court. He asked Karma whether he was willing to be a witness in the Buchtar Tabuni trial and if so he would have to take the oath as required.

Karma did not budge from his position and the judge therefore dismissed him as a witness and adjourned the hearing.

The next hearing in the trial will be held on 30 July.

A photo accompanying the article in JUBI shows Filep Karma in a discussion with Buchtar Tabuni outside the courthouse.]

[Abridged translation by TAPOL]

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Yusak Pakage questioned by police for possessing a pocket knife

 

JUBI and Bintang Papua, 23 July 2012

Former political prisoner taken to police command post

The former political prisoner, Yusak Pakage, was taken to a police station in Jayapura for questioning after an incident that occurred while he was sitting in court, waiting for the  second hearing in the trial of Buchtar Tabuni on 23 July to begin.

The JUBI report says that, while sitting there, he was showing his anger [presumably feeling incensed at the fact that a man of Buchtar Tabuni’s stature and reputation was facing charges in court].

[Note: Yusak Pakage was arrested together with Filep Karma in 2004 and sentenced to 15 years for unfurling a Morning Star Flag and was released a year ago.]

Feeling infuriated, he is said to have kicked a spittoon, the contents of which splashed the trousers of an official of the local administration who was sitting next to him. The official responded angrily and moved away, in the direction of some police officers who were present in court.

A police officer then approached Pakage and searched him and say that he was found to be in possession of a pocket knife. The police officer then grabbed him roughly and forced him into a police vehicle outside to take him in for questioning for carrying a sharp implement allegedly with the intention of stabbing someone.

The JUBI report makes it clear that he was not holding the knife in his hand at the time but the knife was found in his pocket when he was searched.

The Bintang Papua report identifies Yusak Pakage as the co-ordinator of the Papuan Street Parliament and in entitled ‘Street Parliament co-ordinator could go back to prison’. It states that the local police chief said that he would be interrogated ‘because his behaviour was seen as a threat to someone’s security’ and said that he could be charged under Emergency Regulation 12/1951 for posing a danger to another person’s safety and could face up to five years.

Two reports summarised by TAPOL]

[COMMENT: This incident shows how  insecure  former political prisoners are in West Papua, even after having served their sentence.]

 

Police disperse humanitarian action in Jayapura

JUBI, 19 July 2012
Note: The bulk of this posting was posted yesterday but we are re-posting it with an important addition from Andreas Harsono. TAPOL]

Note: The Papuan Solidarity  for Human Rights Victims, SKPHP, is the
organization which supports political prisoners, including Filep
Karma, in Papua. They regularly do fund raising to buy medicines for
the prisoners. In 2010, they did a specific campaign for Filep Karma,
raising around $3,000 from the streets. Now the Indonesian police
stopped them from doing that on the grounds that SKPHP has no legal
entity.

Regarding Filep Karma’s fund raising, we have now raised IDR116
million. It is enough to do the surgery in Jakarta. He will meet his
local doctor, Donald Arrongear, this week. SKPHP and Karma are still
negotiating with the Ministry of Law and Human Rights about he goes
directly to the PGI hospital in Jakarta (without going to the Jakarta
prison first). They’re also suspicious with a new prison guard from
Java Island who wants to accompany him to Jakarta.

Police disperse humanitarian action in Jayapura

JUBI, 19 July 2012

The police in Papua forcibly dispersed  a humanitarian action taking
place when Papuans were out collecting money to help political
prisoners. They were from an organisation called Solidarity  for Human
Rights Victims, SKPHP. The police said that they had dispersed the
people because the SKPHP  has not registered with the provincial
administration.

The news was confirmed by Peneas Lokbere, a member of the SKPHP, who
told JUBI that before undertaking the action they had notified the
police of their intentions in both Abepura and Jayapura. Having done
this, it meant that the police would grant permission for the action
to take place.

Nevertheless, while the action was in progress on Friday at 1pm, the
police dispersed those taking part in the action. ‘We were forcibly
dispersed,’ said Peneas. ‘They said that this was because  we had not
registered the organisation with the authorities. and therefore, we
were not allowed to continue with this collection of funds.’ He also
said that after the police came to disperse the action, they dispersed
peacefully.’We did not offer any resistance. If we had resisted, it
would have led to a lengthy process.’

Peneas said that  they would follow up their action on Friday, 20
July. ‘We will go to the police and ask for permission to continue
with action.’

The street collections were being undertaken to provide for the
medical requirements of the political prisoners and the other prisoner
who are  ill at the prisons in Abepura and Jayapura. Among those who
are ill in Abepura Prison are Filep Karma, Ferdinand Pakage and Jefrai
Murib.

Their intention was to carry out this action from 9am Thursday 19 July
until Saturday.21 July.

[Translated by TAPOL]

The article is illustrated by a photo showing a large banner which
says: ‘The government doesn’t want to pay for medical treatment for
Filep Karma and Ferdinand Pakage’.   They are carrying posters which
say: ‘The Papuan  political prisoners are not criminals.’