Tag Archives: freedom of expression

Indon police begin another crackdown on KNPB activists ahead of May 31 mobilisations

by West Papua Media

May 30, 2016

Indonesian police have arrested scores of West Papua National Committee (Komite Nasional Papua Barat) members around Papua on May 30, as Papuan civil society is gearing up for a day a mass mobilizations to sustain pressure brought on by the massive May 3 rallies, where Indonesian security forces beat hundreds of people and arrested close to 2300 people.

KNPB members across Papua were handing out pamphlets calling on West Papuan society to rally on May 31 for international mediation to allow West Papuans to exercise their universal human rights of Self-Determination, long denied by Indonesia.

The May 31 rally will also be demonstrating Papuan support for the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) bid for full membership of the Melanesian Spearhead Group, which was due to meet in Port Moresby this week, but the meeting has been postponed.

In Jayapura, 24 KNPB members were arrested at 1250pm outside the office of Papua Province Governor Lukas Enembe, at Dock 2 Jayapura whilst handing out flyers. Together with the Chairman KNPB (Numbay Area), Mr. Calvin Wenda &
the 
Chief Diplomatic Commissioner from KNPB’s Central Committee, Mr. Cobabe Waninbo, they were taken and held at Jayapura Police headquarters.  

At time of writing, no response had occurred to WPM attempts to contact Jayapura police regarding charges or time of release.

According to KNPB sources, Police have alleged that the leaflets contain subversive material, and all gatherings of KNPB members are illegal as the organisation is forbidden from registration as a legal by a Jakarta mandate, despite the rights allegedly afforded to Papuan people under the long since abandoned “Special Autonomy” provisions, and guaranteed to all other Indonesian citizens.

Riot Police belonging to the Dalmas public order unit at 1420 swooped on the Yapis bus stop outside Abepura, and arrested all 34 KNPB Members handing out the allegedly subversive leaflets, confiscating them as well as personal possessions. 

In Wamena, several KNPB activist were chased, arrested and beaten by Indonesian police for handing out the flyers outside the KNPB Baliem office, activists had just begun leafletting for the May 31 mobilisation when Brimob police swooped and captured 21 of the KNPB activists.  

Their names are as follows: 

  1. Warpo Sampari Wetipo
  2. Hasan Kogoya
  3. Marta Haluk
  4. Mardi Heluka
  5. Hery Kosay
  6. Firdaus Hilapok
  7. Paska Iyaba
  8. Marsel Marian,
  9. Melianus Kosay
  10. Hiron Hiluka
  11. Yufry Kogoya
  12. Pilemon Meaga
  13. Domy Meaga
  14. Manu Wuka
  15. Martinus Wamu
  16. Deminus Qantik
  17. Ardis Wilil
  18. Nuber Surabut
  19. Mely Wantik
  20. Asa Asso
  21. Yulius Towolom.


Earlier, Three KNPB activists –  Darpinus Bayage, Ison Bahabol and Amiter Bahabol – were arrested for leafletting the same flyers at 1025am in  Dekai town, Yahukimo, outside the local Bupati (Regent’s) 
office.

According to witnesses of the arrest, interviewed by a WPM stringer, the three KNPB activists were beaten as they were taken to the paddy wagon, and the witnesses reported that they believed the detainees were being “even more severely beaten once the got taken away in the vehicle.

At time of writing, the three were still being detained at the Yakuhimo police station.
A KNPB source in Yahukimo, Marten Suhun, said “despite intimidation and torture happening in Yahukimo, but we KNPB will stay out on the streets (on May 31) according to the (KNPB) national agenda.”

westpapuamedia

LP3BH holds a meeting ahead of May 1st

Statement by the Executive-Director of LP3BH-Manokwari, Yan Christian Warinussy

April 30, 2015

Today, Thursday, April 30th. the LP3BH organised a discussion on
the subject, Papua’s Integration with the Republic of Indonesia on 1
May 1963: A Blessing or a Disaster? Fifteen people took part in the
discussion. including community leaders, academics, activists, LP3BH
staff members and several other people.

One of the important points that was discussed is the immediate
necessity for Papuan people to come together and express their full
support for the international campaign which is urging the Indonesian
government to immediately allow access to Papua for journalists as
well as Indonesian and international human rights organisations.

Those attending the discussion agreed that it is very important for
the Papuan people to set up a local political party to provide a
means of communication to support the efforts of the Papuan people in
accordance with the provisions in the Special Autonomy Law for Papua.

They agreed on two points that should be discussed in another
discussion which is to be held next week.

During today’s discussion, we received a report from a colleague in
Nabire saying that special police units there had arrested a
journalist, Yohanes Kuaya, from an online publication ‘selangkah.com’
who was reporting on a shooting incident that occurred outside the
Nabire Hospital at noon, today.

According to the LP3BH contact in Nabire, this colleague was
arrested because he was wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with the words:
Free West Papua (Papuan Students Alliance) and was accused of
entering a restricted area wearing this T-shirt. After being
interrogated for about an hour, he was released and ordered to change
his T-shirt which the police regarded as being completely
unacceptable. He subsequently changed his T-shirt and went home.

During the discussion organised by the LP3BH today, the chairman of
the KNPB (National Committee of West Papua) Alexander Nekemen, who was also present at today’s discussion, left the meeting before the
discussion it had ended, in order to check the situation of several
members of the KNPB who were handing out leaflets to people in the
streets, calling on them to take part in a peaceful action that is due
to take place on May 1st.

As far as we know at the moment, several of these KNPB members are
still being held by the chief of police of Manokwari and we have not
yet heard about what is happening to Alex and the other local KNPB
members.

Peace!

Yan Christian Warinussy, Executive-Director of LP3BH.

Translated by Carmel Budiardjo

OpEd: Asia, Africa and the Unresolved Question of Papua

by Budi Hernawan*

April 24, 2015

EDIT: WPM received a transcript without the original author being credited and published as an original .  We apologise for this, but will maintain the article as fair dealing.  Article originally appeared at http://thejakartaglobe.beritasatu.com/opinion/commentary-asia-africa-unresolved-question-papua/

Sixty years ago in Bandung, 29 representatives from Asian and African nations were enthused with the spirit of decolonisation, and today even more seem determined to pursue South-South cooperation.

If we look back at the 1955 Bandung conference as described in Richard Wright’s “The Colour Curtain,” it was simply stunning. Most of the leaders of newly independent nations were former political prisoners under their respective colonial regimes. Those who had long been treated as underdogs were now in charge of new nations. It was a new dawn of liberation and in 1960 these Asian and African countries made history through the adoption of Resolution No. 1514 on Decolonisation at the General Assembly of the United Nations.

For this year’s commemorative Asian-African Conference, Indonesia has set three main goals:

  1. strengthening South-South cooperation to promote world peace and prosperity;
  2. reinvigorating the New Asian-African Strategic Partnership; and
  3. a Declaration on Palestine.

However, one thing is missing in this picture: Papua.

Sixty years ago, Papua was on the top of then-president Sukarno’s decolonisation agenda. He managed to get the support from many of the participants of the Bandung conference for his diplomatic battle at the UN to make Papua — still ruled by the Dutch — part of the Republic of Indonesia. The Dutch were still recovering from their post-colonial syndrome and although they had started to realise that their time had passed, they were determined to hold on to what they called Netherlands New Guinea, and what Indonesia referred to as West Irian.

The debates at the UN centred on the topic of unfinished decolonisation and the serious threat to world peace this posed. With the support of other Asian and Africa countries, Indonesian diplomats tirelessly argued before the General Assembly that West Irian was part of Indonesia as agreed during the Roundtable Conference in The Hague in 1949. Furthermore, they argued that the situation was detrimental to stability in the Southeast Asian region, calling on the UN to step in, as mandated by the UN Charter.

With the support of 14 countries, in 1954 Indonesia managed to table “The Question of West Irian” at the UNGA but it took another year before the UN General Assembly adopted it as Resolution 915(X) in 1955. The journey was far from over.

In the following years, Indonesia fought hard for the topic to be put on the agenda at the UNGA, with the support of 15 Asian and African nations, but failed. Australia was one of the countries that consistently voted against the proposal, whereas the United States opted for abstention — giving the Dutch leeway. This diplomatic failure led Sukarno to divert his energy to scale up the nation’s military capacity and, ultimately, launch an assault — Operation Trikora in 1961.

Not long after, the current provinces of Papua and West Papua were transferred to Indonesia after a brief period of UN administration. However, many people do not realise that until today, “Papua” remains an unresolved question.

Papuans have long appealed for a peaceful solution to the decades-old conflict in the easternmost part of the country. It has been a while since local church leaders declared Papua as a “Land of Peace” in 1998, following the bloody massacre of Biak, which remains unresolved. Filep Karma, who rose the Morning Star flag in Biak days before the massacre, remains in jail for doing the same thing in 2004.

The Papuan Peace Network has been trying to persuade Jakarta to engage in dialogue with Papuans since 2009. President B.J. Habibie’s administration told the 100 Papuan representatives to go home and rethink their call for independence. The administration of president Susilo Bambang Yudhyono held two separate meeting with Papuan church leaders and promised to organise a dialogue, which never happened. President Joko Widodo visited Papua after promising to improve the situation on the campaign trail.

But Papuans are still waiting.

While the national government is determined to revive the Bandung spirit of liberation by proposing a “Declaration on Palestine”, local police in Jayapura on April 8 arrested five Papuan leaders and charged them with treason even though they had only just returned home from a  meeting with Defence Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu. Papuan efforts to establish a dialogue are being criminalised. Charges remind us of the colonial time, when our founding fathers were persecuted for expressing their political positions.

Papuans are no longer placing their hopes in Asian and African countries, and some have started to shift their focus to the Pacific.

The Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) has become a new forum to find a solution for Papua. During its 2013 summit, the MSG expressed concerns over the human rights situation in Papua and called on Indonesia to find a peaceful solution. The summit also discussed an application for membership from Papuan representatives, although a decision has been delayed. But in May, the MSG will again discuss the application during its summit in Honiara.

“The Question of West Irian” is still very much alive.

*Budi Hernawan is a long time researcher on human rights issues in Papua, and is currently a research fellow at the Abdurrahman Wahid Center for Interfaith Dialogue and Peace at the University of Indonesia (UI).

Morning Star flag unfurled at several ceremonies on 1 December

Bintang Papua
3 December 2012
Jayapura: The ‘chief of the general staff’ of TPN/OPM, ‘Major-General’ Terianus Santo said that his organisation had celebrated 1 December  with prayers and ceremonies to unfurl the Morning Star flag at their headquarters deep in the forest.

‘We marked the occasion by holding the flag aloft from early morning and conducted military training sessions and education . If you wish, we can send you a photo by email, to see the flag while we were conducting military training.’

Terianus Santo was appointed chief of staff of the TPN/OPM at a summit conference  which was held in Perwomi Biak in May this year.

‘We carried out the ceremony  as a mark of respect for our history and our movement’s dedication to continue the struggle for freedom,’  he said.

He went on to say that they want to press the UN  to immediately provide an opening for a dialogue  between the Dutch Government, the Indonesian Government, the UN and representatives  of the Papuan people ‘because some of these elements were involved in the unlawful annexation of Papua.’

Elly CH Sirwa, the secretary of the National Council of the Federal Republic of West Papua, said that ceremonies to celebrate December 1 have taken place every year since 1961 to mark the emergence of an independent Papuan nation, with status equal to other nations in the world.

He said that the ceremony had proceeded peacefully and with great enthusiasm by all those who took part , as is evident from the fact that a number of activities took place in various parts of West Papua. ‘We hope that next year, these ceremonies will be held with even greater enthusiasm,’ he told Bintang Papua, during an interview at the office of DAP, the Council of Indigenous Papuans.

He also used the occasion to give thanks for all the sacrifices that had been made during the ceremonies to mark the 51st anniversary of 1 December. ‘What happened on this day exceeded expectations.’ Although the occasion occurred at a time when relations with some other nations were still strained, he said that they had given thanks  for the ceremonies this year even though they had not been given to permission to hold the ceremonies.

‘We Papuan people do not feel disappointed or upset , even though in some places in West Papua,  our ceremonies were dispersed forcibly by forces who were bearing firearms. In some places, some of our people were arrested.’

He said that restricted ceremonies had been held among other places in Imbi Square Jayapura, Buper Waena, at the Sports Stadium in Jayapura and at the Theys Eluay Burial Ground in Sentani. Stones were burnt and people were able to partake of a meal together.’

[Abridged in translation by TAPOL]

 

Peaceful protest against human rights violations in Yapen leads to arrests

by West Papua Media team

May 30, 2012

The transitional government declared by the Federated Republic of West Papua organised another peaceful demonstration on May 29, with participants from Yapen, Waropen and Mamberamo gathering to peacefully condemn ongoing acts of violence, terror and intimidation by members of the Indonesia Police and military forces (TNI).

Villages such as Daway, Kainui, Ansus, Wadapi and others around Yapen are under constant threat and fear from Indonesian security forces, according to rally organisers outlining the reasons for holding another demonstration on the restive island.

Crowds began to gather for a series of long marches in the villages of Mantembu, Warari and at the courtyard of the DPRD (Papuan Legislative Council) office in Serui. At 9:30am, WP local time, police and TNI were already blockading the road to prevent the peaceful action from going ahead, with police seizing one car being used for the rally.

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More than five hundred people were expected at the gathering, with large numbers of heavily armed police and military personnel creating a show of force against the peaceful gathering. According to sources in Serui who spoke to West Papua Media, the security forces were present to intimidate and stimulate fear to discourage activists from carrying out the action.

Meanwhile, Police seized nine black banners outlining Papuan people’s demands and aspirations, with one banner demanding an end to constant military intimidation and terror. As another long march was making its way from Mantembu, it was blockaded and stopped by the military-police apparatus in the village of Warari.

At 4 pm, local time, two trucks from TNI attacked Wadapi village and many locals seek refuge in the bush. Many people are still in hiding until now.

Pieter Hiowati, spokesperson for FRWP Governor of Yapen/Waropn and Mamberamo Daud Abon, told West Papua Media that the DPRD office in Serui has been turned into an Indonesian military headquarters. The DPRD office was fully guarded by heavily armed military and police, both inside and outside of the building. “It is sad but it’s a reality, the demand of the people falls on deaf ears from staff members in DPRD and responded with heavy military presence,” said Hiowati.

Approximately 800 representatives of indigenous people from Saireri went to the DPRD office to express their aspirations in a peaceful and disciplined manner, however police still arrested four people. Those still held in the Serui police station cells include a mother, Lea Kumumbuy (later released at 7 pm), while three others – Josep Mangge, Josep Rudamaga and Jeremias Rabrageri – are still shackled in Serui police prison, according to local advocates.

Note:
On Friday May 25, governor of Saireri under FRWP, Daud Abon, has been presented with a police summons for him (No: S.Pgl/251/2012/Reskrim), notifying that he has been charged with a criminal act of treason (makar) and investigation must be carried out for the rally organized on May 23.

West Papua Media