Tag Archives: human rights defender

Sound of gunfire greets Christmas in Paniai

JUBI, 23 December 2011
[Slightly abridged in translation from Indonesian]Illustration: Group of Paniai residents who left their homes because they were afraid of the shooting

There’s no sound of church bells or people singing Christmas carols. Just the sound of gunfire has been heard in Eduda every evening. The sound of gunfire in the dark of night spreads fear among the people, including those living in Enarotali which is 8 kms away

‘For the past week, we have been hearing gunfire from the direction of Eduda. Is this the sound of open warfare between the TPN/OPM and the Indonesian police? It should stop when people want to celebrate Christmas,’ said Yafeth Kayame, the head of the Mee people in Enarotali.

It is now just two days to Christmas, a time when people are preparing to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. ‘We should be singing sacred songs. But this is not what we are hearing, just the sound of gunfire as Christmas approaches. Please, help us to stop the fighting between the TPN/OPM and the Indonesian army. People want to celebrate Christmas,’ he said.

Hearing the sound of shooting around Eduda only spreads fear among the people. Some people who wanted to return to their kampungs even though things are not yet tranquil have decided not to return.

The gunfire was heard one day after an operation against Eduda, the headquarters of the TPN/OPM, by the police command in Paniai. ‘On Tuesday evening at around 6pm till late at night, gunfire could be heard, lasting for about two hours until one or two in the morning. Then it stopped but began again at 5 in the morning,’ he said.

During the day, a helicopter flew here from Madi and landed in Eduda.They said they were bringing logistics for the Matoa special unit, now operating from the former TPN/OPM base. The helicopter also encircled the area above Mount Wegeuto, possibly making observations from the air about the presence of John Magai and Yogi who have both fled into the forests.

‘The sound of gunfire made the people even more panic-stricken and they fled their homes,’ said Yafeth Kayame.

A Papuan human rights activist, Yosias Yeimo, has called on both sides to stop the fighting ahead of Christmas. ‘Among the people of God Almighty, there should be no more fighting so that people can celebrate Christmas in peace,’ he said.

The people living in Eduda and several nearby kampungs cannot celebrate Christman in their homes like they were able to do last year. The Protestant and Catholic communities have been disrupted by military operations that have been going on for the past month.

The local police chief also spoke about the security situation because of the military operations.’ It isn’t true. The situation is conducive. The situation in Paniai is calm. Stop spreading issues that only create panic,’ Jannus Siregar told journalists two days ago.

‘ I call on the people to return to their daily activities because the situation here is quite normal and people can celebrate Christmas. We are not hunting for civilians, still less are we shooting anyone dead. We are just doing our duty which is to chase the OPM, and this has led to the capture of John and Salmon,’ he said.

Translated by TAPOL

KAMPAK Papua Condemns Police Beating of Human Rights Activist and Legal Aid Lawyer

by Oktovianus Pogau at PAPUAN VOICES

(translation, editing by West Papua Media)

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 18, 2011
Dorus Wakum, human rights activists and Kord Papua Axe (Photo: Papuan Voices)
 Jakarta — Indigenous Papuan Communities Against Corruption  in Papua (KAMPAK) condemned the beating of human rights activists and lawyers from Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation (YLBHI) by Jakarta Police Mobile Brigade, yesterday afternoon, Saturday (17/12) at the YLBHI Office.
Dorus Wakum, a Papuan activist from KAMPAK, in a media interview on  Sunday (18/12), said that the beating incident must be followed up, and unscrupulous Brimob brutality must be prosecuted according to the law.
“If you need to fire corrupt Chief of Police and Mobile Brigade members , because they have clearly committed brutal acts against human rights activists,” he added. Dorus explained that after the incident, police and intelligence officers continued to keep the office of the Legal Aid Foundation under surveillance, and also to block access to the KontraS (Commission for the Disappeared) office on Jalan Borobudur KontraS, Menteng , Central Jakarta.
“This has caused great anxiety for civilians who live around the KontraS  and YLBHI offices.  They (officers) keep passing by with full weapons deployed” .  Dorus said for three days armed forces have been monitoring all activists, and human rights lawyers activities in these two offices.
 “The Metro Jaya police chief should withdraw his officials from around the office YLBHI and KontraS right now,” he said.  The beatings of human rights activists and lawyers from YLBHI lasted until about 05.00 pm yesterday afternoon.
Occurring directly outside the YLBHI office.  a lawyer named Sidik admonished some of the Mobile Brigade officers who were at YLBHI offices without a warrant.  Not thankful for being reprimanded, Sidik was hit directly behind by some Mobile Brigade officers.  At time of writing the beating complaint has not been followed-up the Jakarta Police.
WEST PAPUA MEDIA note:  KontraS, a highly respected Indonesian human rights NGO, has been highly critical of Jakarta’s abuses and military approach to dealing with Papua, and it’s lawyers are regularly targeted by security forces for representing victims of abuse.

Amnesty: URGENT ACTION FEARS FOR SAFETY of Human rights defender Yones Douw

AI has released an Urgent Action Update for Yones Douw. (5 August 2011)
The original Urgent Action concerning Yones was Issued on the 17 June 2011and is below the present one.


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http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/ASA21/023/2011/en/95040490-098a-445d-81e2-20f94150781e/asa210232011en.html

DOCUMENT – INDONESIA: FURTHER INFORMATION: FEARS FOR SAFETY OF INDONESIAN RIGHTS ACTIVIST

FU UA: 188/11 Index: ASA 21/023/2011 Indonesia Date: 5 August 2011

URGENT ACTION

fears for safety of indonesian rights activist

Human rights defender Yones Douw has received medical treatment after he was beaten by military officers on 15 June. However, he continues to fear for his safety and the safety of his family after he received information that he is under surveillance by members of the Indonesian security forces.

On 1 July Yones Douw travelled to Jayapura, Papua province in Indonesia, to seek medical assistance for the injuries he sustained while monitoring a demonstration on 15 June. X-rays revealed a blood clot in his head and a fracture to his hand. He is still receiving medical treatment for these injuries and continues to feel pain at the back of his head and in his hand. He also suffers from frequent headaches.
While he was travelling to Jayapura for treatment, Yones Douw received information that a senior police officer in Nabire had contacted police intelligence officers in the district by SMS asking “Has Yones left Nabire, please check and keep a close eye on him”. On 15 July he was informed by a credible source that the Nabire District Police Station had ordered officers to monitor Yones Douw’s movements in Nabire. Since then Yones Douw has seen strangers waiting in the vicinity of his house and heard motorcyclists revving their engines as they pass by. Human rights groups have raised concerns in the past about individuals and groups being hired to intimidate human rights defenders, minority groups and others. Yones Douw fears for his safety, and the safety of his family.

Yones Douw was beaten while monitoring a demonstration calling for accountability for the stabbing and killing of Papuan Derek Adii on 14 May, reportedly by military officers. To Amnesty International’s knowledge there has been no investigation into the death of Derek Adii.
Please continue to write in English, Indonesian or your own language:
Urge the authorities to take immediate action to ensure the safety of Yones Douw, in accordance with his wishes;
Call for an immediate, effective and impartial investigation into the unnecessary and excessive use of force used against Yones Douw, with the results made public and those responsible brought to justice in fair trials;
Call on the authorities to initiate an independent investigation into the possible unlawful killing of Derek Adii, and ensure that, should the allegations be verified, those responsible be brought to justice in fair trials and the victims receive reparations;
Call on the authorities to ensure that all members of the police and military are made aware of the legitimate role of human rights defenders and their responsibility to protect them, as set out in the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders.
P LEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 16 SEPTEMBER 2011 TO :
Minister of Justice and Human Rights
Patrialis Akbar
Ministry of Justice and Human Rights
Jl. H.R. Rasuna Said Kav No. 4-5
Kuningan, Jakarta Selatan 12950
Indonesia
Fax: +62 21 525 3095
Salutation: Dear Minister
Papua Police Chief
Inspector General Bekto Suprapto
Papua Regional Head of Police (Kapolda)
Jl. Samratulangi No. 8 Jayapura,
Papua, Indonesia
Fax: +62 967 533763
Salutation: Dear Kapolda
And copies to:
Chairperson National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM)
Ifdhal Kasim
Jl Latuharhary
No.4 Menteng Jakarta Pusat
10310, Indonesia
Fax: +62 21 39 25 227
Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country.
Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date. This is the first update of UA 188/11. Further information: www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/ASA21/014/2011/en
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DOCUMENT – INDONESIA: PAPUAN ACTIVIST AT RISK FOLLOWING BEATING

UA: 188/11 Index: ASA 21/014/2011 Indonesia Date: 17 June 2011 Date: 17 June 2011
URGENT ACTION

PAPUAN ACTIVIST AT RISK FOLLOWING BEATING
Yones Douw , a human rights activist in the Indonesian province of Papua , was beaten by military officers on 15 June and has been denied medical treatment . He fears for his health and safety , as he has previously been detained and assaulted as a result of his human rights activities.
A protest took place at the 1705 District Military Command (Kodim) base in Nabire, Papua province, on the morning of 15 June, to call for accountability for the stabbing and killing of Papuan Derek Adii on 14 May 2011, reportedly by military officers from the 1705 District Military Command. At about 9am on 15 June, Yones Douw, a 42-year-old human rights activist, heard that a protest, which included family members of Derek Adii, was about to take place, and he went to the base to monitor it. Thirty minutes after he arrived, a group of protesters turned up in three trucks, broke into the front entrance of the base and started to shatter the windows and throw objects. Yones Douw immediately rushed into the base to calm the protesters.

In response, the military fired shots into the air and started hitting the protesters. Yones Douw was struck on the head with pieces of wood many times. He also sustained injuries on his shoulder and wrists from the beatings. As he was beaten he heard the military threaten to shoot the protesters saying “these animals should be taught a lesson”. A military officer also hit the father of Derek Adii, Damas Adii, with a piece of wood. After the beatings, Yones Douw travelled to the Siriwini hospital for treatment and to obtain a medical report, but was told by medical staff that he required a letter from the police before they could treat him. He then decided to go home and is still suffering from the injuries. He fears for his health and safety.
Yones Douw is a respected human rights activist in Papua and has been documenting human rights violations by the police and military over the last decade.


PLEASE WRITE IMMEDIATELY in Indonesia n , English or your own language:
Urging the authorities to take immediate action to ensure the safety of Yones Douw, in accordance with his wishes, and ensure his immediate access to medical care;
Calling for an immediate, effective and impartial investigation into the beatings and the threats against Yones Douw, with the results made public and those responsible brought to justice in fair trials;
Calling on the authorities to initiate an independent investigation into the possible unlawful killing of Derek Adii, and ensure that, should the allegations be verified, those responsible be brought to justice in fair trials and the victims receive reparations; and
Calling on the authorities to ensure that all members of the police and military are made aware of the legitimate role of human rights defenders and their responsibility to protect them, as set out in the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 29 JULY 2011 TO :
Minister of Justice and Human Rights
Patrialis Akbar
Ministry of Justice and Human Rights
Jl. H.R. Rasuna Said Kav No. 4-5
Kuningan, Jakarta Selatan 12950
Indonesia
Fax: +62 21 525 3095
Salutation: Dear Minister
Chairperson National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM)
Ifdhal Kasim
Jl Latuharhary
No.4 Menteng Jakarta Pusat
10310, Indonesia
Fax: +62 21 39 25 227
Salutation: Dear Ifdhal Kasim
Papua Police Chief
Inspektur Jenderal Bekto Suprapto
Papua Regional Head of Police (Kapolda)
Jl. Samratulangi No. 8 Jayapura,
Papua, Indonesia
Fax: +62 967 533763
Salutation: Dear Kapolda
Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country. Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date.
URGENT ACTION
PAPUAN ACTIVIST AT RISK FOLLOWING BEATING

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

In January 2009, police officers kicked and punched Yones Douw during his arrest, after he attempted to intervene to stop clashes between police and demonstrators in Nabire. He and seven other demonstrators were denied access to the outside world and he was deprived of food and drinking water during his one day detention.
In recent years, there have been a number of cases of intimidation and attacks against human rights defenders and journalists in Indonesia, and human rights defenders are regularly intimidated and harassed in Papua. International human rights observers, non-governmental organizations and journalists are severely restricted in their work there.
Amnesty International continues to receive credible reports of human rights violations by the security forces in Indonesia, including torture and other ill-treatment and the unnecessary and excessive use of force. There are often no independent investigations into allegations of human rights violations, and those responsible are rarely brought to account before an independent court. In January 2011 three soldiers who had been filmed kicking and abusing Papuans were sentenced by a Military Court to between eight and 10 months’ imprisonment for disobeying orders. The fact that the victims were not able to testify because of the lack of adequate safety guarantees raised serious concerns about the trial process. Amnesty International believes that the civilian courts are much more likely to ensure both prosecutions for crimes involving human rights violations and protection for witnesses than the military system, which is unlikely to be impartial and independent.
While Amnesty International acknowledges the difficulties faced by security forces in Indonesia, especially when confronted with violence, the power to use force given to security forces is restricted by relevant international human rights law and standards, the basis of which is the right to life. The Indonesian authorities must ensure prompt, independent and impartial investigations into all credible allegations of human rights violations by the security forces. Those found responsible, including persons with command responsibility, should be prosecuted in proceedings which meet international standards of fairness, and victims provided with reparations.
UA: 188/11 Index: ASA 21/014/2011 Issue Date: 17 June 2011

Statement of deep concern by Coalition of Human Rights Defenders in Papua

Bintang  Papua, 17 June 2011Human rights defenders in Papua very worried

Acts of violence and terror that have been perpetrated against human rights defenders as well as against journalists have led to a  sense of deep concern among human rights NGOs and religious organisations which are members of the Coalition of Human Rights Defenders in the Land of  Papua

The following NGOs held a press conference in Jayapura  on Friday 17 June, to convey their problems:

KomnasHAM- Papua, the Synod of the Kingmi Church in Papua, the Synod of the Baptist Church in Papua, Foker NGO (NGO Working Group) Papua, Kontras Papua, LBH – Legal Aid Institute in Papua, and BUK, United for Truth.

Foremost among the agencies criticised was the TNI, the Indonesian army whose members were involved in a number of acts of violence. They drew attention in particulate to five incidents that had occurred during the past five months in which members of the TNI were involved:

‘Up to June this year, there have been at least five incidents which reflect the  arrogance and random actions perpetrated by members of the TNI,’ said Olga Hamadi, the co-ordinator of Kontras Papua. Others present at the press conference included the Rev. Benny Giay, chairman of the Synod of the Kingmi Church in the Land of Papua, Mathius Murib, representative of Komnas HAM-Papua, Eliezer M, LBH-Papua, Julian Howay of the ALDP, and a number of human rights activists.

They said that the much-vaunted  reforms within the TNI were rarely reflected in the activities of members of the TNI on the ground. ‘Is this what the commander of the TNI was praising so profusely during his recent visit to Papua,’ wondered Rev Giay.

Mathius Murib  said that the incident that occurred in Puncak Jaya a few months ago had drawn a great deal of public attention, nationally as well as internationally. [This refers to the acts of torture against Papuans that were circulated by video.]

‘All their talk about Love and Peace is far from been applied by members of the security forces on the ground. Isn’t it time for them to change their tune?’

They said that the continued occurrence of acts of violence and intimidation by members of the TNI is a clear indication that no actions have been taken against members of the TNI who have violated the law.

‘We are concerned about the impact this is having on the reputation of the Indonesian state and wonder  what is being done to protect the rights of human rights defenders,’ said Olga Hamadi.

She said that in cases where members of the TNI had been involved in acts of violence, all that had happened was that they had been moved sideways. ‘Or, in those instances where they had been taken to court, they had appeared before a military tribunal and the verdicts were often unclear or had had little if any effect.,’ said Peneas Lokbere, co-ordinator of BUK.

The Coalition of Human Rights Defenders in the Land of Papua therefore issued the following statement:

1. Protection is needed for human rights defenders in Papua in carrying out their humanitarian activities throughout the Land of Papua. Such protection can be provided by the introduction of a special law, while at the same time setting up an independent commission at state level for the purpose of monitoring and advocacy as well as taking sanctions against those individuals who commit violence against human rights defenders.

2. As a short-term measure, we regard it as important to set up a special bureau within Komnas HAM to focus on the protection of human rights defenders.

3. In view the many acts of intimidation and violence perpetrated by members of the armed forces, we urge the military commander of  Cenderawasih XVII military command  to take firm measures in the law courts and administration against all violations perpetrated by members of the TNI on the ground.

4. To provide moral guidance  to all officers of the armed forces  as well as disseminate an understanding of human rights so as to ensure that acts of violence  perpetrated by members of the armed forces are not committed against civil society or against human rights defenders in the Land of Papua.

[Translated by TAPOL]

‘If You Mess With Us You’re Dead’

via NewMatilda.com

By Jason MacLeod

indo soldier in west papua

There was nothing clandestine about the beating of human rights activist Yones Douw in West Papua last week. Jason MacLeod reports on the latest in a long pattern of public violence by the Indonesian military

“You can mess with the police,” said the Indonesian soldiers, “but if you try it with us, you’re dead.”

According to witnesses that was what was said to Yones Douw, a 42-year-old Papuan human rights defender as he was beaten with lumps of wood by soldiers from Kodim 1705, Nabire’s District Military Command in the Indonesian province of Papua. Immediately after the beating Douw went to the local Siriwini hospital but was refused treatment. Local staff demanded a letter from the police before they would treat his wounds. Douw now fears for his safety and has gone into hiding.

The incident occurred on the 15 June. Douw, a church worker with the Kingmi Church’s Bureau of Justice and Peace in Nabire, heard that a protest was going to take place at the 1705 District Military Command (Kodim) base in Nabire, Papua province, and he went to the base to monitor it. Thirty minutes after he arrived, a group of protesters turned up in three trucks, broke into the front entrance of the base and started to shatter the windows and throw objects. Douw immediately rushed into the base to calm the protesters.

In response, the military fired shots into the air and started hitting the protesters. Douw was struck on the head with pieces of wood many times. He also sustained injuries on his shoulder and wrists from the beatings. The protesters fled the scene, pursued by members of Kodim 1705 and armed troops from neighbouring Battalion 753. This is what gave Douw time to escape.

Yones Douw was not the accidental victim of some random act of violence. And the protesters he was defending were not some random mob of outraged Papuans or an attack by the Papuan Liberation Army, Papua’s lingering guerrilla force. The attack on the Nabire District Military Command was an expression of a grief stricken family angered at the senseless killing of one of their own. The family wanted to hold the military accountable for the killing of Derek Adii, a man who was beaten to death by soldiers a few weeks earlier.

In mid-May Douw, a chronicler of human rights violations in the troubled Paniai region for some years now, published a report that was picked up by Jubi, West Papua’s only independent news service. Douw’s report detailed the killing of Derek Adii on 14 May 2011. Adii, a 26-year-old Nabire man had just completed his application to join Papua’s burgeoning civil service.

According to Douw’s report, Adii was boarding the crowded passenger vessel KM Labobar at Nabire’s dock when he was beaten by six members of the military. One of the soldiers allegedly pulled out a bayonet and stabbed Adii in the head. The six men then threw his body overboard. Adii died at the scene.

Douw believes he was beaten by the military for retribution — not only for reporting Adii’s killing but also for continuing to shine a spotlight on human rights abuses in West Papua, an area the Indonesian police and military are trying to close off from international scrutiny by locking out journalists and even diplomats.

The circumstances surrounding Adii’s very public murder and Douw’s public beating in the front yard of a military base located on a main road in the middle of a town is typical of the patterns of human rights abuses in West Papua. Australian National University scholar and former Director of the Catholic Office of Justice and Peace in West Papua, Br Budi Hernawan OFM who is studying torture in West Papua, says that torture and human rights abuses in Papua are a kind of “public spectacle”.

In the 400 odd cases of torture that Hernawan has studied it is mostly poor and innocent Papuan civilians are rounded up and publicly abused. The perpetrators are nearly always the Indonesian military and police. It is classic state terror, the purpose of which is to violently pacify the population, to enforce the security apparatus’ control over human bodies and the body politic — and to intimidate and silence Papuan dissent.

It is a script that Yones Douw has refused to buy into. In the meantime other Papuans have stepped into Douw’s shoes. They are now chronicling the military’s attack on him and sending reports out to a domestic and international network in the same way that Douw has been ceaselessly reporting on the human rights abuses of others.