Tag Archives: human rights

Yapen treason trial accused testify of torture in custody

from West Papua Media, with local sources

April 15, 2013

Defence witnesses have revealed the extensive and systemic use of casual torture and inhumane treatment by Indonesian police, whilst testifying at the Makar (treason) trial of two West Papuan peaceful political activists in Yapen District Court, Serui, on April 9.

Yan Piet Maniamboi (defendant seated on Left) during cross-examination by Matius Matulesi, SH

The activists had been threatened with twenty years jail for organising a nonviolent march about media freedom in West Papua. The two men, Edison Kendi (38) and Yan Piet Maniamboi (36) were arrested for their involvement in organising peaceful demonstrations in Yapen on May 1, and August 9, 2012 for World Day of Indigenous Peoples,  and have been held in atrocious conditions in Serui prison and have been subjected to routine and regular torture since their arrest.

Banner at freedom of expression rally rejecting Indonesian rule in Papua on the International Day for Indigenous People. Photo via Alex Rayfield from West Papua Media stringers in Yapen.

The treason trial has been beset by procedural mistakes and the failure to appear of several police officers as prosecution witnesses.  Edison Kendi is the National Federated Republic of West Papua’s Governor of Saireri region.

According to independent observers present at the April 9 hearing, the four defence witnesses testified that they were beaten and tortured during detention and interrogation by Yapen police, and were forced to provide false information to stop the torture.  The presiding judge suspended the trial for five minutes to talk with witnesses as the BAP (Case Records) were in danger of being revoked by the judge, legally inadmissible as they were based on testimony extracted under torture.

One of the witnesses, named John, answered Prosecutor Matius Matulesi’s questions on the validity of the Case Records version of testimony, the prosecutor disagreed with John and called him “Swanggi” (Devil or Ghost).   Matulesi also began to threaten both the witnesses and defendants with hoax charges for testifying about their mistreatment.  Matulesi, a Christian native of Maluku, is known as a hard-liner and being “very inhumane in demanding punishment to the fullest extent on  native Papuans in Serui, according to human rights observers at the trial.

Edison Kendi had previously testified about the brutality inflicted on him and Maniamboi whilst being held at Yapen police station, and then after their transfer to Serui  prison on December 9, 2012 .  Kendi wrote in statement provided to observers:

“Since we were arrested we were tortured, kicked, pierced with wood, hit with wood, so we suffered extraordinary bruises and swellings, but (we were) never treated (for injuries) during our detention at the Yapen police station. Police did not allow us to be treated, for the  reason we are OPM (Free Papua Movement).”

Failure to provide medical attention for injuries whilst in custody is a grave human rights violation in and of itself, under the UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, and also the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment – obviously in addition to the torture suffered by the defendants.

Defendants Yan Piet Maniamboi (fourth from left) and Edison Kendi (5th from right), with family, supporters and legal counsel, in court before the hearing. (photo: West Papua Media stringers / NFRPB)

Matius Matulesi has also come in for heavy criticism over his violations of basic prisoner rights to medical treatment in this case, for injuries sustained by the defendants whilst under torture by Yapen police.  According to Edison Kendi, “On December 19, 2012 I submitted an application to the clinic in the Prisons for medical treatment, but I was not allowed to go out (to the hospital) by the Attorney on behalf of Matius Matulesi, SH –  so we just keep quiet and bore the pain. I’ve been treated at the clinic LP / prisons but with no improvement. I was sick when swelling on both my legs because of torture when captured and examined at the police Yapen station. I have repeatedly applied for treatment outside of LP / prisons but it’s all just all in vain since the detention December 6, 2012 – January 21, 2013 is not permitted by the prosecutor Mathius Matulesi, SH”.

Matulesi also allegedly prevented Kendi from attending the funeral of his father, allowing him only two minutes with his father’s body before being taken back to prison, despite other Indonesian prisoners, including prisoners convicted of violent terrorism offences, routinely granted this basic right.

The trial was adjourned for the prosecutor to present two investigators from the police station at the next session to be confronted with the witnesses’ testimony.

West Papua Media

Interview With Bucthar Tabuni, Chairman of the West Papua National Parliament

(Apologies for the delay in posting due to significant funding shortfall and time over-commitments from WPM team)

(Translated by WPM Team for SuaraPapua.com)

Original article at SuaraPapua.com, March 23, 2013

Chairman of the West Papua National Parliament, Bucthar Tabuni, and Chairman of the West Papua National Committee, Victor F Yeimo (Photo: Private)

PAPUA, Jayapura – recently,  suarapapua.com journalist Oktovianus Pogau, had the opportunity to interview with Bucthar Tabuni, the Chairman of the West Papua National Parliament (,).  In this interview Tabuni speaks about the criminalization of peaceful struggle of West Papua National Committee (KNPB), by the Police force in Papua.

Follow the interview below.

 What is the security forces attitude towards KNPB?

I see that the security force fears even more if KNPB exist in the Land of Papua. This is because of the mass and the base of KNPB is firmly rooted.  Indeed, during my leadership, the strength that we have built with the people is serious. So, at this time the security forces were escorting us to matters that did not enter our minds, and tried to destroy the struggle for peace that was pushed by us.

I hope this does not become an obstacle for KNPB to further progress and develop into the
 future.  If there’s any issue, then it should be coordinated with PNWP as the political body of the Papuan people. And we are ready to be responsible to the people, as well as to the 
KNPB board itself.

How’s the leadership of the new chief of Police (Kapolda), Tito Karnavian?

For Kapolda Papua at present, I think we just stay in an intensive communication, however 
my only regret is related to imprisonment of KNPB activists in Wamena Jayapura, Biak and Timika, that is being dragged on without a clear legal process.

I officially conveyed to the Chief of Police, I will still guarantee security throughout Papua when orders (are made) to release political prisoners, abolish the lists of wanted-persons 
(DPOs) of KNPB activists, and open a space for democracy, but also demands that have not been

I hope, all of these (demands) can be fulfilled soon. If it has not been answered, I
 will make a mention of the demands to the public and the police chief, but I’m (still) 
waiting for a response to the demands.

What was Kapolda’s Response?

His response was good, but not optimal. For example, legal issues with some KNPB members being detained should be settled with the Police, but his officers eventually put (a formal) submission to the Attorney General, 
so the legal process at court is protracted, and we are very disappointed for now.

The Papua issue needs communication. If it’s ignored, it will cause
 disappointment, and the violence will never disappear. If there is to be anything at all, then it should be 
communicated. Pak Kapolda responded well, but not optimal. And until now I’m still waiting.

KNPB accused of masterminding violence in Papua?

Officials still have a biased stigma towards the KNPB, starting from being considered as actors of
 violence, all the way to being the perpetrators of violence in Papua. I argue that, during my leadership, the peaceful campaign of the struggle by peaceful demonstrations have always 
been promoted.

KNPB are people’s media, so it would be inappropriate if we called masterminds of violence.  
KNPB also never ordered the people of Papua, nor a member of KNPB 
throughout Papua, to struggle with violent means.

Even if there is (violence), that cannot be generalised or all associated together. In the society, there are good people, some are evil, there are few that listen to advice, and some that are not willing to hear the advice, and it’s a normal thing, and it happens everywhere, including 
in KNPB today.

Although Kapolda asked us not to do violence, one needs to know that 
lots of those acts are carried out by TPN/OPM (Tentara Pembebasan Nasional or National Liberation Army).  And this is outside of civil society, but if its in town I would 
guarantee safety. I do not have the right to intervene on TPN/OPM actions.
  My civic leadership is in the town.  TPN/OPM field of operation is different from my field.

What is the condition of KNPB activists detained in Wamena, Timika and other places?

They all regret, because the legal process that is underway has not been proven 
as a legal case. If they obtain or store sharp tools, then almost everyone 
in Papua, including immigrants, also obtain (these tools) such as knives and other sharp instruments.

The cases of KNPB members in Wamena is seen (to be premeditated) that the authorities already have 
strategies to arrest them. Why do officers go check sharp instruments only at
 KNPB activists home, while many immigrants who also own and store those things 
that are mentioned?

The question is, those things are there, but what are they used for, who is harmed, how many victims? –  there are no legal facts. This is why I asked that Kapolda must release 
them, but he hasn’t reacted to my demands.

The detainees until now regret, because without fair (or truthful) evidence and legal facts, they still undergo jail terms.  A question from me, why didn’t the police force arrest knife-sellers or sharp instruments in the market?  Of course this is weird.

How’s the assistance from Counsel (legal assistance)?

I thank the council for their assistance in assisting the KNPB activists in various prisons in Papua, but there is no assistance given to the case that happened in Wamena.

I see that the counsel hesitates in giving their assistance; we are able to facilitate with fund and provide them with accommodation. However, it is acceptable if they are busy. I plead for the judge and the prosecutor to work in conjunction together and help me with all the decisions to hopefully free all of them.

According to the charges that were made, there are many political aspects in comparison with those of law. Hence, various approaches have to be done in order to silence the struggle of West Papuans, and that include punishing detainees. Police and Army forces (Polri & TNI) will always find gaps and use that to perform ongoing injustices to the struggle in Papua. Therefore, an exceptional consideration is needed.

KNPB is regarded as Highlanders?

I’m shocked when I heard that statement. KNPB originates from Papua and we have Regional Parliaments called Parlemen Rakyat Daerah (PRD) in Biak, Manokwari, Wamena and Merauke, and they are all representative of West Papua.

I believe that this opinion is from people that don’t understand what consolidation is. I can also say that that opinion comes from people that don’t do field work but just voicing their thoughts. We have been working together (around Papua) for six years.

Don’t look just at KNPB, but the important thing is to see the agenda we have been working on. Supposing that the agenda makes sense and  is rational, why don’t we gain the support from others? We are just normal human beings but if this agenda can grant West Papua an Independence, it has to be supported, especially by those who mock KNPB.

Message for KNPB Activists?

Suppose you are keeping sharp weapons in your homes, it’s wise to throw them away or to avoid or keep away from them. Let alone the outsiders to have them. It has been several days since the silence of KNPB, it doesn’t mean that KNPB withdraws and is scared of the coloniser.

The current situation is uncertain so that we choose to be silent and to be patient. Let’s stay calm and plan for our new strategy to rise again. Do not worry about the tactics sets by the enemy, we have to think and plan for other approaches.

Message for the People of West Papua?

Independence is not something that we can achieve in an instant. West Papuans, don’t get bored, don’t be lazy and don’t give up the fight. There is no struggle that does not bear an outcome, everything does. We just have to wait for right time.

Hence, I call out to every West Papuan to work together, to be committed in what we are doing to keep up the fight in order for West Papuan to be free from Indonesian Colonialism. By doing so, not only we keep the fighting spirit alive but we also honour all the sacrifices of the late Arnold Ap, Thomas Wainggai, Kelly Kwalik, Mako Tabuni, Victor Kogoya, Hubertus Mabel, and all West Papua Independence activists that were killed by the Indonesian Military.

(translated and edited by WPM)

Amnesty: Two men detained, feared tortured in Papua

UA: 48/13 Index: ASA 21/005/2013 Indonesia

22 February 2013

Two Indonesian men now arbitrarily detained in Jayapura, Papua province, are believed to have been tortured or otherwise ill-treated by police.

Daniel Gobay and Matan Klembiap are currently detained at the Jayapura district police station in Papua province. Police officers allegedly tortured or other otherwise ill-treated them and five other men while interrogating them about the whereabouts of two pro-independence activists. They have not received medical treatment and they have not had access to a lawyer since their arrest.

According to credible sources, plainclothes police officers arbitrarily arrested Daniel Gobay and two other men on the morning of 15 February 2013 in Depapre, Papua province. The three men were first forced to crawl on their stomachs to the Depapre sub-district police station approximately 30 metres away and then moved to the Jayapura district police station an hour later. There they were then forced to
strip, were kicked in the face, head and back, and beaten with rattan sticks. Police officers allegedly pressed the barrels of their guns to their heads, mouth and ears. They were interrogated until late at night and in the morning of the following day.

Matan Klembiap and three other men were arbitrarily arrested separately by plainclothes police officers on the morning of 15 February in Depapre and taken to the Jayapura district police station.

The four men were also forced to strip and were kicked and beaten with rattan sticks and wooden blocks by police officers. One of the men has testified on video that police gave him electric shocks.

On 16 February, five of the men were released without charge but Daniel Gobay and Matan Klembiap remain in police custody and are reportedly to be charged with “possession of a sharp weapon” under the Emergency Regulation 12/1951.

Amnesty International has asked that readers “Please write immediately in English, Indonesian or your own language calling on authorities in Indonesia” to take the following urgent action:

  • To ensure that Daniel Gobay and Matan Klembiap are not tortured or otherwise ill-treated;
  • To ensure that the two men have access to medical treatment, and to lawyers of their choosing; and
  • To immediately order an effective and independent investigation into the allegations of torture and other ill-treatment of the seven men by police officers. Suspected criminal offences involving human rights violations must be dealt with through the criminal justice system, rather than only internally and as disciplinary breaches to ensure that all those responsible for torture and other ill-treatment, including persons with chain of command responsibility, are brought to justice in fair trials, and that victims are provided reparations. Particular attention must be paid to the protection of victims, witnesses and their families.

Amnesty International

Paniai villages reportedly razed as Densus 88 resumes sweep operations in search of TPN’s Jhon Yogi

West Papua Media

January 8, 2013

Unconfirmed reports from local activists and credible human rights observers in Paniai have claimed that 13 houses have been burnt down as sweep operations by Indonesian security forces have resumed, causing panic amongst local Papuan civilians.

The operation by a joint Indonesian army (TNI) and police unit, allegedly led by a large number of Detachment 88 troops (the elite Australian-funded counter-terror unit) is searching for Free Papua National Liberation Army (TPN-OPM) guerrilla leader Jhon Yogi, has begun with up to 13 houses burned to the ground, allegedly claimed by Detachment 88 officers to be TPN posts.

Activists from National Papua solidarity (Napas.com) have reported that Detachment 88 (d88) troops began to raid houses across the area around Pugo village on January 7, from 11am local time.   According to field reports, the searches lasted well into the night, causing many people in surrounding villages to flee the area in fear of their lives.

Five Companies (approx 500 armed men) of the joint strike force (including one company of D88 troops) reportedly laid siege to the alleged headquarters area near Waididi Pogo of Yogi’s TPN-OPM Paniai region command on Monday.  According to Napas.com, Yogi’s men returned heavy fire on the strike force.

According to the local community members, the civilian houses in Pogo were burned quickly on Monday by rogue Indonesian military, together with plain clothes militia or Intel (military intelligence officers), according to SMS messages sent to the media.

Since 13 December 2011, the Indonesian military forces have been regularly attacking, and systematically dismantling and burning villages and traditional buildings alleged to be posts or headquarters of the TPN-OPM Division II  in Paniai.

Community members have reported to Napas.com, the movements of Yogi have been well know n by the Indonesian military, who are allegedly using the situation to have a “show force with full war equipment”, using this opportunity to surround the new TPN headquarters.

Separate reports received by West Papua Media,which have been unable to be confirmed to our verification standards, have claimed that “unknown persons” units have also fired on both civilians and military units. including gunfire that erupted from a suspected military source on a hill behind the Paniai General Hospital area at Uwibutu Madi.

According to human rights sources, Paniai people are greatly fearing for their safety amid another escalation in military offensives.

Previous offensives in the  Paniai since December 2011 have displaced tens of thousands of civilians, and burnt down hundreds of villages.

(For background, please visit https://westpapuamedia.info/tag/Paniai/)

West Papua Media

Police kidnap pro-democracy activist in Biak: Reports

by West Papua Media from human rights workers in Biak

December 29, 2012

Unconfirmed Reports have emerged from Biak that Indonesian armed police have disappeared local Papuan pro-democracy activist Anthon Kafiar.

At 15:00 local time on December 28, 2012, outside the offices of the Supiori Regent, several heavily armed police officers used pistols to accost and bundle Anthon Kafiar into a Four Wheel Drive Vehicle Type Avanza, numberplate DS 900 DD.  The vehicle then drove off, and Kafiar’s whereabouts remain unknown, according to local human rights worker Dorus Wakum, from NGO Kampak Papua.

It is not yet known if the police were local police officers, or roaming members from the Australian-funded special anti-terror Detachment 88 unit, whose members have engaged in a campaign of kidnappings and shootings against Papuan pro-democracy activists since the appointment of new Papua Police Chief Tito Karnavian, the former commander of Densus 88.

According to the NGO, Biak citizens and witnesses visited the Kapolres (local Police Chief), the Supiori Regent and Supiori Council members to demand that Kafiar be immediately found and released.

This is a developing story.  More to come.