Tag Archives: Indonesian National Armed Forces

POLICE AGAIN OPEN FIRE, BEAT AND ARREST PROTESTERS IN PAPUA-WIDE CRACKDOWN ON KNPB DEMOS

BY WEST PAPUA MEDIA TEAM

October 18, 2013

In several centres across West Papua on October 16, Indonesian police and army (TNI) have again cracked down violently on peaceful political demonstrations held by the West Papua National Committee (KNPB), resulting in the injuries of several participants, with unconfirmed reports of police opening fire in related incidents against KNPB members in Kaimana.

The demonstrations, called for October 15 by the KNPB to commemorate the fifth anniversary of the founding of the International Parliamentarians for West Papua, were delayed for a day out of respect for the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha.   The rallies were also highlighting the historic speech made by Vanuatu Prime Minister Moana Kalosil Carcasses to the United Nations General Assembly in late September, calling for the international community to take action on West Papua.

Despite formal permission being sought from the Indonesian police in Papua to conduct acts of free expression, Papua Police Chief Tito Karnavian rejected the permit due to the political and “separatist” nature of the rallies, according to KNPB spokesman Wim Medlama.  Karnavian, the former commander of Australia-funded anti-terror police unit Detachment 88, authorised the deployment of thousands of heavily armed police and military to prevent the commemorations from occurring, according to local human rights sources.

Police banned rallies from going ahead in Jayapura, Waena, Sentani, Boven Digul, Merauke, Biak, Kaimana, Nabire and Timika, however participants were allowed eventually to hold prayer sessions under tight military and police surveillance and a show of force in Biak and Nabire, according to KNPB sources.  In Timika, according to West Papua Media sources, several thousand people ignored the police ban and show of force and joined the KNPB event at Jayanti field in Timika.

Credible human rights sources have also reported that in several centres across Papua, combined Indonesian security forces of the Army (TNI), Brimob paramilitary police, and plain clothes members of Detachment 88 physically blockaded and prevented demonstrations from going ahead with dispersals and beatings in several centres.   In Merauke, police and undercover personnel said by credible sources to be members of Detachment 88, were conducting heavy surveillance of local people whilst blockading roads to prevent people from accessing the commemorations at the KNPB Merauke office.

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The demonstration in Waena just prior to the dispersal by Indonesian Security Forces. (Photos: KNPB)

In Jayapura, rally participants met anyway from 5 am at the gravesite of Theys Eluay, where they began music, prayers and political speeches before dawn under the rising morning star, the celestial inspiration for the banned Papuan freedom flag.  KNPB Secretary-General Ones Suhuniap told WPM stringers, “The Jayapura police began violently dispersing them at 6:30am with full force and weapons, with members of the TNI. The violent dissolution by the police also involved confiscation of KNPB member’s valuables, such as a camera and all the KNPB’s flags.”

While this peaceful demonstration was dispersed, another gathering at the Highland people’s housing complex Perumnas III in Waena, was blockaded by police under the command of Jayapura Police Chief Commissioner Alfred Papare.  This gathering was then surrounded by the police and army and were forced out of the area, according to the KNPB and confirmed by WPM stringers.

Suhuniap explained “Until the afternoon the demonstrators were violently dispersed by the combined police and army forces and assisted by the Papuan police’s special operations forces,” referring to uniformed members of the Australian trained counter-terror unit Detachment 88.

KNPB activists told WPM that they observed the army and police were prepared to suppress KNPB members with force, heavy weapons, assault vehicles and armoured vehicles. Over 200 police, including 50 fully armed Brimob paramilitary police and a platoon of TNI soldiers, and scores of plain clothes intelligence – said by KNPB to be members of Detachment 88 – participated in the dispersal and blockading the peaceful demonstrators of KNPB.

West Papua Media has been unable to confirm independently if any people in Jayapura were injured during the dispersal.

Meanwhile in Boven Digul, KNPB sources reported that Indonesian police took to local radio stations to announce the prohibition of freedom of expression, telling local people not to participate in KNPB actions.  All local people were stopped and searched, with police allegedly confiscating cameras from citizen journalists.

In Kaimana, on the south west coast of Papua, Tabloid Jubi has reported that rally organisers decided to hold a prayer service instead to commemorate the IPWP anniversary.  However, police banned that too and came to arrest organisers.

A night of terror and shootings was reportedly unleashed by Indonesian security forces against KNPB members’ families after the commemorations in Kaimana.  Police Special Forces raided the KNPB Kaimana offices three times during the night of October 16, with the first raid occurring at 2130.  Six shots were fired into the house from Police rifles during the first raid.  Three residents, Barias Wesfete, Demianus (Luter) Baunu and Jesse Irini were severely beaten and arrested by police.

However, according to KNPB spokesman Medlama when interviewed by WPM partner Tabloid Jubi,  Police returned twice more during the night, with at least ten bullets shot by Police to the house at different times throughout.  “The first shooting at 9:30 pm, was 6 times (shots.) The second shooting at 2 o’clock at night up to 2 times, and the third time at 4 am as much as 2 times,” Medlama told Jubi.

The three Kaimana arrestees returned home the morning after, however no information has been received of their charges, if any.

Jubi reports that the KNPB assessed that police are just looking for an excuse to put extreme psychological pressure on Papuan people, in ways that make no sense. “We are not concerned with their efforts to pressure us. We only know one word – LAWAN”.

WestPapuaMedia, with local sources, Tabloid Jubi, and KNPB sources

Planned MSG Foreign Ministers visit to West Papua lacks transparency

Exclusive investigation from West Papua Media team

October 12, 2013

(The Hague): As allegations surface of Indonesian military-linked businessmen providing envelopes of “hefty cash” to senior officials in the Solomon Island’s Prime Ministerial delegation during the recent APEC summit in Bali, a high level source inside the Melanesian Spearhead Group has raised concerns over Indonesia’s subversion of the agreed visit of Melanesian Foreign Ministers to West Papua, in an exclusive interview with West Papua Media.

An explosive but carefully worded article in the Solomon Star newspaper on October 11 has alleged that Indonesian officials provided members of Solomon Islands government with large amounts of cash contained in yellow envelopes, during an official dinner hosted in honour of the Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo and his delegation.

According to the Solomon Star report, at least five members of the delegation have admitted to receiving the payments, amongst a total of 17 delegation members alleged to have received the envelopes.  The report, from interviews by journalist Alfred Sasako with a highly placed whistleblower in Honiara, alleged that at least two “names withheld” senior officials received USD$25, 000 each, three others received USD$10, 000  and a final two delegation members received USD$5, 000 each respectively.

“It seems the level of payment is based on seniority, the higher you are, the more you get,” the sources told the Solomon Star.

After the publication of the new allegations, West Papua Media spoke on Saturday to a well-respected customary figure in the Solomon Islands, who described the latest revelations as proof of long-standing suspicions “that Indonesia is involved in a corrupt subversion of Melanesian solidarity on the West Papua issue.  The source described the behaviour of Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo in arranging unilateral visits to West Papua as “an affront to the Melanesian Way that is deliberately undermining the quality of what a properly constituted MSG Fact-finding mission can uncover in West Papua.”

“The Prime Minster is siding with Indonesia to cover up the crimes against the West Papuan people, by diluting the effectiveness of a multilateral fact-finding team to assess the real situation in West Papua.  What other deals is he doing for the Solomon Islands with these Indonesian military businessmen?  Are our islands going to be the next West Papua?” the source told WPM.   The customary source, who had no involvement with the Solomon Star revelations, declined to be identified for this article citing fears of being labelled as the whistleblower.

“This is not about me anyway, this about the questions for all Melanesian people about how far Indonesia is willing to bully or bribe Melanesians, and how some Melanesians like our Prime Minister are potentially having their pockets lined with blood money for turning their backs on the suffering of our Melanesian family in West Papua,” the source told WPM with some indignation.

Prior to the MSG meeting in Noumea in June 2013 the Indonesian and Fijian governments agreed to a multi-lateral visit to West Papua by MSG Foreign Ministers. The proposal was raised at the Noumea meeting by Fiji in part to defer a decision over whether West Papua would be granted membership into the MSG or not. The MSG Ministerial team has undertaken to write a report following their visit. This report will then help guide the MSG’s decision regarding West Papua’s membership. Since June, however, serious doubts have been raised as to how transparent the organising of the MSG Foreign Ministers is, or even whether it will happen at all.

A high-level source inside the MSG who was at the meeting in Noumea but asked not to be named told WPM  on condition of anonymity, that it was highly unlikely that the MSG will revoke Indonesia’s observer status, but that they could give West Papua ‘associative status’, which is a higher level of membership. However, the source then went on to say that it is now “not clear what is happening”.

The concerns are serious. First, no date has been set for the Foreign Ministers visit to West Papua. Second, neither the MSG Secretariat nor Melanesian nations are organising the visit. “The Foreign Ministers all rely on an invitation from the Indonesian government. It is not clear if such an invitation has been issued and it is not clear who will pay for it. My advice to member countries is that each Melanesian country pays for their own visit themselves” said the senior MSG bureaucrat. “That way the Foreign Ministers will not be beholden to the Indonesian government and that their status as independent advisors to the MSG is more likely to be guaranteed.”

Most concerning is that the idea of a multi-lateral visit could be abandoned. “It is possible” said the MSG official “that the foreign ministers could travel to West Papua separately and not as a group”.  This is the most likely possibility given the revelations in the Solomon Star.

Although privately many Melanesian politicians support independence for West Papua the official cautioned against false hopes. “West Papuans should not have high expectations from the forthcoming MSG foreign ministers support.”

At this stage it appears highly unlikely that the Melanesian foreign ministers report will reflect the political reality inside West Papua or the aspirations of the West Papuan people.  This view is reflected in the recent comments from Mr Gordon Lilo, the Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands, who told Indonesia’s Antara state news agency that he is “impressed with the progress” the Indonesian government has made in West Papua.  Mannaseh Sogovare, the Solomon Islands opposition leader, criticised Lilo’s comments saying that he had “probably been overwhelmed by the reception of the hosts and obviously the Indonesians have gone out of their way to put on the wow factor to make sure that Lilo is wooed out of any views that he may have had in support of West Papuan membership of the MSG,” reported Radio New Zealand.

Comment about the corruption of the Fact-Finding process has also been repeatedly sought by West Papua Media from the office of Vanuatu Prime Minister Moana Carcasses, however the Prime Minister was unavailable to comment on the allegations.  However, Carcasses issued a historic and moral challenge to the international community at the United Nations General Assembly in New York in late September, by calling for the appointment of a Special Representative to investigate historical and ongoing of human rights abuses by Indonesia.

‘How can we then ignore hundreds of thousands of West Papuans who have been beaten and murdered? The people of West Papua are looking to the UN as a beacon of hope… Let us, my colleague leaders, with the same moral conviction, yield our support to the plight of West Papuans. It is time for the United Nations to move beyond its periphery and address and rectify some historical errors,” Carcasses told the UN General Assembly.

These are the words that Melanesian leaders may well be reflecting on as they ponder the ramifications of accepting Indonesia’s subversion of the MSG Fact Finding Team process.

As well as sharing his concerns, the senior MSG official also had some practical advice for Papuan leaders. “All of us at the MSG are observing very closely developments inside West Papua. In order for us to assist the West Papuan application for membership Papuan leaders need to present a unified position that is backed up by strong support from civil society. The good news is that there is moral support from inside the MSG. Even senior leaders in the United Nations privately recognise that West Papua is an occupation.”

However, without unity of purpose from West Papuan leaders and strong grassroots support from inside Melanesian countries, the Indonesian government could out-manoeuver West Papua again.

WestPapuaMedia team

Tragic Bloodshed in Waghete, Papua – Suspected Serious Human Rights Violations

Analysis/ Opinion

by Selpius Bobii

Abepura Prison,  27 September 2013

Ever since West Papua was annexed into the Republic of Indonesia on 1 May 1963, it has been nothing other than a land smeared with blood, and at every moment the blood of Papuans has been shed by continuous killings.   On 23 September 2013 there was yet again bloodshed with a tragic incident in Waghete, Tigi district, in Deiyai Regency of the Central Highlands.  The incident started from ‘sweeping’ (house to house searches) carried out by joint armed forces of BRIMOB (an Indonesian National Police special operations unit), and a special unit of the Indonesian Military (TNI) unit 753, the Paniai District Police and local police from the Sub-District Units of Tigi and the Paniai Koramil.  The following article looks in detail at the background to why this incident occurred and at the impact of the incident on the local community.

When asked why the joint armed forces were carrying out sweepings in the area in the first instance, the High Commissioner for Police in the District of Paniai responded that they were making the area safe for civilians from the practices of gambling, drunkenness and the carrying of sharp objects (www.tempo.co/read/news/2013/09/23/058515978). However the facts clearly indicate that the sweepings were being carried out not to make the area safe for civilians against the said vices of drunkenness and gambling, but rather to:

  1. Confiscate any sharp instruments including all types of smaller knives, large machete like knives, axes and bows and arrows
  2. Confiscate shovels
  3. Confiscate mobile phone memory cards with photos of those active in the Papuan Freedom Movement
  4. Confiscate traditional woven dillybags (nukens) with patterns of the Morning Star flag, and to
  5. Target community members with dreadlocks and long beards.

Of course the very items that the armed forces confiscated during the sweeping – small knives, larger machete type knives, axes and shovels – are those used by the community for maintaining their gardens which is their source of food.  As in the Deiyai regency most civilians are farmers who farm the mountain slopes. The forces even confiscated any traditional darts, which are something which by customary beliefs cannot be separated from the life of the Mee Tribe as they are symbolic and special to that tribe. That they would even consider confiscating the peoples carrying bags and mobile phone memory cards with Papuan photos is a shameful reflection of the police and military, as those are symbols of Papua that are widely available and have been published in many books, media and other publicly available forms.
The TNI and police are well aware the people need those tools in particular to survive and they well know those items are widely accessible, so the question begs why did they really intentionally undertake operations to confiscate these items?

The targeting of civilians with dreadlocks and long beards –  based on the false perception of the police and military that anyone of that appearance is a member of the TPN /OPM – is also a shameful reflection of the thinking of the armed forces, as long beards and dreadlocks are an age-old tradition of Papuans.  The Indonesian police and military should understand and respect something of the cultural and social ways of the people of Papua such that they don’t recklessly carry out arbitrary actions which can lead to the sacrifice of innocent civilians’ lives. Reckless and improper actions which  also destroy the image of the police and Indonesian army in the public eye. Throughout the many years of Indonesia’s presence in Papua police, TNI and National Intelligence (BIN) have always assumed that Papuans with dreadlocks and long beards are all TPN OPM members. Whenever met with people with those physical characteristics the armed forces always act with improper and cruel actions intended to make life hard for those individuals. This is absolutely unreasonable! We could just as much say that every Papuan who longs for liberation from the cruel oppression of Indonesia could be called OPM!  When is Indonesia going to wake up to the reality that that no action whatsoever of the Indonesian military and police against the people of Papua will ever be able to destroy the Mambruk (Papuan) ideology in their hearts; that their cruel actions will never be able to stifle the political aspirations embodied by the Papuan movement for freedom.  Reckless,  cruel and improper actions by the armed forces such as occurred at Waghete must stop!  The forces instead need to adopt persuasive approaches (with dialogue and non-violent means)  in facing up to civilians in all circumstances and not use repressive measures such as has been evidenced at Waghete.

The events that led to the killing and wounding of civilians that day in Waghete started with the above stated sweepings which were being conducted in a manner that was far too excessive and abusive.  A particular activist present at the time (who cannot be named for safety reasons ) told the armed forces at the time that the community didn’t accept their excessive sweeping actions, but to no effect. They testified that before the shootings on 21 September 2013 the joint armed forces had carried out sweepings and detained 15 Papuans who had dreadlocks and long beards. Then on 23 September 2013 the forces returned to the same location where those persons had been arrested and carried out sweepings yet again with excessive abusive behaviour.

It was the second aggressive sweeping according to the witness that was just too much, and some in the community couldn’t keep silent.  He testified that it was not the adults who voiced the community’s protest but rather high-school and upper secondary school students together with a number of other youth. The armed forces had also confiscated some of the young peoples’ phone memory cards then according to the witness the young people protested in particular after seeing two Papuan mothers on their way to  their gardens having their gardening shovels confiscated then an adult male’s koteka (penis sheath) being checked by forces.  The witness stated: “The protest came from the school children and no adults were involved.  Then the police responded to their protest with excessive violence. The Head of the Paniai District Police a number of times shouted out a command to those under his command to shoot the children.  I was there at the time and saw myself the Head of the District Police together with police officers under his command, chasing and shooting at the school children with their weapons. That day I also heard there were 4 civilians detained.”

The Police spokesperson claimed that the disturbance occurred due to provocation by a group of supporters of a particular failed candidate in the local government elections. However another activist at Waghete (who also cannot be named for security reasons) testified that “the tragedy at Waghete was entirely due to the actions of the joint Indonesian police and military forces and cannot be said to be connected in any way to a problem of the local elections.”

This accusation by the police was just a strategy to try and  turn criticism back towards the local civilian population.

The facts are clear that it was the military and police that provoked the civilians into carrying out some type of protest in response to their excessively abusive treatment of the people  during the sweeping and their arbitrary arrest and detention of a number of community members. The forces then met the young people’s opposition with extremely excessive violence including shooting, killing, arbitrary arrest, and torture of civilians. If there had not been excessively abusive sweeping by the joint armed forces in the first instance then of course there would never have been opposition from the young people. Secondly if the response from the civilians had not been dealt with so repressively by the police and military then of course there would also not have been victims of  shooting, torture, intimidation and arbitrary arrest. In summary it was precisely the excessively abusive sweepings by the military and police that triggered the reaction from the civilians; It was precisely the repressive reaction from the armed forces to the civilians’ opposition which caused the tragic killing and serious shooting injuries of civilians in Waghete.

In considering whether there is any element of truth in the police’s accusation that civilians attacked them with rocks, or pieces of timber or arrows, a human rights activist Yohanes Mote who was present at the time of the shooting stated to the magazine Selangkah, “At the moment the incident occurred I was there. The community didn’t take up arrows. We were really disappointed that they were checking the penis sheaths of the men (traditional clothing of males). As there’s nothing inside penis sheaths but male genitals is there. We asked them why if they wanted to carry out sweeping because of gambling and drinking (alcohol), had they not stopped the drinking and gambling.  The gambling and drinking had been allowed to continue by the police so that through that we Papuans could be killed and shot like this.”, (www.majalahselangkah.com/content/penembakan-pelajar-di-deiyai-aktivis-ham-minta-kapolri-copot-pelaku-dan-evaluasi-polisi-di-papua).

Another activist who also can’t be named for security reasons testified “The students didn’t attack the armed forces with arrows. I only saw two or three students throw rocks in the direction of the armed forces but the rocks didn’t even hit them. Rather the police and military brutally shot those children. The one that shot Alpius Mote was an aide of the Paniai Head of Police. Alpius died on the spot as the bullet went right through his right side and came out his back. He didn’t die whilst being taken to the Paniai hospital (as the police claimed). Whilst regarding Alex Mote (another victim), the bullet entered the right side of his chest. After Alpius was shot dead the police gathered up all the bullet cartridges. I couldn’t take a photo at that moment as it would have been impossible.”

From the explanations of these two activists who were present at the time of the sweepings and shooting, it is clearly evident that the accusation of the police that the community attacked them was merely words to try and justify their own repressive actions of wounding and killing unarmed civilians. It is most ironic that the Papuan Provincial Police spokesperson also tried to legally justify the police and TNI’s actions, stated that the shooting by their forces was in line with their procedures since the citizens were becoming increasingly anarchist. He tried to justify the shootings on the basis that if the forces hadn’t fired then the situation would have escalated (www.news.viva.co.id/news/read/446352-bentrok-aparat-dan-warga-di-papua–1-tewas).

Returning to the initial action of the forces – being the sweeping – one must ask the question why were the police and TNI carrying sweepings out in such an excessively abusive manner in the first place. From the facts provided by witnesses as stated above, it would seem that the sweeping was intentionally carried out in such a way so as to give rise to some type of conflict in Waghete. The sweeping was not intended to make the community safe from vices of drinking and gambling as the police claimed, but rather to give rise to a conflict that would enable the armed forces to do away with those in the community with long dreadlocks and beards who were considered by the forces to be OPM/TPN members. The sweepings also provided an opportunity for them to confiscate any items that were symbolic of the freedom struggle. It was an intentional act carried out to make people terrified and to torture, kill and injure innocent civilians at that location.

Witnesses testified that on 21 September around 15 people with dreg locks and long beards were violently arrested and detained at the Paniai District Police Command headquarters. Then on 23 September one student was shot dead and another shot in the chest. An English teacher from the local Deiyai upper secondary school Yance Pekey who voiced opposition to the treatment by the armed forces, was also inhumanely ‘dealt with’ at his office. It is understood he was also detained together with the other 3 civilians at the Paniai District Police Station. From data available to date it is understood that the total of civilians detained over these few days was 19. To the date of writing their names have not been made available by the police and neither has access been allowed  to visit any of them. (For the preliminary report to this incident  see: www.westpapuamedia.info/2013/09/27/preliminary-report-into-waghete-deaths-and-sweepings/).

From the above stated detail the Writer concludes that the tragic events from 21 – 23 September 2013 in Waghete involved a number of serious human rights violations. Violations which commenced with the excessively abusive sweeping and harassment by the military and police; followed by the arbitrary arrests, torture,, shooting dead and wounding of citizens and the general terrorising of the local community in Waghete. The actions of the police and military cannot be justified with any reason whatsoever! The tragic killing and wounding of unarmed civilians that occurred fall within the category of serious human rights violations and the culprits must face legal processes and be held responsible (1).

Footnotes

 1)To that end the Writer puts forward the following recommendations to those parties involved:

i) That the TNI and Police in the land of Papua must cease carrying out excessive sweepings and terrorising/ intimidating the people, must cease all torture and other brutal treatment of civilians, all shootings, killings and arbitrary arrests.

ii) That the culprits of the acts at Waghete must be brought to justice in the human rights court or general court to hold them responsible for their actions.

iii) That the Head of the Indonesian Police is strongly urged to immediately remove from office the Head of Police in the Sub-District of Tigi, The Head of the District Police in Paniai and Head of the Papuan Provincial Police. As all three persons have acted irresponsibly and are not capable of ensuring the safety of citizens.

iv) That the Head of the Paniai District Police immediately and unconditionally release all citizens (believed to be 19 in number) who are being arbitrarily detained at the Paniai District Police Station.

v) That the Investigation Team appointed by the Papuan Legislative Council (DPRP) on 25 September 2013 to look into the tragedy in Waghete,  immediately be sent to the location of the events  to commence investigations.

vi) That the Indonesian Republic National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM RI) immediately form an adhoc team to follow up the early findings that will be reported by the independent DPRP Investigation Team.

vii) That all parties and in particular the local government, leaders of the church and  traditional customary leaders in that region, act immediately to restore security and order in Deiyai.

viii) To all those who are concerned and who work in the field of humanitarianism, your help is requested at this immediate time in advocacy, monitoring and publishing of information regarding this case and in organising assistance for those civilians who have been detained at the cells of the Paniai District Police Station.

ix) The excessively abusive sweepings, the terrorising and intimidation, the torture, shootings, killings and arbitrary arrests of indigenous Papuans by both the Indonesian military and police in the land of Papua will never bring an end to the problems in Papua. The Indonesian Government needs to instead enter into dialogue / unconditional negotiations with the nation of Papua facilitated by a neutral third party and held in a neutral location in order to find a dignified solution to the problems in Papua.

Selpius Bobii is the General Chairperson of Front PEPERA & a Papuan Freedom Political Detainee in  Abepura Prison, Jayapura

 

Edison Kendi re-arrested in Yapen by Kopassus as police crackdwon on Flotilla rally

September 27, 2013

Compiled by West Papua Media stringers and reports from  West Papua National Authority:

At 8pm on the 25th of September 2013 in Serui, Yapen Island, members of police, mobile brigade, military and Detachment 88 complete with weapons made a forceful arrest of former Papuan political prisoner and organsiser, Edison Kendi. Edison’s family watched on, unable to do anything but witness the brutality carried out by the security personnel against Kendi.  He was taken to the Serui Police station and interrogated.  At 11pm police continued to destroy property around Kendi’s house while looking for documents thought to be related to the Freedom Flotilla,  however nothing was found.

The next day, 26th September 2013 several thousand people did a pick-up at the Serui airport, and walked to Mantembu, as a thanksgiving worship to welcome the arrival of ashes and water that were taken to Yapen Island by Frans Kapisa. Two people who intended to come and participate in the thanksgiving were Demmiamus Brumi and Nataneal Karubaba, however they were prevented from exercising their freedom of expression and obstructed by security personnel, forcefully arrested and taken to the Serui Police Station, according to credible but anonymous sources.

As the thanksgiving was taking place, the security forces forcefully dispersed the crowd, threw away all the food that was provided by the community in Serui, according to witnesses.  The situation escalated into panic according to organisers, several of the participants and organisers protected Frans Kapisa and brought him to a place which they judged to be safe.

According to sources for West Papua Media, “Not only the participants were victims of the police brutality but also the whole community of Yapen Island. At that point in time the people where not able to carry out any activities whatsoever. The District Police Chief (Kapolres) also instructed his forces to fire should there be any resistance from the people.  After 8pm, 3 of the people arrested where released, namely Edison Kendi, Demianus Burumi and Natanael Karubaba.

The following people are still on the run from the police, and grave fears are held for their long term safety;

1. Drs . Frans Fredrik Kapisa
2. Markus Yenu
3. Martinus Wondamani
4. Marselus Daimboa
5. Yani Manyamboi
6. Piter Tiowai
7. Agus Ayamseba
8. Herman Warmetan
9. Ruben Bonay
10. Asalon Wanggori

Eduard Paririe, a Papuan activist in Yapen told West Papua Media, “that whatever the security forces (do) against the people does not diminish their will to struggle and demand justice in the land of Papua.

 

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The following is information direct from West Papua National Authority:

The situation has begun un 25 September 2013 as West Papuan National Authority activists heard on Radio Republik Indonesia that the chief of police in Yapen had prohibited all Papuans in Yapen from taking part in a demonstration planned for 26 September.

The police under the command of the head of Criminal Investigation [Kabag Reskrim Polres] arrested Edison Kendi (40 years old), a political leader of Papua Merdeka at his home at 8 pm. This action involved twenty policemen who were not dressed in their uniforms, together with two members of Kopassus. Some of the police were armed with M16s and pistols and were travelling in Avansa 2 vehicles, one of which was black and the other two were white, together with a patrol vehicle.

The police said that these people had been arrested because they had not been granted permission to undertake this action and moreover, the group in question is not registered  with the National and Political Unit as is required by the Law on Mass Organisations (Ormas) . They were intending to hand over the holy waters to the Aboriginal People from Torres  Straits and were accompanied by Drs Frans Kapisa.

Edison Kendi was arrested in accordance with a warrant issued by the police in Yapen and signed by the head of the unit.

Edison Kendi was  taken to police headquarters to be interrogated. This interrogation is still continuing.

Following the arrested of Edison Kendi, more police arrived in two trucks to search Edison’s home, hoping to find evidence against him such as documents of Papua Merdeka. This happened late at night, at 10.22.

Furthermore:

On 26 September at 7.12 in the morning, the Yapen police force carried out sweepings and arrested  Demianus Buruni while he was on his way to the Serui Airport where he was intending to take part in welcoming Drs Frans Kapisa while was bringing the holy waters and dust from the Aboriginal people. The other reason for Demianus’ arrest was that he was carrying a Morning Star flag. At the time of writing this report, Demianus was still being interrogated.

At 11.34, a joint force of the army and the police in Yapen led by the chief of the military unit and the chief of the police force went to the place where  the proceedings to hand over the holy waters and dust from Aboriginal people  in Mantembu were due to take place. The army and police also ordered the people there to disperse and to vacate the area where these activities were taking place. They also ordered the arrest of Dra Frans Kapisa  and Markus Yenu. Subsequently however, the local people were able to free these two men.

At the time of writing, the security forces were  on guard in the area where the command post of Papua Merdeka  in Kampung Mantebu is located.

[Translated by TAPOL]

What should be the role of the Australian government as a member of the UN Security Council ?

Opinion / Analysis
By Herman Wainggai
September 11, 2013

Papuan women wearing the banned Morning Star flag as clothing at Manokwari demo to welcome Flotilla (Photo: West Papua Media stringers)
Papuan women wearing the banned Morning Star flag as clothing at Manokwari demo to welcome Flotilla (Photo: West Papua Media stringers)

Knowing  the history of the Indonesian state’s Army and Police invasion of West Papua there is no surprise in the fresh news of increased Indonesian military troops to the region, who are growing rapidly on this Melanesian ground like fertile mushrooms.

The Freedom Flotilla sailboat is currently on its voyage from Australian waters to the land of West Papua , and it has been confirmed that it is due to arrive within the next few days. Throughout the land of West Papua citizens and activists have been holding a number of peaceful demonstrations as a signal to welcome this boat. Thousands of West Papuans have bravely taken to the streets, high in enthusiasm and taking with them a variety of traditional instruments used in West Papua – ukuleles , guitars , drums , flute drums. They are also wearing traditional dress, and along with raising banners of the Freedom Flotilla sailboat, they are also displaying the national symbols of West Papua – the Morning Star flag.

This represents a challenge to and hope for the Indonesian government, that it ‘opens up’; that Jakarta demonstrates that it possesses genuine democratic maturity to negotiate peacefully with the political leaders of West Papua.  The people of West Papua, moreover, sincerely look forward to the newly elected Australian Federal government, especially in its new role as one of the member states of the UN Security Council, to act as a  mediator and by standards of international law help resolve the long running political conflict between the Indonesian government and the people of West Papua.

Demonstration welcoming Freedom Flotilla, Sorong (photo: supplied from Herman Wainggai, NFRPB)
Demonstration welcoming Freedom Flotilla, Sorong (photo: supplied from Herman Wainggai, NFRPB)

Our hope is that the precise opposite does not happen – that the Australian Government merely lets the Indonesian government continue to unilaterally kill the political, human rights and democracy activists of West Papua. This has been their lot for over 50 years – arrests, kidnapping, detention, shooting, killing, raping, long imprisonments.

The people of West Papua also hope that the Australian government will not forget this tiny Freedom Flotilla who will be facing the storm of the Indonesian military whose numbers have been newly swelled in the border area. Whatever happens, Australia needs to be assured that the people of West Papua will maintain their struggle to govern themselves, and will fight for that freedom by non-violent means.

The Freedom Flotilla to West Papua logo
The Freedom Flotilla to West Papua logo

The history of Indonesian brutality in West Papua over decades must be stopped by the international community, which includes Australia in its significant roles in the UN and  the Asia-Pacific region.  The data has been clearly documented from year to year – how long must West Papuans continue to be slaughtered like animals? The question is very pertinent then – what will be Australia’s role, and the USA and the United Nations – in regards to West Papua?  This land of the Mambruk – the beautiful Crowned Pigeon and symbol of Papua – which we love, shall we close our eyes and stop our ears to the injustices?

In the same way that attention is currently being given to the political situation in Syria, so must attention be given to the little Freedom Flotilla, and to the suffering people of West Papua, who have struggled for freedom and justice under the brutal regime of the military of the Indonesian state