Buchtar Tabuni complains to police chief about his treatment


Police Isolation Cell, 18 January, 2011

Police-General Bekto Suprapto,

With respect,

With regard to my detention in a police isolation cell for almost two
months, I wish to raise the following problems with the Chief of Police
in Papua:

1. Will the police in Papua explain what my status is, whether I am a
detainee (tapol) or a convicted political prisoner (narapidana). If I am
being held as a detainee in connection with the riot that occurred in
Abepura Prison on 3 December 2010, I ask to be given an arrest warrant
by the police for the period that I have been held in a police isolation
cell . And whether what I myself did together with Filep Karma at the
time of the riot was not in fact an attempt to calm things down while
trying to be a link between the prison officers and the prisoners who
were involved in the riot. If my status is that of a narapidana, I
hereby ask to be transferred to Abepura Prison Class IIA. This is
because being held in an isolation cell by the police in Papua has had
the following very damaging consequences for me:

a) My father, Jen Tabuni, who was 54 years old, passed away on
Sunday, 9 January 2011 in Papani Kampung, in the Papuan interior. The
cause of death was that, after hearing that I had been taken from a
police cell and thinking that I had been kidnapped, he suffered a
stroke, fainted and died. This was because there was no information
about my whereabouts after I had been separated and placed in an
isolation cell by the Papuan police, without any clear reason being
given for this;

b) Ever since being separated and held in an isolation cell of the
Papuan Police, I have not received any edible food and on some
occasions, I have not been given any food and drink at all, as a result
of which I have been drinking the water in the tub in the bathroom. The
lack of decent food and drink has given me serious gastric problems;

c) My body is turning yellow and I often feel giddy when I stand up.
This is because of the lack of sunlight, the lack of vegetables and
because the vegetables I do eat are boiled as a result of which I am
anaemic as well as suffering from gastritis which means that my health
is deteriorating.

2. If the police here in Papua fail to respond speedily to my
complaints, I will go on hunger strike until my complaints are dealt with.

Letter of complaint from:

Buchtar Tabuni

Papuan political prisoner

Buchtar Tabuni

SMH: Video shows Papuans being tortured

Video shows Papuans being


Tom Allard in Jakarta

westpapuamedia.info worked closely with SMH to break this story – it was released early after Papuan people released the footage on YouTube.  As predicted, YouTube had removed this footage completely due to the depiction of actual sexual torture by Indonesian security forces.  westpapuamedia.info is displaying the full unedited footage in the public interest.

October 18, 2010

‘‘Get a fire’’ ... video posted on YouTube shows two Papuan men being tortured by apparent members of the Indonesian security services.  One has a smouldering stick applied to his genitals.‘‘Get a fire’’ … video posted on YouTube shows two Papuan men being tortured by apparent members of the Indonesian security services. One has a smouldering stick applied to his genitals.

A graphic and disturbing video shows a Papuan man being poked in the genitals with a fiery stick as he is interrogated by a group of men who appear to be members of Indonesia’s security services.

The video has come to light as the Indonesian government faces continuing criticism about abuses by its security forces in Papua, scene of a long simmering separatist struggle.

The Papuan man, stripped naked, bound and with one of the interrogators placing his foot on his chest, is being asked about the location of a cache of weapons. After he tells his interrogators it has been hidden in a pigpen, one of them screams at him: ”You cheat, you cheat.”

Another interrogator then yells ”get a fire, get a fire” before a colleague administers the torture with a stick that has been burnt in a fire and is smouldering. The man screams in agony, and does so again when the treatment is repeated.

The video appears to have been taken with a mobile phone by one of the interrogators, who speak Indonesian with Javanese and Ambonese accents and wear plain clothes.

While it is common for Indonesian police and military personnel to wear civilian clothing, it is impossible to verify those in the video are members of the security services.

But the nature of the interrogation suggests professionals are at work, as does a later incident shown on the 10-minute video when an M-16 rifle is pointed at the man’s mouth.

”So you want me to shoot your mouth? So your mouth breaks?” the interrogator shouts.

The emergence of the video – it was posted on YouTube three days ago by someone using the moniker papualiberationarmy and obtained independently by the Herald – will do nothing to lessen criticism of abuses by security forces in Papua.

”We have been living under Indonesia for almost 48 years,” said Victor Kogoya, a member of the central committee of the Aliansi Mahasiswa Papua, a Papuan student group. ”For all this time, we have never felt calm, never peace. Why? Because ever since the security state has been chasing us, arresting us, killing, terror and intimidation.”

Although Jakarta made an autonomy deal with the province almost 10 years ago, its indigenous Melanesian people remain the country’s poorest while migrants flood into the resource-rich area and dominate business and paid employment, further marginalising the Papuans.

There have been repeated reports of abuses by the military and police, but foreign journalists are banned from entering Papua without special permission, while non-government groups, including the International Committee of the Red Cross, have been told to leave in the past year.

Two Papuan victims are recorded in the video – one naked and being burned, while the other is clothed and has a large knife placed under his nose as he is being questioned by the men. At one point, one of the interrogators says: ”I’ll cut your throat.”

The footage is graphic, with the men hit and threatened throughout the interrogation.

The victims speak in the Papuan dialect Lani, strongly suggesting the video was filmed in Puncak Jaya, a regency in Papua’s highlands where a unit of the armed Free Papua Movement commanded by Goliath Tabuni has been staging sporadic attacks on Indonesian police and military posts for the past two years.

Numerous weapons have been stolen in the raids and at least four soldiers and police have been killed in the past two years.

Jakarta has sent members of the national police’s mobile brigade and anti-terrorism unit, Detachment 88, to the region. Both units have been accused of using excessive force.

There have been repeated allegations of security forces making violent sweeps through villages in Puncak Jaya, a region characterised by soaring mountains covered in thick jungle. The military, including its controversial special forces unit Kopassus, also has a strong presence.

Papua, which was formerly known as Dutch New Guinea, was not incorporated into Indonesia when it became a state in 1949. It was held by the Dutch until 1962 when, following Indonesian military incursions into the area, an agreement brokered through the Untied Nations gave Indonesia administrative control of the region pending a referendum.

That ”referendum” involved just 1025 handpicked tribal leaders who unanimously agreed to join Indonesia. The so-called ”Act of Free Choice” has been labelled fraudulent and remains a source of great anger for many indigenous Papuans.

While separatist sentiment remains strong, it has little international support. Australia recognises Indonesia’s sovereignty over the region. The Herald was unable to obtain a response from the Indonesian military or police late yesterday.

LP3BH Report on Manokwari Shooting Incident

Institute of Research, Analysis and Development for Legal Aid

Jl. Gunung Salju No. 18 Fanindi (Bengkel Tan) – Manokwari, 98312
Telp/Fax : (0986) 213160; Po.Box.128 Manokwari, 98301

Report on Manokwari Shooting Incident

As a result of the gun fires shootings that were conducted by Police’s
Mobile Brigade (Brimob) Compy 3 Detachment C Manokwari, on 15 September
2010, Wednesday, 8pm (local West Papua time), at least 2 civilians died
and one woman got serious injuries with broken leg, broken pelvic bone,
and broken jaws. The incident took place in Esau Sesa Street, South
Manokwari, West Papua Province.

According to the local (witness), before the shooting incident happened
there was a traffic accident in Esau Sesa Street, a woman called
Antomina Kowi/Mandacan was hit by a motorcycle (a hired motorbike) at
around 6.30pm. The victim suffered a broken right tight bone, serious
pain on pelvic bone, and broken ribs. The motor cycle was in a high
speed from the direction of Manokwari town towards Arfai district South
of Manokwari. Post-incident, the victim’s family chased the motor’s
driver but he headed to Brimob’s headquarters. The family could not find
the driver they went back and took the victim to Manokwari Public
hospital for medical treatment.
After the incident, the residents were looking for the driver, and one
of the Brimob personnel came alone toward the mob, according to the
witness instead of calming down the people, he created tension. He was
then injured by the angry mob using the machete. Being injured the
Brimob member ran back to his HQ and contacted other Brimob members.
At around 8pm, around a dozen Brimob personnel with fully equipments
went to the crowded people and started shooting brutally against those
civilians, most of the children and adults went hide into the jungle to
avoid the angry Brimob members who seizing the area.
At around 8.20pm, the electricity went off in the whole regency for
about 10-15minutes. A resident who was in Manokwari Public hospital
said, “when the power supply went down totally, there was a car came to
the hospital and drop something, and they took it to the emergency room,
all windows and door were locked by the medical workers, only one
spotlight that lighted up inside the room.
Minutes later, it was heard that there was a death body inside the
emergency room in that hospital. Since the night time to the morning,
Thursday 16 September 2010, there was no relative of the death person
came to the hospital. Around 9am, some of the families came to the
hospital stayed outside the morgue. The dead body then was known as
Naftali Kwan the priest of GPKAI (Christian Fellowship Bible Church of
Indonesia) in Manokwari hinterland.
Around 09.30, the locals found another dead body on the edge of abyss.
The victim was known as Septinus Kwan, male, about 30years old, farmer.
In the same time, another victim a woman was called Arfonika Kwan was
found dying in critical condition in the abyss. She is the wife of the
dead victim Naftali Kwan. The victim was rushed to the public hospital,
she suffered of broken leg, broken jaws, broken pelvic bone. According
to a local, the victim was trying to avoid the angry Brimob and fell
down into the abyss.
At around 10.30am, there was a mass paraded and carried the dead body of
Septinus Kwan toward Manokwari Regent’s office. The mass have 3 demands:
First, Rp30millions compensation to the victims’ families, second that
all Brimob [the National Police’s Mobile Brigade] officers be pulled out
of Manokwari. Third, the land used to built the Brimob’s HQ will be
drawn back as the property of the indigenous people.
Thursday 11am, Manokwari ton became tense, all shops, office buildings,
schools and markets closed. The road was so quite only the sound of
machine guns were heard and a rumor was spread throughout sms/mobile
phones among the residents that there will be a nigh attack, but it was
not existed.

Information and Documention
Simon LP3BH Manokwari

(Translated by Paula Makabory)

Copy of report with pictures is available at


SMH: Activist's death blamed on anti-terrorism squad 'abuses'

Activist’s death blamed on

anti-terrorism squad ‘abuses’

Yusuf Sipakoly ... ‘I have rights to express my opinion.’Yusuf Sipakoly … ‘I have rights to express my opinion.’

JAKARTA: In his last interview, the Malukan political prisoner Yusuf Sipakoly, said: ”I believe the truth will surely arrive, although it walks slowly.”

Mr Sipakoly, who died on Monday, was one of many activists in the eastern Indonesian province to allege gross human rights abuses by Detachment 88, the Indonesian anti-terrorism unit partly funded by Australia.

Sentenced to 12 years in prison in 2007 for possessing a small separatist flag, the Herald spoke to him less than two weeks ago while he was in an Ambon hospital hooked to a dialysis machine.

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”I was tied with nylon [by the Detachment 88 officers] and my head was covered with a bucket,” he said. ”Then they started beating me until I urinated in my underwear …

”Another police officer, not Detachment 88, hit me with a wooden block while another officer hit me all over my body.”

Mr Sipakoly also alleged he was forced to drink hot water infused with carbon paper.

The 52-year-old father’s subsequent kidney and stomach ailments were a result of the mistreatment, he said.

”I didn’t commit subversion; I never carried gun and pointed it at anyone or anything; I never launched any violent attack against the state, but I only wanted to prove that I have rights to express my opinion.”

Although no action was ever taken against those who allegedly beat him, Mr Sipakoly was among 70 people interrogated in 2007 and given long prison sentences.

Another dozen men were arrested last month for planning a peaceful protest and alleged similar abuses.

Yesterday the Indonesian police chief, Bambang Hendraso Danuri, confirmed police would investigate the new claims of torture, highlighted in a Herald investigation this week.

A prominent human rights lawyer, Johnson Panjaitan, said that despite several attempts to raise the alleged abuses with Indonesian authorities, this was the first time they had agreed to launch an investigation into the alleged abuses.

But he said the exercise was pointless unless the investigation was independent and undertaken by the Indonesian government’s human rights and police watchdogs.

“This is an important case,” Mr Panjaitan said.

However, Indonesia’s Co-ordinating Minister for Politics, Law and Security, Djoko Suyanto, said he doubted the claims were true.

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