Tag Archives: institutionalized state violence

We Will Lose Everything: CJPC Brisbane’s shadow fact finding mission finds no improvement in human rights in West Papua

WE WILL LOSE EVERYTHING: A Report on a Human Rights Fact Finding Mission to West Papua

Conducted by the Catholic Justice and Peace Commission of the Archdiocese of Brisbane

1 May 2016

CJPC Brisbane’s report on its shadow human rights fact finding mission to West Papua this year finds that there is no improvement in human rights in West Papua.

It calls for action at the UN to investigate human rights abuses and for the Indonesian Government to negotiate with the United Liberation Movement for West Papua to find a pathway towards self determination.

“We will lose everything!” This was the grim prediction made by the four members of the Executive of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) when they presented their three year campaign strategy to a Brisbane meeting of representatives of solidarity groups from around the South Pacific in January 2016. When ULMWP Secretary-General, Octovianus Mote, uttered these words on behalf of his colleagues, both the anguish of the people of West Papua and their grim determination to overcome their oppression was evident in his voice. Faced with becoming a small minority in their own land within a few short years and living with unrelenting intimidation and brutality at the hands of the Indonesian Government’s security apparatus together with rapidly growing economic and social marginalisation, he stressed the need for urgent action to stop the violence in their land and to secure an international commitment to give their people a genuine opportunity to freely determine their future. The message was clear. The situation in West Papua is fast approaching a tipping point. In less than five years, the position of Papuans in their own land will be worse than precarious. They are already experiencing a demographic tidal wave. Ruthless Indonesian political, economic, social and cultural domination threatens to engulf the proud people who have inhabited the land they call Tanah Papua for thousands of years.

One week after the meeting in Brisbane, a two person delegation from the Catholic Justice and Peace Commission of the Archdiocese of Brisbane set foot on Papuan soil to speak to Papuans directly about their situation. The Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) Leaders Summit in Port Moresby in September 2015 had agreed to send a human rights fact-finding mission to West Papua, but the Indonesian Government has not allowed this to happen. One of the Commission’s objectives in sending the delegation was to build relationships with the Church in West Papua for future collaboration on human rights and environmental issues. However, because of the Indonesian Government’s unwillingness to accept a PIF mission, our delegation effectively became the first of a number of shadow human rights fact finding missions to West Papua from the Pacific.

Read the full report at the https://cjpcbrisbane.files.wordpress.com/2016/05/we-will-lose-everything-may-2016.pdf


Bintang Papua: Komnas HAM confirms torture video and denies any manipulation

Bintang Papua, 2010 21 October 2010

Komnas HAM confirms torture video – nothing to do with manipulation

Jayapura:  Although the military commander of the Cenderawasih military command will be conducting an investigation into the use of violence against Papuans by members of the TNI – Indonesian armed forces – as seen on a video that is widely circulating on the internet, the National Human Rights Commission Papuan branch has confirmed that members of the TNI did indeed torture a citizen. The reports have nothing to do with manipulation.

Mathius Murib SH, deputy chairman of Komnas HAM Papua , who is himself from Puncak Jaya, told journalists on  Thursday that the events shown on the video occurred on 17 March, 2010 at 3pm in Kelome, district of Tingginambut, and the victim was Rev. Kindeman Gira who was shot dead by a member of the TNI.

‘The victim was a God-fearing man and a member of the congregation of the GIDI Church in Turagi, Tingginambut. Although other sources have said that the incident occurred in April 2010, Komnas HAM sticks by its findings based on an investigation at the location of the crime.

One of the victims of the violence which lasted for six minutes and which was  photographed was able to escape with his life, but his physical condition was very bad and he is badly traumatised, making it impossible for him to give an account of what happened.

Military operations should stop
Komnas HAM has meanwhile called on the military commander of Cenderawaih military command and the chief of police in Papua to halt all operations in the area and not to increase the number of troops there which can only lead to yet more trauma and more victims among the civilian population in Puncak Jaya.

The circulation of the video showing the violence has led to strong condemnation from a variety of sources. Murib said that acts of violence have been occurring in Puncak Jaya  for a long time, ever since 2004 and up until 2010, but such an approach has not resulting in ending the conflict  and has only made things worse.

The security forces and those in charge of law enforcement were urged to behave in a more professional way and act in accordance with Human Rights Principles and Standards in everything that they do in Puncak Jaya and everywhere else in Papua.

Those civilian groups who bear arms in any parts of Papua  should immediately halt their actions and engage in consolidation to restore the situation in Puncak Jaya to normal.

Murib said that from 17 August 2004 until 2010, 50 deaths of civilians and members of the security forces have been reported.

Komnas HAM has also asked the governor of the province to make it possible for the church to enter into negotiations with their followers in the region to behave in a spirit of love and friendship and eschew all methods of violence.

The chairman of Front Pepera, Selpius Bobii said that a number of bloody incidents had occurred right across Papua and West  Papua, giving clear evidence that the Indonesian state is committing acts of violence as is revealed in the two videos lasting one minute and ten minutes. He said that the army and the police should stop denying the use of violence against the civilian population in the central highlands. ‘There is authentic evidence and it cannot be denied by the security forces, saying that the situation is under control. The commander should also admit that this is being perpetrated by his subordinates and should not try to deny things.’

He said the military commander and chief of police must take responsibility* *for all the human rights violations occurring in Papua and West  Papua and stop telling lies about the s ituation in Papua being normal. He also called upon the Indonesian people  to open themselves to talks  with the Papuan people to find a solution to all the problems occurring i the Land of  Papua.

The number of victims since 2004:

2004: seven people died and four were seriously wounded.
2005 five  people were seriously wounded.
2006 two people died.
2007 one person died.
2009 five people died and eight were wounded.
2010 four people were taken hostage, five people were wounded and four people died.
In 2004, five hartop vehicles were destroyed by fire and one police patrol vehicle was shot at.
In 2007. a rifle was seized.
In 2009 six weapons were seized, as well as 29 bullets, two ammunition magazines taken, one S-Trada Troton was shot at, two TNI command posts were destroyed as well as a steel bridge, while two primary school buildings and one lower secondary school – SMP – were burned down.

In 2010, a sircraft was shot at and there was an attack on a TNI command post.

Source: Komnas HA Papua report.

Translated in full by TAPOL

fPcN Press release on Indonesia's own 'ABU GHRAIB'in West Papua


fPcN Press release on Indonesia’s own ‘ABU GHRAIB’in West Papua
Warning: This video is highly brutal!
All our volunteers around the fPcN global network was horrified on seeing the new received video showing very clear brutal torture in West Papua. The Indonesian Police BRIMOB and Kostrad are completely out of control. Constant abuse of West Papuan people, impunity, and three shootings in recent weeks. In Puncak Jaya the ongoing sweeping operations by Brimob who are conducting random and punitive village burnings, rapes killings and torture on a daily basis. The question is if these crimes against humanity are being controlled by Jakarta, or can Jakarta not control its security forces. This video show clear evidence of deliberate violations of human rights, conducted with the full knowledge of the POLRI command. If POLRI command are in knowledge, then the responsibility goes to the highest level of the Police.
An historic U.S. Congressional hearing on September 22th regarding West Papua revealed ongoing human rights abuse by the Indonesian military and continued impunity for those abuses and broad Papuan rejection of Jakarta’s failed policy of “special autonomy.” The hearing also cast light on a U.S. policy that appeared not to have evolved to address the deteriorating conditions in West Papua or an unreformed Indonesian military intent on resisting accountability and civilian control. Subcommittee Chairman’s Faleomavaega’s description of “slow motion genocide” set the tone of urgency that enveloped the hearing.
fPcN decided not edit out any of the graphic scenes from the video content because it shows the truth, the out and out brutality of Papuan life under the Indonesian occupation. The accompanying clip shows two men, one young and the other between 50-60 years, in the detention of Kostrad members, suffering increasing acts of brutality and torture. Kostrad personnel then proceeded to become progressively rougher with their detainees during the course of interrogation. Putting bayonets in their mouths, kneeing them, stripping them,putting the old man’s head in a plastic bag to suffocate, then taking off, putting on etc. major force was used, kicking, punching. After about five minutes, Kostrad personnel started to put burning sticks onto the old man’s penis, for at least a few minutes.
West Papuan human rights workers have obtained a series of mobile phone videos of brutal acts of torture on two West Papuan priests.  Indonesian security forces, most likely troops from the Kostrad battalion 754 based at Nabire, filmed the torture March 17 2010 at a road bridge near Tingginambut, Puncak Jaya, in the midst of a still ongoing military operation.
This disturbing video shows hooded members of an Indonesian security team, believed to be members of Kostrad battalion 753 from Nabire, kicking, punching, poking with bayonets, terrorising, and brutalising both detainees.
Perhaps the most brutal scenes are where the old man, believed to be a priest of the indigenous Kingmi Church, the Reverend Kindeman Gire, is repeatedly held down while soldiers deliberately burn his penis with a burning stick.
Westpapuamedia.info is working together with a joint team of media and international human rights workers to verify all the facts around this video.  It had been released prematurely by external sources, so the facts are still being confirmed. Investigators are still conducting forensic analysis of the original source files to determine the full identity of the mobile phone that was used to film these abuses, and if it is connected to other videos recently received (to be published).
The two victims spoke in Bahasa Indonesia and Lani. It is believed that the main victim is Rev. Kindeman Gire who was killed in March 2010.

HRW: Indonesia: Free ‘Balloon Activists’ in Ambon


Indonesia: Free ‘Balloon Activists’ in Ambon
Ill-Treatment of Political Prisoners in Earlier Episodes Raises Grave Concerns
August 10, 2010

Related Materials:
Prosecuting Political Aspiration
Indonesia: Stop Prosecuting Peaceful Political Expression
Indonesia’s Not-So-Well-Kept Secret

Sadly, free speech in Indonesia is about as sturdy as the detained activists’ balloons. The Indonesian government publicly claims that it respects freedom of expression, so it should live up to its word and free these peaceful protesters immediately.
Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch

(New York) – The Indonesian authorities should immediately release the activists for Moluccan independence arrested in Ambon at the beginning of August 2010, Human Rights Watch said today. The activists were allegedly planning to float banned Moluccan independence flags attached to balloons to protest an August 3 visit by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

Local sources reported that between 7 and 15 activists were arrested in connection with balloon launch plans to express political opposition to Indonesian rule in the Moluccas Islands. The police reportedly confiscated as evidence 133 posters that read “Free Alifuru and Papua Political Prisoners,” two copies of the June 2010 Human Rights Watch report “Prosecuting Political Aspiration,” 17 separatist Southern Moluccas Republic (Republik Maluku Selatan or RMS) flags, and one 12-pound gas cylinder to be used to fill the balloons. Yudhoyono was in Ambon to open the “Sail Banda” event, organized by the Tourism Ministry and the Moluccas Islands government to promote tourism in the Banda Sea.

“Sadly, free speech in Indonesia is about as sturdy as the detained activists’ balloons,” said Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “The Indonesian government publicly claims that it respects freedom of expression, so it should live up to its word and free these peaceful protesters immediately.”

Human Rights Watch expressed grave concern that past torture and ill-treatment of political prisoners in Ambon puts the recently detained activists at serious risk. The detainees should have immediate access to family members and legal counsel, Human Rights Watch said.

Those arrested include Benny Sinay, Izak Sapulete, Andy Marunaya, Edwin Marunaya, Ongen Krikof, Marven Bremer, Steven Siahaya, and Ony Siahaya. Jacob Sinay, who lost his civil service job in December 2009 because of his political activism, is also being held. Most were arrested at their homes on August 2 and 3. Some were also arrested because they publicly unfurled the separatist RMS flag in some places in the archipelago, including on Ambon and Saparua islands.

Observers at the Sail Banda event in the Yos Sudarso seaport in Ambon described what they considered to be a very large deployment of police officers and military personnel. The security forces apparently sought to prevent a repeat of Yudhoyono’s June 29, 2007 visit, when 28 local Moluccan dancers were able to enter the Ambon stadium, dance the cakalele war dance, and unfurl the RMS flag.

More than 70 men were arrested after the 2007 dance. Many were tortured after being handed over to Anti-Terror Unit 88 forces based in Ambon. The Ambon district court convicted more than three dozen of them, including the dance leader Johan Teterisa, of treason and sentenced them to prison terms ranging from 5 to 20 years. Teterisa was sentenced to 15 years and is in the Malang prison in eastern Java.

Human Rights Watch expressed concern that Ambon authorities confiscated the recent Human Rights Watch report, “Prosecuting Political Aspiration,” as possible evidence in a case against the activists. The report profiles the cases of 10 prominent Papuan and Moluccan activists currently behind bars for expressing their political views, and details ill-treatment they suffered in detention and violations of their due process rights.

In June, Human Rights Watch discussed the findings of the report in Jakarta with officials from the Law and Human Rights Ministry, the Foreign Affairs Ministry, and the National Commission on Human Rights. At least 100 Papuans and Moluccans are in prison in Indonesia for peacefully expressing their political views.

“By arresting the Ambon activists, the Indonesian authorities are repeating the very mistakes that raised doubts globally about Indonesia’s commitment to improving human rights,” Robertson said. “The government should release these peaceful protesters immediately and spare the country further international condemnation.”

Human Rights Watch takes no position on claims to self-determination in Indonesia or in any other country. Consistent with international law, Human Rights Watch supports the right of all individuals, including independence supporters, to express their political views peacefully without fear of arrest or other forms of reprisal.

Most of the current political prisoners in Indonesia were convicted of makar (treason) under articles 106 and 110 of the Indonesian Criminal Code.

However, freedom of expression is protected both in Indonesia’s constitution and international human rights law. The constitution in article 28(e) states, “Every person shall have the right to the freedom of association and expression of opinion.” Article 28(f) provides, “Every person shall have the right to communicate and obtain information for the development of his/her personal life and his/her social environment, and shall have the right to seek, acquire, possess, keep, process, and convey information by using all available channels.”

In December 2007, the Indonesian government issued Government Regulation 77/2007, which regulates regional symbols. Article 6 of the regulation bans display of flags or logos that have the same features as “organizations, groups, institutions or separatist movements.” Both the Papuan Morning Star flag and the RMS flag are considered to fall under this ban.

The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which Indonesia ratified in 2006, also protects the right to free expression. Under article 19, “[e]veryone shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice.”