Tag Archives: Jakarta Globe

JG: Low-Ranking Soldiers Indicted Over Torture, Killing in Papua’s Puncak Jaya

[The Papua Customary Council (DAP), however, disagreed with the Army’s
version of events. It said Kinderman was a local priest and had no
ties to the OPM.

“He was waiting for a delivery from Wamena, so when a convoy
approached he immediately went up to check for his package,” DAP
member Markus Haluk said. “There are thousands of innocent civilians
in Papua accused of being OPM to justify military tortures and
killings. This trial is just for show, like the previous one.”]

The Jakarta Globe
July 21, 2011

Low-Ranking Soldiers Indicted Over Torture,
Killing in Papua’s Puncak Jaya

by Banjir Ambarita

Jayapura

A military tribunal in Papua indicted three low-ranking soldiers on
Wednesday for the killing of a civilian in Puncak Jaya district last
year.

The defendants were identified as First Sgt. Saut Sihombing, Second
Pvt. Hery Purwanto and Second Pvt. Hasirun. All three serve in the
Army’s Nabire Infantry Battalion, as did four soldiers sentenced in
November for torturing two civilians in the village of Gurage in the
same district.

That incident resulted in international condemnation after a video of
the torture was posted on the online video-sharing site YouTube in
October.

Military prosecutor Capt. Jem C.H. Manibuy charged the three
defendants in this latest case with torture. They are accused of
beating and shooting to death a civilian, identified as Kinderman
Gire. The killing occurred near a military checkpoint in the village
of Illu on March 17 last year, just two weeks prior to the Gurage
incident.

The indictment says Saut, Hery and Hasirun accompanied a civilian
convoy that was delivering food supplies to Mulia, the capital of
Puncak Jaya district, around 10 hours by road from Wamena, Jayawijaya.

Kinderman, according to the indictment, stopped the convoy near Kalome
village in an attempt to extort gasoline from the driver of one of the
vehicles.

Saut disembarked from his vehicle and approached Kinderman who was
with another civilian, Pitinus Kogoya. The indictment says that
Kinderman then said, “I am not afraid of the military. I have 30
friends in the mountains and they are armed,” suggesting that
Kinderman was a member of the separatist Free Papua Movement (OPM).

Kinderman and Pitinus were then beaten while being interrogated by
Hery and Hasirun, the indictment says. Pitinus was able to escape by
jumping down an embankment.

The military tribunal was told that Kinderman tried to grab a rifle
from Hery, who reacted by firing at Kinderman. The shot hit Kinderman
in the chest, killing him instantly.

Saut said he reported the incident to his superior, Sudarmin, who told
the three not to say anything about the shooting.

The three soldiers took Kinderman’s body to their vehicle before
dumping it in a river from a bridge in Tingginambut subdistrict, the
indictment says.

The Papua Customary Council (DAP), however, disagreed with the Army’s
version of events. It said Kinderman was a local priest and had no
ties to the OPM.

“He was waiting for a delivery from Wamena, so when a convoy
approached he immediately went up to check for his package,” DAP
member Markus Haluk said. “There are thousands of innocent civilians
in Papua accused of being OPM to justify military tortures and
killings. This trial is just for show, like the previous one.”

BREAKING NEWS: WAR IN TINGGINAMBUT, WEST PAPUA

REPORTS OF 600 TNI SURROUNDING VILLAGES IN TINGGINAMBUT

by Nick Chesterfield @ Westpapuamedia.info

Monday July 10, 2011

Confirmed reports emerged on Sunday from Puncak Jaya, West Papua, that over 600 Indonesian Army (TNI) troops have been conducting daily full combat operations since July 4 in and around villages in the Tingginambut area.  Troops have reportedly attacked a series of villages said to be the refuge of the West Papuan Guerrilla leader Goliat Tabuni.

Troops from the notorious 753 Nabire battalion have reportedly surrounded the General Headquarters area of the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPN-PB) faction led by Tabuni, and have occupied several villages including Kalome, where three soldiers were shot by unknown assailants last Tuesday.  The Indonesian government news agency Antara reported that armed men stopped TNI soldiers from carrying out what it described as a “routine patrol” in Kalome village.  An exchange of fire occured – it is unclear who shot first – and three TNI were all struck by bullets to their arms sustaining non-life-threatening gunshot injuries.

According to reliable human rights activists in the immediate area, villagers in Kalome were rounded up and subject to harsh treatment by returning soldiers from 753Btn, and reportedly forced to watch as several houses were torched.  West Papua Media has been unable to verify these reports, but 753Btn has a well documented history of burning villages suspected of sympathies or harbouring TPN-PB.  (Extensive video footage of previous village burnings is available to any interested party).

Firefights have been occurring daily between TPN and TNI forces, with local sources describing it as “a 7-day shootout”.  “The current death toll, according to our intelligence data, is that Indonesia have killed 20 TPN fatalities, and according to reports from the field in Puncak Jaya, TPN have claimed five Indonesian military casualties”, said the source upon condition of anonymity.  Several civilian casualties have been reported, though exact figures are unconfirmed.  West Papua Media cannot at this stage confirm exact numbers.

Battalion 753, the battalion responsible for the well documented torture of West Papuan civilians and village burnings across Puncak Jaya in 2010 (including the infamous Tunaliwor Kiwo torture video), has been recently engaged in a much publicised heart-and-minds Bakti (Service) campaign, gardening and house-building cynically named “Love and Peace are Beautiful”, to mend the bridges damaged by the Army’s human rights abuses, torture and village burnings.  It was unclear whether this campaign was mending the houses that 753 had previously burnt down.

Puncak Jaya has been the scene of regular human rights abuses on civilians, with major combat operations ongoing since 2009.  TNI and BRIMOB paramilitary Police, as well as the Australian trained Detachment 88 counter-terrorist unit, have regularly targeted civilians whom they accuse of supporting the guerrilla TPN-PB of Tabuni.

Local sources have expressed fear to West Papua Media that their villages are being targeted for pacification and punitive operations after the failure of a much touted Social service campaign to heal the image of brutality that surrounds the 753 battalion.  It is feared by local activists that civilians are especially at risk as collective punishment for the potential escape of Tabuni’s forces, in a strategy by the TNI designed to flush out the TPN.

According to the adjutant of General Tabuni in a statement sent to West Papua Media, the purpose of the social activities by the TNI was to create a trojan horse for the eradication of armed resistance from Tabuni and his men.  “TNI’s Bakti social mission in Puncak Jaya is really a guise to avoid gross violations of human rights because the TNI Papua Commander was in the area and needed good press”.  According to the Jakarta Globe, the head of the Cenderawasih Military Command, Maj. Gen. Erfi Triassunu, said the TNI would provide psychiatrists to help residents traumatized by the widespread violence in the area.  The campaign was due to run from 2 May to 28 August, but almost all the troops who were building houses are now burning them down again, according to local sources.

Local human rights activists described the failure of this program being caused by the simple issue of trust.  “All their talk of caring for our human rights and welfare is shown to be a lie by this latest operation.  We have never trusted them, but now we trust them even less,” said the human rights worker, who cannot be named for his safety.

The TPN spokesperson was more blunt.  “People doubted the presence of top military who were proclaiming their victory in Puncak Jaya.  The TNI social service campaign is merely a shield.  It was evident from July 6,  that (these) military forces ….suddenly stopped and all directed to Tingginambut to conduct  military sweeps.  All TNI Bakti activities stopped completely. Since July 6 to the 8th all military forces here, with full combat equipment, have surrounded the headquarters of  TPN / OPM…. Tabuni is currently under siege”.

Reports of major abuse by Indonesian security forces in the West Papuan highlands are notoriously difficult to verify, as international human rights monitors and journalists are banned by the Indonesian government from travel to West Papua.

Please stay tuned to West Papua Media for more updates.

westpapuamedia.info

for media enquiries, please call +61450079

NGOs Say US Got it Wrong on Indonesian Human Rights

FYI

Dessy Sagita | April 11, 2011

Indonesian activists on Sunday criticized the US government for praising Indonesia’s progress on human rights, saying that the barometer used for the report could be misleading.

“I’m a bit concerned with the diplomatic statements made by some countries regarding Indonesia’s progress on human rights, because it could give people the wrong perception about what’s really happening,” Haris Azhar, coordinator of the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras), told the Jakarta Globe.

As in previous editions, the US State Department’s annual survey on human rights pointed to concerns in Indonesia, this year including accounts of unlawful killings in violence-torn Papua along with violations of freedom of religion.

But US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, while presenting on Friday the mammoth, 7,000-page global report, pointed to Indonesia as a success story.

“Indonesia boasts a vibrant free media and a flourishing civil society at the same time as it faces up to challenges in preventing abuses by its security forces and acting against religious intolerance,” she was quoted by foreign wire agencies as saying.

The survey covers the period before Islamic fanatics brutally killed three members of the Ahmadiyah sect in early February, raising questions over Indonesia’s commitment to safeguard minority rights.

The concern over Papua is primarily a reference to the torture of two civilians there last year by soldiers. They were subsequently court-martialed in January but given sentences of less than a year, a punishment slammed by the influential group Human Rights Watch as far too lenient to send a message that abuse was unacceptable.

Kontras’s Haris said both indicators presented by the US government — that Indonesia has been progressing in terms of media independence and better access for civil societies to voice their concern — were also incorrect.

“Freedom of journalism? I don’t think so. It’s still fresh in our minds that several journalists have been brutally attacked because of their reporting, some were even murdered,” he said.

“And in terms of flourishing civil societies, it’s true, non-government organizations are mushrooming, but what’s the point if human rights defenders and anticorruption activists are assaulted?” he added.

According to Kontras, in 2010 alone more than 100 human rights activists here were victimized and many of the perpetrators remain free.

And according to Reporters Without Borders, when it comes to press freedom, Indonesia ranks very low, much worse than it did several years ago when Abdurrahman “Gus Dur” Wahid was the president.

The US report in some ways echoes progress noted by New York-based Human Rights Watch in its own annual review of human rights practices around the globe, released in January. Then it noted that while serious human rights concerns remained, Indonesia had over the past 12 years made great strides in becoming a stable, democratic country with a strong civil society and independent media.

But Andreas Harsono, from Human Rights Watch, said it was perplexing that the US government would compliment Indonesia’s progress on rights.

“It’s a big joke,” he said. “Attacks against Ahmadiyah have been happening since 2008, after the joint ministerial decree was issued, and attacks against churches during SBY’s six-year tenure are even more prevalent than during the five decades in which Sukarno and Suharto ruled,” he said.

Additional reporting by AP, AFP 

AJI Papua Presses Police About Lack of Progress Over Stabbing

Media information FYI

The Jakarta Globe
Sunday, March 27, 2011

AJI Papua Presses Police About Lack of Progress Over Stabbing

The Papua chapter of the Alliance of Independent Journalists has
expressed frustration with the sluggish pace of police investigations
into the stabbing of local journalist Banjir Ambarita.

“The investigation is taking too long, that is why we are monitoring
the case closely,” said Viktor Mambor, chairman of the Papuan branch
of the alliance also known as the AJI. “We are going to do something
to pressure the police, like hold a protest rally.”

“The new [Papua] police chief was once in Densus [the National
>Police’s counterterrorism unit], investigating a case like this should
be easier than capturing terrorists,” he said.

Banjir, a freelance reporter and contributor to the Jakarta Globe, was
attacked in Jayapura by two men on a motorcycle as he was riding his
own motorcycle home shortly after midnight on March 3.

The Jayapura Police’s detective unit questioned Banjir on Friday, more
than three weeks after the stabbing. “Because Banjar Ambarita’s
condition has improved, we formally asked him for information in
relation to the stabbing,” said First Adj. Insp. Widodo, an officer in
the unit. “A total of 37 questions were posed and were answered well.

“We have already questioned five witnesses, but we have yet to find a
lead,” he added.

Viktor said the AJI appreciated the police’s efforts but said: “Even
though they are working quite well in carrying out their job, this does not guarantee that they are taking the case seriously.”

Poengky Indarty, director of external relations at rights group Imparsial, said that as a defender of human rights in Papua, it was
vital that Banjir be protected.

“Until today, the perpetrators responsible for the violence have not
been identified,” she said. “We urge the Papuan Police to make every
effort to catch the offenders and legally process them.”

She said Banjir had provided police with information to make a sketch
of his attackers. “We want them to investigate based on this sketch
and look into police officers who may be involved in the case,” she
said.
Nurfika Osman

The Observatory: Indonesia: Brutal attack against journalist Banjir Ambarita

URGENT APPEAL- THE OBSERVATORY

IDN 001 / 0311 / OBS 049

Attack

Indonesia

March 25, 2011

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint
programme of the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and the
International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), has received new
information and requests your urgent intervention in the following
situation in Indonesia.

Description of the situation:

The Observatory has been informed by reliable sources of the brutal
attack against Mr. Banjir Ambarita, journalist, after the publication of several of his articles in the local newspaper Bintang Papua of Jayapura, Papua province, and in the Jakarta Globe, denouncing sexual abuses committed by police officers in Jayapura.

According to the information received, on March 3, 2011, Mr. Banjir
Ambarita was riding his motorcycle in front of the Jayapura Mayor?s
office, when two unknown men on a motorcycle reportedly approached him, stabbed him twice in the chest and stomach and fled. As he began to bleed, Mr. Banjir Ambarita drove to the nearby police station. Police officers took him to the Marthen Indey Hospital in Aryoko, Jayapura, where he underwent surgery. He has reportedly recovered since then.

The Papua Regional Police and the Jayapura Police have set up a joint
force to investigate the case, but to date, perpetrators remain unknown.

Mr. Banjir Ambarita had recently written articles in the Bintang Papua and in the Jakarta Globe about two alleged rape cases involving the police.

In the first article, he had written that four police officers and three
civilians allegedly raped and tortured a 15 year old girl in February
2011, in Biak, Papua province. The last article, dated February 27,
2011, covered a second case in which three police officers forced a
woman detainee to perform oral sex on them from November 2010 to January 2011 at the Jayapura Police Detention Centre in Papua province. The media coverage of this incident led to the resignation of the Jayapura’s Police Chief, Mr. Imam Setiawan, and to the sentencing to 21 days of jail for the officers involved.

The Observatory expresses its deepest concern about the attack on Mr. Banjir Ambarita, which seems to merely aim at sanctioning his
denunciation of human rights violations, and urges the authorities to
ensure his protection and to promptly investigate into the
above-mentioned facts.

Actions requested:

The Observatory urges the authorities of Indonesia to:

i. Guarantee in all circumstances the physical and psychological
integrity of Mr. Banjir Ambarita, as well as all human rights defenders
in Indonesia;

ii. Carry out a prompt, effective, thorough, independent and impartial
investigation into the above-mentioned events, the result of which must be made public, in order to prosecute and try the perpetrators of these violations before a competent, independent and impartial tribunal;

iii. Conform in all circumstances with the provisions of the Declaration
on Human Rights Defenders, adopted on December 9, 1998 by the United Nations General Assembly, in particular:

– Article 1, which states that ?Everyone has the right, individually or
in association with others, to promote the protection and realization of
human rights and fundamental freedoms at the national and international levels;

– Article 6, which provides that: “Everyone has the right, individually
and in association with others: (a) to know, seek, obtain, receive and
hold information about all human rights and fundamental freedoms (?);
(b) freely to publish, impart or disseminate to others views, information and knowledge on all human rights and fundamental freedoms”;
(c) to study, discuss, form and hold opinions on the observance, both in law and in practice, of all human rights and fundamental freedoms and, through these and other appropriate means, to draw public attention to those matters”,

– Article 12.2 which provides that “The State shall take all necessary
measures to ensure the protection by the competent authorities of
everyone, individually and in association with others, against any
violence, threats, retaliation, de facto or de jure adverse discrimination, pressure or any other arbitrary action as a consequence
of his or her legitimate exercise of the rights referred to in the present Declaration”;

iv. Ensure in all circumstances the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with the Universal Declaration of
Human Rights and with international and regional human rights
instruments ratified by Indonesia.

Addresses:

  • HE. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, President of the Republic of Indonesia, Presidential Palace, Istana Merdeka, Jakarta 10110, Indonesia; Fax: +6221 345 2685/526 8726
  • Mr. Gamawan Fauzi. Minister of Home Affairs, Jl. Medan Merdeka Utara No. 7, Jakarta Pusat, Indonesia, Fax +62 21 385 1193 / +62 21 384 6430, Email: pusdatinkomtel@depdagri.go.id⁢mailto:pusdatinkomtel@depdagri.go.id>
  • Mr. Patrialis Akbar, Minister for Justice and Human Rights, Department of Justice and Human Rights, Jl. H.R. Rasuna Said Kav No. 4-5, Kuningan – Jakarta Selatan 12950, Indonesia,
    Fax: + 62 21 525 3095/ 310 4149/ 522 5036,
    Email: rohumas@depkehham.go.id
  • Indonesian National Commission on Human Rights, Jl. Latuharhary No 4B, Menteng, Jakarta Pusat 10310, Indonesia, Fax : +62 21 392 5227, Email: info@komnasham.go.id
  • Permanent Mission of the Republic of Indonesia in Geneva, Rue de Saint-Jean 16, Case Postale 2271, 1211 Geneva 2, Suisse, Fax: +41 22 345 57 33, Email: mission.indonesia@ties.itu.int
  • Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia to the Kingdom of Belgium, Boulevard de la Woluwe 38, B-1200, Brussels, Belgium, Fax +32 27 72 82 10, Email: primebxl@skynet.be

Please also write to the diplomatic representations of Indonesia in your
respective countries.

***
Geneva-Paris, March 25, 2011

* *

Kindly inform us of any action undertaken quoting the code of this
appeal in your reply.

The Observatory, an OMCT and FIDH venture, is dedicated to the
protection of Human Rights Defenders and aims to offer them concrete
support in their time of need.

To contact the Observatory, call the emergency line:

· E-mail: Appeals@fidh-omct.org

· Tel and fax OMCT + 41 22 809 49 39 / + 41 22 809 49 29

· Tel and fax FIDH + 33 1 43 55 25 18 / +33 1 43 55 18 80