LP3BH Urges the President so Resolve the Papua issue by means of Dialogue

COMMENT by Yan Christian Warinussy,
Executive Director of LP3BH
8 September 2013
After carefully examining  theoretic aspects of the question of dialogue as the way of resolving several conflicts in various parts of the world, I wish to present a concrete proposal to Dr Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono [SBY], the President of Indonesia, regarding the question of resolving the conflict in the Land of Papua by means of dialogue.During a four-day visit to Geneva, I was able to become acquainted with efforts being made to resolve conflicts in other parts of the world such as South Philippines, Burma and Mali. It was clear to me that dialogue is an important method used in other conflicts in which Indonesia has been playing a positive role.

In my opinion, as we approach the end of the second term of he current presidency in 2014,  it is very important for SBY to resolve the  issue of Papua by involving all elements and components of the Papuan people.

As a defender of human rights in the Land of Papua, it is clear to me that as a consequence of resolving the issue of Papua, SBY would win acknowledgement as a world leader deserving widespread respect  for having resolved the issue of Papua, which will resonate also on his whole administration as well as the various political parties which support him.

The image of his administration  which is currently is  rather lopsided could be changed completely if he shows that he has a clear vision regarding the issue of Papua by using his authority to enter into dialogue with Papua before the end of 2013.

Moreover, it could have a positive impact in several of the major countries across the world and strengthen Indonesia’s position as a democratic country  which is respected by all the countries that are currently in close alliance with Indonesia..

[Translated by TAPOL]

LP3BH: Police and army chiefs must be held responsible for attacks on Papuan Congress participants

Statement by Yan Christian Warinussy, executive-director of LP3BH/Manokwari

The attack by members of the Indonesian Police/Polri  and the Indonesian Army against partiipants at the Third Papuan People’s Congress on  19 October was a gross violations of human rights because it was perpetrated against ordinary civilians who were unarmed  and were not involved in any acts of resistance.This is abundantly clear from video which I and the LP3BH-Manokwari have in our possession and which have been shown to  government officials and members of the European Parliament as well as to members of the German Parliament last week in Berlin.

The videos clearly show that the attacks that were launched by members of Polri and the TNI were acting under the command of the chief of police in Papua and in Jayapura. There were no acts of resistance whatever by members of the public or by any of the participants at the Congress, including members of the special defence group for the Congress, the PETAPA.

The videos also show a number of persons in civilian clothing, wearing short pants and shirts  who are clearly intelligence agents of the police and the army, who can be seen holding  pistols as well as rifles and who can be seen firing their weapons into the air, and even show some members of the security forces firing in the direction of the large crowd of people who were running away towards the mountains or to places in Abepura, in fear of their lives.

The discovery of six dead bodies following the tragedy of the Third People’s Congress is a clear indication of the use of ammunition being aimed against the mass of people.

As a human rights activist in the Land of Papua, I saw no actions aimed at dispersing the people or attempts to prevent chaos. The Congress was already over and  one hour later, members of the security forces who were under the command of  Police Commissioner Imam Setyawan SIK can be seen trying to prevent a  vehicle which was driving along Jalan Yakonde with the lawyer Edison Waromi on board, which  was damaged by the security forces who pulled the people of the vehicle and started beating them and then pushed them into a  police van to be driven to police headquarters where they are now being held in custody.

Following the arrest of Waromi, the security forces starting firing their weapons and chasing participants of the Papuan Congress as they were leaving the location of that event.

I herewith, as Executive Director of LP3BH/Manorkwari and a human rights defender in the Land of Papua, urge Komnas HAM, to investigate the matter and to bring formal charges against the Papua chief of police and the police chief in Jayapuara, as well as the commander of the 1702 military command in Jayapura  who were in command of the operation to be held fully accountable for the bloody incident that occurred on 19 October 2011

LP3BP: The Papuan people have the right to self Determination

Press Release issued by LP3BH on 12 October 2011The Institute for Research, Recognition and Development of Legal Aid, in Manokwari was set up on 12 October 1996 in order to provide judicial services to  Papuan people who are lacking in social, economic and political capacity. It was set  up by NGO activists, human rights  activists, traditional leaders, spiritual leaders , the Catholic Church and the GPKAI in Manokwari.

The basic viewpoint of the founders at that time was that many legal and human rights abuses were not being resolved in accordance with the principles of justice and fairness and there was the need for a body to be set up that was in favour of upholding law and human rights in Manokwari and West Papua [which was known at the time as Birds Head.]

On the occasion of its XVth anniversary on 12 October 2011, the  LP3BH wishes to make public its attitude on a number of social and political problems, as follows:

1. The LP3BH is profoundly aware of and in agreement with the opinion that the Papuan  people who for almost forty years, under both the old and the new order  governments, have never had the opportunity to assemble and consult each other about their fate  and their future as a community of people who have the right to self-determination.

2. The LP3BH believes that the political history of Papua as a result of integration needs to be rectified  in accordance with the message adopted at the second Papuan Congress to enter into peaceful dialogue with the Indonesian government, with international mediation.

3. The LP3BH understands and continues to believe that the many criminal actions such as murders, emergency executions  and shootings in and around Jayapura, in the districts of Ilaga-Papua and Puncak Jaya as well as the shootings that continue to occur around the Freeport-Indonesia mine are a clear indication // of the involvement of certain elements of  the security forces of the Indonesian army (TNI), and must therefore be handled by criminal investigations undertaken by the Indonesian police force which is the only force with the legal and judicial powers to do so.

4. The soial and political situation in Papua has greatly improved as a result of the Papuan people deciding to pursue the path of peace in their efforts to solve the conflict in the Land of Papua.

5.  Acts of violence continue to occur in the Land of Papua and take the form of  physical violence as well as armed conflict.

Based on the situation described above, the LP3BH/Manokwari makes the following  demands:

1. The Indonesian Government should put an end to all overt military operations as well as intelligence operations which continue to be conducted against the background and paradigm of security disturbances without being based on political State policies adopted by the Indonesian Parliament/DPR-RI

2. The Indonesian Government should respond wisely and diligently to each and every  offer by the Papuan people to enter into peaceful dialogue free from violence in order to seek a solution to the conflict in the Land of Papua.

3. The Indonesian Government should adopt a more democratic approach, without any movement of espionage, to build a Land of Papua which is more humane. and just and is at all times ready to listen to the innermost feelings of the Papuan people

LP3BH report on the trial of five students in Manokwari

Report from LP3BH, the Merauke-based legal aid institute, regarding the charges against five Papuan students who are currently on trial for subversion, makar:First of all, the charges  against the five students, Alex Duwiri, Yance Sekeyab, John Raweyai, Penehas Serongon and Jhon Wilson Wader are not that they unfurled the 14-star flag but that they took part in a long march by students from the State University of Papua – UNIPA – which started at the university campus in Amban, Manokwari on 14 December and went to the Information and Communications Service of the district of Manokwari in Sanggeng, Manokwari.

The five students were arrested  because their faces were identified in photographs taken by a member of the police force in Manokwari while they were taking part in a rally by about fifty students who were on a long march from Amban to show their support for the action to mark the 22nd anniversary of the Proclamation of the Independence of West Melanesia  on 14 December 2010.

Alex Duwiri was arrested somewhere near the the location of the action because his face had been identified in a photograph, while John Raweyai was arrested because he was the Master of Ceremonies of the action. John Wilson Wader was arrested while he was arranging the chairs that were being used during that ceremony, while Penehas Serongan and Yance Sekeyab were arrested outside the Women’s Institute which was about one kilometre from the rally as they were leaving the  event just before it had been broken up by the police. They had left slightly earlier because they wanted to get back to the university to attend a lecture there.

Then, what happened on 14 December 2010 was that Melkianus Bleskadit was taking part in an event to mark the 22nd anniversary of the Proclamation of the Republic of Melanesia that took place  near the premises of the Information and Communications Service  of the district of Manokwari in Sanggeng Manokwari.The event was attended by about one hundred Papuan civilians. Yance who was also there  had been asked to say a prayer and give a vote of thanks at the end of the ceremony.

Bleskadit got onto the platform to deliver his speech but all of a sudden, the crowd started yelling Papua, which they did three times, and Bleskadit pulled out a 14-star flag  and held it up in his hands, whereupon the Manokwari police who were present got onto the platform and arrested him.

Thirdly, the trial of Melkianus Bleskadit and Dance Yenu was held on the following day, Tuesday, 13 June at which  witnesses for the prosecution were heard, as well as some expert witnesses who had come from Makassar. One of the witnesses was an Indonesian language expert, another was an expert in criminal code and the third was an expert in governance law.

Fourthly, the five students are indeed facing the charge of makar based on Article 106 as well as Article 160 on incitement.

Finally, we have not heard anything about pressure being put on the media  regarding their coverage of this case in the Manokwari district court..

From Yan Christian Warinussy

This message was sent in response to a query received by LP3BP from Josef Benedict of Amnesty International.

Urgent need for Truth and Reconciliation Commission and Human Rights Court in Papua

Press Release from LP3BHLaw 21/2001 on Special Autonomy for Papua as amended by Law 35/2008 states the following in article 46, para (1): ‘In order to strengthen unity of the people in the province of Papua, a Truth and Reconciliation Commission should be set up while Article 46 reads as follows: ‘ Within the framework of strengthening unity and unanimity, a Trth and Reconciliation shall be set up.’

‘The task of the Commission (KKR) shall be (a) to reach a clarification of Papuan history to solidify unity and unanimity of the nation within the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia and (b) to draft measures towards reconciliation.’

In further elucidation of Article 46, it states the need for reconciliation which shall include the acknowledgement of errors, the need for apology, the offer of forgiveness, peace, the rule of law, amnesty, rehabilitation or other alternatives  necessary to upholding the sense of justice with the community in order to uphold unity and unanimity.

In the opinion of LP3BH-Manokwari, the Association for Research, Advocacy and Development of Legal Aid,  a Commission for Truth and Reconciliation is an integral  part of the implementation of special autonomy that should as a matter of urgency be implemented the Indonesian Government and the regional government in the Land of Papua, namely the governments of Papua and West Papua.

The formation of the KKR is very urgent. There are four issues that need to be dealt with: first, the marginalisation and effective discrimination against the indigenous Papua people as a result of economic developments; political conflicts; and the mass in-migration into Papua since the 1970s.Affirmative action needs to be taken in order to empower the indigenous Papuan people.

The second problem is the failure of development, especially in education, health and economic empowerment. This requires  new paradigms directed towards development that is focussed on improving public services so as to advance the welfare of indigenous Papuans living in the kampungs.

The third issue is the contradiction between the history and political identities of Papua and Indonesia. This problem can only be resolved by means of dialogue such such happened in Aceh.

The fourth issue is the responsibility for state violence committed against Indonesian citizens in Papua. This needs reconciliation between  a human rights court and the truth; to uphold the rule of law and justice for the victims, their families and all Indonesian citizens now living in Papua.

The way to resolve the third and fourth issues  means, according LP3BH, the formation of a truth and reconciliation commission and the setting up of a human rights court in Papua. This is very urgent and pressing and requires the support both of the Indonesian Government and and the governments of the provinces of Papua and West Papua and the various legislative assemblies (DPRP and DRP PB) Why is this so? Because the  historic contradictions and the political identities between Papua and Jakarta all too frequently become the trigger for social-political conflicts  in the Land of Papua. It frequently happens that  when Papuans take action to express their political aspirations in the form of peaceful demonstrations or events held to mark the anniversary of Papuan independence day on 1 December or the anniversary of  the independence of the West Melanesian Republic on 14 December, these incidents become politicised by the state and treaed as criminal acts by the security forces (POLRI) with the arrest of activists of peaceful demonstrators who are then accused of MAKAR or of disturbing the public order and treated as a criminal act in accordance with the criminal code (KUHP).

The security forces frequently use violence amounting to human rights abuses  towards victims either in the form of physical violence or violation of their rights as guaranteed in the KUHAP – the criminal procedural code.

On the other hand, ever since the Act of Free Choice (PEPERA), gross violations of human rights  have been committed by the military against Papuan civilians who are killed, tortured or forcibly disappeared.  Anything between 500 and 1,000 Papuan civilians have been murdered, tortured, forcibly disappeared, and subjected to other forms of violence by members f the military forces (TNI) in virtually all the towns and cities  such as Jayapura, Merauke, Fakfak, Sorong, Manokwari and Biak. In Biak, a number of Papuans who work in the civil service as teachers, nurses, as well as people working for private enterprises, as well as those who worked during the Dutch period  in Serui, Nabire and Biak have been arrested and imprisoned for more than two years at the TNI naval base in Biak.

In addition, properties have been unlawfully and forcibly seized from homes and shops belonging to Chinese inhabitants by members of the armed forces, it being alleged that  they are assets owned by the OPM, which is used as justification. The civilian community in the Land of Papua have themselves felt how  the Indonesian military security forces  entered people’s homes and seized people’s belongings such as transistor radios, tinned food and drinks from The Netherlands All these things were confiscated by the Indonesian military apparatus in 1969 and taken off to Java.

All this has left feelings of bitterness and hatred among the civilian population in the Land of Papua going back many years, which are still being felt today. This is what the Rev. Benny Giay calls Memoria Pasionis.

According to the LP3BH, these matters should have been settled many years ago in accordace with international standards and basic human rights principles.

The LP3BH therefore makes the following demands:

1.    The Indonesian Government should pay attention to the political need to immediately set up a Commission of Truth and Reconciliation in implementation of Law 21/2001, as well as set up a human rights court in Papua.

2.   The provincial governments in Papua and West Papua  should immediately introduce regulations with regard to  the creation of the KKR, its composition, location, and its mode of operation as well as its funding.

3. The DPRP and the DPR PB should take the initiative and play a key role in efforts to set up the KKR and the human rights court in Papua as the  way to solve the social-political conflicts which have continued to persist  from 1969 up to the present day., which should be continued into the future but which have until now been regarded as matters of no importance, and about which nothing has at yet been done to comply with universal legal standards  and basic human rights.

Manokwari, 27 May 2011

Yan Christian Warinussy, SH

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