Police violently break up 3rd Congress NFRPB commemorations across West Papua

October 19, 2013

West Papua Media team and local stringers

Early reports received from West Papua Media stringers have described another serious and violent crackdown across West Papua on October 19 by Indonesian security forces, against peaceful gatherings commemorating the second
Continue reading “Police violently break up 3rd Congress NFRPB commemorations across West Papua”

Warinussy: Treason Charges against Aimas activists lack a proper legal foundation

by Yan Christian Warinussy,
Senior Lawyer and Executive-Director of LP3BH
7 September, 2013
The questioning of the five witnesses that has taken place during the trial of seven civilians in Papua in the Sorong  District Court who have been charged with Treason [makar] in accordance with Articles 106 and  108 of the Indonesian Criminal Code make it increasingly clear that the charges do not have a solid legal  foundation.

Yan Christian Warinussy (Photo: TabloidJubi.com)

This is evident from the  questioning of the five witnesses who were summoned by the Prosecutor on Tuesday, 2 September , namely Adjudant Commissioner [AKP]  Krisistya Artanto Octoberna ( Chief of Narcotics  Investigation at the police station in Sorong) and three others, as well as and a policeman from the same police station named Basuki Rahman.

During their questioning it is clear that they were all involved in the assault operation against the group of civilians from Aimas and they were all  in the vehicle which was on patrol  at the location of the incident. Furthermore, also travelling in the same vehicle was the Head of the Operational Unit of Sorong Police Force.

Two of the witnesses also said that they saw a group of people who arrived to attack a mobile patrol  who were armed with sharp implements but they had not seen the accused men [Isak Kaliaban and his colleagues].

When they  were asked by the legal counsel of the defendants from the Papuan Advocacy Coalition  for Justice in the Aimas Case  whether they possessed letters instructing them to appear, as is required by the Criminal Code, they said in reply that they did have the required documents.

This means that the five witnesses who were summoned by the Prosecutor on 26 August and on 2 September are all members of the Sorong Police Force and moreover, none of these witnesses produced any substantive legal facts which could be used as the basis for charging Isak Kalaiban and his colleagues.with Treason as stipulated in the indictments against the seven accused.

This means that the Investigation Report [BAP] which was drawn up by the Criminal Investigation Unit of the Sorong Police Force by the men being charged had not been correctly established as  required by law which means that their testimony should not have been considered by the panel of judges.which is headed by R.M Christian Kolibu.

Therefore, we, the members of   of the Papuan Advocacy Coalition for Justice in the Aimas Case, herewith state our determination to continue to defend the seven accused men in order to ensure that this case proceeds in strict accordance with the correct legal  procedures  and not in accordance with the manipulated charges being used to charge the seven accused  in accordance with the 1945 Constitution and Law 39/1999 on Basic Human Rights as well as other human rights provisions to which they are entitled in accordance with international  law which have been ratified and adopted by the Indonesian Government as a Member State of the United Nations.

In the forthcoming hearing which will take place on 9 September, the court will proceed to the stage of questioning each of the seven accused  each as witnesses of the other defendants, which is not permitted according to the laws in force and the principles of jurisprudence.

We are of the opinion that  the panel of judges should make it clear that the correct procedures will be adhered to in accordance with the Criminal Procedural Code, bearing in mind that this is what Papuan people would expect regarding the investigation procedures  as required by law in the case against Isak Kalaiban and his colleagues.

[Translated by TAPOL]

Leading Indonesian NGO Condemns the continued use of Treason Charges against Papuans

by ALDP (Alliance  for Democracy in Papua)


September  6, 2013


The  Indonesian people recently celebrated the 68th anniversary of their independence on 17 August 2013.   What lessons can we draw from this anniversary in order to resolve problems faced by our people who experience so many problems in various parts of the country,  especially in regions where there is conflict such as Aceh and Papua?

Especially with regard to Papua, it is not acceptable for the articles about treason  to be used any more.   This is because for a country that is now based on democratic principles, it clearly violates these principles.  Furthermore, the law on treason which is still included in Indonesia’s Criminal Code is no longer used in the country where it originated [The Netherlands].  The continued use of these articles will only widen the gap between Papua and Indonesia and lead to acts of violence because of  feelings of revenge about history, or may cause friction between different groups of people.

These articles on treason are always held ready for use against activists or anyone who demands justice and the right to express their views in public, in accordance  with the right to freedom of expression.

The treason articles were first included in the Criminal Code in the 19th century. The Dutch Minister of Justice adamantly refused a move to include an article on treason which could be applicable to anyone.  He said:  ‘These articles should be enacted to meet the needs of a colonial territory and should not be applicable to  European countries.’

The articles on treason were adopted by the Dutch colonial government and were based on Article 124 of the British Indian Penal Code.  In 1915. The Indian Supreme Court and the East Punjab High Court declared that they were invalid because they contradicted the Indian Constitution which upheld the principle of freedom of expression.  In The Netherlands, these articles were regarded as being undemocratic.   However, the Dutch East Indies government made use of the articles in their colonial territories.

In this day and age, several decades after Indonesia declared its independence, these articles should no longer be applicable to citizens of the country, including Papuans, bearing in mind that Papua is not a colony of Indonesia. {Eds – This statement does not reflect WPM’s position}

In judicial terms, treason is a unilateral act against the authorities, for the purpose of ensuring that part of its territory falls into enemy hands or should be ceded in order to become part of another state.

The crime of treason  is regulated under Articles 104 to 129 of the Criminal Code – KUHP.  Treason is also classified as a crime against the president and vice-president [the head of state and/or the head of a rival state], against the legitimate government or against government agencies, being involved in espionage on behalf of the enemy, resistance to government officials, rebellion and other activities that are directed against state interests.  Treason is also committed against the government (the head of state and his/her deputy) for the main purpose being to render an individual incapable of governing, to annihilate the country’s independence, to overthrow the government, to change the system of governance by unlawful means, to undermine state sovereignty by  separating part of the country on behalf of another country, or to create an independent state.

The crimes of spreading hatred or incitement are dealt with in Articles  154, 155 and 156 of the Criminal Code. These articles state that ‘public statements which express feelings of hostility or are offensive to the government’ are regarded as crimes as well as public statements which support such sentiments. These articles are punishable for up seven years.

During the era of the late President Soeharto, these articles were frequently used to restrict freedom of expression. They were also used against political opponents, critics, students and human rights defenders in order to silence them. The people in power used these articles like rubber, something which can be pulled in any direction as a way of restricting the right to freedom of expression.

Nowadays, in {after} the era of ‘reformasi’, the articles are frequently used to bring charges against pro-democracy activists.  In Papua. They are used in every way possible against pro-democracy activists on occasions when it has not been possible to charge them for involvement in treasonous activities.

In a report published by Human Rights Watch (HRW) in 2007, ‘Protest and the Punishment of Political Prisoners in Papua’ , Indonesia was mentioned as one of the countries where exceptions and restrictions apply that are in conflict with the basic principle of freedom of opinion. HRW drew attention to the many cases of people being arrested and imprisoned simply because they took part in peaceful protest or for peacefully raising flags. This is in violation of international law on basic human rights.  Indonesian courts frequently apply the law on ‘spreading hatred’ or ‘incitement’  towards people who are exercising their right to freedom of expression. These clauses also violate the spirit of the Indonesian Constitution which was adopted when the country became independent in 1945.

There is a tendency in Papua for a court, having been unable to prove that treason was committed, to use the crime of incitement. The articles about treason  were used when Indonesia was a Dutch colony to charge individuals or groups of people with rebellion. But these days, ‘the articles on treason are used against the civilian population when they publicly express their aspirations,’ said Harry Maturbongs, the former co-ordinator of KontraS.

A lawyer in Papua, Gustaf Kawer, said that the tendency of courts and prosecutors to use the charge of incitement when they are unable to prove that treason has been committed, is a sign that the court is apprehensive and wants to avoid the possibility of people who have been charged making counter-charges against the state, where the case against them had not be proven.

It is often the case that pro-peace Papuan activists who are brought before the courts are charged on several counts for a variety of misdemeanours.  In the trial of Buchtar Tabuni in 2010, he was charged under five articles.  Article 106 and Article 110, as well as Article 160, Article 212 and Article 218, for treason, for incitement and for disobeying an order by an official.  Another group of people were sentenced and convicted for treason. Forkorus Yaboisembut and his colleagues were arrested by the police for organising the Third Papuan People’s Congress on 19 October, 2011.  [After formally declaring the establishment of an independent Federated State of Papua] ‘President’ Forkorus, along with his Prime Minister Edison G. Waromi, were arrested with others who were involved in organising the Congress, Dominikus Surabut, Agus M. Sananay Kraar and Selfius Bobii. They were charged by a team of prosecutors headed by Yulius D.

Even today In 2013, the treason article continues to be used. A group of men were recently charged. They are Klemens Kodimko (71 years old), Obeth Kamesrar (68 years old), Antonius Saruf (62 years old), Obaja Kamesrar (52 years old), Yordan Magablo (42 years old), Hengki Mangamis (39 years ) and Isak Klebin (52 years old) . They were charged at the first hearing of their trial in a court in Sorong on Monday, 19 August 2013.

A spokesman for the police in Papua, I Gede Sumerta Jaya, said that the men were charged with treason because they are leaders of the OPM (Organisasi Papua Merdeka) or of radical groups that are active planning or speaking out in favour of resistance to the legitimate government.

Earlier this year, on 30 April, hundreds of people gathered at a posko  [a small construction] which they had  just set up. They sang together as they gathered there on 30 April to make preparations to celebrate 1 May on the following day.  While they were singing, shooting was heard aimed in the direction of the posko. The shots came from some people aboard an avanza vehicle with darkened windows, accompanied by a police patrol vehicle.

[Translated by TAPOL]

Dozens of Morning Star flags unfurled in NRFPB Demonstration

Bintang Papua
28 August 2013
Manokwari:  Although controversy is still raging about the Freedom Flotilla which has a number of Papuan activists on board,  a group of Papuans who recently proclaimed the establishment of the Federal Republic of the State of West Papua (NRFPB) in Manokwari held a demonstration on 27 August.  The demonstration which was organised by the NRFPB was highlighted by a number of Morning Star flags.  The demonstration started from the office of DAP (Dewan Adat Papua  – Papuan Customary Council) on Jalan Pahlawan and continued until 10am.  In a speech at the demonstration, the deputy governor of NRFPB Markus Yenu called on all Papuans living in Manokwari to welcome the Freedom Flotilla which is sailing from Australia to West Papua.

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Some of the scenes from the Manokwari August 28 mobilisations in support of the Freedom Flotilla (Photos: WPM stringers/ NFRPB) 

Security forces composed of members of the Indonesian police force mounted a strong guard round the demonstration. The demonstrators marched round the City of Manokwari distributing leaflets proclaiming freedom for the Papuan people.

Morning Star flags were unfurled in several places but the security forces failed to take action.   They just stood along the route without doing anything to confiscate the flags being carried by the demonstrators.

As has previously been reported,  the Freedom Flotilla  with Papuans on board as well as Aboriginals (Australia)  who have expressed deep concern about the situation in West Papua is now sailing towards Papua New Guinea. From there, the Flotilla will sail to Merauke, West Papua.  The Flotilla is due to arrive in West Papua at the beginning of September.

[Translated by TAPOL]

Banned West Papuan Morning Star flags raised rejecting Merah Putih, on Indonesian independence day

by West Papua Media Eds
News Analysis
August 25, 2013
In a risky and symbolic act of defiance, unidentified West Papuan pro-independence activists raised the banned symbol of West Papuan liberation, the Morning Star flag, atop a foggy Mount Syclop, Sentani near Jayapura during the Indonesian Independence day on August 17 this year “as a form of celebration and rejection of the presence of Indonesian Papua, ” according to involved activists who spoke with West Papua Media (WPM) stringers.
West Papuan Flag Raising on August 17, 2013, atop Mount Syclop outside  Sentani, rejecting Indonesian independence celebrations. (Photo: supplied directly to West Papua Media)
West Papuan Flag Raising on August 17, 2013, atop Mount Syclop outside Sentani, rejecting Indonesian independence celebrations. (Photo: supplied directly to West Papua Media)

The flagraisings came amid a tit-for-tat psychological operations campaign ahead of August 17 by Indonesian occupation forces to raise the Merah Putih (Red/White) Indonesian national flag on prominent landmarks across Papua, and increase demands on Papuans to fly it publicly demonstrate their loyalty to Indonesia, according to a wide variety of human rights and church sources in Papua.

Organisers told WPM the act, on a mountain that could be seen from most the Papuan capital Jayapura, was about questioning the legitimacy of Indonesian occupiers to claim that all Papuans supported integration with Indonesia, and Jakarta’s claim that “Papua returned to the embrace of the Homeland.”
“Any person who was born and raised in Papua has been brought up with (the official line of the) ‘Victorious Political Integration in the NKRI, (and has) of course heard the above phrase repeatedly. This phrase has become a powerful force in the politics of integration. The Indonesian government and military believed and are so convinced that the political integration of West Papua is “absolute” they cannot answer the questions that the people of Papua ask,” the activists told WPM.
They continued their statement: “On behalf of the Nature of Papua, on behalf of the bones of revolutionary heroes who have gone before us, on our behalf and on behalf of our children, we strongly reject the claims of an Indonesian Papua.  Indonesian historians were so convinced that West Papua was breathing into the territory of several ancient empires of Srivijaya, Majapahit, Sultanate of Tidore, until the time of the Dutch East Indies. Indonesia believes it is the absolute truth, the validity of its claims of West Papua as an integral part of Indonesia. But on the other hand, shame records that the history that Indonesian historians were not able to show the valid, complete and accurate data to prove the truth of what they believe it.”
“As a form of resistance we Papuans assert our Independence of the illegal Indonesian colonial occupation of our land Papua, then we burn the flag and hoisted the flag of our “Morning Star” in the mountain region Syclop,” said the activists to WPM’s stringer.
“We do this not for Indonesian attention , nor to requested positions, (those) certain positions in the country’s NKRI (colonial) bureaucracy…. (but as) a form of resistance against colonial occupation of Indonesia (who are) illegally on our land.  That we demand and fight for “Self-determination” through an international mechanism that is Referendum,” the flag raisers said.
West Papuan Flag Raising on August 17, 2013, atop Mount Syclop outside  Sentani, rejecting Indonesian independence celebrations. (Photo: supplied directly to West Papua Media)
West Papuan Flag Raising on August 17, 2013, atop Mount Syclop outside Sentani, rejecting Indonesian independence celebrations. (Photo: supplied directly to West Papua Media)
Although traditionally raised on December 1 –  the anniversary of the 1961 thwarted declaration of West Papua’s independence from the Dutch, and the first flying of the flag –  activists claim that it was flown atop Mount Syclop to “remind Indonesia that the people of West Papua(n) nation (have) rejected the (Indonesian) pro-independence and did not participate in the anniversary celebrations.”
Indonesian colonial forces regularly attempt to enforce compulsory celebrations of Indonesia’s independence day by West Papuan people, an act many Papuans believe is designed to suppress Papuan cultural identity.
Flag raising is seen by Indonesia as a deeply political act that determines the degree of a citizen’s loyalty to the nation.  Failure to display the Merah Putih was regularly used throughout Indonesian history as a justification to extreme political violence, for example the killings of close to 2 million Indonesians during the 1965-1969 bloodbath in the first days of former dictator Suharto’s New Order regime, and the scorched-earth campaign on East TImor ending in 1999 when Indonesian security forces and militias murdered well over 180,000 civilians.  Civilians in Military operations areas (whether declared or not) across Indonesia and its colonies are regularly warned by security forces to display the Red and white in order to avoid sweep operations targeting their homes.  Public buildings are draped in it, private businesses are threatened by security forces if they fail to display it, and school children are bedecked in Red and White uniforms and forced to salute the flag daily.
Display of any cultural symbols or expression in opposition to the Merah Putih are interpreted by Jakarta as acts of makar (treason, subversion or rebellion) instead of acts of free expression guaranteed under the Indonesian Constitution.  However, Article 6 of Government Regulation 77/2007, prohibits the display of the Morning Star, the South Maluku Republic Benang Raja flag in Ambon and the Crescent Moon flag in Aceh – despite the provision of the law in the Indonesian Criminal Code (KUHP) being been declared unconstitutional for prohibiting free expression, by the Indonesian Constitutional Court.
Indonesian security forces, since their invasion of West Papua, have imprisoned thousands of people for their involvement in raising the banned Morning Star flag, and have violently broken up almost every display of the Morning Star, resulting in thousands of deaths over the last 50 years.  Each December 1 –  traditionally the anniversary of West Papua’s thwarted declaration of independence in 1961, Over 90% of the current 56 political prisoners in Papuan gaols are imprisoned under makar for non-violent acts involving the Morning Star flag, including most famously Filep Karma, one of Papua’s longest serving political prisoners, who was gaoled for 15 years for his role in organising the December 1, 2004 flagraising in Abepura.
Tito Karnavian's so-called Puncak Jaya summit Indonesian flag raising ceremony to conquer Papua.  Note the flat ground on the Grasberg mine site where the ceremony was held, and the several hundred metres of Papua's highest mountain Nemangkawi looming above the alleged "summit ceremony"  (Photo: POLRI)
Tito Karnavian’s so-called Puncak Jaya summit Indonesian flag raising ceremony to conquer Papua. Note the flat ground on the Grasberg mine site where the ceremony was held, and the several hundred metres of Papua’s highest mountain Nemangkawi looming above the alleged “summit ceremony” (Photo: POLRI)



On August 14, Indonesia’s colonial police chief in Papua Tito Karnavian (the former commander of the notorious Detachment 88 “Counter-terror” death squad supported by Australia,the US and UK), drove a group of Indonesian police, military,and management of the giant Freeport McMoRan Grasberg mine in heated luxury four-wheel drives, claiming they held a ceremony atop Papua’s highest peak, the 4844-metre high Nemangkawi (known by the Indonesians as Puncak Jaya), in order to raise Indonesia’s flag of conquest over Papua.  Participants in the ceremony claiming to be Papuans were families of senior Freeport employees,  an Indonesian army unit known as the “Pasukan Koteka Papua” and soldiers wearing blackface make-up. However the ceremony did not occur at the peak of Nemagkawi, rather in the grounds of the Grasberg mine site some 800 metres below the peak.  The Merah Putih still does not fly atop the famous summit (one of the “Seven Summits”), according to independent sources in TImika contacted by WPM.

Papua’s banned Morning Star flag, flown by climber Christian Welponer of South-Tyrol in Italy, from the top of the highest mountain of West Papua in late 2011, one of the “Seven Summits” (screen grab C. Welponer/ WPM file)
On December 1 2011, Christian Welponer, a world famous mountaineer from the autonomous South Tyrol region of the Italian-Austrian Alpine border regions, released a video of him raising the Morning Star flag atop Nemangkawi.  The act was deeply significant to West Papuan people, who sustained many casualties from Indonesian state violence inflicted on peaceful ceremonies across Papua that day.  The act infuriated Indonesian officials in the Freeport surrounds, who failed to prevent Welponer from carrying out the symbolic solidarity action.
WestPapuaMedia with local sources

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