Testimony of Markus Yenu of his arrest and interrogation

Manokwari, 7th March 2013

Markus Yenu was arrested at the side of the road in from of Daniel Sakwatorey’s house (former political prisoner in Papua, 2008) at Sanggeng Manokwari West Papua. The arrest was by Manokwari’s Criminal Police Unit at 11.32am West Papua time, on the order of Manokwari’s Criminal Police AKP. KRISTIAN SAWAKI. The Manokwari Criminal Police officers were driving a black Inova with the number plate DS.9977.

According to Markus Yenu’s evidence (he’s the Executive Governor of the West Papua National Authority District 2 Manokwari) after he was arrested and taken to the police station at Manokwari, he was immediately taken to an interrogation room and asked to give information about a peaceful demonstration on the 17th January 2013 during which the morning star flag was flown. There were various sized flags flown, and also biased political speeches from several leaders from the Free Papua movement who were inciting people to overthrow the legitimate government.

Markus Yenu also gave evidence that when he was in the interrogation room at the Manokwari Police Station he was visited by Kombes (Pol) Yakobus Marzuki former chief of police in 2008 and now Director of Papuan Police Intelligence. Marzuki told Yenu:

  • Comprehensive data from the Police indicated Markus Yenu was involved with provoking the acts of arson and destruction that three police officers faced on the 5th December 2012 following the shooting of Thimotius Ap.
  • In the near future police plan to meet with Kesbangpol to get rid of all organisations that don’t support the Ideology of a United Republic of Indonesia (NKRI)
  • Eight people are already dead, but police and TNI will be pursuing and removing any subversive groups both in the forest and the city.
  • Whereas for Markus Yenu there was an order from police headquarters to disable him.

According to Yenu, the Director of Papuan Police Intelligence said many other things indicating a threat to human rights and democracy activists in Papua.

Yenu said that, ‘After me, the police will arrest another six people who have been identified as suspects

1). Frans Kapisa,

2). Billy Auparay,

3). Ottow Rumaseb,

4). Jakobus Wanggai,

5). Eliazer Awom, and

6). Zeth Wambrauw


Source: WPNA Manokwari


Police question Papuan leader over peaceful demo ‘treason’

Written up Pacific Scoop from Social Media Reports by West Papua Media

March 6, 2013

Markus Yenu, Manokwari Governor of the West Papua National Authority (National Federated Republic of West Papua), was forced to appear at Manokwari Police Sector HQ  today (March 6) for questioning over makar (treason) charges relating to the organising of a peaceful mass demonstration almost two months ago.

The executive governor of the West Papua National Authority area 2, Markus Yenu, and the chairman of Solidaritas Pemuda Melanesia Papua Barat, Abraham Wainasiri,  lead a peaceful rally at Manokari on January 17. Image: WPM
The executive governor of the West Papua National Authority area 2, Markus Yenu, and the chairman of Solidaritas Pemuda Melanesia Papua Barat, Abraham Wainasiri, lead a peaceful rally at Manokwari on January 17. Image: WPM

Yenu has not yet been released, and no further information has yet been received about his status – whether he will be charged or released.

West Papua Media has contacted police in Manokwari without reply and the Papua Police Criminal Investigation chief in Jayapura – who claims to know nothing about Yenu’s whereabouts.

On January 17, a crowd of peaceful protesters calling for a referendum on the future of Indonesian-ruled West Papua assembled at a rally point in Manokwari.

The crowd – including students and workers – moved towards the Banyan Tree at UNIPA Manokwari together with the protest coordinator, Alex Nekemen, and speakers, among them Silas Ayemi, the area secretary of Bintuni WPNA),; Abraham Waynarisy (SH chairman Solidaritas Pemuda Melanesia Papua Barat SPMPB) and the pro-independence group KNPB.

Political speeches were made accompanied by slogans of “Papua Merdeka” (“Free Papua”) along the way.

The crowd marched around the city of Manokwari towards an open field.

In front of the office of the State Attorney of the Republic of Indonesia, Markus Yenu openly questioned bout the detainees after a an incident on December 14 – Melkianus Bleskadit, Rev. Dance Yenu and 5 students from UNIPA Manokwari who have been held by police for almost four months without charge.

Earlier story by West Papua Media


Police fail to provoke violence as demo in Manokwari ignores protest ban

January 18, 2013

by West Papua Media editorial and stringers

Well over 1000 people engaged in a colourful and vibrant demonstration calling for West Papuan independence on Manokwari on January 17, despite Indonesian police banning the march and the display of the Morning Star Papuan Independence flag.

Amid worries of a security crackdown and violence from Indonesian security forces, organisers of the rally reported a generally peaceful event, with participants well-disciplined against reacting over severe intimidation tactics, preferring instead to use music, drumming and free expression to get their message across.

Organised by activists from the former Federated Republic of West Papua, the Manokwari protest saw several groups of singers, dancers and drummers converged at the Sanggeng sports stadium, marching 7 kilometres to the church at Elim Kwawi over four hours.  They were shadowed at all times by at least police to secure the action is over 200 police personnel, 2 truckloads of soldiers, 8 armed motorcyclists, and an extra truckload of elite Dalmas Riot Police (a unit that includes personnel from the Detachment 88 anti-terror group funded by Australia).

To the shouts of “Merdeka!” (Freedom!), and accompanied by 4 groups of drummers and 2 flute bands, over 100 banned Morning Star flags were flown during the march, held high by mama-mama, youth, children and students.  Sources at the march reported to West Papua Media that spirits were high amongst participants due to the music and dancing.

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Speaking from Washington DC, Herman Wainggai, FRWP’s representative to the United Nations, said in a statement that “Over the years, peaceful demonstrators in West Papua have been terrorized, imprisoned and killed by Indonesian military police. Edison Waromi, one of West Papua’s human rights defenders, has been imprisoned for more than 14 years, and we were imprisoned together for two of those years. West Papuan activists Edison Kendi and Yan Maniamboy currently are threatened with 20 years in prison for organizing a nonviolent rally in support of the United Nations’ International Day of the World’s Indigenous People in New York in August 2012.”

Wainggai repeated the demand  “that Indonesia immediately and unconditionally free all West Papuan political prisoners and end its military occupation of West Papua. We also request that the UN Special Rapporteur, who is scheduled to be in Indonesia in January, visit West Papua and meet with imprisoned political leaders of the Federated Republic of West Papua, such as President Forkorus Yaboisembut, Prime Minister Edison Waromi, and others.”

International solidarity actions were held outside the Indonesian Embassy to the United States in Washington DC, and also in the Solomon Islands, and Melbourne, Australia.

Rexy Roses, from the new Solomon Islands for West Papua solidarity group, called upon the Indonesian government to immediately release West Papua and Malukan political prisoners, and to respect their rights to free expression.

“More than 50 years of tyranny and immeasurable human rights abuses suffered by the Indigenous people of West Papua at the hands of the occupying Indonesian Military forces is more than too much to bear, it is time now time for dialogue and negotiations to end violence in West Papua and to allow for a peaceful referendum. This year 2013 is going to be a very challenging year and we will make sure that the cries of the indigenous Melanesian people of West Papua be heard in every corners of Melanesia, the Pacific and beyond, it is time for change, together lets stand for the change we want to see in West Papua and Maluku, ” Rexy stated.

Police attempt to provoke trouble

Organisers of the rally had notified Indonesian Police of their rally but the Chief of Police in Manokwari forbade the rally from going ahead, contrary to the rights of peaceful expression guaranteed to West Papuan people under the now discredited (but still active) Special Autonomy legislation of 2001.  However, according to reports from witnesses and our stringers, police stood by and allowed participants to gather, instead focussing their attention on the seizure of Morning Star Flags.

Upon an attempt to formally raise the Morning Star on flagpoles, police moved in and attempted to seize flags, however organisers led by West Papua National Authority Executive Governor of Region II Manokwari Markus Yenu negotiated with police, who allowed the mass to continue after receiving assurances that no flag raising would occur again.  However, outside Biryosi petrol station, police seized flags from a young man, escalating into a tense situation due to the hostility between individual police officers and the youth.

According to West Papua Media’s stringer at the protest, ” the journey became increasingly tense as Police officers began intimidation by beginning to walk ahead (faster) than the rear of the masses,”  whilst in riot gear, using a common riot police tactic of dispersal.

“The Massa (collective group) felt that a scenario was being created by Indonesian police to disrupting the peaceful demonstration and provoke violence. This situation occurred precisely around Copal Sanggeng Manokwari. However our koorlap (Koordinator Lapangan or field coordinator) were able to ensure massa discipline and not be provoked by friction generated by these police officers,” one field coordinator, who cannot be named, told West Papua Media.

The Rally dispersed peacefully around 3.30 pm local time after speeches by West Papua National Authority, Federated Republic of West Papua, and other activists, followed by prayers, with no reports of further intimidation of participants from security forces.

In Yapen meanwhile, security force intimidation and the arrest of seven activists on January 16 in Mantembu village by an Indonesian Army (TNI) unit, prevented the planned demonstration from taking place in Serui town.  Reports received by West Papua Media from human rights sources early in the day described a tense atmosphere with several hundred heavily armed police and army patrolling key protest gathering point.  Unconfirmed reports claimed that a joint police and army unit blockaded roads outside Mantembu village and threatened violence on any potential protest participants.


Thousands Walk for Peace in Manokwari without hindrance

by West Papua Media team

Manokwari, June 10, 2011:  Over 5000 people have gathered peacefully in Manokwari, West Papua, watched by about 200 security forces, to call for the release of political prisoners and detainees in Papua.  At time of publication (1530 West Papua Time), the gathering has paralysed Manokwari, according to organisers, but is unimpeded by security forces..

Organised by West Papua National Authority (WPNA), the rally began with a three mile march from Sanggeng soccer stadium to the government’s provincial office (DPRD) at Manokwari.  Thousands of Papuans were chanting “Thou Shalt Not Kill”, calling on the Indonesian government to end human rights abuses.

“Currently the situation in Manokwari is fine and is understood that there are military personal and POLRI present at the scene”, said Markus Yenu, Governor of Area 3, Manokwari.   Mr Yenu highlighted that 100 security personal in civilian clothing and 20 POLRI surrounded the civilians. “We have paralysed Manokwari, but our aspiration is for peaceful action”.

The rally dispersed peacefully with a closing prayer by Reverend Terryanus Yoku.   The majority of demonstrators were women and children.

Yohanna Wainggai, a housewife representing Melanesian Women in West Papua, said “I have to leave all my household duties and come down to this rally to speak on behalf of my children, who completed their studies but have no jobs provided after their studies”.

The organisers were pleased with the demonstration. Hans Sakorai, chairman of FNMPP (Front Nasional Mahasiswa Pemuda Pelajar Papua  or National Front for Papuan Youth and Students) stated “our peaceful rally has nearly 200 military personnel present, but no violence erupted”.

Jack Wainggai, spokesperson for the executive president of WPNA, demanded the “Indonesian authority to release all political prisoners,” and he calls out “for the international community such as Australia, USA and the UN to seriously consider the aspirations of West Papuans for self-determination”.

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STRUGGLE IN PARADISE: New short film on West Papuan activists struggle for justice

STRUGGLE IN PARADISE ( NU BOTENANG DOHONG BE DOA SYAI), Follows the extraordinary journey of Herman Wainggai, a West Papuan independence leader and former political prisoner, living in exile in Australia.
In West Papua, Herman spent more than 20 years as an activist in a nonviolent student’s movement.
In 2006, Herman feared the safety of his life and led a group of 43 West Papuan asylum seekers to Australia. In Australia his activism continues, spurred on by daily text messages from inside West Papua which report an increase in Indonesian military and intimidation. When Herman receives the confronting news that a man from his island was killed by Indonesian authorities, he decides to hold a meeting with fellow West Papuan student activists at the border of West Papua and Papua New Guinea. After the risky boat journey, the student activists inform Herman of the current situation in West Papua and the risks they face as activists fighting a nonviolent struggle..