Tag Archives: Mass Action

West Papua to take to streets today amid major crackdown threats from Indonesian forces

by westpapuamedia, with reporting from awasmifee, taboid jubi and local sources.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Rolling coverage will be occuring across the day:  please send any first hand updates or media to Editor @ westpapuamedia.info (no spaces) or via SMS to +61498239869.  Secure SMS and calls to this number can be made with Signal from WhisperSystems

A coalition of about 50 Papuan and Indonesian civil society organisations has called for Indonesian security forces to stop repression, and respect West Papuan’s Right of Freedom of Expression as major mobilisations are planned across Papua for April 13. (Press Release in full, below)

The West Papua National Committee (KNPB) have called the demonstrations to pressure Melanesian countries to admit the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) to full membership of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG).  As the mandated external representative body of West Papuan civil resistance to the international community, the ULMWP currently has observer status, despite Indonesian machinations for Indonesia to have full membership also.

Actions are planned in seven cities: Jayapura, Fak-fak, Manokwari, Yahukimo, Sorong, Timika and Merauke, with th possibility of major centres in West Papua, as well as across Indonesia, however the Indonesian Police have prevented several gathering from going ahead already, and are feared to be nmmunted a major joint police-military operation to prevent demonstrations from occurring.

West Papua Media is proividing montoring also as the day progresses, and has evidence at time of publication early Wednesday morning of large amounts of public order hardware and security force mobilsations already in all centres, especially around Taman Imbi in Jayaura.  This will be a developing story.

Five KNPB members were arrested in Dekei, Yahukimo for giving out leaflets promoting the event tomorrow.  They were reportedly being interrogated without a lawyer or legal support (see http://tabloidjubi.com/2016/04/12/bagi-selebaran-demo-akbar-5-anggota-knpb-yahukimo-ditangkap/ for more info)]

A Press conference was held at the Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation (LBH Jakarta) yesterday, raising the concern of possible state repression of the KNPB-led mobilisations across Papua.  The release (Below in full) shows the support of nearly 50 mostly Jakarta-based organisations and trade unions for the respct of rights of Papuan organisations and people to engage in free expression of their political aspirations.

PRESS RELEASE
No. 792/SK-RILIS/IV/2016

Stop Repression and curbs on Freedom of Expression for the Papuan People!

It is strongly suspected that a joint police/ military operation will repress mass actions on 13th April 2016 in Papua

(Jakarta, 12 April 2016) Dozens of civil society organisations comprising elements of the labour, student, women’s, urban poor and other social movements support the Papuan people’s right to freedom of expression.

On 5th April 2016, the Timika branch of the West Papua National Committee (KNPB) organised a prayer meeting in the grounds of the GKII Golgota church in Timika, Papua to support the United Liberation Movement for West Papua’s participation in a Pacific Diplomatic Forum, the Melanesian Spearhead Group. However as the event was taking place, a joint police and military force suddenly appeared, and proceeded to disperse the event by firing shots in the air and attacking the crowds. Dozens of participants were punched, kicked or struck with rifle butts by the joint command. Banners, clothing and noken string bags were seized by the police. One solider forced a KNPB member with the initials IT to strip naked. Two more KNPB members with initials AD and AE were seriously injured and needed hospital care.

The security forces’ attack culminated in the arrest of 15 KNPB members, 13 of which were released the next day with a requirement to report to the police station for an as yet unspecified length of time. Two others, Steven Itlay and Yus Wenda are still in custody. Yus Wenda is being held under article 351 of the Indonesian Criminal Code, violent harassment, even though the maximum sentence that can be given for this article is 2 years 8 months, which means Yus Wenda should have the right to not be remanded in custody. Steven Itlay is charged with treason under article 106. The treason article is frequently used in Papua as a tool to muzzle freedom of expression and freedom of opinion. Steven Itlay was moved from the Mimika Police headquarters to the Police Mobile Brigade detention centre which is far from Timika City. There is strong reason to believe that this is an attempt to isolate him and keep him incommunicado, which raises serious concerns for his safety.

Papuans will join a similar event organised by the KNPB on the 13th April 2016, however on a much larger scale, and taking place in seven cities: Jayapura, Fak-fak, Manokwari, Yahukimo, Sorong, Timika and Merauke. This action is supported by local churches.

Many people have been arrested in Papua since 2013. According to International Coalition for Papua data, 653 people were arrested between April 2013 and December 2014 (ICP 2015). The KNPB has calculated that 479 people were arrested between the 30th April and 1st June 2015 alone. In the 18 months which Jokowi and Jusuf Kalla have been in power, more thaan 1000 arrests have taken place, especially targetting
pro-independence activists, indigenous people fighting to keep their customary lands and ordinary people who have become the object of state repression for no clear reason.

Bearing in mind the patterns of repression and police/military impunity that keep on repeating themselves in Papua, as demonstrated once more last April 5th, it is reasonable to believe that the Papuan people will face repression once more on 13th April.

For this reason we state that we fully support the Papuan people’s constitutional rights to freedom of expression. We also urge the joint police and military forces not to take repressive action against the Papuan people, and in particular against the major actions which will take place on 13th April

Respectfully,
Lembaga Bantuan Hukum (LBH) Jakarta, Human Rights Working Group (HRWG), Lembaga Studi dan Advokasi Masyarakat (ELSAM), Yayasan Pusaka, Yayasan Satu Keadilan, Imparsial, Honai Center, Lembaga Bantuan Hukum (LBH) Pers, Solidaritas Perempuan, The Convention on the Elimination of all
Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) Working Group, Institut
Perempuan, Perempuan Mahardhika, Kongres Aliansi Serikat Buruh Indonesia (KASBI), Federasi Serikat Buruh Indonesia (FSBI), Federasi Sektor Umum Indonesia (FSUI), Federasi Buruh Lintas Pabrik (FBLP), Federasi
Pertambangan dan Energi (FPE), Federasi Serikat Pekerja Pulp dan Kertas
Indonesia (FSP2KI), Federasi Buruh Transport Pelabuhan Indonesia
(FBTPI), Serikat Pekerja Aneka Sektor Industri (SPASI), Gabungan Serikat
Buruh Independen (GSBI), Gabungan Solidaritas Perjuangan Buruh (GSPB),
Serikat Buruh Kerakyatan (SERBUK), Aliansi Buruh Kontrak Menggugat
(ABKM), Papua Itu Kita, Aliansi Mahasiswa Papua (AMP), Belantara Papua,
Perkumpulan Jubi, Indonesia Tanpa Militerisme (ITM), Gerakan Masyarakat
Sipil Melawan Kriminalisasi (Geram Kriminalisasi), Front Perjuangan
Rakyat (FPR), Partai Hijau Indonesia (PHI), Partai Pembebasan Rakyat
(PPR), Solidaritas Kebudayaan Masyarakat Indonesia (Sebumi), Konfederasi
Pergerakan Rakyat Indonesia DKI (KPRI DKI), Serikat Perjuangan Rakyat
Indonesia (SPRI), Komite Perlawanan Rakyat (KPR), Politik Rakyat, Urban
Poor Consortium (UPC), Jaringan Relawan Kemanusiaan (JRK), Jaringan
Rakyat Miskin Kota (JRMK), Mahasiswa Progresif Universitas Indonesia
(Semar UI), Federasi Mahasiswa Kerakyatan (FMK), Front Mahasiswa
Nasional (FMN), Forum Kesatuan Aksi Mahasiswa (FKAM) Universitas 17
Agustus Jakarta, Wilson Obrigados, Andreas Iswinarto, Bonnie Triyana

 

66 arrested, thousands rally for release of gaoled French journos, defying Police crackdown on calls to respect press freedom

By the West Papua Media team and local stringers,

with additional reporting from Tabloid Jubi and MajalahSelengkah

October 14, 2014

66 West Papuan activists were arrested by Indonesian Police in Jayapura and Merauke, Papua on Monday, as rallies calling for respect of press freedom and the release of two French journalists who continue to be imprisoned without charge, attracted thousands of people across Papua and Indonesia.

Indonesian police had prohibited the rallies in Jayapura and Merauke on the pretext that rally organisers the West Papua National Committee (Komite Nasional Papua Barat or KNPB) is an incorrectly registered organization, and that demonstrators may use the constitutionally legal but police banned Morning Star flag on banners, posters and paraphernalia.

Arrested by Indonesian police in Wamena on August 6 and 7, Thomas Dandois and Valentine Bourrat remain in immigration detention awaiting trial, with their detention repeatedly extended in an unprecedented case – which usually results in a simple deportation.

Indonesian police finally announced on October 14 that the two journalists would be facing trial on October 20, on immigration charges of “misusing a visa”, a mere 70 days after their initial arrest with a local school teacher Areki Wanimbo, two farmers and human rights defender in Wamena.

The trial will begin on the Inauguration day of new Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, in a move clearly seen by most Papuan observers to be a direct challenge by colonial status-quo forces in Papua to the stated plans of Jokowi, to end the ban on foreign Press to report from Papua without restriction.

The plight of the two journalists has elicited record levels of support amongst Papuan civil society, in solidarity against the arrest of journalists carrying out their legitimate professional tasks.

The rallies planned to highlight the widely held view that the continued imprisonment of journalists seeking to report West Papua parallels with the criminalization of Papuan people’s right to Freedom of Expression, by Indonesian occupation forces.

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Photos of rallies around Papua (Photo credits: KNPB, Ones Suhun WPM, and Majalah Selengkah

Many thousands of people openly defied the police ban, and attended rallies and marches in Timika, Nabire, Sorong, FakFak, Manokwari and remote Yahukimo held in solidarity with the detained journalists, and scores of fixers, human rights defenders and ordinary civilian sources that have been caught up in an unprecedented crackdown on the rights of Papuan people to speak with foreign journalists.

The rallies in Manokwari and Sorong were broken up forcibly by heavily armed riot police, however no injuries or arrests were reported in those centres.

In Java, members of the Papuan Students Alliance (Aliansi Mahasiswa Papua or AMP) in Surabaya, Jogjakarta and Bandung were joined at rallies by Indonesian civil society members.  Despite being under close surveillance by Police, the Java based rallies allowed to proceed unhindered, highlighting the disparity in rights to Freedom of Expression between Indonesia and its occupied colony of West Papua.

26 KNPB activists were arrested at dawn in Merauke prior to the rally, as they gathered on the steps of the local Immigration office making speeches, and were forcibly dispersed and arrested by heavily armed riot police. Police later arrested another 20 at the KNPB office in Merauke, according to Tabloid Jubi.

In Jayapura, activists were outnumbered by heavily armed police, which intimidated many supporters into waiting at the sidelines of the area. KNPB activists regardless pushed on with a peaceful demonstration at Imbi park in Jayapura.

The 17 KNPB activists held a moving but silent vigil symbolising the absence of free media and freedom of speech in Papua. Jayapura Chairman of KNPB Agus Kosay told West Papua Media “we chose a silent action, silenced with a black cloth, because Indonesia silences democracy in Papua”

Police then moved in and arrested all 17, who are still being held by Police at time of writing.

“We want to let the world see, (Indonesia says it is) a democracy but the democracy practised is in fact anti-democratic for Papua,” Kosay explained.

No Full Name Gender Occupation
1 Agus Kosay Male Chief KNPB Central
2 Bazoka Logo Male Spokesperson KNPB
3 Elieser Anggaingom Male Member
4 Regi Wenda Female Member
5 Ribka Komba Female Member
6 Jimi Boroay Male Member
7 Marice Mambrasar Female Member
8 Lazkar Zama Male Member
9 Isak Silak Male Student
10 Petrus Petege Male Student
11 Palina Pakage Wanita Member
12 Marten Suhun Male Member
13 Manu Moi Male Student
14 David Walilo Male Member
15 Deren Sorabut Male Member
16 Wilem Wandik Male Member
17 Tinus Heluka Male Member

Indonesian Police have regularly changed their at-times-wild allegations that Bourrat and Dandois – who openly admitted they were operating in West Papua without a highly restrictive and rarely granted Journalism Visa and reporting permit for West Papua – have variously been involved in subversion, illegal arms transfers, espionage, supporting armed groups, and part of a foreign conspiracy to undermine Indonesia. Despite the public slander campaigns in the media by the colonial Police forces in Papua, the final charge of “misuse of a visa” is clearly a backdown, at the same time as it is handing a gauntlet to the new administration of President Widodo.

An international campaign led by Paris-based Reporters without Borders has also called on Indonesia to immediately release the pair, saying they were engaged in nothing more that independent, legitimate journalism activities.   A petition launched by Reporters Without Borders and the Bourrat and Dandois support committee has been signed by more than 8,000 people worldwide.

Reporters Without Borders via a press release on October 15 “appeals to the Indonesian justice system, now responsible for their continuing detention, to release the two journalists and dismiss all charges.”

“Reporters Without Borders again calls for a display of leniency by the authorities in this case. Indonesia cannot pride itself on being the world’s third biggest democracy without respecting fundamental freedoms and human rights,” it said.

The Paris-based media safety organisation also highlighted Indonesia’s obligations to Press Freedom, by noting “As one of the latest countries to sign the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, in 2006, Indonesia cannot ignore the UN Human Rights Committee’s General Comment No. 34, adopted in 2011.  This comment says that it is breach of the covenant to “restrict freedom of movement of journalists and human rights investigators within the state party (including to conflict-affected locations, the sites of natural disasters and locations where there are allegations of human rights abuses).”

West Papua Media network members have also been caught up in the Indonesian police and army crackdown since the arrest of Bourrat and Dadois, including several local personnel who have been subjected to repeated death threats from Indonesian intelligence agencies.   Over 24 of our network members were under various degrees of security threats within West Papua, with family members threatened for speaking with the French journalists.  West Papua Media had been providing legitimate journalistic fixing services to Bourrat and Dandois for interviews with civil society figures outside of the Highlands.  Protection measures have now been put in place, enabling network members to return to newsgathering tasks over the last week, after having operations and reportage severely curtailed by serious security threats and incidents.

Physical threats and active surveillance to WPM personnel were also extended to key members of it editorial staff in Australia, with Indonesian Police Spokesman Sulistyo Pudjo saying that WPM Editor Nick Chesterfield was also to be charged with Espionage and subversion, and would be seeking and attempting extradition to Indonesia.   West Papua Media is still exploring legal options against the Indonesian police for defamation and stalking by sending its agents to carry out illegal activities on Australian soil.

westpapuamedia

Rallies calling on Ban Ki-Moon to protect Papuans to be held across Papua and Australia, on March 19

Reprinting Press Release 19 March 2012 from FRWP spokesperson

 
RALLY:  Federated Republic of West Papua
TUESDAY, 19 MARCH 2012, 11:30am-1:30pm
State Library, 328 Swanston St (cnr Swanston and La Trobe Sts), MELBOURNE
complementing rallies in Jayapura, Sorong, Biak, Yapen-Waropen, Manokwari, and Fak Fak
West Papuan independence advocates are questioning the UN Secretar
Ban Ki-moon waves to protestors for West Papua, PIF NZ Sept 2011
y-General’s presence—as a keynote speaker—at The Jakarta International Defence Dialogue, hosted by the Indonesian Ministry of Defence on 21 March 2012.
“We would like Mr Ban Ki-moon to attend to our defence while he’s in Jakarta” said Herman Wainggai, the West Papuan independence advocate based in the United States.
“The Indonesian government brands us as separatists, and then hosts international fora to escalate support for what it says are ‘non-war military operations’ against us”.
Forkorus Yaboisembut, President of the Federated Republic of West Papua, currently incarcerated, requests the Secretary-General to recognise the leadership of the Federated Republic of West Papua elected at the Congress in October in 2011.
“The United Nations recognizes West Papua’s right to self-determination, and is therefore responsible for organising properly constituted peace talks, with itself mediating between the Federated Republic of West Papua and the Indonesian government.”
Edison Waromi, Prime Minister of the Federated Republic of West Papua, also incarcerated last week for another three years (he was also a political prisoner 1989—1999, 2001, 2002, 2003-2004) says the Secretary-General must actively insert himself into the West Papuan issue.
“The 564,126 missing Papuans since 1962, more than half-a-million people, should galvanize UN intervention.  And I believe the Secretary-General should also, while visiting Jakarta’s new Peacekeeping Centre this week, negotiate the release of all political prisoners in Indonesia.”
Many international observers believe that Indonesian political fears, that their republic will dissemble in the face of West Papuan self-determination, is misplaced.
“Holland didn’t fall over when Indonesia became independent, and neither will Indonesia when we do” said Wainggai. “Bali principles, Lombok treaties, Peace centres in West Java….these are all meaningless while Indonesia continues to escalate its troops and its judiciaries against us”.
Media Inquiries and Interviews
Please contact West Papua Media for direct contacts on the ground in the follwoing locations:
MELBOURNE, SORONG, BIAK, YAPEN WAROPEN, MANOKWARI, JAYAPURA , and FAK FAK.
PLEASE NOTE: RALLIES TO ALSO BE HELD BY WEST PAPUA NATIONAL COMMITTEE (KNPB) ACROSS PAPUA AND INDONESIA: DETAILS FORTHCOMING

The Arab Spring: a harbinger for a “global spring” against oppressive rule?

(published with especial relevance to West Papua)

by Edmund McWilliams

Democracy, respect for human rights, good governance – these are the themes that have been on the lips of peaceful demonstrators from the Mediterranean to the Arabian sea.

In country after country, Arab men and women, young and old have showed extraordinary courage, facing down dictators and autocrats even when those corrupt leaders have employed the full weight of their armed forces against the unarmed protesters.

The Choice of Papuan People (Photo courtesy KNPB)

The inspiration of one young Tunisian who sacrificed himself in protest has spread from one Arab nation to another, in each country people coming to the profound realization, ‘if they can do it there, we can do it here.’

The largely peaceful demonstrations have not had an Arab or a Muslim character. Rather, common to all these peaceful revolts is a pent up desire for freedom and a new sense that change is possible.

We have seen similar uprisings which have swept vast areas:  the East European spring in the late 1980’s; the anti-colonial movement that followed World War II.  These, like the “Arab Spring” were trans-cultural, and transnational.   They derived their power from a common frustration with abusive, and sometimes foreign rule and a conviction that, in the words of the revolutionary mantra, “a people united can never be defeated.”

So we are left with the question of whether this movement will be confined to
Arab peoples, and largely to Muslims.  Or will this struggle for democracy and respect for human rights extend to non-Arab and non-Muslim cultures and peoples who also have suffered under brutal rule?  Will Tahrir square be emulated in Beijing, in Tashkent, in Hanoi, in Vientiane, in Rangoon and Pyongyang.  Will the Papuans, Montagnards, Hmong and Karen draw inspiration from the “Arab Spring” and break the colonial chains that have enslaved them to demand genuine autonomy or even full independence?  The physical and cultural distance separating Papuans in the Puncak Jaya or Hmong in Phong Saly from the “Arab Street” may seem to place them
in different worlds but they have a common experience in their suffering under undemocratic rule.

Is the “Arab Spring” a harbinger for a “global spring” that challenges oppressive rule around the world? For now, we can only assume that autocrats around the globe are sleeping more fitfully.

May their nightmares come true.

Edmund McWilliams
Retired senior U.S. Foreign Service Officer

KNPB: Action Appeals to DEMAND REFERENDUM IN WEST PAPUA

CRITICAL MEDIA ALERT

Action Appeals to DEMAND REFERENDUM IN WEST PAPUA

The West Papua National Committee [KNPB] will re-organize the people of West Papua to demand the UN to review the Act of Free Choice (Pepera) of 1969 and to held a referendum in West Papua as a solution to solve this political conflict in West Papua.

In its appeal, KNPB through vice chairman, Mako Tabuni as action coordinator appeals to the West Papuan people to understand and realize that the root problem of West Papua is the UN PEPERA 1969 which was not done through the standards and principles of international law, nor democratic, and very betrayed political rights of the people of West Papua.

Therefore, said Mako Tabuni, KNPB as the media expect the solidarity of the people of West Papua through prayer support, materials and attendance at a peace rally that will be held on Monday, May 2, 2011.

Buchtar Tabuni, Chairman ofr KNPB who is still languishing in jail through the papers stated that West Papua problem have to settle through democratic means which convey the demands through peaceful non-violent action, so he hopes that all the people of West Papua to involve as a form of commitment to end the suffering of the people of West Papua.

This rally will be followed in various areas throughout West Papua. In this action, masses is not allowed to carry sharp tools, alcohol, drugs, and the Morning Star flag. This action will be decorated with ornaments culture, graffiti from Papuan identity and demands in the form of Billboard, brochure and leaflets.

According to Victor Yeimo as the International Spokesperson for KNPB, this action will be done to encourage Indonesia and the international community to take immediate peaceful resolution of the issue of West Papua through international law, so that UN could held a referendum in West Papua. This process should be encouraged by the solidarity of the entire people of Indonesia and the international community who appreciate and care about and for human rights, justice and for the peace of the world.

For more info contact us at: papuaemergency@fpcn-global.org | +6282198854369