Tag Archives: OTK

Response to Call to Apply Indonesia’s Anti-Terrorism Law in West Papua

by Ed McWilliams

February 2, 2013

Edmund McWilliams is a retired U.S. Foreign Service Officer who served as the Political Counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta 1996-1999. He received the American Foreign Service Association’s Christian Herter Award for creative dissent by a senior foreign service official. He is a member of the West Papua Advocacy Team and a consultant with the East Timor and Indonesia Action Network (ETAN).
In a December 5, 2012 lecture at Stanford University’s International Policy Studies program ( revised January 22, 2013), the respected Southeast Asia analyst Sidney Jones discussed the Indonesian government’s unwillingness, thus far, to categorize the Papuan “ethno-nationalists/separatists” as “terrorists.” Jones identifies these Papuan “ethno-nationalists” and “separatists” as the armed Papuan opposition, Operasi Papua Merdeka (OPM) and what she describes as “an extremist faction of KNPB, the West Papua National Committee, a militant pro-independence organization.” Jones cites various incidents of violence in West Papua that she claims were committed by these “ethno-nationalists and separatists.”


The authors of violence in the Indonesian archipelago, especially violence with complex motives, are never so clear cut as her lecture implies. This is especially true of West Papua where police-military rivalries over access to resources and sources of extortion monies is well known.



Her analysis focuses on the different approaches employed against the West Papuan “ethno-nationalists/separatists” and against Islamic militants (“jihadists”) by prosecutors and the security forces (police, military and Detachment 88). Jones contends that “the discrepancy between the way the two groups are treated by the legal system is untenable.” She considers two alternatives: One would be to employ anti-terrorism law in West Papua, and the other would entail moving away from the use of anti-terror law against “jihadists.” She argues extensively against the latter approach of “pulling back from the use of the anti-terror law.”

Jones contends that pressure for use of the anti-terror law against “ethno-nationalists/separatists” is growing among Islamic observers. In particular, she cites Harits Abu Ulya, director of the Community of Ideological Islamic Analysts (CIIA): “If the government is consistent, then it should acknowledge that attacks motivated by ethno-nationalism and separatism be considered terrorism because they are carried out by an organization with a political vision that uses terrorism to influence the security environment and challenge(s) the sovereignty of the state. Why aren’t we seeing forces being sent en masse to cleanse Papua of separatism?”

Jones’ argument warrants a more detailed critique than space here allows, but even a brief review reveals a number of problems.

Jones summarily credits recent violent acts in West Papua to the “ethno-nationalists and separatists.” This is surprising insofar as Jones is a highly regarded observer of the Indonesian political scene with a deep human rights background. She knows, or should know, that the authors of violence in the Indonesian archipelago — especially violence with complex motives — are never so clear cut as her lecture implies. This is especially true of West Papua where police-military rivalries over access to resources and sources of extortion monies is well known. Jones should know also that military, police and intelligence agencies, have long played the role of provocateur, orchestrating acts of violence which advance agendas that are invariably obscure.

Jones cites what she claims is recent “ethno-nationalist” pressure on the giant Freeport McMoRan mining operation. She ignores the reality that such pressure in the past has frequently been orchestrated by the military, specifically the Indonesian Special Forces (Kopassus). To be fair, Jones alludes to this complexity but largely dismisses it. Her analysis similarly ignores the reality that the Indonesian state has long blocked international monitoring of such security force skullduggery and manipulation of the security environment in West Papua by restricting travel by international journalists, human rights researchers and others to and within the region.

Jones also fails to acknowledge the reality, widely noted in international and local human rights circles, that the Indonesian government has long sought to smear peaceful dissent in West Papua as “separatist.” Jakarta, through the aegis of a corrupt court system and often criminal state security forces, has repeatedly employed the “separatist” label to arrest and prosecute or detain peaceful political dissenters, such as those who display the Papuan morning star flag. Courts regularly resort to charges of treason that date to the Dutch colonial era and widely used by the Suharto dictatorship to intimidate dissidents. Jones’ call for Indonesia to define “separatism” as “terrorism” would deepen Jakarta’s targeting of peaceful dissent and the intimidation of Papuans generally. Use of the anti-terror law would enable the police to detain “separatist” suspects, including those engaging in peaceful protest, for a week rather than 48 hours. The law also empowers the police to employ electronic surveillance. Ongoing efforts would strengthen the anti-terror law to give the police even broader powers to limit the freedom of speech and assembly.


The argument to employ the “terrorist” label against “ethno-nationalist and separatist” groups and individuals in West Papua could have direct legal implications for international solidarity movements.



Jones claim that the West Papua Nationalist Committee (KNPB) is a “extremist,” is without substantiation. Criminal activity by some alleged members of the KNPB is generally not well corroborated and usually reflects efforts by the State to undermine the organization. The KNPB, and many other Papuan organizations and individuals are indeed ever more strongly pressing for Papuan rights, importantly including the long-denied Papuan right to self determination. But these efforts are largely nonviolent.

In recent years, this struggle has found growing support within the international community. Employing the “terrorist” label against “ethno-nationalist and separatist” groups and individuals in West Papua could have direct legal implications for international solidarity movements. In the U.S., groups or individuals who advocate on behalf of groups designated by the U.S. government as “terrorists” are subject to criminal prosecution. Given the close relations among governments, including those of the U.S. and Australia and Indonesia’s security forces, Indonesian government labeling dissidents in West Papua as “terrorist” could have dire implications for the solidarity network. How long would it be before the U.S. and other governments themselves begin to label various Papuan groups and individuals as ‘”terrorist.” U.S. and other international groups acting in solidarity with Papuans seeking to attain their rights could be criminally targeted and charged.

In sum, the Jones analysis is hobbled by the very term “terrorism” which is so poorly defined international law and procedure as to threaten and intimidate even those groups and individuals engaged in peaceful dissent.

In a final note, Sidney Jones, who was the Asia Director for Human Rights Watch from 1989 to 2002, should at a minimum explicitly reject the call by Harits Abu Ulya that she cites in her lecture for the Indonesian government “to cleanse Papua of separatism.” Such rhetoric gives license to the kind of atrocities already visited on the people of the Indonesian archipelago, including Timor-Leste, for far too long.

Also

Posted here: http://www.etan.org/news/2013/01response.htm

Ex Freeport worker murdered, mutilated in Timika OTK killing

by West Papua Media

January 23, 2013

The body of Henok Rumansara where found in Kwamki Narama (Photo: Kobawes Kores / Fb)

Papuan civilians around Timika have again been made wary of military provocations that may potentially revive a bloody horizontal conflict, after a former Freeport mine worker’s mutilated body was found in a roadside trench on January 19.

Villagers from Kwamki Narama, just outside Timika, found the badly mutilated body of Hanok Rumansara, 40, from Biak, in a roadside ditch in front of the village.  The autopsy on his body found Rumansara was riddled with over 23 stab wounds, plus a number of injuries cause by blunt objects, according to his human rights observers.

A human rights worker with Komnas Ham, going by the pseudonym Kobewas Kores, posted information on social media that Rumansara had been picked up by a motorcycle taxi (ojek) rider to take him to Kwamki Narama.  Whilst on the road, a group of unknown persons (orang tak kenal or OTK) set up a road block, and was not seen again until his body was found, according to witnesses interviewed by human rights workers.

Indonesian police have claimed that though there is little information to work on, they are pursuing the culprits, according to citizen media website malanesia.com.  Police have also claimed they have interviewed several witnesses and have secured arrows, bow, an axe and wood.  However, Indonesian police have rarely showed a willingness to properly investigate OTK cases, which most credible observers in Papua laying the blame squarely on Indonesian special forces from either Kopassus or Densus 88.

A former worker at the contentious Freeport-McMoRan run giant Grasberg gold and Copper mine, Rumansara had reportedly been active in the ongoing Freeport industrial dispute, according to initial information.  It is unclear why Rumansara had lost his job at the mine, but he was amongst hundreds of workers who failed to regain their jobs after the record-breaking seven month strike ended in December 2011.

Many Papuan ex-Freeport workers have been reportedly stranded from their home regions after not receiving any or enough severance pay from the management of the most lucrative gold mine on the planet.  West Papua Media has no information at this stage to indicate that he was targeted in relation to his involvement at Freeport, or in the strike.  If this were the case, it would represent a major escalation that would backfire significantly on the perpetrators, given the high political organisation of Freeport workers who are already tense given the recent gassing deaths of several workers.

However, Local human rights observers have questioned if the latest OTK killing – the first since community-led peace building put an end to a bloody military-fostered inter-tribal war from 20 May to 5 October 2012 – was a deliberate act of provocation to upset the current fragile peace.  The 2012 horizontal conflict claimed over 2o lives in numerous OTK killings, as well as direct tribal violence, while police and Indonesian military conducted operations deliberately designed to incite violence.

‘Kobewas Kores’ believes that indeed there was an OTK killing, but they got their targeting wrong and killed a man from another part of Papua.

“Is it possible that the killing was deliberately done to give birth to a conflict breaking out in Kwamki Narama village? I think the scenario actually missed the target of an indigenous person to Kwamki Narama.   In this case there are specially trained parties, the Indonesian military is trying to sow confusion in Timika and Papua in general,” Kobewas said.

West Papua Media

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Shooting in Puncak Jaya, Papua police search for a group

Tabloid Jubi

January 11, 2013

Papua Police chief and OTK Commander Tito Karnavian

Papua regional police will do thorough investigation on one of the armed groups in Puncak Jaya regency, after the shootings in Kampung Kuyukwi, Puncak Jaya regency on Thursday (10/1) At approximately 17:45 EDT, resulting in injuring one of TNI member called Hasan and one  civilian named H. Hadith Nito died.

Papua Police Chief Inspector General of Police Tito Karnavian told to reporters in Jayapura on Friday (11/1), that measures had been taken in this and local police conducted the crime scene, and then help the victims included donors of blood  for the victims who are in critical condition.

“We are planning to form a team to go to Puncak Jaya. This team will  conduct the crime scene and investigation, and identification of the suspects who did the shooting. The information we receive, is that actually in that area there are several armed groups, so we stayed mapping which groups are most likely to perform that action, both in terms of motives, the possible characteristics of the perpetrators, and the type of weapons used. For sure we are up for a particular group, conducting a deep research of the group, “he said.

According to him, whilst a single perpetrator, but there may be people who help, supervise, and provide information, however the one who did the execution is the single culprit. “The transitory weapon had a short barrel, eyewitnesses saw a short weapon. The type is subject to forensic examination, “he said.

When asked whether the shooting was by the group led by Goliath Tabuni,  the provincial police chief said, all possibilities can happen, however from the temporary  examination by the police this is not the group. “We see in the addition of this group there is another group in the district of Puncak Jaya. For sure we are up for the group. While as to what the motives are, we can answer the motive if the culprit is caught or someone will tell us, “he said.

Meanwhile, Lt. Col. Jansen Simanjuntak of Kapendam XVII Cenderawasih as confirmed by reporters via cell phone said that military act in accordance with the rules of law applicable to the matter which the police is to investigate thoroughly.

“When you look at the incident the shooter did not have any sense of humanity either at the shooting of soldiers and or civilian, fact is that the victim did not do anything wrong to be suddenly shot from behind,” he said.

Previously, the shooting by unknown person (OTK) back in the villages Kuyukwi, Puncak Jaya regency on Thursday (10/1) At approximately 17:45 CET which resulted in one  TNI member named PFC Hasan  wounded and one civilian named H. Hadith Nito died.

Victim Hasan PFC  was shot in the lower back, while H. Hadith Nito was shot in the upper right chest and was rushed to a local hospital, but it did not help. Currently PFC Hasan was in intensive care at the General Hospital of Honor, Puncak Jaya regency as result of gunshot wounds he suffered. (Jubi / Alex)

 

Wamena Bomb Scenario is false: Open letter from Wamena KNPB chief

Open Letter/ Statement from Simeon Dabi, Chairman of KNPB Baliem

October 15, 2012

On September 20 2012, I, Simeon Dabi, Head of the KNPB (National Committee for West Papua), was in Jayapura and received a telephone call from Kasat Reskrim Agus Supriadi Siswanto about bombings that occurred in two places: a Traffic Police Post at Irian street, Wamena and at the Jayawijaya Province Parliament Building. I was urged to immediately come to Wamena. On the 27th of September I received another telephone call urging me to quickly come to Wamena about the bombing case there. I arrived in Wamena on Friday September 28th, 2012, and when I arrived at Wamena airport I directly headed to the Jayawijaya Traffic Police Post so that I could become a witness to the treason charges against two of my colleagues, Enos Itlay and Semi Sambom who were arrested on July 1st 2012 related to possessing an OPM (Free Papua Movement) document.

Once I arrived at Jayawijaya Police District Command, I immediately met with Kasat Reskrim Agus Supriadi Siswanto in his office. I was asked many questions about the treason case against my two colleagues, then forced to become a witness for my two colleagues from 11:09-15:27 WPB. I was asked a number of questions including: “Where is the KNPB Secretariat at the moment?” to which my answer was that the KNPB does not yet have a clear secretariat; “What is the total number of KNPB members?” to which my answer was the entire Papuan society; “Does the KNPB wish to separate itself from the United Republic of Indonesia?” to which my answer was the KNPB is a medium for the people and the people will decide.

After this I went home. One day later, on Saturday 29th September 2012, at 5:15pm. The Traffic Police together with Densus 88 troops carried out a sweep and ambush of the KNPB secretariat of the Baliem-Wamena Region with goals that are not clear. In my opinion, the sweep of the KNPB secretariat was done because from the time of the bombing until when I arrived in Wamena, officers had not been able to find the bombers, due to the fact that Kasat told me last time that they will give imbalah (poss. transl. money to God?) to find the bombers.

Until now I am deeply surprised and do not believe that the sweep carried out by police officers found homemade bomb materials in the KNPB Baliem-Wamena Secretariat office – it is not true!! This is proof that the police were not able to find the bomber, so the KNPB were framed by the Jayawijaya Chief of Police. It is a political scenario to frame West Papuan civil society, especially people in the central highlands of West Papua.

Sweeping and arbitrary arrests of civilians by the Military/Jayawijaya Police occurred in places including Kurulu district, Wosi and Kimban district on Sunday 30th September 2012, at 5:00am Papuan time.

From then until now, the Military/Jayawijaya Police are carrying out pursuits and arrests of all KNPB members, even KNPB people throughout the entire Central Highlands region of West Papua, and are entering into villages.

From the brief description above, as head of the KNPB Baliem-Wamera, I have several concluding questions:

  1. Why was I, head of KNPB Wamena, made to immediately come from Jayapura in relation to the Wamena bombing case?
  2. What is my connection to the bombings that occurred in Wamena whilst I was in Jayapura?
  3. Why upon my arrival at Wamena did Kasat of Jayawijaya Police force me to search for the bomber?
  4. After I was interrogated at Jayawijaya police, one day later Jayawijaya Police District Command carried out sweeps at the KNPB Baliem-Wamena Secretariat. How and from where did police get an explosive?
  5. Are Papuan people, particularly people of Wamena, capable of designing/creating a homemade bomb?

Conclusion:

The Military/Police have created a political scenario in order to frame the West Papua National Committee (KNPB) Baliem-Wamena with a criminal offence. Police are the main troublemakers in Wamena, the Wamena bombers are themselves actors of state security forces. (emphasis added by WPM)

Police officers of the Republic of Indonesia: Why does a united nation need national security? Police are security for the United Republic of Indonesia. In simple language, police are often called ‘security’. Police are often also called troublemakers in situations of national security?? Is the role and function of Indonesian Police as security or troublemaker?? Especially throughout all parts of West Papua, police are vandals of national security that always act outside the procedure/law of the United Republic of Indonesia.

Simeon Dabi is currently being held in the Jayawijaya Police HQ prison in Wamena and there are grave fears for his safety, his access to legal representation, and the likelihood of a fair and impartial trial.

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Imparsial: SBY must take action to stop the terror in Papua

JUBI, 11 June 2012

Imparsial, the Indonesian Human Rights Monitor, has expressed concern about the many acts of terrorism such as shootings by OTK – Orang Tak Dikenal  – in Papua. The executive director of Imparsial, Poengky  Indarti,called on President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY) to get involved in solving the problem and accept responsibility  for a situation that threatens the lives of civil society..

‘These mysterious killings  are a threat to innocent people and must be stopped without delay,’ she said. ‘The President must summon all the authorities, the chief of police, the military commander, the chief of BIN – the intelligence agency, and the Minister of the Interior and acting governors .He must take responsibility for safeguarding the lives of the people.

‘There are indications that  neither of the governors are conducting an oversight of the activities of the troops in Papua who seem to be out of control.’

‘This situation must not be allowed to continue,’ she said, adding that the  President ‘must immediately start making preparations for a Jakarta-Papua dialogue so as discuss what the problems are  in Papua.’

She also said that according to Imparsial one of the problems is the process of electing the governors. Her organisation sees the shootings as preparatory to the forthcoming elections of the governors. This is what happened some time ago in Aceh when the same kind of thing happened. There are vested interests in Jakarta who want to benefit from disturbances in the regions as the year 2014 approaches [the next round of presidential, parliamentary and gubernatorial elections.]

[Behind the speaker is a poster with the words: WHO IS THE MASTERMIND?]

[Translated by TAPOL]