Tag Archives: Paniai

1 dead, 3 shot in Waghete, Paniai by Brimob for refusing to shave dreadlocks

by West Papua Media team

September 25, 2013

West Papua Media (WPM) stringers have received credible disturbing reports of a major escalation in Indonesian police operations against civilians in the Waghete, outside Enarotali in Paniai, resulting in the shooting of three civilians and the death of one.

Three men were shot by Brimob paramilitary police on September 23 after refusing to cut their hair or beards, and another two were arrested.  Alpius Mote (20) was shot dead by Brimob in the chest and died on the spot.  Fransiskus Dogopia (30) is in a critical condition after being shot with automatic fire by Brimob in his stomach and in the right side of his neck.  The third shooting victim, Alex Mote (29), has unknown gunshot injuries and his condition is also unknown at time of writing.
Police also arrested Frans Bukeja (21) and Yance Pekei (22), also for refusing to cut their hair, according to human rights workers.  Bukeja has been since released by Police, however Pekei is still being detained at the Enarotali District Police Command Post, and his family is gravely concerned for his safety, according to WPM sources.

According to local witnesses, speaking to WPM by telephone on condition of anonymity,  the operations in Waghete occurred on Monday, September 23, with house to house sweeps by hundreds of heavily armed Brimob, looking for any supporters of Papuan independence, and confiscating mobile phones searching for Papuan pro-independence songs and music,  and searching for nukens (dillybags) with any image of the banned Morning Star Flag.

During Monday night’s raids, all Papuan men with long hair, long beards or dreadlocks were allegedly ordered at gunpoint by Brimob officers to cut their hair or beards on the spot or they would be shot dead.  Long hair or beards are stigmatised by Indonesian occupation forces as an indicator of pro-independence activities, and “offenders” are summarily punished regularly in Paniai for their hairstyles, according to local human rights workers, and previous investigations by WPM.

These sweeps have been a weekly occurrence since  Operation Matoa began in late 2011, putting the Paniai regency in a unofficial war zone in a bid to wipe out armed and then nonviolent civilian resistance to Indonesian occupation.  West Papua Media reported in December 2011 on the ruthless Operation Matoa which was launched across the region to destroy the TPN forces of Jhon Yogi – resulting in the displacement of over 14,000 people, almost 150 villages burnt down and the failure of basic services that is still ongoing.

These latest sweeps, local human rights workers who visited Enarotali told WPM, are an extension of Operation Matoa, but Indonesian security forces have openly told sweep targets that nothing less than total loyalty to Indonesian security forces will be tolerated.  Extreme state violence is justified by security forces, to make an example of anyone who questions Indonesian rule, according to the human rights sources.

Local sources have also reported to WPM that a large number of security forces have amassed around Enaratoli together with several companies of the notorious 753 Battalion of  Indonesian army (TNI).  Local residents are preparing to survive another arbitrary military offensive against civilians, according to the sources.

 Several attempts to contact Police in Enaratoli or Paniai in the last 24 hours have been rebuffed.
Westpapuamedia.info

 

Selpius Bobii: “Stop violence in Paniai, proceed with heart to heart communication”

(Apologies for the delay in posting due to significant funding shortfall and time over-commitments from WPM team)

Analysis/ Opinion

27 March, 2013

 by Selpius Bobii, Abepura Prison

The ongoing conflict in Papua is deliberately generated and professionally driven by Indonesian government through its defence system, purposely to defend the sovereignty of Indonesia over Papua.  Beside political conflicts, economic factors play a certain role in initiating conflicts in Papua. As a result, both Papuan and non-Papuan civilians suffer the consequences, but mostly indigenous Papuans suffer the worst outcome of these conflicts.

One of the regions in Papua that draws major attention of the Indonesian military is Paniai.  The conflicts there that are deliberately initiated by the Defence force of the Republic of Indonesia in confronting the OPM troops led by John Yogi has left the people of Paniai in great devastation.

These ongoing conflicts have left the civilians in a frightening and intimidating situation because Indonesian Police and Indonesian National Army have been doing mass military mobilisation and convoys, committing sexual harassment and assaults on woman and girls, carrying out unlawful arrests, torturing innocent civilians, and raids from house to house, confiscating hunting tools like bows and arrows, axes, and knives.  The local people had to move to the neighboring villages searching for refuge, food and health. Some of them got sick and died, some were shot dead by the Indonesian military.

Violence, intimidation and unlawful detentions by Police  Army are escalating in Paniai in the last few weeks, especially to combat the (local) OPM movement led by John Yogi.

Marko Okto Pekei, SS (Activist from Timika Catholic Parish) reported that the tense situation in Paniai has been going for a long period of time following the forceful disbanding (by Indonesian security forces) of the OPM HQ in Eduda in October 2012. After the incident, Indonesian Security Forces deployed massive number of Indonesian Military personnel in Paniai.

On the afternoon of February 24th 2013 the people of Paniai witnessed the deployment of Indonesia Military into Paniai, 53 trucks dropped them.  During the deployment, a source that did not wish to be named mentioned that an Indonesia police officer (told him)  that, in February 2013 alone, the government ( especially the Defence Ministry) of Indonesia has deployed more than one thousand military personnel from Kelapa Dua Jakarta to Paniai.  As a result, people in Paniai, especially fathers and young men, feel intimidated everywhere they go.  They could not go out for gardening because of the fear that they would be suspected as members of OPM.

During that tensed situation, Marko Pekei also reported that there has been raids carried out in the middle of the night in the villages, unlawful arrest, torture, and forceful kidnapping, abduction and killing of innocent civilians in Paniai.

The latest cases for example are, Stefanus Yeimo who was shot dead by Indonesian Police (Brigade Mobile) at 15:30 (west Papuan time) in Kopo Paniai. He was shot when he and his friend were at a local store buying cigarette. According to the Indonesian Police (POLRI) the reason behind the shooting is, he was suspected to be member of OPM.

At 18:00 on the same day, Stefanus was buried by his family in Kopo village, Paniai.

Meanwhile, according to report from an Activist from Justice and Peace Division of Timika Catholic Parish, there is another victim from the Moni Clan; Indonesian National Army Special Team 753 in Uwibutu tortured him on Saturday March 23rd 2013 at 21:30 local time.

After the victim was arrested he was beaten, kicked and was dragged along the asphalt road. At that time few by passers witnessed that violent and unjust treatment. The victim was even dragged into the police checkroom and brutally tortured until the next day and he was rushed to the hospital for medication.

According to the relative of the victim who did not wish to be named, the victim was intoxicated but was not violent when he went to visit a family friend at the hospital. He left the hospital at 21:30 local time. That was when the Indonesian Army Special team 753 from Paniai unlawfully arrested him took him to their base and beat him up, tortured him and they took him the hospital.

In response to the escalating and ongoing violence in Paniai, We the Front PEPERA (Act Of Free Choice) would like to take this opportunity to demand:

1). Indonesian Army (TNI) and Indonesian Police (POLRI) to stop excessive terror, torture, kidnapping and unlawful arrests and shootings in Paniai.

2). Cenderawasih Regional Military Commander XVII and Provincial Police Commander to stop deploying military personnel in Paniai and as soon as possible withdraw the additional personnel that was deployed from Jakarta.

3). The military personnel who violates human rights in Paniai be brought to justice.

4) Cenderawasih Regional Military Commander XVII and Provincial Police Commander as soon as possible sack the Indonesian Army (TNI) and Indonesian Police (POLRI) personnel who are responsible for the ongoing violence in Paniai.

5). People, Government and Church to work together hand in hand, establishing communications from heart to heart in order to curtail the violence and human right abuses that has been going on in Paniai for a very long time.

6). Journalists to truthfully and honestly expose the real situation that has been happening in Paniai

7) Violence will never solve the conflicts in Papua, therefore We the PEPERA (Act Of Free Choice) Front would like to take this opportunity to demand the United Nation or a neutral third-party to immediately act unconditionally and according to the international law to end the political and social injustice in Papua.

This statement serves as guide and to be carried out by the concerning parties who thinks Papuans deserves justice, peace and security in Papua and especially in Paniai.

Selpius Bobii, Abepura Prison: Wednesday, 27th March 2013.

Selpius Bobii is the General Chairperson of Front Pepera (The United Front of the Struggle of the People of Papua)  and is currently one of the “Jayapura Five”, Political Prisoners held in Abepura Prison, Jayapura, West Papua.  The five (Bobii, Forkorus Yaboisembut, Edison Waromi, Dominikus Sorabut and Agus Kraar) were found guilty in an opaque and predetermined trial of  Treason (Makar) charges, laid after the violent Indonesian security force crackdown on the Third Papuan People’s Congress  in October 2011.

 

Paniai sweeps intensify misery under Indonesian control as security forces ban music and torture priest

by West Papua Media

March 6, 2013

Local residents in Paniai regency are bracing for more repression in sweep operations by Indonesian security forces after two separate incidents across the Paniai have intensified ongoing crackdowns on West Papuan independence sentiment, torturing a  local priest and even banning the possession of traditional music.

The latest crackdown, imposed in Paniai after guerrillas from Paniai commander Jhon Yogi’s Paniai unit of the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPN-PB) were involved in armed engagements with the Indonesian army (TNI) and Police throughout February .

Reliable human rights sources in Paniai have reported to West Papua Media that an influx of joint TNI and police have “arrived with total war equipment” to bolster sweeps and raids across Paniai against civilians accused of holding pro-independence sentiments.

“In order to confront the TPN PB and on orders from President SBY, a brigade of TNI / Police have arrived with total war equipment. There were drops of TNI/POLRI in Paniai on 3 March 2013. The brigade arrived by 7 ‘Inova’ vehicles via the coast road,” the source told West Papua Media.

Helicopters belonging to illegal gold miners in Degouwo were again being used by Indonesian troops to support the operation, similar to the massive offensive against Paniai people during 2011 and early 2012, according to both human rights and church sources.

“A yellow and white helicopter owned by an illegal business in Degouwo at 13.00 WPB (west Papua time) made two drops of personnel and logistical war equipment. The first drop was to the Enarotali airport in Paniai district, and the second helicopter drop of the brigade forces together with war equipment was at Obano also, in the west of Paniai district,” the human rights source told West Papua Media.

Independent sources are also reporting that Indonesian colonial occupation forces are putting massive pressure on local civilians, with routine violations of civilian’s dignity, and arbitrary strip searches, that have created opportunities for brutality and torture on local people.

The notorious battalion 753 from Nabire has erected scores of “state of emergency tents” every 5-10 kilometres along the main road between Nabire and Paniai, according to witnesses. “TNI are carrying out very strict checking of everything. The TNI from unit 753 are undoing the clothes of every passenger in the area to check them including females. Advocacy and monitoring is requested,” said the human rights worker.

Military Destruction of traditional culture amounting to cultural genocide
Papuan independent media outlet Tabloid Jubi  has reported remarkable accounts of the extraordinary measures Indonesian police commandos from Paniai police headquarters are taking to destroy traditional Papuan culture by banning music.

Father Saul Wanimbo, the Director of the Commission for Justice and Peace (SKP) in Timika diocese, told Tabloid Jubi that during police sweeps, local people are being forced to hand over their mobile phones.  They analyse the memory cards on the mobile phones to find songs in Papuan language, and if the memory card is found to contain either one or many Papuan folk songs, police will smash the memory card with stones, according to Fr Wanimbo.

“The police are sweeping HP (Handphone) memory cards of Enaro society (people) for the last two months,” Wanimbo told Jubi, citing his own experiences and stories directly from Enaro residents from 1-20 Febrruary 2013.  Wanimbo said that Paniai people have been so demoralised that they just accept the oppressive actions of the occupation forces.

Wanimbo said that the actions by Police were killing three values:  “There is destruction of cultural values, murder of the people’s creativity, and character assassination.”

“The situation is conditioned in such a way so that people cannot resist. How can the people fight if the area has a variety of (security force) members lurking there,” Fr Wanimbo told Jubi.  The police acts were morally and legally wrong, police could not arbitrarily violate people’s privacy for no apparent reason, and such actions must be done with a warrant, he said.

“Paniai Police must explain the meaning of this sweeps. Or the Papua Police chief must stop the actions of the Kapolresnya (local police command) men in Enaro. This is serious. We can say it’s the beginning of the genocide, ” he said.

Priest tortured by police who then demand bribe for his release

Meanwhile, again in the Paniai regional centre of Enarotoli, local human rights workers have documented a serious case of torture of a local priest.  According to human rights workers attached to the Kingmi church, at 8.30 in the morning on March 2, Reverend Yunus Gobai (55 years) was arrested, threatened and tortured by local and Brimob commando police at the Enarotali (Kapolresnya) police compound in Paniai district.

According to the report received and confirmed by West Papua Media, as a result of beating Gobai’s nose was bleeding, his upper and lower lips were split and  bleeding, and he sustained abrasions on his hands, swelling on his forehead and cuts on his head, after which he he was put in a cell at the Police Sector command (Polsek) in Enarotali.

Family members went to request his release from the Police station, but the Paniai police demanded a bribe or ransom money to free him, according to the report.  Family members reported they were forced to gather money in order to pay the police, and a Paniai member of the DPRD directly handed over to police one million rupiah (about US$103) at Polsek Paniai.  Reverend Gobai was then released at 1030am local time, and taken straight home to his village by his family, according to the report.

Rev Gobai is the former pastor and head of the council of the community of KINGMI Maranatha Nabire. According to his family, after Rev Gobai became pastor of the community he suffered from (an undefined) mental disturbance together with epilepsy.  Gobai’s family reported that he would regularly be seen “shouting for no reason or running around shouting”.

Reverend Gobai was arrested after exhibiting these symptoms outside the police station in Enarotoli, causing his arrest, but police did not treat the issue as an illness and used unwarranted torture and inhumane treatment on the pastor, according to the report.

(WPM Editor’s Comment: Whilst the KINGMI report uses unclear terminology describing the pastor’s behaviour as “mental illness”, often random outbursts of unintelligible shouting and psychotic visions are perfectly normal and accepted behaviour of Christian pentecostal pastors, Muslim imans, Hindu holy people, and almost all other religious leaders and clerics across human history.  To arrest and torture someone for this behaviour is to ignore the experience of humanity.)

Paniai is no stranger to unrestrained Indonesian security force violence and torture against local people, primarily made up of members of the Mee tribe.  Previous offensives in the  Paniai since December 2011 have displaced tens of thousands of civilians, and burnt down hundreds of villages.  Paniai was the scene of widespread military operations between 1963-1969, 1977-1978, and again in 1981-1982. During this period U.S. supplied Bronco aircraft were used to bomb villages while helicopters strafed Papuans with machine gun fire.

West Papua Media

Paniai: TWO OPM members to face charges: Others are being hunted by police

Bintang Papua
27 February 2013Jayapura: Following the arrest earlier this week of two members of the OPM (Organisasi Papua Merdeka), a spokesperson for the police has stated that the two men, identified by the initials, AG and PG who were arrested in Kampung Ayaigo, sub-district of Kebo, District of Paniai will face charges in court.

The police officer stated that the men  were in possession of explosive materials and ammunition in violation of Emergency Law  12/1951 which allows a sentence, if convicted, of twenty years or life imprisonment.

The spokesperson, I Gede Sumerta Jaya, head  of public relations of the Paniai chief of police, also said that the police were engaged in operations to find other persons on the ‘wanted list’ (DPO) for a series of actions such as shootings and other acts of violence that have been occurring in the area. These other persons were identified by the initials JY, SY and DY.

The men are alleged to have been involved in shootings in Paniai,including the shooting of an ojek driver and holding nine employees of a contractor company as hostages  who were building a school in Kampung Ukawo, District of Siriwo, Paniai. The men were also alleged to have assaulted women and demanded material goods from local people a short while ago.

”We do not know what the motives for the shootings and violence are because we are still interrogating the men,’ the spokesperson said.

Asked about the security situation following the arrest of the two OPM members, the spokesperson described it as ‘conducive’, following  an armed skirmish between the TNI/Polri and the OPM.

The two men are currently undergoing intensive questioning at police command headquarters in Paniai. The two men were caught during sweeping operations by the TNI/Polri after having engaged in an act of terror against the command post of the Paniai Police.

They were said to have in their possession one unit of HT (?), one bullet calibre 7.56 , a hand-phone, personal identifications tabs and Morning Star flags.

End of Translation

 

Paniai villages reportedly razed as Densus 88 resumes sweep operations in search of TPN’s Jhon Yogi

West Papua Media

January 8, 2013

Unconfirmed reports from local activists and credible human rights observers in Paniai have claimed that 13 houses have been burnt down as sweep operations by Indonesian security forces have resumed, causing panic amongst local Papuan civilians.

The operation by a joint Indonesian army (TNI) and police unit, allegedly led by a large number of Detachment 88 troops (the elite Australian-funded counter-terror unit) is searching for Free Papua National Liberation Army (TPN-OPM) guerrilla leader Jhon Yogi, has begun with up to 13 houses burned to the ground, allegedly claimed by Detachment 88 officers to be TPN posts.

Activists from National Papua solidarity (Napas.com) have reported that Detachment 88 (d88) troops began to raid houses across the area around Pugo village on January 7, from 11am local time.   According to field reports, the searches lasted well into the night, causing many people in surrounding villages to flee the area in fear of their lives.

Five Companies (approx 500 armed men) of the joint strike force (including one company of D88 troops) reportedly laid siege to the alleged headquarters area near Waididi Pogo of Yogi’s TPN-OPM Paniai region command on Monday.  According to Napas.com, Yogi’s men returned heavy fire on the strike force.

According to the local community members, the civilian houses in Pogo were burned quickly on Monday by rogue Indonesian military, together with plain clothes militia or Intel (military intelligence officers), according to SMS messages sent to the media.

Since 13 December 2011, the Indonesian military forces have been regularly attacking, and systematically dismantling and burning villages and traditional buildings alleged to be posts or headquarters of the TPN-OPM Division II  in Paniai.

Community members have reported to Napas.com, the movements of Yogi have been well know n by the Indonesian military, who are allegedly using the situation to have a “show force with full war equipment”, using this opportunity to surround the new TPN headquarters.

Separate reports received by West Papua Media,which have been unable to be confirmed to our verification standards, have claimed that “unknown persons” units have also fired on both civilians and military units. including gunfire that erupted from a suspected military source on a hill behind the Paniai General Hospital area at Uwibutu Madi.

According to human rights sources, Paniai people are greatly fearing for their safety amid another escalation in military offensives.

Previous offensives in the  Paniai since December 2011 have displaced tens of thousands of civilians, and burnt down hundreds of villages.

(For background, please visit https://westpapuamedia.info/tag/Paniai/)

West Papua Media