Tag Archives: Papua

Police say exchange of shots with armed civilians, the family say it was the police who shot Eduard

by Victor Mambor, Editor, Tabloid Jubi

December 1, 2013

Jayapura 1/12 [Jubi]- The statement of the Vice-Captain of Papua Police Region, Police Brig-Gen Paulus Waterpauw to a national media source about the incident that killed a citizen of Depapre has been refuted by locals from Yongsu village, Depapre District, Jayapura Regency.

The Police Vice-Captain said that there had been armed contact between a mobile brigade [Brimob] of the Indonesian Police with an armed civilian group in the Depapre area of Jayapura, killing one of the civilians on Saturday. Apart from that it was claimed that a Brimob member was shot in the hand. However when Yongsu villagers were contacted by Jubi on Sat 30/11 evening, they said there had been no armed contact in Depapre. A villager who didn’t want to give their name said that a villager named Eduard Okoseray [40] who worked as the village secretary of Yongsu, Depapre District had died from being shot by Brimob Papua forces.

Another Yongsu villager who wanted his name concealed who was contacted by Jubi Sat 30/11 night said the same thing. ‘The event happened on 29 Nov 2013. Eduard was not looking after the operational aid money for the village. The District head facilitated police from Brimob. The Papuan police arbitrarily shot Eduard’.

The event was also noted by Matius Murib, Director of Baptist Voice. Matius said, ‘the victim Eduard, male 40, was village secretary of Yongsu, a victim of Brimob brutality at Yapsi village, Depapre [29/11].

The police’s different version of the incident as exchange of fire was declared by Kabid Humas Papuan Police AKBP  Sulistyo Pudjo Hartono, Sat 30/11 afternoon. He said one police was hit by a bullet that exploded by itself before the exchange of fire. To this journalist, Pudjo said it happened during an ambush by an armed group calling themselves Cycloop King Group [Kelompok Raja Cycloop]

‘The bullet was too active, it went off as soon as it was put in the gun and someone was hit. But that happened on top of the vehicle. The soldier was hit in the cheek and shoulder but is in a stable condition, still at Bhayangkara Hospital’

Pudjo also claimed that the police seized some evidence.

But the Yongsi villagers said it was not true there was armed conflict. ‘The police make up false opinions, please help to advocate for the people of Depapre who are scared. There was no police victim. He shot himself when holding the rifle loosely on the very bumpy road to Yongsu’ explained the Yongsu villager [Jubi]

Tragic Bloodshed in Waghete, Papua – Suspected Serious Human Rights Violations

Analysis/ Opinion

by Selpius Bobii

Abepura Prison,  27 September 2013

Ever since West Papua was annexed into the Republic of Indonesia on 1 May 1963, it has been nothing other than a land smeared with blood, and at every moment the blood of Papuans has been shed by continuous killings.   On 23 September 2013 there was yet again bloodshed with a tragic incident in Waghete, Tigi district, in Deiyai Regency of the Central Highlands.  The incident started from ‘sweeping’ (house to house searches) carried out by joint armed forces of BRIMOB (an Indonesian National Police special operations unit), and a special unit of the Indonesian Military (TNI) unit 753, the Paniai District Police and local police from the Sub-District Units of Tigi and the Paniai Koramil.  The following article looks in detail at the background to why this incident occurred and at the impact of the incident on the local community.

When asked why the joint armed forces were carrying out sweepings in the area in the first instance, the High Commissioner for Police in the District of Paniai responded that they were making the area safe for civilians from the practices of gambling, drunkenness and the carrying of sharp objects (www.tempo.co/read/news/2013/09/23/058515978). However the facts clearly indicate that the sweepings were being carried out not to make the area safe for civilians against the said vices of drunkenness and gambling, but rather to:

  1. Confiscate any sharp instruments including all types of smaller knives, large machete like knives, axes and bows and arrows
  2. Confiscate shovels
  3. Confiscate mobile phone memory cards with photos of those active in the Papuan Freedom Movement
  4. Confiscate traditional woven dillybags (nukens) with patterns of the Morning Star flag, and to
  5. Target community members with dreadlocks and long beards.

Of course the very items that the armed forces confiscated during the sweeping – small knives, larger machete type knives, axes and shovels – are those used by the community for maintaining their gardens which is their source of food.  As in the Deiyai regency most civilians are farmers who farm the mountain slopes. The forces even confiscated any traditional darts, which are something which by customary beliefs cannot be separated from the life of the Mee Tribe as they are symbolic and special to that tribe. That they would even consider confiscating the peoples carrying bags and mobile phone memory cards with Papuan photos is a shameful reflection of the police and military, as those are symbols of Papua that are widely available and have been published in many books, media and other publicly available forms.
The TNI and police are well aware the people need those tools in particular to survive and they well know those items are widely accessible, so the question begs why did they really intentionally undertake operations to confiscate these items?

The targeting of civilians with dreadlocks and long beards –  based on the false perception of the police and military that anyone of that appearance is a member of the TPN /OPM – is also a shameful reflection of the thinking of the armed forces, as long beards and dreadlocks are an age-old tradition of Papuans.  The Indonesian police and military should understand and respect something of the cultural and social ways of the people of Papua such that they don’t recklessly carry out arbitrary actions which can lead to the sacrifice of innocent civilians’ lives. Reckless and improper actions which  also destroy the image of the police and Indonesian army in the public eye. Throughout the many years of Indonesia’s presence in Papua police, TNI and National Intelligence (BIN) have always assumed that Papuans with dreadlocks and long beards are all TPN OPM members. Whenever met with people with those physical characteristics the armed forces always act with improper and cruel actions intended to make life hard for those individuals. This is absolutely unreasonable! We could just as much say that every Papuan who longs for liberation from the cruel oppression of Indonesia could be called OPM!  When is Indonesia going to wake up to the reality that that no action whatsoever of the Indonesian military and police against the people of Papua will ever be able to destroy the Mambruk (Papuan) ideology in their hearts; that their cruel actions will never be able to stifle the political aspirations embodied by the Papuan movement for freedom.  Reckless,  cruel and improper actions by the armed forces such as occurred at Waghete must stop!  The forces instead need to adopt persuasive approaches (with dialogue and non-violent means)  in facing up to civilians in all circumstances and not use repressive measures such as has been evidenced at Waghete.

The events that led to the killing and wounding of civilians that day in Waghete started with the above stated sweepings which were being conducted in a manner that was far too excessive and abusive.  A particular activist present at the time (who cannot be named for safety reasons ) told the armed forces at the time that the community didn’t accept their excessive sweeping actions, but to no effect. They testified that before the shootings on 21 September 2013 the joint armed forces had carried out sweepings and detained 15 Papuans who had dreadlocks and long beards. Then on 23 September 2013 the forces returned to the same location where those persons had been arrested and carried out sweepings yet again with excessive abusive behaviour.

It was the second aggressive sweeping according to the witness that was just too much, and some in the community couldn’t keep silent.  He testified that it was not the adults who voiced the community’s protest but rather high-school and upper secondary school students together with a number of other youth. The armed forces had also confiscated some of the young peoples’ phone memory cards then according to the witness the young people protested in particular after seeing two Papuan mothers on their way to  their gardens having their gardening shovels confiscated then an adult male’s koteka (penis sheath) being checked by forces.  The witness stated: “The protest came from the school children and no adults were involved.  Then the police responded to their protest with excessive violence. The Head of the Paniai District Police a number of times shouted out a command to those under his command to shoot the children.  I was there at the time and saw myself the Head of the District Police together with police officers under his command, chasing and shooting at the school children with their weapons. That day I also heard there were 4 civilians detained.”

The Police spokesperson claimed that the disturbance occurred due to provocation by a group of supporters of a particular failed candidate in the local government elections. However another activist at Waghete (who also cannot be named for security reasons) testified that “the tragedy at Waghete was entirely due to the actions of the joint Indonesian police and military forces and cannot be said to be connected in any way to a problem of the local elections.”

This accusation by the police was just a strategy to try and  turn criticism back towards the local civilian population.

The facts are clear that it was the military and police that provoked the civilians into carrying out some type of protest in response to their excessively abusive treatment of the people  during the sweeping and their arbitrary arrest and detention of a number of community members. The forces then met the young people’s opposition with extremely excessive violence including shooting, killing, arbitrary arrest, and torture of civilians. If there had not been excessively abusive sweeping by the joint armed forces in the first instance then of course there would never have been opposition from the young people. Secondly if the response from the civilians had not been dealt with so repressively by the police and military then of course there would also not have been victims of  shooting, torture, intimidation and arbitrary arrest. In summary it was precisely the excessively abusive sweepings by the military and police that triggered the reaction from the civilians; It was precisely the repressive reaction from the armed forces to the civilians’ opposition which caused the tragic killing and serious shooting injuries of civilians in Waghete.

In considering whether there is any element of truth in the police’s accusation that civilians attacked them with rocks, or pieces of timber or arrows, a human rights activist Yohanes Mote who was present at the time of the shooting stated to the magazine Selangkah, “At the moment the incident occurred I was there. The community didn’t take up arrows. We were really disappointed that they were checking the penis sheaths of the men (traditional clothing of males). As there’s nothing inside penis sheaths but male genitals is there. We asked them why if they wanted to carry out sweeping because of gambling and drinking (alcohol), had they not stopped the drinking and gambling.  The gambling and drinking had been allowed to continue by the police so that through that we Papuans could be killed and shot like this.”, (www.majalahselangkah.com/content/penembakan-pelajar-di-deiyai-aktivis-ham-minta-kapolri-copot-pelaku-dan-evaluasi-polisi-di-papua).

Another activist who also can’t be named for security reasons testified “The students didn’t attack the armed forces with arrows. I only saw two or three students throw rocks in the direction of the armed forces but the rocks didn’t even hit them. Rather the police and military brutally shot those children. The one that shot Alpius Mote was an aide of the Paniai Head of Police. Alpius died on the spot as the bullet went right through his right side and came out his back. He didn’t die whilst being taken to the Paniai hospital (as the police claimed). Whilst regarding Alex Mote (another victim), the bullet entered the right side of his chest. After Alpius was shot dead the police gathered up all the bullet cartridges. I couldn’t take a photo at that moment as it would have been impossible.”

From the explanations of these two activists who were present at the time of the sweepings and shooting, it is clearly evident that the accusation of the police that the community attacked them was merely words to try and justify their own repressive actions of wounding and killing unarmed civilians. It is most ironic that the Papuan Provincial Police spokesperson also tried to legally justify the police and TNI’s actions, stated that the shooting by their forces was in line with their procedures since the citizens were becoming increasingly anarchist. He tried to justify the shootings on the basis that if the forces hadn’t fired then the situation would have escalated (www.news.viva.co.id/news/read/446352-bentrok-aparat-dan-warga-di-papua–1-tewas).

Returning to the initial action of the forces – being the sweeping – one must ask the question why were the police and TNI carrying sweepings out in such an excessively abusive manner in the first place. From the facts provided by witnesses as stated above, it would seem that the sweeping was intentionally carried out in such a way so as to give rise to some type of conflict in Waghete. The sweeping was not intended to make the community safe from vices of drinking and gambling as the police claimed, but rather to give rise to a conflict that would enable the armed forces to do away with those in the community with long dreadlocks and beards who were considered by the forces to be OPM/TPN members. The sweepings also provided an opportunity for them to confiscate any items that were symbolic of the freedom struggle. It was an intentional act carried out to make people terrified and to torture, kill and injure innocent civilians at that location.

Witnesses testified that on 21 September around 15 people with dreg locks and long beards were violently arrested and detained at the Paniai District Police Command headquarters. Then on 23 September one student was shot dead and another shot in the chest. An English teacher from the local Deiyai upper secondary school Yance Pekey who voiced opposition to the treatment by the armed forces, was also inhumanely ‘dealt with’ at his office. It is understood he was also detained together with the other 3 civilians at the Paniai District Police Station. From data available to date it is understood that the total of civilians detained over these few days was 19. To the date of writing their names have not been made available by the police and neither has access been allowed  to visit any of them. (For the preliminary report to this incident  see: www.westpapuamedia.info/2013/09/27/preliminary-report-into-waghete-deaths-and-sweepings/).

From the above stated detail the Writer concludes that the tragic events from 21 – 23 September 2013 in Waghete involved a number of serious human rights violations. Violations which commenced with the excessively abusive sweeping and harassment by the military and police; followed by the arbitrary arrests, torture,, shooting dead and wounding of citizens and the general terrorising of the local community in Waghete. The actions of the police and military cannot be justified with any reason whatsoever! The tragic killing and wounding of unarmed civilians that occurred fall within the category of serious human rights violations and the culprits must face legal processes and be held responsible (1).

Footnotes

 1)To that end the Writer puts forward the following recommendations to those parties involved:

i) That the TNI and Police in the land of Papua must cease carrying out excessive sweepings and terrorising/ intimidating the people, must cease all torture and other brutal treatment of civilians, all shootings, killings and arbitrary arrests.

ii) That the culprits of the acts at Waghete must be brought to justice in the human rights court or general court to hold them responsible for their actions.

iii) That the Head of the Indonesian Police is strongly urged to immediately remove from office the Head of Police in the Sub-District of Tigi, The Head of the District Police in Paniai and Head of the Papuan Provincial Police. As all three persons have acted irresponsibly and are not capable of ensuring the safety of citizens.

iv) That the Head of the Paniai District Police immediately and unconditionally release all citizens (believed to be 19 in number) who are being arbitrarily detained at the Paniai District Police Station.

v) That the Investigation Team appointed by the Papuan Legislative Council (DPRP) on 25 September 2013 to look into the tragedy in Waghete,  immediately be sent to the location of the events  to commence investigations.

vi) That the Indonesian Republic National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM RI) immediately form an adhoc team to follow up the early findings that will be reported by the independent DPRP Investigation Team.

vii) That all parties and in particular the local government, leaders of the church and  traditional customary leaders in that region, act immediately to restore security and order in Deiyai.

viii) To all those who are concerned and who work in the field of humanitarianism, your help is requested at this immediate time in advocacy, monitoring and publishing of information regarding this case and in organising assistance for those civilians who have been detained at the cells of the Paniai District Police Station.

ix) The excessively abusive sweepings, the terrorising and intimidation, the torture, shootings, killings and arbitrary arrests of indigenous Papuans by both the Indonesian military and police in the land of Papua will never bring an end to the problems in Papua. The Indonesian Government needs to instead enter into dialogue / unconditional negotiations with the nation of Papua facilitated by a neutral third party and held in a neutral location in order to find a dignified solution to the problems in Papua.

Selpius Bobii is the General Chairperson of Front PEPERA & a Papuan Freedom Political Detainee in  Abepura Prison, Jayapura

 

Destroying sago trees will kill the Papuan people

JUBI,
6 September 2013

Merauke:  A member of the Regional Legislative Assembly of Merauke  has once against drawn attention to the activities now under way  by a company called PT Dongeng Prabawa. The crucial issue he raised relates to  the sago trees  belonging to the people living in various kampungs in the District of Ngguti.

‘I want to say to the company that  if the sago trees which have been protected and looked after by the Marind people for generations are felled  to make way for an investment project, you will be killing the indigenous Papuan people. Sago is the basic foodstuff for the indigenous people and it is unacceptable for the you to destroy their trees.’.

Hendrikus Hengky Ndiken said areas where the sago trees grow must not be dealt with in this way by the company. It is unacceptable for these areas where local people live to be exploited. What are the people going to eat if their source of food is destroyed?

He also insisted that the company abide by the agreement to pay for their land.which amounts to Rp30 billion. They must  pay up now and not pay in instalments. ‘They have billions of rupiahs so how can it be that they cannot  comply with their obligations to the people? If you can’t pay up, then you had better get out, he said.

He went on to say that he had visited a kampung called kampung Senegi and asked the people what they had received from the company. They said that they had received nothing except for a church.

The local district chief Romanus Mbaraks said that not all the trees belonging to the people had been destroyed. In some sacred areas, the people  had guarded their trees. ‘I ask the people to report to us if their sago trees have been destroyed by the company.’

Translated by TAPOL

 

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

by ALDP (Alliance  for Democracy in Papua)

Opinion/Statement

September  6, 2013

68 YEARS SINCE INDONESIA BECAME INDEPENDENT, TREASON [MAKAR] IS STILL BEING USED AGAINST PAPUANS.

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]

War of Nerves between Papuan Governor and Papuan Political Prisoners

OPINION* / ANALYSIS

By: Selpius Bobii

Abepura State Prison, 19 August 2013

This was the first time the Governor of Papua had visited the Abepura State Prison. The Governor Lukas Enembe together with the Provincial Secretary, the Chairperson of the Papuan People’s Consultative Assembly, the Implementation Officer of the Chairperson of the Papuan Legislative Assembly, the Territorial Military Commander (of XVII Cenderawasih) and a high-ranking officer from the Police Headquarters in Papua, together visited the Abepura Indonesian State prison on 17 August 2013. The stated aim of the visit being to represent the National Indonesian Government in reading out the giving of remission to the political prisoners and to read the speech from the national Minister for Law and Human Rights.

However there was also another hidden agenda for their visit and that became apparent once the Governor commenced his address inside the prison.  On Enembe asking the prison warden how many political prisoners were there who had been charged with treason and hearing there were ten, he then questioned the prisoners “What is it that you who have committed treason are looking for?  Stop your struggle. We will achieve freedom in prosperity. In the very near future the Government will pass the Regulations for Governance in Papua and once that occurs we will already have our independence within the Republic of Indonesia and I will be the president. So don’t cry out anymore for independence for Papua.”

Only one political detainee attended the ceremony for the giving of remission, whilst the remaining 25 Papuan political detainees chose not to attend but rather to stay in their cells to avoid the hidden agenda of the Governor and his entourage. However because the Governor used loud amplification to give his address, so all the political detainees could not avoid hearing his words despite their choosing not to attend the ceremony.  The Governor stated “I have many family members who have died because they have spoken about independence for Papua, whilst others have fled to PNG, Manokwari and in all directions. Since I was small people have always said ‘Tomorrow we will have freedom!’  But where are the results? Now I have become governor.”

Several political detainees including Victor Yeimo and a number of others in the same cell block raised their voices from their cells to assert their protest against Enembe’s statement in the middle of his address. Police Officers, plain-clothed Indonesian military (TNI) and prison officers quickly moved to deal with the few vocal detainees. However the Governor who heard the detainees’ voices of protest instructed  “Let them yell back there.”  One of the officers present said he would deal with them later.

Following the ceremony the Governor and his entourage moved towards a cell block occupied by several well-known Papuan Freedom Political Detainees. Filep J.S. Karma was suddenly met by the Governor and his entourage, so he was forced to receive their visit even though he had no prior intention of speaking with them. Filep Karma stated “It’s impossible for the people of Papua to unite with the people of Indonesia as until now the majority of Indonesians consider Papuans to be half animal. I myself also experienced that whilst studying higher education in Java. Recently when I was taken to Jakarta for medical treatment I asked friends there whether attitudes towards Papuans had changed, however they responded there had been no change at all in attitudes towards Papuans and that Indonesians continued to regard Papuans as similar to human monkeys”. Filep Karma went on to say “So many Papuans have become victims because of the Papuan Struggle for Freedom and we also are imprisoned for that same Struggle. Therefore we reject the offer of clemency from the President of Indonesia.  Thank you for your efforts Governor however we political detainees cannot accept the clemency offered.”  Governor Enembe merely responded with “Very well.”

Victor Yeimo was also in the same block with Filep Karma and stated “I am Victor Yeimo, the Chairperson of the West Papuan National Committee (KNPB), and I tell you that the time will come when Papua will get independence. So please don’t offend us by making statements that Papua will not get independence.” He continued “Go ahead Governor and guard your position, but our commitment is due to our old people suffering back in the villages. Suffering not because of welfare needs or some similar problem, but because Papua must be independent.” Governor Enembe responded “I also was previously part of the struggle for ten years, but my work now is to develop Papua and to make the community prosperous. I have been shot and orally abused also and I live with that, but I have recently come out from that and am now governor.”

At the moment the Governor and his entourage started to leave the area the Writer left his cell and approached them introducing himself as the Chairperson of the Organising Committee of the3rd National Papuan Congress. Then expressing in a harsh voice “At the Congress we declared Papua to be a state and because of that we are here in prison. Tell President SBY that the nation of Papua is ready to negotiate. Also tell him that the nation of Papua firmly rejects Special Autonomy Plus and the Regulations for Papuan Governance. Furthermore we as Papuan political detainees reject the giving of clemency in whatever form that may take. We have been imprisoned not because we struggle for food and drink or because we are chasing some position in government. So many Papuans from the 1960’s until now have been sacrificed, not because they were chasing food and drink or positions of influence but for full independence (of Papua).”

Governor Enembe replied “I also previously lived with the Struggle but no longer, as my work is now to address welfare needs of the people of Papua. You have been a long time in the city but I have only recently come from the mountains.” To which the Writer in a harsh tone responded “Sir coming here from the mountains is not to save the people of Papua, but rather to shatter that which is your way of stating that we will achieve our freedom whilst within the Republic of Indonesia; and that we will achieve freedom through prosperity. Stop saying that! The people of Papua struggle for full sovereignty!”  With the conversation closed the Governor’s entourage wanted to shake hands but the Writer refused and withdrew to return to his cell.  However the Territorial Military Commander and the head of the regional Department of Law and Human Rights Demianus Rumbiak together with a guard, followed the Writer from behind. They still wanted to shake hands so the Writer stated to the Territorial Military Commander “I’m sorry I cannot shake hands with you. We are fellow human beings yes but in terms of political ideology you and I are enemies”. The Writer then shook only the hand of the head of the regional Department of Law and Human Rights. The Governor and his entourage then left.

It is ironic that since that visit the political detainees in Abepura prison have been informed by family members that certain persons have been spreading stories that at the time of the Governor’s visit the Political Detainees chased the Governor with blocks of wood until the Governor was forced to leave the prison. That is but a story created by the Indonesian forces or perhaps Indonesian National Intelligence. The truth is that what really happened that day was a war of nerves between the Governor and several Papuan Freedom Political Detainees at the Abepura State Prison.

Lukas Enembe is showing himself to be very different from previous Papuan governors. He is the most arrogant and seems to really dislike the movement of the Papuan Freedom Struggle. On a number of occasions he has openly asked Papuans who are part of the Struggle to give up and instead work to develop Papua within the Republic of Indonesia and to find freedom in prosperity. He has even asked the OPM/TPN who have for many years endured in the remote forests to give up the Struggle; and now he asks the political detainees. This really touches on some very deep old wounds for the people of Papuan who for more than 50 years have constantly struggled and their people been sacrificed again and again, losing  thousands of their people killed by both overt and covert means in the long struggle for freedom. Enembe’s words are deeply hurtful for Papuans.

It’s understood that Lukas Enembe is playing the role of the representative of the National Indonesian Government in the Province of Papua.  However his ways are so unlike that of previous Papuan governors. He is much more confrontational in dealing with those from the Struggle.  It’s clearly evident that one of the tasks that have been entrusted by Jakarta to Lukas Enembe is to ensure Papua remains within Indonesia. Enembe is from the Democrat Party so it’s to be expected that he would implement SBY’s instructions with the latter as the leader of the Party as well as the leader of the Nation and the Indonesian Government. Enembe has clearly been pushed by Jakarta to use this confrontational method but in so doing his statements are most hurtful and indeed deeply saddening coming from a Papuan.

We are aware that several months ago Enembe requested of President SBY that he be provided with security by the police and military for as long as he was carrying out the required task of approaching members of the Papuan Struggle (including both civilians and member of the OPM/TPN in the forests). This was proven once again with Enembe’s visit to the Abepura Prison on which due to his hidden agenda he asked to be escorted by the Territorial Military Commander and a high-ranking officer from the Police Headquarters in Papua.  The Governor is holding hands with TNI and the police not only to try and make a success of Jakarta’s ‘project’ in Papua but also with the hidden intention of indirectly terrorising and intimidating those of the Papuan Freedom movement. However his agenda as he visited the Abepura Prison totally failed, being received with only protest and warnings from a number of the Papuan Freedom Political Detainees. The Political Detainees at that moment had not the slightest fear in conveying the position of the community of the nation of Papua to the Governor together with the Territorial Military Commander and senior ranking officer from the Papuan police headquarters. They were mistaken to think the detainees would be fearful in the presence of the police and TNI leaders escorting Enembe. The political detainees fear only God and the community of the nation of Papua that longs for the sovereignty of the nation of Papua.

The Indonesian Government is really pushing a number of Papuans – both officials and certain members of the community – to confront members of the Papuan Freedom Struggle.  Indonesia is also using certain Papuans by sending them to foreign countries to try and silence any support for the Papuan freedom movement from the international community. So the entire community of the nation of Papua  together with the international community in solidarity, are reminded wherever you may, to be on alert and careful to avoid any approaches that could be political manoeuvres of Indonesia. Manoeuvres aimed at weakening the motivation of the Struggle and at repressing support from the international community in solidarity with the movement for the liberation of the nation of Papua from the colonial domination of Indonesia and its allies.

Let us struggle without ceasing! ‘Salam solidaritas without limits1’

Selpius Bobii,General Chairperson – Front PEPERA West Papua & Papuan Freedom Political Detainee

*OPINION PIECES REPRESENT THE VIEWS OF THE AUTHOR, AND DO NOT NECESSARILY REFLECT THE VIEWS OF WEST PAPUA MEDIA