Tag Archives: peaceful political activities

KNPB Timika Chairman freed from custody after international pressure

From our Partners at Pacific Media Centre

KNPB’s Steven Itlay … arrested then set free. (Image: Free West Papua Campaign)

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

JAYAPURA (Pacific Media Watch): The West Papua National Committee’s [KNPB] Timika chairman, Steven Itlay, has been released from prison after being arrested by the Indonesian police yesterday.

The news site KNPB has reported that Indonesian police shot 10 bullets into the campaign’s office in what seemed to be an attempt to provoke a fight in order to arrest activists inside.

KNPB reported that when West Papuan activists asked the police why Itlay was being arrested, they told them: “Steven Itlay is a suspected Free West Papua activist”.

The Free West Papua Campaign said Itlay’s relatively speedy release was due to international pressure being placed on the police.

Just hours earlier, the campaign had published the phone number of the head of the Indonesian police in Jayapura on its Facebook page. It is understood that activists from all over the world phoned the number to call for Itlay’s release.

In a statement issued yesterday, the campaign said: “We would like to thank you all with all our hearts for all your incredible support for Mr Itlay and the people of West Papua, especially after the international plea for his release was made earlier today. Following his release, Steven also asked us to thank you all for the support of the suffering people of West Papua”.

Meanwhile, Papuans Behind Bars has released its April 2014 report, which details 12 incidents of torture of West Papuans in custody last month.

In one case, two West Papuans were “stabbed and slashed” by Indonesian police for objecting to police brutality against a third person, while “another seven men were tortured on arrest with electric stun batons”, the report says.

On April 2, the international day of protests for a Free West Papua, Indonesian police tortured two students at the campus of Cenderawasih University in Jayapura.

TAPOL Urgent Action: Fears for Papuan activists

TAPOL Urgent Action: Fears for Papuan activists

16 October 2012

Papuan political activists and human rights defenders are living in increasing fear as a result of an intensifying crackdown by Indonesian police, military and intelligence officers against activists, particularly members of the non-violent West Papua National Committee, KNPB. There are concerns that further acts of terror, intimidation, arrests, torture and extrajudicial killings against activists are imminent.

According to reports received by TAPOL, in the early hours of Tuesday 16 October Indonesian intelligence officers raided student dormitories at the University of Cenderawasih (UNCEN) in Waena, Jayapura in an unsuccessful attempt to arrest Fanny Kogoya, a member of the TIKI network of women human rights defenders, and other activists.

Last week, on 9 October, Simson Yohame, another activist was unlawfully detained and forced by intelligence officers to reveal the whereabouts of Fanny Kogoya and Viktor Yeimo, leader of the KNPB.

These incidents followed the arrests in late September of eight people in the highland town of Wamena after police targeted homes and offices of KNPB members.

The targeting of KNPB activists appears to have intensified after the killing of the KNPB leader Mako Tabuni, on 14 June 2012. Officers of Indonesia’s counter-terrorism unit, Special Detachment 88 (Densus 88), funded and trained by Australia, the US and the UK, are thought to have been involved in the killing of Mako Tabuni and the arrest of the KNPB members in Wamena.

Please call or write to the authorities urging them to:

End the campaign of terror, intimidation and violence against human rights defenders and political activists, particularly members of KNPB

Guarantee the safety of Fanny Kogoya, Viktor Yeimo, and others who have been targeted.

End the deployment of Densus 88 to Papua, investigate all allegations of human rights violations by Densus 88 officers and other security forces personnel and bring those responsible to justice.

Mr. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono

President of Republic of Indonesia

Istana Negara

Jl. Medan Merdeka Utara

Jakarta Pusat 10010

Indonesia

Tel: +62 21 386 3777

Fax: +62 21 344 2223

E-mail: presiden@ri.go.id

Inspector General Tito Karnavian
Papua Police Chief (Kapolda)

Jl. Samratulangi No. 8 Jayapura,
Papua,
Indonesia

Tel: +62 811 161 777
Fax: +62 967 531717

THOUSANDS OF INDIGENOUS WEST PAPUANS TO GATHER IN SERUI TO SUPPORT WEST PAPUA NATIONAL AUTHORITY (WPNA) AT TASSC ‘ABOLISH TORTURE WEEK’ IN WASHINGTON DC

by West Papua National Authority Foreign Affairs office

David Abon, Governor of the West Papua National Authority in Yapen-Waropen-Mamberano, says that having two representatives in Washington participating in ABOLISH TORTURE WEEK in Washington DC is a source of inspiration for all West Papuans.

Herman Wainggai has been invited by the Coalition of International Torture Abolition and Survivors Support (TASSC) to participate in its seminars at George Washington University and Catholic University of America, a Vigil to End Torture in front of the White House, and Congressional Briefings on Capital Hill.

“Herman’s presence at this international gathering shows the world that West Papua’s independence is an international issue, and well beyond the capacity of the Indonesian government to deal with” said Mr Abon in Serui.

“When the US Congress hears about the latest Indonesian military activities in West Papua, they will be listening closely” said Rev. Terrianus Yoku, President of WPNA Congress, as thousands welcomed him in Serui for the rally today.

In the distinguished tradition of non-violence, the WPNA rally in Serui on begins with a long march (called “jigjog” in local slang) from Wombai Park on the beach to the People Representatives Office (DPRD).

“All West Papuans want is justice and democracy” said WPNA’s Jacob Rumbiak in Australia, himself a victim of torture and long-term incarceration. “Is President Yudhoyono brave enough to follow President Obama’s signature on self-determination for Puerto Ricans”.

“Releasing our political prisoners would be a good start” he added.

RALLY INTERVIEWS:  contact details for on ground spokespeople available to bona fide journalists – please contact West Papua Media on +61450079106 or editor<@>westpapuamedia.infoWest Papua Media will be be monitoring the situation closely.

CORRECTION: AN EARLIER POST SAID THAT KNPB (KOMITE NASIONAL PAPUA BARAT) WILL ALSO BE HOLDING RALLIES IN JAYAPURA IN CONJUNCTION WITH THESE DEMOS.  WE HAVE BEEN ADVISED THAT THIS IS INCORRECT, HOWEVER PLEASE STAY TUNED FOR UPDATES FOR KNPB ACTIONS.

Two Papuan prisoners allowed ten days respite

JUBI: 17 February 2011

Two Papuan prisoners, Melkianus Bleskadit and Dance Yenu, both of whom are alleged to be involved in flying the 14-Star flag in Manokwari, West Papua on 14 December 2010 have received notification from the attorney-general in Manokwari giving them respite from their imprisonment (pembantalan?).

Simond Riziard Banundi, one of the lawyers working for the two men, said that the letters have been issued to give them time to rest at home. ‘Our two clients have received these letters from the attorney-general to free them for a time, so as to rest in their homes,’ said Banundi. But he said that this would not be possible because what they need is treatment to deal with their physical conditions.

He said it was true that the attorney-general had given the two men ten days respite, from 12 till 21 February . ‘We have received the letters,’ he said, ‘and our clients are currently being treated in hospital.’

[NOTE: The word used for the letter – pembantalan – is one that we are not familiar with in this connection and our dictionary hasn’t helped. We posted several articles about these prisoners yesterday. TAPOL]

Fairfax:Anti-terror unit deals out own terror

Anti-terror unit deals out own terror
Tom Allard, Maluku
September 13, 2010

Reposting as WPMA were fixers

Ambonese prisoners claim they have been tortured and beaten by Detachment 88, Indonesia’s elite counter-terrorism unit funded and trained by Australia. See video at http://www.theage.com.au/national/antiterror-unit-deals-out-own-terror-20100912-15702.html

AUSTRALIA has sent an official to the Indonesian province of Maluku to investigate claims that Indonesia’s elite counter-terrorism unit, Detachment 88, which Australia and the US train and fund, brutalised a group of separatists last month, repeatedly beating and abusing them in detention

The alleged serious mistreatment of political activists in the Indonesian province comes as it emerged that, in May 2008, the US secretly banned members of Detachment 88 in Maluku from receiving assistance.

The Age has also learned that the Australian government is ”aware and concerned” about the activities of the Detachment 88 officers, sending an official to Ambon, Maluku’s capital, to investigate two weeks ago.

But human rights activists argue the response from the donor nations is inadequate because the abuses of peaceful protesters, which were first documented in late 2007, continue.

About 12 activists were arrested in early August and taken to the Detachment 88 office in Tantui, a suburb of Ambon, where they say they were subject to mistreatment both brutal and bizarre, an investigation by The Age has revealed.

The arrests occurred after police and intelligence officers foiled a plot to float dozens of banned flags and other political material attached on helium-filled balloons across Ambon when Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and foreign guests were in town for the Sail Banda regatta.

Seven of the prisoners smuggled out recorded statements, while another activist was interviewed while recuperating from a fractured hip. He was handcuffed to his bed in hospital.

All said they were blindfolded and then hit around the head and body by the police officers during interrogation, sometimes with wooden sticks and bars or while forced to hold painful stress positions.

Police allegedly jumped on the prisoners, burned them with cigarettes, pierced them with nails, and brought them to the point of suffocation with plastic bags placed over their heads.

One said he was forced to eat raw chillies, while two said they were ordered to hug and kiss each other and beaten when they refused. ”We were all tortured beyond limit and, during the torture, if we mentioned the name of the Lord Jesus, we would be punched and slapped,” said Yusuf Sahetapy, one of the prisoners.

A spokesman for Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade declined to confirm or deny whether Australia had, or would, institute a ban on Detachment 88 officers like the US, saying the department would not comment on individual members of the unit.

‘The Australian government is aware of, and concerned by, the allegations of brutality towards political prisoners,” the spokesman said. ”We will continue to monitor the situation and make representations as necessary.”

Detachment 88’s commander, Tito Karnavian, said the unit in Maluku was not under his control, and referred inquiries to local police.

The director of criminal investigations in Maluku, Jhonny Siahaan, said ”no violent act was ever used during the investigation. All the people arrested are doing fine. None with broken bones, all healthy, none hospitalised. It is our department doing it, not Detachment 88.”

But The Age interviewed one of the prisoners, Yonias Siahaya, in hospital, where he was recuperating from a fractured hip and was handcuffed to his bed. Mr Sahetapy also said he spent two days in hospital, before returning to detention and more beatings.

The Age also obtained one of the arrest warrants for the men, which is signed by Dwight Jordan de Fretes, who is identified as acting commander of Detachment 88 in Maluku.

Phil Robertson, deputy director for Asia of Human Rights Watch, said the allegations of torture by Detachment 88 have been consistent and detailed for three years, and Australia and the US needed to pressure the Indonesian government.

”Detachment 88 should be investigated by an independent body. The international donors should press very hard and consider suspending or limiting assistance,” he said. ”This kind of torture is a damning indictment of the Indonesian government … and of those who support Detachment 88.”

Related articles

Protesters tortured, beaten and humiliated by elite force http://www.theage.com.au/world/protesters-tortured-beaten-and-humiliated-by-elite-force-20100912-156y9.htm
Evidence is building that Detachment 88, which Australia and the US train and fund, is out of control.

Crack unit created after Bali attack
http://www.theage.com.au/world/crack-unit-created-after-bali-attack-20100912-156y8.html

Special Detachment 88, or Densus 88, is a crack Indonesian counter-terrorism unit that many Indonesians admire for its success in hunting down terrorists and preventing attacks.