Tag Archives: President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono

As President celebrates ‘Sail Raja Ampat’, one of his critics is abducted, killed and dumped at sea

(Apologies for the delay in Posting to the site (all news still is being delivered to journalists direct as it breaks). WPM has been under severe security threat from Indonesian agents in Papua and Australia, associated with the arrests of French journalists).

Reports from our network partners at AwasMifee

On 19th August, Martinus Yohame in his role as the chair of the Sorong Branch of the West Papua National Committee (KNPB) held a press conference, explaining his organisation’s opposition to the Indonesian President’s visit to the area to open the Sail Raja Ampat event aimed at promoting tourism to Papua. He also raised the issue of illegal logging. The next day he disappeared.

As friends and colleagues spent the subsequent days searching for him, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono opened the sailing regatta, where he once again promised extra funds to develop infrastructure for infrastructure in Papua, and also inaugurated a statue of Jesus Christ on Marsinam Island near Manokwari.

Then on the 26th, a fisherman found the body of Martinus Yohame floating by the shore in at Nana Island, near Sorong. He had been shot in the chest, his face smashed up, and with another wound in his stomach. He had been placed in a sack, with his arms and legs tied. His abductors remain unknown.

This story has not yet received widespread coverage in the Papuan media, and at the time of writing the KNPB had yet to issue a statement on its website. Tabloidjubi however has picked up the story – here is a translation of one of their articles:

Deceased Sorong KNPB Chair believed to have been disappeared.

Jayapura, 26/8 (Jubi) – Martinus Yohame, Chair of the Greater Sorong area branch of the West Papua National Committee (KNPB) was found found dead floating near the shore of Nana Island, in the Doom Island area of Sorong. He is believed to have been disappeared.

A spokesperson for the Papua-wide KNPB, Basoka Logo made this clear to tabloidjubi.com. He said that previously on the evening of Wednesday 20th August, the KNPB had received information that Martinus Yohame had been abducted.

“But we can’t be sure yet who his captors were. Now today we have heard the news that he has been found dead. We cannot yet say which group is responsible for his diasppearance.  At the current time we are
still unsure,” Basoka Logo said via his mobile phone on Tuesday (26/8).

He explained that the late Martinus Yohame was responsible for the Bird’s Head peninsula area of West Papua. He could not give any further information at the time as he had not received a full report from his colleagues in Sorong.

“Just now we only received a short report about the death of the Sorong KNPB Chair – what I know is that he was found near the Kota Baru area, and his body is currently lying at the Sorong KNPB secretariat”, he said.

At present, according to Logo, colleagues in Sorong are still collecting data and statements about the death of the Chair of the KNPB in Sorong. “Only when this is done will we be able to give a full statement. The First Chair of the KNPB central organisation, Agus Kosay just arrived in Sorong by plane. It was him that officially reported to us that it was true the Chair of the KNPB in Sorong had been found,” he said.

The chair of the KNPB in the Bird’s Head region, including Greater Sorong, Martin Yohame, was tragically found dead some time before, his body was discovered by a fisherman on Tuesday morning (26/8) at around 7.00 am local time floating near Nana Island, not far from the Doom Island area. When found, Martinus’s body had been tied up tightly in a sack. Both his legs and arms had also been tied, presumably hoping his body would sink to the bottom of the ocean.

According to the Sorong City General Hospital’s examination, a gunshot wound was found on the left side of his chest. The victims face was also smashed up by being hit by a hard object, “We found a gunshot wound in his left chest. His face was destroyed,” said Yori, a worker at the hospital.
The Sorong police chief Adjunct Commissioner Harri Golden Hart confirmed that a body had been found. “We are still in the process of identification, and finding out whether it is true that he was killed,” Harri said.

After the autopsy, the victim’s family and KNPB members brought the victim’s body to be laid out in the house of mourning in Malanu village, in the Papua Christian University complex.

From data collected by tabloid jubi, the external examination conducted at the Sorong City General Hospital revealed a hole in the left chest 1x1cm, and another in the right side of the stomach of around 2x3cm. The man’s height was 179 cm and he had dreadlocks.

Before his body was found, the KNPB had issued a statement with some further details of the press conference and what happened afterwards, along with their guesses for possible abductors and their motives. This is an excerpt from that statement, as published on umaginews.com:

We believe that the Sorong KNPB chair was abducted by Kopassus [army special forces] or BIN [state intelligence agency] because on the 20th he received a phone call from someone and went outside. Now five days have passed but he hasn’t been found.

Previously on 19th August Martinus Yohame and other KNPB officials held a press conference at 15.00 Papuan time in front of the Sorong Mayor’s office, attended by several reporters from the Sorong area, in connection with the Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s visit to Papua and in particular to the Sorong area to open the Sail Raja Ampat event in Waisai, on Saturday 23rd August 2014.

Martinus Yohame, supported by the deputy chair of the KNPB, Kantius H, invited journalists from several print media organisations to use information from the press conference in their reports about the president’s visit KNPB used the opportunity to express their opposition to President SBY’s visit to the land of Papua.

At the same time they expressed their opposition to illegal logging, exploiting Papua’s natural riches and developing Raja Ampat as a Global Marine Tourism centre, all of which they judge to be stealing from and destroying Papua’s ecosystems and forests with no benefit for the people of Papua as a whole who own the land and resources.

This is why the KNPB and the PRD (People’s Regional Parliament) are clear in their opposition. We believe he was abducted by the security forces or the intelligence agency as part of their efforts to secure SBY’s visit, which the KNPB opposes.

Just two minutes after the press meeting finished at 3.15, a woman telephoned the KNPB Sorong chair. This woman claimed to be from the National Human Rights Commission in Jakarta, and she wanted to meet.  Several moments later, she came to meet the KNPB chair and his group outside the mayor’s office in a red Avanza. Inside was a man with a large Canon video camera, and they invited Martinus Yohame to accompany them to the Sorong Mega Mall, at the 9km post. The woman then took them to eat in a cafe next to the Megamall, and while they ate they held a meeting, although it is not known what they spoke about in this meeting.

Before the meeting broke up, he and the woman exchanged mobile phone numbers. The woman then said that “the next meeting will take place on Wednesday 20th August and we will get in touch”.

Afterwards they maintained communication via telephone and text message, with the last message on Wednesday 20th at 12.00 Papua time. That night they told Martinus to leave his house and it was on the street that they abducted him. He has not been found until now….

Source: Umagi News

The West Papua National Committee is an organisation that believes West Papua should have the right to self determination. It was formed in around 2009, but after it gained prominence with a series of large demonstrations demanding a referendum on independence there was a major crackdown, with many leaders around Papua jailed or killed, especially in 2012.  Since that wave of repression, the KNPB has found it difficult to organise, as local leaders are often detained a day or two days before a planned demonstration or significant event.

If elements of the Indonesian State were indeed responsible for Martinus Yohame’s disappearance, it is likely that he was targeted for his pro-independence stance. However, it is worth remembering that in the press conference before he disappeared Martinus Yohame also spoke of the problems of illegal logging and the tourism industry, and he is not the first KNPB leader have raised the issues of natural resource development that marginalises the Papuan people.  At the same time, indigenous people are threatened by state security forces of being treated as separatists when they state their opposition to development projects. The climate of intimidation in Papua is not limited to the independence movement alone, but impacts all areas in which Papuan people need to assert their needs and desires for a more just future.

As Martinus Yohame was being brutally beaten, or maybe he was already dead by that time, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono was nearby on Raja Ampat celebrating the progress made in his development-focussed strategy for Papua, making statements such as “ lets keep going with the positive development that has already been achieved in Papua and West Papua”.  His audience of civil servants and tourism executives listened and watched as a flotilla of boats including 14 Indonesian navy ships as well as warships from the US, Australia and Singapore joined a sail past. Media hailed the event as a great success.

West Papua Media has highly credible but unconfirmed reports that Martinus Yohame was also targeted by Indonesian intelligence for potentially having contact with the two French Journalists still being detained in Abepura.  Many of our people are currently in danger because of this situation.

President SBY intends to make evaluation of OTSUS after Ramadhan; DPRP's reaction

Bintang Papua, 31 August 2010

President SBY intends to make evaluation of OTSUS after Ramadhan

Responding to the political dynamics in West Papua where attention has been given to the Special Autonomy Law (OTSUS) for failing to improve the living conditions of the Papuan people, the Indonesian president, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has begun to show that he has registered these developments.He has now said that he would soon make an evaluation of OTSUS in both Papua and West Papua. This will happen after the end of the fasting month, Ramadhan (which ends on 10 September).

During a one-hour meeting with members of the president’s special staff, they were told that the President had expressed his concern that, despite to large sums of money that have been allocated to Papua every year, the quality of life has not improved. The president believes that there is a need for a ‘Grand Design’ to deal comprehensively with the problems in West Papua.

He has said that the focus will be on improving the supply of foodstuffs, educational and health facilities and introducing an
affirmative policy to promote the role of the Papuan people.

As the first move, he would seek to improve communications between the central government and the DPRP, the DPRD, and the MRP.

The Grand Design would focus on a grand strategy, for the coming twenty years to develop several main sectors such as education, health and the people’s economy.

During the first five-year period they would investigate how many
Papuans had reached certain levels of education, how many hospitals had been built with OTSUS funds, how many doctors were working in the hospitals and so on.

Papua has been provided with plenty of money, which now amounts to Rp 28 trillion (approx. $2,800,000,000) which is far higher that the money allocated to other provinces. OTSUS money has risen from 1.9 trillion in 2002 to 3.5 trillion in 2008, then to 4.1 trillion in 2009, and even more in 2010.

Nevertheless, there have been many demands from the Papuan people to ‘return OTSUS to the central government’. There had been demonstrations in 2008, and now in 2010, people are calling for a referendum.

All this has drawn the attention of the president who has now decided to carry out an evaluation of OTSUS, in order to see whether this situation can be improved.

[This item is heavily abridged and is full of what I can only call
‘management speak’ about the government’s intentions.]
——————————–

Bintang Papua, 1 September 2010

The chairman of the DPRP, John Ibo and the chairman of the MRP, Agus Alua have said that the decision of the president to conduct an
evaluation of OTSUS is far too late. They pointed out that the OTSUS
law provides for the need to conduct an evaluation every three months.
Although an evaluation was undertaken by the DPRP in 2005, no one from the central government bothered to attend, even though they had been invited.

Nevertheless, an evaluation was very necessary. Whether the government was still keen to implement OTSUS would be discussed by the main executive bodies of the two provinces and the MRP at a meeting to be held in the third week of October.

According to Ibo, during the past nine years since the OTSUS law was
passed, he and others had been the subject of political suspicion and
stigmas, and accusations about the OPM. He himself has also been the
butt of criticism from the people about the implementation of
OTSUS. ‘Stigmatising people as OPM is an old yarn,’ he said. ‘We need a serious political discussion, in accord with the development of
democracy,’ he said

MRP chairman Agus Alua said that it is clear that OTSUS has failed in
four critical areas, health, education, the economy and the
infrastructure. But what is also important is that the dignity of the
Papuan people has been increasingly thwarted with Papuans being pushed aside or their very existence being threatened in their own land. He said that all this has nothing to do with money, but with their very right to life, their empowerment, the need for government to ‘side with’ he people, all of which the central government has failed to
understand. It’s not a question of money but the very right to life,
where Papuans are empowered in all aspects of political life. ‘This is
what we mean,’ he said.

‘But if the president now wants an evaluation of OTSUS, the people must be involved, without third party intervention. It is just between the people and the government, while the role of academics will be very important,’ he said.

The dean of the politics faculty of the Cenderawasih University, Derk
Vebluum said that he felt it was not too late to conduct the valuation.
As regard the four areas of concern, the economy, education, health and the infrastructure, there are no indicators available to measure
implementation. An example is about economic achievement, with Papuan women (‘mama-mama) not having a decent place for them to carry out their business. This has still not been attended to.

He said that the evaluation should involve the universities, the
executive, the provincial legislative assemblies , the MPR and the people.

Open Letter to President of Indonesia on Papuan Political Prisoners

*c/o PO Box 21873
Brooklyn, NY 11202 USA
*etan@etan.org

August 16, 2010

Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono
President
Republic of Indonesia
Istana Merdeka
Jakarta Pusat 10110 Indonesia
Via Fax, E-mail

Dear President Yudhoyono:

As Indonesia’s National Day on 17 August approaches, we the undersigned non-governmental organizations engaged in the defense of human rights in Indonesia are deeply concerned that dozens of Papuans are incarcerated in prisons in Papua and West Papua simply for having been involved in non-violent demonstrations or expressions of opinion.

In most cases, these prisoners have been sentenced under Criminal Code Articles 106 and 110 regarding “rebellion.” These articles are a legacy from the Dutch colonial era and are in violation of the Indonesian Constitution, Articles 28(e) and 28(f) which respectively afford “the right to the freedom of association and expression of opinion,” and “the right to communicate and obtain information for the development of his/her personal life and his/her social environment, and shall have the right to seek, acquire, possess, keep, process and convey information by using all available channels.”

Moreover, Articles 106 and 110 are inconsistent with your country’s
international obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and
Political Rights (ICCPR) which Indonesia ratified in 2006. While the
ICCPR (article 19) notes that these rights are subject to certain
restrictions “for the protection of national security and of public
order or public health or morals,” the 1995 Johannesburg Principles on
National Security, Freedom of Expression, and Access to Information
identify clear standards for application of national security
restrictions. These Principles provide that persons should not be
restrained for expressing their opinions. Governments should only take
action against such expression of views on the grounds of national
security if they can demonstrate that they would incite acts of imminent violence. The prosecution of the aforementioned Papuan political prisoners has offered no evidence of any such threat of imminent violence in association with their physical or verbal actions.

While we strongly believe that none of these prisoners should have been prosecuted in the first place, we are also deeply concerned about the disproportionately harsh sentences imposed on these political prisoners given their non-violent acts. One prisoner arrested in 2004 and charged under these articles is serving a 15-year sentence while others have been given sentences of three or four years. Moreover, there have been alarming reports of maltreatment of the prisoners by prison warders and the lack of essential medical facilities. In one case, a prisoner with a serious prostate disorder had to wait eight months before being allowed to travel to Jakarta for essential treatment recommended by the local doctor. Severe Beatings of prisoners and detainees are frequently and credibly reported.

We the undersigned have on a number of occasions welcomed the democratic progress in Indonesian since the fall of the Suharto dictatorship, inspired by the Indonesian people. We recognize that this progress had been achieved despite frequent threats by the as yet unreformed Indonesian security forces.

In view of the tradition to mark Indonesia’s National Day on 17 August
by announcing the release of prisoners and bearing in mind the
restriction on essential freedoms such as those contained in Articles
106 and 110 of the Criminal Code we respectfully call on you to mark
this year’s celebrations by:

* releasing all Papuan political prisoners, including those already
convicted and those waiting trial;

* securing the deletion of Articles 106 and 110 of the Criminal Code;

* ordering an immediate investigation into conditions in the prisons
where the prisoners are being held and ensure the punishment of all
prison personnel held responsible for maltreatment.

We look forward to your response.

Sincerely,

Aliansi Nasional Timor Leste Ba Tribunal Internasional (ANTI)/
Timor-Leste National Alliance for an International Tribunal
Australia West Papua Association Adelaide
Australia West Papua Association Brisbane
Australia West Papua Association Melbourne
Australia West Papua Association Newcastle
Australia West Papua Association Sydney
East Timor and Indonesia /Action/ Network (ETAN) (U.S.)
Foundation Akar (The Netherlands)
Foundation Manusia Papua (The Netherlands)
Foundation of Papuan Women (The Netherlands)
Foundation Pro Papua (The Netherlands)
Free West Papua Campaign UK
Freunde der Naturvölker e.V./FdN (fPcN) (Germany)
Human Rights Watch
KontraS (Indonesia)
Land is Life (U.S.)
La?o Hamutuk (Timor-Leste)
Perkumpulan HAK (HAK Association) (Timor Leste)
Tapol (Britain)
West Papua Advocacy Team (U.S.)
West Papua Network Germany