Tag Archives: Reverend Socrates Sofyan Yoman

Baptist leader calls for unconditional release of Forkorus

Bintang Papua
11 December 2012
The Indonesian government has been urged to free all political prisoners in Papua, including Forkorus Yaboisembut and Filep Karma. On the occasion of World Human Rights Day,  the human rights defender Socrates Sofyan Yoman spoke about the activities throughout 2012 of organisations such Polri (the police force), the TNI (the Indonesian military) and vicious armed civilian groups. He said 90  incidents of violence had been committed by these groups in all parts of Papua during the year so far.’As we celebrate Human Rights Day,’ he said, ‘we defenders  of human rights urge the Indonesian government to take the following actions:

‘Firstly, in accordance with its constitutional responsibility to safeguard its citizens, the government should acknowledge that the way it treats prisoners, convicts and the citizens in general is brutal, inhumane and demeaning. This includes the way it treats Papuan civil society and Papuan political prisoners. Such activities  should be prohibited, along with all practices that violate the law. Torture must be clearly identified  and criminalised. This would be seen as a concrete sign of Indonesia’s commitment to the International Covnention Against Torture which it officially ratified  by enactment of Law 5/1998

Secondly, the government should agree to adopt a policy that recognises Papuan citizens as victims. In those cases where legal processes have been resorted to, rehabilitation not imprisonment should be the method  chosen. The government should also adopt measures to  inform the general public about the many civilian victims in Papua.

His next point was to ensure that whenever the law on treason is used in a court of law, this should be non-discriminatory and concrete action should be taken to put an end to all criminal activities by the security forces, including judges, public prosecutors and all those people who are in charge of the prisons.

Furthermore,  the rights of all Papuan political prisoners must be safeguarded, including ending all illegal detentions. In cases where confessions were made under duress and without the presence of legal counsel, they should not be accepted as evidence in a court.of law.

The government should create mechanisms for people to be able to initiate charges. Such mechanisms should be available everywhere and in all places of detention and imprisonment.And in cases where charges are brought by detainees, this must be followed through by independent investigations by law-enforcement institutions as well as the National Human Rights Commission.

His next point  was to urge the National Human Rights Commision, the National Commission to End Violence Against Women and the Ombudsman  of the Indonesian Republic, to establish a mechanism  for a fully independent National Protection Unit to visit all places of detention, especially places of detention where persons charged with treason (/makar/) or other political prisoners  are being held as part of the state’s responsibility to act in accordance with the Anti-Violence Optional Convention.

The seventh point was to press the Indonesian government to enter in peaceful dialogue on the problem of Papua, mediated by a third party, one of the aims of which would to end torture and other forms of violence throughout the Land of Papua.

The eighth point was to press the Indonesian government to invite  the UN Special Rapporteur against Torture and Arbitrary Detentions to visit Papua.

The ninth point was to press the Indonesian government  to allow foreign journalists to visit Papua.

The tenth point was that the Indonesian government should accept responsibility for incidents of gross violations of human rights such as the incident in Abepura on 7 December 2000, the Wasior 2001 incident, the Wamena  2003 inicident and other incidents that have already been investigated by the  National Human Rights Commission, and to ensure that  the results of these investigations  are considered at the human rights court and dealt with in accordance with the principles of justice.

With regard to the role of the churches in Papua, it should be acknowledged that their main mission  has been paralysed by the state and governmental system in Indonesia.

Moreover, its prophetic voice is hardly ever heard in Papua, particularly since Papua was integrated into the Indonesian republic by military means and this the integration was preceded by the bloody events surrounding the Act of Free Choice, which continue to the present day.

‘The churches have forgotten or refused to recognise that Christianity arrived in Papua three centuries ago, on 5 February 1855.’

These thoughts were expressed by Socrates Sofyan Yoman during his opening address of the Congress of the Alliance of Baptist Churches in Papua at the Baptist Church in Wamena in October 2012.

He pointed out that his church  has supported the Papuan people with education, religious belief, healthcare and in the economic sphere, and has helped to improve access to the most remote areas by establishing small airfields which cater for small aircraft, with alll the risks this involves.

The church’s  missionaries live in close proximity with the Papuan people and help to foster the dignity of the Papuan people.in sharp contrast to what Indonesia has done since Papua’s integration, when it became a colonial power, a fact that is rarely criticised by the churches.

As a church leader, Yoman said that he not only studies the Bible but also learns from the history of Papua.  He has learned a great deal from this history, in particular the many untruths that have been told.  It is the role of the churches to insist on correcting these untruths, he said

Until now the churches talk about  ‘peace and well being’ but God’s people are continually  stigmatised as treasonous and accused of being part of the OPM.

As a church leader, he rejects all these allegations  and believes that Christians  must reflect of God’s will, as is stated in Genesis 1:26.  For all these reasons, he said in conclusion:

‘I will continue to speak out and will do everything I possibly can to share in the sufferings of God’s people. There is no future for Papua if it continue to remain a part of Indonesia. Papuans cannot live normal lives The churches must speak out about this and integrate themselves with those people whose very identity has been destroyed. It must speak out about  justice, equality  and the freedom  of all humankind regardless of race, ethnicity, culture or religion.

[Translated by TAPOL]

 

“The Indonesian Government Occupies, Colonises and Marginalises Indigenous Papuans”

by Socratez Sofyan Yoman

translation by WestPapuaMedia from SuaraPapua.com

April 3, 2012

OPINION

(“…thousands of young Papuans that scream against the impartiality, hope the regional government must be aware that the Special Autonomy Law is present for whom? That the Law was created for what? Because of the demands for Independence “to free themselves from The Republic of Indonesia” for the people of Papua.” (Dr. “HC” Herman A. T. Yoku, SIP, Cenderwasih Post and Papua Star, Friday 30/3/2012).

Noble and respected Opinion readers, in my Opinion piece on the topic ‘The Indonesian Government fails to Develop and Protect Indigenous Papuans’, that was published in the Pacific Post, Tuesday 20th March 2012, and in the Papua Star, Thursday 22nd March, 2012, I quoted the promise and commitment by the Government of Indonesia for indigenous Papuans when Papua was forcibly integrated into Indonesia in 1969 with the engineering of the 1969 Referendum.

The quote is as follows: “Interior Minister stated …. the government of Indonesia, is willing and able to protect the welfare of the people of West Irian, therefore, there is no other choice but to live with the Republic of Indonesia” (Source: United Nations Official Records: 1812th Plenary Meeting of the UN Assembly, agenda item 98.19 November 1969, paragraph 18, P.2). After 31 years from 1969 to 2000, the Government of Indonesia made a promise and commitment that is almost the same, in Act No. 21, Year 2001 on Special Autonomy, for: pemberdayaan (empowerment), perlindungan (protection) and keberpihakan (affirmative action) for the original inhabitants of Papua and the Papuan People that have been forced to live within the Republic of Indonesia.

But the reality is that the people of Papua, Indigenous Papuans and the owners of this land and country, are treated inhumanely and are slaughtered like animals in the name of Indonesia. A concrete example: Three Indigenous Papuans were shot dead by security forces on 19th October 2011 at Zakheus field, the shooters were only given disciplinary punishment. This betrayal of human dignity cannot be tolerated in a context of humanity. There is no reason to kill people. It is the toughest crime committed by the state.

Examples of other facts such as the Cenderwasih Post reported: at the Offical Echelon Inauguration at Keerom District, Community Leader from the Indonesia-PNG border, Keerom, Dr. (HC), Herman A.T.Yoku, S.IP, said: “Many young Indigenous Papuans are treated like step-children in the appointment into the echelons. From 117 new Echelon II, III and IV officials inaugurated a few days ago, if carefully calculated, the number of local young people inaugurated is less than 10, from all of those sworn in. I had hoped that affirmative policy that was mandated in Act No. 21, Year 2001 would necessarily be considered by the local government…’ (Cenderawasih Post, Friday, March 30, 2012, p. 14). “As young Papuans the Governor should be aware that the Special Autonomy Act is for who? At the Echelon Inauguration yesterday (Thursday, 29/3/2012) I have not seen one Papuan child sworn in, let alone one Indigenous Keerom child from this country. I am very sorry as a community leader who fights to expand this area – why is it that the governor can’t pay attention to this area? If for only one interest I requested this position, it is that this region can be considered safe because young indigenous Papuans say themselves it is safe.” (Papua Star, on Friday, March 30 2012, p 5).

In my opinion columns about The Special Autonomy Act No. 21, Year 2001, I continually, frankly and openly present the topic (1) “Special Autonomy has failed in Papua”: Papua Star, Thursday, 09/02/2012, p.5; (2) “It’s Time: Papua People Stand Alone”: in The Pacific Post, March 13, 2012 and Papua star, March 16, 2012; (3) “The Indonesian Government fails to Develop and Protect Indigenous Papuans” in the Pacific Post, Tuesday, March 20, 2012 and Papua Star, Thursday , March 22, 2012.
“Special Autonomy is a political solution or a political bargaining between the peoples of Papua and Indonesia, in order that Papuans remain in Indonesia with a guarantee to protect the people of Papua, the empowerment of indigenous Papuans, and affirmative action for indigenous Papuans. However, “in reality, the Special Autonomy has truly failed. Special Autonomy has truly become a killing machine of God’s people in Papua and a destroyer of a future Papuan society and nation.”

Special Autonomy has really become a potent tool for the process of ethnic cleansing in Papua that is safer, quicker, more systematic and does not raise the suspicions of the international community that cares about humanity. Special Autonomy is an institution that prolongs the agony, drops and flow of tears of Indigenous Papuans. Special Autonomy is a solution and political decision about Papua’s political status within Indonesia that has already failed. Special Autonomy is a destroying machine that really marginalises Indigenous Papuans from every aspect. Special Autonomy is second volume of the 1969 Referendum that has already failed and become a new problem.”

Herman Yoku says: “… i am very sorry as a public figure who fights to expand this area – why is it that the governor can’t pay attention to this area?” From this statement it seems evident that many Indigenous Papuan Officials do not have the critical ability in relation to the strategies and traps set by the Indonesian Government around the expansion of districts and provinces over the land of Papua. I regret very much, the way of looking and thinking of young Indigenous Papuan officials that the expansion of districts, cities and provinces are the result of hard work and struggle. It really is not like that.

The real background of the hectic expansion of districts, cities and provinces over the land of West Papua that is wild and uncontrollable, is purely political, economic, security, and a structural and systematic process of ethnic cleansing of Melanesians. And all the political policies of the Indonesian Government are not interested in progressing, advancing and increasing the welfare of Indigenous Papuans. In my opinion, the key clause in the expansion of districts and provinces is the military operation and new style Transmigration operation for the hastening of the ethic cleansing of Melanesians. I have written in an Opinion Column in the Pacific Post, 25th September 2009, with the topic: ‘district/City and Province Expansion in West Papua is a Military and New-style Transmigration Operation’. Special Autonomy Act No.21, Year 2001, has FAILED.

Expansion of Districts, Cities and Provinces that is not balanced with Indigenous Papuans forms chains of occupation, colonisation, and marginalisation. Indigenous Papuans are now being encouraged to take shelter behind the slogan of national development. “Political pitting (the politics of divide and conquer) such as applied by colonizers in Apartheid South Africa in 1978. Pieter W. Bother became Prime Minister and splintered the unity of South African society by setting up puppet states: The Puppet State of Transkei, Puppet State of Tswana, Puppet State of Venda, Puppet State of Ciskei. In the Papuan context, the Colonial Government of Indonesia has formed many puppet districts and also puppet provinces in order to break up the wholeness and unity of Indigenous Papuans.” (Yoman: p. Destruction of Ethnic Melanesia, Breaking the Silence of the History of Violence in West Papua, 2007: p. 224).

The Author himself has documentary evidence writing about military operations. If readers read my book entitled: ‘The Gate to Free Papua’ (Socratez Sofyan Yoman; 2000. Page. 78-86), it is very clearly found in this book, highly confidential documents released by the interior department Director General of the Office of National Unity and Community Protection (DITJEN KESBANG dan LINMAS) in official notes number: 578/ND/KESBANG/DIV/VI/2000, 9th June 2000 by radiogram Governor (Caretaker) head level 1 Irian Jaya, No. BB.091/POM/060200, dated june 2000, and No: 190/1671/SET/ dated 3rd June 2000. The primary goal is a plan and operation of regional conditioning, development of communication networks and the establishment of provinces and districts in Iran Jaya (Papua).

Implementing this operation of conditioning and expansion is the Interior Department, Department of Defence and Security, Department of Foreign Affairs, especially for diplomatic operations, Indonesian Police, Indonesian Military (TNI), the State Intelligence Coordinating Agency (Bakin), Strategic National Intelligence Agency (BAIS ), SPAM, AD Hearquarters, ASTER, KASTER TNI, SINTEL Headquarters, National Police (POLRI), Army Strategic Reserve Command (KOSTRAD), and Special Forces Command (KOPASSUS), Regional Leaders Forum Iran Jaya (Paupa) Province and other provinces.

Another document is a document from the National Security Council Secretary General, Jakarta, May 27 and May 28, 2003 on ‘Strategy for Conflict Resolution with separatist contexts in Papua Province through a political approach to security’ (this document can be seen in my book: “Voice for the Voiceless” Dumma Socratez Sofyan Yoman: 2009; pg. 117-118).

These two documents show the face and militaristic character of the Indonesian Government that annexed and occupies West Papua, and colonises Indigenous occupants, Melanesian people through political engineering since May 1st, 1963, the 1969 Referendum, and legislation Act 21, Year 2001 on Special Autonomy to this day. After annexation, to this date West Papua is seen by the Indonesian Government without an interest in the principles of justice and humanity along with the future survival of the people – the owners, heirs to the country and land of West Papua. The Indonesian Government administers West Papua as a problematic region and conflict area that needs to be resolved by a security approach. Although a security approach is evidently a total failure and the cause of human rights violations that are ruthless and grieve the heart of God’s people.

The expansion of districts / cities and provinces on a large scale if viewed from requirements such as: population, territory, natural resources and human resources; from all of these requirements in relation to total population and the readiness of human resources it is very ironic. Because the total population of Indigenous Papuans is only 1.5 million that does not need many districts/cities and provinces throughout Papua. Many districts/cities and provinces also need human resources that can fulfil the rank and stratification to occupy positions – both structural and functional positions.

Consequences of the large-scale expansion of districts/cities and provinces in West Papua are:

  1. The sending of officials from outside Papua to occupy important and strategic positions when Indigenous people cannot yet fulfil the criteria of rank, skill, experience, level of education.
  2. The sending and coming of people from outside to take economic opportunities in the regional expansion and the marginalisation and destruction of Indigenous people. Mr Juan Mendez, UN Secretary General Special Adviser in the field of Prevention of Genocide, stated: “West Papua is one area that is very alarming because the indigenous population is in danger of annihilation”. Yale University, USA, and the University of Sydney released a report that in Papua there is ethnic cleansing of Indigenous Papuans occurring.
  3. Construction of military and police bases for reasons of national security along with security and safety of settlers.
  4. Dispossession of the people for reasons of building government offices.
  5. Appropriation of community land for the purpose of building large shops, malls, supermarkets, mega-hotels and restaurants.
  6. The destruction of mountains and hills of the people.
  7. Destruction of sago and palm trees as a resource for income and peoples’ lives.
  8. Destruction and pollution of water owned by original inhabitants.

The Indonesian government and security forces have failed to build and instil the ideologies of Pancasila, the 1945 Constitution, The Unitary Republic of Indonesia, Unity in Diversity into Papua’s original inhabitants. On the contrary, the Government and the Indonesian security forces have been successfully built and strengthened ideology of West Papuan Independence by nurturing separatist stigma, rebellion and OPM. This is a fatal mistake made by the Government and security forces over the years. The approach of the Government and Security forces which does not respect human dignity, to this day has alienated the people’s hearts from Indonesia. The Indonesian government and security forces with violence have only managed to integrate (Papua) economically and politically into Indonesia. The Indonesian government really occupies, colonises and marginalises Papua’s original inhabitants.

Due to the failure of the Indonesian Government in Papua, Dr George Junus Aditjondro said: “The problems in Papua have been very difficult to resolve. Therefore, there is no other option but to follow the passionate demands of the people of Papua who want a referendum. And the Indonesian Government must immediately withdraw from Papua. Only a referendum can determine whether the Papuans still want to be part of Indonesia or not “(George’s Commentary at the launch of a book entitled:” West Papua: International Issues “, in the Kontras Office, Jakarta, Thursday, 11/3/2011).

“It’s only a matter if time, if we like it or not, want it or not, we will lose Papua because we have failed to capture the hearts of Papuans and this has been the problem from the beginning.” (Dr.Adnan Buyung Nasution, S.H. : source: Detiknews, Thursday, 16 December 2011).

“I know, I understand and also I’m aware that which I devote here. Therefore, if you are certain or not, believe or not, like or not, are happy or not, sooner or later West Papuans will gain independence and stand alone as one people and nation sovereign over their ancestor’s land. In this confidence and spirit, whatever the risk of people’s opinions and commentary, with firm believe and determination of conscience, I dedicate my knowledge to writing books of cultural history and every occurrence upon this land. So that the children and grandchildren of this nation, into the future, will learn that this nation has experienced a long history and long, bitter and unspeakable suffering perpetrated by the Indonesian Government.” (Ita Wakhu Purom, Numbay (Jayapura), West Papua, Thursday, June 9, 2011, 21:17 WP). This statement of faith has been immortalized in my 13th book entitled: “West Papua: An International Problem” (Yoman: 2011, p.4).

“Upon this rock I place the civilisation of Papuan people, although people possess high intelligence, reason and Marifa, they cannot lead this nation, this nation will rise up and lead itself” (Wasior, Manokwari, October 25, 1925, Rev.. IS Kijne ).

*Author: Chairman of the Board of the Fellowship of Baptist Churches of Papua.

Papuan churches call for dialogue mediated by third party

Bintang Papua, 11 March 2011

The leaders of a number of churches in Papua have called on the central government to hold a dialogue with indigenous Papuans, stressing that it should be mediated by a neutral third party and held without conditions.

A press release issued by Rev. Benny Giay of the KINGMI Church, Rev
Socratez Sofyan Yoman of the Alliance of Baptist Churches in Papua and the deputy chairman of the GKI Synod, Drs Elly D. Doirebo said:

We church leaders in Papua hereby announce to our congregations and to the general public that we have informed the central government about our rejection of OTSUS (Special Autonomy law) for two consecutive weeks (13-18 February and 28 Feb-3 March). We need to convey a number of important facts as follows:

First, the failure of OTSUS has been acknowledged not only by the
Papuan people but also by the executive and legislature of the central
government, as well as by foreign diplomats and civil society figures
who we met in Indonesia who have been paying close attention to the
development of the Papuan people.

A number of government functionaries who we met at the centre have
blamed government leaders in the Land of Papua as being responsible for the failure of OTSUS.

We do not believe that this is true. The failure of OTSUS reflects the
lack of political will and seriousness on the part of the central
government to do anything to promote the development of the Papuan
people. We made this clear in the Theological Declaration of Papuan
Churches on 26 January 2011 when we said that the central government has failed to promote the development and welfare of the indigenous Papuan people.

Second, bearing in mind that all sides recognise that OTSUS has failed, we continue to urge the government at the centre as well as in the Land of Papua to immediately announce that the swearing in of a second-term MRP will be abandoned because it lacks aspiration and has no firm legal basis. We regard the efforts now being made by the central and regional governments to set up a second-term MRP as arrogant and as a move to force through their will which can only intensify the conflicts between the Papuan people and the Indonesian Government.

Third, we continue to be guided by the people of the Lord who continue to urge the Indonesian government to hold a dialogue with the Papuan people facilitated by a neutral third party, without conditions.

We are well aware that the government of President Susilo Bambang
Yudhoyono was successful in the dialogue it held with the Acehnese
people and that the same can be achieved with the Papuan people.

Dialogue is the most dignified, peaceful and democratic way which has
been widely accepted by the international community as the model for the resolution of conflicts that have occurred in other parts of the country.

Fourth, we reject the creation of UP4B, the Unit for Accelerating
Development in Papua and West Papua, as well as all talk about
‘Constructive Communications’, the aim of which is to conceal the
failure of OTSUS and to obscure the Papuan people’s demand for dialogue.

There should be prior consultation with the Papuan people about all
measures taken by the state for Papua which should be the result of
agreement between the government and the Papuan people.

Fifth, We reject all acts of intimidation and violence perpetrated by
the state in order to silence freedom of expression and democracy in the Land of Papua, such as the stabbing of the journalist Banjir Ambarita.

We therefore urge the police to carry out a thorough investigation of
that stabbing incident and to proceed with the case through legal
channels, in order to give the victim as well as the community in
general in the Land of Papua a sense of peace and justice.

Sokrates Yoman launches book titled ‘OPM’

JUBI, 12 March 2011

The Rev. Sokratez Sofyan Yoman has launched a new book titled: Otonomi, Pemekaran dan Merdeka [OPM] – Autonomy, Division and Independence. The 136-page book bears a sub-title: ‘Time to Speak the Truth in the Land of Papua’.

Speaking at the launch, the author, who heads the Alliance of Baptist
Churches in Papua, he said that he had taken the decision to write the
book as a calling from God. He said that when he meets his Maker and is asked what he has done and whether he should go to heaven or to hell, he would accept whatever would happen to him.

The book will cost Rp. 30,000 a copy but the author has decided not to sell it through the bookshops. ‘I will ask students to sell it so that
they can earn something from the profit they make selling it.’

Speaking at the launch of the book, Herman Awom said that the
significance of the book could be judged by the fact that past books of his have all been banned.

‘Why are his books banned by the Attorney-General? Because they speak about the experiences of the Papuan people, about their history, about the failure to uphold human rights in Papua and about the use of violence in Papua.’

Herman Awom said that this book was a way for Rev Yoman to deliver his sermons; not all the churches were willing to write in the way that he does. The title of the book in bahasa can be abbreviated to OPM.

Socrates Yoman rejects govt’s move to set UP4B

JUBI, 7 March 2011

The Papuan leader, Socratez Sofyan Yoman, the leader of the Alliance of Baptist churches in Papua, is reported to have expressed his lack of
confidence in a new unit that is to be created by the government to
resolve a range of problems in Papua.

The UP4B – Unit Percepatan Pembangunan Papua dan Papua Barat (Unit to Accelerate Development in Papua and West Papua), is to be set up by the government to handle a number of political problems as well as the human rights situation in Papua.

‘We reject the UP4B because it will not solve the problems in Papua,’ he said. ‘The central government should hold a dialogue with the Papuan people, mediated by a neutral international party.’

He said that the UP4B was no different from other mechanisms that have been created by Indonesia to deal with the situation in Papua, all of which have failed. This new body is not the way to solve to the
situation in Papua and can only make things worse, he said

The problems in Papua can only be resolved by seeking to understand the roots of the problem.

‘There should be no more moves by the Indonesian State to deceive the Papuan people. The government should immediately take concrete action to deal with the roots of the conflict,’ he said.

He said that he was aware that the Indonesian government was at present working with several agencies to make preparations for the creation of the UP4B which is expected to be set up in the month of March.