Tag Archives: security approach to political freedom

#LiveUpdatesPapua Cultural March by Paniai & highland students defies police blockade in Jayapura

Westpapuamedia

May 2, 2016 1025 West Papua time

KnpbNews is reporting that despite early arrests this morning, no more arrests have followed the detention by police of the mass gathering in outside the students hostel in Waena, Jayapura.

However, students from Paniai and Yahukimo regencies living at the dormitories have launched a surprise distributed but coordinated cultural action, and taken over the demonstration with a vibrant display of Papuan cultural identity whilst speeches were being conducted.

THis mass has now reached the gates of the Cenderawasih university where students were earlier arrested, and are now facing a blockade of police, while the speeches continue at Abepura in a distributed action.

More to come – photos below (courtesy of KNPB)

#LiveUpdatesPapua Arrests begin in West Papua mobilisations, after night of Armed police terror raids across Papua

by WestPapuaMedia

May 2, 2016

Breaking News:

Arrests by Indonesian security forces of West Papuan demonstrators have just begun minutes ago in Jayapura,  as West Papuan people begin planned mass mobilisations to demand self-determination and referendum on the occupied colony’s future.

 

Blockade of police officers in the Old Market, sentani

Less than twenty minutes ago, at 0831AM local time, police officers led by the Jayapura region Chief of Police AKBP YERMIAS RUNTINI, have arrested approximately 10 students Cenderawasih University (UNCEN) students, at the gate of the UNCEN Waena student housing dormitory (Perumnas 3). 

Police are currently barricading the road with barbed wire to the hostel UNCEN Waena hostel where the KNPB headquarters are located. Currently the police are also pursuing activists and patrolling around the Waena taxi roundabout.

Indonesian Police have also just surrounded and arrested (0845) the gathered  masses who were preparing to rally, filling 3 trucks with students, 1 truck of KNPB members, and two  trucks of civilians.

This comes after Reports from students in Papua have come in overnight of an attempted raid overnight at a  that failed due to student security preparations.

A platoon of heavily armed Dalmas Public Order riot police, allegedly containing members of the elite Australian-funded Densus 88 anti-terrorism unit, attacked the Cenderawasih University (UnCen) student dormitory in Waena, Abepura, at 0220 (AM) local time,  according to confirmed reports from West Papua National Committee (Komite Nasional Papua Barat or KNPB) officials.

However, students maintaining watch ahead of expected security sweeps overnight escaped into the night, thanks to an effective early warning system, according to sources, and the Dalmas platoon gave up the chase.

Raids have been occurring across Papua overnight by Indonesian security forces in a bid to terrorise Papuans into abandoning mass mobilisations across the country today, due to start at the time of publication.  Reports have come in from Wamena, Merauke and Manokwari of preemptive security sweeps overnight.  More information as it comes to hand.

The demonstrations are demanding for a referendum as an act of self-determination on Papuan aspirations, seen as treason by the Indonesian colonial government. Indonesian police in Papua have vowed to crackdown on all displays of “separatism” and have banned all gatherings.

The rallies form part of a global day of action under the social media hashtag #LetWestPapuaVote, and coincide with a historic gathering of the International Parliamentarians for West Papua network in the UK Parliament on May 3.

This is a developing story.  More information as it comes to hand.  Please follow the twitter hashtag #LiveUpdatesPapua for up to the minute coverage.

westpapuamedia

West Papua to take to streets today amid major crackdown threats from Indonesian forces

by westpapuamedia, with reporting from awasmifee, taboid jubi and local sources.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Rolling coverage will be occuring across the day:  please send any first hand updates or media to Editor @ westpapuamedia.info (no spaces) or via SMS to +61498239869.  Secure SMS and calls to this number can be made with Signal from WhisperSystems

A coalition of about 50 Papuan and Indonesian civil society organisations has called for Indonesian security forces to stop repression, and respect West Papuan’s Right of Freedom of Expression as major mobilisations are planned across Papua for April 13. (Press Release in full, below)

The West Papua National Committee (KNPB) have called the demonstrations to pressure Melanesian countries to admit the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) to full membership of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG).  As the mandated external representative body of West Papuan civil resistance to the international community, the ULMWP currently has observer status, despite Indonesian machinations for Indonesia to have full membership also.

Actions are planned in seven cities: Jayapura, Fak-fak, Manokwari, Yahukimo, Sorong, Timika and Merauke, with th possibility of major centres in West Papua, as well as across Indonesia, however the Indonesian Police have prevented several gathering from going ahead already, and are feared to be nmmunted a major joint police-military operation to prevent demonstrations from occurring.

West Papua Media is proividing montoring also as the day progresses, and has evidence at time of publication early Wednesday morning of large amounts of public order hardware and security force mobilsations already in all centres, especially around Taman Imbi in Jayaura.  This will be a developing story.

Five KNPB members were arrested in Dekei, Yahukimo for giving out leaflets promoting the event tomorrow.  They were reportedly being interrogated without a lawyer or legal support (see http://tabloidjubi.com/2016/04/12/bagi-selebaran-demo-akbar-5-anggota-knpb-yahukimo-ditangkap/ for more info)]

A Press conference was held at the Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation (LBH Jakarta) yesterday, raising the concern of possible state repression of the KNPB-led mobilisations across Papua.  The release (Below in full) shows the support of nearly 50 mostly Jakarta-based organisations and trade unions for the respct of rights of Papuan organisations and people to engage in free expression of their political aspirations.

PRESS RELEASE
No. 792/SK-RILIS/IV/2016

Stop Repression and curbs on Freedom of Expression for the Papuan People!

It is strongly suspected that a joint police/ military operation will repress mass actions on 13th April 2016 in Papua

(Jakarta, 12 April 2016) Dozens of civil society organisations comprising elements of the labour, student, women’s, urban poor and other social movements support the Papuan people’s right to freedom of expression.

On 5th April 2016, the Timika branch of the West Papua National Committee (KNPB) organised a prayer meeting in the grounds of the GKII Golgota church in Timika, Papua to support the United Liberation Movement for West Papua’s participation in a Pacific Diplomatic Forum, the Melanesian Spearhead Group. However as the event was taking place, a joint police and military force suddenly appeared, and proceeded to disperse the event by firing shots in the air and attacking the crowds. Dozens of participants were punched, kicked or struck with rifle butts by the joint command. Banners, clothing and noken string bags were seized by the police. One solider forced a KNPB member with the initials IT to strip naked. Two more KNPB members with initials AD and AE were seriously injured and needed hospital care.

The security forces’ attack culminated in the arrest of 15 KNPB members, 13 of which were released the next day with a requirement to report to the police station for an as yet unspecified length of time. Two others, Steven Itlay and Yus Wenda are still in custody. Yus Wenda is being held under article 351 of the Indonesian Criminal Code, violent harassment, even though the maximum sentence that can be given for this article is 2 years 8 months, which means Yus Wenda should have the right to not be remanded in custody. Steven Itlay is charged with treason under article 106. The treason article is frequently used in Papua as a tool to muzzle freedom of expression and freedom of opinion. Steven Itlay was moved from the Mimika Police headquarters to the Police Mobile Brigade detention centre which is far from Timika City. There is strong reason to believe that this is an attempt to isolate him and keep him incommunicado, which raises serious concerns for his safety.

Papuans will join a similar event organised by the KNPB on the 13th April 2016, however on a much larger scale, and taking place in seven cities: Jayapura, Fak-fak, Manokwari, Yahukimo, Sorong, Timika and Merauke. This action is supported by local churches.

Many people have been arrested in Papua since 2013. According to International Coalition for Papua data, 653 people were arrested between April 2013 and December 2014 (ICP 2015). The KNPB has calculated that 479 people were arrested between the 30th April and 1st June 2015 alone. In the 18 months which Jokowi and Jusuf Kalla have been in power, more thaan 1000 arrests have taken place, especially targetting
pro-independence activists, indigenous people fighting to keep their customary lands and ordinary people who have become the object of state repression for no clear reason.

Bearing in mind the patterns of repression and police/military impunity that keep on repeating themselves in Papua, as demonstrated once more last April 5th, it is reasonable to believe that the Papuan people will face repression once more on 13th April.

For this reason we state that we fully support the Papuan people’s constitutional rights to freedom of expression. We also urge the joint police and military forces not to take repressive action against the Papuan people, and in particular against the major actions which will take place on 13th April

Respectfully,
Lembaga Bantuan Hukum (LBH) Jakarta, Human Rights Working Group (HRWG), Lembaga Studi dan Advokasi Masyarakat (ELSAM), Yayasan Pusaka, Yayasan Satu Keadilan, Imparsial, Honai Center, Lembaga Bantuan Hukum (LBH) Pers, Solidaritas Perempuan, The Convention on the Elimination of all
Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) Working Group, Institut
Perempuan, Perempuan Mahardhika, Kongres Aliansi Serikat Buruh Indonesia (KASBI), Federasi Serikat Buruh Indonesia (FSBI), Federasi Sektor Umum Indonesia (FSUI), Federasi Buruh Lintas Pabrik (FBLP), Federasi
Pertambangan dan Energi (FPE), Federasi Serikat Pekerja Pulp dan Kertas
Indonesia (FSP2KI), Federasi Buruh Transport Pelabuhan Indonesia
(FBTPI), Serikat Pekerja Aneka Sektor Industri (SPASI), Gabungan Serikat
Buruh Independen (GSBI), Gabungan Solidaritas Perjuangan Buruh (GSPB),
Serikat Buruh Kerakyatan (SERBUK), Aliansi Buruh Kontrak Menggugat
(ABKM), Papua Itu Kita, Aliansi Mahasiswa Papua (AMP), Belantara Papua,
Perkumpulan Jubi, Indonesia Tanpa Militerisme (ITM), Gerakan Masyarakat
Sipil Melawan Kriminalisasi (Geram Kriminalisasi), Front Perjuangan
Rakyat (FPR), Partai Hijau Indonesia (PHI), Partai Pembebasan Rakyat
(PPR), Solidaritas Kebudayaan Masyarakat Indonesia (Sebumi), Konfederasi
Pergerakan Rakyat Indonesia DKI (KPRI DKI), Serikat Perjuangan Rakyat
Indonesia (SPRI), Komite Perlawanan Rakyat (KPR), Politik Rakyat, Urban
Poor Consortium (UPC), Jaringan Relawan Kemanusiaan (JRK), Jaringan
Rakyat Miskin Kota (JRMK), Mahasiswa Progresif Universitas Indonesia
(Semar UI), Federasi Mahasiswa Kerakyatan (FMK), Front Mahasiswa
Nasional (FMN), Forum Kesatuan Aksi Mahasiswa (FKAM) Universitas 17
Agustus Jakarta, Wilson Obrigados, Andreas Iswinarto, Bonnie Triyana

 

LP3BH’s Warinussy meets with US Ambassador on Manokwari visit

Briefing

January 19, 2016

by Yan Christian Warinussy

On Sunday 17th January 2016, I had the opportunity of meeting the United States Ambassador to Indonesia,  Robert Blake, during a visit
to Manokwari.

At the meeting which lasted about 45 minutes, Ambassador Blake
asked me about the views of my organisation, the LP3BH. Ambassador
Blake asked me about the general situation in West Papua and recent
developments as well as the human rights situation here in West Papua
and he also wanted to know about the policy of President Joko Widodo
towards Papua and West Papua.

I told the Ambassador that the situation here continues to be
highly unsatisfactory in view of the many cases of human rights
violations, none of which had been dealt with in a court of law.

I referred in particular to the various laws and regulations that
were now in force, such as Law on Human Rights 39/1999 and Law 26/2000 on Human Rights Courts. In addition, I drew his attention to Law 21/2001 on Special Autonomy for the Province of West Papua, as amended by Law 35/2008.

I referred in particular to a number of cases of grave human rights
violations such as the Wasior Case (2001), the Wamena Case (2002), the
Paniai Case (8th December (2014), the Tolikara Case (2015) when eleven
civilians were shot and wounded, whereas none of these cases has been
dealt with in a law court.

Ambassador Blake was very concerned about all these incidents and
the failure up to the present day by the Government of Indonesia to
deal with any these cases.

Ambassador Blake said that his government would guarantee that all
those who had ben responsible for these violations would be excluded
from any its governmental programmes related to education and human rights.

Speaking as a lawyer and a Human Rights Defender, I submitted a
written report to Ambassador Robert Blake, hoping that this would be
handed over to the US Government.

I also told Ambassador Blake that these matters were now being
seriously considered by various governments which were members of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) and members of the Pacific Islands Forum.  I drew his attention to the fact that the United Liberation
Movement for West Papua had been granted observer status by the MSG
in June 2015.

The result of all this was that these various regional state groups
had pressed for a fact-finding human rights mission to be sent to
West Papua and Papua.

I also expressed the opinion that (examination of) all these serious cases should be considered by the Government of the USA as the only way to strengthen democracy and peace throughout the Land of Papua.

With regard to the security situation in the Land of Papua, I stressed that the security forces now based in the Land of Papua should be instructed not to used firearms to handle the situation in the Land of Papua.but to deal with these incidents with peaceful means, instead of using the force of arms.

. I also urged the US Government to exert pressure on the Government
of Indonesia, under President Joko Widodo to respond to the peaceful
moves that had been taken by Papuan NGOs to resolve the social
conflicts in the Land of Papua.

Peace

Yan Christian Warinussy is Executive Director of the LP3BH, the Institute for Research, Investigation and the Development of Legal Aid, and Recipient of the John Humphrey Freedom Award, 2005, Canada.

Translated by Carmel Budiardjo, Recipient of the Right Livelihood Award, 1995.

Edited for clarity by West Papua Media

Essay: THE STATE OF INDONESIA AND VIOLENCE

By Pastor Honaratus Pigai

OPINION / ESSAY

November 2, 2015

The creation of human beings is indeed one of the brilliant works of God,  giving freedom to humans to choose between right and wrong, good and bad.  It is the very intelligence of humans which differentiates us from other living things in the creation.  We are indeed unique. Animals share the characteristic of humans that they tend towards using violence in order to defend themselves.  Animals also have instincts.

Unlike human beings, animals don’t possess the means to be able to evaluate the appropriateness of actions.. The instinct of animals is but one of survival. Yet despite the “higher level intelligence” of humans, at times they will act not just out of an instinct to survive when threatened, but rather as a predator against their fellow humans. (Something like a group of lions which may seize by violence the territory of another lion group.)

Sadly there are far too many instances of such predatory behaviour being seen in Papua against the indigenous people of the land.
Humanity – one would have thought – should have ceased using violence against their fellow beings long before this point in human history. What’s more those nations that call themselves ‘civilised’.  It is appropriate that human violence  only be tolerated when one nation is faced with an threat to their safety by another nation.  So then violence would only be used in a way that is legal under human law (to defend) against that which is carrying out the wrong.

However here in Papua violence is being systematically used not against criminals, but against the people.

The State versus the Community

A State has a certain authority recognised in the protection of its community.  It is regarded as the ‘protector’ of the people.  Instances of the use of violence by a State should only in the context of protecting its people from some threat of harm.  Violence should never be used by the State against the community itself.  However what has been occurring in Papua in recent times is totally paradoxical to that (notion).

Although it is forbidden to openly admit that the Indonesian State is opposing the very community that it is supposed to protect in Papua, the fact is that frequently the Papuan community does feel as if it is being regarded as the ‘opposition’ of the State.  Particularly around instances when the State forces its own will onto the people.  National policies applied in Papua largely can be said NOT to be representative of the Papuan context, nor the needs of the local community.  Often heard on the streets in response is “What is asked for is one thing, what is given is another.”  This is a reality. The policies are not in accordance with what is asked for, or even what is wanted and hoped for by the community.

It seems likely that violence has been adopted as the one and only ‘solution’ of the State of Indonesia to solving the problems in Papua.  At those moments when the community is seen to oppose the will of the State, indeed this seems ever so clear.  However Indonesia does not seem to recognise that the violence of its agents is having a counter productive result:  among its ramifications is that the State will predictably lose legitimacy and the trust of the Papuan community. This is an important matter for the state, which will only be changed by the State having an approach of dialogue and treating people humanely.

Obviously we are all human beings and that we should as much as possible be using means that are humane and civilised.  Would it therefore not be preferable that when a government (representing the power of the state) is adopting any policy that profoundly effects the community, that they would seek the opinion of that community to be affected, prior to that point? The government must not just hide from its obligations, seeking protection behind legalities of power, with statements like ‘This is in accordance with legal procedure’.  They must stop the inherent power games against the community, claiming that ‘This is in accordance with a legal decision, so it must be implemented’.

The State must seek to bring about justice and peace for the people, not the opposite! The law is an instrument to be used to attain a civilised state of affairs and good for its citizens, not to be used to spill the blood of the people and create death and tragedy in their lives. The recent human history of Papua is indeed full with the spilling of blood and killing of the Papuan people. There has been absolutely no episode of life for Papuans in this era where there has been a real peace and a lack of violence in the land against its people. The violence itself has become like a little king, a ruler in Papua. Indeed it is no mistake to say that a ‘smooth’ genocide has befallen the indigenous community of Papua.

‘Smooth’ Violence

The State violence in Papua is clothed with a smooth, soft touch. Those that commit the acts of violence and create the anarchy wear security hats and are referred to as the so-called ‘protectors’ of the community. This is a fact of what is happening.   Far from the ideals of ‘Peacekeeping and protection,’ it seems have been watered down to meaning  ‘closing down (cultural) pride actions that might otherwise arise’.

It’s up to each of us to interpret what is really going on in relation to those wearing those ‘hats’ in light of the realities in Papua. The Writer sees it as a ‘smooth’ violence, a ‘refined’ violence being committed against the people. This really can damage the sense of peacefulness in the community. Even the justice spoken of in the Constitution of the Republic of Indonesia 1945 is damaged as a consequence of this neglect by the State of its people.

The State could try just once in a while seeking the opinions from the community regarding  policies in Papua. If the majority of opinions sought were in agreement with the policies, by all means continue to apply them. However if the community does not agree, they must be discontinued. Unfortunately there is no such mechanism as this in existence; It is but utopian as the role of the community should already be represented by the Papuan Legislative Assembly (DPRD). They are the ones in the Indonesian structure which represent the community. There is no use regretting this as this is the mechanism which we chose democratically.
The DPRD has an incredibly obvious shortcoming. All manner of aspirations of the people that reach their desk are in one way or another overlooked. As the representative of the community that sits in the most respected of positions it feels indeed like there has been some sort of ‘cutting off’ of a limb. Both attention and partiality of the DPRD towards the Papuan community are severely dulled.

It is truly hoped that the games of violence in Papua – whether of the ‘smooth faced’ type or more crude forms of violence against the people – might be questioned. The hats of the ‘peacekeepers and protectors’ must be removed as the proliferation of Indonesian military forces in Papua is not the solution! Violence is not the solution and neither is money the solution. The solution lies in listening to the true desires of the community. Not the wishes of the Papuan government officials who have no genuine concern for the suffering of the Papuan indigenous community.

The Author is a Church Worker in Timika, Papua.

Translated, annotated and edited by West Papua Media for linguistic clarity.  The religious views espoused in this Opinion piece are the author’s own and not necessarily those of West Papua Media.