Tag Archives: Selpius Bobii

Bobii: Australian PM’s Words Hurt the People of Papua

Opinion/Analysis

By Selpius Bobii in Abepura State Prison

 14 October 2013

“People seeking to grandstand against Indonesia, please, don’t look to do it in Australia, you are not welcome. ………. The situation in West Papua is getting better, not worse” were the words of Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott on 7 October 2013 after three Papuan citizens scaled the wall and entered the Australian Consulate in Bali(1)

These words of the Prime Minister of Australia are extremely hurtful to the people of the nation of Papua as they are the precise opposite to the truth of the situation in Papua, where things are getting progressively worse for the indigenous population.   Even Lukas Enembe, the Governor of Papua stated that the Province was experiencing a decline in a lot of key areas such as health, education and local economics(2).  Lukas Enembe also witnessed to the well known fact that “Papuans are an increasing minority in their own land. Papuans have been overpowered by other peoples who are not from this land.” (3)

Space for even some minimal semblance of democracy in Papua has been absolutely closed whilst the State of Indonesia continues to commit one after another atrocity against the indigenous people of Papua.  Alpius Mote for instance, aged 17 years, was shot dead by the Indonesian Special Police Unit BRIMOB on 23 September in Waghete, District of Tigi, when a number of locals voiced objection to arbitrary arrests and most insulting ‘over-the’top’ sweeping by armed forces targeting males with long beards and hair. Then there’s the brutal military operations that have been continuing relentlessly for months in Puncak Jaya and also in Paniai to chase those suspected of being part of the TPN/OPM. Operations which have only led to the innocent civilians becoming victims (such as 12 year old Arlince Tabuni who was shot dead on 1 July 2013 in the village of Popumo, Lani Jaya). There has also of late been an escalation in Papua in the level of intimidation and terrorising acts towards the indigenous people of the land and even more so  against Papuan activists (6).

In just these last days the bodies of yet 7 more civilians have been found  – including a 4 year old and 11 year old child – after their vehicle left Sarmi to head towards the city of Sentani near Jayapura but they never arrived (4). All 7 bodies were found in their upturned vehicle and it is believed they had been abducted.  It was reported that they were killed by what has become a common term now in Papua, ‘unknown assailant/s’(5).

In order to hide the many forms of tyrannic oppression in Papua, RI has until this time denied access to both international journalists and international human rights (HAM) workers to visit Papua. Indeed ever since Papua was annexed into the Republic of Indonesia (RI) on 1 May 1963, it has been isolated and closed to these international groups. Indigenous Papuans have been forced to live in this state of being terrorised and yet isolated from the reach of the outside world, experiencing violence and a state of upheaval in their lives. Such that for Papuans it’s like existing in the ‘living hell’ of Indonesia.

The Australian Prime Minister has never experienced the forms of brutal and tyrannic oppression that indigenous Papuans are forced to live under; neither has he seen first-hand the real -life conditions  that indigenous Papuans have been suffering for over 50 years now under the Indonesian Republic. If one has never experienced such oppression and has never seen first-hand the real life conditions of indigenous Papuans but there have been constant reports of brutality and severe oppression for 50 years, then would it not be right that Australia as the current Chair of the United Nations (UN) Security Council should together with other members of the UN Security Council organise for a UN Special Representative to carry out investigation into the alleged human rights violations and the political status of West Papua? Such as was requested formally by the Prime Minister of Vanuatu in his historical speech at the recent 68th session of the annual debate of the U.N General Assembly in New York on 28 September 2013.

The people of Papua can only think that Tony Abbott’s words “The situation in West- Papua is getting better, not worse” must be the result of influence from propaganda and provocation by the Indonesian Government recently when  he firstly visited Jakarta on 30 September and then when he returned again to Bali to attend the APEC Conference in early October. Indeed of late the State of Indonesia has lifted its level of diplomacy with the use of propaganda and provocation towards the international community and in particular key leaders around the world – of which the Australian Prime Minister is one – in their efforts of working to undermine any possibility of sympathy arising towards the problems of Papua. To achieve that end Indonesia has employed no small level of resources and staff.

From the perspective of Papuans the new Australian Prime Minister is not all that different from those in the position before him regarding the issue of Papua. Of course Papuans totally appreciate the importance of the position and interests between the governments of Australia and Indonesia. Furthermore,  Papuans truly understand the Australian Prime Minister’s attitude towards Papua must be one of caution in order to protect bilateral relations between Australia and Indonesia. However Australia as a member of the U.N and what more in the trusted position as the current chair of the UN Security Council, has both a legal and moral obligation to uphold and respect human rights around the world and particularly in those particular regions which there is known to be serious concerns such as Papua. Australia cannot avoid its responsibilities to protect and respect the dignity of humanity where freedoms and the very right to life is being threatened such as is the present threat to the indigenous peoples of Papua who are now known to be heading towards annihilation of their race due to a slow moving genocide.

The Australian Government has been in the frontline recently  in regards to the matter of Papua.  On 24 September 2013 seven indigenous Papuans who landed as refugees at Boigi Island in the Torres Strait (including one woman who was pregnant and a 10 year old child) were transferred to Horn Island.  After being interviewed by authorities they were given no choice of staying in Australia and were forced to choose between being sent back to Indonesia or going to PNG. They very swiftly transferred to PNG (7). Then on 6 October 2013 three young Papuan males scaled the wall of the Australian Consulate in Bali and entered the compound so as to seek Australia’s help for Papua. They then also sought refuge for themselves.  Despite the risk they then faced from Indonesia, in the early hours of that same morning before 0700 hours the 3 had been immediately asked to leave the compound with the threat that the police would be called. In being forced to leave the compound after pleading for help for Papua, of course they were terrified about their safety as their lives were then much more at risk, as they well knew the ramifications could mean torture or leading to them ‘disappearing’ as a result of actions by the Indonesian armed forces.  The Australian Senator Richard Di Natale immediately called on the Australian Government to request they be given protection but without response (8). The nation of Papua finds the actions of the Australian Consulate in Bali absolutely unacceptable as the 3 young people had in fact entered the Consulate to seek safety and protection (9).

The Australian Prime Minister subsequently  stated that the Australian Government is going to suppress any activism in Australia that opposes Indonesia in support of West Papua. Abbott’s statement was immediately criticised by Vanuatu’s first and former Prime Minister Ati George Sokomanu who demanded Tony Abbott explained his statement to the leaders of the Pacific (10). Sokomanu stressed that whilst immigration issues could be dealt with by the courts, that Australia must be prepared to discuss questions of human rights. He stated that due to the fact that Australia and New Zealand are the closest neighbours,  “ I think for the sake of the people of West Papua with their rights, that Australia and New Zealand should broaden their view to provide support and do whatever they can to help the people of Papua to achieve their independence”(11).

The Australian and international communities that are concerned about the suffering of indigenous Papuans, are following the political direction of the new Australian cabinet under PM Tony Abbott.  We are yet to see whether as Papua’s closest neighbour, the Australian government will follow a foreign policy that shows some special care in handling cases of human rights violations in Papua and the political status of the land of Papua? Or whether the Australian Government will merely guard its bilateral relations with Indonesia and allow the Republic of Indonesia to continue to act in such ways that it creates marginalisation, discrimination, making a people a minority in their own lands and carries acts of humanitarian evils through its armed forces against the indigenous people of Papua? Actions that together are leading to the annihilation of the ethnic West Papuan race.

Footnotes
1. http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/claim-of-australian-threat-to-west-papuans-in-bali-consulate- protest-20131007-2v4cg.html

2.(Indonesian version) www.tabloidjubi.com/2013/10/12/banyak-kemunduran-di-papua/

3.(Indonesian version) www.tabloidjubi.com/2013/10/12/gubernur-papua-oap-jadi-minoritas/

4. Details of the victims are as follows Bartolomeus Fere (aged 53 years), Agustina Fere (38), Yan Marthen Fere (30), Boas Hawase (35), Elisabet Felle (40), Melinda Felle (11), dan Avia Hawase (4).    (Indonesian version) (www.merdeka.com/peristiwa/7-warga-sentani-papua-diculik-orang-tak-   dikenal.html).

 5. Cenderawasih Post, Edition Monday, 14 October 2013.

 6. Such as for example that experienced by the 4 activists in Fak-Fak on 29 September 2013 Abner Hegemur, Yanto Hindom, Morten Kabes, dan Kaleb Hegemur. The activists were riding home on motor bikes on the main road leading to the town of Fak-Fak after visiting some children alleged to have experienced violence by the armed forces at the Tetar village in the Patipi District outside of Fak-Fak. They were followed throughout their journey home by the Special Forces Unit Densus 88 (the anti-terrorist forces now operating throughout Papua against civilians) accompanied by another 4 armed forces vehicles. A number of the vehicles then located themselves in front of the activist’s motorbikes whilst the remainder followed from behind. Those in front kept changing positions with those behind adding to the terrorizing effect on the 4 riders. This continued throughout their journey until they reached the borders of town of Fak-Fak at which time the vehicles drove off.

(Indonesian version) http://www.majalahselangkah.com/content/teror-dan-intimidasi-terhadap-aktivis-papua-masih-berlanjut

 7. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/oct/11/west-papuans-refugee-camp-border

 8. Rofinus Yanggam, Yuvensius Goo and Markus Yerewon

9. http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/claim-of-australian-threat-to-west-papuans-in-bali-consulate-protest-20131007-2v4cg.html

 10. https://vanuatudaily.wordpress.com/2013/10/09/vanuatu-daily-news-digest-9-october-2013/

 11. http://thevoiceofwestpapua.wordpress.com/2013/10/13/abbott-requested-explain-of-he-statement-to-pacific-countries/

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

 

Papua Ablaze! The Need for a Touch of Hearts

Opinion

by: Selpius Bobii.

Abepura Prison

September 8, 2013

“ In Syria hundreds of civilians are dead from a suspected attack with poison gas on Wednesday 21 August 2013 at a location close to the Syrian capital of Damascus. Meanwhile in Papua hundreds of thousands of Papuan citizens are also dead, having been killed over the time frame of the last 50 years. Killed as a result of military operations both covert and overt, undertaken in a planned, systematic and measurable way since the 1960’s until this time. (For further information see https://westpapuamedia.info/2013/03/30/selpius-bobii-the-annihilation-of-indigenous-west-papuans-a-challenge-and-a-hope/).

The United Nations (UN) Security Council held a sudden meeting to discuss the suspected use of poison gas in Syria and to find out who was responsible and acted swiftly to organise a Fact Finding Team, as the use of any weapon to annihilate people in mass numbers such as a poison gas falls within the category of ‘humanitarian evils’. Meanwhile the USA is considering a military attack against the Syrian Government if it is proven without doubt that they in fact used a weapon of mass destruction was used by the Syrian Government’s military. (Source: www.voaindonesia.com).

The incident in Syria is shocking beyond words and Papuans are also so deeply saddened by this tragic news.  Yet what about the lack of response by the UN to the humanitarian evil that has been continuing for over 50 years now against the people of Papua by the Republic of Indonesia? What is the attitude and actions of the UN towards the situation on Papua? Every hour there are Papuans being killed due to a range of causes that all form part of a systematic and measurable plan of the Indonesian Government that is planned to annihilate the ethnic people of Papua.  Are member states of the UN and other countries of the world going to stand-by forever and allow Indonesia to continue to carry out brutal acts of colonial domination until such time that the ethnic people of Papua are wiped out from the land of their ancestors? (For supporting evidence see: www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL1308/S00090/genocide-of-ethnic-papuans-for-whom-what-was-un-created.htm).

Perhaps the UN and those other countries are of the opinion that the problem of Papua is not as complicated as the humanitarian problem in Syria, so it doesn’t need their involvement.  However that can only mean that they have not yet looked closely and carefully enough at the situation there.  As Papua has already become a humanitarian emergency: a hidden and horrifying humanitarian emergency that is systemic, planned and measurable.

Papua burns

Papua is ablaze and the first and primary source of that fire is the annexation of the nation of Papua into Indonesia through a military and political invasion in the 1960’s. There were four parties involved in that annexation, four parties that were responsible for  ‘lighting the fire of conflict’ in Papua: Namely Indonesia as the initiator and primary actor in the annexation; the Dutch as both an actor and a victim of aggression; the USA as the designer and primary supporter of the annexation; and the UN as the executor. Whilst Papua is the unceasing victim of those four parties’ conspiracy of economic, political and security interests.

The fire of the ideological political conflict, between the Papuan Mambruk way of looking at the world and the Indonesian Pancasila ideology, creeps through and destroys the seams that hold life together for the nation of Papua. A fire of conflict that in turn has led to a range of smaller fires sparked by the first. This raging fire has burnt through the most basic rights of the indigenous Papuan community, including the very right to life.

A dense smoke has constantly billowed forth from the centre of the fire in the land of Papua. A number of parties have seen that thick smoke but there’s been no response. Of course as we all know where there is smoke there is also fire and conversely where there is fire we know there will be smoke. Similarly where there is conflict of course there are victims and conversely where there are victims we know there is conflict behind that. Until now a number of means have been used by Papuans and the international community in solidarity to try to put out the raging fire of the primary conflict and also the smaller fires that have been sparked. However the flame of conflict has continued to spread relentlessly due to Indonesia together with the support of its various allies  continuing to defend its hold on Papua. In fact they have caused the fire to spread even wider.

To extinguish this fire in the land of Papua it will need the involvement of all parties, and particularly those four primary actors being Indonesia, the Netherlands, USA and the UN together with Papua as the unceasing victim of their conspiracy of interests. The primary fire that must be extinguished  is that of the conflict around the political history of the nation of Papua. For it was this that gave rise to the other fires.  If the primary fire can be extinguished then the smaller fires will also be able to be extinguished. However if the primary fire is not extinguished then so the other smaller fires will also continue to blaze. Until ethnic Papuans are scorched – that is annihilated – in the land of their ancestors.

All those parties of good heart and which hold in high esteem those values which are worthy, have a moral responsibility whether by direct or indirect means to take control of and extinguish the fire of conflict between the supporters of the Pancasila  ideology (those who are pro Indonesia) and the supporters of the Mambruk ideology (those who are pro Papuan independence).

For as long as the fire of conflict continues to blaze between the followers and supporters of the two ideologies, so the innocent human community of Papua is being burnt. For as long as this continues, the tears of blood of the nation of Papua will continue to drip.  Indigenous Papuans must continue despite the cost of lives to redeem the situation and bring about total liberation of Papua; and the voices of liberation crying out from the people of Papua will without ceasing to fill the air until that moment when the faith revolution is realised in the land of Papua.

The nation of Papua has not asked for anything that is the possession of another. We just ask for the acknowledgement of the basic political rights of our people, the nation of Papua. As a nation-state with full independence. Just as other nations and states of the world have already had their independence recognised. This is the faith, the hope and the longing of the nation of Papua.

With all limitations and capabilities that exist within us, the nation of Papua will continue to struggle until that revolution of faith is realised.  Then with those same existing limitations and capacities we will develop our own country of Papua, standing on our own two feet.

It is dearly hoped that the voice of the nation of Papua will be heard and will be responded to by actions of all parties wherever you may be, in order to uphold the values of justice, truth, democracy, honesty, human rights and peace for all.

The prayers and tears of the nation of Papua without ceasing accompany all of those amongst you who care for our situation, wherever you may be located and working to support us.

Solidarity without limits!
Selpius Bobii is the General Chairperson of Front PEPERA West Papua & is a Papuan Freedom Political Detainee in Abepura Prison

 

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

Selpius Bobii: Clarification of the Standpoint of Papuan Freedom Political Prisoners

Opinion

by Selpius Bobii

June 28, 2013

The Papuan Freedom Political Prisoners in the Abepura State Prison of West Papua have received reports that certain printed and electronic news media reports from both within the Papuan nation and overseas have deviated from our statement on 23 May 2013 in rejection of the Indonesian President’s offer of clemency as published in the Cenderawasih Post on 23 May 2013. That statement was in response to the announcement by the Deputy Chairperson of DPRP Yunus Wonda that President SBY had made a commitment at the time he met with a contingent from Papua led by the Papuan Provincial Governor Lukas Enembe together with the Minister for Internal Affairs on 29 April 2013, to give all the Papuan Political Prisoners clemency at the time of the President’s upcoming visit to Papua in August 2013.

We the 26 political prisoners referred to, are most concerned to clarify that digression so that the public can understand the truth of our statement. Basically in that statement we announced our standpoint:

1)     That we reject the Indonesian President’s offer of clemency; and

2)      That we do not need to be released from prison but rather we need and demand the release of the nation of Papua from the colonial domination of the colonial state of the Republic of Indonesia.

Whilst this first point is self explanatory, the second needs further comment as to our reasons.  Firstly, WE HAVE DONE NO WRONG!  Accordingly we have never and will never make a plea for forgiveness in the form of clemency from the Head of the colonial Republic of Indonesia.  We have also never asked our families or legal counsel to make such a plea for clemency to the Indonesian President.  In fact we would firmly reject any such plea made by any party on our behalf.  As to put forward a plea for clemency would be to acknowledge we were wrong, to indicate we regretted our wrong and to acknowledge Papua as being a part of the Republic of Indonesia thereby asking the President’s forgiveness.  But who is it that is in the wrong such that SBY should give his forgiveness?

We the Freedom Political Prisoners have committed no wrong and we are not in need of forgiveness from the Head of State of the colonial Republic of Indonesia (RI)! In fact exactly the opposite. We demand that RI apologizes to the nation of Papua for the annexation of the nation of Papua into RI. An act which has given rise to discrimination, marginalisation and making us a minority in our ancestors’ land; to the degree that we are now heading for ethnic annihilation. Secondly we demand that RI acknowledges the sovereign independence of the nation of Papua.

Papuan Political Prisoners are also not in the wrong due to the following:

a)     The right to self-determination is the right of all nations in the same manner as is stated in the General Declaration of the United Nations (UN) and various international covenants including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights, the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and similarly even in the opening paragraph of the 1945 Indonesian Constitution.

b)    The Nation of Papua has the same right to full sovereignty and accordingly on 19 October 1961 in the first National Papuan Congress, the Papuan National Committee declared the ‘ Political Manifest of Independence of the Nation of Papua’ as the basis for receiving the status of full sovereignty.  Since then the 1 December has been celebrated in Jayapura and throughout all major towns in the land of Papua.

c)     In spite of the above the nation of Papua was annexed into RI with the ‘Three Community Commands’ (TRIKORA) by the then President Sukarno on 19 December 1961 which was followed up with a political and military invasion in 1962.

d)    The political invasion was realized through the unilateral agreement known as the ‘New York Agreement’ on 15 August 1962 between the Dutch and Indonesia as mediated by UN and drafted by USA, without any involvement of indigenous Papuans.

e)     The ‘Act of Free Choice’ was not implemented in accordance with the requirements of international law as provided for in the New York Agreement and in effect became implemented by Indonesia as the ‘Act of No Choice’ (or in other words the ‘Forced Community Opinion’). The so-called ‘Act of Free Choice’ was flawed both legally and morally.

f)     The nation of Papua was at no time involved in the establishment of the Republic of Indonesia and neither did the nation of Papua ever freely agree to become a part of that Republic.

g)    Accordingly the occupation by RI of the land of Papua is illegal and immoral.

h)     Both the geographical location and culture of Papua are vastly different to that of the Malay race. The nation of Papua is of the Melanesian grouping of the Negroid Race.

We are being detained and imprisoned for the sake of the struggle to have the independence of Papua restored. The release of Papuan Political Prisoners from prison will never bring an end to the problems in Papua. It will never bring an end to the problem of the political history of Papua that has led to the consequences of discrimination, marginalisation, humanitarian evils, the creation of a minority in our ancestor’s lands and genocide against the ethnic Papuan race.

Even if we were to be released unconditionally we would once again return to be active in the struggle, we would once again raise the Papuan flag and RI through its armed forces would once again arrest and imprison us. So there is no point in releasing us. Rather release the nation of Papua from the colonial domination of the Republic of Indonesia.

For further details of the reasons for the rejection of the offer of President SBY’s offer of clemency see;
(www.majalahselangkah.com/content/mengapa-tapol-papua-tolak-grasi-#/2008) in Indonesian or for the English version (www.justiceinpapua.blogspot.com/2013/06/why-papuan-independence-political_118.html?m=1&zx=564946ed40cf2447).

To all media personnel whether from the printed media or electronic media, to the general community, those in the human rights area and all those who stand in solidarity with us whether inside Papua or overseas, we appeal to you to please publish this clarification so that the public can receive information that is accurate and reliable. For further information  readers are referred to:
(www.majalahselangkah.com/content/tapol-papua-tolak-rencana-grasi-minta-bebaskan-papua#).

For your anticipated help to spread this information widely and to include this clarification in both printed and electronic media we express our most sincere appreciation.

Abepura State Prison, 23 June 2013.

(As clarified by Selpius Bobii, one of the Papuan Freedom Political Prisoners)

 

Prison warders beat and kick more than forty prisoners

JUBI, 10 May 2012

At least 42 prisoners – both political and criminal – have been beaten by warders in Abepura Prison where they are being held,  with these beatings occurring on 30 April.

According to information from the Justice, Peace and Creation Secretariat (SKPKC) in Jayapura, the prisoners who were beaten included Selfius Bobii, Luis Kossay, Terianus Tabuni, Wayus Hubi, Markus Dubi, Stenly Palondong, Alfian Palendeng, Erens Apromis, Octo Ikinia and Fredy Marsyom.

Some of them were beaten until they were black and blue all over. Selsius Bobii said he had ben slapped, hit and kicked all over his body. He was then dragged into the prison office. Luis Kossay said that he had been struck by a bludgeon, by iron rods and beaten with a rope and while being beaten he was kicked and then dragged out of his cell, dragged 200 metres and thrown into the yard. In the yard, his fingers and toes were stamped on by warders with their heavy boots. After suffering all this, he was ordered to remain in a half-squatting position for an hour.Three other prisoners were subjected to the same painful treatment and the rest were also beaten and kicked without mercy.

These acts of maltreatment occurred on 30 April and began when Selpius Bobii and some other prisoners asked the warders not to lock their cell doors because they wanted to practise singing some songs for their co prisoners. However, he was ordered out of his cell and taken to stand before the security official  who refused to grant him permission to do this. Selpius tried to explain that they wanted to rehearse some songs to be recorded later on, but permission was refused. and he was ordered to return to his cell.

Selpius said later that the previous warder, Ayurbaba, had given them permission to do these things and had allowed the prisoners to have recreational activities. When the new chief warder Liberty Sinijak heard this going on, he came out and started shouting at Selpius. In response Selpius shouted back, saying that the warders were doing nothing to help the prisoners but only trying to crush them.

The chief warder shouted back and ordered Selpius into the isolation wing. When the other prisoners in their cells heard all this shouting, they started calling out to the warders to stop maltreating Selpius.