The Papuan people are still very concerned about the shooting of Mako Tabuni on 14 June. Alius Asso, chairman of the Nayak Asrama in Abepura, has called on the police to publicise the photo they took of Mako Tabuni at the time of the killing, which shows the bag that he was carrying at the time.
‘We want the security forces to show us the photo of the bag he was carrying. This is very crucial because the police have alleged that Tabuni had a pistol and bullets in his bag.’
The photo was taken as Tabuni was standing eating a snack at Perumnas III Waena, Asso said: ‘This is very strange How would he have got hold of a pistol and bullets? It is up to the police to prove this,’ he said.
He also denied that Mako Tabuniwas was in any way responsible for the shooting of a German at Base G and for the series of shootings that occurred at the time. ‘What proof do the police have of this? They should have arrested Tabuni and questioned him instead of shooting him dead.’
Asso went on to say that Mako Tabuni was not a terrorist. On the contrary he was involved in the struggle of the Papuan people.
It should be recalled that the police told journalists that they had been forced to shoot Tabuni because he was trying to resist as they arrested him. They also alleged that they found sixteen .38 calibre bullets in his bag.
As tensions across West Papua ratchet up in the wake of the execution of KNPB leader Mako Tabuni, senior Papuan leaders accuse Australian and U.S trained Detachment 88 of being behind the slaying.
Domi Surabut, a senior Papuan Tribal Council leader from the Central Highlands sent West Papua Media the following message by sms at 21:35 tonight (AEST): “Mako Musa Tabuni was shot dead by Densus 88 with three bullets. Twice in the thigh and once in the stomach. His corpse is still being held at the Bhayangkara Police Hospital. His death will cause blood to flow. Please pray and urge peaceful intervention in Papua.”
As of 21:30 tonight the Indonesian police are still refusing to release his body to Tabuni’s family saying that they will bury him themselves.
As outrage builds church, tribal and independence leaders from the nonviolent movement are urging their followers to maintain discipline fearing that a violent reaction will give the TNI and Indonesian police all the justification they need to crush the independence movement.
In a text circulating around activist circles Selphius Bobii, a political prisoner writes “The killing of Tabuni is part of a scenario to destroy the Papuan struggle’s commitment to a peaceful path and push Papuans towards violence. So let’s control ourselves. Don’t get caught in this scenario which will only weaken our peaceful struggle that right now is echoing across our country and up to the UN.”
As armoured personnel carriers, water cannons and heavily armed troops position themselves around the streets of Jayapura tonight that commitment will be sorely tested.
Angry scenes have reportedly erupted in Jayapura and across West Papua after officers from the Australian- funded and trained Detachment 88 counter-terror troops shot dead the secretary-general of the West Papua National Committee (KNPB), Mako Tabuni, during a botched arrest attempt while he was chewing betel nut at a kiosk in Abepura, West Papua early on Thursday morning.
According to credible independent church human rights sources in Jayapura that spoke to witnesses in Waena, Mako Tabuni was shot and wounded by heavily armed Indonesian police as they stormed
the area outside the student dormitories at the Cenderawasih University Abepura.
Senior members of KNPB have told West Papua Media that Tabuni had been walking with friends to buy and eat Betel Nut from a kiosk near the university. After he separated from his friends, they heard gunshots. and they saw a white Avanza car drive up and ambush Tabuni, according to his friends. Tabuni was shot at least six times, according to both witnesses and journalists in Jayapura.
Police took Tabuni to the police hospital in Jayapura, where he reportedly died from his wounds soon after arrival. The Kapolres (police chief) has told media outlets including West Papua Media via SMS that Tabuni was killed because he resisted arrest and attempted to seize the weapons from the Detachment 88 troops. According to the It has been confirmed independently that the Australian-funded and trained Detachment 88 troops were in command of the arrest operation. Tabuni was unarmed at the time of his arrest, which is a violation of the United Nations Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials.
KNPB contacts report that a combined team of military and POLRI, BRIMOB, Detachment 88, and Intelligence officers are raiding dormitories of Papuan students in Abepura, chiefly those of highland origin students who are the traditional support base of the KNPB. In this sweep, security forces have confiscated books, bags, clothing, computers, phones, and cameras. Security forces are also conducting searches across Abepura, Jayapura, Kotaraja, Waena, Sentani and several other places. Many students have been severely beaten and arrested in dormitories in Waena and Asrama by over six companies of Indonesian army (TNI) and Police. KNPB sources have expressed fear that the students, already beaten severely and taken to Rusunawa police centre, will be tortured and possibly killed by occupation forces.
Supporters of Tabuni have reacted angrily and have taken to the streets and are allegedly burning houses belonging to military and police in the Ruko, Waena and Abepura areas, in an eerie reversal of the June 4 rampage by Indonesian soldiers in Wamena.
Security forces are reportedly on the streets with orders to shoot rioters dead on sight, and the situation is described as extremely tense. It is not clear if those who have caused property damage are in fact members of the pro-independence movement, or are undercover Indonesian intelligence officers.
A senior highland human rights activist in Jayapura, whom West Papua Media cannot identify for safety reasons, told West Papua Media that the entire Papuan population is living in a state of constant trauma and fear due to the escalation of Indonesian repression.
“Pro-Independence activists and Papua human rights workers have become the operating target of the (ongoing)shootings, not to mention all the KNPB activists the security apparatus are seeking,” said the source.
“Finally, I spoke with three of our members hiding in the suburbs. If the Indonesian security forces are still after us, then they would not want or like it if we had entered the woods and hid,” he said.
” To step into the forest is for avoiding premature death.”
Papuan activists are calling for urgent international attention to the rapidly deteriorating humans rights crisis in West Papua. A senior KNPB activist has begged: “In this case our nation is pleading for UN Intervention to be done now, because Indonesia is planning to kill all us Papuans.”
Deputy police chief, Brig-Gen Waterpauw said that Tabuni had been arrested in connection with a number of recent incidents in Jayapura including the stabbing to death of a student. The police officer said: ‘A number of demonstrations have taken place which had called on others in the community to take part. These vents were anarchic and were in violation of the law.’ [Since when has it been against the law to demonstrate anywhere in Indonesia?]
Asked whether Tabuni’s arrest was connected with a number of unexplained shootings, the police officer said ‘These shootings are under investigation and we are trying to find out who it is who is behind them.’
He said there had been no addition to the number of troops in the area. The officer said that the police were already aware of the features of the persons responsible and added that they believe that four persons are involved in the shootings.
The chairman of Commision A of the DPRP, the provincial legislative assembly, Ruban Magay, along with other members of the commission had been to the police headquarters to call for the unconditional release of Tabuni. A similar demand has been made by politicians from the Partai Demokrat who said that Tabuni had visited the Commission at their invitation. The chairman said: ‘The continued detention of Bochtar Tabuni would only intensify the current problems in Papua which appear to be never-ending.
Just prior to his arrest, Tabuni had been seen chatting with members of the DPRP and with journalists.
Two West Papuan civilians were shot dead during an independence day raid on their village by the Indonesian military.
The raid, at 1:30am this morning was on the village of Bolakme, Wamena. The same village was the target of burnings last year by the military.
The 2 civilians confirmed dead so far are Asli Wenda and Elius Tabuni. We understand some others have suffered life threatening injuries. All villagers from the surrounding areas have now fled to forests and remain in hiding.