Ruben Magay : KNPB is not a terrorist group

Tabloid Jubi

December 20, 2012

Jayapura (20/12) – Ruben Magay, Chairman of Committee A of the Papuan Legislative Council (DPRP), strongly insisted that it is not correct for certain parties to link the activities of the West Papua National Committee (KNPB) to terrorism.

“For quite some time now, some parties have referred to the KNPB as a terrorist organization but I wish to reiterate that KNPB is not a terrorist group.  On the contrary they are an organization which promotes democracy in Papua and that is part of the controlling function and the ability to evaluate the performance of the government in the region,” said Ruben Magay on Thursday (20/12).

According to him, if so far, for some reason, weapons, ammunition and explosives have been found in Papua, the task of the intelligence is to uncover and find out the origin and the source of this material.

“We question the efforts put into this matter by the intelligence. Where did they obtain those guns? It is really the task of the police and the intelligence to answer that question.  At the governmental and institutional levels we need to make sure that we clearly define the status of terrorist groups and prove with strong evidence how such groups plan and carry out their actions,” he said.

According to Chairman Ruben, enforcing anti-terrorism laws in Papua, as envisaged by the Indonesian National Police (Polri), is also unnecessary.

“I believe such measures should not be deemed as necessary. If it is said that there are terrorists in Papua, I think we should turn our attention to the level of performance of the security apparatus.  It would be wrong to address one issue with another issue.  There are terrorists that are known to be implicated in explosions. The question is now: to what extent is the police able to ascertain them and subsequently how many further threats can be identified. This is what is important,” he said.

He went on to say that it is not the people who talk about democracy that should be called terrorists; certainly not the people who were shot and whose actions were then put in such a scenario that later on it was stated that they were the terrorists. “No, that should absolutely not be the case.  For example, weapons and ammunition are being discovered in all kinds of places lately.  My question is: where did these guns come from?  It’s not as if we are talking about gold that can be panned by the local communities from underground.  So it would not be appropriate to apply these so-called anti-terrorism laws to Papua.  Let’s tackle this problem together in a responsible way and straighten out the issue of clarifying who the real owners are of these arms, ammunitions and explosives that were found in Papua.  It is obvious that the material was brought in from outside, so a first step would be to take measures to heighten the safety and tighten security checks at ports and airports.  That’s what is important,” said Ruben Magay. (Jubi/Arjuna/LT)


Bomb planted outside Law and Human Rights office, no suspects

Local media and witnesses in Abepura, near Jayapura West Papua, have reported the discovery of an explosive device planted on Wednesday evening (local time) outside the offices of the Department of Law and Human Rights (KumHAM) office in Kotaraja.

Armed officers from Brimob Gegana, a specialised motorbike based paramilitary bomb squad, reportedly defused and secured the bomb and made it safe.  No injuries were reported.

The bomb had been lying at the front of the office all day, but no-one had thought to report the suspicious package.  Finally in the evening, the Brimob were called by KumHAM staff members.

According to a report by Bintang Papua, two men were seen leaving the sports bag earlier in the day, and then getting on a motorbike and speeding away.

The Department has frequently come under threat for its mandated work in occasional prosecutions of human rights abuses, and most recently was subject to a series of threatening letters and homemade bombs.

According to an SMS sent to West Papua Media by the Serui Regional Police Chief who was in Jayapura at the time (At police HQ), the bomb “was from the Dutch era”.  He did not elaborate on how a Dutch Era bomb came to be planted outside the KumHAM  building.

Bomb threats are frequently the subject of much speculation in Papua, with incidents usually occuring during times of political upheaval by nonviolence forces.  It is usually believed they are the work of Special Forces or Intelligence agencies keen to discredit the anti-violence movement, despite the fact that the independence movement has publicly disavowed itself of such tactics for many years.

During the 2010 Presidential Elections in Indonesia, many bombs exploded in remote areas of Papua, or at police stations or polling booths, and were never sufficiently investigated by Police.

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