Tag Archives: Third Papuan People’s Congress

Breaking News: Police in Jayapura forcibly prevent commemoration of 3rd Papuan Congress brutality from going ahead, ban free speech

October 19, 2011

by West Papua Media

(Abepura) Indonesian Brimob Riot Police have forcibly broken up attempts to hold a memorial commemoration at the graveside of slain independence hero Theys Eluay today, where a prayer service was planned in remembrance of the first anniversary of a brutal crackdown by Indonesian security forces on the 3rd Papuan People’s Congress.

Despite the Jayapura police issuing a permit on October 8 allowing a gathering at the sacred cemetery site, the literal touchstone for civil mobilisations in support of Papuan justice issues, police reneged on their agreement with organisers for the memorial prayer service to go ahead.

Up to 1000 people braved a threatening environment in spite of an ongoing crackdown by Indonesian occupation forces across West Papua on organisers of peaceful free expression.

The event had been planned by the National Federated Republic of West Papua, the body set up immediately prior to the violent dispersal by Australian funded Detachment 88 troops on October 19 last year.  Prayer services and commemorations were also planned to be held in memorials in Wamena, Merauke, Fakfak, Sorong, Timika, Manokwari, and Serui.

Just before 10 am local time, several hundred heavily armed members of the Indonesian security forces had gathered outside Expo Waena shopping centre adjacent to the gravesite, causing many people to stand back from the already gathered mass.  6 trucks full of Brimob, 4 trucks of Army (TNI), 1 Gegana anti terror police unit and 3 trucks of Dalmas public order riot police (including members of Detachment 88) had deployed in a “show force” manoeuvre.  According to witnesses in the crowd, almost 100 plain clothes armed intelligence officers had also deployed throughout the mass of ordinary Papuans around the shopping complex threatening to kill anyone that spoke against Indonesia.

At 10 am, Police issued a verbal warning on megaphones that the gathering was illegal and would be dispersed.  However the right to engage is peaceful free expression is guaranteed both under the Indonesian Constitution and the 2001 Special Autonomy law in Papua.  Witnesses reported the police commdander on the ground as saying, “we already warned you, there will not be any democratic space for you guys to speak out about the significance of todays commemoration,” relayed over a megaphone immediately prior to the dispersal.

Police have reportedly banned the services from displaying any West Papuan independence attributes or cultural symbols, and have also banned the mention of the word “merdeka” (freedom) or any mention of the NFRWP, demands for independence or referendum – conditions subject to immediate dispersal if broken.

Up to 1000 people has begun to gather at the pendopo (traditional ceremony hut) at the gravesite of Eluay, when police stormed the gravesite in contempt of traditional customs, and forced people to disperse by pushing people heavily with riot shields.  Participants then regrouped and began to march down the street adjacent to the cemetery.

Early reports have been unable to confirm if any injuries were sustained.  At this stage there have been no reports of live fire being used or casualties.

At last report heated verbal confrontations between organisers and police were occurring, with police being angrily accused of being liars for reneging on their agreement, according to sources on the ground.  Committee organiser Pastor Ketty Yabansabra called on participants to stand firm, stay together, and to not disperse until the event was to be closed with a prayer.  At time of writing the event is currently ongoing.

No updates have yet been received from other venues at this stage.  Significant concerns are held for the service in Serui, who had been threatened with violent dispersal by the head of police on Yapen should strict topics of speech be broken.

More to come – this is a developing story.

West Papua Media

Forkorus calls for two flags to be flown side by side

JUBI,
15 October 2012

On the occasion of the first anniversary of the declaration of the Federal Republic of West Papua, the President, Forkorus Yaboisembut has sent a letter to the President of the Republic of Indonesia calling on him to take a step of guidance towards the restoration of the Federation in accordance with the determination declared at  the IIIrd Papuan People’s Congress.

Detachment 88 troops firing live rounds at civilians during the brutal crackdown on the Third Papuan People’s Congress, October 19, 2011 (West Papua Media video still)

‘We will peacefully report this and also seek support as we celebrate the first anniversary of Papuan independence with the Federal Republic of  West Papua, which will take place on 19 October this year’ said the President. which was the first point in his letter to the President of the Republic of Indonesia, copies of which were handed out to journalists during a press conference.

The second point he made was  to compile material for negotiation which would include an act of recognition of the Federal Republic of West Papua. ‘We willconvey the conditions for dialogue between the Papuan people and the Republic of Indonesia, for recognition and the transfer of administrative powers from the Republic of Indonesia to the Federal Republic of West Papua.’

He said that the Indonesian government should convey its willingness to hold peaceful negotiations by unfurling the Morning Star flag alongside the red-and-white flag of Indonesia. ‘The two flags should be flown alongside each other as from 19 October 2012 at seven places,’ he said.

In addition to making these points, Forkorus invited a representative of the Indonesian government to attend the celebration of the first anniversary of the declaration of the Federal Republic of West Papua on 19 October.

He also proposed that pre-negotiations and negotiations should occur from August 2012 (sic) until 1 May 2013, bringing to an end the annexation of West Papua.’

[Translated by TAPOL]

Video Documentary about the Third Papuan Congress (West Papua Media)

 

First anniversary of Third Papuan Congress to be celebrated

Bintang Papua
15 October 2012 [Abridged in translation]

Jayapura: A group called the Federated State of West Papua, known by its Indonesian initials as the NFRPB plans to mark the first anniversary of the Third Papua  Conference on 19 October held last year. It was at the third conference that the Papuan people declared the restoration of their independence.

Chairman of the organising committee, the Rev. Ketty Yabansabra, said the celebration will take the form of joint worship and dialogue. and will proceed peacefully. The President of Indonesia Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has been invited to attend. The event will proceed peacefully  because the theme of the event is all about the preservation of peace in  Papua.

The organising team which has been acknowledged by the president of the NFRPB, Forkorus Yaboisembut , has conveyed messages to the President of Indonesia and a number of Indonesian state dignitaries  including the military commander, the governor of West Papua province and the Indonesian police. These letters have been acknowledged.

In view of the above, said  the organisers of the event, ‘we are confident that we will be able to hold communal worship, having sent the necessary notification to the Indonesian police.’

All sections of society in West Papua, including the many Indonesians now living in Papua, who have throughout behaved with decorum, have also been invited to attend the event.

Furthermore, with regard to the plan to hold dialogue with the Indonesian president, invitations to the aforesaid were sent earlier this month. It is doubtful whether  any dialogue will happen on this occasion, because a similar request was made ten years ago, to which there was no response.

However, the NFRPB formally declared its independence  on the occasion of the conference, for which a struggle has been waged  since 1961.

‘We are continuing with our efforts to obtain recognition from the Republic of Indonesia,’ a spokesman for the organising committee declared.

The chief of security of the NFRPB, Elias Ayakading said that they sincerely hoped that the tragic events which occurred last year (when several people were killed and many injured) will not be repeated this year.  He therefore called on the security forces in the land of Papua to ensure that the event is allowed to proceed peacefully.

The organisers urged all sides to avoid raising unnecessary issues so as to ensure that the event proceeds peacefully, because this will take in the form of worship, praying for a peaceful atmosphere and assurances that security will be safeguarded.

[Translated by TAPOL]

 

Indonesian police fire shots, tear gas after 100s of Morning Star flags fly at peaceful demo in Manokwari

 

 

By West Papua Media and local sources

October 4, 2012

Over a thousand people who had gathered  in Manokwari on Tuesday (2/10) to demonstrate in support of the independence movement in Papua were attacked  by police who fired tear gas and live ammunition in the air, after hundreds of banned  Morning Star independence flags were unfurled.

The rally, called by the West Papua National Authority (WPNA) under the auspices of the national Federal Republic  of West Papua (NRF-PB), was to show support for an observer mission to the General Assembly of the United Nations in New York by WPNA diplomat Herman Wainggai, and to reject the failed implementation of Special Autonomy (OTSUS) in West Papua.

A pamphlet released by the WPNA Governor Markus Yenu  explained that the rally was to  “address the increase in OTSUS presence and UP4B as a form of “development”, which only extends Papua Political Status by affecting (increasing) marginalization and duping people of Papua, in all aspects of life on the land of Papua.”  It also said that “Papuan People should be sold on (support) the terms of independence and sovereignty (as per the) results at the KRP III (3rd Papuan People’s Congress of 2011).”

The rally was held at Sanggeng sports stadium from about 10 am local time, where about 700 people were joined by a long march of about 300 demonstrators who proceeded towards the town.  Banned Morning Star flags, which were hidden whilst the rally was under guard at Sanggeng stadium, were provocatively unfurled in their hundreds during the march, and police reacted quickly and brutally at 1039 local time.

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West Papua Media stringers at the rally reported that Brimob paramilitary police stormed the gathering, firing their weapons both in the air allegedly with live ammunition and at rally participants with rubber bullets.  Three tear gas canisters were also fired into the crowd to disperse them, and police conducted a baton charge at around 1045am.  Witnesses however claimed that security forces, including soldiers from the Indonesian army (TNI) were firing indiscriminately, however no live gunshot wounds have so far been reported.  However, several live bullet casings were recovered by West Papua Media stringers.

Scores of demonstrators were savagely beaten, with several reportedly seriously injured by Brimob police who were seizing the 150 Morning Star flags.  Several of these included elderly people, who tried to intervene whilst Police were brutally beating a speaker named Zet Tata.  Ibu Pendeta (a Priest’s wife) Mathelda Maniani – one of the rally speakers  – , Ibu  Anis (75 years old), Petu Worabay, Vebi Wanma and Edo Kamesfle were all beaten by police.  Zet Tata reportedly sustained serious injuries but his condition in currently unknown.

3 rally participants remain unaccounted for, though sources on the ground have unverified reports that they were taken by Police, and grave concerns are held by WPNA activists for their safety.  The names of those disappeared are unknown at this stage.

After the brutal intervention by police to seize the Morning Star flags, demonstrators dispersed, but regrouped to hold another long march in defiance of police and close the rally peacefully at 1pm.

westpapuamedia

 

High Cort upholds three-year sentences for Forkorus and his colleagues

JUBI, 11 May 2012

The High Court in Papua has decided that Forkorus and his co-defendants should be sentenced to three years, in accordance with the verdict declared at the trial on 16 March.

The defence lawyer of the five men, Gustaf Kawer said that the High Court’s decision had simply affirmed the verdict of the district court which had given the men sentences of these years each.

He said that the High Court’s decision was conveyed to the five men today. Kawer also said that the articles in the Criminal Code which had been used to condemn the men had not been considered by the High Court. ‘They simply handled the case as a priority and in so doing confirmed the three-year sentence.’

He went on to say that this is the kind of political error that is commonplace in this country.

The five men have been given two weeks to decide whether they want to appeal to the Supreme Court, the highest court of appeal, following the counter-appeal made by the Prosecutor to the Jayapura district court.

The prosecution did not make any mention of the basis used for laying the charge of treason against the five men. Even so, the High Court judges simply expressed their agreement  with the demand for sentence that had been made by the prosecutor., nor did they say anything about the time the crime was perpetrated.

Dominikus Sorabut and Edison Waromi were hand-cuffed at the end of the Third Papuan People’s Congress on 19 October, 2011. They, along with the other two were jointly charged with treason and for having proclaimed the establishment of the Federal State of West Papua and appointing Forkorus Yaboisembut as its president.and Edison Waromi as its prime minister.