UNCEN students call for an end to stigmatisation

24 October, 2012A number of students from Cenderawasih University (UNCEN) took  part in a rally outside the office of the DPRP, the Legislative Assembly of Papua, calling for an end to the stigma of makar (treason), separatism and terrorism against indigenous Papuans. One speaker, Yason Ngelia  said he was very concerned about the crackdown on the demonstration held on the previous day in Manokwari.

‘Is this how you treat a demonstration in this country, using firearms  as a result of which some people have been injured? We demand justice for our friends who became victims of terror and intimidation during the rally in Manokwari,’ he said

The chairman of BEM (?) at the Faculty of Law at UNCEN said that the military command post at Waena should be closed down because there is already a security group in the university. ‘Troops frequently  maltreat  people who are found drunk. This is in violation of the law  although the soldiers say that  they are here to protect the community, said Musa Sama.

‘We call for the release of the eleven student activists. some of whom were shot.’

The army post is not inside the university campus  but in a public place, near shops along Jalan  Kampwolker.

Another speaker said that there is no  democratic space for students to give expression to their aspirations. ‘The military should not be searching our dormitories  on the pretext that the they are searching for people who are on the wanted list.’ He said that all their belongings such as the eleven laptops  that were seized should be handed back

Another UNCEN activist  said that the demo was intended as  an action against corruption and to commemorate the Third Papuan Congress in 2011, yet these actions were banned by the security forces. According to Law 9/1998 about freedom of expression, the police do not have the right to issue permits but only to regulate the traffic.

‘The stigmas of separatism, treason and terrorism were used by the police to refuse to grant a permit for the rally, but this is against the law. We are being denied any space for democracy by the security forces. This can only lead to an accumulation of disappoinments  which could explode into the open during the forthcoming elections. ‘The lack of democratic space will become a boomerang for the government,’ said Benyamin Gurik.

In  response to the calls being made by the students, a member of the DPRP, John Rustam said that he would raise these issues at the next meeting of Commission A which handles these matters.

He said that the demands of the students were for an end to the abuse of human rights and for their right to express their aspirations publicly which until now has been silenced. The army is continually intervening as a result of which there is no security on campus while many students are being hunted down

Another official said that the students had now been released but they were being interrogated.

[Translated by TAPOL]


Third Papuan Congress to go ahead despite efforts to obstruct it

(Note – the Congress is currently underway, more reports to come)
Bintang Papua, 14 October 2011

[Abridged in translation by TAPOL]

Although the Third Papuan Congress is due to start in two days time, it is not yet known where it will take place. Selpius Bobii, chairman of the organising committee, said that plans to hold the congress at Cenderawasih University are facing obstacles because permission for the UNCEN auditorium has not yet been granted even though, he said, notification of the congress had already been submitted some time ago. Permission to hold the congress at GOR Cenderawasih has also not been received.

Bobii said that those organising the congress believe that there are forces who are exerting pressure to ensure that neither of these locations will be made available. He went on to say that however that may be, the congress will go ahead as planned because Papuan people throughout the territory fully support it.

Bobii said that they were still waiting for permission (STTP) from the police.The main issues to be discussed are the basic rights of the Papuan  people in a situation where Papuans are being violated and intimidated. The intention is to discuss the things they are experiencing  and what measures they need to take to uphold their rights.

The congress will go ahead without any support from the central government; all expences will be covered by the Papuan people themselves, transportation, food and drink will be provided thanks to contributions from Papuan people.

While there are elements who are trying to prevent the congress from taking  place and spreading all kinds of stories to discredit it,, Bobii said this was simply a reflection of the democracy now in place. He said that what was most important was that 273 Papuan tribes would be attending the congress, covering their own costs and even helping out with financing the congress as a whole. ‘There is nothing that will stand in our way,’ he said. Also, security will be guaranteed by a force of about 4,000 people. If anyone moves to prevent the congress from taking place, he said, they will expose the forces who are behind these attempts.

More than 8,000 people have already arrived. As for the location, if not in the UNCEN auditorium, it may take place in Theys  Square in Sentani or at the  graveside of Theys Eluay, as the final alternative.

As for the police permit, this will not be a problem because the central government has already given the green light. Bobii also said that they had received a letter  from the minister of political and legal affairs in Jakarta which, he said, had arrived by fax. This means, he went on, that ‘neither the military commander or the chief of police can prevent us from proceeding with our agenda’.

Photos: Indonesian Police open fire on student dormitory in Jayapura

By Nick Chesterfield/ westpapuamedia.info

October 13, 2011

Plain clothes Indonesian police agents in Jayapura opened fire late on October 12 outside a student dormitory, in another violent act of security force intimidation before the Third Papuan People’s Congress starts on October 16.

Local human rights sources and stringers for West Papua Media have reported that the Rasunawa dormitory, housing West Papuan students from Cenderawasih University (UNCEN) , came under attack at 11pm local time by five plain clothes police agents. The agents arrived in a new white Toyota Kijang with police license plate Ds. B 9481 PAA ( expiry June 2015).

Witnesses from the student dormitory, who have declined to be identified for their safety, have reported directly to West Papua Media that the agents arrived and started shooting immediately outside the dormitory. “For some reason, these five police goons (polisi preman) entered Rasunawaa and fired wildly, so that all the male resident of the three-story building came down and surrounded the five thugs”.

According to an activist with SONAMAPA WP (Papuan Students National Solidarity Organization) who was a witness to the altercation, the students interrogated the five men at the centre of the group. “They were feeling cornered and fired shots incessantly in the air, we think over 30 bullets were flying. ”

the Five Brimob Police shooters after being surrounded by Students

“We are still looking for eyewitnesses or if there is a gunshot victim from the incident or not – the investigation remains ongoing”.

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In dramatic scenes, the West Papuan students successfully detained the men until an entire platoon of uniformed police arrived, who then arrested the Indonesian gunmen by force. Uniformed police, also from Jayapura, were reportedly fired upon by one of the five men. However,the platoon of police also opened fire to disperse the crowd in order to retrieve their men.

Photographs of the incident provided to West Papua Media by witnesses appear to show the police vehicle used in the incident. According to the SONAMAPA WP activist, the new vehicle registration means the car has just been imported directly from Jakarta

A formal report has been made to the Rector of UNCEN, and students have reported to West Papua Media that they hold grave fears for a continuation of the incident, and for the safety of the residents of the Rasunawaa UNCEN domitories.

with local sources

Greens call for release of West Papuans in custody


 by RichardDiNatale in Media ReleaseWest Papua

Greens’ spokesperson for West Papua, Richard Di Natale, has expressed concern over the arrests of West Papuan activists and is calling for their immediate release.

“The Greens are concerned for West Papuan human rights defenders, Henok Dori, Noak Kandipi and Melkianus Bleskadit, who were all arrested on their way to a conference last week, and are still in custody in Jayapura and Manokwari,” said Senator Di Natale.

“We understand that some of their colleagues have been released and we call for these West Papuans to be released.”

The conference was a preparatory event for the important Congress being held this weekend. The Congress brings together different human rights, faith and student groups across West Papua to discuss strategies for bringing peace and justice to the troubled Indonesian province.

“West Papuans have a right to meet and discuss their own future. This congress is a peaceful assembly. We ask the Indonesian government to stand by its stated support for the rights of its residents to move freely and assemble peacefully.”

The situation in West Papua remains critical, with a striking worker at the Freeport McMoran copper and gold mine shot dead this week, and further reports today of police shooting at a student dormitory in Jayapura.

Media contact: Andrew Blyberg             0457 901 600

UNCEN students raise referendum with new US ambassador

Abridged in translation.

Bintang Papua 6 October 2010

UNCEN students raise referendum with new US ambassador

During a visit to Jayapura, the new US ambassador to Indonesia, Scot
Marciel, visited the Padang Bulan health  clinic and a number of
government offices.

During a visit to Cenderawasih University, there was a one-hour dialogue
with the students at which the students raised their demand for a
referendum and called for merdeka a number of times during questions and
answers. They expressed their disappointment that the ambassador's visit
to the university was only one hour long and the newly appointed
ambassador  made no reference to the issue of a referendum or similar

[According to a report in JUBI posted earlier, UNCEN students had said
that they rejected the ambassador's visit if it was only to discuss
matters such as education.]

Ambassador Marciel who was accompanied by several staff members from the
US embassy said he had just be appointed to the job and did not yet know
much. 'I  still need to study a lot. I will study everything first,' he

Speaking to journalists, he said that the purpose of his visit to Papua
was to visit UNCEN and the health clinic and a number of officials such
as the MRP and the governor and he would be discussing the question of
education with the Indonesian authorities.

Responding to questions about a referendum, he said that the US
government supports special autonomy status for Papua within the NKRI.
He said that his government had never supported separatism for Papua.

During his visit to the health clinic, he met midwives. 'I am visiting
Papua to take a look at development here and to meet health personnel
and other Papuan leaders.' During his meeting with midwives,  he
discussed issues related to pre-natal care and malaria which have been
funded by the US since 2006.

During his meeting with members of the MRP, the implementation of
special autonomy was discussed. MRP members told him that special
autonomy had been a failure. 'The Papuan people have said that special
autonomy has failed and we facilitated this,' they said. They said that
the failure of special autonomy was evident from the fact that there had
been very little improvement in the living conditions of the Papuan
people and moreover, the government had pressed ahead with a decision to
split up the province which was not in accord with the terms of special

According to Agus Alua, chairman of the MRP , the ambassador said only
that he first needed to study all this information.

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