Tag Archives: United Nations Security Council

Neles Tebay calls for an end to repression and suppo

Bintang Papua, 26 October 2011The head of the Theology and Philosophy College, STFT, Pastor Neles Tebay, speaking after the acts of violence which occurred during the Third Papuan Peoples’ Congress, said that the violence had had a significant impact on the victims of the incident. He said that the security forces had entered the residences of the priests as well as the campus without prior permission and started looking for the Congress participants. This had resulted in material and psychological damage for all those who were staying at the STFT campus.

Speaking at a press conference after the event, he said that they were not concerned about the material damage which had been done but were concerned about the use of physical violence against people who had attended the Congress, which had also impacted on the broader community. He said that every effort should be made to ensure that such acts of violence do not occur again any time in the future. He stressed that the entire faculty of the STFT rejects the use of all kinds of repression in dealing with the problems. Using violence undermines the dignity of all concerned, above all the dignity of the victims as well as the perpetrators.

He said that it was very regrettable that the security forces appear to believe that they have the monopoly of the truth about what happened  and believe that the brothers and fathers residing on the STFT complex had acted wrongfully simply because they provided protection  to people who were fleeing and who were in need of protection, in accordance with universal principles in a situation where people’s personal safety was under threat. ‘It is the duty of the brothers and fathers to provide protection to people who are being chased and under threat from the security forces, in accordance with the principle of humanitarianism, and is not in any way connected with political issues.’

Pastor Neles called on Komnas HAM, the National Human Rights Commission, to investigate the acts of violence that occurred at the end of the Third Papuan People’s Congress in order to determine the extent to which basic human rights had been violated.

Recalling the commitment of the SBY government expressed on 16 August 2011 when the President said that  Papua should be handled with the heart, he fully supported  the call for dialogue between Jakarta and Papua. He said that dialogue would  be of tremendous importance not only as a way of ending the violence but so as to ensure that there would be no further repetition of violence in the  Land of Papua.

He called  on all people of goodwill to jointly  press for dialogue, for the sake of peace in Papua. Dialogue would make it possible to identify the problems and reach an agreement on the way to solve the problems in Papua in a way that is free of violence and bloodshed.

He also admitted that he was the one who had given the Congress permission to use the Zakheus Soccer Pitch as the venue of the Congress. He had done so because the Congress had been refused permission to hold the event either in the UNCEN Auditorium or in the Sports Stadium, GOR.

[Translated by TAPOL]

Theologians & Franciscan Friars about recent post-Congress Indonesian violence affecting their communities

unofficial English translation of the media statement published yesterday (26/10) by the Rector of “Fajar Timur” Catholic School of Philosophy and Theology and the Provincial of the Franciscan Friars in West Papua, Indonesia, in regards to the recent violence affecting their communities.  via ETAN


1.       Wednesday, 19 October 2011, around 9 am, the police, Brimob and the Indonesian army were on guard equipped with armoured vehicle, trucks, along Sosiri Street, Yakonde Street even at the back of “Fajar Timur” School of Philosophy and Theology (STFT). Within those streets the Catholic mission compound is located, including St Paul’s Secondary School and its teachers’ residence, “Nur Jaya” girls’ dormitory, JMJ nuns’ house, staff residence, “Sang Surya” Franciscan friary, “Tunas Harapan” Catholic dormitory, Zakheus football field (where the gathering spot of the congress), Seminary of John Vianney, “Tauboria” dormitory, Inter-diocesan seminary, the campus of Fajar Timur School of Philosophy and Theology, residence of priest staff, a chapel, a dinning hall and other facilities. The deployment of troops without any prior notice to the school made us worried and suspected that the situation would have turned into chaos and we would have been trapped in such circumstances. Therefore, around 10 am, we asked our staff to go home.

2.       Around 11 am, a unit of Indonesian army with heavy guns entered the campus and dormitories (the inter-diocesan seminary) from the hill at the back of the campus. The troops entered our property without asking any permission. They took rest in a multi-purposed hut. Some students gave reactions to them and asked them not to enter the seminary and campus area. So they then left and went back to the hill.

3.       Around 3.30 pm some members of the security services entered the dormitories searching for the participants of the Papuan congress who were running for safety. The security services entered the dormitories of the brothers from the Diocese of Agats. They broke the doors of the study room and bed rooms at the front side, entered and ransacked the computer room while saying, “Take that computer for evidence.” While window glasses were destroyed, another voice said, “Don’t do it. This is the mission complex.” The brothers from the Diocese of Agats were terrified and lying  face down hiding at the front room. A few congress participants who took refuge in the bathrooms were arrested. A harsh voice said, “Run?…get shot!” When the security services wanted to ransack the room at the back where students were hiding, an instruction came out saying, “Enough! Enough! Stop! Back off!” then silence. After waiting for a while, those who were hiding, got out and ran away to the residence of priest staff. When they got there, they realised that one of them was shocked and could not move from his hiding place.

4.       Meanwhile, inside the staff’s study room, Father John Jehuru OSA, Associate Dean and the Rector of Interdiocesan Seminary was stunned when a bullet penetrated his window. He was monitoring the chaos happening in Zakheus football field around 3.30 pm. The bullet razed his glass louvers and curtain, hit the wall, before dropped into a study desk. The bullet and Father John were only separated for about 50-75 cms. The crumbs of the bullet were found.

5.       The security services also entered other dormitories. In the dormitories of the brothers of the Diocese of Manokwari-Sorong, while searching for participants of the congress, they said, “Is it a mission house? Where are those idiot priests? Why priests hide criminals?”

In the dormitory of the brothers of the Archdiocese of Merauke, the security services arrested Agus Alua, a student, who was standing outside when the security services came in. We found a bullet pierced a window but we do not know from which direction the bullet came from. The security services came from the back of the campus with shooting. However, we do not know whether they were the same troops that came ealier at 11 am or not.

6.       Meanwhile in the staff residence, the troops were chasing the participants and threw tear gas. One of the troops entered and found the resident, a woman, lying face down and hiding under the bed. He asked, “Who are you?” and the woman answered, “I’m the resident here!”. “Get out, don’t be afraid” said the security. She came out and wiped her soured eyes saying, “I’m not afraid of you but of your bullets and tear gas”. Then he walked away.

7.       In “Sang Surya” Franciscan friary, many participants took refuge. Mr Forkorus Yaboisembut (the Chair of the Papuan Customary Council) and Dominikus Sorabut, now suspects detained in the police custody, were taking rest after the congress was closed. Father Gonsa Saur OFM, the head of the friary, was taken by surprised when he heard a shooting. He put his Franciscan habit on and came out standing at the stairs that connect the first and the second floor of the friary. Three members of the security forces and some others with plain clothes forced to enter the second level of the house but Father Gonsa denied them. He saw the security services with plain clothes sneaked into the dining room and the front room. They were carrying big guns and pistols. Due to the heavy pressure from the security forces, finally Father Gonsa had to ask those who were hiding to come out. While some of them came out, some others stayed hidding for safety. Father Gonsa asked the security, “You can take them, but don’t beat them.” In front of him, they were not beaten up but once they were out at the road, some of the security services beat them.

Six members of the security forces in plain clothes dragged Mr Yaboisembut and yelled at him. A woman was dragged too out of the friary. One of the security forces tried to penetrate the second level but Father Gonsa asked him to come down. About ten people surrendered but we do not know their identities. They were told to walk by squatting. There were three women among them. Outside the building, many security forces with or without uniform were hanging around with heavy weapons.

8.       In John Maria Vianey’s Seminary of the Diocese of Jayapura, many participants were hiding for safety. The security services searched for the participants and found Father Yan You, the head of the seminary. Three members of the security forces pointed his gun at Father Yan’s head one by one. They said, “You hide them.” He answered, “Kill me, shot me, come on.” Then they smashed the door, entered the room and took those who were hiding. Meanwhile, the brothers convened the participants at the hall. The brothers gave up their bedrooms for the participants for hiding. The brothers put their priest uniform on and protect the participants of the congress but when the security forces entered, some of the participants surrendered and they were taken away. The brothers told the security not to be cruel with the participants. One of the brothers, who tried to help those who were shot, got beaten with a rifle butt on his hand until it was  fractured and with a rubbler baton on his nose until it was bleeding. He had been arrested and detained at the Papua police custody overnight before released on the following day. He is being treated at the intensive care unit at the local hospital.

9.       When the security forces persecuted the crowd and members of the security guards of the Papuan Customary Council (Penjaga Tanah Papua), these people ran through the back of the library and tried to enter the staff room. But they could not make it because it was locked. So they broke two pieces of glass louvers. They ran to the hill but then were stopped with shootings coming from the top of the hill. So they went back to the bushes where they had come from.

Because of this incidence, the “Yerusalem Baru” inter-diocesan seminary and “Fajar Timur” School of Philosophy and Theology were physically and non-physically damaged:
1.       7 doors were ruined, 2 computer units missing, 2 trophies crushed, 2 chairs were broken, 2 sickles and 1 knife were missing, pots of flowers scattered. Window glasses of the dormitory of the Diocese of Merauke was razed with bullet, 2 pieces of glasses louvers of the staff room were smashed, 1 window glass of the staff room was pierced by bullet, window glasses of the seminary office demolished.

2.       One student is being treated in hospital because his face was swollen so there was no difference between his nose and his cheeks.

3.       The brothers remain terrified and worried. They are traumatized because the security services have acted inhumanely.

In regards to this incidence:
1.       We do not ask for compensation for the damaged or missing facilities. The violent acts of the security forces have destroyed the facilities and also infused fear and anxiety among the civitas academica of “Fajar Timur” School of Philosophy and Theology. The building and window glasses can be replaced but it takes a long time to heal fear and anxiety.

2.       We do not ask for compensation for the medical treatment for the brother who is in hospital.

3.       We firmly reject any repressive means to deal with issues because such violent act only undermines the human dignity of victims and perpetrators.

4.       We are deeply concerned that our campus, which is entitled to academic freedom, was penetrated by heavily armed security forces without any permission or prior notice.

5.       We regret that the monopoly of truth by the security forces who assumed the brothers had done something wrong by providing assylums for those who were persecuted by the security forces. We affirm that such an assylum was provided on the basis of the universal humanitarian principle, namely when a person is exposed to a life-threatening situation, s/he has to be given protection and defence. Therefore, the protection provided for the participants of the congress who tried to take refuge from the persecution and threats from the security forces was solely based on the humanitarian principle rather than any political interests.

6.       We appeal to the Indonesian Human Rights Commission (KOMNAS HAM) to investigate the violent incidence post congress to look at how serious human rights abuses have occurred.

7.       Based on the government’s commitment, as expressed by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono during his address to the nation on 16 August 2011, namely “dealing Papua with heart,” we support a dialogue to be done between Jakarta and Papua. This dialogue is highly important not only to stop violence but also to prevent any recurrence of violent acts in Papua. We ask all parties of good will to push the idea of dialogue between Jakarta and Papua.

8.       We ask for supports and solidarity from the members of the Catholic Church around the world to pray and support the implementation of dialogue between Jakarta and Papua for peace of Papua. Because only through dialogue, issues that underpin conflicts in Papua can be identified and proper solutions can also be found without resorting to violence and bloodshed.

Jayapura, 26 October 2011

Rector of “Fajar Timur”  STFT The Provincial of the Franciscans Order in Papua

Father Dr. Neles Tebay, Pr Father Gabriel Ngga OFM, Lic Theol.

ABC LATELINE: West Papuans attacked by Indonesian army

(MEDIA NOTE: WEST PAPUA MEDIA was fixer for this story, and supplied this exclusive footage to Lateline, notWest Papua independence activists” as reported by Lateline.  Footage can be made available to other media outlets by contacting editor, @ westpapuamedia.info .  West Papua Media HAS independently verified the authenticity of this footage.)

Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Broadcast: 27/10/2011 http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2011/s3350029.htm

Reporter: Hamish Fitzsimmons

Six people have died in shootings after the West Papuan Independent Movement declared independence, which Indonesia describes as an act of treason.


TONY JONES, PRESENTER: Last week six people were killed in the Indonesian province of West Papua after separatists declared independence from Indonesia at a people’s congress.

Lateline has obtained exclusive pictures of the aftermath of the shootings, which were alleged to have been carried out by Indonesian security forces, including anti-terrorist troops trained by Australia.

Indonesia says the declaration in the restive province is an act of treason and people have been charged according to the law.

West Papuan independence activists say the shootings were planned.

Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs says the Indonesian police response was disproportionate.

Hamish Fitzsimmons has this report.

HAMISH FITZSIMMONS, REPORTER: Thousands attended the third West Papuan People’s Congress on 19th October in Jayapura

It was organised by the West Papuan independence movement, which says it was forcibly included in the Indonesian republic almost 50 years ago.

And last week, the congress took the dramatic step of declaring independence from Jakarta and electing its own government.

EDISON WAROMI, PAPUAN PEOPLE’S CONGRESS PRIME MINISTER: We will appoint a main leader who will unite the movement and ideologies. This is the time to make clear to God, to the international community, also to Indonesia and the people of Papua.

HAMISH FITZSIMMONS: After the declaration was made, security forces moved in to break up the meeting. The Indonesian government says police fired warning shots to disperse the crowd and made many arrests, six people have been charged with treason.

But six people are also reported to have been killed and many more injured. Those who witnessed the violence want the international community to intervene in West Papua.

JOHN BARANSANO, WEST PAPUAN YOUTH CHURCH: I call on the churches around the world to care about this. I’m calling for an intervention for us because today’s events show that we need a transitional government and this needs to happen to help the people of Papua. We are now in a dangerous situation and we’re calling for a UN intervention to help us.

HAMISH FITZSIMMONS: John Baransano is a Protestant minister in Jayapura who was at the peoples’ congress. He says he saw people being shot and beaten and others herded into trucks.

JOHN BARANSANO: I saw with my own eyes people who were bleeding. They had been hit. We saw how they were terribly harassed. They were forced into a truck and ordered to sit down so they wouldn’t be seen by others. But if we were up higher, we could see what had been done to them.

HAMISH FITZSIMMONS: Anglican minister Peter Woods lived in Indonesia for many years and is dedicated to helping West Papuans achieve independence.

He was in Jayapura during the congress and filmed interviews with many of the independence movement’s leaders. He says the security forces waited until independence was declared at the meeting.

PETER WOODS, WEST PAPUAN INDEPENDENCE SUPPORTER: The Army, the special police, the Brimob, the Densus 88, which had been along the road for the last three days in various barracks and positioning areas, they all moved in and started firing.

HAMISH FITZSIMMONS: The Indonesian government says there were deaths, but not at the site of the congress and the victims’ wounds were not gunshot wounds, but from a sharp weapon.

This vision has been supplied by West Papuan independence activists and can’t be independently verified. It appears to show many bullet holes.

Reverend Woods believes the violence on 19th was premeditated.

PETER WOODS: It was very well-planned and they waited until the declaration had been made. The justification for that was that – well we’ve heard variously a coup d’etat was being planned, or a state within the state of Indonesia was being declared.

HAMISH FITZSIMMONS: Amongst the troops were soldiers from the Densus 88 unit, Indonesia’s elite anti-terror squad, which is funded and trained by Australia and the United States.

The Australian Government says it funds training for the Indonesian armed forces that emphasises human rights awareness, accountability and respect for the rule of law, including in Papua, and that it doesn’t train Indonesia’s military to counter separatist groups.

The Greens want military training halted.

RICHARD DI NATALE, GREENS SENATOR: The Australian Government should immediately suspend all support for the Indonesian military. It should, as a matter of urgency, send a fact-finding mission to the region.

HAMISH FITZSIMMONS: Elite police from Jakarta and Indonesia’s National Commission for Human Rights are investigating the shootings, but there are claims that some of the injured in the crackdown are too afraid to seek treatment, fearing they’ll be arrested.

One of those is Abraham Kereni, who was one a representatives at the congress.

ABRAHAM KERENI, WEST PAPUAN INDEPENDENCE REP.: Then those – the security forces, they immediately held pistols and opened the door of the car of the prime minister. It was there that shots were fired. They opened the door and pulled me out. As they were pulling me out, there were three crew that came and hit me.

HAMISH FITZSIMMONS: A spokesman for Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs says it appears from reports that the police’s response, following calls for independence at the conclusion of the congress, was disproportionate.

Hamish Fitzsimmons, Lateline.

DPRP members say police and army chiefs should be held responsible for casualties

Bintang Papua, 25 October 2011
[Abridged in translation by TAPOL]

Jayapura: A member of the Provincial Legislative Assembly of Papua, the DPRP, had called for the Chief of Police in Papua and Commander of the Cenderawasih Military Command to be held responsible for the loss of life when the Papuan People’s Congress was broken up last Wednesday.

‘The actions of the security forces in dispersing the Congress exceeded all bounds and exceeded their authority and in so doing were in violation of the laws in force,’ said Yan Mandenas, chairman of the Pikiran Rakyat group in the DPRP.

‘They exceeded their powers in attacking and shooting people who happened to be in the location, whether or not those people were involved in the Congress.’

‘If indeed they were committing an act of subversion, then those responsible should be arrested, not beaten up and shot. This is a serious violation of human rights and should be thoroughly investigated,’ he said.   ‘This is not a trivial matter but something which attacks the self-respect of Papuan people. It seems as though  whenever anything happens in Papua, the security forces act uncontrollably and start shooting.’

‘Killing innocent people is inhumane and it is always Papuans who are the casualties. If we want to develop Papua and preserve the unitary Republic of Indonesia, then we should stop hitting out at people and treating Papuans as if they are worthless.’

As for the claim of the chief of police in Papua that the casualties were only stabbed and not shot, if this is true, there should be autopsies. ‘Why have there been no reports of the result of autopsies?’

He said that if Papua is an indivisible part of Indonesia, then why do so many conflicts occur there. ‘There have been a number of mysterious shootings, none of which has been properly investigated.’

Mandenas said that an investigation team should be set up immediately to see whether violations were committed. ‘If there were violations, then those members of the security forces who were responsible should be sacked.’

Similar views were expressed by Ruben Magay, chairman of Commission A on Politics and Law of the DPRP.

He went on to say that he had urged the chief of police to withdraw his men because it (the Congress) was already over, but what in fact happened was that even though the event was at an end, they started chasing people, hitting them and shooting at people who happened to be in the vicinity;  And no one was fighting back. ‘This is clearly a violation, with armed people shooting at random, hitting people who were not showing any resistance or carrying firearms.’

‘The National Human Rights Commission, Komnas HAM, as the competent body should carry out an investigation and say whether human rights were violated or not.’ He went on to say that the DPRP will press for an investigation team to be set up.

Meanwhile, a man named Yosep Nawipa who was happened to be in the vicinity became a casualty and was held in custody at police command headquarters. He said that he has been struck with a rifle butt by a member of the security forces, then pushed into their vehicle and taken to the police station.  ‘Just as the event was being dispersed,’ he said.   ‘I happened to pass through the location and I too was beaten up,
dragged into their vehicle and struck on the crown of my head,’ he said, pointing to the injury that he had sustained.

Imparsial: Urges SBY to speedily resolve the Papua Problem

Bintang Papua, 21 October 2011Jayapura: Imparsial had condemned the shooting that occurred on 19 October during the Third Papuan People’s Congress which was held at the Zakeus field and has called on the president, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono  to take measures to resolve the Papuan problem as quickly as possible.

‘There should have been no loss of life or the injuries; what happened has only made the situation in Papua worse than than ever and is not in accord with the pledge made by the president – SBY -in his address on the occasion of 17 August this year that the situation in West Papua must be handled with care.

In an open letter. Poengky Indarti, executive-director of Imparsial said that the use of excessive force  by the security forces, alleging that the congress was engaged in subversion ws totally unjustified.  ‘ The mobilisation of the security forces  which was very un-coordinated  has only resulted in Papuan people feeling more insecure,’ said Indarti.

‘Now is the time to resolve the problems in Papua by means of good communication with the Papuan people.’ she said. The continued use of force and violence  will not only destroy the Papuan people’s confidence in Indonesia, but will also undermine the confidence of the international community in the the president’s respect for human rights principles.’ Imparsial called on all sides to do everything to preserve  peace in Papua, by showing respect for human rights.

According to the Papuan branch of Komnas HAM, the National Human Rights Commission, the six people who died were: James Gobay, 25 years old, Yosaphat Yogi 28, Daniel  Kadepa  25, Maxsasa Yewi 35, Yacob Samonsabra 53, and Pilatus Wetipo. 40.

Those under arrest include Forkorus Yaboisembut, chairman of the Papuan Customary Council, and Edison Waromi who will face the charge of subversion under article 106 of the Criminal Code.

Others currently being interrogated include: August Makbrawnen Sananay Kraar, Selpius Bobii, chairman of the Congress, and Dominikus Sirabat, a Papuan human rights activist.