Tag Archives: Washington DC

Two Papuans arriving to attend congress in Jayapura are arrested

Bintang Papua, 9 October 2011Jayapura: About two thousand people intending to attend the Third Papuan People’s Congress due to open on 16 October have already arrived in Jayapura from other parts of Papua. Some arrived by plane  while the majority travelled here by ship. The police have taken measures to guard the roads leading into Jayapura by examining all  passengers who arrive aboard the white ships.

All passengers who alight from the ships are subjected to sweepings undertaken by the police. A delegation from Serui was also subject to investigation. Ten people were taken into custody. After being interrogated, eight were released while two were held. The two who were held, Noak Kandipi and Henok Dorri, were found to be in possession of sharp implement in violation of the law.

The chief of police of Papua confirmed these arrests, saying that they were carrying weapons without the necessary permit.

The chairman of the congress organising committee, Selpius Bobii described this as an action of terror against Papuans arriving from outside who were coming to attend the congress.

‘Their aim is to warn delegates from other parts of the country against coming to Jayapura to attend the congress.’  he said.speaking at a press conference held at the office of the Dewan Adat Papua. He called on the army and the police not to arrest people and damage the programme of the congress, saying that this was very dangerous indeed. ‘We call on the police to release the two people immediately,’ he said. He also called  on all Papuans not to be provoked by issues that are being launched to damage harmonious relations with the community.

A member of the monitoring and advocacy team express his deep regrets that emergency laws were being used in a part of the country which was not in a state of emergency. ‘Moreover,’ he said, ‘people coming from the kampungs know absolutely nothing about these laws.’ He said that the monitoring team would assist the two and said that they did not know whether the two had been designated as suspects.

Activists detained for attending consolidation meeting

from westpapuamedia.info and sources
October 7, 2011
Indonesian police have detained ten West Papuan activists in Jayapura on Thursday ahead of a critical meeting for the pro-independence West Papua National Authority (WPNA), according to local sources.
As many as 1825 West Papuan independence activists had arrived in Jayapura aboard the KM Sinabung on October 6 to begin a consolidation conference of the WPNA.  The Conference, to be held on October 8-9, was to determine the political position of WPNA ahead of the historic Third Papuan Peoples‘ Congress, a gathering of all the elements of West Papua’s disparate resistance movement to agree on a common strategy towards fulfilling the demand for Papuan self-determination.  The Congress, expected to go ahead from October 16-19 at Cenderawasih University was called by the West Papua National Committee, and has gained support from most sectors of the Papuan civil society.
Despite the mass circulation of SMS messages, believed to be from intelligence sources, across Papua that Jakarta was not going to oppose the Congress and the ability for Papuan people to organise dialogue under their own terms, Jayapura police have detained key WPNA organisers for possessing “separatist materials”.
Marthen Manggaprouw, from the WPNA Secretariat in  Jayapura, reports that Silas Ayemi, Seftinus Kaiway, Yoas Yawandare, Lewi Arampi, Noak Kandipi, Yehuda Kandipi, Daniel Sakwatorey,  Obeth Aninam, Filep Yawandare, and Henok Dori  were still detained at Police Station in Jayapura on Thursday night.   Silas Ayemi reported that he was arrested because he kept an invitation letter for attending the West Papuan Congress, and also for being in possession of pictures of the banned West Papuan Morning Star flag.
Jakarta has reportedly confirmed to Congress organisers that a member of the Indonesian government will be in attendance at the Congress.  Local observers have questioned why the Indonesian police are still arresting people for legitimately and peacefully organising internal dialogue when Jakarta is apparently allowing the Third Papuan Peoples’ Congress to take place.
International observers and foreign journalists are still banned by Jakarta from West Papua, so independent monitoring is proving difficult.
Herman Wainggai, an activist for WPNA currently based in Washington DC, said
“Indonesian Authorities arrested them without considering their basic human rights”.    Wainggai also called on the the Indonesia government to immediately release the 10 detainees.   Indonesia should, according to Wainggai, “allow us to have more democratic space during the West Papuan national meeting in October, rather than continuing to arrest people and damage their life while they work for democracy in West Papua”.
No comment was received from the Indonesian police at time of writing in Jayapura on the status of the detainees.

Large rally against torture held Serui; Police confiscate rally equipment, then apologise to organisers

by Nick Chesterfield, Ronny Kareni; local sources for West Papua Media team

Serui, Thursday, June 23, 2011

Indonesian police in Serui, off the north coast of West Papua, this morning have forcefully confiscated banners, Morning Star flags, amplifiers and other rally paraphernalia from West Papuan protestors, before allowing a major rally against torture to go ahead. Despite providing police with significant notice, organisers of today’s rallies have met with inconsistent police policy in allowing legitimate peaceful expression to occur.

The rallies are being held by the West Papua National Authority (WPNA) to express opposition to institutionalised Indonesian security force torture and maltreatment of West Papuan people, and against the continuing criminalisation of legitimate peaceful dissent.  It is also to support efforts in Washington DC for West Papua by Torture Abolition and Survivors Support Coalition (TASSC) including seminars, a Vigil to End Torture in front of the White House, and Congressional Briefings on Capitol Hill.  The rally had been planned to conduct a traditional long march or “jigjog” to the offices of the DPRD, the Papuan Provincial Parliament.

Police in Serui conducted security sweeps of the area from 8 to 10 pm last night.  “This is a usual sweeping that security forces do for security measures prior to an event”. said Pak Eddy, the head of intelligence for the police (KAINTEL POLRES) in Serui said via phone to West Papua Media.

At 8am this morning, rally organisers were visited by two uniformed Papuan police officers, who told WPNA Serui Governor David Abon to cancel the long march from Wombai Park to the DPRD office. Instead, they instructed Abon to drop people with trucks to the office, but stated firmly that Police “will not provide security for the protesters, nor guarantee their safety”.

Rally organisers expressed fears that this would be a prelude for police standing down in the face of militia or military violence, and were perturbed that the police would abrogate its State Responsibility for providing security for civilians engaging in legitimate peaceful expression.   The Indonesian police has a long and regular history of standing to one side while military or military controlled civilian groups conduct serious acts of violence against political or religious opposition, such as with East Timor, in West Papua, and more recently against the Ahmadiyah.  However, neither the WPNA nor Police have shared any specific intelligence about pro-Jakarta militia mobilisations, despite the local presence of both the Laskar Merah Putih, and the newly formed Euricio Guterres / Bas Suebu militia, ASWAIN.

Over 1000 people had begun to gather at Wombai Park, Serui, on Thursday morning in preparation for the long march and listen to speeches and music.  At 10:00am, as people were meeting to discuss security situation and day’s plans, one company (150 police) of local Police present at Wombai confiscated with force a truck, Morning Star flags and material (like bags and beanies), amplifiers, and four banners. Due to the speed and force used, people at the park were subject to mounting fear, and were uncertain for their safety.

KAINTEL Eddy told the crowd,  “Don’t bring flags or banners to the rally, but rally can still go ahead”.  This action was is contravention to the rights of people to engage in free cultural expression.

The crowd then dispersed peacefully from Wombai and made its way to the DPRD office.  Over 200 armed Gegana paramilitary motorbike police are in attendance, as are two companies of normal police.

WPNA Security is still on high alert against agents provocateur, and has clear line of communication open to prevent escalation with both Pak Eddy and the KAPOLRES (Regency level Chief of Police, currently in Jayapura).

In Mantembu at midday, prior to that march joining with the main rally, Police attempted to shut down the march, and again seized banners that displayed the Morning Star symbol.  An intense vocal confrontation between WPNA and Police ensued, but negotiations with Police successfully agreed the rally to be continued until 4pm.

” We will provide the safety and security of all the participants”, said Terrianus Israel Yoku, National Congress President of WPNA.   “We want to freely exercise our rights to freedom of assembly, and we ask for security forces to respect the rights of West Papuans to voice our concerns”, said Yoku.

“Even though the security forces stop trucks and confiscate morning star flags, banners and amplifiers, it wont stop us marching in peace” said David Abon, govenor of Yapen Waropen.

The Kapolres and KAINTEL POLRES apologised to Reverend Yoku, WPNA, for the confiscation of items and the force that was used against demonstrators this morning.

Participants from Wombai joined with the 500 Mantembu marchers, who then joined over 3000 people already gathered at DPRD.  Delegations also came from Sorong, Manokwari, Jayapura, Fak Fak, Bintuni, Waropen, and Mamberamo.  Over 5000 people stayed upon the steps of the DPRD office listening to speeches and music.

“A Salute to everyone who made the decision to participate in this long march for peace and justice in West Papua. This is an act of working together in support of what is happening in Australia and Washington to speak out on the ongoing torture and issues towards indigenous West Papuans”,  said Jacob Rumbiak, WPNA Foreign Affairs Coordinator, in Australia.

“Today, the international advocates are monitoring the situation in West Papua, especially in Serui, and we ask the Indonesian security forces to respect the rally and allow every West Papuans to freely exercise their freedom of expression and freedom assembly”, said Terry Bukorpioper, WPNA’s designated spokesperson to the UN.

At time of writing,  close to 5000 people joined on the steps of DPRD in a closing prayer with Reverend Phil Ayeni to peacefully end the rally.

West Papua Media will continue to monitor the situation closely, and provide timely updates.

THOUSANDS OF INDIGENOUS WEST PAPUANS TO GATHER IN SERUI TO SUPPORT WEST PAPUA NATIONAL AUTHORITY (WPNA) AT TASSC ‘ABOLISH TORTURE WEEK’ IN WASHINGTON DC

by West Papua National Authority Foreign Affairs office

David Abon, Governor of the West Papua National Authority in Yapen-Waropen-Mamberano, says that having two representatives in Washington participating in ABOLISH TORTURE WEEK in Washington DC is a source of inspiration for all West Papuans.

Herman Wainggai has been invited by the Coalition of International Torture Abolition and Survivors Support (TASSC) to participate in its seminars at George Washington University and Catholic University of America, a Vigil to End Torture in front of the White House, and Congressional Briefings on Capital Hill.

“Herman’s presence at this international gathering shows the world that West Papua’s independence is an international issue, and well beyond the capacity of the Indonesian government to deal with” said Mr Abon in Serui.

“When the US Congress hears about the latest Indonesian military activities in West Papua, they will be listening closely” said Rev. Terrianus Yoku, President of WPNA Congress, as thousands welcomed him in Serui for the rally today.

In the distinguished tradition of non-violence, the WPNA rally in Serui on begins with a long march (called “jigjog” in local slang) from Wombai Park on the beach to the People Representatives Office (DPRD).

“All West Papuans want is justice and democracy” said WPNA’s Jacob Rumbiak in Australia, himself a victim of torture and long-term incarceration. “Is President Yudhoyono brave enough to follow President Obama’s signature on self-determination for Puerto Ricans”.

“Releasing our political prisoners would be a good start” he added.

RALLY INTERVIEWS:  contact details for on ground spokespeople available to bona fide journalists – please contact West Papua Media on +61450079106 or editor<@>westpapuamedia.infoWest Papua Media will be be monitoring the situation closely.

CORRECTION: AN EARLIER POST SAID THAT KNPB (KOMITE NASIONAL PAPUA BARAT) WILL ALSO BE HOLDING RALLIES IN JAYAPURA IN CONJUNCTION WITH THESE DEMOS.  WE HAVE BEEN ADVISED THAT THIS IS INCORRECT, HOWEVER PLEASE STAY TUNED FOR UPDATES FOR KNPB ACTIONS.