Tag Archives: West Papua Media

Without support, West Papua Media may have to close down in 2013

by West Papua Media eds

Supporter Request

December 23, 2012

Will you stand on the sideline, or will you help Independent Human Rights Journalism for West Papua grow in 2013?  

Friends and supporters of West Papua Media’s mission:
As the Western orgy of excessive spending and consumerism leaves full bellies but empty spirits for those lucky in the first world, independent human rights journalism projects look at the empty bank accounts and try to find pennies to hopefully continue to shine a preventative light on human rights abuses, and do what we can to give voice to the voiceless, and help them roar in West Papua.  This is the time of year when we do our sums, and see if the Editorial Team can afford to commit to another year of penury to provide robust and credible Independent journalism reporting on events, people, abuse and resistance in West Papua.

As you know, our work has been instrumental in putting West Papua into the mainstream media in 2012, including the unprecedented 7.30 Report coverage of the Densus 88 death squads.  Yet all of this has been funded by small and irregular donations from just a few people, and whilst deeply appreciated, we still have a massive shortfall coming out of personal income.  For every request of support, we perhaps receive 5% of the minimum we need to survive, if we are lucky.  Overall in 2012, we received less than 30% of our spend in private donations due to the lifesaving last-minute donations, but the rest came from our own pockets and personal loans.

We cannot continue this for much longer.  West Papua Media punches well above its weight, and certainly does it without foundational funding – we are entirely funded through volunteer donations.  We need to support our brave journalists and stringers inside Papua, we need to give them material support in terms of cameras, phones, and laptops, and phone cards for internet.  We need to pay for communications costs, equipment upkeep, websites, website registration, and now, we are also threatened with having our very name – westpapuamedia – taken away from us unless we renew a trademark.  That alone is $4000.  To cover our most basic costs we must operate a minimum budget of $2000 per month.  But we are lucky to get $300 per month in support – the rest comes from our pockets.

Do you support our mission?  Do you live in Australia – the richest country on Earth?  Do you want to see West Papuan people have their voice roar around the world?  Or do you want to sit by, while the last best chance for linking international journalists with the voice from the ground in Papua has to shut down because its Editors have spent every last cent on standing with a people?

West Papua Media may soon be forced to make a very difficult choice – to go offline at the most critical time when and where it is needed – because those who do all the work have no more money to pay for it.  From January 20, despite the need for us to stay online, if we do not have enough to pay for three months of operating costs, then you will see our homepage go blank.

Please help share the load, and help us grow for 2013.  Our mission has not changed, but our costs are going up.  We still wish to provide effective training to those who need it, to support the development of a robust free and independent media for West Papua – the basic cornerstone of a democratic society.

2012 Spend                                                                                            AUD$26,000

2012 income via donations:                                                               AUD$8375

The shortfall made up from West Papua Media editors’ personal contribution and personal loans is close to (measured) AUD$13,000, and the End 2012 debt still stands at $4500.

2013 Fundraising Goals

Yearly Survival mode (no journo support, no equipment; no training):

A$24,000

Yearly Effective mode (support for our journalists, 2 basic salaries; mirroring; equipment support; 2 effective training groups per annum): 

A$200,000

Are you going to help us approach the support we need to grow?

Crowdfunding campaign managers:  if you can help with your time, please get in contact with us as soon as possible at editor<@>westpapuamedia.info

You can donate via paypal by clicking on the link here  www.westpapuamedia.info/donate
Australian and European bank details are also here, but for international transfer details please email to info<@>westpapuamedia.info
European donations are also tax-deductible for EU residents.

Thank you for your support

Nick Chesterfield

Founding and Coordinating Editor

West Papua Media

Wewak PNG turns out in numbers to support West Papua

from West Papua Media sources in Wewak, Papua New Guinea

December 11, 2012

Over one thousand civil society members from Wewak, East Sepik Province in Papua New Guinea, turned out on December 10 to support their wantoks across the border in a large and vibrant demonstration that brought the provincial capital to a standstill, local stringers from West Papua Media report.

The rally and festival, called to bring attention to human rights situation in neighbouring West Papua on International Human Rights Day, saw PNG government officials, security forces, church leaders and ordinary people march together calling on the PNG government to do more to stand up to Indonesia on the issue of West Papua, and for the sovereign rights of West Papua to be respected.

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At around 9:00am the marchers gathered at Mongian Compound, about 500 metres from Wewak town market.  A long-march started with less than hundred people but the numbers grew throughout the day.  As the marchers approached Wewak town area around 10:00am,Wewak local time, the number had grown to one thousand people.  The positive environment and support from the authorities and civil society motivated long-march organisers to do four laps around Wewak Town until midday.

One West Papuan observer told West Papua Media via phone conversation that the spontaneous support from the public was “amazing and unreal”.  As further quoted “a lot of ordinary people and women who sell their food at Wewak town market left their goods and joined the march. They even donated money, food, drinks and various garden food to us (West Papuan asylum seekers).”

At around, 12:30pm, the streets of Wewak was covered with sea of people who called for basic human rights to be protected, but importantly echoing the aspirations of the sovereign right of West Papuan people, according to participants

The long-march finished at the new Police Station near Wewak Town Market, where various speakers addressed the crowd.  Amongst the speakers were, Miss Sophie Mangai, President of Wewak Women’s Council, who led the long-march calling on those gathered to “lets all support our brothers and sisters from West Papua for their struggle for independence.”

“West Papuans are our brothers and sisters; we are one people; one ancestor; and one Melanesia in the Pacific. So we must drive out Indonesia from the land of West Papua,” said Miss Mangai.

Other Speakers included: Florence Parinjo (Wewak Women Council), Abraham Kareni, Jusuf Kambuaya and Daniel Waromi (West Papuan expatriates living in Wewak) and followed by other West Papuan asylum seekers.

PNG Media including NBC also covered the rally, interviewing many West Papuan and PNG people present.

According to rally organisers, the rally was fully endorsed by Sakien Sakawar (Police Border Commander), Mr. Francis Kemaken (Coordinator of Diocese of Caritas PNG/Oceania, and Patron of the Federated Republic of West Papua Branch-ESP Wewak PNG), 3. Miss Sophie Mangai (President of East Sepik Council of Women), and Jusuf Kambuaya (General Secretary, Federated Republic of West Papua Branch Office Wewak).

Informal festivities continued into the night, according to local sources.

West Papua Media

 

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

 

Police torture students after brutal attack on Abepura university dormitory

Scores beaten, arrested, tortured and injured in major raid by Indonesian Police, Army and allegedly Australian Funded counterterror unit Detachment 88 on Yakuhimo Dormitory at Cenderawasih University, Abepura.

by West Papua Media

August 28, 2012

URGENT CORRECTION: Despite robust processes of cross-checking, armed attacks by security forces on civilians sometimes creates confusion on casualty figures.  NEW information has come to hand in the clear light of day, and two confirming witnesses have retracted their confirmation early Wednesday morning.  Only 1 person, Yalli Walilo, is confirmed dead, and he died after being set upon by a group of men believed to be transmigrants or plain clothes intelligence.  The other two victims were part of the group that received significant torture at the hands of police, but it is now NOT independently confirmed if these people are dead or severely injured.  More info as it becomes available.  West Papua Media apologises for the distribution of erroneous information.

(Jayapura)  Brutal scenes occurred at a highland students dormitory in Abepura early on Sunday night (26 August) as a massive assault was carried out on  students from the Liborang Asrama (dormitory)  by a joint force of Army (TNI) and Police.

The students were allegedly targeted because they come from the same tribal group as many members of the West Papua National Committee (KNPB), who have been consistently engaging in peaceful civil resistance in protest at the increasing terror tactics of the Indonesian security forces, which has escalated significantly since May 2012..

1 person been independently confirmed by West Papua Media sources as killed, and at least two are believed but not confirmed to have died from torture wounds inflicted in custody by police, according to human rights sources.  35 people were arrested, and 11 people remain in custody at time of writing undergoing significant and brutal beatings, and acts of torture.

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Independent human rights sources have alleged that the torture has been carried out by members of Detachment 88, the counter-terror unit funded, armed and trained by the Australian Government, however West Papua Media has not been able to verify this, although D88 has been present at every other dormitory raid this year.

According to credible witnesses the trouble began when a man named Yalli Walilo (26) was calling a friend in front of a shop and the Indonesian transmigrant owner of the shop came and angry him.  Walilo replied to  the colonist “what is my problem, i just want to buy (a) cigarette”.  He then sought refuge at the house of Ms. Nehemia Mabel, a member of the Majelis Rakyat Papua (Papuan People’s Assembly), 5 metres from the shop.  Walilo then tried to go home, when he was brutally set upon by a group of Indonesian transmigrants with one killing him, and more people again came to kick him until he was dead.

The exact circumstances of how police came to be involved is still unclear, but after Walilio’s killing, the Kepala Desa (neighbourhood chief) came and took his body to the Limborang dormitory.  Police were alerted by the Kepala Desa amid confusing allegations surround the death of an elderly man who died from a heart attack.  It is unconfirmed if these deaths were related.

At around 10 pm, Some of Walilo’s friends at the dormitory went to investigate the commotions at the shop, but were ambushed by the large group of transmigrants outside the shop.  The students retreated to their dormitory, known also as the Yakuhimo Asrama as large numbers of Yakuhimo highland students live there.

One hour later, Police and many troops arrived en masse at the dorm and attacked boarders without negotiations, and also severely beat of minors.  Independent witnesses have claimed that men in masks were also present.

Victor Yeimo, KNPB Chairman, told West Papua Media that many students in Asrama Liborang had “already been killed, intimidated and terrorised under Indonesian police troops yesterday (27/08). This morning, I have been in the place and I found how Indonesian police kill and intimidate them. I was there while some of them arrived from Papua Police in Jayapura and we have interview some victims and the chief (spokesperson) of the Students”.

According to Yeimo many police and troops began attacking the Asrama Liborang with tear gas and water cannon (fire hoses?)  inside at 11.00 PM on Sunday night.  Police stormed the building and smashed up facilities inside and arrested, and tormented the students, according to both Yeimo and other independent witnesses.

Yeimo alleged that the “Police talked to them and relate them (make threats to them) about the killing of Mako Tabuni (on June 14) . Police blamed them as being friends of Mako Tabuni.”

On Tuesday evening, Australian ABC television program “7.30 Report” aired an investigation into Mako Tabuni’s killing by Detachment 88, and the intensifying repression of peaceful political free expression by West Papuan activists seek an end to violence and impunity, and a referendum on the disputed territory’s future.  The Australian Foreign Minister, Bob Carr, has conceded Detachment 88 is being used on non-violent activists, and has claimed it is acting outside its mandate.

The victims names (at time of writing) are confirmed as:

1. Alex Sambom (Fractured Skull by police. Strangled around neck with metal chains. and repeatedly electrocuted in custody, in critical condition)
2. Usman Ambolon ( Killed after beatings in the head with lacerations and severe contusion)
3. Petru Lintamon ( Police kicked his eyes and head, shot dead with gun)
4. Yaton Lintamon ( Police beat him to death with rubber mallet)
5. Septinus Kabak (Fingernails removed with pliers at the police office)
6. Orgenes Kabak (Beaten severely in stomach, internal injuriess)
7. Awan Kabak (Police stabbed him with bayonets in the leg and thigh)
8. Other Victims to still be identified

More photos, video and information as it becomes processed/translated and available.

westpapuamedia

Indigenous Papuans Arrested for the Celebrating the UN International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples.

by West Papua Media team

9 August 2012

UPDATED: 2300 West Papua Time

On the International Day of the Indigenous Peoples, Papuan people took to the streets to celebrate their continued survival as indigenous people, and called for an end to the Indonesian government’s occupation of their land.  Demonstrations took place in Manokwari, Serui, Baliem, Jayapura and various other locations around West Papua.

Although the United Nations declaration of 2012 as the year of ‘Indigenous Media, Empowering Indigenous Voices’ communicated a sense of optimism to First Nations people around the world, indigenous Papuans continue to experience a media blackout and silencing of indigenous voices by the Indonesian military. Despite the repression of Papuan voices this report demonstrates that local indigenous media activists continue to find ways to circumvent Indonesian government censorship and control of the press.

According to local sources a few days prior to the International Day of Indigenous Peoples, the head of Police in Yapen Island, Roycke Harry Langie, officially issued a letter rejecting a request for Papuans to celebrate the International Day of the World’s Indigenous People’s in Serui. In defiance of the Police refusal indigenous Papuan leaders in Serui proceeded to organise their planned celebration.

At around 9:00am (West Papua local time) on August 9, 2012 the combined forces of Brimob (Police Mobile Brigade), Densus 88 and TNI (Indonesian Army) blocked off access to Mantembu District and destroyed several houses.

Local stringers sent SMS messages to West Papua Media that at Anotaurei junction in Mantembu district, peaceful demonstrators were confronted with shots fired into the air by the police. A local source reported that sixteen shots were fired – six to the air and ten at human targets. The shoting generated fear and panic amongst the people and forced many, including local villagers to seek refuge in the nearby jungle.

At midday Australian time, West Papua Media team rang the Head of Police, Roycke Harry Langie but the call was redirected to an interrogation squad spokesperson (Reskrim), Mr Waluyo, who denied that any shots were fired and stated that no arrests had been made.

Despite police claims West Papua Media continued to get reports from several people in Serui who confirmed that eleven people had been arrested including a seven months pregnant woman, Ratna Semboari, who is a Member of State Council of Yapen of the Federated Republic of West Papua, an Indonesian-banned independence organisation. A witness told West Papua Media by phone conversation that Ms Semboari was pushed forcefully into BRIMOB truck and fell very hard on her belly.

Sopina (Yosina) Pangkurei, the wife of Daud Abon, governor of Saireri of the Federated Republic of West Papua was also arrested, despite also being  8 months pregnant.  Activists told West Papua Media that she stood in agony as she watched the security forces destroy her house. Local stringers report that police took a printer, a laptop and four banners declaring that ‘The indigenous Papuans also support indigenous people’s birthday.’

Other people arrested in Serui are:

  • Edison Kendi – Deputy governor of Saireri of the Federated Republic of West Papua
  • Sopia Kayani – Member  of State Parliament of Federated Republic of West Papua
  • Yosina Pangkurey, wife of Daud Abon.
  • Hendrikus Warmetan – State secretary of Saireri of Federated Republic of West Papua
  • Ruben Bonai – Member of  State Parliament Federated Republic of West Papua
  • Yan Piet Maniambo – Member of State Parliament of Federated Republic of West Papua
  • Matius J Pedai – Head of Regency of Mamberamu under Federated Republic of West Papua
  • Bram Wainarisi – a local activist
  • Elia Karma
  • Arnelda Kayane
  • John Paririe
  • Daniel Kandipi – a local activist
  • Beni Yobi – a local activist

At time of writing, Kayani, Waremtan, Wainarisi and Maniambo had been released from arrest.

After the release of the arrested women,  Mrs. Yossi Pangkurey (28 yrs) told another West Papua Media stringer that after they were arrested by a joint military-police apparatus in the village of Anatourei, they were immediately taken to the Police HQ of Yapen island.  Police officers immediately separated the men and women, with all the women in one room to undergo interrogation.  Male police officers, who claimed to the detainees that they were acting  on the orders of chief of Yapen police Roycke Harry Langie,  forced all the arrested women to strip and conduct the interview semi-naked, dressed only in their underwear under assumption of imminent sexual assault, according to the women.

In Manokwari, the celebration was held in front of the Papuan Tribe Council office with up to twelve Morning Star flags flying high in defiance of laws banning the West Papuan national flag. Many other people held smaller flags. Local stringers report that a thousands paraded around Manokwari town. Heavily armed Security forces attempted intimidation on the protest, and confiscated the Morning Star flags but people proceed to continue the march peacefully.

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Slideshow: Images from the demonstration in Manokwari, August 9, 2012 (Photos: West Papua Media stringers)

Meanwhile, in Jayapura, the Baliem Valley and other locations across Papua, celebrations were carried out under strict police supervision.  In Jayapura the police prevented Papuan protesters from marching.  However, protesters proceeded to the Council of Papuan Customary Chiefs to continue the celebration.

In the central highlands celebrations were also held at the Council of Papuan Customary Chiefs despite provocation by police, who according to local stringers surrounded the event in full combat gear.  A Lani highland chief told West Papua Media by SMS that “the reason the police tried to stop the demonstrations was that they were held by ‘unregistered’ groups.”

What this means,” he continued, “is that the Indonesian Government does not respect human rights and universal freedoms.”