Tag Archives: West Papua Media

BREAKING NEWS: INDONESIAN ARMY ON BRUTAL RAMPAGE ACROSS WAMENA AFTER SOLDIERS KILLED FOR KILLING BOY IN CAR ACCIDENT

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 6 2012,   (2230 WEST PAPUA TIME)

BY WEST PAPUA MEDIA WITH LOCAL SOURCES.

CURRENT DEVELOPING SITUATION: CREDIBLE AND CONFIRMED REPORTS ARE EMERGING FROM WAMENA DETAILING RAMPAGE BY INDONESIAN TROOPS FROM KOSTRAD BATTALION 756; 

Summary:

  • Two members of Indonesian army battalion 756 kill small Papuan boy in car accident;
  • Local residents attack soldiers for killing child, kill two soldiers;
  • TNI and Police are now setting fire to houses, shops and kiosks;
  • Reports of indiscriminate firing and major casualties; 
  • Major exodus as thousands of residents flee Wamena;
  • Local human rights workers fear repeat of Bloody Wamena 2000;
  • Australian supported Detachment 88 unit allegedly involved in rampage.


A bloody and brutal rampage by Indonesian security forces is currently underway in Wamena, in the Baliem Valley of West Papua, after two soldiers were killed for running down a small boy in Wamena on Wednesday afternoon.

At time of writing, up to 500 houses have allegedly been set alight by soldiers from Battalion 756 Mim Anesili Wamena, and kiosks and shops have been hit with flamethrowers in the suburbs of Honailama and Sinakma. Live ammunition is being fired indiscriminately according to local human rights sources, who claim that “scores” of people have been brutally beaten and shot by rampaging soldiers. Exact casualty figures have not been able to be confirmed, however unconfirmed claims are circulating that 13 people have been shot dead so far.

Unverified photo claimed to be of Indonesian Brimob police and Australian-supported Detachment 88 counter-terror patrol outside Honailama after the first shootings by rampaging TNI battalion 756 soldiers. June 6, 2012. (West Papua Media local source)

The situation unfolded on Wednesday afternoon in the outlying village of Honailama when two members of Kostrad (Strategic Reserve) battalion 756, identified as Pratu Ahmad Saifudin and Pratu Ahmad Saelan, were driving a car at speed through Honailama, and hit a young boy (as yet unidentified) who was playing at the roadside. The soldiers were alleged to have been careless, and enraged villagers – including clan members of the boy – dragged the soldiers from the car and beat them to death.

Upon hearing of the beatings, the entire army battalion (1500 combat troops) was mobilised onto the streets of Wamena, and according to witnesses, have opened fire indiscriminately at any Papuan person. The battalion is also being supported in a search and cordon operation by the entire Wamena Brimob police commando battalion, and also officers from the Australian-trained and funded Detachment 88 counter-terrorist group. All elements of the Indonesian security forces present in Wamena are participating in the rampage operation, amid unconfirmed reports of hundreds of arrests.
Local sources are reporting that the carnage is so intense that smoke is filling the entire Baliem Valley and covering the town.

A witness has spoken to the West Papua Media team and confirmed the situation in Wamena. “It happened in front of my house in the compound I live. Soldiers have shot and hit people. The army beat innocent people who know nothing and did not understand why. This is really a violation of human rights. My house was stoned and the glass window was shattered into pieces,” the witness, who asked not to be named, told West Papua Media via SMS.

Human Rights sources in Wamena are saying that local people are terrified that the Indonesian army actions look like they will eclipse the “Bloody Wamena” incident of 6 October 2000. That incident saw hundreds of people wounded and at least 38 people shot dead or dying from injuries inflicted by Indonesian torture in the aftermath of a flag-raising incident.
According to Sebby Sambon, a Wamena-native human rights worker said, “Some friends called me a few hours ago top say that the TNI and POLRI are shooting local peoples in every place in the town of Wamena. Some Papuans civilians (have been) killed by TNI and POLRI two hours ago (about 7pm Wamena time – WPM). We hope UN and all UN member states keep their attention on the situation. “
Sambon also said that TNI and POLRI forces are also burning local houses both in and outside the town of Wamena.
This is a developing situation – please stay tuned to West Papua Media newswire.

Media note: Photos and video of this ongoing situation are currently being sourced, and West Papua Media will upload links for general distribution, on condition of credit to West Papua Media, when it becomes available. Donations to cover costs would be appreciated if broadcast.

BREAKING NEWS: Indon police/military assault on Yapen village targeting non-violent activists

From West Papua Media sources in Serui:
June 6, 2012
Credible but unconfirmed reports have been received by West Papua Media reporting that a major operation is currently being carried out by a combined force of of Australian trained and armed police and military special forces.
One extra company of Brimob police commandos from Manokwari  have been flown in to take part in the raids on the civilian village of Anotaurei on Yapen Island, near the regional centre of Serui.
Witnesses have alleged that a joint-force of Indonesian Army (TNI), Brimob commandos and the elite counter-terrorism force Detachment 88 ( trained and funded by the Australian Federal Police) are intensifying their ongoing “Sweeping” against peaceful political activists and ordinary villagers.
The raid began at 11pm West Papua time in Anotaurei, and witnesses have claimed that 2 trucks, 3 police Avanza SUVs and a Kijang full of armed troops are patrolling and forcing entry in a house-to-house search and cordon operation.
Messages received by West Papua Media have alleged the troops are acting with great violence, and damaging property as they inspect homes, and seizing banned Morning Star banners and flags, sharp tools, kitchen equipment, and “documents” about the Free West Papua movement.  These documents include flyers for rallies and pamphlets.  Anyone found in possession of these are in danger of arrest, with Activists and human rights advocates expressing grave fears for their safety.
At time of writing the sweep operation is ongoing and likely to target outlying villages.  This is a developing story – please stay tuned for more information.

Yapen TPN HQ raided by Kopassus as state repression intensifies across remote island

by West Papua Media

May 31, 2012

NEWS

Intensification of Indonesian security force repression on Papuan non-violent activists and ordinary villagers is allegedly occurring across Yapen Island, in response to escalating demands for freedom from violence, according to credible human rights sources on the island.

A massive raid has also been carried out by Australian-trained Detachment 88 and Kopassus special forces of the Indonesian National Army (TNI) early on May 29 on the jungle headquarters of the Yapen branch of the pro-independence National Liberation Army (TPN-OPM) near the village of Wadapi, Angkaisera district, Yapen.

Yapen Island – in yellow

Local human rights workers have told West Papua Media that many houses had been set on fire after the midnight raids and
weapons were discharged repeatedly by the combined Indonesian military and police force under the command of the Head of
Police (Kapolres) in Serui, Royce Harry Langie S.IK MH, and the District Military Commander (DANDIM), Letkol Inf Tornado.  No confirmed reports of any shooting victims have come to light thus far, however West Papua Media has received credible claims that civilians who fled from the raids into the night may have sustained gunshot injuries from Indonesian troops firing into
houses, though this cannot be confirmed independently.

Reports that local police and military commanders have begun to call in major military reinforcements from across Indonesia are increasing fears of an imminent military assault on local villagers, causing many civilians to flee to forest for safety, human rights sources have told West Papua Media.

Forces from the pro-independence National Liberation Army (TPN-OPM) on Yapen have responded to fears of “all out war” between pro-independence and Indonesian occupation forces and have called for calm, ordering all TPN-OPM taskforces active in the area to not respond with violence to Indonesian brutality, citing concerns for the safety of local villagers, according to local independent local media source Warta Papua.

Local human rights sources have reported to West Papua Media that troops from the Police special forces Brimob and Detachment 88, backed up by Kopassus and Kostrad (Strategic Reserve) troops from Citanjung (Kopassus headquarters in Jakarta) and from Cenderawasih Battalion in Jayapura.

Additionally, Kopassus and Kostrad troops from the notorious Kapuas district, Kalimantan battalion of Kopassus have been deployed with the other units in many villages, in Wadapi, Wanampompi & Sasawalast and several other unnamed villages in the Angkaisera district. “We are very worried, as the addition of troops from Borneo… are known as army troops who are very sadistic in torturing civilians,” a local human rights worker told West Papua Media via SMS.

The joint taskforce troops have claimed to the TNI-owned Cenderawasih Post that they have broken a major TPN guerrilla base, however the only weapons seized were a traditional hunting poison blowpipe, a handful of traditional hunting spears, bows and arrows, two parang knives (used for preparing food), and two banned Papuan Morning Star flags.  These items can be found in almost any rural dwelling in Papua, especially where residents have to supplement their food with animals from the forest.

Several other items were also seized, including cooking and farming equipment, and two 15 year old broken computer printers, which the TNI claimed was proof of a TPN headquarters.

Two men have been arrested and are currently being interrogated by Kopassus and D88 intelligence officers, with the TNI boasting that they are being intensively processed at the Yapen Police HQ in Serui.  Local human rights sources have expressed grave fears for the safety of the detained men, amid credible fears that they will be subjected to harsh interrogation techniques and torture by the Australian trained and funded Kopassus and D88 officers.  At this stage no legal representation has been afforded to the detainees, with one identified as Wanampompi man John Nuntian.  There is also believed to be an unkown number of ordinary villagers who have been detained, and their whereabouts and status is currently unknown.

As the raids were occurring, several hundred TPN/OPM fighters have taken to the forests, and the TNI Dandim, LtKol Tornado, has told Cenderawasih Post that the campaign is intensifying to eradicate all those who are resisting the Indonesian military.  He says that the estimated 230 fighters will be hunted down and the his forces will remain to conduct lightning sweeps on any village that gets named in intelligence investigations.  These sweeps have traditionally subjected all its targeted villages to collective punishment, including mass burnings of houses and collective detention, acts clearly defined as war crimes.

Local sources have been unable to get a precise number of Indonesian combat troops occupying Papuan villages in Yapen, but credibly estimate to be upwards of two battalions of active combat personnel spread across twelve villages (at least 3000 combat personnel from standard battalion strengths – WPM), including specialists from Detachment 88.

Detachment 88 is fully funded by the Australian Federal Police, but the Australian government claims it is not funded to conduct operations against “separatist” or pro-independence forces, despite many documented cases of this occurring repeatedly in Papua. The Australian government has so far refused to make any sanction against the use of these forces in human rights abuses in Papua, instead increasing the budget and equipment it provides to D88.

Telephone communications with sources on the island have been sporadic, raising fears that security forces are restricting the phone network ahead of a major assault, making these reports difficult to verify independently by West Papua Media.  However this activity is consistent with a more aggressive approach taken by Indonesian occupation forces against Papuan independence sentiment.

Indonesian police on Yapen have come under fire for their consistently brutal policies toward Papuan people.  On May 1, thousands took to the streets to call for the expulsion of the Kapolres, Royce Harry Langie, and DANDIM, Letkol Inf Tornado, for atrocious behaviour, human rights violations, and violations of the Code of Conduct with the Indonesian military and police regulations.

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German born tourist shot by “unknown persons” whilst on a beach in Jayapura

by West Papua Media with local sources in Jayapura

May 30, 2012

News Article

Pieter Dietmar Helmut being treated after being shot in West Papua on Tuesday May 29, 2012 (supplied – BP)

Questions are being raised again about the willingness of the Indonesian police in Papua to properly investigate suspicious shooting incidents by “Unknown persons”, after a German born Spanish citizen was shot by a sniper and critically injured whilst swimming at a popular tourist beach in Jayapura.

The scientist identified as Pieter Dietmar Helmut (55) was swimming with his wife and some West Papuan friends at Base G beach, when a man brazenly drove up to beach in a silver Avanza car (plate number DS 1852) and shot the man three times in the thigh, abdomen and chest from a distance of ten metres – allegedly with a rifle according to some witnesses, though this could not be independently confirmed.

According to witnesses, who spoke to Indonesian media outlets and West Papua Media, the man was ethnic Papuan, but human rights sources insist that this does not prove that he was a member of any pro-independence forces. Rather, according to a stringer for West Papua Media’s stringer in Jayapura, this proves that this Papuan is able to openly use a vehicle that is easily identifiable and yet receives no punishment for his actions, pointing to the likelihood he is an active member of the security forces.

“The man, who had curly hair and was unshaven abruptly stopped his vehicle near us. He got off the car and shot my husband three times,” Helmut’s wife Eva Mediana Pachon was quoted as saying by the state-run Antara news agency.

Eva Pachon has spent many hours with the Papuan Human Rights organisation ELSHAM Papua, and has provided detailed testimony to human rights investigators.  Elsham Papua released a statement that provided testimony from Mrs. Pachon:

Elsham reports that around 10.00 a.m., Dr. Pieper and Eva Pachon were enjoying their day at a popular beach in Jayapura named Base G. It started to rain so most of the other people began to leave the beach. After swimming Dr. Pieper and Pachon packed their bags while waiting for the rain to stop. They intended to head straight back to the city. As they were sitting under a small hut, Pachon noticed a vehicle on a road behind the beach. “We saw a vehicle going by slowly, passing us three or four times. It was an SUV, the car was silver coloured,” said Pachon. The vehicle then stopped, a bearded man—an ethnic Papuan wearing a camouflage jacket and hat—came out and started walking toward them.

Pachon noticed that her husband had been shot only after seeing his body was covered in blood. “The man came near to us, about ten metres away, and then he shot Dietmar [Pieper] twice. I was shocked when I saw him fall and moan, saying ‘I am going to die. I am going to die.’ and I saw blood flowing” she said.

According to Elsham, the perpetrator got back into the car after shooting Dr. Pieper, but did not immediately leave the scene. Pachon thought that the perpetrator wanted to shoot her as well, so she initially ran towards a more crowded area to ask for help, Elsham reported.

“Pachon then returned with bystanders who helped take Dr. Pieper to the Jayapura General Hospital where he underwent a medical operation which lasted 47 minutes. Medical sources and Pachon report that Dr. Pieper had two gunshot wounds—in his left thigh and one on the left side of his torso.  The first shot reportedly entered his back on the left side and went through to his chest on the left side.  The second shot reportedly went through his left thigh.  Medical sources also say that the bullet went through the lungs of the victim, making a hole less than half a centimetre wide.  As of close of business on Wednesday May 30th, the victim is in a stable condition in an intensive care unit.  Four armed policemen are guarding his hospital room,” according to the Elsham report.

A local human rights activist told West Papua Media: “He is being treated in Dok 2 Jayapura hospital. We could not get into the hospital as the police and military, as well as BIN, have forbidden us to go (and) see the victim.”

Indonesian police refuse to identify suspect
Despite the clear identification of the suspect, Indonesian Police in Jayapura have refused to name any suspects, instead blaming “unknown persons”, a well-known euphemism in Papua for highly-trained shooters whose identity is well-known but enjoy complete impunity for their crimes.

Initial reaction to the shooting amongst Papuans widely puts the blame for the shooting at the hands of Indonesian security forces, who are seeking to turn international condemnation by Germany, Canada, Britain, the Netherlands and France against Indonesian human rights violations in Papua. “It is the same tactic that was seen with the US after they suspended arms sales after the East Timor bloodbath, and put caveats on the resumption of military assistance to be conditional on significant human rights reform. When Papuan guerrillas were blamed for shooting US schoolteachers at Freeport in 2002, the Indonesian military was able to use the appearance of a heavily armed insurgency targeting foreigners to get the US to support its militarist aims against Papuan civilians,”  an Indonesian human rights worker based in Jakarta, who asked to remain anonymous, told West Papua Media today.

Dr Eben Kirksey, a US-based Anthropology Assistant Professor with long involvement with Papua, recently published “Freedom in Entangled Worlds”, a book that details a series of covert operations by Indonesia’s Kopassus Special Forces in West Papua. “Undercover Indonesian military agents have a long history of using ethnic Papuan militias to stage violent attacks in West Papua,” said Dr. Kirksey, . “West Papua is effectively off-limits to journalists and the Indonesian military has a history of impunity. A transparent investigation, with international involvement and oversight, must be launched before the trail of evidence goes cold.”

The Jakarta Globe has reported that Civil society groups across Indonesia are also getting more suspicious about military involvement in the shooting. Poengky Indarti, executive director of activist group Imparsial, told Jakarta Globe on Sunday that 13 countries raised the issue during the UN’s Universal Periodic Review in Geneva last week, with five of them specifically questioning the government’s inability to capture those responsible for shooting civilians in the restive province.

“Germany, Canada, Britain, the Netherlands and France questioned the Indonesian government on its handling of human rights violations, such as torture of civilians, shootings and killings in Papua,” Poengky told the Jakarta Globe.

“It’s a big question why such a large police and military presence there has failed to result in anyone being arrested for the attacks. Furthermore, their presence in the area has also failed to deter more attacks.”

West Papuan resistance groups, both in the civil resistance movement and the armed struggle, have universally condemned the shooting of Helmut, saying it is yet another in the long list of crimes by Indonesia against Papuans and those friendly with Papuan people.

Victor Yeimo, International spokesperson for the West Papua National Committee (KNPB), said in a statement sent to West Papua Media that the shooting is a conspiracy by Indonesia to deflect Germany’s attention from Indonesian human rights abuses in West Papua. “The shooting is closely associated with a harsh rebuke to Indonesia by the UN Human Rights Council within the UN human rights session recently where Indonesian military and police (were criticised for having) carried out violence and human rights abuses in West Papua.”

KNPB had carefully assessed “that the shooting was purely (a) state conspiracy to scapegoat (the) people of Papua for the umpteenth time as the mastermind behind the violent conflict in West Papua,” explained Yeimo.

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Peaceful protest against human rights violations in Yapen leads to arrests

by West Papua Media team

May 30, 2012

The transitional government declared by the Federated Republic of West Papua organised another peaceful demonstration on May 29, with participants from Yapen, Waropen and Mamberamo gathering to peacefully condemn ongoing acts of violence, terror and intimidation by members of the Indonesia Police and military forces (TNI).

Villages such as Daway, Kainui, Ansus, Wadapi and others around Yapen are under constant threat and fear from Indonesian security forces, according to rally organisers outlining the reasons for holding another demonstration on the restive island.

Crowds began to gather for a series of long marches in the villages of Mantembu, Warari and at the courtyard of the DPRD (Papuan Legislative Council) office in Serui. At 9:30am, WP local time, police and TNI were already blockading the road to prevent the peaceful action from going ahead, with police seizing one car being used for the rally.

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More than five hundred people were expected at the gathering, with large numbers of heavily armed police and military personnel creating a show of force against the peaceful gathering. According to sources in Serui who spoke to West Papua Media, the security forces were present to intimidate and stimulate fear to discourage activists from carrying out the action.

Meanwhile, Police seized nine black banners outlining Papuan people’s demands and aspirations, with one banner demanding an end to constant military intimidation and terror. As another long march was making its way from Mantembu, it was blockaded and stopped by the military-police apparatus in the village of Warari.

At 4 pm, local time, two trucks from TNI attacked Wadapi village and many locals seek refuge in the bush. Many people are still in hiding until now.

Pieter Hiowati, spokesperson for FRWP Governor of Yapen/Waropn and Mamberamo Daud Abon, told West Papua Media that the DPRD office in Serui has been turned into an Indonesian military headquarters. The DPRD office was fully guarded by heavily armed military and police, both inside and outside of the building. “It is sad but it’s a reality, the demand of the people falls on deaf ears from staff members in DPRD and responded with heavy military presence,” said Hiowati.

Approximately 800 representatives of indigenous people from Saireri went to the DPRD office to express their aspirations in a peaceful and disciplined manner, however police still arrested four people. Those still held in the Serui police station cells include a mother, Lea Kumumbuy (later released at 7 pm), while three others – Josep Mangge, Josep Rudamaga and Jeremias Rabrageri – are still shackled in Serui police prison, according to local advocates.

Note:
On Friday May 25, governor of Saireri under FRWP, Daud Abon, has been presented with a police summons for him (No: S.Pgl/251/2012/Reskrim), notifying that he has been charged with a criminal act of treason (makar) and investigation must be carried out for the rally organized on May 23.

West Papua Media