Tag Archives: West Papua National Committee

KNPB Timika Chairman freed from custody after international pressure

From our Partners at Pacific Media Centre

KNPB’s Steven Itlay … arrested then set free. (Image: Free West Papua Campaign)

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

JAYAPURA (Pacific Media Watch): The West Papua National Committee’s [KNPB] Timika chairman, Steven Itlay, has been released from prison after being arrested by the Indonesian police yesterday.

The news site KNPB has reported that Indonesian police shot 10 bullets into the campaign’s office in what seemed to be an attempt to provoke a fight in order to arrest activists inside.

KNPB reported that when West Papuan activists asked the police why Itlay was being arrested, they told them: “Steven Itlay is a suspected Free West Papua activist”.

The Free West Papua Campaign said Itlay’s relatively speedy release was due to international pressure being placed on the police.

Just hours earlier, the campaign had published the phone number of the head of the Indonesian police in Jayapura on its Facebook page. It is understood that activists from all over the world phoned the number to call for Itlay’s release.

In a statement issued yesterday, the campaign said: “We would like to thank you all with all our hearts for all your incredible support for Mr Itlay and the people of West Papua, especially after the international plea for his release was made earlier today. Following his release, Steven also asked us to thank you all for the support of the suffering people of West Papua”.

Meanwhile, Papuans Behind Bars has released its April 2014 report, which details 12 incidents of torture of West Papuans in custody last month.

In one case, two West Papuans were “stabbed and slashed” by Indonesian police for objecting to police brutality against a third person, while “another seven men were tortured on arrest with electric stun batons”, the report says.

On April 2, the international day of protests for a Free West Papua, Indonesian police tortured two students at the campus of Cenderawasih University in Jayapura.

Gustaf Kawer: Legal team ready to assist KNPB Baliem leader Simeon Dabi

Tabloid Jubi

by Benny Mawel

January 6, 2013

Jayapura (6/1)- The Family of Simeon Dabi, Baliem Valley Chairman of the West Papua National Committee (KNPB), made complaints about the absence of a lawyer to assist Simeon, (a call which was responded to) by the Coalition for Enforcement of Democracy for Papua, Gustaf Kawer.  Kawer said the team was now ready to assist the hearing of Simeon Dabi.  (However) the readiness of the Coalition team for democracy can not be (automatically) realised because of  funding constraints, according to Gustaf,

Lawyer Gustaf Kawer

“Since the beginning we have shown the will to assist them (every trial of a KNPB activist) The problem is that we do not have operational funds for Wamena, “said Gustaf in response of complaints by Simeon Dabi’s family about detention proses, dossier creation and submission of the detainees from police custody to the prosecutor without a lawyer, Thursday (2/1).

Meanwhile, another lawyer, Olga Hamadi said she had not been contacted in the case of assisting  Simeon during the hearing.  However, according to Olga, they are ready to assist if the family  contacted  them. “I have not been contacted about it by the family. Later, when contacted, surely I will respond, ” said Olga Hamadi, human rights lawyer and Coordinator of Kontras Papua.

Previously, the family is hoping that the central executive of KNPB could help  finding a lawyer who will assist Simeon. “We hope Simeon’s friends in Jayapura can help find a lawyer,” Simeon’s family said.

KNPB central executive members admitted that they already tried to contact a lawyer who will assist Simeon.  The contacted lawyer is ready to go to Wamena. “We act at a level of coordination with the lawyer.  The lawyers Gustaf Kawer and Olga Hamadi are ready to go to Wamena,” KNPB central spokesman, Rocky Wim Medlama, said to tabloidjubi.com, Thursday (3/1)

However, according to Rocky Medlama, there are parties who restrict them. “The lawyer is ready to leave for Wamena but there are parties who make problems about this,” Wim said on Wednesday (3/1).

Neither Gustaf nor Olga commented on this.

(Translated and edited for clarity by West Papua Media team)

KNPB: Regional Police Chief Must Wipe Clean ‘Wanted Persons’ (DPO) list

Tabloid Jubi

Editor : Victor Mambor

January 6th, 2013

A spokesperson for the West Papua National Committee (KNPB) has claimed that the detention of a number of KNPB activists and the addition of more KNPB members’ names to the Wanted Persons List has been done purely in the interests of the Papuan political elite.

Photo caption: Wim Medlama (in blue hat) with Hakim Pahabol, West Papua National Parliament member, and KNPB members during their press conference.

KNPB stated that the political elite, along with the Regional Police Chief, are trying to place the blame activists and the broader Papuan community [for the lack of democracy].

“Papuan police are suppressing democracy in order to favour the Papuan political elite. It is in the elite’s interest that the people of Papua are being victimised. Many members of society and of KNPB have had their names added to the Wanted Persons List,” KNPB’s spokesperson Wid Medlama said during a press conference on Saturday (5/1), at the Cafe Prima Garden, Abepura, Jayapura, Papua.

KNPB are urging the Regional Police Chief to free a number of KNPB activists and remove their names from the Wanted Persons List. “Clear the names of all KNPB members and activists from the wanted list, and free those detained without clear evidence,” Wim said.

According to the KNPB, the people of Papua wish to have the freedom to fulfil their aspirations and to go about their lives without anyone having to suffer. Space for the people to express themselves collectively must be made available by the government. Without this space, the government cannot talk about a ‘democratic country’ or a ‘democratic society’.

“A democratic space is needed for the people of Papua. Without it, there is no point in [calling ourselves] a democratic nation. What is the meaning of becoming a democratic nation if there is no democracy for the people?” added Hakim Pahabol, a member of the West Papua National Parliament.

(Translated by West Papua Media translators)

Trial of Buchtar Tabuni postponed

 

JUBI, 23 July 2012

The second hearing in the trial of Buchtar Tabuni did not proceed as planned because a witness who was due to appear failed to turn up,

Buchtar Tabuni is the chairman of the KNPB, the National Committee of West Papua, and is facing charges for having allegedly inflicted damage on the Abepura prison where he is currently being held and for exchanging harsh words with prison warders.

The prosecutor told the court that they intend to summon ten witnesses. The first to be summoned was the  former director of the prison, Liberti Sitnjak who is now the director of a prison in Ambon.  This was the witness who failed to turn up.

Before the hearing was postponed, one of the lawyers of the defendants, Gustaf Kawar, called on the judge to insist that the prosecutor guarantee that witnesses appear as planned and ensure that the next hearing is not postponed. After an exchange between the lawyer and the judge, the hearing was postponed.

The next hearing is due to take place on 26 July.

The defendant is on trial together with Dominggus Pulalo.

The hearing was attended by dozens of members of the KNPB.

[Translated by TAPOL]

 

KNPB members unable to attend trial of Buchtar Tabuni

 

JUBI, 18 July 2012The first hearing in the trial of Buchtar Tabuni, chairman of the KNPB, the National Committee of West Papua took place but none of the thousands of members of the KNPB were present to give their support to the accused.

They were probably absent because of the circulation of text messages  and terror phone calls, giving them reason to believe that they would be included on the DPO, the  ‘wanted persons’ list and would be arrested and they didn’t want their names to be made public.

One man from the central highlands who did not want to give his name said that not all the members of the organisation were known to the police. ‘We dont want to have our names included on the ‘wanted’ list. Had we attended the trial, this would have helped.them..

He said that the absence of KNPB members at any of the trial hearings  would mean that the police succeeded in dampening the militancy of the KNPB.

But others who attended the trial said that the absence of KNPB members was a sign of who supports their struggle and who doesn’t support it. ‘It  proves,’ said one person, ‘who are the real friends and who are people who just want to take part in activities.’

But another person said that the KNPB members  were not prepared to take the risk of facing fabricated charges. They were protecting themselves by not attending the trial. ‘They probably don’t want to be charged with all manner of things,’ he said.

The police guard round the courthouse for the Buchtar trial was not as tight as the guard that was mounted when Forkorus Yaboisembut was on trial, when Brimob troops were guarding the courthouse. Nor were there as many people attending the trial of Buchtar as had attended the trial of Forkorus.

[Translated by TAPOL]

[Comment: Following the brutal murder on 16 June of Mako Tabuni, a leader of the KNPB, members of the organisation certainly could not take the risk of attending any trial that would put them in danger of suffering the same fate. TAPOL]