Testimony of Markus Yenu of his arrest and interrogation

Manokwari, 7th March 2013

Markus Yenu was arrested at the side of the road in from of Daniel Sakwatorey’s house (former political prisoner in Papua, 2008) at Sanggeng Manokwari West Papua. The arrest was by Manokwari’s Criminal Police Unit at 11.32am West Papua time, on the order of Manokwari’s Criminal Police AKP. KRISTIAN SAWAKI. The Manokwari Criminal Police officers were driving a black Inova with the number plate DS.9977.

According to Markus Yenu’s evidence (he’s the Executive Governor of the West Papua National Authority District 2 Manokwari) after he was arrested and taken to the police station at Manokwari, he was immediately taken to an interrogation room and asked to give information about a peaceful demonstration on the 17th January 2013 during which the morning star flag was flown. There were various sized flags flown, and also biased political speeches from several leaders from the Free Papua movement who were inciting people to overthrow the legitimate government.

Markus Yenu also gave evidence that when he was in the interrogation room at the Manokwari Police Station he was visited by Kombes (Pol) Yakobus Marzuki former chief of police in 2008 and now Director of Papuan Police Intelligence. Marzuki told Yenu:

  • Comprehensive data from the Police indicated Markus Yenu was involved with provoking the acts of arson and destruction that three police officers faced on the 5th December 2012 following the shooting of Thimotius Ap.
  • In the near future police plan to meet with Kesbangpol to get rid of all organisations that don’t support the Ideology of a United Republic of Indonesia (NKRI)
  • Eight people are already dead, but police and TNI will be pursuing and removing any subversive groups both in the forest and the city.
  • Whereas for Markus Yenu there was an order from police headquarters to disable him.

According to Yenu, the Director of Papuan Police Intelligence said many other things indicating a threat to human rights and democracy activists in Papua.

Yenu said that, ‘After me, the police will arrest another six people who have been identified as suspects

1). Frans Kapisa,

2). Billy Auparay,

3). Ottow Rumaseb,

4). Jakobus Wanggai,

5). Eliazer Awom, and

6). Zeth Wambrauw


Source: WPNA Manokwari


Police question Papuan leader over peaceful demo ‘treason’

Written up Pacific Scoop from Social Media Reports by West Papua Media

March 6, 2013

Markus Yenu, Manokwari Governor of the West Papua National Authority (National Federated Republic of West Papua), was forced to appear at Manokwari Police Sector HQ  today (March 6) for questioning over makar (treason) charges relating to the organising of a peaceful mass demonstration almost two months ago.

The executive governor of the West Papua National Authority area 2, Markus Yenu, and the chairman of Solidaritas Pemuda Melanesia Papua Barat, Abraham Wainasiri,  lead a peaceful rally at Manokari on January 17. Image: WPM
The executive governor of the West Papua National Authority area 2, Markus Yenu, and the chairman of Solidaritas Pemuda Melanesia Papua Barat, Abraham Wainasiri, lead a peaceful rally at Manokwari on January 17. Image: WPM

Yenu has not yet been released, and no further information has yet been received about his status – whether he will be charged or released.

West Papua Media has contacted police in Manokwari without reply and the Papua Police Criminal Investigation chief in Jayapura – who claims to know nothing about Yenu’s whereabouts.

On January 17, a crowd of peaceful protesters calling for a referendum on the future of Indonesian-ruled West Papua assembled at a rally point in Manokwari.

The crowd – including students and workers – moved towards the Banyan Tree at UNIPA Manokwari together with the protest coordinator, Alex Nekemen, and speakers, among them Silas Ayemi, the area secretary of Bintuni WPNA),; Abraham Waynarisy (SH chairman Solidaritas Pemuda Melanesia Papua Barat SPMPB) and the pro-independence group KNPB.

Political speeches were made accompanied by slogans of “Papua Merdeka” (“Free Papua”) along the way.

The crowd marched around the city of Manokwari towards an open field.

In front of the office of the State Attorney of the Republic of Indonesia, Markus Yenu openly questioned bout the detainees after a an incident on December 14 – Melkianus Bleskadit, Rev. Dance Yenu and 5 students from UNIPA Manokwari who have been held by police for almost four months without charge.

Earlier story by 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.



Unconfirmed reports of mass arrests and sweeping in Serui

Mass flying of banned Morning Star flags, Serui, April 20, 2012

1300 West Papua Time – April 23, 2012

West Papua Media – MEDIA ADVISORY

Reports from credible West Papua Media sources have surfaced from Serui, on Yapen Island, West Papua, this morning (23/ April) that a major sweep by Indonesian security forces in currently underway against people involved in a massive demonstration against Indonesian rule last Friday, April 20.  see https://westpapuamedia.info/2012/04/21/photo-report-scores-of-morning-star-flags-flown-in-serui-demo-despite-police-objections/

According to sources, armed Indonesian police and military have conducted rolling raids on motorbikes across villages including Mantembu and surrounding hamlets outside of Serui town, seeking to arrest all those who were involved in the mass flying of the banned Morning Star independence flag.  It is not known if the troops belong to the Australian trained anti-terrorist Detachment 88 or POLRI Gegana (Motorbike anti-terror commando) units,  but those being targeted were simply engaging in peaceful acts of free expression – guaranteed under Indonesian Law.

All contact with local sources has been lost, and West Papua Media is concerned for the safety of our stringers.

This information is unconfirmed to West Papua Media’s normal standard of confirmation, however we believe the information is credible.

This is a developing situation.  Please stay tuned.  More information as soon as we receive and verify it.

Photo Report: Scores of Morning Star flags flown in Serui demo, despite police objections

from Tabloid JUBI and West Papua Media
20 April, 2012
Over 400 Bintang Kejora (Morning Star) flags were flown by scores of people on a demonstration in Tanggal, Serui, West Papua.  According to media sources, they were demonstrating to  express support for launching of a US branch of International Lawyers for West Papua (ILWP) – this is spelt out as the International Parliamentarians, not Lawyers – in the United States.  However sources on the ground confirmed to West Papua Media that the demo was carried out by over 5000 people in support of the Federal Republic of West Papua, and demanded full international legal recognition of Papuan’s desire for independence and to uphold the universal right to self-determination.

Confirming the event, Aston Situmorang of the NGO Working Forum of Cenderawasih Bay said that thousands of people had gathered to take part in the demonstration from all parts of the district of Serui. The participants first gathered  in three places and then converged on the location of the demonstration.  After they had made their way to Tanggul, a number of speeches were delivered in support of the ILWP.

When the local chief of  police was contacted regarding this demonstration, he denied that anyone had flown the kejora flag. ‘No such thing happened,’ he said. ‘It’s a lie.’ He said that  people marched together but no flags were flown. The demonstrators had only carried banners expressing support for the establishment of the ILWP in the US.

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Pictures from the mass flaying of banned Morning Star flags, Serui, 20 April 2012.  According to Indonesian police: “No such thing happened… It’s a lie.” 

Organisers of the demonstration contradicted the police version of events, claiming several groups of up to 470 flags (in each group) were flown, after Police and military attempted to blockade the rally with force.  However given the sheer number of flags, security forces did not attempt to intervene and allowed flags to be flown, an act which carries severe prison terms under the provisions of makar (treason).

A successful tactic employed by rally participants was  mass body painting of the Morning Star flag, an act that although challenging makar provisions remains unenforceable under Indonesian Law.

According to another report about the demonstration in JUBI on the same day, the local police chief in Serui had allowed fifty flags to be flown at the demonstration. According to the organisers, the majority  of the participants were waving flags.

[A photo illustrating the article shows a large number of people, certainly more than fifty, and in this section of the crowd, I was able to count about twenty flags. Translator.]

It was reported that the local police had refused to allow people at the demonstration to take photos. According to the organisers, ‘As we were marching along the road, the police prohibited the use of cameras, but after the people arrived  at the location (Tanggul), the police then allowed photos to be taken.’

Aston Situmorang said  that demonstrators had come from all parts of the district; some were arrested in several places in the town centre, but they were not held for long and after being released, they were able to rejoin the demonstration. As they arrived at the location of the demo, a number of people made speeches..

Many of the participants had walked a long distance from Mantembu, with the whole march proceeding peacefully. After the speeches had been made, they dispersed.

The local chief of police, Yohannes Nugroho Wicakasono, said that the demonstration had been organised by the West Papuan National Authority (WPNA) and had proceeded peacefully, lasting from 9am till 1.30pm. He said that kejora flags had been flown, but after they had been given warnings, the flags  were taken down, collected and put away.

A more senior police chief in the town of Seruis, Daniel Prio Dwiatmoko denied that kejora flags had been flown, saying that the demonstrators had only carried banners   expressing support for the  ILWP which has just been set up in the US.

with West Papua Media, and translated by Tapol (UK)

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