Tag Archives: Yan Christian Warinussy

LP3BH’s Warinussy meets with US Ambassador on Manokwari visit

Briefing

January 19, 2016

by Yan Christian Warinussy

On Sunday 17th January 2016, I had the opportunity of meeting the United States Ambassador to Indonesia,  Robert Blake, during a visit
to Manokwari.

At the meeting which lasted about 45 minutes, Ambassador Blake
asked me about the views of my organisation, the LP3BH. Ambassador
Blake asked me about the general situation in West Papua and recent
developments as well as the human rights situation here in West Papua
and he also wanted to know about the policy of President Joko Widodo
towards Papua and West Papua.

I told the Ambassador that the situation here continues to be
highly unsatisfactory in view of the many cases of human rights
violations, none of which had been dealt with in a court of law.

I referred in particular to the various laws and regulations that
were now in force, such as Law on Human Rights 39/1999 and Law 26/2000 on Human Rights Courts. In addition, I drew his attention to Law 21/2001 on Special Autonomy for the Province of West Papua, as amended by Law 35/2008.

I referred in particular to a number of cases of grave human rights
violations such as the Wasior Case (2001), the Wamena Case (2002), the
Paniai Case (8th December (2014), the Tolikara Case (2015) when eleven
civilians were shot and wounded, whereas none of these cases has been
dealt with in a law court.

Ambassador Blake was very concerned about all these incidents and
the failure up to the present day by the Government of Indonesia to
deal with any these cases.

Ambassador Blake said that his government would guarantee that all
those who had ben responsible for these violations would be excluded
from any its governmental programmes related to education and human rights.

Speaking as a lawyer and a Human Rights Defender, I submitted a
written report to Ambassador Robert Blake, hoping that this would be
handed over to the US Government.

I also told Ambassador Blake that these matters were now being
seriously considered by various governments which were members of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) and members of the Pacific Islands Forum.  I drew his attention to the fact that the United Liberation
Movement for West Papua had been granted observer status by the MSG
in June 2015.

The result of all this was that these various regional state groups
had pressed for a fact-finding human rights mission to be sent to
West Papua and Papua.

I also expressed the opinion that (examination of) all these serious cases should be considered by the Government of the USA as the only way to strengthen democracy and peace throughout the Land of Papua.

With regard to the security situation in the Land of Papua, I stressed that the security forces now based in the Land of Papua should be instructed not to used firearms to handle the situation in the Land of Papua.but to deal with these incidents with peaceful means, instead of using the force of arms.

. I also urged the US Government to exert pressure on the Government
of Indonesia, under President Joko Widodo to respond to the peaceful
moves that had been taken by Papuan NGOs to resolve the social
conflicts in the Land of Papua.

Peace

Yan Christian Warinussy is Executive Director of the LP3BH, the Institute for Research, Investigation and the Development of Legal Aid, and Recipient of the John Humphrey Freedom Award, 2005, Canada.

Translated by Carmel Budiardjo, Recipient of the Right Livelihood Award, 1995.

Edited for clarity by West Papua Media

Warinussy: Continued Brimob police Detention of Alexander Nekenem is Rights Violation

Statement by Yan Christian Warinussy, Executive Director of LP3BH

10 November 2015

Speaking on behalf of the LP3BH – Manokwari [Institute of Research,
Analysis and Development of Legal Aid] as well as the Co-ordinator of
the defence team of Alexander Nekenem and his colleagues, it is my
opinion that the Prosecutor, Syahrun SH from the Prosecutor’s Office
in Manokwari has violated the basic human rights of one of my clients.

A statement issued by the Court stated that the length of
detention of my clients should be prolonged for sixty days, from 30
September till 28 November 2015.

A copy of this decision was sent to the Director of the Prison in
Manokwari. But where should these extra days be spent, in which
prison?

Why is it that that Alexander Nekenem and his colleagues continue
to be held in custody at the Brimob Command Centre. Is this the prison
where Alexander Nekenem and his colleagues are to spend the rest of
their detention?

Furthermore, it is clear that the Prosecutor in this case has
violated the rights one of the colleagues of Alexander Nekemen. This
is all the more so in view of the fact that this colleague, Narko
Murib, was taken ill during a hearing in the case and should therefore
have been allowed to be absent from the Court and held in a custodial
cell at the State Prison in Manokwari.

The Chairman of the Panel of Judges instructed the Prosecutor to
take the afore-mentioned prisoner for examination and given whatever
medical treatment he required.

However, regrettably, the Prosecutor’s Office did not act to
ensure that Narko Murib was taken for a medical check-up. All that
happened was that his blood pressure was checked and he was given
some tablets to bring his temperature down.

As a result, Narko Murib was unable to attend the court hearing
on Tuesday, 10 November because he was still unwell.

Peace.

Yan Christian Warinussy is also the Recipient of the John Humphrey Freedom Award 2015 in Canada, Human Rights Defender in the Land of Papua, and
Member of the Steering Commission of Foker LSM for the Land of Papua.

Translated by Carmel Budiardjo, Recipient of the Right Livelihood Award, 1995.

YCW: Will Nekenem and his colleagues be given clemency?

From Yan Christian Warinussy, Executive-Director of LP3BH

12 July 2015

On May 20th this year, a group young people, students and activists from the National Committee of West Papua (KNPB) took part in a peaceful action during which several people delivered speeches. However, the group was dispersed by the local security forces, the Manokwari police.

Following this action, about one hundred activists were taken away by members of the police force and Brimob who had arrived there in several trucks and who drove them to the headquarters of Brimob.

Four days later, four of those who had taken part in the action
were arrested, Alexander Nekenem, Yoram Magai, Mikael Aso and Narko Murib, for allegedly committing a crime as well as being accused of incitement, as provided for in Articles 160 and 55 of the Criminal Code.

The article reads as follows: ‘Whosoever, in public or in writing
is involved in incitement, or is involved in an act of violence
against the authorities … shall be taken into custody and sentenced to up to six years or ordered to pay a fine of up to one thousand, five hundred rupiahs.’

It would appear that these four people had been taken into custody because of their involvement in a peaceful action on May 20th and for being connected with the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP).

It should be noted that during the meeting of the MSG (Melanesian
Spearhead Group) which took place on 25th and 26th June, the ULMWP was accepted by the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) as an observer.

Indonesia was also accepted as an observer. The Papuans were accepted as associate members from five provinces, Papua, West Papua, Maluku, North Maluku and East Nusa Tenggara.

From now on, the ULMWP will always be invited to attend meetings
convened by the MSG.

So surely we should ask, who is it who has acted in violation of
the law? Was it Alexander and his colleagues who responded to the move to recognise the ULMWP as an organisation which has unified the indigenous people of West Papua and will become a permanent member of the MSG?

As a lawyer and Defender of Basic Human Rights, I would like to point out that the ULMWP has been officially accepted as a member of the MSG, an organisation that was set up to unify the struggle of three initiating organisations, namely the National Parliament of West Papua, the Federal Republic of West Papua and the West Papua Coalition for Liberation in December 2014 in Vanuatu.

On 3 July 2015, Abnel Hegemur and his colleagues were organising a joint service at the Secretariat of the ULMWP to celebrate the fact that they had been accepted as observer members of the MSG at a meeting in Honiara, the Republic of the Solomon Island States held from 18-26 June 2015 in Honiara.

They were subsequently arrested and taken to the headquarters of
the police command in Fak Fak and questioned, after which they were accused of having committed an act of subversion as stipulated in Articles 108 and 110 of the Criminal Code. This was subsequently changed to Article 510, according to which anyone who organises an event to march together in a public area may be charged.

Does this mean that any Christian or Indigenous Papuan who wishes
to hold a service must first obtain a permit from the police? If so, what about the guarantee regarding joint ventures stipulated in the 1945 Constitution.

This would suggest that all judges in the Land of Papua should pay close attention to such matters as this, when anything is organised by Indigenous Papuan People. And what about the decision of the President of the Republic of Indonesia, Ir. H. Joko Widido who recently granted clemency to five political prisoners who were being held at the prison in Abepura-Jayapura. as well as the intention to free almost one hundred political prisoners being held in various prisons in the provinces of West Papua, Papua and Maluku?

Surely this would mean that Alexander Nekemen, Michael Aso, Yoram Magai and Narko Murib should also be granted clemency by President Jokowi.  Or they should be granted abolition in accordance with the commitment of President Jokowi, as a move to resolve once and for all the problems in the Land of Papua and turn it into a Land of Peace.

Peace!

Yan Christian Warrinusy is the Executive Director of the LP3BH – Institute for Research, Analysis and Development for Legal Aid, and recipient of the John Humphrey Freedom Award in Canada in 2005.

Translated by Carmel Budiardjo

LP3BH holds a meeting ahead of May 1st

Statement by the Executive-Director of LP3BH-Manokwari, Yan Christian Warinussy

April 30, 2015

Today, Thursday, April 30th. the LP3BH organised a discussion on
the subject, Papua’s Integration with the Republic of Indonesia on 1
May 1963: A Blessing or a Disaster? Fifteen people took part in the
discussion. including community leaders, academics, activists, LP3BH
staff members and several other people.

One of the important points that was discussed is the immediate
necessity for Papuan people to come together and express their full
support for the international campaign which is urging the Indonesian
government to immediately allow access to Papua for journalists as
well as Indonesian and international human rights organisations.

Those attending the discussion agreed that it is very important for
the Papuan people to set up a local political party to provide a
means of communication to support the efforts of the Papuan people in
accordance with the provisions in the Special Autonomy Law for Papua.

They agreed on two points that should be discussed in another
discussion which is to be held next week.

During today’s discussion, we received a report from a colleague in
Nabire saying that special police units there had arrested a
journalist, Yohanes Kuaya, from an online publication ‘selangkah.com’
who was reporting on a shooting incident that occurred outside the
Nabire Hospital at noon, today.

According to the LP3BH contact in Nabire, this colleague was
arrested because he was wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with the words:
Free West Papua (Papuan Students Alliance) and was accused of
entering a restricted area wearing this T-shirt. After being
interrogated for about an hour, he was released and ordered to change
his T-shirt which the police regarded as being completely
unacceptable. He subsequently changed his T-shirt and went home.

During the discussion organised by the LP3BH today, the chairman of
the KNPB (National Committee of West Papua) Alexander Nekemen, who was also present at today’s discussion, left the meeting before the
discussion it had ended, in order to check the situation of several
members of the KNPB who were handing out leaflets to people in the
streets, calling on them to take part in a peaceful action that is due
to take place on May 1st.

As far as we know at the moment, several of these KNPB members are
still being held by the chief of police of Manokwari and we have not
yet heard about what is happening to Alex and the other local KNPB
members.

Peace!

Yan Christian Warinussy, Executive-Director of LP3BH.

Translated by Carmel Budiardjo

50 Years of the Violation of Basic Human Rights in West Papua: Part one and two

Statement by Yan Christian Warinussy, Executive Director of LP3BH, made in preparation for discussions that were due to take place at the beginning of 2014.]
March 10, 2014

As an organisation which advocates basic human rights in the Land of Papua, the LP3BH – Manokwari wishes to record to all those who have remained silent about the conditions now prevailing in the Land of Papua, the experiences of the indigenous Papuan people who have ceaselessly tried to ensure that no-one will forget what has been happening  in this territory since 1 May 1963 and what continues to happen systematically up to the present day

      To begin with, it is essential to understand the history, in order to understand who it was who was responsible for the status  imposed on the Land of Papua on 1 May 1963. The indigenous Papua people have every right to enjoy all the rights that have been stipulated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and  various international covenants regarding economic, social and political rights  as well as other international covenants all of which have been disregarded with regard to the situation in West Papua.
      At the time of Papua’s incorporation into the Republic of Indonesia, Ali Murtopo (a senior adviser to the then president of Indonesia) was quoted as saying: “What we want and need is the land in Papua, not the Papuans who live there.”
      In 1967, a Contract of Work was concluded by Indonesia regarding the exploitation of the copper and gold and possibly also uranium around the Grasberg Mountain around Tembagapura which was widely known to the Indonesian government as well as a US multinational corporation called Freeport McMoran.
    This makes it very clear why the USA played such an active role on the diplomatic front to ensure that West Papua would be incorporated as part of Indonesia, despite the glaring differences between the Papuan people with regard to their history, as well as their anthropology and ethnography and people living in other parts of Indonesia.
      It was abundantly evident that the USA was very interested in the natural resources in West Papua which explains why that country took such an interest in this matter.
“Gentlemen, I am angry with God. Why has God created such beautiful mountains, valleys and rivers, rich with minerals and placed us, the indigenous peoples, here in this place that attracts so many people from around the world to come, exploit our resources, and kill us?”
 [Translator’s Note: This prayer was said in 1994 by a man who lived on the Grasberg Mountain, who bemoaned the fact that the territory inhabited by Amungme people was so richly endowed with natural resources of huge interest to the USA.]
       That man whose name was Tuarek Narkime delivered words that are widely known to and understood* by the leaders and people of the Amungme tribe in drawing attention to the many violations of the rights of these people which were perpetrated in the area when the Freeport mine was being  established, during the course of which many Amungme people lost their lives as a result of actions by Freeport personnel as well as by members of the Indonesian army and police, although none of these people have ever been called account before a court of law for what they have done.
     These introductory remarks provide the basis for everyone anywhere in the world and all democrats around the world to take a new look at the past as well at the present regarding the acts of violence that continue to occur in the vicinity of the Freeport mine without anyone ever being called to account for what they have done.

Ever since 1963 and 1967, the LP3BH has recorded the fact that the Republic of Indonesia has consistently used violence against the West Papuan people, something that even started to happen before those years.

    On 15 August 1962, when the New York  Agreement was signed by Indonesia and The Netherlands under the supervision of the United States of America, the Papuan people were not involved’ They were not even consulted for their opinion. Yet, at that time there was a New Guinea Council  which consisted of representatives of  the Papuan people, the members of which were chosen by means of democratically held elections which took place on 5 April 1961 in Hollandia (now called Jayapura).
      [All the names of the members of the Council who were elected, of whom 22 were Papuans, are listed  as well as those who were appointed which included one Papuan and five Dutch people, including one Indo-Dutch person.]
    Besides that, there were two major religious organisations, – the GKI [Evangelical Christian Church] and the Catholic Church] which were spread across  the whole of the Land of Papua. Yet, these churches were never consulted as part of civil society in the territory at the time. This was despite the fact that the UN was involved  in the creation of UNTEA as well as The Netherlands and the USA.
     What we mean by being consulted is all about the framework and  the possible problems that might arise among the indigenous Papuan people who were regarded as being too primitive  to take part in an election held according to the principle of ‘one person, one vote’. Were the towns and villages in West Papua too complex for the New Guinea Council or the two churches to choose their leaders? Such advice would have been very useful and important in deciding on on how to conduct the elections in accordance with the traditions  and customary laws that were vibrant among the Papuan people. who were supposed to have been consulted by means of the Act of Free Choice which was to have been held by 1969 in the Land of Papua.
     There was never any request for advice or opinion from the Papuan people. Still worse, what actually happened was that Papuans were arrested and even  cruelly tortured for allegedly being involved in an ‘underground movement’, with the intention of overthrowing the Indonesian Government. This is what happened to Baldus Mofu as a result of which he was mentally damaged at the hands of the military police and members of the Indonesian Air Force in Manokwari. Another Papua, Nicholas Tanggahma is believed to have died  after ingesting food that had been poisoned when he was staying at the Arfak Hotel in Manokwari in 1969.
     Several other members of the Council such as Marcus Kaisiepo and Nicholas Jouwe were arrested and taken to Europe prior to the Act of Free Choice. Others were treated in the same way, including E.J Bonay, F.K.T. Poana, A.S. Onim and Thontjee Meset.
     All these acts of violence were perpetrated by members of the Indonesian security forces, the TNI and Polri. and further intensified as the Act of Free Choice drew near in August 1969.
     The LP3BH is well aware of the fact that many activists in Biak, Sorong, Manokwari, Jayapura, Wamena, Nabire  as well as in Merauke were arbitrarily arrested by the TNI and Polri some of whom were summarily killed. An example of what happened occurred on 28 July 1969 in Manokwari when 53 Papuans were summarily executed at the headquarters of the Infantry Battalion in Arfak-Manokwari.
     Such human rights violations have systematically occurred ever since that time, following the enactment of Law 12/1999. This was clarified in the General Remarks contained in paragraph 1, section 6 which state: ‘The Act of Free Choice  in West Irian  was a manifestation of the aspirations of the Papuan people and resulted in the people of Papua and  West Papua  expressing their wish to be united with the people of other regions of the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia, affirming  that West Papua is part of the Unitary Republic of Indonesia.’
      The afore-mentioned statement became the legal basis for the Indonesian Government to enforce paragraphs 109 and 110 in law.  This codification was part of the law under the Dutch Constitution [Wetboek van Strafrecht]  whenever the government takes firm action against the Papuan people when they challenge  ‘Papua’s political integration’.
     As a result of all this, every time  that people in Papua or West Papua seek to challenge ‘political integration’  using their right to freedom of expression as guaranteed in Law 39/1999
on Basic Human Rights as well as universal human rights, they are accused of the crime of treason under the Indonesian Constitution.
      Such incidences occurred in Biak on 6 July 1999 when a group of Papuans unfurled the Morning Star Flag under the leadership of Filep Karma which resulted in his being subjected to acts of brutality by the TNI and Polri and which moreover resulted in dozens, even hundreds, of Papuans falling as victims, some of whom even lost their lives. All this resulted in Filep Karma and his colleagues facing the charge of treason.
(End of part on and  two of the translation.)
Translated by Carmel Budiardjo, founder of Tapol