Special operations by the Indonesian security forces against KNPB (West Papua National Committee) activists have been stepped up since KNPB Chairman Mako Tabuni was shot dead on 14 June.
Search and arrest operations, raids and killings have been undertaken continuously by the Indonesian Special forces in an effort to eradicate the peaceful resistance movement led by the KNPB. Will the world stand quietly by, yet again, as Indonesia guts the opposition to maintain their economic stranglehold of the lucrative region? We call to your attention the most recent string of attacks.
On the 29st of September eight members of KNPB (National Committee for West Papua) were arrested, in Wamena, by members of the security forces including members of, Australian-funded, Detachment 88 Shock Troops without any reason. The authorities tried to blame the activists for a bomb accident in Wamena.
On Tuesday October 16th intelligence officers raided student dormitories at the Universitas Cenderawasih (UNCEN) in Wamena, Jayapura in an unsuccessful attempt to arrest peaceful activists Fanny Kogoya and Danny Wenda.
On the 23rd of October security forces consisting of Police, TNI, Koppassus, Detachment 88 and BIN responded violently to the peaceful demonstrations. which were called by the West Papua National Committee (KNPB). The peaceful rallies were held in a number of towns throughout Papua and West Papua including in Timika, Sorong, Biak, Merauke and Jayapura. The rallies were organized to draw attention to the UN the human rights abuses suffered by the Papuan people.
In Manokwari the security forces fired rubber bullets at students injuring at least eight. A local reporter and activist Oktovianus Pogau who was covering the rally said he was beaten badly by five policemen when he tried to present his press card. He stated:
“They punched me twice in the face and tried to strangle me. They hit other journalists and I saw at least two people get shot.”
A number of people have also been detained and there is a reason to be concerned for the safety of those who have been arrested, as many reports have indicated that Indonesion security forces routinely use torture to extract false confessions.
On Oct 30 – Mr Terianus Satto was arrested when security forces attacked his home. Mr Satto is a pro-independence human rights activist. He was arrested by Detachment-88, backed up by Brimob, in Kampung Marib, West Sentani district.
Many Papuans have fled to the forest and are in hiding there.
Part of Message received from Seblon Sambom on 4 November:
The human rights situation in West Papua at present is very bad indeed because Detachment-88 is conducting sweepings and raiding people’s homes everywhere. Many people are being arrested everywhere.
I have been in hiding for five months in the forest together with my wife and children because our lives are in danger and I myself am the target of the operations by the security forces now deployed here.
I will return to the forest some time this week and in the middle of this month I will return with Yason, Agus and Mr Terianus Satto.
This report was written in the forest using a diesel and small-scale internet.
–Sebby Sambom, Pro-Independence Human Rights Activist in West Papua.
Nov 3 – Secretary General of the PRD, Peter Katem, badly beaten in Merauke.
Information and video footage has emerged from Merauke, Papua, documenting the beating by Indonesian soldiers of the Secretary General of the Parlemen Rakyat Daerah(People’s Regional Parliament), further fulling tensions in the area between occupation forces and the local population.
The incident occurred around 3pm local time on November 3 , as the SekJen, Peter T. Katem was riding his Yamaha motorcycle with a community member, Mr Robert Mayonim. The pair lost control of their bike due to newly made but rough village roads in Domba Empat street, accidentally nudged a military officer with their motorbike outside the office of E Company, 755 Battalion (Merauke) of the Indonesian Army (TNI), according to witnesses.
Citizen journalists, Lintah Digoel and Rade Minyak. who interviewed the victims reported that the TNI member and two colleagues then gave chase after they refused to accept the accident, and attacked the pair at the crossroads outside the Company post. As the beatings continued, more soldiers arrived on the scene and joined in, some in plain clothes and some in uniform. The beating was filmed by a witness.
So far, none of the perpetrators have been investigated.
Nov 4 – regional KNPB leader Paulus Horik killed and KNPB activist Klisman Woi badly beaten (now also dead) in Fakfak
Note: West Papua Media has again independently verified all contents of this report with contacts in Fak-Fak, and is reprinting the KNPB News report in full as WPM has confidence in this reportage.
The body of Paulus Horik was found lying in a street which runs alongside the Pak-Pak river. His body was discovered in the middle of the night. Another KNPB activist, Klisman Woi was in a critical condition in hospital in Pak-Pak. The victims are believed to have been attacked by specially trained Indonesian troops.
After Paulus Horik was laid to rest, another KNPB activist in Fakfak, Klismon Woi, took his last breath November 6th at 12 noon, at the Regional General Hospital of Fakfak in West Papua. The late Klismon was in a critical condition for two days due to the countless bruises and serious injuries on his face and ribs.
Klismon Woi was a member of KNPB-Fakfak. According to information collected from the field, there are reasons to believe that Paulus and Klismon were killed by people who were especially trained by Indonesian forces that had been monitoring the activities and events led by KNPB activists in the Fakfak region.
Statement/ Media safety briefing from Oktovianus Pogau, SuaraPapua.com
I (Oktovianus Pogau, a journalist at suarapapua.com and a freelancer for The Jakarta Globe) will report on a beating that I experienced, perpetrated by police in Manokwari, West Papua.
On the 24th October, 2012, at around 16.00 Eastern Indonesian Time, I was accompanied by three journalists, two from Cahaya Papua (Duma Sanda and Patrick Tandilerung) and one journalist from Tabloid Noken (Jo Kelwulan) to Manokwari police station to meet with the Chief of Police for Manokwari, AKBP Agustinus Supriyanto S.Ik, as had been arranged on the evening of Tuesday (23/10) with the officer.
The Chief of Police had initially stated that he was not aware if members of the force had beat up journalists, then, when many journalists from Jakarta began to call the station inquiring about the incident, Supriyanto became adamant that there were no beatings of journalists by police.
Then, continued Supriyanto, 5-10 minutes later at around 20.00 Eastern Indonesian Time, there was a brief message from me to his phone (whereas I sent him an SMS at 13.29 WIT, 30 minutes after the beating) which stated that there had been a beating and that my neck had been strangled while I was covering an action by Komite Nasional Papua Barat (KNPB) (National West Papuan Committee) on Tuesday 23/10 in front of Kampus Universitas Negeri Papua (Unipa) (Papuan State University) which was supporting an international lawyers meeting in London.
Then, the Chief of Police conveyed himself as the supervisor and manager of all the police in Manokwari, Papua Barat, and didn’t question that the media publish (when shown the news headlines in Cahaya Papua which detailed the violence perpetrated by members of the police force against me) news about the aforementioned incident.
Supriyanto said that the relationships between all journalists in West Papua, particularly in Manokwari, is really good, and because of this, he personally regrets the incident of the beating, and in fact, was surprised that a member of the force would do something like this to a journalist.
Supriyanto said that he wished to offer a personal apology for the incident. He also said that there was also a possibility that the incident occurred because the police didn’t realise I was a journalist, and that they were also carried away with the emotion of the moment.
Because of this, the Chief of Police firmly requested that I identify the men responsible for the incident so they could be subject to due legal processes, as in line with my request.
However, Supriyanto also suggested that the case didn’t have to be resolved amicably, that is, to be resolved by making peace with the offenders. According to the chief of police, it could be a rather difficult process to find the offenders, as there were many members in the force, and certainly no-one would be honest, but he said again that it depended on me.
After the chief of police opened this conversation, he gave us all the chance to talk. Duma Sanda explained that there was an issue of freedom of the press, in which the work of journalists is universal, meaning, it doesn’t mean that just because I didn’t live and become a journalist in Manokwari, I didn’t have the right to cover the demonstration by KNPB.
Duma also firmly requested that the Chief of Police teach the men to respect the profession of journalism, and also to respect journalists like myself. And, to make himself clearer, Duma also requested that the Chief listen to a chronological account of the beating I experienced.
I introduced myself (officially) to the Chief of Police. I told him about my work writing news for the paper Papua Pos Nabire and Tabloid JUBI during high school, about writing several columns in Tabloid Suara Perempuan Papua, the newspaper Bintang Papua, along with Papua Pos Nabire. And I conveyed to him that I’d also covered stories for The
Jakarta Globe and that this is still continuing, and then that I establishedsuarapapua.com as an online media outlet.
I explained to the Chief of Police in chronological order the incident of the beating (you can read my previous email). After this, I conveyed a number of important issues to the Chief of Police that have to be understood about the incident of the beating.
I said that firstly, his men had violated the article KUHP on disorder; secondly, the men had violated article UU Kebebasan Pers 1999 (UU on Freedom of the Press 1999) by preventing the work of a journalist; thirdly the UU anti-discrimination; and fourthly, Intelligence didn’t have the authority to capture let alone beat someone and certainly they violated their work code.
Because of this, I requested that the problem not be resolved amicably/peacefully, but should be followed up through a more direct process of law. I said that it was important that the police officers be aware, and law enforcement officers should be an example, that if there are officers who are at fault, then they have to be punished as criminals so that the public can know.