Indonesian Security Forces attack Human Rights Defender and pro democracy demonstrators in Nabire

Human Rights Report                              Monday 2 February 2009

Indonesian Security Forces attack Human Rights Defender and pro democracy demonstrators in Nabire, West Papua

Indonesian Security forces have attacked a group of 100 local people protesting about delays in local election in Nabire. As the police attacked some of the demonstrators telephoned Mr. Yones Douw, a respected human rights activist from the Kingmi church and asked him to come. When Mr. Douw arrived and began documenting the violence the Police attacked him.

Local eyewitnesses, say that Yones Douw was kicked by police officers with their boots 3 times, then beaten on the side of his head and then punched in the face and before being arrested.

Seven of the demonstrators were also arrested.  An unreported number of others were also beaten and shot by police.   Those arrested, including Yones Douw, were released after being held in custody for one day.

The Institute for Papuan Advocacy & Human Rights (IPAHR) has compiled a more detailed report about the incident, including details of the injuries to Yones Douw & thirteen local people.  The range of injuries to the demonstrators included five people who suffered serious wounds after being shot by rubber bullets in the body & stomach. Others received head injuries and puncture wounds to the head, body limbs & feet after being kicked, beaten and shot with rubber bullets.

A local source has stated that a range of security personnel participated in these abuses, including units from the Police Dalmas and a unit of the notorious Brimob, Indonesia’s para-military Police, together with members of the Indonesian National Intelligence Service, BIN and military officers from Army Battalion 753 Nabire.

Paula Makabory from IPAHR said,  “The original cause of the peaceful demonstration in Nabire is that the local election, PILKADA, has been postponed 3 times since October 2008.  The budget for the Nabire Region has been allocated and the Provincial Secretary, Mr Umar Kacili, a man from Sulawesi, has been effectively acting as Regent.”

“It appears that the local people are concerned that the budget is being administered by an unelected Regency Secretary to the Regency and that the local people interests will be ignored.”

“The Nabire & Paniai region has a long history of state violence, especially against the Mee people and members of the Kingmi church. Human Rights abuses routinely occur.   It is an area where community health and education services have been neglected by the State.  In 2008 two outbreaks of Cholera occurred.  One of these outbreaks is ongoing and has caused hundreds of deaths. The area has mineral resources, including some surface gold mining operations which appear to be managed by the Indonesian security forces.”

“In many regions of West Papua there is dysfunction in the process of Regency elections but in this case local people are organised enough to protest the delay in local elections,” said Paula Makabory.

“The Institute for Papuan Advocacy & Human Rights demands that Indonesian Government, international governments and international Agencies at least take note of the ongoing violence occurring in West Papua at hands of Indonesian security forces and intelligence services.”

“The Indonesian Government must act to reverse the increasing violence perpetrated by Indonesian security forces, particularly by Brimob, in West Papua, in the lead up to the Indonesian General Election in April 2009.  That West Papuan people be allowed to exercise their democratic rights of organisation and assembly and vote without threat to their lives, intimidation and violence.”

In particular IPAHR notes that:

1.    Indonesian police have brutality attacked Indigenous West Papuans who were a conducting a peaceful demonstration seeking democratic process in local elections in Nabire. From what local sources have told IPAHR it is clear that the head of police in Nabire, Commander Rinto Jatmono is directly responsible for the assault  of these people by ordering this attack. This event should be investigated to determine who gave the order to attack, as this kind of state violence is widespread in West Papua. There is a pattern of similar state violence in Nabire including an attack by Police on members of the Kingmi Church in December 2008;

2.    Indonesian Security forces have attacked a recognised Human Rights Defender in Nabire. The Indonesian Government must ensure that the personal safety of Human Rights Defenders are safeguarded. Their role must be recognized as being crucial to bringing Peace in West Papua;

3.    The Indonesian Government should allow free international media access to West Papua so that Indonesian Government activities can be internationally accountable;

4.    Outside and international observers should be allowed by the Indonesian Government to monitor elections in West Papua.

For further information contact Institute for Papuan Advocacy & Human Rights:

-    Paula Makabory +61 402547517

-    Matthew Jamieson +61 418291998

Further Detail of Human Rights Report:   2 February 2009  Indonesian Security Forces attack Human Rights Defender and pro democracy demonstrators in Nabire is available at http://ipahr.wordpress.com/2009/02/02/further-report…tors-in-nabirefurther-report-indonesian-security-forces-attack-human-rights-defender-and-pro-democracy-demonstrators-in-nabire/

A photograph of Yones Douw is available from site above and one request.

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