Human Rights in West Papua deteriorates with shootings, arrests and orchestrated violence reported in Nabire

Human Rights Report 8 April 2009

Human Rights in West Papua deteriorates with shootings, arrests and orchestrated violence reported in Nabire

The human rights situation in West Papua continues to deteriorate before Indonesia’ General Election tomorrow. Local people have been shot and critically injured in a operation reportedly organised by Indonesian security forces against West Papuan demonstrators in Nabire on the 6 April 2009.

This report provides details of nine people who are confirmed shot by security forces. A policeman was also wounded by a traditional arrow in Nabire on the 6th April and many other protesters and police are reported to have also suffered injuries.

Paula Makabory from Institute for Papuan Advocacy & Human Rights said today, “Reports received from Nabire indicate that the violent confrontation that occurred on Monday the 6 April between the security forces and Pro-independence protesters was actually promoted by a Pro-Indonesian militia member and other Papuans working with the Indonesian security forces.” “The fact that there are reports that the Indonesian security personnel were positioned in the buildings & armed clearly suggests that this confrontation and the subsequent shooting and wounding of civilians was planned & staged by the Indonesian security forces.”

“This incident occurred following two other Pro-Independence rallies by about 15,000 local people in the town of Nabire, and another of 10,000 people in the Wamena district on Friday-the 3 April which the police had attempted to prohibit. Rally organizers ignored the attempted ban claiming their right to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression.”

The protesters at both these rallies said they were supporting the launch of the group “International Lawyers for West Papua” [ILWP] and said they would boycott Indonesia’s general elections this year. Protesters also called for a referendum on self-determination. A report containing information about the incidents in Nabire on 6 April 2009 is detailed below.

For further information, including video footage of the protesters contact: Paula Makabory Institute for Papuan Advocacy & human Rights (+61) 402 547 517;  or Matthew Jamieson (+61) 418291998;

— 1.0 Events in Nabire from 30 March to 6 April 2009

The KNPB (National Committee for West Papua) set up their tents on 30 March 2009 as a base camp for KNPB in Nabire, under the leadership of Zeth Giay. On Friday 3 April 2009, the KNPB held a large rally with more than 15,000 people involved. This peaceful rally was in support of the launch of International Lawyer for West Papua (ILWP). The rally also called for a referendum in West Papua and a boycott of the Indonesia Election and a demand for Independence for West Papua. One of the organisers of the rally and the chair of the West Papua National Committee (KNPB) for Nabire, Zet Giay, said the rally had been the biggest ever in Nabire. ‘We support the launch of ILWP in America and we know that we are not Indonesian, we are Papuan, Melanesian, so we will not vote in the Indonesian Public election 2009,’ Mr Giay said. He added that the protesters would continue to rally against these attacks by the security forces and in support of the ILWP. The protesters were also calling for investigations into the widespread human rights violations that have occurred in West Papua, and for a review of the 1969 so-called ‘Act of Free Choice’, which saw West Papua’s formal incorporation into Indonesia. On Saturday the 4 April 2009, KNPB sent an information letter to the police precinct to let them know about the second rally that was to be held on Monday 6 April. There was no response from the police.

2.0 Raid on KNPB Protest camp

On Monday the 6 April 2009, at around 3am (Papua local time) there was a raid on the KNPB camp in Taman Bunga Bangsa, Oyehe, Nabire. Two tents that had been set up since the 30 March 2009 were burned by the police . The police also searched for Morning Star flags and other political articles. The Nabire Police Precinct under the command of Police Chief AKBP. Rinto Jadmoko, SIK, then arrested 15 people from the KNPB group. One man Jerry Nawipa (Male/ 18 Years old) was shot with a bullet during this police raid on the KNPB camp. The Taman Bunga Bangsa grounds is the location that was used by the West Papua people to raise the Morning Star in a series of flag raising in 1999 and 2000. According to a local KNPB organizer, after the raid the KNPB and their supporters decided to continue the rally and focus their next rally at Taman Bunga Bangsa Oyehe. They decided that the people who were living in each of the regions of Oyehe, Siriwo and Karang Tumaritis would gather and travel together to meet at Taman Bunga Bangsa . The KNPB planned not do a long march to DPRD (Local Provincial Assembly) and to focus their next demonstration at Oyehe. There was some concern reported at that time that their protest was infiltrated by Papuans working as informers for an Indonesian security forces intelligence group (TBO).

3.0 Indonesian militia in Karang Tumartis protest

Later in the morning of the 6 April at about 8am, one of KNPB organizers passed the Karang Tumaritis area and saw that people were blockading the road. A local man, Alipin Pigay, who is recognized as being from a militia group from the Nabire Military District Command (KODIM), was seen clearly encouraging the other demonstrators. Another 6 Papuans who work as TBO (Tenaga Bantuan Operational/ Operational Field Helper) for the Indonesian security forces intelligence organisation, were also seen among the people who were blocking the road. This KNPB organizer told the protesters that he wanted them to clear the road and wait beside the market or in the taxi terminal or by the road at Karang Tumaritis. He told the people that they had to choose to follow the instructions of KNBP or this other party. He asked them to wait for the other KNPB organizers to join the rally from Karang Tumaritis to Oyehe. A local community member who also recognized Alipin Pigay reported that it was Alipin Pigay who encouraged the protesters to block the road and to attack the traffic policemen and the police car. According to this source Alipin Pigay was the first to throw stones at the traffic police and their car. It was reported that Alipin Pigay and the others from TBO encouraged the other people to violently resist the Police and throw stones and then to fire arrows against the traffic policemen. Bribda Jejen (Male/ 24 Years old) a policeman, was shot with an arrow. He was shot during the incident when the police attacked the protesters at Karang Tumaritis. The traffic police had tried to clear the road to allow an army truck from TNI Battalion 753 to pass through. Some people were also arrested by the Nabire police precinct at that time in Karang Tumaritis. An eye witness said that there were casualties on both sides, the Indonesian police and the protesters who were fighting. The police troops were using machine guns and stones against the protesters and the protesters were using arrows and stones against the police. Metro TV has shown footage of this conflict between protestors and police.

4.0 Hidden Security forces and shooting around Karang Tumaritis

According to another local witnesses Indonesian security force intelligence officers with long and short guns were seen hiding in a second floor house in front of the Effata church in Karang Tumaritis and other houses that belonging to non-Papuans around the Karang Tumaritis area before the incident/protest on the road occurred. Those security forces reportedly shot at civilians who were not involved in the conflict & demonstration on the road around Karang Tumaritis. These local people were passing the location of the protest to reach their houses and were shot at by the security forces. Local Human Rights sources reported that while the Police troops were attacking groups protesting on the road and the concealed security forces were shooting as people went past the protest to reach their homes. The shooting in Karang Tumaritis resulted in many civilians suffering server bullet wounds. Reports from Nabire said eight shot with seven of the injured being treated at Emergency Unit (UGD) in the Nabire public hospital. The News Service from Reuters confirms 11 hospitalised in Nabire with serious bullet wounds. It is not clear who the police shot amongst the protesters on the road. Reports provided to IPAHR suggest that 7 people who were shot and injured but were not part of the protest. These people were said to be shot in the vicinity of the protest, amongst this group was an orphaned 4 grade elementary student Albertus Tagi. The shooting of Fritz Singamui and Albertus Tagi had clearly no link to the protest.

Details of victims shot at Karang Tumaritis District, Nabire 6 April 2009:

1. Fritz Samuel Singamui / Roy (Male 30 Years old) is dying in hospital in a very critical condition. He was shot with a real bullet in the left side of the chest, the bullet passed through to his left shoulder blade. He is in a coma in Nabire Public hospital. He was shot when he was trying to take a short cut with his motorcycle to his house. The Indonesian Police members attacked him and pushed him off his motorcycle into the gutter and shot him on the ground. He was not involved in the demonstration. Fritz has been working for an NGO called VCI, which focuses on community service providing clean water, natural disaster relief, promoting health for women and children, and raising awareness of HIV/AIDS. Fritz was reported to be evacuated to Makassar, Sulawesi, for further medical treatment.

2. Albertus Tagi (Male/10 Years old) is an orphan, a 4th grader student at the local elementary school. He is in a very critical condition in Nabire hospital. He was shot with a real bullet in his right ribs as he approached his house after school. He was not in the demonstration. He was sent home early in the morning before the visiting of the Papua Regional Police Chief to the hospital that was planned for the 7 April 2009. According to the medical workers who told activists that as an orphan, Albertus, has no one to look after him in the hospital was sent home.

3. Yunandi Pigome (Male/28 Years old), is a farmer. He is reported to be dying in Nabire hospital. He was shot with a real bullet, the bullet entered his left back skull bone, passed through the front skull and went out above his left eye brow. He was shot on his way to his house. He was not involved in the demonstration.

4. Ipo Boga (Male /28 Years old), a farmer, he was shot with a real bullet in the buttocks and the bullet passed through near his genitals. He went to the local market and bought some rice and was returning home when shot. He was not involved in the demonstration.

5. Hengky Boma (Male/ 25years old), a farmer, was shot in his right thigh. He is supposed to have an operation at Nabire hospital today (April 7, 2009). He was not involved in the demonstration.

6. Alfonse Yeimo (Male/ 22 Years old), a student was shot in the forehead, lost lots of blood.

7. Yafeth Keiya (Male/26 Years old) a farmer, he was shot in the right wrist, he was not involved at the demonstration, he was on his way to market. w

8. Hengky Tenouye (Male/ 20 Years old), a farmer, he was shot on the left side of his chest. He was not involved in the demonstrations.

For further information, including video footage of the protest rally, contact: Paula Makabory (+61) 402 547 517;  or Matthew Jamieson (+61) 418291998;

Institute for Papuan Advocacy & Human Rights PO Box 1805 Byron Bay NSW 2481 Australia

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