Posts Tagged ‘free speech’

West Papuan Political Prisoner is physically abused by Public Prosecutors and Police in Jayapura Courthouse

April 23, 2009

Human Rights Report                             23April 2009

West Papuan Political Prisoner is physically abused by Public Prosecutors and Police in Jayapura Courthouse

Indonesian Public Prosecutors have triggered an attack against a Political Prisoner,  Buchtar Tabuni,  at the Jayapura District Court, 22 April 2009, in Jayapura, West Papua

On Thursday 22 April 2009, Buchtar Tabuni, was taken by members of the public prosecution team and police from prison to attend a hearing of his trial at the Jayapura District Court. The hearing was scheduled to hear the testimony of an expert witness.

Upon entry to the courthouse Buchtar requested to be put in the cell at the back of the court.  He said that wished to see his defense lawyer’s as had been the usual practice before the trial commenced. Team members of public prosecutor and police responded to his request with repressive actions by dragging and beating Buchtar and forcing him into the court cell.

During the incident Buchtar Tabuni said he was held tightly by 3 of the team members of public prosecutor office while he was attacked by members of the Indonesian Police and Indonesia security forces intelligent agents, who were wearing civilian’s clothes and carrying pistols. The Police and intelligence agents beat him and kicked him.  This resulted in him suffering back and backbone pain and a wound to his left arm and blisters on his feet.  A witness also independently verified that he saw the members of public prosecutor drag Buchtar forcefully and police beat him.

Buchtar said that he was trying to protect his head and face from the attackers while being held and dragged.   Buchtar said that members of public prosecutor who were holding his arms had also laid their hands on him. He said that he was hit by a hard object at his back and his arm when he covering his head during the attack. This was confirmed with the medical report (Fig.2 below), that states 1.there is a scratch wound at left elbow; 2.there is a pain in the back bone; 3.there is a pain oat the leg marks of beaten. The diagnose states there is a wound (ulkus luka) and marks of in sharp object (trauma tumpul).

One of Buchtar’s defense lawyers said the hearing was cancelled because the expert witness did not show up.  He said that Buchtar Tabuni’s defense team was angry at the police and members of public prosecutors because these two institutions used violence against their client.

He said that the incident happened while team of defense lawyers were waiting in their room and had not realized that Buchtar had been taking to the courthouse through another gate (not the usual one).   The defense lawyer also reported that 80% of the courtroom was stacked by Indonesian security forces members, including intelligent agents.

The defense lawyer said that in front of judges, the public prosecutor pronounced that he got a direct order from his superior (office of Chief Public Prosecutor) to bring Buchtar through non-formal gate, but did not state a clear reason for this change of procedure. The Judge asked the Public Prosecutor to take Buchtar Tabuni to the hospital and that he be checked by a doctor immediately.

Instead Buchtar was taken to Abepura prison by Public Prosecutor and left there. His defense lawyers came at the prison and asked officials of the prison to provide a medical treatment and check (visum report) in the prison for Buchtar.

Buchtar received a medical check by a nurse, appointed to work as a health worker in the prison.   Some of his defense team then went to the police office to report the incident.

On 18 February 2009, Buchtar Tabuni (30) had been charged under article 106 of the Criminal Code regarding ‘makar’ or ‘subversion’, Article 160 of the Criminal Code regarding acts of incitement (rebellion) and article 212 of the Criminal Code regarding resisting personnel of the state, on his first trial. Buchtar Tabuni was arrest on 2 December 2008 in relation to a mass demonstration, which occurred in Jayapura supporting the establishment of International Parliamentarians for West Papua, which took place in London of 15 October 2008.

Paula Makabory from Institute for Papuan Advocacy and Human Rights said today,  “This attack on Buchtar Tabuni shows the fundamental bias in the Indonesian judiciary system in courts prosecuting West Papuan political prisoners.  There is little hope that Indonesian judicial procedure will bring about a fair or safe trial for Buchtar Tabuni and the many other West Papuan political prisoners.”

“A culture of injustice, persecution and Human Rights abuse exists within Indonesian state institutions which are hostile to West Papuan people.  Indonesian state institutions, such as public prosecutors office and the court system, which have obligations under International law and Indonesia’s national laws to ensure justice for West Papuan people are actually at the fore front of the attack on the indigenous people of West Papua and their civil & political rights.”

Reported by Paula Makabory
Institute of Papuan Advocacy and Human Rights (IPAHR)

For  further information contact:

Paula Makabory   (+61) 402 547 517; or

Buchtar Lawyers for Indo interview:
1.    Gustaf Kawer (+62) 813 1915 0718
2.    Peter Ell (+62) 8124 808 500
buchtar-tabuni230409-photo

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

April 9, 2009

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

West Papua: Michael Buerk creates moral dilemma

February 26, 2009

Michael Buerk creates moral dilemma

Michael Buerk has managed to offend West Papuans on The Moral Maze – the Radio 4 programme that he presents – by calling them “primitive” and suggesting they kill outsiders. Tim Walker Last Updated: 6:06PM GMT 25 Feb 2009 A spokesman for Elsham, Papua’s leading human rights organisation, says: “I’m surprised an experienced journalist like Mr Buerk should say something that is both offensive and totally wrong. The people being killed in Papua are ordinary Papuans, by the Indonesian military and police. At least 100,000 have been killed. It would be nice to get journalists covering this, rather than regurgitating racist stereotypes. “Mr Buerk’s comments will reinforce public opinion that indigenous West Papuans are not capable of making their own decisions about their land, their natural resources and their forests, and that they should not be accorded human rights like other human beings. “It will reinforce the idea that to be oppressed and colonized, under an Indonesian occupation, is the right thing for us. “It would be better for Mr Buerk and his media to work with the UK government to pressure Indonesia’s government to make West Papua open to the outside world. That means allowing journalists to enter. That way, Mr Buerk could visit West Papua, meet West Papuans and judge the situation himself.” Surely, morally, Buerk ought to apologise and even, perhaps, consider devoting a programme to debate the issue? ————————

2) BBC Papua report labelled dangerously wrong RNZI Posted at 01:17 on 26 February, 2009 UTC Survival International, a British-based campaign group for the rights of tribal peoples, has criticised a top broadcaster over comments he made in apparent reference to Papuans. In comments on his BBC radio programme, ’Moral Maze’, the presenter Michael Buerk said the only really primitive societies to survive into the modern age were the tribes in the remote parts of New Guinea. Mr Buerk added that whenever they come across a stranger they kill them. In a statement, the director of Survival International, Stephen Corry, described Mr Buerk as dangerously wrong. Mr Corry said that little-contacted peoples had very good reason to fear outsiders, who he said had brought death and destruction in their wake. Mr Corry said the tribal people’s hostility and fear which he said characterised new contacts, had nothing to do with their being primitive. There’s been no response from Mr Buerk. Two years ago, Boris Johnson, who’s now Mayor of London, was criticised for saying his fellow politicians had been involved in what he called Papua New Guinea-style orgies of cannibalism and chief-killing. Mr Johnson later apologised to the PNG government for his remarks. He added he was sure that Papua New Guineans, as he put it, led lives of blameless bourgeois domesticity.

Dutch academic critical of Indonesian military role in Papua

February 19, 2009

Dutch academic critical of Indonesian military role in Papua
RNZI Posted at 01:37 on 16 February, 2009 UTC
The author of a controversial report on Papua has criticised Indonesian military tactics in the province.
The leading Dutch historian, Professor Pieter Drooglever, says it’s not the civil authorities, but the military apparatus that’s really in power in Papua.
He says the military does not have much patience with rebellious acts.
“For instance, demonstrations that took place in Manokwari – quite an innocent affair, you would say, from a distance, a couple of students are hoisting a flag… the Morning Star flag… but they are beaten up and put in prison, and now eleven of them have been sentenced, for three and a half years of prison, and no pleasant prison I suppose.”
Professor Drooglever says a solution to the Papua conflict is likely to come sooner if civil authorities are more involved.
Professor Drooglever wrote as groundbreaking report for the Dutch government in 2005, that was heavily critical of the United Nations referendum nearly forty years ago, which legitimised the Indonesian takeover of the region.

West Papua: Buchtar Tabuni on trial for subversion

February 19, 2009

Cenderawasih Post, 18 February 2009
[Summary only]

A 29-year old Papuan, Buchtar Tabuni, was due to go on trial today in Jayapura, charged with subversion (makar). The charge arises from an action he took, along with other West Papuans, in response to the launch in London on 16 October last year of International Parliamentarians for West Papua.

Buchtar Tabuni graduated in technology at a university in South Sulawesi.

The police announced that a heavy guard would be mounted round the courthouse, including two infantry units, two police units and a unit of Brimob troops. The security forces were being kept in readiness for all eventualities should there be problems inside or outside the courthouse. A senior police office said that they had received a request for a demonstration to take place, although without the required 72 hour notice. The officer also said that the names of those making the request were not clear.

According to Cenderawasih Pos, his lawyer, Pieter Eli, SH announced that a large number of lawyers are ready to defend him. Altogether no fewer than 45 lawyers have expressed a desire to be part of his defence team.

Pieter Eli told the press than his client was fit and well and ready to face the trial, although he had lost weight and was now thinner than before.

Today’s hearing would be devoted to the presentation of the case against the accused. Response from the defendant and his team will follow shortly.

The lawyer, Pieter Eli, said that Buchtar was ready to defend himself against the charges. ‘He says that he is somewhat confused because what he did was nothing more than the expression of an opinion.’ Responding to allegations that his client was pursuing separatist aspirations, he said that such accusations were not objective.

The lawyer said he had held discussions with the court regarding the large number of lawyers who want to be part of his defence team, and arrangements would be made to enable as many of the lawyers as possible to attend the trial, in view of the size of the court.

It was also likely that a large number of Buchtar’s friends and supporters would want to attend the court hearings. Among those wanting to attend were members of the Association of Central Highlands Students. How many exactly would come was not known. The trial is open to the public and has been announced to the public, so there’s no telling how many people might turn up in support of the defendant who is known as someone who struggles for the aspirations of the Papuan people.’

Buchtar has been held ‘in quarantine’ for two weeks before the trial and had only recently been allowed to mix with other prisoners.

[Reports from other sources reveal that Buchtar Tabuni and his colleagues have been subjected to maltreatment by the police and by prison officials since they were arrested on 3 December.]

Buchtar is quoted as saying that he was unclear the charges the police had laid against him. He had done nothing more than express his opinion in response to the launching of the International Parliamentarians for West Papua in London. He said the police claim that they have evidence of subversion against him whereas all he has was a letter giving notification of his action. His lawyer said that Buchtar was ready to defend himself against whatever charges were laid.

This report from Cenderwasih Post was which has been translated and reposting of something produced by  Tapol, UK and should be credited to Tapol.  It is not a report by IPAHR.