Sunday, November 28, 2010

Papua torture probe continued by rights group

Posted at 01:48 on 27 November, 2010 UTC

Indonesia’s Human Rights Commission has sent a new team to remote Puncak Jaya region to investigate the May 30th torture of two Papuan farmers by the military.

Video footage of the torture, which involved burning of the Papuans’ genitals, was widely circulated last month via the internet.

Human Rights groups are concerned that the government is stalling on moves to investigate the torture, while the military has signalled that the perpetrators aren’t identifiable.

However, footage has been released in the past two days of one of the Papuan victims giving testimony about being tortured.
West Papua: Uncovering the ‘hidden’ conflict
Sunday, November 28, 2010
By Ash Pemberton

6000 Papuans protested for self-determination and human rights. Manokwari, November 8. Photo: West Papua Media Alerts

Maire Leadbeater is a spokesperson for the Indonesia Human Rights Committee (Auckland). She recently returned from West Papua, a nation that has faced repression since its occupation by Indonesia in 1963. She spoke to Green Left Weekly's Ash Pemberton.

Can you give your impressions of West Papuan society under Indonesian occupation?

Two things stand out when you first arrive in [the capital] Jayapura, the extent of the militarisation and the dominance of the migrant community in business and everyday life.

I quickly gave up the attempt to count the number of military and police bases — there were just too many. Policemen and soldiers seemed to be everywhere.

In the rural areas it was the same. I visited a small village of perhaps 30 or 40 houses with no electricity, phone, running water or transport service, but its very own TNI [Indonesian army] post keeping track of everyone's movements.

In Jayapura, the immaculate Brimob (special police mobile brigade) base was particularly formidable — with five tank-like vehicles and one shiny new anti-terror vehicle equipped with water cannon.

During my visit I saw the vehicles deployed, waiting in readiness in central Jayapura while a 50 or 60-strong “reject autonomy” demonstration took place at the provincial parliament building.

Fortunately, on this occasion there were no arrests, but it would be hard to overestimate the courage of those who gather knowing that their actions are always being monitored.

The “intel” will be around close by riding an ojek (motor bike taxi) or “selling” food on a stall.

I read all the time about the marginalisation of the Papuan community but it was another thing to see the reality — the Papuan women selling their produce or their beautiful craftwork on the pavement outside the glossy Western-style supermarket.

At the Yotefa market near Abepura, migrants seemed to have cornered the market for every kind of commodity and are even, to the dismay of the Papuans, selling penang (or betel nut), a treasured part of Papuan culture.

The Merauke Intergrated Food and Energy Estate (MIFEE) is a proposed 1.6 million hectare agribusiness that has been imposed on the people of Merauke on the south coast. What did you learn about what's going on in Merauke?
New Species Of Blind Cave Fish Found In Indonesia
Posted on: Friday, 26 November 2010, 13:10 CST

Scientists have discovered a new species of cave fish which has developed without eyes or pigmentation in Indonesia’s eastern Papua area.

"This is, to our knowledge, the first cave fish that has been discovered in Papua," scientist Laurent Pouyaud told the AFP news agency.

Pouyaud and a team of researchers from the Institute of Research and Development in southern France, studied underground rivers, caves and jungles in an isolated region of New Guinea island.

A new species of frog that carries its offspring on its back was also discovered in the vast limestone “labyrinth.”

Sunday, November 21, 2010

BBC News report from Jayapura

Press Release – BBC

The BBC has been granted rare access to West Papua by the Indonesian Government. However, it will come of no suprise that the highly controlled visit was only to Jayapura, and an aide from Jakarta accompanied the BBC crew at all times.BBC News report from Jayapura

The BBC has been granted rare access to West Papua by the Indonesian Government. However, it will come of no suprise that the highly controlled visit was only to Jayapura, and an aide from Jakarta accompanied the BBC crew at all times.

A 7 minute report was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 earlier today, and a further report will go out on BBC News (time tbc). In today’s radio report, the presenter Rachel Harvey talks about the clear resentment felt by Papuans towards Indonesia. She also talks of the high military build up, and seeing a convoy of at least 15 army and police trucks at one point.

Indonesia’s human rights body unsatisfied with military tribunal on Papua abuses

Posted at 22:35 on 15 November, 2010 UTC

Indonesia’s National Commission for Human Rights, KOMNAS HAM, says it may establish a human rights tribunal to look into abuses by the military in Papua.

It claims that a recent military tribunal merely paid lip service to the attempt to bring justice to the perpetrators of torture.

Sunday, November 21, 2010 06:32 AM               Follow us on


Editorial: Travesty of justice in Papua

The Jakarta Post | Mon, 11/15/2010 9:12 AM | Editorial

The seven-month imprisonment given to a junior Army officer in Papua, who was shown on YouTube leading the torture of Papuan civilians, defies the sense of justice of any decent and sane person. It’s a case of the punishment not fitting the crime. But did the Military Court in Jayapura ever consider the torture, in plain view of all who have seen the video, a criminal act?

Second Lt. Cosmos was found guilty of defying a superior order when he allowed his men to torture civilians suspected of supporting the Papuan separatist movement. His three men each received five month terms for breaching the military code of conduct. The court also found Cosmos guilty of tarnishing the reputation of the Indonesian Military (TNI).

Torture video reveals "Indonesia's Abu Ghraib"

In the wake of Barack Obama's visit to Indonesia, a video has emerged showing the torture of helpless detainees in the restive territory of West Papua. Rights groups are describing the footage as "Indonesia's Abu Ghraib," and say it raises serious questions about the Obama administration's decision to embrace cooperation with the Indonesian security forces. The video is the second in recent months to offer graphic footage of Indonesian security force torture of Papuans.

In the video, a Papuan man is held to the ground while a hot stick, still smoldering from a fire, is held against his genitals. A plastic bag is wrapped around his head several times, a rifle held against him. Another man has a large knife held against him while he pleads: "I'm just an ordinary civilian, please..." One of his interrogators responds: "I'll cut your throat... Do not lie, I will kill you! Burn the penis!"

While Indonesia is generally moving towards democratization, West Papua appears on the opposite path: towards ongoing military domination, widespread suppression of political activity, routine use of torture and other severe violations of basic human rights. Rights observers say that in West Papua, the Indonesian military and its accomplices—the militarized police (Brimob), special forces (Kopassus) and "anti-terror" force (Detachment 88)—continue to operate with impunity under the old dictatorship's rules: peaceful dissent is criminalized; civil society leaders are intimidated, and the international community is precluded from any effective monitoring. (ETAN, Oct. 19)


Melbourne joins global protests to free West Papua

Saturday, November 13, 2010
West Papuans and their supporters staged protests worldwide to coincide with US President Barack Obama's visit to Indonesia. Large protests were held in West Papua.

In Melbourne, about 50 activists protested at Federation Square on November 10, demanding action against the Indonesian government and its atrocities against West Papuans. 

West Papua: Death threat to human rights defenders

The Australia West Papua Association (Sydney)

Media release 12 November 2010
AWPA calls on PM to raise concerns about death threat to human rights defenders with Indonesian President

AWPA is calling on Julia Gillard to raise the threat to human rights defenders in West Papua with President Yudhoyono. Joe Collins of AWPA said both Julia Gillard and President Obama had just been in Jakarta and neither raised concerns about the human rights situation in West Papua with the Indonesian President although they knew about the video footage of the torture of Papuans which caused outrage around the world.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

West Papua deserves Barack Obama's attention

If East Timor-like horrors are to be avoided, Barack Obama and the west must not ignore abuses by Indonesian security forces
  • Dominic
  • brown
    An independence rally that took place last week in the city of Manokwari in West Papua to coincide with Obama's trip to Indonesia. Photograph: West Papua Media Alerts 
    In his autobiography Dreams from My Father, Barack Obama recalls a conversation with his stepfather who had just returned home after a tour of duty with the Indonesian military in West Papua. On asking him: "Have you ever seen a man killed?", his stepfather recounted the bloody death of "weak" men. Last month, video footage circulated online showing members of the Indonesian security forces brutally torturing Papuan civilians, including burning the genitals of an elderly farmer. It seems as far as West Papua is concerned, some things never change. Earlier this year, the US administration announced the re-establishment of military ties with Indonesia's Kopassus special forces – the same forces implicated in the atrocities of East Timor. Leaked Kopassus documents released last week, have heightened fears that Indonesia's claims of military reform – a condition of the US deal – are without foundation. The documents show that Kopassus continue to engage in "murder and abduction" and include a target list of "enemies of the Indonesian state", including West Papuan church leaders, political and student activists. Last year I travelled to West Papua to film an undercover documentary about the independence struggle. I found a land where the remnants of the Suharto era very much live on into the modern day – far from the image of democracy that Obama painted in his speech to the Indonesian nation.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

‘They own the people’: Report on Ampatuans out 
By H. Marcos C. Mordeno | Tuesday| November 16, 2010 | Filed under: Top Stories

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/15 November) — For over two decades, the powerful Ampatuan family of Maguindanao province committed killings and abuses with impunity with the support of high government and security officials, the New York-based Human Rights Watch said in a report released today.

The 96-page report, released a week before the first anniversary of the infamous Ampatuan Massacre which killed 58 people including 32 media workers and blamed on certain members of the Ampatuan family as the masterminds, was based on at least 80 interviews with victims and witnesses as well as sources familiar with the Ampatuan family security structure.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Anggota TNI Penganiaya Warga Papua 
Dituntut Tiga dan Empat Bulan
Selasa, 09 November 2010 19:04 WIB     

JAYAPURA--MICOM: Empat anggota TNI Yonif 753 AVT/Nabire yang terlibat penganiayaan terhadap sejumlah warga Papua dituntut hukuman tiga dan empat bulan penjara dalam sidang di Pengadilan Militer III-9 Jayapura, Selasa (9/11).

Tuntutan hukuman tersebut dibacakan oleh Oditur Militer Mayor CHK Obet Manase dalam dua persidangan terpisah. Tuntutan tiga bulan penjara ditujukan kepada tiga anggota TNI yang terdiri dari Praka Syaminan Lubis, Prada Joko Sulistyono, dan Prada Dwi Purwanto. Sedangkan,
Letda (Inf) Cosmos Z, selaku komandan pos dituntut hukuman empat bulan.

Oditur Militer menyatakan terdakwa Letda Cosmos dituntut dengan hukuman empat bulan penjara karena dinilai melawan perintah atasan dan membiarkan terjadinya pelanggaran oleh ketiga anak buahnya.

"Terdakwa selaku komandan pos terbukti melanggar Pasal 103 KUHP (Kitab Undang-Undang Hukum Pidana) Militer juncto Pasal 56 KUHP dengan tuntutan empat bulan penjara," ujar Obet.

Sementara itu, terdakwa Syaminan Lubis, Joko Sulistyono, dan Dwi Purwanto yang dituntut tiga bulan penjara dinilai terbukti melanggar Pasal 103 KUHP Militer juncto Pasal 55 KUHP.

"Ketiga terdakwa terbukti melawan perintah atasan atas inisiatif sendiri. Oditur Militer menuntut masing-masing terdakwa tiga tiga bulan penjara potong masa penahanan sementara serta membayar biaya perkara Rp10.000," kata Obet.

Persidangan penganiayaan akan dilanjutkan Rabu (10/11) dengan agenda pembelaan para terdakwa di hadapan majelis hakim. (OL-01)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Breaking News:  Secret Files Show Kopassus, Indonesia's Special Forces, Targets Papuan Churches, Civilians. Documents Leak from Notorious US-Backed Unit as Obama Lands in Indonesia.

By Allan Nairn
Jakarta, November 9, 2010.

Secret documents have leaked from inside Kopassus, Indonesia's red berets, which say that Indonesia's US-backed security forces engage in "murder [and] abduction" and 
show that Kopassus targets churches in West Papua and defines civilian dissidents as the "enemy."

The documents include a Kopassus enemies list headed by Papua's top Baptist minister and describe a covert network of surveillance, infiltration and disruption of Papuan institutions

The disclosure comes as US President Barack Obama is touching down in Indonesia. His administration recently announced the restoration of  US aid to Kopassus.

Kopassus is the most notorious unit of  Indonesia's armed forces, TNI,  which along with POLRI, the  national police, have killed civilians by the hundreds of thousands.

The leaked cache of secret Kopassus documents includes operational,  intelligence and field reports as well as personnel records which list the names and details of Kopassus "agents."

The documents are classified "SECRET" ("RAHASIA") and include extensive background reports on  Kopassus  civilian targets  -- reports that are apparently of uneven accuracy.  

The authenticity of the documents has been verified by Kopassus personnel who have seen them and by external evidence regarding the authors and the internal characteristics of the documents.

Some of the Kopassus documents will be released in the days to come, in part via this website.

Those being released with this article are about West Papua, where tens of thousands of civilians have been murdered and where Kopassus is most active.  Jakarta has attempted to largely seal off Papua to visits by non-approved outsiders.

When the US restored Kopassus aid last July the rationale was fighting terrorism, but the documents show that Kopassus in fact systematically targets civilians.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Obama diminta perhatikan HAM di Papua
Minggu, 07/11/2010 16:43:40 WIB
Oleh: Anugerah Perkasa

JAKARTA: Presiden Amerika Serikat Barack Obama diminta untuk memperhatikan kasus dugaan pelanggaran HAM di Papua terkait dengan adanya penyiksaan aparat militer terhadap warga sipil yang beredar melalui video You Tube pada Oktober lalu.

Hal itu disampaikan Human Rights Watch (HRW), organisasi pemantau HAM yang berbasis di New York, terkait dengan rencana kedatangan Obama pada pekan ini di Jakarta.

Direktur Asia HRW Sophie Richardson mengatakan sejumlah tantangan serius terkait dengan masalah HAM dinilai akan menggerogoti demokrasi Indonesia dengan tak ada reformasi pada sejumlah institusi.

"Indonesia memang telah membuat kemajuan, namun tak berati Presiden Obama mengabaikan persoalan hak asasi manusia lainnya," ujar Richardson hari ini. "Obama harus mendorong pemerintah Indonesia mengambil tindakan untuk melindungi kebebasan berekspresi serta mewajibkan akuntabilitas militer."
Home / Nasional / Hukum

KontraS Ragukan Mahmil Ungkap Penyiksa Warga Papua - Senin, 8 November 2010 13:43 WIB

Video yang diposting di YouTube ini menunjukkan dua pria Papua tengah dianiaya oleh beberapa orang yang diduga pasukan keamanan Indonesia. Salah satu personel keamanan melakukan penganiayaan dengan mengarahkan benda tumpul ke alat kelamin pria Papua tersebut.

Laporan wartawan, M Ismunadi

TRIBUNNEWS.COM, JAKARTA - Komisi Nasionala untuk Orang Hilang dan Tindak Kekerasan (KontraS) meragukan persidangan yang digelar Mahkamah Militer bakal mengcover kasus video penyiksaan aktivis OPM yang ramai diperbincangkan selama dua pekan terakhir. Pasalnya, berdasarkan pemantauan KontraS, Mahmil malah menyidangkan kasus video yang berbeda dengan video penyiksaan yang sempat beredar di You Tube.

"Mahmil malah menyidangkan kasus yang lebih ringan daripada yang diperdebatkan," ungkap Koordinator KontraS, Harris Azhar kepada Tribunnews di kantor KontraS, Jakarta, Senin (8/11/2010).

"Ini menjadi bukti bahwa Mahmil tidak transparan dan accountable," tambahnya.

Harris mengaku keraguan pihaknya semakin kuat menyusul informasi lain yang diperolehnya. Informasi itu adalah tidak adanya pemeriksaan terhadap korban. Yang ada, lanjut Harris, pemeriksaan saksi yang tidak lain adalah juga pelaku.
Sidang Lanjutan Penganiaya Warga Papua Hadirkan 
Perwira TNI
Senin, 08 November 2010 | 11:43 WIB

TEMPO Interaktif, Jayapura - Sidang lanjutan empat anggota TNI 753 AVT/Nabire, Kodam XVII/Cenderawasih yang diduga menganiaya warga di Kampung Gurage, Distrik Tingginambut, Puncak Jaya, seperti terekam dalam video penganiayaan di situs Youtube, kembali disidang di Pengadilan Militer III-19 Jayapura, Papua, Senin (8/11).

Keempat terdakwa masing-masing Praka Sahminan Husein Lubis (Anggota Pos Gurage), Prada Dwi Purwanto (Anggota Pos Gurage), Prada Joko Sulistiono (Anggota Pos Kalome), dan Letnan Dua Infantri Cosmos.

Sidang kali ini menghadirkan saksi seorang perwira TNI, Lettu Inf. Sudarmin, komandan pos Gurage. Sudarmin sebelumnya juga dihadirkan dalam sidang perdana Jumat (5/11) lalu. Sidang hari ini dipimpin hakim Ketua, Letkol CHK Adil K didampingi anggota majelis Letkol CHK Moch Affandi dan Mayor CHK S Heri P.
Aktivis Papua Ditangkap Jelang Kedatangan Obama
Senin, 08 November 2010 | 11:21 WIB

TEMPO Interaktif, Jayapura - Tiga aktivis Papua ditangkap di Jayapura menjelang kunjungan Presiden Amerika Serikat, Barrack Obama ke Indonesia, Senin (8/11). Polisi menggelandang tiga orang tersebut karena diduga melakukan makar dan penghasutan.

Mereka yang digelandang polisi yakni, Selvius Bobi, Ketua Front Penentuan Pendapat Rakyat, Frans Kabak, Tokoh Pemuda dan Matius Waur, aktivis Front Pepera. “Saat ini mereka sementara ditahan, kami akan memprosesnya karena kita ini Negara hukum,” kata Kepala Kepolisian Resor Kota Jayapura, AKBP H Imam Setiawan, Senin (8/11).

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Letter to Prime Minister Julia Gillard
OCTOBER 27, 2010
The Hon Julia Gillard MP
Prime Minister
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600
Re: Australian Assistance to Indonesian Security Forces
Dear Prime Minister Gillard,
Congratulations on your recent election as Australia's Prime Minister. We write to you regarding Australian assistance to the Indonesian security forces as we understand you are travelling to Indonesia on November 1. 
We appreciate that Australia values its bilateral relationship with Indonesia, and that the two countries have recently upgraded the status of their relationship to that of a "comprehensive strategic partnership."  We also note that in March 2010, during Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's visit to Australia, then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said that when Australia seeks to improve the Indonesian security forces' ability to handle their law enforcement responsibilities, "we always seek to take a positive and constructive approach."
We believe promoting accountability for human rights violations should play an important role in Australia-Indonesia bilateral relations. Indeed, as former Prime Minister Rudd and President Yudhoyono noted in a joint statement in March, Australia and Indonesia "seek to promote the values or freedom, good governance, tolerance, and the rule of law," and "have a mutual stake in each other's progress." 
This letter identifies ongoing concerns related to the Indonesian security forces, with particular attention to Detachment 88 and Kopassus, Indonesia's special forces, and recommends measures to increases the professionalism, accountability, and respect for human rights of the Indonesian security services.  In particular, we recommend that Australia take steps to establish a systematic, transparent method of vetting those members of the security services that Australia seeks to train. 

Tuesday, November 02, 2010 14:47 PM

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Papuans want government to put end to violence

Nethy Dharma Somba, The Jakarta Post, Jayapura | Wed, 10/27/2010 9:53 AM | The Archipelago
A | A | A |
Papua lawmakers insisted Tuesday that government take stern action against security personnel involved in a controversial video of alleged torture of Papuans by members of the Indonesian Military.

Papua legislative councilors Yan Mandenas and Ruben Magai said that Papuans fervently hope that the perpetrators be punished for their actions, and the matter not being treated lightly, to ensure violence against Papuans should be stopped. 

Yan Mandenas said violence committed by security personnel against civilians in Papua had taken place too frequently due to light punishments given to perpetrators, sending the message that taking the life of a civilian could be a normal matter.
Will Obama Cut Ties With Indonesian Torture? 

Asia, United States | Posted by: The Editors, October 29, 2010 at 8:47 AM 
By Carole Marzolf, Indonesia Country Specialist for Amnesty International 

President Obama will visit his childhood home of Indonesia in early November in his first official visit since taking office. While his visit may bring back fond memories of his youth, there is nothing fond about the years of rampant human rights abuses carried out by Indonesia’s Special Forces that are about to receive renewed support from the US. 

Indonesia may be perceived as a country gaining clout in the international arena but it is wrecked by massive corruption and its security forces get away with torture in total impunity, and those with opposing views may find themselves muzzled and thrown in jail. 

As President Obama readies for his visit to Indonesia, join us in asking your Representative to support House Resolution 1355 calling for an end to human rights abuses and freedom for prisoners of conscience in Indonesia. 

Although since the fall of President Suharto in May 1998 Indonesia saw a period of rapid reform, twelve years on, the process seems to have severely crumbled away. According to Transparency International which measures corruption perceptions worldwide, Indonesia ranked 110th in 2010 on an equal footing with Gabon, Senegal or Bolivia. As a comparison, the United States ranked 22nd, while Malaysia ranked 56th and China 78th.