16 YEARS AFTER BIAK BLOODY TRAGEDY, IMPUNITY REMAINS – West Papua No.1 News Portal
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16 YEARS AFTER BIAK BLOODY TRAGEDY, IMPUNITY REMAINS

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Jayapura, 7/7 (Jubi) – Two months after the fall of the New Order regime in 1998, a massacre occurred over the Papua on the island of Biak, Papua. Many have forgotten the tragedy but the victims still remember it vividly.

The Advocacy and Human Rights Studies (Elsham), Kontras Papua, KPKC of GKI Synod and United for Truth (BUK) in Papua commemorated the tragic events triggered by the raising of the Morning Star flag in the Water Tower in Biak,16 years ago.
“Leaders after leaders in Indonesia but no one spoke about justice for the victims of human rights violations in Papua. The state may forget and be indifferent but we can not forget,” Thineke Rumkambu said in his testimony at the office of Elsham Papua in Padangbulan, Jayapura on Sunday (6/7).

The Bloody Biak Tragedy on July 6, 1998 has been engraved in the hearts of Papuans. It is a human tragedy in which the local people were the victims simply for peacefully unfurling the Morning Star Flag at the top of a 35 meter water tower near the Biak Harbour. This peaceful actions in which between 500 to 1000 people took part ended in arbitrary arrest, maltreatment, torture and other dreadful things.

Morning Star flag-raising action is considered as an act of unlawful violence to be dealt with by military / police. Hundreds of unarmed civilian demonstrators who lingered around the water tower were surrounded and shot at dawn on July 6, 1998.

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The civilians from Pna, Waupnor, and Saramom villages at Biak city district were escorted by officers to Biak seaport and persecuted.
“Some victims were transported by Mobile Brigade truck and also a container car to Biak Public Hospital and Naval Hospital but they did not get serious medical service,” she explained

She continued, there were about 6 people dead which were transported to the Naval Hospital, yet the bodies have not been returned to the hands of the family yet.

Some time after the incident, dozens of bodies were found in Biak waters (coastal). Ironically, without an investigation, officials stated that the bodies were victims of the Tsunami disaster in Aitape, PNG on July 17, 1998, although among the corpses, there were bodies wrapped in scout uniform and Golkar costumes.
“From this incident, recorded 230 casualties of whom eight people were killed, three disappeared and many seriously injured casualties were taken to Makassar for treatment, while 33 people were taken into custody, 150 people were maltreated and 32 mysterious bodies were found, ” Sandra Mambrasar, the Women’s division of Elsham Papua said.

For a variety of human rights abuses worsened in Papua, the components of the civil society urged the Republic of Indonesia to be responsible for all cases of human rights violations in Papua. The government must investigate and prosecute perpetrators of human rights violations on the incident of Bloody Biak 1998 via Ad-hoc Human Rights Court by reopening the report of Joint Fact Finding Team that coordinated by the National Commission on Human Rights.
“In the framework of a legal settlement, the state must provide protection and security of the victims and their families, as well as provide rehabilitation and restitution to the victims,” ​she said. (Jubi / Aprila/ Tina)

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Goliat Tabuni asks independent team to investigate the church burning in Tembagapura

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Photo illustration. – pixabay.com

Jayapura, Jubi – West Papua Liberation Army (TPNPB) challenge the Government of Indonesia to provide access for an independent investigation team investigating perpetrators behind the burning of a church in Tembagapura Sub-district, Mimika Regency, Papua in a press released by TPNPB. The statement of the Supreme Commander of TPNTP General Goliat Tabuni received by Jubi on Wednesday (18/3/2020).

On Thursday (12/3/2020), the Indonesian Gospel Tent (GKII) Church of Sinai Congregation in Opitawak Village of Tembagapura Sub-district reportedly burned out. The Indonesian security forces pointed finger to TPNPB as perpetrators. However, General Goliat Tabuni denied all allegations in his press release.

In turn, he believes this incident was part of the game playing by the Indonesian security forces to discredit the image of TPNPB in which they have always done for a long time. “This is not new, but [it has happened] since 1960 to the present. The Indonesian Military and Police have done it for a long time,” said Tabuni in his press release.

Furthermore, Tabuni said TPNTP was not surprised by many reports accused them as the perpetrator behind the church burning. Therefore, he challenges the Indonesian Government to provide access to an independent investigation team to investigate.

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Meanwhile, TPNPB spokesperson Sebby Sambon confirms the statement released on behalf of Goliat Tabuni as valid. Further, he says the independent investigation team preferred by TPNPB is a joint investigation team of the United Nation’s Human Rights Council and the National Human Rights Commission of Papua Office.

“If they want to find who is behind the church burning, the Indonesian Government must allow the independent team to investigate. [The independent team is] the Human Rights Council [United Nations] and the National Human Rights Commission of Papua Office,” Sambom told Jubi on Wednesday (18/3/2020).

Furthermore, he said the Indonesian Government should be able to prove their accusation through a fair and impartial legal process, not only pointing fingers to TPNPB. “The Indonesian Military and Police should not just accuse TPNPB, and the Indonesian media should not unilaterally publish the one-side story,” said Sambom.

Meanwhile, Antara News Agency launched the statement of Tembagapura Police Chief Adjunct Commissionaire Hermanto saying the insurgent group led by Lekagak Telenggen and Joni Botak burned down the GKII Sinai Congregation Church in Opitawak Village.

“The church was initially crowded by Opitawak villagers for worshipping and other church activities. However, in several recent weeks, the armed group came to spread terror in this village. People finally have to give in to this situation,” said Hermanto to Antara. (*)

 

Reporter: Benny Mawel

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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Secondary students hold anti-racism protest at school in Sentani

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Students of Santo Antonious Padua High School conduct a demonstration at their schoolyard on Monday (9/3/2020) to protest racism taunts by a teacher. – Jubi/Yance Wenda

Sentani, Jubi – Students of Santo Antonious Padua Secondary School held a protest on Monday (9/3/2020) at their schoolyard in Sentani of Jayapura Regency following racism taunts by a teacher on Saturday (6/3/2020) during the scout camp. Students demand school authority to dismiss the teacher.

A student Viktor S Kiya tells Jubi on Monday (9/3/2020) that the incident occurred on Saturday when students got ready for the flag ceremony.

“At that time, only one teacher was ready in the courtyard while the other four teachers were in the hut. They told students to start and lead the ceremony,” says Kiya.

However, students declined the order because they thought it was not their tasks but the teachers. Therefore, some students just sat down when seeing the flag ceremony had not started yet.

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Knowing that the flag ceremony would not start very soon, a teacher with an initial MGU was angry. She then blurted out racism taunts and said students have no brain.

“Then, she said [students] have no brain. I witnessed and heard it by myself. I suddenly become so emotional and be offended because of that,” says Kiya.

He then encouraged his friends to leave the courtyard and return to the dormitory. “We stay at the dormitory. The principal [finally came, called us to come down from the dormitory] attended the closing ceremony of the scout camp event,” says Kiya.

Meanwhile, the principal of Santo Antonious Padua Secondary School Fransina Hikinda admitted that she did not know about the dispute because she was at her office at the time of the incident. According to her, the teacher MGU had declared her regret for the occurrence before her and some students.

“The teacher already apologised and admitted that she had made a mistake. She regretted saying those words because she could not control her emotion at that time. She did not mean to say it,” says Hikinda.

Furthermore, Hikinda says this incident would become school evaluation, and she hopes it would not trigger any new issues. Also, she confirms students’ demand to dismiss MGU from the school. However, she could not prompt this demand.

“Their aspiration is difficult to materialise. We lack teachers in this school,” she says.

Jayapura Regent warns racism taunts to happen

Jayapura Regent Mathius Awoitauw reminds all residents in Jayapura Regency to not carry some activities led to racism taunts or hate speech.

His statement relates to the alleged racism incident by a teacher that occurred in Santo Antonious Padua Secondary College in Sentani on Saturday (7/3/2020).

“Concerning racism, the government is strictly concerned that this issue should never happen again,” says the regent in Sentani on Monday (9/3/2020).

Furthermore, he says both government and community agreed to fight and eliminate any forms of racism in this country, including in Jayapura Regency that currently become the Harmonious Integrity Zone.

“We will investigate this case. It cannot be tolerable if it has truly happened here,” says the regent.

Meanwhile, Jimmy Fitowin, the Chairman of PGRI (Indonesian Teachers Association) in Jayapura, says the technical institution, in this case, the Education Office, must take a prompt response to the teacher who did racism taunts towards her students at school.

“I just found out about this incident. If it is true, the relevant office and police should take a concrete step towards the teacher,” he says.

It understood that the students of Santo Antonius held a peaceful demonstration at their schoolyard. They urged the school authority to take actions on racism taunts by a teacher. So far, the school authority had apologised to both junior and senior high school students for this incident. Currently, the case is under the police’s investigation. (*)

 

Reporter: Yance Wenda

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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Humanitarian Special Committee visit Nduga refugees in Jayawijaya 

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Humanitarian Special Committee of Papuan House of Representatives Veriana Wakerkwa (centre) when visiting Nduga refugees at the yard of Weneroma Church, Jayawijaya. -Jubi/Islami

Wamena, Jubi – The Humanitarian Special Committee of Papua House of Representatives visit Nduga refugees on Monday (9/3/2020) in the churchyard of Kingmi Church in Elekma, Jayawijaya Regency. During their recess time, the parliament members want to confirm the information declaring no more Nduga residents refuge to other districts within the Central Highland Mountainous region.

Veriana Wakerkwa, the chairwoman of Humanitarian Special Committee of Papuan House of Representatives, says together with two committee members, she immediately comes to Wamena when heard information about Nduga refugees. Their visit aims to observe as well as to update the public about the current situation of refugees. It finds that refugees urgently need education and health services.

“As people’s representative in the parliament, we do not only want to see but also take this experience to the parliament to discuss with the rest of the committee members and relevant stakeholders to complete the data of refugees,” she says.

Meanwhile, the committee vice-chairman Namantus Gwijangge says the parliament would not intervene the state’s statement declaring there are no refugees from Nduga, notably settled in Jayawijaya.

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The most important is, he further says, the committee only wants to confirm the fact that Nduga refugees ever existed despite now they are staying with their relatives in some locations in Jayawijaya.

“Especially for refugees’ data in Jayawijaya, we found that they are more than five thousand. We have their detail information, including the name of family head and members, current address and regional origin,” he says.

Furthermore, he says in terms of education, the problem is students cannot go to school. “We have talked with Nduga Regional Government, in particular, the Regional Education Office about the possibility to bring the students back to their old school. It needs careful planning to do so.”

Therefore, he suggests both provincial and regional governments pay attention to refugees to avoid the impression that the government has neglected them, especially school-aged children.

“This humanitarian committee was established to build peace in this land. Our purpose is to create peacebuilding among such complicated existing issues. Therefore, it needs collaboration with relevant stakeholders, including military and police, to consult with the community or any parties, to discuss with provincial and regional governments about the future of refugees,” he says. (*)

 

Reporter: Islami Adisubrata

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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