Jayapura, Jubi – A rally to protest racism against West Papuans in front of the Deiyai Regent Office on Wednesday, 28 August 2019, turned to a tragedy. A local parliament member Alfret Pakage told Jubi about the tragic story.
The story began when a young man called Yustimus Takimas died in a car crash involving an Indonesian soldier. His death triggered a mass rampage that ended with the police’s gunshot.
“I don’t have an idea about what was happening at the Regent Office’s backyard because I was standing at the side door watching people coming. After the car accident that killed young Takimai, people killed a soldier who was in the car. Then, all young men joined the crowd. Some entered through the front while others from the back via BKD Office. At that time the joint security force stood at the corner of the Regent Office. I was there too facing the BKD Office,” Pakage told Jubi by phone on Wednesday, (11/9/2019).
Furthermore, he said the mob threw stones to the soldiers, and they responded it with tear gas shots. However, when they found out a soldier killed, they threw bullets against the crowd. “I told the Crime and Investigation Department Chief of Paniai Police to hold. It happened when they (security force) knew a soldier died. They shot their guns to the people,” he said.
Then, the Military District Commandant immediately came out of his office located across the street in front of the Regent Office. “He shouted ‘my soldier is dead. Where’s the Regent? He must be responsible for this. The soldiers took their gun out. Brimob personnel were also there,” he said.
Pakage was alone at the scene, while the regent, deputy regent, local parliament members and all government officials already left their office. The police step on the body of the dead victim lying under the flagpole at the office’s front yard.
“I shouted at them to stop.” While he was confused about how to stop it, he also could not do anything because he was alone and under gun threat.
“I saw people died lying under the flagpole. It’s just me. I was alone. When the soldiers found out that people taken away their guns, they prevented me from being a mediator. They even pointed their guns against me and said ‘you want to back up or not? If not, you’ll be responsible for this’. After that, I backed up. But I still told them not be overwhelming,” he said.
Furthermore, according to Pakage, he moved to a kiosk opposite the Regent Office to join some police officers of Mee origin. It was only 17:12 but already so quiet, and nobody dared to pass. He then saw the ambulance from Deiyai Public Hospital going to the scene.
“I saw the ambulance coming from Deiyai Public Hospital to collect West Papuans who injured and fell because of the shooting. But the police came to block the car, pulled out the victims and took the ambulance’s key. They put their injured friends (soldiers), sent both driver and medical workers home. Then ambulance went to Paniai and left the injured West Papuans,” he said.
It was getting late, so he hurried to go home. He reminded himself that he must keep safe from the danger. Of returning home, he observed that Waghete became so quiet. Only found the security forces standing along the street from the Regent Office to Waghete II until the airport compound.
On the next day, Thursday (29/8/2019), he returned to the scene to check whether the dead bodies are still there or taken to the hospital.
“I only saw the soldiers standing along the street. I didn’t meet any residents. First of all, I checked the Deiyai Public Hospital, but the gate was locked and no activities there. I came inside knocking the door but no one there. So, I went to the scene to check whether the victims are still there or not. So I parked my vehicle at the entrance of the Regent’s office. Suddenly, the joint security force came investigating me with anger.
“They asked, ‘where are our guns?’ I told them I am also a part of this country. Those weapons are the state’s tools; I try to find those losing guns. However, the victims were not there anymore. So I went to Damabagata, Tigi Timur sub-district because I heard from someone that they keep the weapons there. At that time, the Military District Commandant was well-equipped guarding at the intersection of Waghete, Dogiyai and Paniai,” he said.
He continued the story by saying that the Paniai Police then asked him to come to their office as a witness. “At that time, the police acted without thinking. It was a big mistake. They examined me as a witness at the regency police station,” he said.
Meanwhile, Father Santon Tekege Pr said the investigation of the Secretariat of Peace and Justice (SKP) of Paniai Dean – Timika Diocese concludes that a car accident involving a soldier that caused the death of Yustinus Takimai triggered this shooting incident.
“As a result of the gunfire and tear gas shots, seven civilians were dead, while 43 people injured with both minor and serious injuries,” said Father Santon. (*)
Reporter: Abeth You
Editor: Pipit Maizier
Meeting postponed, ‘exodus’ students still wait to see Papua Governor
Jayapura, Jubi – The exodus students’ goal to meet and have a dialogue with Papua Governor and the Chairs of Papuan House of Representatives and Papuan People’s Assembly on Thursday (16/1/2020) had not yet materialized. The Chairperson of Papuan People’s Assembly Timotius Murib, who set up the meeting, announced it has to postpone.
“Last week the students asked [to meet the governor and the House of Representative’s chairperson on] Thursday. But we asked them to wait for the governor to schedule the meeting,” Murib told Jubi in Jayapura on Thursday.
Following the mob’s persecution and racism taunt towards Papuan students in Surabaya on respective 16 and 17 August 2019, thousands of Papuan students studying in various Indonesian regions, have returned home to Papua in exodus wave. The seizure and persecution by security forces and local mobs to their boarding houses and accommodation drove the feeling of unsecured amongst the Papuan students. Therefore, many of them decided to discontinue their study and return home to Papua.
The Papua Police Chief estimated that the number of exodus students coming from various tertiary institutions from external Papua reaches three thousand. By contrast, the Central Post of Exodus Students in Jayapura said their current number is six thousand.
On January 2020, 146 people identified themselves as members of the Central Post of Exodus Students came to the office of Papua’s People Assembly asking the Chairperson Timotius Murib to schedule a meeting with the governor Lukas Enembe and the chairperson of Papuan House of Representative Jhony Banua Row. They said that they wanted to convey their statement regarding the issue of racism towards Papuans through this setup.
The meeting previously scheduled for taking place on Thursday this week, but Murib said it had to postpone due to further acknowledgement from the governor. Furthermore, he said his office (Papuan People’s Assembly) would notify the students if the Papuan Governor is already in Papua because the Governor Enembe also wants to meet the exodus students. Even the governor has tried several times to meet the exodus students but continued to reject by the students.
“In 2019, [when the case of] racism increased, the governor came to Surabaya to meet the students but failed [to meet. After the governor] arrived in Papua, he [had] invited [the exodus students in a meeting], but the students rejected it,” said Murib.
Now, the representatives of the Central Post of Exodus Students asked for a meeting with the Papuan Governor. Personally, Murib said he hopes the meeting would immediately happen. He said it is crucial because it contains the issue of the future of these students, those who expected to become the foundation of Papua’s future.
“Education is more important, because [education will become an investment] of their future and this nation. Therefore, we are waiting for the governor to set up the meeting with the students,” said Murib.
In the meantime, Kaitanus Ikinia from the Central Post of Exodus Students confirmed that the students already received notification about this postponement. “Today is cancelled. [We knew] after communicating with the Papuan People’s Assembly,” Ikinia texted Jubi on Thursday. (*)
Reporter: Hengky Yeimo
Editor: Pipit Maizier
The court should avoid labelled of Indonesian colonialism tool
Jayapura, Jubi – The Advocate Team for Indigenous Papuans hopes the panel of judges would be objective and fair in examining the facts during the trial of a mass rampage on 29 August 2019. They said it is crucial acts to avoid perceptions that the Jayapura District Court is only an instrument of Indonesian colonialism against Papuans.
The statement revealed in the press release by the Advocate Team for Indigenous Papuans as the legal councillor team of the mass rampage’s defendants. In the hearing held on Wednesday (15/1/2020), the advocate team presented a West Papuan activist for independence Filep Karma as a witness to defend their four clients.
In the press release issued on Thursday (16/1/2010), the Advocate Team for Indigenous Papuans declared that Karma’s testimony in the hearing held on Wednesday (15/1/2020) would strengthen the suspicion that the peaceful anti-racism rally on 29 August 2019 turned into a rampage after a group of people provoke the crowds’ mobilisation. They further asked the Jayapura District Court to explore the facts of the trial before convicting the defendants.
“The witness Filep Karma presented by the Advocate Team for Indigenous Papuans in the trial against the defendants YL, EH, PK, and DK, revealed new facts [which] confirmed the statements of previous witnesses that the tragedy of arson and riots in Jayapura allegedly carried out by a mobilized group. When the riot occurred at around 3 p.m. Papua time, Filep Karma was on the location of the peace rally, at the intersection of Jayapura City and Dok II,” wrote the Advocate Team in the press release.
In the trial chaired by Judge Maria M Sitanggang, Karma testified that he witnessed a group of people riding motorcycles who seemed to provoke other people by roaring the noise of their motorbikes. Those riders passed a group of students and masses who participated in the peaceful rally.
The Advocate Team for Indigenous Papuans also said the witness Karma further stated that he also saw another group riding motorcycles. In this group, he recognized the Deputy Chair of Barisan Merah Putih (Red-and-White Front) Abisai Rolo whom Karma said greeted him.
The Advocate Team for Indigenous Papuan then underlined that Karma testified about the alleged scenario for steering the pacifist student demonstration into a rampage. Therefore, in his opinion, the students who suspected, in this case, are only the scapegoats. Karma also asserted that the rally held peacefully. The demonstrators were obedient, and even amongst the demonstrators were women.
As a Papuan native, Filep Karma also hopes that the Jayapura District Court will be fair to Papuan students and youth, so it can grow trustiness amongst Papuans that the court is not a colonialized instrument of Indonesia.
In their press release, the Advocate Team for Indigenous Papuans also stated that during a series of hearing against their clients, it revealed that the docket of case prepared under intimidation and violence. In the hearing of case dossiers against the defendants DK and FE, the witnesses presented by the Advocate Team for Indigenous Papuans stated investigators had intimidated and even tortured the defendants during the investigation.
In addition to being tortured during the investigation, some defendants also experienced violence by the authorities before being investigated. Regarding the torture, the Advocate Team for Indigenous Papuans said their clients were abused in various ways including kicked on their ribs, spine, ears and knees, slapped on the cheeks, beaten while being handcuffed which caused injuries and pain.
“Based on these facts, the Advocate for Indigenous Papuans expressed their statement and called for the Panel of Judges to consider facts during the trial objectively to prevent assumption that the Jayapura District Court is a tool of Indonesian colonialism against indigenous Papuans.”
Moreover, the Advocate Team for Indigenous Papuans urged the Panel of Judges to fully and comprehensively consider the facts of the trial. “From the testimonies of several witnesses, there is a matching fact that the burning had a greater impact, but the police did not reveal this legal fact,” stated the Advocate Team for Indigenous Papuans in the press release. (*)
Reporter: Aryo Wisanggeni
Editor: Pipit Maizer
Papua Police trace firearms trafficking around local landfill site
Papua, Jubi – Papua Regional Police are still investigating some cases of firearms and ammunition trafficking from abroad into the region. It follows up the increase of shooting terrors against military and police officers by unidentified groups in various areas of Papua.
“Indeed, we have information that firearms trafficking is not only from domestic sellers but also from abroad. There are indications that it comes through the border area, and from the Philippines via North Maluku, Sorong, West Papua Province into Papua. This route what we are tracking now,” he said in Timika as reported by Antara on Monday (13/1).
Furthermore, General Waterpauw asked the local community to provide support and assistance to notify the authorities if they have information related to the transaction of firearms and ammunition. Therefore, the authorities could stop the trading and at the same time be aware of the syndication network and take the perpetrators to the court.
Meanwhile, Mimika Police’s Special Force and Battalion B of Police’s Mobile Brigade have investigated some witnesses for information. Some of them are the local garbage truck drivers who are suspected transporting ammunitions with household waste to be disposed at the Waste Disposal Site at Iwaka Sub-district and heavy vehicle operators on duty at the Iwaka landfill site.
Dozens of ammunition with the active launcher were first discovered by Hendra (17), a heavy equipment operator at the Iwaka landfill site on Tuesday (12/31/2019).
Based on Hendra’s information as reported by Darjo, a fellow operator at the Iwaka landfill, the ammunition wrapped in a plastic bag and transported to the landfill by a regional government garbage truck with hull number 10 with plate number DS 9593 MA.
Once opened, it is known that the plastic package contains ammunition of 10 grains of 5.56.5 TJ.
Then on Wednesday (1/1) at the same location, two GLM launchers and 50.56.5 calibre AMM ammunition were also found. The findings were then handed over to the Papua Police Regional Battalion Brimob B officers.
Currently, three civilians involved in the transaction of 600 ammunitions are undergoing trial in Timika District Court and have been pronounced for six years and five years sentence respectively.
While two Indonesian soldiers who involve in the case underwent hearing in the Jayapura Military Court but one suspect was found dead in his detention at Military Detention Center in Waena, Jayapura on Monday (6/1/2020)
Regarding the case, the Mimika Police Chief Adjunct Senior Commissionaire I Gusti Era Adhinata said dozens of active ammunitions and throwers found belonged to Indonesian military and police.
“Where did it come from, this is what we are currently investigating. From there, it will reveal the culprits who pulled those ammunitions and throwers from arsenals,” he said.
Regarding firearms trafficking involved military members and police officer, Inspector General Paulus Waterpauw reminded his subordinates in Papua to not involve in the illegal firearms and ammunition trading. He stressed that there would be no mercy for those who catch in the act involving in the trafficking.
“I hope our members do not take advantage of this space for involving in ammunition trading, so on and so forth. In principle, for those who are indicated and proven to be involved, there would be no mercy for them. We will surely fire them disrespectfully and take them to the court,” he launched his statement in Timika on Monday.
However, the chief believes that most police officers serving in Papua have high integrity and loyalty. But, according to him, an individual member also can commit such a deviant act. (*)
Editor: Jean Bisay
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