Jayapura, Jubi – The exodus wave of Papuan students from all over cities of Indonesia recently has caused six students dead and six others detained by the Papua Police.
The four dead victims Ason Mujijau, Eramanus Wesareak, Jery Murib and Otier Wenda were allegedly shot by police during a clash at Expo Waena on 23 September 2019 when the police forced students to dissolve from the rally. Among those victims, Wesareak was the youngest. He was registered as a high school student, while others were university students.
Meanwhile, another dead victim was a student Astinus Sama who died in a traffic accident. According to his family, he died after being hit by an unknown person on Sunday, 29 September 2019. However, the police said no one involved in the accident. It was a single-vehicle crash.
In this sense, the Secretary of Exodus Students Roby Hiktaop confirmed four students killed by bullets on 23 September and one died due to a hit-and-run accident on 29 September 2019.
By contrast, the Jayapura Police Chief Victor Dean Mackbon via the Sentani Timur Police Chief Heri Wicahya explained that Astinus Sama (21 years old) died in a single-vehicle crash.
“The accident occurred on Sunday morning when Astinus Sama drove his motorbike ‘SPM Honda Beat’ with plat number PA 3527 RQ from Waena to Sentani at high speed. As a result, he couldn’t control his stir while on the road in front of the floating restaurant in Sentani Timur. Losing the balance, he fell and was thrown from the motorbike alongside the road and immediately taken to Dian Harapan Hospital,” said Chief Heri as cited in the police news website Tribratanews.papua.polri.go.id.
Furthermore, Roby Hiktaop said after mass dissolution by police on 23 September 2019; the exodus students are now living with their families or student dormitories.
“Based on the recent meeting, the students plan to open a new post to protect the exodus students,” he said.
According to him, the exodus students are still intimidated by the authorities. Therefore, they cannot meet each other for organizing a meeting. “Our friends started to feel unsafe to live in Jayapura because the police keep their eyes on them. They have also been stalking by unknown people. So, many of them decided to go home to their respective regencies, but the police hold them before they arrived at the airport to be recorded and photographed.
Earlier, Emmanuel Gobai, the Director of Papua Legal Aid Institute, explained that six students are still in the police’s detention at the Papua Mobile Brigade Headquarters in Kotaraja, Jayapura. They are Assa Asso, Yogi Wenda, Jembrif Kogoya, Abraham Dote, Elimus Bayage and Yandu Kogoya. These students were arrested following the clash on 23 September 2019 at Expo Waena and charged for committing treason and other criminal acts according to the Indonesia Criminal Code.
Regional parliament members ask the police to reveal the cause of casualties in the Expo incident
A parliament member Edmus Gwijangge from the Commission of Governmental, Politics, Law and Human Rights of the Papuan House of Representatives (DPRP) asks the police to uncover and confirm the cause of the death of three students in a clash involving students and the security forces at Expo Waena, Heram Sub-district, Jayapura City on 23 September 2019.
He said the police must be transparent with this case. If they find that the cause of students’ death is bullets, they must reveal who did it;
given that the security forces in charge at that time were joint military, mobile brigade and police officers.
“Whether the students died because of mistreatment or other reasons, the police also need to reveal. Regarding a soldier who died during the incident, the police also must find out whether the perpetrator is a student or someone else,” said Gwijangge on Tuesday (01/10/2019).
According to him, after the Expo-Waena incident, the police is currently more focusing on arresting and investigating students who involved in the conflict as suspects.
“There should be transparency for the victims’ families. If the students died of being shot, who shot them? If this case is yet not revealed, it will give a wrong impression to the police.
Therefore, he hopes the new Papua Police Chief Paulus Waterpauw would address this problem adequately and work with Papua Provincial Government and other stakeholders in solving many cases occurred in Papua.
“Some students and citizens who are currently in detention following the mass rally against racism should be immediately realized once they found not involved. If they are found guilty, please do not hold the legal process,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Head of Papua Police Public Relations Ahmad Mustofa Kamal said thirteen people currently named as suspects after the Expo-Waena incident.
“Initially, we named seven people as suspects. However, after further investigation, there are thirteen suspects. In the case of riot demonstration in Wamena, we currently determine seven suspects from previous three,” said the Police Commissioner Kamal.
Until now the police are continuing their investigation on these two cases that occurred in Expo-Waena Jayapura City and Wamena, Jayawijaya Regency. There is a possibility that the number of suspects in both cases will increase if the police find other sufficient evidence. (*)
Reporter: David Sobolim/Arjuna Pademme
Editor: Maizier Pipit
Discrimination handling refugees hurts Papuans
Jayapura, Jubi – The way government handling the humanitarian conflict in Papua has become a spotlight. Many people think the government are being discriminative in handling Nduga refugees compared to refugees from Wamena.
A native Ndugama Resina Lokbere said that she is discouraged seeing how the government differently treated refugees from both areas. “I see a huge difference approach here. Although the government always declare our national motto ‘unity in diversity’, but I have not seen this applied in Papua. A conflict in Nduga has occurred since 1 December 2018. Since then, Nduga residents must leave their villages and flee to other regions and the jungle to avoid a military operation,” she said.
Moreover, she said if the government are a concern in settling the humanitarian conflict in Papua, they should treat people fairly. The government should treat people equally, regardless of indigenous Papuans or non-Papuans.
“Thousands of youth and children drop out of school, and now they are living under poor health condition. There is economic loses as well. Who knows whether they will be survived or dead after a few months of suffering without enough food and water? I don’t know. Only God is the witness of their suffering,” said Resina whose relatives refuge from Nduga.
In her view, the way the government handling the issue of refugees can create a barrier in society. She thinks the government has indirectly built a wall between one community to others.
“The government should not perceive conflicts in Nduga and Wamena merely from a political view but also a humanitarian aspect. They are all your people. They need you. They need your action, not your promises on the public stage,” she said.
Meanwhile, a local parliament member Laurenzus Kadepa also think the government has shown different response in handling refugees due to conflicts occurred in Nduga and Wamena.
According to him, he observed that the victims of conflict in Wamena were promptly evacuated or accommodated with adequate facilities. They had enough food and other basic needs during the evacuation. It was opposite to what had happened to Nduga residents. They had to walk for days from their villages to Wamena and other regions.
“While there was a lack of access to food aid distribution for Nduga residents, it didn’t happen for Wamena refugees. They had planes to transport them, shelter and enough food,” he said.
Seeing what has been happening lately in Papua, the relevant stakeholders in Papua and the central government should immediately think a solution to end this current complicated situation. (*)
Reporter: Agus Pabika
Editor: Pipit Maizier
Five bodies discovered in Mbua, allegedly shot by military culprits
Jayapura, Jubi – Residents and activists from Pegunungan Tengah Human Rights Defender Networks (JapHAM) discovered five bodies on Thursday (10/20/2019) in Iniye Village, Mbua Sub-district, Nduga Regency. The bodies are suspected of the shooting victims of military culprits and covered by grass and leaves before being buried in one hole.
Nduga youth leader Samuel Tabuni, who is also a relative of the victims, said the victims left Wamena on 20 September for picking food supplies by car. They went together with a group of young men. Some group members then separated for taking food to their villages. Meanwhile, the victims took their supplies to Gua Batu, Gunung Kanbobo because they lived far away and decided to stay in Iniye Village.
“The next day on 21 September, the five victims went to take the food they stored at Gua Batu. Another group followed them later, but while they were walking, they heard gunfire. They were scared and decided not to continue to their walk to Gua Batu. They walked back to Ineye and called me,” Samuel Tabuni told on Thursday (10/10/2019).
However, after the call, he wasn’t sure about what had happened in Ineye. So he asked the police for further investigation. But the police said there was no report of the shooting incident in Mbua.
“The victims are my relatives, so I must continue to find the truth. After twenty days, it finally reveals that allegedly military culprits have shotted these five people,” said Samuel Tabuni.
He said a resident who called him witnessed military personnel at around Gua Batu.
The five bodies later identified as Mrs Yuliana Dorggi (35), Mrs Jelince Bugi (25), Mrs Macen Kusumbrue (26), Tolop Bugi (13) and Hardius Bugi (15).
“Local people and JapHAM Pegunung Tengah led by Theo Hesegem discovered their bodies,” said Samuel Tabuni.
Meanwhile, Kodam (regional military command) XVII/Cenderawasih admitted to Jubi that they have not yet received any information regarding the shooting incident in Iniye Village.
“We have not received an official report from the local unit,” said Colonel Eko Daryanto, Kodam spokesperson, to Jubi via WhatsApp.
Since a military conflict occurred in Nduga in the early of December last year, 189 residents are reportedly dead because of starvation in a refugee camp or shot by the military and police. Following the incident, thousands of Nduga residents have fled, and 39 churches have vacated.
Currently, according to Samuel Tabuni, Nduga residents demand the government to withdraw the joint military and police troops from Nduga. Furthermore, Nduga urgently needs humanitarian aid to supply food, medicine and support from the international humanitarian organisation to conduct an independent investigation on human rights violations in Nduga.
Meanwhile, Papua Governor Lukas Enembe hope Nduga refugees are not treated differently with refugees from another conflict in Wamena.
“Nduga residents are also the Indonesian citizens who should be treated equally as other residents,” said Governor Enembe.
Further, he said the case of Nduga refugee is an extraordinary case related to a humanitarian issue.
Therefore, he said he already communicated with the regents of Jayawijaya and Lanny Jaya because most of Nduga refugees are currently staying in these two regencies. He asked the regents from both regencies to treat Nduga refugees well because they are also Papuan citizens who need the attention of the government. (*)
Reporter: Victor Mambor
Editor: Pipit Maizier
Conducive, school activities resume in Wamena
Wamena, Jubi – Following the unrest on 23 November 2019, most schools closed down their activities. Schools activities just resume on Monday, 7 October 2019 despite less attendance of teachers and students.
The Secretary of Jayawijaya Education Office Bambang Budiandoyo said at least ten schools which are directly impacted by the riots: four primary schools, three secondary schools and three high schools, have students’ participation of ten to twenty percent.
“At the first day of school, we focus more on recovering trauma among teachers and students, no learning activities yet,” he said on Monday (7/10) in Wamena.
The Jayawijaya Education Office remarks there are 25 of 61 schools of a range of degrees from pre to high schools reported the impact of riots toward their schools.
“The twenty-five schools already filed report on schools’ damages. Their reports have been forwarded to the regent via the Public Works Office (PUPR). They hope the government can immediately respond it for repairs,” said Bambang.
Now, in the sixth day after the riots, people can see many schools were damaged in different scales, from broken windows’ glasses to broken classrooms. In order to motivate teachers and students back to school, the regional education office calls Wahana Visi Indonesia (WVI) to assist them providing a trauma healing consultation.
“The Education Office also get an assistance from WVI to provide a trauma healing consultation for students and teachers for two weeks,” he said.
Meanwhile, the SMA Negeri 1 Wamena Principal Yosep Wibisono said after the incident both parents and students mostly decided leaving Wamena for a while. “So I am taking an initiative to clean our school with the help of the rest of teachers and students left. This is for reducing the unrest feeling when learning activities resume to normal.
There is no major damages occurred in SMA Negeri 1 Wamena. Only some windows’ glasses in the classroom, staff office hit by stones and broken as well as the school’s signpost and fence.
Separately, Efaim Yeuruan, the principal of SD YPPK Santo Yakobus Hone Lama, said the school has opened but only seven teachers and two of 490 pupils coming to school. “I have heard that students who are today absents because their parents are taking them to their hometowns after the riots,” he said.
Meanwhile, on the last 4 October 2019, the officials of the Jayawijaya Regional Government together with locals and police and military cleaned some debris from any exposed schools from Wouma to the areas of Wamena City including Hom-Hom.
Many locals and other community’s members participated to clean debris at SMP YPPK Santo Thomas. A classroom which burned down in the incident need more attention in addition cleaning the broken glasses.
Jayawijaya Regent appreciates teachers and students attending school
The Jayawijaya Regent Richard Banua expresses his appreciation to teachers and students attending the first day of school though it’s only a few.
“I hope these pupils can motivate others who might be now in a refuge. They can see that our schools start to operate,” said Banua.
He also hopes some absent teachers can resume teaching. To students and their parents, he said the government want everyone not feeling worried because it is now safe.
“Do not worry about the spreading rumours. But if you notice that schools are now open, let us sending our children to school as usual,” he said.
He also asks the security forces to maintain their performance in doing their job securing the situation. “I have talked to the local police chef asking him and his personnel to persistently maintain the security by doing patrol and deploying personnel at certain threat points,” he said.
Police name 13 suspects related to Wamena unrest
Jayawijaya Police name six other suspects to add the previous seven involving in a protest led to unrest in Wamena on 23 September 2019. Papua Police spokesperson Senior Commissionaire Ahmad Mustofa Kamal said the total number of suspects are currently 13. Ten of them are in the detention of Jayawijaya Police while three are still on the wanted list.
He told reporters the initial names of suspects are DM (19), RW (18), AO (16), RA (16), AK (19), DJ (32), YP (22), ES (27), MT (27), SK (40).
“YA, B and MA are still in the wanted list. There are students among the suspects. It assumes that they were only joining when destruction and burning had happened, while those in the wanted list allegedly provoked,” said Kamal in the press conference on Monday (7/10).
Moreover, he said these suspects are charged with Article 187 of the criminal code on combustion, Article 170 on destruction on people or goods collectively in public, and Article 160 on incitation to people to conduct crime.
“The police has kept the evidences related to the riots in Wamena, namely 34 stones allegedly used for destruction, 22 motorbikes and a car burned in the riots as well as a video footage of the incident,” he said.
Furthermore, Kamal said the number of suspects might be increased because the police are still continuing their investigation.
Meanwhile, the new appointed chief of Papua Police, the Inspector General Police Paulus Waterpau said there are two troops of Mobile Brigade deployed to help securing Wamena and now Papua Police plans to add another troop of Mobile Brigade to help the settled police and military troops in Wamena.
“I think the number of local troops in Wamena is enough. But we might add some more. This is also relevant to some other areas. Well, nothing, it’s just to look after and give understanding to the community,” said Waterpauw. (*)
Editor: Pipit Maizier
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