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Four KNPB Activists Jailed for Opinions

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KNPB's flag - Jubi

KNPB’s flag – Jubi

Jayapura, Jubi –A lawyer for four activists of West Papua National Committee (KNPB) in Manokwari region, said the jail sentence of 1 year 6 months for them was too harsh because they simply expressed different views.

“Alexander Nekenem, Othen Gombo, Nopinus Humawak, Yoram Magay were convicted because of different views,” said lawyer Yan Christian Warinussy in a written statement received by Jubi in Jayapura on Monday (11/30/2015).

According to the Papuan human rights lawyer from the Institute for Research, Study and Development of Legal Aid (LP3BH) Manokwari, on Nov. 27, as the legal team received a copy of verdict number: 107 / Pid.B / 2015 / PN.Mnk on behalf of Alexander Dekenem et al. The letter stated that the defendants were sentenced to prison, each for one year and six months, with their time in custody deducted.

Prosecutor Irna Indira Ruth sought two years  imprisonment for them.

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That ruling, the Warinussy is still waiting for an official copy of the decision of the Registrar Court of Manokwari, in order to learn the basic consideration of the judges who had declared the four defendants were found guilty so that sentenced them.

According to the Secretary of the Regional Parliament, Rafael Natkime, the verdict will never confine their ideology.

“Be in Jail is one of the highest sacrifices for fighters,” he said.

He said four KNPB activists were detained on May 20, 2015 during a peaceful demonstration in Manokwari with three agendas, first, demanding the state to immediately open access to foreign journalists in Papua, according to a statement the president of Joko Widodo, second was to immediately open the democratic space for the people of West Papua. And the last was to support the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) as representatives of Papuans in Melanesian Spread head Group(MSG). (Mawel Benny/ Tina)

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Hundreds of people were detained in Papua ahead to 1 December

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One of four students who arrested by police at Gereja Gembala Baik, Abepura on 1 December. – Courtesy of LBH Papua

Jayapura, Jubi – Around 112 people were arrested by police in several towns of Papua and Papua Barat provinces within a week ahead to 1 December 2019 under the treason article concerning the Morning Star flag-raising.

Five days before 1 December which commemorated as the Papuan political manifesto by Papuans, a young Papuan activist Pilipus Robaha arrested by police in his house on 26 November 2019. The police questioned him in association with a letter posting on social media appealing people to attend the commemoration worship of 1 December at Trikora Square. Lack of evidence to accuse his involvement connected to the report, the police released him the next day.

A day after his arrest, the police detained eight people in Manokwari at around 3 in the afternoon of local time. The Regional Police Chief of Papua Barat Province, Brigadier General Herry Rudolf Nahak, said during the police seized twenty-nine big-sized Morning Star flags, some posters and pamphlets and two cars.

“During the interrogation, these eight people admitted that they participated in the event after reading the pamphlet about a rally at Borasi Square, Manokwari on Wednesday morning,” said the police chief.

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Until Thursday (5/12/2019), they are still under the custody of Manokwari Police. So far, the police declared none of these eight persons named suspects. However, the police have charged seven detainees under the treason article, according to Yan Warinussy, the Executive Director of Legal Aid Research, Study and Development Study (LP3BH) Manokwari. Meanwhile, another one only named as a witness.

Another arrest occurred in Sentani City of Jayapura Regency. The police detained thirty-four people on Saturday evening (30/11/2019) while marching towards Trikora Square, Abepura to participate in a flag-raising ceremony. The police also accused them as the members of the West Papuan National Liberation Army from Demta sub-district and Sarmi Regency after finding evidence of their membership cards.

Jayapura Police Chief Adjunct Commissionaire Victor Makbon said “We already released fourteen of them, but twenty people have named suspects. We charged six of them under the Emergency Law on the possession of sharp weapons and the Treason Article 106 and Article 2 verse (1) of the Criminal Code.”

In the meantime, there are 13 people charged under the Treason Article 106 of the Criminal Code, while one also charged under the Treason Article 106 and Article 160 on incitement.

Regarding this case, Yohanis Mambrasaar, a lawyer from Papua Human Rights Advocates Association (PAHAM), confirmed that the report on twenty people charged for treason. Currently, he said PAHAM is preparing the power of attorney to provide legal assistance for detainees.

Separately, the police arrested four students at Gembala Baik Church in Abepura on Sunday Morning. Marvin Yobe, Desepianus Dumupa, Paul Halapok and Devion Tekege wore the Papuan highland traditional clothes and pained their bodies with the Morning Star pattern. They also brought the Morning Star flags to the Church during the worship time.

The arrested student Desepianus Dumupa said the purpose of their act was to ask God for freedom. “Our purpose carrying the flag in the worship was to ask God’s help, ask Him to liberate our nation,” said Dumupa.

However, the police then released these four students after being interrogated until 1 morning on Monday. They first questioned at Abepura Police Headquarters, then at Jayapura Police Headquarters after the police had not found any evidence at their accommodation.

By Monday morning, the police called Father James Kosay who led the worship at Gembala Baik Church on 1 December to question related to the arrest of four students. “At the time of arrest, there were twenty police officers, both without and with uniform, entered the church during the worship that made people panic,” said Father James.

A day before the incident in Gembala Baik Church, the police also called Markus Haluk, the Executive Director of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) in connection with The Call for Communal Worship on 1 December 2019. The police interrogated Haluk with twenty-nine questions for six hours.

Another detain also occurred in Fakfak. The local police of Fakfak arrested 54 people in Warpa, Pikpik and Mabuni-Buni villages of Kayauni sub-district at around 3 in the afternoon on Sunday (1/12/2019). The police accused them intending to raise the Morning Star flag at the residence of Fakfak Regent. Also, the police claimed the fifty-four detainees as the members of TPNPB after finding their membership cards during the arrest.

Fakfak Police Chief Ary Nyoto Setiawan said that the Morning Star flag was already raised in Warpa village by twenty-three people with sharp weapons. When the arrest took place, according to the chief, the police also found the amount of IDR 88 million on the scene.

“The money was about to send to their highest rank leader in Jayapura,” said the chief.

Based on their investigation, the police has officially named twenty-three people as suspects.

The Recherche and Crime Investigation Chief of Fakfak Police, Misbahul Munir, said, “ These twenty-three people wanted to come to Fakfak to wave the flag at the official residence of Fakfak Regent.“

A picture of the arrest in Fakfak widely spread in social media

A photo of the arrest in Pikpik village of Fakfak raised criticism among Papuan people following its circulation on social media. In the picture, almost naked, some people tied up together and remained sitting by the road.

“The right word for the picture is slavery. Only those who experienced colonialism can do this. They experienced the same oppression before their independence. So, they want to practice the same thing against the oppressed people,“ said Filep Karma to comment on the photo that goes viral on social media.

However, Fakfak Police has not yet confirmed about the picture. So far, the Recherche and Crime Investigation Chief of Fakfak Police has not answered the phone and WhatsApp message to clarify the photograph allegedly describes the arrest in Pikpik village. However, several Fakfak residents confirmed that the circulated photo about the detain in Pikpik village on 1 December 2019 is valid.

“They arrested on 1 (December). A man with white hair body on chess was my classmate, Yance Hegemur,” said a Fakfak resident by phone to confirm the photograph.

Meanwhile, the Chairman of Domberai Customary Council Finsen Mayor also believes the same way. “Yes, it was the picture of the incident on 1 December in Fakfak. They transported to Fakfak Police Headquarters in the evening,” said Mayor.

From Tuesday (26/11/2019) to Wednesday (4/12/2019) afternoon, there are 101 people arrested and interrogated by police in connection to 1 December. So far, 82 people are still detained in Fakfak, Manokwari and Sentani, while the rest already released by police. At least 27 people have named suspects under the treason article, in which twenty people in Sentani and other seven in Manowakri.

In the sense of police acts to anticipate 1 December by arresting Papuans, according to Yan Warinussy, it would only worsen the image of the Indonesian Government among Papuans as Papua has a different historical background to other regions in Indonesia. This recognition is implicitly acknowledged the verse e of the Law 21/2001 about the Special Autonomy for Papua.

“1 December should be used as a milestone to create constructive efforts to straighten the history of Papua by the people of Papua and the state for the sake of peace,” said Warinussy.

He further asserted that every social and political movement of Papuan people, which contain different aspirations, should be responded with the kind response and accommodated through peaceful dialogue. (*)

 

Reporter: Victor Mambor

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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Carrying Morning Star flags in the worship, four students arrested in Church

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Four students were taken to Abepura Police station while attending Mass at Gembala Baik Catholic Church, Abepura on Sunday (1/12/2019)

Jayapura, Jubi – Four students were taken to Abepura Police station while attending Mass at Gembala Baik Catholic Church, Abepura on Sunday (1/12/2019). Wearing the traditional clothes of Papuan highlands, two of them decorated their faces with the pattern of Morning Star.

The four students are Marvin Yobe, Desepianus Dumupa, Paul Halapok and Devion Tekege. “They brought three Morning Star flags,” said Mario, an Abepura resident who was at the worship.

A police officer who not wear uniform at that time stood to arrest the students when they were about to receive the Host, but hold by the congregation asking him to respect the Holly Communion. Then, the police officer took the students out of the Church after seizing their flags.

Among the four, Desepianus Dumupa (26 years old) said their aim bringing the Morning Flags to the Church was to ask God for freedom. “Our purpose coming to the worship with the flags is to ask for help from God. We ask God to give freedom for Papuans,” said Dumupa.

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At the meantime, the Director of Legal Aid Institute (LBH) Papua, Emanuel Gobay, said the police took the students to Abepura police station for questioning. During the investigation, Jayapura Police Chief Gustaf Urbunas came and met with the Coalition Team of Papua Legal and Human Rights Advocates who accompanied the four students.

Urbinas stated the four students would be taken to Perumnas III Waena to inspect their accommodation after the examination for searching other evidence. After that, they would go to Jayapura Police Headquarter for further investigation.

“When asked about the legal status of the four students, the police chief said the police still ask their clarification before taking a decision,” said Gobay, the Coordinator of the Coalition team.

However, Gobay continued, after their inspection to Perumnas III, the police did not found any evidence. Then, the police took the four students to Jayapura Headquarters, took their pictures and fingerprints before continuing the interrogation.

The examination continued until 00.59; Monday, 2 December 2019 before the four students were finally released.

Meanwhile, as quoted by Antara News Agency, Papua Police Chief General Paulus Waterpauw confirmed the interrogation against the four students. “I ordered Jayapura Municipal Police Chief to explore the case, to find out what do their plans,” said Waterpauw.

He stated in general the security situation in Papua is conducive during the commemoration West Papuan Independence Day which held every 1 December. Moreover, he said there were no public activities considered disturbing the security and public order.

“Generally safe, conducive and controlled. We are grateful to all stakeholders. Therefore, the commemoration of 1 December, which is an annual event, can run in a conducive, safe and controlled,” said Paulus Waterpauw on Sunday (1/12/2019). (*)

 

Reporter: Victor Mambor

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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Concerning Commemoration of 1 December, Elsham asks Military and Police to respect laws

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Papuans dance a traditional dance ‘waita’ after raising the ‘Morning Star’ flag on 1 December 2017. – Jubi/Doc–

Jayapura, Jubi – In responding to a discourse and issue surround the West Papuan commemoration day of 1 December 1961 which celebrated on Sunday (1/12/2019), the Director of the Institute for Human Rights and Advocacy (Elsaham), the Rev. Matheus Adadikam, said Papuan people will conduct a peaceful activity through worships and long march.

Concerning those activities, he said the State guarantees the freedom of expression, assembly, association and religion, which stipulated in Article 28E Verse 2 and 3 of the Indonesian 1945 Constitution, National Law No. 9 of 1998 about Freedom of Expression in public, as well as the ICCPR Convention that ratified by Indonesia in 2006. Further, Article 28E Verse 1 also guarantee the citizens to do worships according to their religion. Therefore, he asks the Indonesian Military and Police to respect it.

“We ask the security forces to not be overreactive against people who express their gratitude on that day. They must respect laws and constitution on handling the groups of mass,” he said in his official written statement received by Jubi on Saturday (30/11/2019).

In the meantime, one Lapago customary leader Agus Rawa Kogoya said in a statement received by Jubi that he appeals Papuans for not doing orations on the streets.

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“If (they) want to celebrate 1 December, please go and do in the headquarters (of OPM),” he said on Thursday (28/11/2019).

Also, he asked all parties to not declaring any statement that potentially escalates the conflict. People should give something that soothes the public.

“Once we have said that Papua is the land of peace. Moreover, 1 December is the day when we the Christians start our preparation for Christmas,” he said.

Therefore, he suggests the people do worships in their houses, instead of gathering on the streets.

“Do not create something that can ruin the security, which possibly causes casualties. As one Lapago traditional leader, I appeal the public as well as indigenous territories to maintain the stability, in particular on 1 December,” he said.

Kogoya further admitted that he has coordination with both military and police concerning their tasks to provide security to the public.

“But, maintaining the security is not only the tasks of the security forces but also mutual responsibilities of the community leaders, youths and communities to keep Papua secured and peaceful,” he said.

“Therefore, to our brothers, the TPN/OPM, please halt your fire on 1 December. Let us do our worships together at our respective territories. Once again, I emphasise that please do not provoke situations that cause casualties. What has happened in the past is enough,” he firmly said. (*)

 

Reporter: Timoteus Marten

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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