Rights group urges Indonesian police to release activists charged with treason – West Papua No.1 News Portal
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Rights group urges Indonesian police to release activists charged with treason

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A protester holds a flag of the banned South Maluku Republic separatist movement during a demonstration against then-Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in London, Oct. 31, 2012. AFP

Papua, Jubi – Police in Indonesia’s Maluku province said they have charged five suspected separatists with treason after security forces raided a house where pro-independence activists had gathered over the weekend.

Authorities confiscated secessionist flags of the banned Maluku Sovereignty Front – South Maluku Republic (FKM-RMS) from the house in Hulaliu village on Haruku island, about 2,400 km (1,490 miles) northeast of Jakarta.

Police have charged the suspects – identified as Izack Siahaya, 80, Teli Siahaya, 50, Johan Noya, 35, Markus Noya, 30, and Basten Noya, 30 – with treason, according to Julkisno Kaisupy, a police spokesman in Ambon, the main island in the Malukus.

They could face life in prison if found guilty.

“They are still being detained. The police are handling the case,” Julkisno told BenarNews.

Amnesty International Indonesia (AI) urged the national police to order officers in Maluku to release the activists.

“Installing a flag as a political expression is not a crime. Political activists who carry out their acts peacefully, including those who support independence, have the right to express their political views,” AI researcher Papang Hidayat said in a statement.

“The police must immediately and unconditionally release them and guarantee freedom of expression for the people of Maluku,” Papang said.

AI said the suspects in detention were not accompanied by a lawyer.

“The police in Maluku must guarantee that they are not tortured or mistreated. The police must also guarantee that they get access to lawyers – chosen by them,” Papang said.

Julkisno declined to comment on AI’s call for the suspects to be released, but said they were accompanied by a lawyer appointed by police.

A local activist said the flag was displayed inside the house.

“From the aspect of human rights and legal rights, there is no justification for police to arrest or punish the five people, even more so that the reason for the arrest was simply the display of an RMS flag inside the house,” Johanis L. Hahury, chairman of the Maluku Human Rights Advocacy Institute (LIAMMA), told BenarNews.

‘Prisoners of conscience’

A group of Maluku nationalists proclaimed the RMS on April 25, 1950, after a treaty between the Dutch and the Indonesian governments for a federation of Indonesian states was broken.

The RMS rebellion was defeated by Indonesian forces later that year, but a low-level armed insurgency continued until 1963. The RMS leadership went into exile in the Netherlands in 1966.

In 2007, police arrested 28 pro-independence activists who performed a cakalele war dance and unfurled a separatist flag in front of then-president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono during a ceremony to mark National Family Day in Ambon.

The activists were sentenced to between 15 and 20 years in prison.

Human Rights Watch has alleged that some of the prisoners were subjected to torture and other ill-treatment.

Last year, Indonesian authorities moved six of the prisoners from Nusakambangan, a penal island for hardened criminals off the coast of Java island, to a prison in Ambon, Maluku’s provincial capital.

They have refused a government offer of pardon, insisting that they are not guilty of any crime.

Amnesty said the government of current President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo had released 60 “prisoners of conscience” in rebellious Papua province and Maluku since he took office in 2014.

“In recent years, Amnesty International has noted that the number of political activists in Papua and Maluku prosecuted on charges of treason has been decreasing,” AI said. (*)

 

Source: benarnews.org

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ULMWP activists in Papua express gratitude to Oxford City Council

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Leaders of ULMWP provide their supports to Benny Wenda. – Jubi/Dok. ULMWP

Jayapura, Jubi – Simon B Daby, a member of the Central Board Committee of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP), said that West Papuans appreciate the Oxford City Council for granting the Freedom of Oxford” award to the Chairman of ULMWP Benny Wenda. Further, he said this award proves that the international community paid attention towards the efforts of the ULMWP and Wenda in fighting for Papuan self-determination.

The Freedom of Oxford is the highest honour given by the City of Oxford to people who have a significant impact on society. Benny Wenda is an internationally recognized diplomat and leader for the West Papua free movement. Since being granted political asylum in England in 2002, Wenda has fought tirelessly for the self-determination of West Papuans from his campaign office in Oxford.

Moreover, Simon B Dabby stated that this award is highly essential for all the people of West Papua. “We, the people of West Papua, congratulate Benny Wenda who received this award for his efforts to voice the calls of West Papuans for their right of self-determination to the international community,” said Daby on Wednesday (17/4/2019).

Daby continued to say that Mr Wenda has consistently declared injustice and human rights violations in West Papua since 1961 and campaigned for the right of self-determination for West Papuan. “Through this momentum, the people in West Papua convey to all state members of the United Nation to support their right of self-determination,” said Daby.

He also said the demand of West Papuan for self-determination aligned with the Indonesian Constitution 1945 in which stated in the first paragraph of the Preamble, “whereas independence is the inalienable right of all nations.” It is also following the UN General Assembly Resolution No. 1541 (XV) of 1960. The resolution stated that if a region has a geographical location and cultural ethics that are separate and different from its ruling and administrative state, this region is entitled to claim its right of self-determination.

Meanwhile, a member of the Legislative Committee of ULMWP for Anim Ha region, Pangkrasia Yeem, expressed his gratitude to the Oxford City Council for this award. He said the Freedom of Oxford award for Benny Wenda is a special gift for the Papuan people.

Furthermore, he asks all West Papuans to be united in advocating the ULMWP’s efforts for West Papuan self-determination. “With our support to ULMWP, we (will) establish our state as an independent and sovereign nation,” said Yeem on Sunday (14/7/2019). (*)

Reporter: Hengky Yeimo
Editor: Pipit Maizier

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23 extra-judicial killings in West Papua last year – rights group

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Members of the Indonesian military Photo: AFP

Papua, Jubi – A human rights group advocating for West Papuans in Indonesia says there were more than 20 extra-judicial killings by the military there last year.

Indonesian soldiers participate in a major military jungle warfare exercise in Poso, in central Sulawesi island, on March 31, 2015.

But the military has dismissed the findings, which come during an escalating conflict in Papua’s Highlands as rebels wage war on the state.

The International Coalition for Papua has documented 23 killings it claimed happened at the hands of Indonesia’s military in 2018.

The recently-released list ranges from bullet wounds to being burned alive, mostly in the troubled Central Highlands.

The rights group is demanding Indonesia launch independent investigations into all the cases, warning more deaths have been reported this year.

But a military spokesperson, Muhammad Aidi, said the report is a hoax and that some victims died from tribal violence.

He said others were rebels who died in gunfights after launching attacks on soldiers. (*)

 

Source: rnz.co.nz

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West Papuan independence group urges primacy of TPNPB

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Executive members of the West Papua National Committee (KNPB) at their second congress, Jayapura, October 2018. Photo: Supplied

Papua, Jubi – There’s strong opposition in West Papua to a reconfiguration of military forces in the struggle for independence from Indonesia.

The United Liberation Movement for West Papua, led by mainly exiled Papuan. claims it’s taking political leadership of a new unified military force, the West Papua Army.

The ULMWP last week said the Army was a united front between the West Papua Liberation Army, or TPNPB, and two smaller fighting forces.

Representatives of the TPNPB, and the broader Free Papua Movement, have since claimed they do not support thie unification anounced in the ‘Vanimo Border Declaration’.

This has been echoed by the West Papua National Committee, or KNPB, a pro-independence organisation focussed on peaceful campaigning.

Its international spokesman Victor Yeimo spoke to Johnny Blades about their concerns.

TRANSCRIPT

Victor Yeimo: We still struggle for independence, for our liberation. We need a liberation army. As you know, historically, this organisation (TPNPB) exist since 1961 and until today they exist, fighting on the ground. And the two other ones (the West Papuan National Army and the West Papua Revolutionary Army) separated from TPNPB. But in reality as West Papuans know, as well as colonial (power) knows, these two organisations never have an action on the ground. It’s not a competition between one organisation and another organisation, but in the unity, to liberate the West Papuan demand for self-determination, to go for our goal of freedom, we need one military organisation only. We don’t need many organisations. It wil make confusion in west Papua people. and it will make it difficult for us to make a solution; And it’s very dangerous for the guerillas and all the soldiers of the West Papua army on the ground because if there are three commands, three shystems going on in the ground, it will be difficult, because it will create problems within our military, and it will confuse. How can we attack the enemy through three systems of military organisations? In the revolution history, as you know, we need only one organisation of military.

Johnny Blades: But isn’t that what the ULMWP is trying to achieve, that they are all uniting?

Victor Yeimo: There are concerns in the constitution of the OPM (Free Papua Movement). As you know on the 1st of July 1971 when OPM declared proclamation of independence of the republic of West Papua, they have their own constitution. And this military, TPNPB, is under the constitution of the proclamation. Yes, it is important for us to unite, but in a military… they (West Papuan National Army and the West Papua Revolutionary Army) already split from the main organisation, the TPNPB. So I think now, in reality, the people of West Papua, we want to be free. So please if you want to unite, don’t degradate the existing organisation, the TPNPB, because today as you know on the ground TPNPB is still fighting with arms on the ground.

Johnny Blades: You’re saying that everything should be done under the auspices of the TPNPB, that it shouldn’t be a new united command; you’re saying it should be done under the rules and the constitution of the TPNPB because that’s the main military?

Victor Yeimo: Yes, the military has its own discipline of military. The constitution is something that we can discuss and unite. But the military is a tool for revolution. We need only one military and one discipline. So if they (the West Papuan National Army and the West Papua Revolutionary Army) if they have their own discipline of military, please bring it to the TPNPB. we have to strengthen the exist one. So then, what we want… we have one goal. So please use the existing one as our strength to attack the enemy. That’s the solution for KNPB. We are supporting the ULMWP but we encourage them to only recognise the TPNPB as the one and only military defence.

Johnny Blades: There’s been some criticism from people in the OPM, or TPNPB, about the way this (declaration) has been done. What do you think about the reaction?

Victor Yeimo: Yes, in the ground the reaction is negative. The other headquarters of each commander, like in Lanny Jaya, also in Puncak Jaya, also in Paniai, also in Yahukimo, also in Nduga, they are not involved in this declaration. So I believe that they are opposed to that declaration.

Johnny Blades: The KNPB has generally been a peaceful organisation. What do you believe in, does the military have a role in the struggle?

Victor Yeimo: Yes we support them in resistance as a defence force, as they have the same aim: to go for self-determination. But we have a different method. We organise people in West Papua through the peaceful means (including civil resistance and demonstrations). Until today KNPB believe in peaceful means. We don’t even hope the military action will give more influence inside our struggle because today people around the world, the solidarity just becomes bigger and bigger because our peaceful action in the ground. But it will not stop them fighting, because this is the reality in every struggle, a liberation army. We want our own military. It’s something that always happens in every struggle. So we want them to fight in accordance to their method.

Johnny Blades: The political leadership of the struggle, is it accurate to say that (ULMWP chairman) Benny Wenda is the head of that movement?

Victor Yeimo: I say that ULMWP should become co-ordinating body, not become a state or acting like a state. because we have too many factions and too many history. So we want today the organisations can unite all of the factions, all of the movements in West Papua through the co-ordination mechanism… like three years ago (at ULMWP’s inception). This is something important. We will have our own nation state after independence. So what we want today is to unite, co-ordinating the agenda and organisation, everything we can discuss. So, it’s not like now, everything comes from outside, from Benny Wenda, from outside. It’s not good for the unity. It will kill the unity because in our history there are too many people claiming they are the president, who claimed they have their own constitution and everything. We don’t want that. What we want today is freedom from Indonesian occupation. (*)

 

Source: rnz.co.nz

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