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Major Crackdown On Peaceful Protest In West Papua

Major Crackdown On Peaceful Protest In West Papua

West Papua, Tuesday March 25 2008: Yesterday Indonesian Police captured the Chief of Council for West Papua National Authority, Eli Kaiway. He presented himself peacefully under summons for interrogation, and Police arrested him. He is being held at POLRES Manokwari, and now with other detainees, and police have said that he will be charged with Rebellion and spreading hatred against the state "because it is positive that he gave the order for the flagraising," according to POLRI

There are now 11 political detainees in Manokwari from the peaceful assemblies throughout March.

The underage political prisoner released now, Silas Carlos Tevez May, has been bailed and given a permit to go to high school, and to stay with his parents. It is still unconfirmed whether or not that constitutes house arrest.

On Wednesday night last week Jack Wanggai was taken by KaploRes Marjuki and 2 other intelligence from custody room to interrogation. We have received clear information and hold grave concerns that Jack was tortured for over two hours from 1030pm West Papua time, to find out who was behind all the uprising.

This was the same treatment meted out on pro democracy activists at the end of Suharto era. Intelligence personnel, led by Marjuki demanded the following answers during Interrogation:

• Who in foreign country is behind these actions and escalation of struggle?

• Who are the bureaucrats in the Indonesian Civil Service in West Papua are behind you?

• Which Academics and Scientists are behind you?

• What built the links with outside movement? Who provided the telephone numbers?

This is another example of Indonesian state terror and intimidation of peaceful West Papuan expression, contrary to Indonesian national regulation PP 77/2007.

On 18th of March Agus Alua, Deputi MRP Frans Wospakrik and Mrs Hana Hikoyabe called on the Indonesian government to release all detainees as this violates provisions of Special Autonomy. (see attached interview with Dr Agus Alua, Cenderawasih pos, 18 March 2008). Do not wait until bloodshed occurs, international observers are needed.

Today, Tuesday March 25th, demonstrations have been held across West Papua in Jayapura, Sorong, Serui, Nabire, Fak Fak, Timika and Biak. Latest information from Sorong is that the Indonesian Military and POLRI have combined forces in an armed military counter insurgency operation against civilian peaceful demonstrators. Two army trucks are patrolling Sorong currently with 2 platoons of KOSTRAD (Strategic Reserve) troops, backed up three 4 wheel drives full of armed military intelligence (SGI), and one police 4wd. All personnel are fully armed with automatic weapons, and are intimidating and causing great concern to the local population as a show of force to prevent people from joining Papua wide peaceful assemblies calling for Referendum. From Yesterday, a 24 hour curfew, on penalty of arbitrary arrest, has been imposed on all centres in West Papua. So far in Sorong, 6 people have been arrested by police and are currently held POLRES Sorong.

Currently in Serui, there is a peaceful gathering of over 100 people, after massive intimidation kept many away. A prayer meeting was held to defuse tension with the military. Whilst the prayer meeting was happening at the home of Wilson Uruwaya (Co-ordinator of West Papua National Authority Serui regency), more than 30 police and intelligence in three trucks, kijang patrols, black (intelligence) kijangs and on ojek (passenger motorbike transports) - all making up a Satuan Kepolisian (SSK or police unit) have been taking up positions outside his home to harass and intimidate people.

The planned demo in Manokwari has been delayed due to a counter action organised by Badan Intelijen Nasional (BIN). HMI (Himpunan Mahasiswa Islam - Islamic Students Association) and GMKI (Gerakan Mahasiswa Kristen Indonesia) were organised by BIN as a diversionary tactic to demonstrate against alleged corruption by Papuan provincial government figure. The groups have been utilised in the past as auxiliaries or militia by BIN and Kopassus, and information received indicated that these groups have either been paid or threatened by intelligence to mobilise. As a result, Papuan people have decided to resume protests in Manokwari when a few less militia are on the streets.

This occurred after rally organisers were terrorised and intimidated across Papua yesterday (Easter Monday), particularly in Serui where a massive show of force was imposed on the local people. A joint security operation has been in force since March 3 and has been conducted by Satuan Khusus Gabungan Intelijen Polisi dan Militer (Joint Special Taskforce of Intelligence, Military and Police - formed with POLRI and the Serui Battalion of the TNI (Indonesian military)) with over security forces on the streets. We have also received confirmed reports that they are training non-Papuans for militia

In Jayapura, more than 30 police forcibly confiscated banners and Morning Star flags, however did not arrest any protestors. Latest information received that 200 people have gathered outside the DPR-D demanding Referendum. The situation is described as tense. More information as it comes to hand.

Outside West Papua, solidarity demonstrations have been held in Canberra, and in Port Vila, the Malvatumauri Council of Chiefs issued a call on the Prime Minister of Vanuatu to put pressure on Indonesia to stop the Repression.. Further demos will be held in Auckland on March 25th.

Despite assurances from the Indonesian government that all peaceful protests would be dealt with legally through the Police, the TNI has become involved in violating the rights of Papuans peacefully expressing their aspirations. There is no place for the use of military forces against legitimate and peaceful actions by civilians. We are gravely concerned at the escalating repression by the Indonesian security forces, and are concerned at military solution to political problems. West Papuan people as a result are calling for the urgent assistance of the international community to immediately form an unimpeded fact finding mission and immediate deployment of international observers, to prevent further genocide from occurring.

More protests will be held until Indonesia listens to the aspirations of the West Papuan people for survival in their own Land.

Serious and grave concerns are held for the potential for torture or ill-treatment of detainees whilst in the hands of the Police and intelligence, as all activists have caused a deal of international humiliation to the Indonesian security forces through creative and peaceful expression of their legitimate aspirations over the past few weeks. Please monitor this situation closely by calling the numbers in Manokwari and Jayapura below to ask why West Papuan people have been arrested and threatened with violence under Suharto era charges. It is important to put pressure on these Military and police figures. If you these numbers are faxes, then please just send faxes instead (they are swapping phones and faxes daily).

• Abepura Head of Police Captain Domingus Rumaropen hp.81344183583

• Police Papua province hp:967 531 014

• Indonesian Criminal Intelligence Unit Manokwari: + (62 986) 211363

• Indonesian TNI Commander of Manokwari regency/DANDIM phone Number: +62 (986) 211703

• Head of Police Manokwari Regency (KAPOLRES) Yakobus Marjuki +62 81344771448, +62 (986) 211359

• Deputy Police Manokwari Regency level (WAKAPOLRES) phone NO. +62 (986) 211826

• rmh dins kapolres tlp.0986 211355;

• Waka (Deputi Commander) Polres.tlp.0986 211826.

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