Friday, June 15, 2012

1) Indonesian Rights Groups Slam Police for Papua Death

1) Indonesian Rights Groups Slam Police for Papua Death
4) Letter from Indonesia Human Rights Committee
5) Mako Tabuni Was Shot for Resisting Arrest, Seizing Police Gun, Police Chief Says
6) Riots in Indonesia's Papua after independence activist killed
7) Police allegations against Mako Tabuni
8) Greens want Australian government to take strong stand on Papua

1) Indonesian Rights Groups Slam Police for Papua DeathJune 15, 2012
Jayapura. Human rights activists on Friday slammed Indonesian police for the killing of a prominent Papuan independence leader who was allegedly involved in a series of mysterious shootings.

Authorities said on Thursday that Mako Tabuni, deputy chairman of secessionist West Papua National Committee (KNPB), was armed when shot by police as he tried to escape a raid in the town of Waena near the provincial capital Jayapura.

“Even if he resisted arrest and tried to escape, police should not have shot him to death. As far as we know the KNPB is not an armed group,” said Ifdhal Kasim, head of the government-backed National Human Rights Commission.

He told reporters his group, the country’s top rights body, would investigate whether police followed proper procedures before opening fire on the activist.

The incident ignited a wave of anger among residents in Waena, who set homes and cars ablaze on Thursday.

“If police suspected Tabuni to be behind all the shootings they should not have killed him. They should have proven the allegations,” said Poengki Indarti of Imparsial, an independent human rights group.

KNPB spokesman Warpo Wetipo said that according to witness accounts Tabuni was unarmed and police kept shooting at him even after he was down with gunshots to his leg.

Police said they had arrested four people over the past two weeks over a spate of violence in the restive province, including an incident in which a German tourist was shot and seriously wounded late last month.

Among those arrested was KNPB chairman Bukhtar Tabuni, who is a cousin of the victim.

About 500 people, riding motorcycles and trucks, escorted Mako Tabuni’s body on Friday from hospital to his home in Sentani, some 45 kilometers away.

Indonesia in 1969 took control of the Papua region — a former Dutch colony on the western half of New Guinea island — after a vote widely seen as a sham.

Jakarta keeps a tight grip on Papua, with the military regularly clashing with locals. Foreign journalists are restricted from reporting freely in the region.

More than 170 people are imprisoned in Indonesia for promoting separatism, most of them from Papua or the Maluku islands in eastern Indonesia, according to Human Rights Watch.

Agence France-Presse

RNZI posted at 20:13 on 15 June, 2012 UTC
The New Zealand Defence Force has refused to explain why a member of the Indonesian military’s notorious special forces unit, Kopassus, has been in the country to receive training.
Major Edwin Sumanta recently attended New Zealand’s premier military educational institution, the Command and Staff College in Trentham.
Kopassus conducts special operations for the Indonesian government and has been widely accused by human rights groups of committing rights violations in Papua and Aceh. Radio New Zealand International was told by a NZDF spokesperson that the involvement of Major Sumanta in the College’s course is too sensitive to comment on. The Defence Force says course attendees are nominated by New Zealand’s Defence Attaches and are cleared and vetted by the NZDF.
A member of Indonesia’s Navy is attending the current Command and Staff College course.

RNZI Posted at 20:13 on 15 June, 2012 UTC
Pressure is mounting on Indonesia to curb the growing violence in the Papua region after police killed a Papuan leader.
Mako Tabuni, the chairman of the National Committee of West Papua, was shot after he resisted arrest in what the Indonesian human rights watchdog Imparsial calls a violation of police procedure.

Johnny Blades reports
“Calls for Jakarta to place some restraint on security forces in Papua were already intensifying before Thursday’s killing of Mako Tabuni. Up to 17 Papuans were killed and dozens of homes destroyed in last week’s rampage by soldiers in Wamena. Dozens of shootings this month alone by what police call ’unidentified gunmen’ continue to plague the Papuan capital Jayapura. International human rights groups say the military is the main cause of ongoing rights abuses and have urged Indonesia to allow foreign media and NGOs access to the region. In the wake of the Tabuni killing, Papuan church and tribal leaders have urged their people to maintain calm, fearing that a violent reaction will give security forces an excuse to increase hostilities.”

4) Letter from Indonesia Human Rights Committee
15 June, 2012

Media Information: the Indonesia Human Rights Committee has sent the Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs a further appeal for the Government to act on the escalating crisis in West Papua.  The latest event is the killing of a prominent young activist Mako Tabuni in what is almost certainly a summary execution.
For further information: Maire Leadbeater 09-815-9000 or 0274 -436 957

Indonesia Human Rights Committee,
Box 68419,

Hon Murray MCully,
Minister of Foreign Affairs,
Parliament Buildings,

Rt Hon John Key,
Prime Minister,
Parliament Buildings,

Fax: 04-499 0704

15  June, 2012.

Dear Mr McCully and Mr Key,
We are writing again with a sense of deep distress for the people in West Papua where the crisis is escalating out of control.
Yesterday in the capital Jayapura a prominent  young activist Mako Tabuni was shot dead in what must surely be a case of summary execution.   The reports we have received describe a situation of ambush as follows:

Mako Tabuni, who was unarmed, was standing with others outside the campus of the University of Cenderawasih when he was seized by men in civilian clothes, some of whom were wearing helmets. Mako attempted to run from these captors but was caught, held to the ground and shot several times in his legs, body and finally in his head.  He was then taken to hospital where he died soon after arrival.

Since this event reports say that the security and intelligence forces have been raiding the student dormitories in Abepura and targeting students they believe to have been involved in demonstrations. Security forces are also conducting searches across several other suburbs and have confiscated personal property such as cameras, computers and phones.

There are also accounts of an angry reaction in the streets and of the destruction of some police bases.

New Zealand should urgently call for an explanation, and if this information is confirmed should strongly condemn the killing of an unarmed activist and a draconian security operation which breaches the rights and freedoms of the West Papuan people.

Yours sincerely,

Maire Leadbeater
(for the Indonesia Human Rights Committee)
5) Mako Tabuni Was Shot for Resisting Arrest, Seizing Police Gun, Police Chief Says
Friday, 15 June, 2012 | 17:14 WIB
TEMPO InteractiveJakarta:Indonesian Police Chief Gen. Timur Pradopo said efforts to capture Mako Tabuni had resulted from information derived from three previous arrests. Mako was suspected of being one of the perpetrators of a string of mysterious shootings in Papua since May 22. However, police attempts to capture [him] at 9 a.m. was not fruitful.

"Prior to the capture, a conversation took place. Then the gun of a police officer was seized, so other police members protected [the officer]," said Timur in his press statement at the State Palace on June 14, 2012. Because Mako was threatening officers with a gun, the officers in the field had to disarm him and as a result, he was shot. "He seized a gun, so we had to disarm him. A handgun with 18 bullets was found on his body," said Timur.

This happened in the wake of the incident in which motorcycles, cars and houses were set on fire. However, the Cenderawasih Military Command (Kodam) put the situation under control. "I call upon the people to remain calm. The situation in Jayapura and its vicinities had been put under control by the local police aided by Kodam and the intelligence," said the former police chief of Jakarta.


6) Riots in Indonesia's Papua after independence activist killed
Friday, 15 June, 2012 | 17:15 WIB
TEMPO InteractiveJakarta:A low-level insurgency for independence has simmered on Indonesia's easternmost island for decades.

Mako Tabuni, deputy of a group pushing for a referendum on Papuan self-determination, was shot dead while resisting arrest, human rights activist Markus Haluk told Reuters.

Tabuni had been campaigning for an investigation into a recent spate of shootings.

"This is not law enforcement, this is ridiculous," Haluk told Reuters by telephone from Jayapura, the province's main town.

"Security forces are using the excuse of law enforcement to shoot, using the classic excuse of the separatist group stigma," Haluk said of Tabuni's killing.

Police confirmed Tabuni's death saying he was shot in the hip and leg and died on his way to hospital.

News of the killing brought people out onto the streets of Jayapura and some of them torched shops and vehicles. Television footage showed police inspecting burned out buildings and smoldering cars.

Papua is the western half of an island that includes Papua New Guinea. Gold, gas and copper make Papua one of the richest areas in Indonesia and a hot destination for investment.

Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc has the big Grasberg copper and gold mine on the island and BP's Tangguh LNG field is centered at Papua's Bintuni Bay.

Resource companies share the island with indigenous communities, many of whom rely on hunting and subsistence farming and lack access to health care and education.

Indonesia, the world's third largest democracy and Southeast Asia's biggest economy, has struggled to control the low-key rebellion. Despite the deployment of substantial numbers of security forces, violence has recently intensified.

Papua's development lags the rest of Indonesia, an ethnically diverse country with the world's fourth largest population.



7) Police allegations against Mako Tabuni

Bintang Papua, 14 June 2012

Following the assassination of Mako Tabuni, the deputy chairman of the KNPB (National Committee of West Papua), the police are now alleging that the man they murdered was responsible for seven cases of violence perpetrated by the KNPB, and say they are now conducting investigations to see whether he was responsible for seven acts of violence including the shot fired against a German visitor. They are alleging that this is based on confessions made by the Buchtar Tabuni, the chairman of the KNPB, and other KNPB members who are now facing charges. The chief of police is quoted as saying: 'According to confessions by KNPB members, Mako Tabuni was responsible for a numbe of violent actions, all of  which are now under investigation,'

The police also claim that they found a pistol and bullets among Tabuni's possessions which have now been sent to Jakarta to establish whether the bullets are the same as those found in the bodies of persons who have been shot.

Asked about the furore that has followed in the wake of the killing of Tabuni, the police chief said that was 'incidental'  'In some cases the members act as if they are wiling to surrender but then put up resistance and try to seize weapons which is why the police opened fire.'

He also said that his men are now hunting down eight members of the KNPB who are alleged to have been involved in recent acts of violence.

According to the police, Tabuni was shot four times, twice in the thigh, once in the head and once in the waist.

[Comment by TAPOL: Can we now draw the conclusion that the police themselves have been responsible for the recent spate of shootings that have occurred, so as to be able to pin the blame on an organisation such as the KNPB which has been involved in peaceful advocacy such as calling for a referendum to be held in West Papua?]

[Translated by TAPOL]

8) Greens want Australian government to take strong stand on Papua
Updated 15 June 2012, 22:19 AEST
The Australian Greens party is urging the Federal Labor government to take a much stronger stand over reports of escalating violence in the Indonesia province of Papua.
Greens want Australian government to take strong stand on Papua (Credit: ABC) 
The Greens which provide support for the Gillard-led minority government, say Foreign Minister Bob Carr must use Australia's good relationship with Indonesia to call for greater access to the region by foreign groups.

Mako Tabuni, deputy head of the West Papua National Committee, was shot dead by Indonesian security forces yesterday.
Greens Senator Richard Di Natale told Michael Cavanagh that Australia's provision of military training to Indonesia needs to be investigated.
Correspondent: Michael Cavanagh
Speaker: Senator Richard Di Natale, Greens Party, Australia


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