Thursday, July 19, 2012

Police disperse humanitarian action in Jayapura

1) Police disperse humanitarian action in Jayapura
2) KNPB members fail to attend trial of Buchtar Tabuni


from Tapol
1) Police disperse humanitarian action in Jayapura
JUBI, 19 July 2012

The police in Papua forcebly dispersed  a humanitarian action taking place when Papuans were out collecting money to help political prisoners. They were from an organisation called Solidarity  for Human Rights Victims, SKPHP. The police said that they had dispersed the people because the SKPHP  has not registered with the provincial administration.

The news was confirmed by Peneas Lokbere, a member of the SKPHP, who told JUBI that before undertaking the action they had notified the police of their intentions in both Abepura and Jayapura. Having done this, it meant that the police would grant permission for the action to take place.

Nevertheless, while the action was in progress on Friday at 1pm, the police dispersed those taking part in the action. 'We were forcibly dispersed,' said Peneas. 'They said that this was because  we had not registered the organisation with the authorities. and therefore, we were not allowed to continue with this collection of funds.' He also said that after the police came to disperse the action, they dispersed peacefully.'We did not offer any resistance. If we had resisted, it would have led to a lengthy process.'

Peneas said that  they would follow up their action on Friday, 20 July. 'We will go to the police and ask for permission to continue with action.'

The street collections were being undertaken to provide for the medical requirements of the political prisoners and the other prisoner who are  ill at the prisons in Abepura and Jayapura. Among those who are ill in Abepura Prison are Filep Karma, Ferdinand Pakage and Jefrai Murib.

Their intention was to carry out this action from 9am Thursday 19 July until Saturday.21 July.

[Translated by TAPOL]

The article is illustrated by a photo showing a large banner which says: 'The government doesn't want to pay for medical treatment for Filep Karma and Ferdinand Pakage' They are carrying posters which say: 'The Papuan  political prisoners are not criminals.'
2) KNPB members fail to attend trial of Buchtar Tabuni
JUBI, 18 July 2012

The first hearing in the trial of Buchtar Tabuni, chairman of the KNPB, the National Committee of West Papua took place but none of the thousands of members of the KNPB were present to give their support to the accused.

They were probably absent because of the circulation of text messages  and terror phone calls, giving them reason to believe that they would be included on the DPO, the  'wanted persons' list and would be arrested and they didn't want their names to be made public.

One man from the central highlands who did not want to give his name said that not all the members of the organisation were known to the police. 'We dont want to have our names included on the 'wanted' list. Had we attended the trial, this would have helped.them..

He said that the absence of KNPB members at any of the trial hearings  would mean that the police succeeded in dampening the militancy of the KNPB.

But others who attended the trial said that the absence of KNPB members was a sign of who supports their struggle and who doesn't support it. 'It proves,' said one person, 'who are the real friends and who are people who just want to take part in activities.'

But another person said that the KNPB members  were not prepared to take the risk of facing fabricated charges. They were protecting themselves by not attending the trial. 'The probably dont want to be charged with all manner of things,' he said.

The police guard round the courthouse for the Buchtar trial was not as tight as the guard that was mounted when Forkorus Yaboisembut was on trial, when Brimob troops were guarding the courthouse. Nor were there as many people attending the trial of Buchtar as had attended the trial of Forkorus.

[Translated by TAPOL]

[Comment: Following the brutal murder on 16 June of Mako Tabuni, a leader of the KNPB, members of the organisation certainly could not take the risk of attending any trial that would put them in danger of suffering the same fate. TAPOL]

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