Wednesday, August 27, 2014

1) Rights campaigner found dead in Sorong

1) Rights campaigner found  dead in Sorong
2) PNG locals look to Indonesia for trade
3) Concern Papuans in Australia could be 'terrorists
4) As President celebrates ‘Sail Raja Ampat’, one of his critics is abducted, killed and dumped at sea

1) Rights campaigner found  dead in Sorong
Nethy Dharma Somba, The Jakarta Post, Jayapura | Archipelago | Wed, August 27 2014, 5:22 PM
The Papua Police are preparing for an autopsy to be carried out to reveal the cause of death of Marthinus Yohame, 27, who was the head of the Sorong Raya chapter of the West Papua National Committee (KNPB), whose body was found wrapped in a sack in Nana waters near Port Dom in Sorong, West Papua.
“His body is still at the Sorong Regional Hospital as we await approval from his family for the autopsy to reveal the cause of death. Without the autopsy, we cannot establish what caused the wounds on his body,” Papua Police spokesperson Sr. Comr. Pudjo Sulistyo told The Jakarta Post in Jayapura, Papua, on Wednesday.
Marthinus’ body was reportedly found by a fisherman who was fishing in Nana waters on Tuesday. His remains were taken to the Sorong Regional Hospital, where medical staff discovered wounds to his chest and stomach.
Marthinus’ family had previously submitted a missing persons report with the Sorong Police on Aug. 20 and had no information on his whereabouts until the human rights campaigner was found dead on Tuesday.
West Papuan human rights lawyer Yan Christian Warinussy urged the police to conduct a thorough investigation to determine the possible motive behind Marthinus' death, which appeared to be an act of murder. “It is really shocking to know that his body was found wrapped in a sack and floating out at sea. Investigators must reveal all the details,” Yan Christian told the Post.
He said Marthinus' death was likely related to a visit to the province by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to launch the Raja Ampat Sail event last Saturday. Before Marthinus disappeared, Yan Christian said, police officers rounded up a KNPB sympathizer, Abner Wanma - who was one of a dance troupe that was set to perform during the sail event's opening ceremony - from his home in Waisai, Raja Ampat.
“A day after he was taken by police, Abner was returned home but shortly afterward, we received information that the head of the KNPB's Sorong Raya branch [Marthinus] had not returned home,” Yan Christian said.
A rumor spread prior to Yudhoyono’s visit stating that the KNPB planned to fly the banned Morning Star flag. “If this was aimed purely to prevent the flag-raising, I think it's too extreme to believe that someone should be killed [...] and thrown into the sea,” he added. (alz/ebf)


2) PNG locals look to Indonesia for trade

Updated 44 minutes ago

The acting Governor of Papua New Guinea's West Sepik says many people in his province are turning to Indonesia for goods and services.
Paul Nengai says that while the political relationship between the province and the neighbouring Indonesian province of Papua is very good, there is a trade imbalance firmly in Indonesia's favour.
He says it's hard to compete with Indonesian services such as telecommunications, with mobile phone services for example often preferable to local ones for Papua New Guineans living near the border.
Mr Nengai says that a recent trip to Papua was illuminating.
"It was interesting to note that most Papua New Guineans have moved across, those that are living along the border - they have moved across to Indonesian side and they're living on the other side. Basically, they're looking for good services like road network, cheap goods and services on the other side. And as you know, Indonesia provides social services. So for them, it's very attractive."
Paul Nengai says a new Asian Development Bank-assisted trade centre at Wutung, just inside West Sepik, is expected to open in October and should begin to address the trade imbalance.

3) Concern Papuans in Australia could be 'terrorists'

Updated at 2:38 pm on 27 August 2014

The Australian West Papua Association says Australia's proposed anti-terrorism laws could be applied to activist groups like itself in the future.
The new law would mean those seen to be encouraging or promoting terrorism would be in breach, and concerns have been raised that this could include the Free West Papua movement in Australia.
Indonesia has been fighting a prolonged rebellion in Papua in part by using anti-terror forces.
An Association spokesperson, Joe Collins, says the Australian law is highly unlikely to affect the West Papua activists, as there is so much support for them building in Australia.
But he says Indonesia and Australia's growing relationship could mean the law becomes of concern.
"It certainly is on the Australian radar that West Papua is an issue. More people in Australia are becoming aware of it, and I think this is the last thing the Australian government wants. Which is why any sort of anti-terrorism laws is of concern, because one day it could be used against them (activists), highly unlikely, but once it is on the books it is very hard to get anything off."
An AWPA spokesperson, Joe Collins.


4) As President celebrates ‘Sail Raja Ampat’, one of his critics is abducted, killed and dumped at sea

On 19th August, Martinus Yohame in his role as the chair of the Sorong Branch of the West Papua National Committee (KNPB) held a press conference, explaining his organisation’s opposition to the Indonesian President’s visit to the area to open the Sail Raja Ampat event aimed at promoting tourism to Papua. He also raised the issue of illegal logging. The next day he disappeared.
As friends and colleages spent the subsequent days searching for him, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono opened the sailing regatta, where he once again promised extra funds to develop infrastructure for infrastructure in Papua, and also inaugurated a statue of Jesus Christ on Marsinam Island near Manokwari. Then on the 26th, a fisherman found the body of Martinus Yohame floating by the shore in at Nana Island, near Sorong. He had been shot in the chest, his face smashed up, and with another wound in his stomach. He had been placed in a sack, with his arms and legs tied. His abductors remain unknown.
This story has not yet received widespread coverage in the Papuan media, and at the time of writing the KNPB had yet to issue a statement on its website. Tabloidjubi however has picked up the story – here is a translation of one of their articles:

Deceased Sorong KNPB Chair believed to have been disappeared.

Jayapura, 26/8 (Jubi) – Martinus Yohame, Chair of the Greater Sorong area branch of the West Papua National Committee (KNPB) was found found dead floating near the shore of Nana Island, in the Doom Island area of Sorong. He is believed to have been diasppeared.
A spokesperson for the Papua-wide KNPB, Basoka Logo made this clear to He said that previously on the evening of Wednesday 20th August, the KNPB had received information that Martinus Yohame had been abducted.
“But we can’t be sure yet who his captors were. Now today we have heard the news that he has been found dead.. We cannot yet say which group is responsible for his disappearance. At the current time we are still unsure,” Basoka Logo said via his mobile phone on Tuesday (26/8)
He explained that the late Martinus Yohame was responsible for the Bird’s Head peninsula area of West Papua. He could not give any further information at the time as he had not received a full report from his colleagues in Sorong.
“Just now we only received a short report about the death of the Sorong KNPB Chair – what I know is that he was found near the Kota Baru area, and his body is currently lying at the Sorong KNPB secretariat”, he said.
At present, according to Logo, colleagues in Sorong are still collecting data and statements about the death of the Chair of the KNPB in Sorong. “Only when this is done will we be able to give a full statement. The First Chair of the KNPB central organisation, Agus Kosay just arrived in Sorong by plane. It was him that officially reported to us that it was true the Chair of the KNPB in Sorong had been found,” he said.
The chair of the KNPB in the Bird’s Head region, including Greater Sorong, Martin Yohame, was tragically found dead some time before, His body was discovered by a fisherman on Tuesday morning (26/8) at around 7.00 am local time floating near Nana Island, not far from the Doom Island area. When found, Martinus’s body had been tied up tightly in a sack. Both his legs and arms had also been tied, presumably hoping his body would sink to the bottom of the ocean.
According to the Sorong City General Hospital’s examination, a gunshot wound was found on the left side of his chest. The victims face was also smashed up by being hit by a hard object, “We found a gunshot wound in his left chest. His face was destroyed,” said Yori, a worker at the hospital.
The Sorong police chief Adjunct Commissioner Harri Golden Hart confirmed that a body had been found. “We are still in the process of identification, and finding out whether it is true that he was killed,” Harri said.
After the autopsy, the victim’s family and KNPB members brought the victim’s body to be laid out in the house of mourning in Malanu village, in the Papua Christian Universtiy complex.
From data collected by tabloid jubi, the external examination conducted at the Sorong Ctiy General Hospital revealed a hole in the left chest 1x1cm, and another in the right side of the stomach of around 2x3cm. The man’s height was 179 centimetres and he had dreadlocks.
Before his body was found, the KNPB had issued a statement with some further details of the press conference and what happened afterwards, along with their guesses for possible abductors and their motives. This is an excerpt from that statement, as published on
We believe that the Sorong KNPB chair was abducted by Kopassus [army special forces] or BIN [state intelligence agency] because on the 20th he received a phonecall from someone and went outside. Now five days have passed but he hasn’t been found.
Previously on 19th August Martinus Yohame and other KNPB officials held a press conference at 15.00 Papuan time in front of the Sorong Mayor’s office, attended by several reporters from the Sorong area, in connection with the Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s visit to Papua and in particular to the Sorong area to open the Sail Raja Ampat event in Waisai, on Saturday 23rd August 2014.
Martinus Yohame, supported by the deputy chair of the KNPB, Kantius H, invited journalists from several print media organisations to use information from the press conference in their reports about the president’s visit   KNPB used the opportunity to express their opposition to President SBY’s visit to the land of Papua.
At the same time they expressed their opposition to illegal logging, exploiting Papua’s natural riches and developing Raja Ampat as a Global Marine Tourism centre, all of which they judge to be stealing from and destroying Papua’s ecosystems and forests with no benefit for the people of Papua as a whole who own the land and resources.
This is why the KNPB and the PRD (People’s Regional Parliament) are clear in their opposition. We believe he was abducted by the security forces or the intelligence agency as part of their efforts to secure SBY’s visit, which the KNPB opposes.
Just two minutes after the press meeting finished at 3.15, a woman telephoned the KNPB Sorong chair. This woman claimed to be from the National Human Rights Commission in Jakarta, and she wanted to meet. Several moments later, she came to meet the KNPB chair and his group outside the mayor’s office in a red Avanza. Inside was a man with a large Canon video camera, and they invited Martinus Yohame to accompany them to the Sorong Mega Mall, at the 9km post. The woman then took them to eat in a cafe next to the Megamall, and while they ate they held a meeting, although it is not known what they spoke about in this meeting.
Before the meeting broke up, he and the woman exchanged mobile phone numbers. The woman then said that “the next meeting will take place on Wednesday 20th August and we will get in touch”.
Afterwards they maintained communication via telephone and text message, with the last message on Wednesday 20th at 12.00 Papua time. That night they told Martinus to leave his house and it was on the street that they abducted him. He has not been found until now….
The West Papua National Committee is an organisation that believes West Papua should have the right to self determination. It was formed in around 2009, but after it gained prominence with a series of large demonstrations demanding a referendum on independence there was a major crackdown, with many leaders around Papua jailed or killed, especially in 2012. Since that wave of repression, the KNPB has found it difficult to organise, as local leaders are often detained a day or two days before a planned demonstration or significant event.
If elements of the Indonesian State were indeed responsible for Martinus Yohame’s disappearance, it is likely that he was targeted for his pro-independence stance. However, it is worth remembering that in the press conference before he disappeared Martinus Yohame also spoke of the problems of illegal logging and the tourism industry, and he is not the first KNPB leader to  have raised the issues of natural resource development that marginalises the Papuan people. At the same time, indigenous people are threatened by state security forces of being treated as separatists when they state their opposition to development projects. The climate of intimidation in Papua is not limited to the independence movement alone, but impacts all areas in which Papuan people need to assert their needs and desires for a more just future.
As Martinus Yohame was being brutally beaten, or maybe he was already dead by that time, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono was nearby on Raja Ampat celebrating the progress made in his development-focussed strategy for Papua, making statements such as “ lets keep going with the positive development that has already been achieved in Papua and West Papua”. His audience of civil servants and tourism executives listened and watched as a flotilla of boats including 14 Indonesian navy ships as well as warships from the US, Australia and Singapore joined a sail past. Media hailed the event as a great success.

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