1) Jokowi urged to establish inquiry into Paniai tragedy
Nethy Dharma Somba, The Jakarta Post, Jayapura | Archipelago | Tue, March 17 2015, 8:12 AM -
A joint forum of Papuan church leaders has urged President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo to set up a commission of inquiry on human rights violations (KPP HAM) to investigate alleged rights abuses in the Paniai shooting incident that left five civilians dead on Dec.8, 2014.
The church leaders united under the Oikoumene partnership forum in Papua voiced their request in a press conference at the Papua Kingmi Sinode office in Jayapura, on Monday.
“We are entering the fourth month after the incident and we have not yet seen any sign of authorities’ efforts to uncover the facts behind the shooting of the students in Paniai. Ongoing investigations have not given clear information to the families of the victims about those who were responsible for the incident,” said Rev. Socratez Yoman, head of the Papua Baptis Church Sinode.
He said investigation results presented by the Papua Police in a meeting facilitated by the Papua Human Rights Regional Commission secretariat on March 5 lacked details.
“In the report, there is a sense that the police want to protect their officers. It seems that the police want to break the incident into separate cases that are not related to each other so that it will be difficult for us to find the perpetrators of the shooting,” said Socratez.
Responding to the statement, Papua Police spokesperson Sr. Comr. Rudolf Patrige said all elements of society should support and communicate with each other to find a resolution to the Paniai incident.
“The main obstacle investigators are facing during investigation is that people still have not come forward to provide statements on what they heard and saw or experienced,” he said.
Kingmi Sinode head Rev.Benny Giai said there was a widespread sense among people that their statements would probably be pointless.
“They think, ‘why do I have to give statements to the perpetrators? That would be pointless’,” said Giai.
With such reluctance, he said, it would be better for President Jokowi to establish the KPP HAM so that the Paniai case could be resolved completely. (ebf)
Nethy Dharma Somba, The Jakarta Post, Jayapura | Archipelago | Tue, March 17 2015, 6:29 AM -
Church leaders grouped under an ecumenical cooperation forum in Papua have urged President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo to establish a Commission of Inquiry into Human Rights Violations (KPP HAM) to probe the Paniai tragedy.
“Entering the fourth month since the shootings were committed on Dec. 8, 2014, there are no signs of finding the perpetrators. The investigation doesn’t seem to have given a bright light to the victims’ families,” chairman of the Papua Baptist Churches Synod, Soctares Yoman, said in a press conference at the office of the Papua Kingmi Synod in Jayapura on Monday.
The Papua Police’s investigation report on the case as presented during a meeting on March 5, Socrates said, seemed to be of a low quality and protected police personnel.
“It gave an impression of trying to break the one intact case into separate cases, making it blurred and difficult to find the perpetrators,” he said.
Five people aged between 16 and 18 were killed and 21 others were injured in the incident. Witnesses said the residents were performing the waita tribal dance after setting fire to a black SUV believed to belong to a group suspected of assaulting residents assembled at a Christmas event in Ipakiye village, East Paniai.
The Indonesian Communion of Churches (PGI) had earlier submitted its findings on Paniai — which concluded that Indonesian Military (TNI) soldiers were responsible for the shootings — to President Jokowi.
Meanwhile, Papua Gospel Camp Church Synod (KINGMI) chairman Benny Giai said local residents felt it was useless to give information to a party that had committed the killing.
“In people’s minds, why should they give testimony to the perpetrators? It’s wasteful,” Benny said.
That accounted for why, according to Benny, the President should establish the KPP HAM to make the case very clear. Otherwise, the case would be like other cases of shootings in Papua, in which the perpetrators were never revealed.
Indonesian Evangelical Church president Dorman Wandikmbo concurred, saying that the conflict in Papua was like a winding rope, difficult to unravel and requiring the President’s focus to do so.
“The President should appoint a high official at minister level to take care of the Papua-Jakarta conflict through peaceful dialogue mediated by neutral third parties,” he said.
Responding to the church leaders’ demand, Papua Police spokesperson Sr. Comr. Rudolf Patrige said all components in the community should be communicating to find a solution to the Paniai tragedy.
“The main challenge investigators face is people are not really aware yet about giving testimonies on what they heard, saw and experienced [in regard to the case],” Rudolf said. -
Jayapura, Jubi/Press Release – On 27th February 2015 Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu met with West Papuan independence leader and founder of the Free West Papua Campaign, Benny Wenda, in Cape Town, South Africa. He has released the following statement renewing his call for the UN to instigate an investigation into the so called Act of ‘Free’ Choice in which Indonesia unlawfully annexed West Papua in 1969.
“I’m shocked to learn that West Papua is still not free. I didn’t think that things like this still happened. I call on the United Nations and all the relevant bodies, please, do what is right, as they know, for West Papua.” Archbishop said.
“We can’t have some people in the world free and others not free. As long as there is one person not free, we are all not free.” Archbishop added.
Archbishop said, he is very, very distressed and pray that Indonesia and other countries will do what is right. “Because it is not their (West Papua’s) gift, it is their right as the children of god. Next time I see you (Benny), you will have a West Papuan passport,” Archbishop promised to Benny Wenda.
In 2004 Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu stated to the UN, “It is with deep concern I have learned about the United Nations’ role in the takeover of West Papua by Indonesia, and in the now-discredited “Act of ‘Free’ Choice” of 1969. Instead of a proper referendum, where every adult, male and female had the opportunity to vote by secret ballot on whether or not they wished to be part of Indonesia, just over 1,000 people were hand-picked and coerced into declaring for Indonesia in public in a climate of fear and repression,”
One of the senior UN officials at the time, Chakravarthy Narasimhan, has since called the process a “whitewash”.
A strong United Nations will be capable of, among other things, acknowledging and correcting its mistakes.
“I would like to add my voice to growing international calls for the UN Secretary General to instigate a review of the UN’s conduct in relation to the now-discredited “Act of ‘Free’ Choice”,” Archbishop promised again. (*)