Australia West Papua Association (Sydney)
Media release 6 April 2016
Indonesian security forces arrest nine people in Timika
The Australia West Papua Association condemns the intimidation of members of the West Papua National Committee (KNPB) on the 5th April. The Timika branch of the KNPB were simply holding a prayer meeting (“Prayers for the Papuan People’s recovery”) with local people from the area and also in support of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP).
A report from a local human rights activists said the Mimika police and soldiers from the District Military Command (including members of Densus 88) arrived in armored vehicles and removed all KNPB material, flags, banners including the flags of the MSG countries.
Nine people were arrested including the chair of the KNPB in Timika, Steven Itlay. It was reported they were beaten and kicked during the arrests.
Joe Collins of AWPA said "The continuing support for West Papua by civil society and a number of countries in the Pacific has raised concerns in Jakarta. The internationalization of the issue is the reason why the security forces in West Papua are cracking down on any rallies in the territory to try and stifle all peaceful political activity which might bring attention to the ongoing human rights abuses in the territory".
To counter the growing support in the Pacific, Indonesia is considering strengthen its ties with South Pacific countries by appointing a special envoy to the region with a portfolio including West Papua. Indonesia sent a delegation to Fiji and PNG to strengthen bilateral relations with the countries in the South Pacific region. Indonesia’s Coordinating Minister for Political, Security and Legal Affairs Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan said that Indonesia will be consistently present in the South Pacific by sending ministers to the 16 countries in the region.
The ULMWP has objected to the move by Indonesia to commission an envoy to the Pacific on behalf of its Melanesian population. The Liberation Movement's ambassador for Oceania and the Pacific Islands region, Amatus Douw, pointed out that he already serves the role as envoy for Papuan interests in the Pacific
The community and KNPB believe that:
1. The Mimika Chief of Police must take responsibility for the brutal treatment of the community and KNPB members, and show respect for our democracy
2. Indonesia must be open to freedom of public expression for Papuan people
3. The international community should insist that Indonesia fully allows free expression.
4. We indigenous Papuans are not just arrested and imprisoned, but also shot dead, we are killed by weapons or by food and drink, and every day indigenous Papuans are dying in the land of Papua.
5. We urge the UN, through its Committee on Decolonisation to take action to save indigenous Papuans from Genocide!
Names of those arrested.
1. Mr. STEVEN Itlay (Ket. KNPB Timika)
2. Tn. YANTO AWERKYON (Vice Chairman of the KNPB Timika)
3. Tn. SEM Ukago (Secretary KNPB Timika)
4. Tn. SEPERIANUS Edoway (Ket. Sector Yamewa)
5. Mr. O.TINES Tabuni (Ket. Committee)
6. Mr. YUDIMAN Kogoya (Member KNPB)
7. Mr. HUBERTUS DIMI (Member KNPB)
8. Mr. Noak DIMI (Member KNPB)
9. Mr. YUNUS NAWIPA (Member KNPB)
photos from a "church human Rights source in Timika".
Info received from (translation) Awasmifee via regwestpapua list