Monday, August 26, 2019

1) Five military personnel suspended, probed for alleged racial abuse against Papuans

2) Legal experts demand police prove violence against Papuan students ‘necessary’
3) West Papua rebel shot dead as protests continue

4) Protests in Indonesia's Papua spotlight demand for independence referendum 
5) Papua free media advocate files UN ‘blackout’ plea, targeted by hacker
6) A story of Nduga refugees: giving birth in the jungle

1) Five military personnel suspended, probed for alleged racial abuse against Papuans
News Desk The Jakarta Post
Jakarta   /   Mon, August 26, 2019   /   07:02 pm

The police apprehended 43 Papuan students for questioning after authorities discovered an Indonesian flag was discarded near the students' dormitory in Surabaya, East Java. (Antara/Didik Suhartono)

The Brawijaya Military Command in East Java have suspended five military personnel who are currently under investigation for their alleged involvement in a recent incident of racial abuse targeted at Papuan students in Surabaya.
Among the suspended was Tambaksari subdistrict military command (Koramil) chief Maj. NH Irianto, along with four other officers under Koramil, said Brawijaya Military Command spokesperson Lt. Col. Imam Hariyadi.
He declined to reveal the identities of the four officers.
“While it is only a temporary suspension, it is still a punishment for them,” Imam said on Sunday as quoted by
The suspended military personnel are suspected of involvement in physical and verbal abuse against Papuan students on Aug. 18.
Security personnel and members of mass organizations stormed the dormitory of the Papuan students in Surabaya and accused them of refusing to celebrate Indonesia’s 74th Independence Day after they found an Indonesian flag discarded near the building.
As shown in videos that went viral after the incident, some military personnel banged on the dorm doors while shouting profanities, such as “monkeys” and “pigs”. They are later seen throwing stones at the dorm while shouting “Kick out the Papuans!” and “Slaughter the Papuans!”, allegedly for hours.
The incident triggered large-scale antiracism protests, primarily in cities and regencies across Papua and West Papua last week, with people demanding that the authorities take legal action against those who had used derogatory language.
Imam said he regretted that the military personnel committed such acts.
Five bodies found in Fijian highlands“A territorial soldier should be able to show their social communication skills when doing their duties and not be emotional, even amid [tensions],” he said.
Brawijaya Military Police investigators had gathered evidence and testimonies from all relevant witnesses after the incident and were in the process of completing case dossiers that would be presented at court, he said.
“The [final sanction] will be decided by the [military court’s] verdict,” Imam added. (kuk/afr)
The Papuan students were not able to leave the premise on Friday evening, as an angry mob had been waiting for them outside after a picture of the discarded flag was circulating.
On Sunday, the police released the 43 students because they said after questioning that none them had knowledge about the discarded flag.
Police deny racial abuse
After four consecutive days of protests, President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo addressed on Thursday the racial abuse suffered by Papuan students in Surabaya, urging the National Police chief to "take stern, legal action against racial and ethnic discrimination".
Frans of the East Java Police denied that the police committed racial abuse targeted at the students.
A video made rounds on the internet, purportedly showing security personnel and mob members outside the dormitory's gate. Insults such as "monkeys" and "pigs" were being hurled at students in the dorm, audio from the footage indicates.
The Surabaya Legal Aid Institute (LBH Surabaya), citing the account of a student staying in the dorm, said the racial abuse allegedly came from Indonesian Military (TNI) soldiers who banged on the doors of the dorm while uttering "monkeys", “dogs” and “pigs” at the students on Friday, a day before the police stormed the dorm.
‘Show the evidence’
LBH Surabaya said in a statement that the police had violated National Police Chief Regulation No. 1/2009 on the use of force by the police by aiming tear gas attacks at students inside the dorm, even though the students had not shown any resistance and were willing to negotiate with the authorities. As a result, one of the students suffered a leg wound, it said.
Sahura of LBH Surabaya urged the police to reveal evidence to the public.
"Who can prove that it was indeed the truth? There were no legal counselors during the arrest and search," he told The Jakarta Post on Saturday.
He said the arrest and search should have involved legal companions, even though the Criminal Law Procedures Code (KUHAP) did not require the presence of legal assistance – only neighborhood unit (RT) and community unit (RW) heads and witnesses.
"The problem is the neutrality of the witnesses and others [involved]. If [the witnesses] are the public, who can guarantee that the discovered items claimed by the police were indeed confiscated from inside the dormitory and were owned by Papuan students?
"Those suspected of committing criminal offenses should be summoned. If they fail to show up after several summonses, then they could use force. The case with Papuan students was not like that, they were arrested just like that," Sahura said.
Institute for Criminal Justice Reform (ICJR) program director Erasmus Napitupulu concurred, saying that the police should reveal the "discovered items" to the public as disclosing such information would not disrupt the law enforcement process. 
Military presence
Concerns were not only raised over the police's handling of the Surabaya mob attack, but also over the involvement of military personnel at the scene.
LBH Surabaya questioned the military's frequent intervention in incidents involving Papuan students, noting that if the involvement had been on the grounds of law enforcement, then the institution had abused its power considering that the 2004 law on the TNI did not categorize it as part of the law enforcement system.
Military expert Mufti Makarim said deploying military personnel was not necessary as there had not been escalating tensions and security concerns at the dorm.
"The TNI tends to overreact [...] The territorial structure of the Indonesian Army extends even to villages, causing them to intervene in various affairs irrelevant to their main duties and functions," he said.
TNI spokesperson Maj. Gen. Sisriadi did not immediately respond to the Post's questions for comment.

Editor's note: CNN Indonesia has given permission to use their video report in this article.


2) Legal experts demand police prove violence against Papuan students ‘necessary’

Ardila Syakriah and Wahyoe Boediwardhana The Jakarta Post
Jakarta/Surabaya   /   Mon, August 26, 2019   /  08:50 am

Legal experts have demanded that the police prove that shooting tear gas and arresting 43 Papuan students at a dorm in Surabaya on Aug. 17 without an investigation was “necessary” just because the police suspected there were “certain items” inside the dorm.
East Java Police spokesperson Frans Barung Mangera said on Friday in Surabaya that an internal police investigation carried out on Thursday revealed that none of the personnel had violated standard operating procedures by using tear gas given the conditions on site.
"First, there was potential for conflict. Second, there had been friction. Third, the personnel discovered certain items that I can't disclose yet. When checked by the police's internal affairs division, the discovered items were found to be potentially harmful for the personnel [...] So the tear gas attacks were justified after they discovered the items there," he said.
Frans refused to disclose the discovered items to reporters, citing that "it was not in the domain of evidence".
More than a dozen police personnel from the Mobile Brigade (Brimob), clad in black uniforms, stormed the Papuan student dorm on Jl. Kalasan in Surabaya on Saturday, shooting tear gas into the building from outside the gate while a mob shouted in anger because they thought the students desecrated an Indonesian flag and discarded it in a gutter.
According to an Antara news agency report, the personnel were from Brimob's bomb squad.
Seconds later, the police personnel breached the gate and kept shooting tear gas at the building. According to CNN Indonesia, the raid lasted about 15 minutes before the police arrested 43 students inside the building.


3) West Papua rebel shot dead as protests continue

A West Papua rebel has been shot dead by Indonesian police as protests in the region enter their second week.
A police spokesperson said the death came during a gunfire exchange in Wamena on Friday, which also injured an officer and a civilian.
Meanwhile, two people were arrested for looting in Manokwari, the provincial capital where the parliament building was set ablaze last week.
A third person was arrested in the city for setting fire to an Indonesian flag.


4) Protests in Indonesia's Papua spotlight demand for independence referendum 

26 Aug 2019 08:19PM (Updated: 26 Aug 2019 08:20PM) 

JAKARTA: Thousands of Papuans staged another series of rallies on Monday (Aug 26) in several towns of Indonesia's easternmost region, after protests that erupted last week over perceived ethnic discrimination provoked some calls for independence.
The biggest protests in years led to the torching of a market, a jail and government offices, with about 1,200 police officers flown in to reinforce a region that already has a heavy military presence, due to decades of separatist conflicts.

READ: Papua unrest reflects long standing issues, locals call for equal development

On Monday, about 5,000 people took to the streets of Deiyai, a town about 500km from the provincial capital of Jayapura, carrying four Morning Star flags, a banned symbol used by independence supporters, said protest organiser Yosep Iyai.
"At a local government office, the Morning Star flags were raised for 1-1/2 hours," Iyai told Reuters by telephone, adding that the protest went off peacefully.
A video posted on Twitter by human rights lawyer Veronica Koman showed thousands of Papuans, some in traditional clothes, marching through a street in Deiyai, carrying sticks, bows and arrows.

Last week's demonstrations were triggered by a racist slur against Papuan students, who were hit by tear gas in their dormitory and detained in the city of Surabaya on Indonesia's main island of Java on Aug 17. Authorities have suspended five soldiers being investigated over the incident, said Imam Hariyadi, a spokesman for the East Java military. But some protest rallies grew into a broader demand for an independence vote. Referendum calls "were the people's aspiration", Papua Governor Lukas Enembe told reporters on Monday, after meeting President Joko Widodo in Jakarta.

READ: Indonesia arrests 34, blocks Internet in Papua to help curb violent protests

He and the governor of neighbouring West Papua are to discuss the referendum demands in a meeting with Widodo, he added. Widodo has previously said he wanted to meet Papuan leaders this week. "The Papuans are proud and dignified people and racism isn't something that is desired in any country, including Indonesia," Enembe added. Rallies were also held in the regions of Paniai and Dogiyai in the province, broadcaster CNN Indonesia said. It cited an activist who estimated 30,000 Papuans participated, while Papuan news website said there were 7,000 demonstrators in the town of Wamena.

READ: Indonesia deploys more troops as Papua hit by fresh unrest

Telephone calls and text messages did not get through to a spokesman for Papuan police, but state news agency Antara quoted Papua police chief Rudolf Rodja as saying the demonstrations were over and security established by afternoon. Jakarta has cut Internet access in the region since Wednesday, to stop people sharing "provocative" messages that could trigger more violence, a step criticised by rights group and journalists, who said it had made reporting difficult. Papua and West Papua provinces, the resource-rich western part of the island of New Guinea, were a Dutch colony that was incorporated into Indonesia after a widely criticised UN-backed referendum in 1969. Foreign journalists' access to the restive region has been limited, despite an announcement by Widodo in 2015 that Papua was open to foreign media. Source: Reuters/aa


5) Papua free media advocate files UN ‘blackout’ plea, targeted by hacker
A West Papuan journalist, editor and media freedom advocate has lodged a protest to the United Nations about Indonesia’s internet blackout as more protests reportedly spread across the Melanesian region, including Wamena in the highlands.
Victor Mambor and Tabloid Jubi have made the protest with the help of human rights lawyers and he appealed through Pacific Media Watch for the Pacific media to “spread information about the appeal”.
Indonesian authorities claim the internet gag has been necessary to stem “fake news” which it blames for the rash of Papuan protests over the past week, with at least one death and dozens injured.
Mambor was himself the target last week of a hacker named “Dapur” who was accused by the Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) of maliciously “doxing” his social media web data.
The journalist group issued a statement saying that a fake Twitter account had “disseminated an unfounded attempt to discredit and intimidate” Mambor, who is a national organiser for AJI.
“We consider that what Victor has done through his media is the standard thing done by the media, which is to convey information as objectively as possible and publish it after going through a verification process,” the AJI statement said.
The AJI reminded social media users – and the security forces – that journalists carrying out their profession were protected by Press Law 40.
Hampered by blackout
Mambor said the ability of Papuan journalists to report on the protests had been hampered by the internet blackout.

RNZ Pacific reported earlier today that Victor Mambor had filed an urgent appeal to the UNSpecial Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression, David Kaye.
The Communications Ministry said blocking of the internet would continue until the Papua region was “absolutely normal”.
Mambor said the blockage violated international human rights law.
“When we talk about the ability of journalism to send the real true situation about West Papua,” he said.
“But now we cannot do it. There’s much information from the road. They send it to me, but we cannot clarify or cannot verify the information. There is a problem for journalism.”
The block has also restricted the people’s right to mobilise, RNZ Pacific reported Mambor saying.
‘Discrimination against Papuans’
“I think it’s a kind of discrimination against West Papuan people. The authorities should look for perpetrators who say ‘monkey’ to our people. They should arrest them, not block the internet.”
Mambor said people could generally tell the difference between hoax and accurate news coverage.
His appeal, made through the human rights lawyers Jennifer Robinson and Veronica Koman, also claims the internet blocking fundamentally violates the rights of all West Papuans,” RNZ Pacific reports.
“We appeal to the UN Special Rapporteur, and to the UN Human Rights Commissioner Michele Bachelet, to raise our concerns with the Indonesian government about the military crackdown and internet blocking in West Papua,” Robinson said.
She also urged the UN to call on Indonesia to ensure that Mambor and West Papuan journalists were able to report “without fear of intimidation and harassment”.
The government has deployed 1000 extra military and police to Papua, as some of the protests turned violent.
Local media outlets have been restricted in their ability to send photographs and videos of the protests.

The Jakarta Post reports that legal experts have demanded the police prove that shooting tear gas and arresting 43 Papuan students at a dorm in Surabaya on August 17 without an investigation was “necessary” just because the police suspected there were “certain items” inside the dorm.
This was the incident that triggered the widespread protests.
East Java police spokesperson Frans Barung Mangera said on Friday in Surabaya that an internal police investigation carried out late last week revealed that none of the personnel had violated standard operating procedures by using tear gas.
The Paris-based Reporters Without Borders, New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists and other global media groups have demanded Indonesian authorities immediately restore internet access to Papua region.
The Pacific Media Centre has also condemned the internet blackout, with director Professor David Robie saying the authorities have “inflamed’ the situation with the ban by encouraging misinformation and rumours.
“Papuans, and indeed everybody, are entitled to free and unfettered information about the crisis and the reports of human rights violations,” he said.
The Guardian also reported on the expected further wave of protests in response to the racial slurs.

6) A story of Nduga refugees: giving birth in the jungle
Published 5 days ago on 22 August 2019 By pr9c6tr3_juben

Jayawijaya, Jubi – The shooting over some construction workers of PT Istaka Karya in Yigi, Nduga Regency on 2 December 2018 has still left a scarce in the heart of local people. They are now still living with physical and mental injuries.
Among many innocent victims and refugees, there is a young woman who is leaving with trauma. She previously chose to not living her village located in Mugi sub-district when the incident occurred in the early of December 2018. But the twenty-one aged woman had to make a decision. With six children whom one was still inside her womb, at that time she was in two months pregnant, she must flee to a safer place.
“My husband went first and took two our children to a safer place,” she told Jubi in a refugee camp settled in Jayawijaya on Saturday (3/8/2019).
But when her village was surrounded with gunfire and house burning, terrifying she decided to take her other three children to the forest since January 2019. Like other refugees, she and her family eat what they could find in the jungle to survive. “Sometimes, we ate leaves or whatever we can fund to stay alive,” she said.

She lived for nearly six months in the jungle that made her not aware of her time to give birth. One day she experienced bleeding and chose to take a rest. Then in the evening, she gave birth to a boy without assistance from anyone. “The baby was born under a big tree. I was alone. My family came when it just has done,” she said.
Because of a difficult time while in the jungle, she thought her baby was not safe in her womb. “I thought this boy already dead. But when I pushed my belly down, he still alive. It’s all God blessing,” she said.
After taking birth, she took fern leaves that she found in the jungle to wrap her baby’s body. If the weather was remarkably cold, she counts on the campfire and would hold him close to her body. After spending days in the jungle with her baby, she continued to walk and arrived in her family’s house in Jayawijaya where she lives now in June 2019.
When Jubi came to see her, her son remains not wearing clothes. She admitted that she and her family still do not want to accept the government’s aid because the military helps its distribution. Until now, she is still traumatic seeing soldiers.
“I witnessed the soldiers shot my family. It made me scared of them. Soon when they heard gunfire, people run away. But I witnessed that incident. I am traumatized by the sound of gunfire,” she said.
Now, she only counts on her breast milk to feed her son, though sometimes it’s not enough.
Meanwhile, another woman who came to the refugee camp earlier said she and the other three families flee because soldiers have come to their village.
“We had to sleep in a cave. There was no tent or shelter to cover us. After we felt a bit safer, we built a hut from woods and leaves in the jungle. While for food, we counted on leaves we found to be cooked” she said.
For this article, Jubi met a woman who was also pregnant when fleeing from her village and gave birth to her eighth child in the forest. “My baby is a girl. She was born in the refugee shelter,” she said.
Every day she saw the armed conflict between the Papua liberation army and the Indonesian military. Like other refugees, she and her family also count on what they found to survive.
“When I was tired to walk while in the running to avoid gunfire, I ever thought it was fine if I got shot but not my child. She must stay alive even I was shot dead,” she said. (*)
Reporter: Islami Adisubrata
Editor: Pipit Maizier

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