This peaceful demonstration, organized by the Solidarity Movement of Survivors of Human Rights Violations in Papua, began as participants from Sentani, Waena, and the Abepura area, gathered in front of the auditorium of Cenderawasih University. The coordinators of the demonstration directed the demonstrators towards the Abepura Traffic Circle, in an orderly fashion. People carried banners and pamphlets, as well as photos of victims. Some of the pamphlets and banners included the statements: “Stop Business in Papua”, “The Warden of Abepura Prison is Responsible for the beating of Buchtar Tabuni”, “Special Autonomy Legislation = Sorcery of the Papuan Elite”, “Stop Adding Organic and Non-Organic Troops in the Land of Papua”, “Stop Discrimination Towards Papuan Political Prisoners”, “The State of Indonesia is Responsible for All Victims of Human Rights Abuses in Papua”.
As the demonstrators moved from the auditorium of Cenderawasih University towards the Abepura Traffic Circle, they received lots of attention from the public, although the demonstration was blocked by the Police in front of the Abepura Post Office. However, due to the support of the PBI team and a brief negotiation, the Abepura Police Chief stepped in and ordered his officers to stand down and gave permission for the demonstrators to continue to the traffic circle at about 11:25. After gathering the demonstrators at the traffic circle, the coordinators gave representatives of various groups the opportunity to take turns giving brief speeches.
At 11:45, a statement was read by the lead organizer, Peneas Lokbere, in the form of a joint press release. The demonstration was closed with a prayer led by Kelly Peday, and the demonstrators were invited to go to Yuso Field in front of Abepura Elementary School, to eat together.
Several non-governmental human rights organizations, as well as student organizations, participated in the demonstration. These included: KontraS Papua (Organization for the Disappeared and Victims of Violence), SKP Keuskupan Jayapura (Secretariat of Peace and Justice – Catholic Diocese), KPKC Sinode GKI (Secretariat of Peace and Justice – Protestant Church), PBHI, JUBI (independent media), BUK, IKOHIK2N-P2A (Alliance of Family of the Disappeared and Victims of State Crimes in Papua), DKR (Council on Community Health), UKM Dehaling UnCen (The Working Group of Students for Democracy, Human Rights, and the Environment), BPM Fakultas Hukum UnCen, Senat USTJ, Senat STFT, PMKRI, and AMPTPI. The theme of the demonstration was “The Tragedy of Crimes Against Humanity in Papua”.
At 15:30, the event continued with a discussion and a photo exhibition of victims located at Yuso Field, Biak Road, Abepura. Several expert speakers guided the direction of the discussion. Among them were: Matius Murib, from the National Commission on Human Rights Papua, who talked about the principles of human rights, the condition of human rights in Papua, the legal processes in the Wasior and Wamena cases, and the case of the beating of Buchtar Tabuni while he was detained in the Abepura prison. Peneas Lokbere, the coordinator of BUK, shared experiences from the Abepura (2000) case and its development. Representing the victims of human rights abuses in Papua, Hendrik Sorondanja of Garda-P made several points: 1. Never forget our history. 2. The struggle of the survivors is part of the struggle of all Papuans, and 3. Because of this, we must all strongly support the work of BUK.
This discussion raised awareness and educated all the members of the college dormitories and other activist elements that the struggle of the survivors and the victims is also the struggle of the Papuan people. Preserving our history and documents for the future is the responsibility of all of us together, as the new generation of dignity and morality. Finally, this discussion also constituted a preview of the actions planned to mark Global Human Rights Day on 10 December 2009.
The initial plan was to screen a documentary film about the incidents of Abepura 2000, along with another discussion, but the film screening was banned by the Abepura Police Chief (Yafet Karafir) with the excuse that it could incite and provocate people. There was no film screening.
Solidarity Movement of Survivors of Human Rights Violations in Papua
(BUK, IKOHIK2N-P2A (Alliance of Family of the Disappeared and Victims of State Crimes in Papua), KontraS Papua (Organization for the Disappeared and Victims of Violence), Foker LSM, SKP Keuskupan Jayapura (Secretariat of Peace and Justice – Catholic Diocese), KPKC Sinode GKI (Secretariat of Peace and Justice – Protestant Church), UKM Dehaling UnCen (The Working Group of Students for Democracy, Human Rights, and the Environment), BPM Fakultas Hukum UnCen, PMKRI, AMPTPI, Front Pepera, Garda-P, Parjal, Asrama Ninmin, dan Asrama Nabire)
“The Tragedy of Human Rights Violations in Papua”
As a way of commemorating the ninth anniversary of the Abepura case of 7 December 2000, the Solidarity Movement of Survivors of Human Rights Violations in Papua has implemented a public campaign, utilizing peaceful demonstrations, as a simultaneous impetus to also give voice to all the other cases of human rights abuses in Papua, cases where the legal process is still unclear. There are many obstacles to the protection, the respect, and the progress of human rights in Papua, both in policy and implementation.
The Abepura case of 7 December 2000 constitutes one of the most inhumane and brutal crimes against humanity carried out by the Police (Brimob – Mobile Brigade). This police action was carried out following the attack on the Abepura police station and the burning of various storefronts around the Abepura traffic circle by unknown persons, who were characterized as possessing attributes which are common to indigenous Papuans, especially those from the central highlands of Papua. This characterization then was used by the security forces as a justification to carry out sweepings of student dormitories and various residences occupied by people from the central highlands of Papua.
Without following legal procedures, such as the investigation and pursuit of the principal suspects, the police forces of Brimob immediately launched sweepings, arbitrary arrests, torture, extrajudicial killings, unlawful detention, and killing of detainees. The actions of the Police created as many as 105 victims. Out of these, 3 people died from torture during the operation and one was summarily shot dead during the sweepings.
According to Indonesian Law Number 26, 2000, regarding Human Rights Court, the Abepura case falls into the category of grave human rights violations. The case was tried in Makassar in 2005, featuring two primary defendents: Police Commissioner Daud Sihombing and the head of Brimob Papua, Johny Wainal Usman.
But the trial process of the case of Human Rights Violations in Abepura was only a political show trial, because in fact, the law was unable to convict the two suspects, not even with the lightest of sentences. What ocurred was that the two suspects were freed by the court’s decision of 8 and 9 November 2005. The two perpetrators of crimes against humanity were set free by the court, were granted legal impunity, and received promotions and higher ranks in the Police force.
The victims of the Abepura case were not even acknowledged as victims. There has been no acknowledgment of their status as victims, and until now the state of Indonesia has neither restored the good name, nor given any reparation to the survivors.
From the aforementioned legal process, there evidence of stigmatization towards specific groups within the community, in order to legalize the violence carried out by the state security forces against civilians. There are also indications that the Abepura case, which began with an attack on the Abepura Police Station, was actually a show put on by the security forces themselves. This relates to military business, and the goal of increasing the security forces’ operational budgets. We can make these two conclusions because after the trial of the Abepura case, the two prime suspects were given promotions and higher ranks, although they are principal perpetrators of crimes against humanity in Papua.
Seeing legal proceedings like these, the Papuan people have little hope that they will receive justice in Indonesia, though, in theory, Indonesia is country ruled by law. Actually, the law exists only for the benefit of the state, not the benefit of the people.
The face of the abusive judicial process and the uncertainty of justice for victims of human rights violations in Papua continues to create disappointment and breeds ever more distrust towards the legal system, which then evokes feelings of apathy toward the protection supposedly provided for every individual citizen by the state. Because values of Human Rights and Democracy are regarded as threats to the sovereignty of the state, those in power intentionally create and perpetuate a culture of conflict.
Even until today, the patterns of violence in the land of Papua are more and more prevalent. The government still uses the systematic pattern of restricting space for democracy, by arresting democratic activists, who are stigmatized as “seperatists”, and who are charged with sedition.
The issue of the addition of new regional military commands in Papua shows the inability of the government in handling security that involves all the Papuan people. On the contrary, the government still uses a military war mobilization to deal with political issues that would be better handled by maintaining a more integral democratic system. The Papuan people, especially the victims of human rights violations, will be even more traumatized, which will create even more distrust towards the central government.
There are many cases of human rights abuses in Papua that still await their turn to be processed in the high court. These include: The Wasior case and the Bloody Wamena case. These two cases are still being delayed by the Attorney General’s Office and the Human Rights Commission in Jakarta. The disappearance of Aristoteles Masoka and the murder of Opinus Tabuni have, up until now, not been taken seriously by the responsible government parties.
Today’s event has the goal of building a culture of democracy, with mutual values of respect for human rights, and the creation of a feeling of respect and protection for the dignity and honor of humanity in Papua. The aforementioned rights include: the right to knowledge, the right to justice, the right to reparations, and guarantees of safety from the repetition of repressive actions by the state security forces.
For all of this, we, the Solidarity Movement of Survivors of Human Rights Violations in Papua, in the form of commemorating the ninth anniversary of the Abepura case:
1. Demand that the government fulfill the rights of the victims.
2. Demand that the President of the Republic of Indonesia to immediately solve the cases of grave human rights violations in Wasior and Wamena, because the legal process is still unclear at the Attorney General’s Office and the Human Rights Commission of Jakarta.
3. Demand that the Governor of Papua, the Papuan Provincial Legislature, and the Papuan Customary Council to push for a formal evaluation of the security policies in Papua, and to reject more military forces, both Organic and Non-organic, as well as rationalize the (high) number of military and police in the land of Papua.
4. Demand that the Governor of Papua, the Papuan Provincial Legislature, and the Papuan Police to immediately solve the case of Aristoteles Masoka.
5. Demand that the Ministery of Law and Human Rights create an team to thoroughly investigate the case of the beating of Buchtar Tabuni and other incidents of discrimination towards political prisoners.
6. Demand that the Police Chief of Papua immediately follow through the legal process of the case of Opinus Tabuni.
7. Strongly reject the addition of new regional military commands in the land of Papua.
8. Demand the immediate formation of a Human Rights Court in Papua.
This is our statement of purpose during this commemorative campaign, of this year,
7 December 2009,