forces engineering conditions to justify eliminating Papuan free
counter-terrorism squad, Densus 88, has been accused of perpetrating a
massive fraud that aims to dismantle the peaceful, pro-independence West
Papua National Committee (KNPB) and ultimately justify the elimination of
Papuan free expression. West Papua Media reports.
Densus 88 sweeps force
hundreds to flee from Baliem Valley villages
Sweeps engineered to justify annihilation of Papuan resistance by
Australian-funded troops: Churches
Chesterfield, with Westpapuamedia stringers
October 15, 2012.
intensification of armed security sweeps against West Papuan clanspeople
around Wamena, Church leaders in West Papua have condemned Indonesian
security forces for falsely engineering conditions to justify eliminating
Papuan civil resistance to Jakarta’s colonial rule.
continue to be received of an ongoing security sweep against highland
villages that has reportedly resulted in hundreds of civilians fleeing to
take refuge with pro-independence guerrillas in the mountains several
days walk from Wamena.
Activists from the
pro-independence West Papua National Committee (KNPB) are reportedly
being targeted in a worrying crackdown against free expression. Carloads
of heavily armed police and soldiers are cruising around the districts
surrounding Wamena, pouncing on any civilians suspected of having
affiliation to the KNPB, according to church sources in communication
with West Papua Media stringers.
KNPB sources have
expressed great fear that the latest offensive by Indonesian security
forces against their members is an attempt to wipe out the Papuan people
by eliminating their ability to organise acts of peaceful free expression
and to campaign for a referendum to determine Papua’s future.
A joint taskforce
led by officers from the Australian funded counter-terror unit Detachment
88, together with soldiers from the notorious Wamena based Army (TNI)
Battalion 756, and Police paramilitary Brimob Gegana alleged bomb
“disposal” officers have joined the sweep, which initially targeted the
villages of Wesagaput, Tulem, Jibama and Jbele, outside Wamena.
sought refuge and are temporarily displaced from their homes as a result
of a meeting by district office of Jayawijaya and the TNI/POLRI police
who carried out raids, and accused local activists for planting a bomb in
a house at Jalan Irian. The situation is described as tense and locals
are in grave fear,” a pastor who has fled to the hills with the residents
told West Papua Media by SMS on October 10.
over the weekend by West Papua Media to contact the Jayawijaya police
commander, and the new Papua Police Commander, former Densus 88 chief
Tito Karnavian, have gone unreplied.
It is not known the
strength of the taskforce, but unconfirmed reports have claimed up to two
Satgas companies are involved, totalling at least 200 armed troops.
Historically police and military raids against villages in the Baliem
Valley have resulted in signficant human rights abuses, village burnings
and repeated incidents of brutality and torture (some infamously captured
on mobile phones and leaked via YouTube).
Messages sent late
on Thursday night from the pastor explained “We are now in the jungle,
two other crew are still the main target by the security forces and they
are still in Wamena town.” The source described how his own, and KNPB
members, photos have been displayed on Wanted posters (Daftar Pencarian
Orang, DPO) across a small airstrip and the main market of Wamena town.
The pastor has joined with the residents in order to provide a measure of
protection and communication, and to be on hand for any negotiations.
He continued, in
Wamena “the security presence (is) blocking the airstrip, market and the
surrounding area and makes it difficult for us to send fast reports.” The
pastor reported that on October 10, he and KNPB members who were
attempting to file human rights reports were chased by a military
vehicle. It was an “Avanza with fully armed military personnel, I
believed to be Densus 88, which forced us to flee into the into the jungle
with some documents. At the moment, kaka with other committee members in
the jungle and soon kaka will be without reception. Please pray for us.”
It is believed that
the villagers have fled to the protection of National Liberation Army
guerrillas further in the hills, a long utilised last resort in an area
that has been subject to generations of significant human rights abuses
by the Indonesian military.
The villages being
targeted are the home villages of KNPB members arrested in brutal raids
by Detachment 88 and TNI troops on September 29. The activists led by
Simon Dabi, the Baliem KNPB chairman, are still under arrest by
Detachment 88 counter-terror officers, controversially accused of
involvement in a bombing campaign that has been widely blamed by church
sources to be the work of Indonesian special forces new force – the
shadowy “unknown persons” that are never investigated properly by Police.
It is feared by most observers that the activists will not receive any
chance of a fair trial, as no international observers are allowed.
According to human
rights sources in Wamena, the raids have occured after Indonesian
intelligence agents interrogating the arrested KNPB activists accused
them of hiding bomb making materials in their clan members’ houses.
Church sources in Wamena who have had contact with the detainees have
reported to West Papua Media that Densus 88 interrogations appear to have
focussed on the connection between KNPB and UK-exiled Papuan highland
leader Benny Wenda, and have targeted members of the extended Wenda clan
for specific repression.
indigenous people based on their blood and clan relations is a clear
violation of human rights, and has nothing to do with proper police
work,” said a senior church leader in Wamena to West Papua Media‘s
stringer. “The situation in Wamena is now incredibly dangerous for anyone
thought to support KNPB,” he said.
emerged overnight claiming that more KNPB activists were arrested over
the weekend in Wamena, however these reports have not been able to be
Church sources have
departed from their usually restrained language, and have vehemently
condemned the current operation as a conspiracy by security forces to
justify slaughter of West papuan people opposed to Indonesian violence.
A statement by the
Moderator of the Papuan Baptist Church, Reverend Socratez Sofyan Yoman,
demanded security forces immediately cease their engineering of bombings
“The case of the
bombings that occurred in two place (at the Honorary Council Workspace
Jayawijaya on 1 September, and Wamena traffic police at Jalan Pos Irian
on 18 September) are a Really Big Lie by Indonesian police. False
allegations that security disturbances were carried out by the people of
Papua, more specifically KNPB in Wamena, in our opinion is untrue. Major
public fraud like this is unacceptable to the conscience and sense of
logic,” said Rev. Yoman.
Rev Yoman explained
that “Crimes Against Humanity in the form of police lying is part of a
huge security operation and mission of the Government of Indonesia in
Papua,” and included the murder of Moses Mako Tabuni on June 14, 2012 by
Detachment 88. “The whole process by security forces is very embarrassing
to us and disturbs our conscience, but at the same time really damages the
reputation of the security forces in the eyes of the people of Papua, the
Indonesian people and the international community.”
outlined an 8 point scenario of the motivations for Detachment 88 to
conduct these raids, when they know that Papuan people have nothing to do
with thee terror tactics.
The operation aims
are as follows, Yoman said:
“1. Destroy the
peaceful struggle of God’s people in Papua who demand justice and respect
for the dignity and fundamental rights of Indigenous Papuans;
2. Knocking out all
the pillars of the struggle of the people and the nation of Papua,
demanding a peaceful dialogue between the Indonesian government and the
Papuan People be unconditionally mediated by a neutral third-party… that
continues to gain sympathy and support of the international community,
academics, humanitarian workers and the people of Indonesia;
3. Creating a sense
of fear, silence, dilemma and trauma of the Papuan people to not take the
fight against Crimes Against Humanity committed by the TNI and the police
defending sovereignty of the Republic of Indonesia from 1961 to 2012;
4. Destroy the
peaceful struggle of West Papua National Committee (KNPB), which has been
the voice of the suffering of the people of God in the Land of Papua.
(menjastifikasi) the construction of more military and police bases in
the Land of Papua;
6. Confirming the
presence of Detachment 88 in Papua, to pursue and kill civilians by
utilising separatist stigma and treason (makar) charges against Papuan
7. Build the image
to the international community that the violence and crimes against
humanity in Papua are (caused by) Indigenous Papuans and KNPB (instead of
the Indonesian colonial system).
8. And of course,
the security forces to obtain additional funding from the budget or Papua
province and district / city on the grounds of security control area and
The sweep is also
occurring in other parts of Papua currently. Detachment 88 officers on
October 14 arrested a former senior National Liberation Army figure Gidi
Wenda outside Sentani, near Jayapura. Several police Avanza cars full of
armed Densus 88 officers made the raid at a house behind the headman’s
office at 3am, according to human rights sources. Wenda has not been
heard from since, nor seen at the Police HQ, and relatives are concerned
for his safety.
crackdown, KNPB activists have vowed to continue to engage in free
expression, and call for the international community to prevent Indonesia
from killing more Papuan people. “We will demand the United Nations to
immediately send a team of observers to our territory, because from
day-to-day, we are getting (sic) extinct under Indonesian military
operations, just as we demand the right of self-determination which has
been guaranteed by international law,” KNPB Chairman Victor Yeimo said in
a statement released on October 15.
Mass rallies have
been planned across Papua on October 24, which are likely to meet with
significant repressive measures by Indonesian security forces.
“We will continue to
demand our rights even the world seems concerning with the political
economy of the occupiers and oppressors,” said Yeimo. “Many of our
activists have been killed, imprisoned and intimidated under Indonesian
rule, and we will not give up until our demands are heard by the world,”