15 July 2012

National police anniversary smeared in the blood of the Papuan people

Papuan National Solidarity Statement (NAPAS) - July 2, 2012

It has been 43 years since Papua was annexed into Indonesia through the so-call "Act of Free" choice, which was legally flawed and engineered in contravention of the New York Agreement of "One Man One Vote". Despite this engineered annexation, the Papuan people have suffered a calamity. A calamity that has not only resulted in their natural wealth being exploited, but the people have been raped, abused, slaughtered, stigmatised and murdered, all which has been directed towards the annihilation of the Papuan people.

One of the actors behind this calamity for the Papuan people is an institution that celebrated its 66th anniversary on July 1, the Indonesian national police. Other key actors are the government, the military, Freeport, foreign and local companies, and the Merauke Integrated Food and Energy Estate (MIFEE).

Given that the indigenous Papuan people are comprised of some 250 different tribes, over the last 43 years their numbers have declined to around 1.2 million people, both because of the spread of the HIV/AIDS virus and because they have been murdered and slaughtered. The Papuan people have become a "left over people" who will eventually be annihilated by the actors of violence, the supporters of the continued exploitation of capital in Papua.

The roots of the problem are not just the historical manipulation of the 1969 UN sponsored referendum on Papua's integration with Indonesia (Pepera), but also the massive investment that has resulting in the majority of the Papuan people who live in mining and plantation areas being pushed out of their traditional lands. The environment where they live are has been totally polluted by mine tailings.

Meanwhile all of the problems in Papua and the reaction to these social injustices by the regime of former President Suharto through to the current administration of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Vice President Boediono, have been handled by a "militaristic" approach and the stigmatisation of "separatism".

The militaristic approach has resulted in a sharp rise in violence and human rights violations in Papua which is committed by institutions of the state. Moreover the institutions and perpetrators of this violence are never arrested, dismissed or tried, and instead rewarded by promotions, better positions, despite these actors being the perpetrators of the humanitarian crimes.

Since 1969 Arnold Ap, Tom Wanggay, Theys Eluay, Petrus Ayamiseba, Leo Wandagau, Daniel Kedepa, Max Asayeu and Yakob Samon Sabra, and most recently Mako Taboni, along with thousands of other Papuans have become the victims of the bullets and bayonets of the police and military who are murdered in the name of stability, security and investment, framed in terms of "bigoted nationalism" and "separatist stigmatisation". Every Papuan baby, from the moment it is conceived in the womb, is considered a "separatist and enemy of the state".

Murder, abductions, rape, slaughter and the racism against the "left over people" with curly black hair, has, is and will continue. Because basically the government no intention of creating democracy, holding up human rights or bringing prosperity for the Papuan people.

This can clearly be seen over the last two months leading up to the national police's anniversary. The shootings and killings, committed either by the police or so-called "OTK" (Unknown Persons, now referred to across Papua as Specially Trained People), have left more than 25 people dead, one of which was Mako Tabuni who was "legally" shot dead by the police and military when he was eating at a food stall in Waena with friends. Tabuni was shot dead without any legitimate justification. Tabuni was a Papuan youth leader and the deputy chairperson of the West Papuan National Committee (KNPB) who had consistently voiced the truth in Papua.

And to this day violence by the police and military against ordinary Papuans and Papuan defenders of human rights and democracy continues to escalate, despite calls from national and international solidarity groups for "an end to violence in Papua". After Tabuni was shot dead, on June 18 the police shot dead two brothers in Timika. On July 26, the police shot a resident of Entrop in Jayapura, and yesterday, on the day of the national police's anniversary, OTK shot the head of the Sawoi Tami village in Keerom regency, Yohanes Yanofrom, who died at the scene. President Yudhoyono meanwhile, who considers the Papua problem to be "small scale", has stated that there no need for a dialogue with the Papuan that is fair, equal and democratic. This can be seen from his statement that the government is prepared to hold a dialogue as long as it is limited to and in accordance with the framework of government policy, or a farce dialogue that will only benefit the

Yesterday was the anniversary of the national police, and once again we state that the police's anniversary is smeared with the blood of the Papuan people. The national police, as a security institutions that is obliged to protect the people, is in fact one of the human rights criminals in Papua.

NAPAS therefore make the following demands:

1. That the national police end the stigmatisation and scapegoating of the Papuan people and Papuan activists;

2. That the national police immediately and unconditionally release Buktar Tabuni and other political prisoners;

3. That the national police immediately and transparently uncover the cases involving OTK;

4. That the national police immediately stop deploying police reinforcements to Papuan and withdraw Detachment 88 troops from Papua;

5. That the police immediately arrest the soldiers that have been carrying out the shooting of the Papuan people;

6. Immediately hold a civil court to try those responsible for the shooting of Mako Tabuni;

7. End all forms of military business in the land of Papua;

8. End the deployment of "invisible" troops to Papua.

And with regard to President Yudhoyono's statement that the government is prepared to hold a dialogue providing there is no discussion of a referendum or the straightening out of history, NAPAS believes that the government does not truly wish for dialogue or for democracy in Papua. In principle, dialogue is a process of communication between disputing parties in a manner that is fair, equal, democratic and free from coercion. Because of this therefore, prior to holding any kind of dialogue and as a form of respect for democratic space, the following is required:

a. The state must allow for freedom to expression, including expressing the desire for a referendum and the straightening out of history;

b. Withdraw non-organic police, military and other "invisible" troops from Papua, and reduce the number of organic troops in the land of Papua;

c. That the government makes a formal apology for all of the crimes that have been committed against the Papuan people and provide a sense of justice to the victims and the families of victims;

d. Abolish all military businesses;

e. Arrest and try the perpetrators of human rights violations;

f. Arrest and try those behind the mysterious shootings;

g. Release all convicted and non-convicted political prisoners;

h. Free access to information: All foreign and local media be allowed access to Papua and facilitate internet and telecommunication access;

i. Provide space for national and international human rights defenders to conduct thorough investigations and advocacy in order to uncover the facts behind the humanitarian crimes in Papua;

NAPAS takes this opportunity to make the following call:

A. For the Papuan people to have courage! Unite and fight! Do not be divided by the politics of being played off against each other, between those from the highlands and the lowlands, between indigenous Papuans and migrants, and do not be afraid of intimidation and threats in any form! Fear is the means by which struggle is paralyzed!

B. To the people of Indonesia: Join in solidarity! Violence by the police and the military is taking place everywhere, not just in Papua, and make no mistake, if there is no solidarity and struggle then the democratic space that has been enjoyed for the last 14 years will be taken from our hands.

Viva humanitarianism!
Viva democracy!

Jakarta, July 2, 2012

Marthen Goo
NAPAS Public Relations Officer

Papua National Solidarity

Secretariat: Jl. Manunggal II, RT04/RW05, TMII, Jakarta Timur

Note: NAPAS is a Papuan solidarity committee formed by Papuan liberation activists and fully supported by the People's Liberation Party (PPR), the Student Struggle Center for National Liberation (PEMBEBASAN) and Free Women (Perempuan Mahardhika).

[Translated by James Balowski.]

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