Papuans Behind Bars: March 2014

In brief

At the end of March 2014, there were at least 73 political prisoners in Papuan jails.

In two separate cases, six men arrested in Sasawa in February and two men arrested in Sarmi in December 2013 are facing trial for conspiracy to commit treason under Articles 106 and 110 of the Indonesian Criminal Code. While the Sasawa detainees are accused of possession of weapons  and being members of the West Papuan National Army (Tentara Nasional Papua Barat, TNPB), Edison Werimon and Soleman Fonataba in the Sarmi arrests were charged because they were found in possession of West Melanesian 14-Star flags and other allegedly treasonous documents.

The charge of conspiracy to commit treason continues to be applied to a wide range of alleged offences, including peaceful political activities such as the possession of flags. The arrests of Werimon and Fonataba, which took place just weeks ahead of the January visit of the Melanesian Spearhead Group delegation, suggests that Indonesia is working to suppress a developing Melanesian identity among indigenous Papuans.

Interviews conducted by local human rights workers revealed that in both the case of the Kerom civilians arrests and the 26 November Jayapura arrests, Jayapura police had fabricated the contents of the police investigation reports. Prison authorities continue to refuse urgent medical treatment needed for Stefanus Banal, who sustained serious injuries after being shot by police in a raid in Oksibil. Failure on the part of the authorities to meet their legal obligations to provide fair trials and adequate healthcare to political detainees continues to exacerbate tensions between indigenous Papuans and the state.

Since June 2013, human rights defenders, particularly from the Papuan Student Youth Movement (Gerakan Mahasiswa Pemuda Rakyat Papua, Gempar-P), have been holding demonstrations condemning the secretive drafting of the Special Autonomy (Otsus Plus) bill. Security forces have continued to react repressively by dispersing these demonstrations and ill-treating protestors. A demonstration organised by Gempar-P on 11 March was dispersed by Jayapura police on the grounds that, among other reasons, the group was not registered with the Department of National Unity and Politics (Kesatuan Bangsa dan Politik, Kesbangpol). This is a recurrent technique used by police to de-legitimise and control indigenous civil society groups, who tend to find that if they do attempt to register with the Kesbangpol, their applications are ignored. The lack of political will on the part of the government for broad engagement with civil society on pressing issues such as Special Autonomy reflects a staunch unwillingness to consider a range of Papuan views. Indonesia’s top-down approach to development in Papua is causing unrest. When criticisms are expressed through peaceful protest, such actions are met with heavy-handed tactics leading to further unrest. Intransigent government approaches to development in Papua are in this way becoming a significant factor in fuelling instability.

Arrests

Nabire farmer accused of being OPM arrested

On 2 March, Otis Waropen, a farmer from Sima village in Nabire was arrested by Nabire Regional police and Brimob (Mobiles Brigades) forces. He is accused of being a member of the Free Papua Movement (Organisasi Papua Merdeka, OPM), an armed pro-independence movement. Simon Petrus Hanebora, the chief of the local Yerisiam tribe told Majalah Selangkah that Waropen was a farmer with no political affiliations. He requested for Brimob forces to leave Yaur district in Nabire as they mistreat residents. The charges against Otis Waropen are still unclear.

Releases

Sarmi treason detainee released

On 1 February, Daniel Norotouw, one of four men arrested on 3 March 2013 and accused of treason, has been released after the completion of his one year prison sentence. The four men state that they were carrying out a socialisation event in Sarmi aimed at planning an event on 1May, the date marking the administrative transfer of Papua to Indonesia. Norotouw was sentenced to one year imprisonment while Isak Demetouw, Niko Sasomar and Sileman Teno were sentenced to two years and two months’ imprisonment for allegedly possessing weapons.

Three arrested in Kontiunai village military raid released

Information from human rights lawyers who visited detainees in Serui Regional police station revealed that the three men detained following a raid in Kontiunai village in Yapen island have been released. It is believed that Matias Merani was released in early March. Agus Wondiwoi and Piter Merani initially faced charges of possession of ammunition under the Emergency Law 12/1951 but have since been released. According to information obtained by human rights lawyers from Yapen police, the two men were released as they were not ‘primary targets’. Police continue to conduct search operations in Konti and Menawai for alleged West Papua National Army (Tentera Nasional Papua Barat, TNPB) leader Rudi Orarei. Local sources report that the situation in these areas is still unstable and that civilians have not been able to resume normal daily activity.

Political trials and cases overview

Six detained in Sasawa arrests charged with treason

Information received from human rights lawyers state that six out of the seven men who were arrested during a large-scale military raid in Sasawa village in Yapen island face charges of conspiracy to commit treason under Articles 106, 108 and 110 of the Indonesian Criminal Code and posession of weapons under the Emergency Law 12/1951. Septinus Wonawoai has been released but is required to report to the police, continues to be investigated and may face trial.

As reported in the February update, some among the men are civilians unassociated with the armed pro-independence movement the West Papua National Army (Tentara Nasional Papua Barat, TNPB). It is still uncertain which among the six men – Salmon Windesi, Peneas Reri, Kornelius Woniana, Obeth Kayoi, Rudi Otis Barangkea and Jimmi Yermias Kapanai – are civilians unaffiliated to the TNPB. Human rights lawyers are seeking to represent the six men but are hindered due to lack of operational funds. Flights to the area from Jayapura via Biak are expensive, and by ship the journey takes one week.

Abepura prison authorities refuse to pay for urgent operation for Stefanus Banal

Human rights workers reported the deteriorating physical condition of Stefanus Banal who is in need of an urgent medical procedure to remove metal rods that were inserted to fix his broken shin bone.  Banal was shot by police in a raid in Oksibil in the Pegunungan Bintang regency. A local human rights activist who interviewed Banal reports that he is experiencing pain in his leg which appears to show signs of infection. Abepura prison authorities have refused to meet the costs of the operation and are neglecting their responsibility to provide adequate healthcare. Instead they have passed the responsibility on to Banal’s family, who cannot afford the operation required.

Police fabricate investigation report in case of Kerom civilian arrests

As reported in the February update, three civilians were arrested in Kerom for an incident in which they had no involvement, where local villagers challenged security forces who had illegally logged wood. Yulianus Borotian, Petrus Yohanes Tafor and Wilem Tafor are on trial under charges of violence against property and persons under Article 170 of the Indonesian Criminal Code. The three men are accused of murdering a police officer who had died in the incident on 13 December 2013, when police had clashed with a group of men who protested their attempts to steal local resources. According to human rights investigators, Kerom police fabricated the contents of the police investigation report (Berita Acara Pemeriksaan, BAP) for their case.

10 detainees in November Jayapura arrests to face trial

On 26 November 2013, 12 men were detained following a demonstration in Jayapura in support of the opening of a Free West Papua Campaign (FWPC) office in Papua New Guinea. Even though they had no involvement in the demonstration, 11 of the 12 men detained were brought to trial. On 11 February, 16-year-old Nikson Mul was released pending appeal. In late February, Penius Tabuni was sentenced to five months’ imprisonment and is expected to be released in April 2014.

The remaining ten detainees– Pendius Tabuni, Muli Hisage, Karmil Murib, Tomius Mul, Nius Lepi, Tinus Meage, Mathius Habel, Agus Togoti, Natan Kogoya and Nikolai Waisal – are on trial for charges of violence against persons or property under Articles 170 and 351 of the Indonesian Criminal Code.

Human rights workers reported that testimony in court stated that witnesses were not aware of the involvement of the ten detainees in the demonstrations on 26 November 2013. Local sources also reported the alleged forging of the police investigation report (Berita Acara Pemeriksaan, BAP). As reported in the January update, the twelve detainees were forced to sign the fabricated police investigation report and were interrogated without the presence of a lawyer. They are currently receiving legal accompaniment from the Papuan Legal Aid Foundation (Lembaga Bantuan Hukum, LBH).

Prosecutor accuses two Sarmi detainees of conspiracy to commit treason

Information in the prosecution letter (surat dakwaan) for Edison Werimon and Soleman Fonataba states that the two men are accused of conspiracy to commit treason under Articles 106 and 110 of the Indonesian Criminal Code because West Melanesian 14 Star flags (not Morning Star flags, as reported in our January update) and allegedly treasonous documents were found in their homes.

The prosecution letter stated that on 13 December 2013, upon finding a West Melanesian 14 Star flag hung on the wall of Edison Werimon’s front room, Sarmi police arrested him and searched his home. Police reportedly found documents that detailed a meeting on 2 November 2013 hosted at Werimon’s home. The letter also stated that the purpose of the meeting was to form a pro-Melanesian body called the ‘Republic Regional Melanesian Sarmi Senate,’ with Soleman Fonataba as their leader. Sarmi police then searched Fonataba’s home even though they did not have a search warrant and reportedly found four West Melanesian 14 star flags and other pro-Melanesian documents. He was later arrested on 17 December.

Human rights lawyer Gustaf Kawer told Jubi that the police searches were unprocedural and condemned their actions as thuggish. Kawer reported that fully armed police entered Werimon’s home and threatened Werimon’s son at gunpoint, forcing him to lay on his stomach during the search. Fonataba’s wife expressed disappointment at the way police conducted the search, stating that before surrounding her home, police first entered by climbing through the window. When she asked the police why they were searching the home, they said they did not have a reason. Police confiscated a small suitcase, three machetes and a few small axes. They also seized her childrens’ diploma certificats and IDR 1,600,000, but these were later returned. The trial is expected to begin in April.

News

Demonstration protesting Otsus Plus blocked

On 11 March, the Papuan Student Youth Movement (Gerakan Mahasiswa Pemuda Rakyat Papua, Gempar-P) held another demonstration protesting the secretive drafting of the Special Automy Plus (Otsus Plus) bill. University students gathered outside the campus of Cenderawasih University (UNCEN) to head towards the office of the Governor where they intended to hold their demonstration. However, according to a report by local human rights workers, Jayapura Regional police blocked demonstrators from doing so, stating in a letter rejecting the peaceful demonstration that Gempar-P was not a registered organisation with the Department for National Unity and Politics (Kesatuan Bangsa dan Politik, Kesbangpol). Police also wrote that ex-political prisoner and Gempar-P leader Yason Ngelia had communicated anti-Indonesian sentiment in his previous speeches.

Demonstrators demanded that Indonesian authorities stop the drafting of the Special Autonomy bill and called on the local government to consult with Papuan society and hold a referendum on Special Autonomy. Due to the heavy presence of security forces blocking their way to the Governor’s office, the demonstrators were forced to disperse. Human rights workers criticised the police action as closing democratic space in Papua.

 March 2014 Papuan political prisoners 

  Prisoner Arrested Charges Sentence Case Accused of violence? Concerns reported re legal process? Prison / Place of detention
 

 

 

 

1

Otis Waropen 2 March 2014 Unknown Police investigation pending Nabire civilian accused of being OPM Uncertain Uncertain Nabire
 

 

2

Kristianus Delgion Madai 3 February 2014 Emergency Law 12/1951 Awaiting trial Sentani weapons smuggling arrests Yes No Jayapura police detention
 

 

 

3

Yenite Morib 26 January 2014 Unknown Police investigation pending Dondobaga church arrests Yes Yes Mulia regional police station
 

 

 

 

 

4

 

 

Tiragud Enumby

26 January 2014 Unknown Police investigation pending Dondobaga church arrests Yes Yes Mulia regional police station
 

 

 

 

5

Deber Enumby 4 January 2014 Emergency Law 12/1951 Police investigation pending Kurilik firearms arrests Yes Yes Papua Provincial police station
 

 

6

Soleman Fonataba 17 December 2013 106, 110)1, 53, 55 Awaiting trial Sarmi 2013 Morning Star flag arrests No / not yet clear No Sarmi police detention
 

 

 

7

Edison Werimon 13 December 2013 106, 110)1, 53, 55 Awaiting trial Sarmi 2013 Morning Star flag arrests No / not yet clear No Sarmi police detention
 

 

 

8

Yulianus Borotian 13 December 2013 170 Awaiting trial Kerom civilian arrests Yes No Abepura
 

 

9

Petrus Yohanes Tafor 13 December 2013 170 Awaiting trial Kerom civilian arrests Yes No Abepura
 

 

10

Wilem Tafor 13 December 2013 170 Awaiting trial Kerom civilian arrests Yes No Abepura
 

 

 

11

Pendius Tabuni 26 November 2013 170)1,170)2 (3), 351)1 On trial Demonstration in support of FWPC PNG office arrests Yes Yes Abepura
 

 

 

12

Muli Hisage 26 November 2013 170)1,170)2 (3), 351)1 On trial Demonstration in support of FWPC PNG office arrests Yes Yes Abepura
 

 

 

13

Karmil Murib 26 November 2013 170)1,170)2 (3), 351)1 On trial Demonstration in support of FWPC PNG office arrests Yes Yes Abepura
 

 

 

 

14

Tomius Mul 26 November 2013 170)1,170)2 (3), 351)1 On trial Demonstration in support of FWPC PNG office arrests Yes Yes Abepura
 

 

 

15

Nius Lepi 26 November 2013 170)1,170)2 (3), 351)1 On trial Demonstration in support of FWPC PNG office arrests Yes Yes Abepura
 

 

 

 

16

Tinus Meage 26 November 2013 170)1,170)2 (3), 351)1 On trial Demonstration in support of FWPC PNG office arrests Yes Yes Abepura
 

 

 

17

Mathius Habel 26 November 2013 170)1,170)2 (3) On trial Demonstration in support of FWPC PNG office arrests Yes Yes Abepura
 

 

 

 

18

Agus Togoti 26 November 2013 170)1,170)2 (3) On trial Demonstration in support of FWPC PNG office arrests Yes Yes Abepura
 

 

 

19

Natan Kogoya 26 November 2013 170)1,170)2 (3), 351)1 On trial Demonstration in support of FWPC PNG office arrests Yes Yes Abepura
 

 

 

20

Nikolai Waisal 26 November 2013 170)1,170)2 (3), 351)1 On trial Demonstration in support of FWPC PNG office arrests Yes Yes Abepura
 

 

 

21

Penius Tabuni 26 November 2013 170)1,170)2 (3), 351)1 On trial Demonstration in support of FWPC PNG office arrests Yes Yes Abepura
 

 

 

22

Piethein Manggaprouw 19 October 2013 106, 110 On trial Third Papuan Congress demo in Biak No Yes Biak Regional police station
 

 

23

Apolos Sewa* 28 August 2013 106, 110 Under investigation Freedom Flotilla arrests in Sorong No Yes On bail
 

 

24

Yohanis Goram Gaman* 28 August 2013 106, 110 Under investigation Freedom Flotilla arrests in Sorong No Yes On bail
 

 

25

Amandus Mirino* 28 August 2013 106, 110 Under investigation Freedom Flotilla arrests in Sorong No Yes On bail
 

 

26

Samuel Klasjok* 28 August 2013 106, 110 Under investigation Freedom Flotilla arrests in Sorong No Yes On bail
 

 

 

27

Stefanus Banal 19 May 2013 170 )1 1 year and 7 months Pegunungan Bintang police raid 2013 Yes Yes Abepura
 

 

 

28

Victor Yeimo 13 May 2013 160 3 years  (handed down in 2009) 2009 demo; 13 May Jayapura demo No Yes Abepura
 

29

 

Astro Kaaba

3 May 2013 Treason Unknown Yapen police death Yes Trial pending Serui police station
 

30

Hans Arrongear Unknown Treason Unknown Yapen police death Yes Trial pending Serui police station
 

 

 

31

Oktovianus Warnares 1 May 2013 106, 110, Emergency Law 12/1951 3 years Biak flag-raising, 1 May commemoration Yes Yes Biak
 

 

 

32

Yoseph Arwakon 1 May 2013 106, 110, Emergency Law 12/1951 1 year and 8 months Biak flag-raising, 1 May commemoration Yes Yes Biak
 

 

 

33

Markus Sawias 1 May 2013 106, 110, Emergency Law 12/1951 2 years Biak flag-raising, 1 May commemoration Yes Yes Biak
 

 

 

34

George Syors Simyapen 1 May 2013 106, 110, Emergency Law 12/1951 2.5 years Biak flag-raising, 1 May commemoration Yes Yes Biak
 

 

 

35

Jantje Wamaer 1 May 2013 106, 110, Emergency Law 12/1951 2 years Biak flag-raising, 1 May commemoration Yes Yes Biak
 

 

36

 

 

Domi Mom

1 May 2013 106, 110 8 months Timika flag-raising, 1 May commemoration No Yes Timika
 

 

37

Alfisu Wamang 1 May 2013 106, 110 8 months Timika flag-raising, 1 May commemoration No Yes Timika
 

 

38

Musa Elas 1 May 2013 106, 110 8 months Timika flag-raising, 1 May commemoration No Yes Timika
 

 

39

Eminus Waker 1 May 2013 106, 110 8 months Timika flag-raising, 1 May commemoration No Yes Timika
 

 

40

Yacob Onawame 1 May 2013 106, 110 8 months Timika flag-raising, 1 May commemoration No Yes Timika
 

 

41

Hengky Mangamis 30 April 2013 106, 107, 108, 110, 160 and 164 1 year and 6 months Aimas 1 May commemoration No Yes Sorong
 

 

42

Yordan Magablo 30 April

2013

106, 107, 108, 110, 160 and 164 1 year and 6 months Aimas 1 May commemoration No Yes Sorong
 

 

43

 

 

Obaja Kamesrar

30 April

2013

106, 107, 108, 110, 160 and 164 1 year and 6 months Aimas 1 May commemoration No Yes Sorong
 

 

44

Antonius Saruf 30 April

2013

106, 107, 108, 110, 160 and 164 1 year and 6 months Aimas 1 May commemoration No Yes Sorong
 

 

45

Obeth Kamesrar 30 April

2013

106, 107, 108, 110, 160 and 164 1 year and 6 months Aimas 1 May commemoration No Yes Sorong
 

 

46

Klemens Kodimko 30 April

2013

106, 107, 108, 110, 160 and 164 1 year and 6 months Aimas 1 May commemoration No Yes Sorong
 

 

47

Isak Klaibin 30 April

2013

106, 107, 108, 110, 160 and 164 3 years and 6 months Aimas 1 May commemoration No Yes Sorong
 

48

Yahya Bonay 27 April 2013 Unknown Unknown Yapen police

death

Yes Trial pending Serui police custody
 

 

 

 

49

Yogor Telenggen 10 March 2013 340, 338, 170, 251, Emergency Law 12/1951 Awaiting trial Pirime shootings 2012 Yes Yes Wamena
 

 

 

 

50

Isak Demetouw (alias Alex Makabori) 3 March 2013 110; Article 2, Emergency Law 12/1951 2 years 2 months Sarmi treason No Yes Sarmi
 

 

 

 

51

 

 

 

 

Niko Sasomar

3 March 2013 110; Article 2, Emergency Law 12/1951 2 years 2 months Sarmi treason No Yes Sarmi
 

 

 

 

52

Sileman Teno 3 March 2013 110; Article 2, Emergency Law 12/1951 2 years 2 months Sarmi treason No Yes Sarmi
 

 

53

Jefri Wandikbo 7 June 2012 340, 56, Law 8/1981 8 years KNPB activist tortured in Jayapura Yes Yes Abepura
 

54

Timur Wakerkwa 1 May 2012 106 2.5 years 1 May demo and flag-raising No No Abepura
 

 

55

Darius Kogoya 1 May 2012 106 3 years 1 May demo and flag-raising No No Abepura
 

 

56

Selpius Bobii 20 October 2011 106 3 years Third Papua Congress No Yes Abepura
 

 

57

Forkorus Yaboisembut 19 October 2011 106 3 years Third Papua Congress No Yes Abepura
 

 

58

Edison Waromi 19 October 2011 106 3 years Third Papua Congress No Yes Abepura
 

 

 

59

Dominikus Surabut 19 October 2011 106 3 years Third Papua Congress No Yes Abepura
 

 

60

August Kraar 19 October 2011 106 3 years Third Papua Congress No Yes Abepura
 

 

61

Wiki Meaga 20 November 2010 106 8 years Yalengga flag-raising No Yes Wamena
 

 

 

62

Oskar Hilago 20 November 2010 106 8 years Yalengga flag-raising No Yes Wamena
 

 

63

Meki Elosak 20 November 2010 106 8 years Yalengga flag-raising No Yes Wamena
 

 

64

Obed Kosay 20 November 2010 106 8 years Yalengga flag-raising No Yes Wamena
 

65

George Ariks 13 March 2009 106 5 years Unknown Unknown No Manokwari
 

66

 

Ferdinand Pakage

16 March 2006 214 15 years Abepura case 2006 Yes Yes Abepura
 

 

67

Filep Karma 1 December 2004 106 15 years Abepura flag-raising 2004 No Yes Abepura
 

 

68

Yusanur Wenda 30 April 2004 106 17 years Wunin arrests Yes No Wamena
 

 

 

69

Linus Hiel Hiluka 27 May 2003 106 19 years and 10 months Wamena ammunition store raid Yes Yes Nabire
 

 

70

Kimanus Wenda 12 April 2003 106 19 years and 10 months Wamena ammunition store raid Yes Yes Nabire
 

 

 

71

 

Jefrai Murib

12 April 2003 106 Life Wamena ammunition store raid Yes Yes Abepura
 

 

72

Numbungga Telenggen 11 April 2003 106 Life Wamena ammunition store raid Yes Yes Biak
 

 

73

Apotnalogolik Lokobal 10 April 2003 106 20 years Wamena ammunition store raid Yes Yes Biak

* Apolos Sewa, Yohanis Goram Gaman, Amandus Mirino and Samuel Klasjok are currently facing charges of conspiracy to commit treason. Even though they were bailed a day after their arrest, they are currently undergoing investigation and are vulnerable to re-arrest. They are currently obliged to report to the police twice a week.

Papuans Behind Bars aims to provide accurate and transparent data, published in English and Indonesian, to facilitate direct support for prisoners and promote wider debate and campaigning in support of free expression in West Papua.

Papuans Behind Bars is a collective effort initiated by Papuan civil society groups working together as the Civil Society Coalition to Uphold Law and Human Rights in Papua. It is a grassroots initiative and represents a broad collaboration between lawyers, human rights groups, adat groups, activists, journalists and individuals in West Papua, as well as Jakarta-based NGOs and international solidarity groups.

Questions, comments and corrections are welcomed, and you can write to us at info@papuansbehindbars.org

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