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Reports of Violent Crackdown in West Papua on People’s Congress Anniversary

October 20, 2012

Reports of Violent Crackdown in West Papua on People’s Congress Anniversary

October 20, 2012

Pacific Scoop (New Zealand)

Attempts to hold a prayer service at a gravesite in West Papua have
been thwarted by Indonesian Brimob police, reports West Papua Media
Alerts from Abepura.

The service was to mark the anniversary of the Third Papuan People’s
Congress, at which live fire was used on a large crowd of Papuans who
had gathered to vote for their independence, in October last year

Reports say that up to 1000 people gathered yesterday at the grave of
Theys Eluay, an independence leader who was murdered, allegedly by
Kopassus officers, in 2001.

West Papua Media Alerts reports that Jayapura police had issued a
permit for the memorial service earlier in the month but had reneged
on it and orchestrated a “brutal crackdown” yesterday.

This is what West Papua Media had to say:

“Just before 10 am local time, several hundred heavily armed members
of the Indonesian security forces had gathered outside Expo Waena
shopping centre adjacent to the gravesite, causing many people to
stand back from the already gathered mass. 6 trucks full of Brimob, 4
trucks of Army (TNI), 1 Gegana anti terror police unit and 3 trucks of
Dalmas public order riot police (including members of Detachment 88)
had deployed in a “show force” manoeuvre.

According to witnesses in the crowd, almost 100 plain clothes armed
intelligence officers had also deployed throughout the mass of
ordinary Papuans around the shopping complex threatening to kill
anyone that spoke against Indonesia.”

This came not long after the new chairman of the KNPB (the National
Committee of West Papua) sent an open letter warning of violent
arrests of committee members.

Victor Yeimo, who featured on the ABC 7:30 Report stories in August,
published the letter, saying five members were “ambushed while
sleeping and treated like terrorists”.

The crackdown comes after reports of security forces intensifying
their raids in Wamena, with allegations of bomb plots by
pro-independence activists. However, church leaders have accused the
counter-terrorist groups such as Detachment 88 of engineering the
conditions and planting bomb equipment on the property of KNPB
committee members.

Yeimo was elected following the murder of peaceful independence
activist Mako Tabuni in June, allegedly at the hands of Detachment 88
– the counter-terrorist squad trained and funded by Australian
Federal Police.

Here is Yeimo’s letter in full:

Dear people in the world,

I’m writing this letter under the threat of ambush and arbitrary
arrests by Indonesian Police and Detachment 88.

This down morning (19/10) at 5.00 A.M (local time), 5 members of KNPB,
including KNPB chairman of Timikia Region, Steven Itlay and the vice
chairman of West Papua National Parliament in Timika, Romario Yatipai
already beeng arrested by Dethacement 88 and Police without any clear
reason. They were ambushed while sleeping and treated like terrorists.

This crackdown is happening while KNPB is preparing peaceful demo to
express the right of self determination and to support the meeting of
International Parliamentarians for West Papua [IPWP] at Parliament
House London on next October 23 this week.

Please be announce that my people of West Papua is under the threat of
terror due to the maintaining the struggle of independence. We need
international pressure on the emergency situation in West Papua. We
need international media to monitor all the Indonesian propagandas to
eliminate struggle movement with the terrorist issue -as i said that
KNPB is now under my leadership never had any plan or program to make
acts of terror with bomb as Indonesia is now use that issue to
degradate our peaceful struggle.

Thank you

Sincerely yours,

Victor Yeimo Chairman of KNPB

West Papua Media Alerts Reports that there are as yet no reports of
any injuries or casualties and that live fire has not been used.

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