Free West Papua Independence Leader Benny Wenda Statement on the Arrests of the West Papua National Committee members in Wamena, West Papua.
Dear Friends of West Papua,
Recent information received by the Free West Papua Campaign indicates that the
Indonesian National Police and the Australian trained Detachment 88 counter-
terrorist unit are continuing to increase their operations against nonviolent
West Papuan independence activists. Papuan villages have been entered and
searched in several areas notably in Wamena and Puncak Jaya.
The armed sweeps across the highlands are targeting West Papuan people wearing
traditional dress and local West Papuans are being forced by the military and
police to reveal the whereabouts of independence campaigners.
Three day ago during these operations members of the West Papua National
Committee (KNPB) were arrested. The people arrested are the Secretary General
of the KNPB in the Wamena Regency Janus WaMu (26), and 6 other male
activists; Eddo Doga (26), Irika Kosay (19), Jusuf Hiluka (52), Yan Mabel
(33 ), Amus Elopere (22), and Melias Kosay (35). A woman activist Wioge
Kosay (18) was also been arrested.
On Wednesday 2nd October Free West Papua Independence Leader Benny Wenda
stated that “these developments follow the recent appointment of the new chief
of the Papua Police, Insp. Gen. Tito Karnavian (former head of Detachment
Mr Wenda said that “the tactics of the Indonesian colonial occupation forces
are to brand peaceful West Papua independence campaigners as violent
terrorists to justify killings and arrests of independence activists”. Mr
Wenda said that “Insp. Gen. Tito Karnavian is using murder, intimidation and
repression to create a climate of fear amongst the West Papua population, more
than 90% of who support Self Determination”. Mr Wends stated that “Insp. Gen.
Tito Karnavian will one day find himself in front of the International
Criminal Court charged with war crimes”.
Mr Wenda stated that Institute for Human Rights Study and Advocacy (Elsham)
has publically doubted the veracity of the police reports of a bomb plot and
added that in the opinion of himself and other organisations, the military had
simply fabricated an excuse to carry out arrests and repression”.
Mr Wenda added that “Ferry Marisan, director of the Papua branch of Elsham has
said that the whole thing must have been fabricated by police, they placed the
explosives in the office so they would have a reason to arrest them. Everyone
knows that the West Papua National Committee is a peaceful pro-independence
organization”. Ferry Marisan also said that “If we observed their activities
in Papua until the death of Mako Tabuni, they never staged violent acts, let
alone kept firearms or explosive”.
Mr Wenda said that “Mako Tabuni was murdered on June 14th in what the
Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) called “a
police hit”. The Police said Mako was resisting arrest when he was fatally
shot, but I have eye witness reports that he was killed in cold blood by a
masked military death squad from Detachment 88 whilst he was out shopping”.
Mako Tabuni was murdered by the police now other KNPB members are being
Benny Wenda called for the friends and supporters of West Papua around the
world to push your Government to demand a UN peace keeping force in West
Benny Wenda said “my people are now facing very great danger because the
Indonesians are looking for every West Papuan Independence activist. Theu say
that they can wipe out the freedom movement and kill all the local leaders but
they know that this will not work and they know that almost all Papuans, more
than 90%, support self-determination.”
Benny Wenda said “today I am asking the UN and the governments of the USA, the
UK, Australia, Papua New Guinea, the African states, the South American
states, the Netherlands , the European Union and all Melanesian Countries to
act now because the Indonesian Military and Police are brutally killing and
repressing my people in West Papua. The Indonesian Military and Police are
committed to a systematic genocide of the indigenous West Papuan Melanesians
and this is taking place in West Papua right now. ”
Mr. Wenda condemned “the Indonesian President and his Military for the cold
blooded killing of Mako Tabuni, a legitimate popular leader of the West Papua
National Committee and the unlawful arrest and detention of the peaceful
independence campaigners who are his followers and members of the West Papua
Mr Wends said “please respond to us and hear my peoples appeal for help”.
Mr. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono
President of Republic of Indonesia
Jl. Veteran No. 16
Tel: +62 21 345 8595
Fax: +62 21 3483 4759
Adj. Sr. Comr. Alvian Jayawijaya (Wamena Police chief)