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wp 1) Benny Giay: The reality behind West Papua’s ‘land of peace’ facade

September 21, 2022

Benny Giay: The reality behind West Papua’s ‘land of peace’ facade

By APR editor – September 20, 2022

Indonesian police manhandle Reverend Dr Benny Giay as they remove him from in front of the Papuan People’s Representative Council in Jayapura last month. He is heard on a video saying to the security forces: "Listen, listen – if Indonesia is a good and upright country, then obey its constitution". Image: Screenshot from a TikTok video/@picturegami_photoAPR

OPEN LETTER: By Reverend Dr Benny Giay

The notion that Papua is the “Land of Peace” has no substance.

Many feel that this phrase “Papua Tanah Damai” or “Papua Land of Peace” only conceals the reality of Papua. In recognition of that, we would like to convey our observations about the current crisis in Papua.

Besides reading media news reports about today’s planned rally supporting Papua Governor Lukas Enembe, I also read a letter from the People of Indonesia’s Archipelago urging its followers living in Papua to arm themselves, guard the mosque, and give their children a holiday on Monday.

It is important to note that these developments can be viewed from two perspectives — the “criminalised” Enembe became a symbol of resistance by Indigenous Papuans who have been treated like second-class citizens for 59 years; and the Nusantara militias backed by “bigwigs” (as seen in the Racism Protests of 29 August 2019).

Who are the bigwigs? And how do they operate?

Papua was managed by Tentara Nasional Indonesia (TNI) — the Indonesian National Armed Forces — during the Suharto era.

President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, however, is more concerned with the role of the Indonesian National Police.

‘Criminalising’ Enembe
According to the Papuan Council of Churches, in 2021 the Indonesian National Police took over in Papua and it was led by Tito Karnavians, the Head of the State Intelligence Agency (Budi Gunawan), and Paulus Waterpauw, the Papua Police Chief.

Currently, central government officials are involved in criminalising Enembe, including the Chief of State Intelligence Agency and the anti-corruption agency KPK, as well as Ferdy Sambo, who is the focus of media attention in Jakarta and Papua.

Taking into account the current crisis in Papua, from the perspective of the state actors, and in particular the alarming letter of Nusantara, an armed group that was part of the August 29 anti-racism protest, we ask: Is tomorrow any better?

Perhaps the political party opposing the Democratic Party, is criminalising Governor Enembe (as its chairman) in order to gain votes in the 2024 elections for its party?

A candidate for governor, an ambitious successor looking to depose Enembe prematurely before the 2024 elections? Another instance of the central government interfering in Papua’s affairs.

The victims behind Enembe
Who is behind Enembe? Recently activists (and their relatives) who have been protesting against racism — which has now been branded as “treason” — are the victims of state violence (by officials).

These headaches for the Papuan victims have occurred since early December 2018 in Nduga regency, Intan Jaya, Puncak, Pegunungan Bintang, Maybrat Sorong, and Surua Yahukimo; families and relatives of four mutilated residents of Nduga who were only cremated two days ago; and families and relatives of Mapi residents who were murdered on 30 August 2022 among others.

The victims of these episodes of violence ask: How can KPK criminalise governor Enembe when they failed to arrest [current regent] Romanus Baraka in Merauke, who alleged in the name of Jesus that (Representative) Jan Mandenas and he were involved in corruption?

Why hasn’t the KPK arrested PDIP [Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle] official Komarudin Watubun? Why?

It is common for the parties we mentioned above, particularly the strong ones, to play together. Parties like these enjoy destroying weaker opponents. The actions of Ferdy Sambo in Jakarta illustrate this.

Reverend Dr Benny Giay’s West Papua Council of Churches open pastoral letter in Bahasa yesterday – a plea for genuine peace. Image: APR

Promote peace, dialogue
Therefore, we invite all members of the congregation and the community here to promote peace, dialogue, and communication.

It is only natural that we demand our dignity and respect. However, do not demand sharp tools and weapons — not with anarchy and savagery. Whenever possible, keep the area free of turmoil and bloodshed.

In Jayapura, Abepura, Sentani and throughout the Land of Papua, we ask security forces to grant the victims a voice today and tomorrow. We want to see the security forces escorting the masses on September 20, 2022, to be more humanist to ensure the safety and well-being of the masses.

Reverend Dr Benny Giay is a West Papuan theologian, social anthropologist, and an activist. He is ordained as a pastor in the Kemah Injil Church (KINGMI) (Gospel Tabernacle Church) and in 2010 assumed leadership of the Kingmi Synod of the Evangelical Christian Church of West Papua. This open letter was written yesterday as an appeal for peace ahead of today’s planned rally in Jayapura and has been translated by Yamin Kogoya, a contributor to Asia Pacific Report.


2) Alleged persecution of Mappi residents uses wood, electric cables, bamboo, and water hoses
Persecution Of Mappi Residents By TNI –
News Desk 20 September 2022

Jayapura, Jubi – The Papua Office of the National Commission on Humans Rights (Komnas HAM Papua) has released the results of its investigation into the alleged persecution by soldiers of the Raider 600/Modang Infantry Battalion that led to the death of a resident of Mappi Regency named Bruno Amenim Kimko.

Bruno Amenim Kimko and Yohanis Kanggun were tortured for eight hours using wood, electric cables, bamboo, and water hoses. This was stated by Head of Komnas HAM PapuaFrits Ramandey in Jayapura City on Monday, September 19, 2022.

According to the chronology of the persecution compiled by Komnas HAM Papua, on August 30, 2022, Bruno Amenim Kimko was reported by AY on charges of attempted rape against his female relative. AY reported to the soldiers of the Raider 600/Modang Infantry Battalion who were on guard at the Bade Post.

AY’s report was received by Second Pvt. Achmad Roof, who immediately reported to his superior, Second Sgt. Diki Wahyudi as the squad commander. Achmad Roof then invited nine other soldiers to arrest Bruno Amenim Kimko and Yohanis Wem Kanggun, and brought them to Bade Post.

“They reported to the deputy commander of the Post that they were leaving,” Ramandey said.

Yohanis Wem Kanggun ran away but was eventually caught and brought to Bade Post as well. From 8 a.m to 4 p.m., Kanggun and Kimko were tortured by the soldiers repeatedly in the yard. Kanggun even told Komnas HAM Papua that he and Kimko were put into a muddy pond.

“The persecution was repeated over and over again. Someone came, hit them, then left. Other people came, hit them, and left again. Then they were immersed in a muddy pond. That was the testimony of the survivor Yohanis Wem Kanggun. The two of them were initially put in one place but Kanggun was then moved to another place at around 5 p.m. Kanggun saw Kimko already in a helpless state, even suspected to have died at 5 p.m.,” said Ramandey.

Ramandey said Kanggun and Kimko were beaten in turn by more than 10 soldiers from the Bade Post. Diki Wahyudi, for example, admitted to torturing the victims using bamboo seven times.

“They were told to lie on their stomachs down and tortured. Diki admitted to hitting them seven times. The others committed the same torture using the same bamboo and bua wood from a mangrove tree. Kanggun claimed they were tortured using bua wood, electric cables the size of a finger, bamboo, and a water hose. It is suspected that the victim died due to repeated abuse,” Ramandey said.

According to Ramandey, Bruno Amenim Kimko’s post-mortem revealed that the victim suffered head and neck injuries. The victim’s left shoulder and right shoulder were bruised. There was an open wound on the victim’s chest. There was also a bruise on the victim’s abdomen. Black bruises were also found on the victim’s back and right and left thighs.

Kanggun did not suffer any head or neck injuries but his right and left shoulders were bruised and full of scratches. Kanggun’s chest was also purplish-blue. His thighs were scratched and blackened, his back was injured, and the rest of his body was bruised.

The two were also forced to rub their genitals with balsam. “The TNI members brought balsam, then they were forced to rub their genitals with it and apologize to the complainant. It was very sadistic. Yohanis Kanggun is now traumatized to see members of the TNI,” Ramandey said.

Komnas HAM Papua urged the TNI Commander and Army Chief of Staff to evaluate the assignment of Yonif Raider 600/Modang from VI/Mulawarman Military Region Command in Papua.

Komnas HAM Papua also requested that the legal process against the Commander of the Yonif Raider 600/Modang Task Force, Commander of the Bade Post, Deputy Commander of the Bade Post and the soldiers involved in the persecution be carried out in Papua.

“Law enforcement against all members, whether it is 10, 18, or 22 soldiers, must be carried out within the territory of XVII/Cenderawasih Military Command. Until now their status has not been determined as suspects,” said Ramandey. (*)


3) Police deployed in sensitive areas of Papua’s Jayawijaya
6 hours ago

Wamena, Papua (ANTARA) – Chief of the Jayawijaya Resort Police in Papua Adjunct Senior Commissioner Hesman Napitupulu informed on Tuesday that he has deployed personnel in sensitive areas of Jayawijaya in response to ongoing developments in Jayapura.

By doing so, residents will hopefully not be easily incited by the current situation outside Jayawijaya, he said.

Related news: Gov’t disburses Rp214 bln in fuel cash assistance in West Papua

"We are deploying our personnel in busy and vulnerable areas while monitoring the activities of local residents. They also advise the residents to remain calm while carrying out activities," he informed.

In addition, the police will continue conducting patrols across Wamena, the capital of Jayawijaya district, he said.

The security situation in the city has so far remained under control, he added.

Related news: Papua to provide Rp10 billion grant for three new provinces

"So far, the security situation is still under control with the public carrying out their activities as usual," he said.

He called on the public to help the police maintain the conducive situation.

According to information received by ANTARA, scores of residents in the provincial capital Jayapura had gathered to stage a rally on Tuesday. Both Jayawijaya police and the community have expressed concern that a similar situation may develop in Jayawijaya.

Related news: Enembe corruption includes irregularities worth billions of rupiah

Related news: Enembe graft probe not a political fake out: minister

Reporter: Marius Frisson Y, Suharto
Editor: Fardah Assegaf

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