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Indonesian Security Forces attack Human Rights Defender and pro-democracy demonstrators in Nabire, West Papua

Human Rights Report Monday 2 February 2009

Indonesian Security Forces attack Human Rights Defender and pro-democracy demonstrators in Nabire, West Papua

Indonesian Security forces have attacked a group of 100 local people
protesting about delays in local election in Nabire. As the police
attacked some of the demonstrators telephoned Mr. Yones Douw, a
respected human rights activist from the Kingmi church and asked him
to come. When Mr. Douw arrived and began documenting the violence the
Police attacked him. (29/1/09)

Local eyewitnesses, say that Yones Douw was kicked by police officers
with their boots 3 times, then beaten on the side of his head and
then punched in the face before being arrested.

Seven of the demonstrators were also arrested. An unreported number
of others were also beaten and shot by police. Those arrested,
including Yones Douw, were released after being held in custody for
one day.

The Institute for Papuan Advocacy & Human Rights (IPAHR) has compiled
a more detailed report about the incident, including details of the
injuries to Yones Douw & thirteen local people. The range of
injuries to the demonstrators included five people who suffered
serious wounds after being shot by rubber bullets in the body &
stomach. Others received head injuries and puncture wounds to the
head, body limbs & feet after being kicked, beaten and shot with
rubber bullets.

A local source has stated that a range of security personnel
participated in these abuses, including units from the Police Dalmas
and a unit of the notorious Brimob, Indonesia’s para-military Police,
together with members of the Indonesian National Intelligence
Service, BIN and military officers from Army Battalion 753 Nabire.

Paula Makabory from IPAHR said, “The original cause of the peaceful
demonstration in Nabire is that the local election, PILKADA, has been
postponed 3 times since October 2008. The budget for the Nabire
Region has been allocated and the Provincial Secretary, Mr Umar
Kacili, a man from Sulawesi, has been effectively acting as Regent.”

“It appears that the local people are concerned that the budget is
being administered by an unelected Regency Secretary to the Regency
and that the local people interests will be ignored.”

“The Nabire & Paniai region has a long history of state violence,
especially against the Mee people and members of the Kingmi church.
Human Rights abuses routinely occur. It is an area where community
health and education services have been neglected by the State. In
2008 two outbreaks of Cholera occurred. One of these outbreaks is
ongoing and has caused hundreds of deaths. The area has mineral
resources, including some surface gold mining operations which appear
to be managed by the Indonesian security forces.”

“In many regions of West Papua there is dysfunction in the process of
Regency elections but in this case local people are organised enough
to protest the delay in local elections,” said Paula Makabory.

“The Institute for Papuan Advocacy & Human Rights demands that
Indonesian Government, international governments and international
Agencies at least take note of the ongoing violence occurring in West
Papua at hands of Indonesian security forces and intelligence services.”

“The Indonesian Government must act to reverse the increasing
violence perpetrated by Indonesian security forces, particularly by
Brimob, in West Papua, in the lead up to the Indonesian General
Election in April 2009. That West Papuan people be allowed to
exercise their democratic rights of organisation and assembly and
vote without threat to their lives, intimidation and violence.”

In particular IPAHR notes that:

1. Indonesian police have brutality attacked Indigenous West
Papuans who were a conducting a peaceful demonstration seeking
democratic process in local elections in Nabire. From what local
sources have told IPAHR it is clear that the head of police in
Nabire, Commander Rinto Jatmono is directly responsible for the
assault of these people by ordering this attack. This event should
be investigated to determine who gave the order to attack, as this
kind of state violence is widespread in West Papua. There is a
pattern of similar state violence in Nabire including an attack by
Police on members of the Kingmi Church in December 2008;

2. Indonesian Security forces have attacked a recognised Human
Rights Defender in Nabire. The Indonesian Government must ensure that
the personal safety of Human Rights Defenders are safeguarded. Their
role must be recognized as being crucial to bringing Peace in West

3. The Indonesian Government should allow free international media
access to West Papua so that Indonesian Government activities can be
internationally accountable;

4. Outside and international observers should be allowed by the
Indonesian Government to monitor elections in West Papua.

For further information contact Institute for Papuan Advocacy & Human

- Paula Makabory +61 402547517

- Matthew Jamieson +61 418291998

Further Detail of Human Rights Report: 2 February 2009 Indonesian
Security Forces attack Human Rights Defender and pro democracy
demonstrators in Nabire is available at

A photograph of Yones Douw is available from site above and one request.

Matthew Jamieson
Institute for Papuan Advocacy & Human Rights
PO Box 1805, Byron Bay NSW 2481 Australia
tel +61 (0) 418291998

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