VI. HUMAN RIGHTS DEVELOPMENTS IN PAPUA TODAY
The Abepura and Wamena cases show clearly the costs of Indonesia_s failure to implement a principled framework for addressing the current unsettled political situation in Papua. Rights violations were at the heart of both cases and similar violations taking place elsewhere in Papua, if not addressed, could lead to future explosions. This chapter provides an overview of those continuing rights violations.
The Ban on Pro-Independence Expression
As indicated above, President Wahid declared in 1999 that peaceful expression of pro-independence sentiment was permissible, including raising the Morning Star flag. On July 14, 2000, President Wahid stated that the flag could be displayed so long as it was smaller than and flown below the Indonesian flag.56 In July, however, Wahid said that the flag would be allowed to fly only through the upcoming national parliamentary session in August 2000.57 In late September, national and provincial authorities said that the flag was banned,58 but local authorities then reportedly agreed with Papuan independence leaders (the Presidium) that they would refrain from forcibly removing the flag until representatives of the leadership had an opportunity to meet directly with President Wahid.59 Then, on October 6, notwithstanding the agreement, security forces violently attacked community posts in Wamena. On October 26, President Wahid declared that the flag was a separatist symbol and that Papuans should _find another cultural symbol._60 On November 9, independence leaders and local police authorities agreed to limit Papuan flags to one flag per district, but the agreement specifically named only five of Papua_s fourteen districts in which it would be permissible to fly the flag. On April 21, 2001, Major-General Mahidin Simbolon, the military commander for Papua, stated that the military fully supported the policy of prohibiting the display of all _attributes_ of the Papuan independence movement.61
As the above examples show, the only thing consistent in the Indonesian government_s approach is that it has treated pro-independence expression as something that police authorities are entitled to ban outright or, alternatively, to negotiate with independence leaders. This approach sacrifices individual rights to political whims and opens the door to potentially explosive uncertainty, with policies varying from one month to the next and from one region to another.
Raids on Centers Where Pro-Independence Symbols are Displayed
The list below, derived largely from a draft report prepared by a Papuan human rights group, gives a sense of the frequency with which security forces have used lethal violence in forcibly taking down the Morning Star flag in the past year and a half. It should be noted that Human Rights Watch has not itself conducted an investigation of these incidents and is not, therefore, in a position to determine whether security forces acted proportionally or not in any given case. The list is provided because the number of incidents alone suggests that a serious re-evaluation of security force policies is in order:
_ three Papuan demonstrators were shot in Sorong on September 9, 1999, one of whom, an eighteen-year-old high school student, died in custody;
More recently, in a clash between security forces and protesters in Jayapura on March 29, 2001, Philipus Murib, a thirty-year old farmer, was beaten and died the following day.64 On May 1, at least four Papuans were wounded when security forces opened fire while removing a flag flying in the front yard of a local leader in the Fanindi area of the Manokwari district.65
Jailing of Civilian Independence Leaders and Students
The Wamena leaders were not the first or last group to be charged for their peaceful pro-independence actions.66 In June 1999, five Papuan leaders were formally banned from overseas travel. Shortly after the congress in June 2000, Presidium leader Theys Eluay was briefly detained on charges of rebellion and twelve other Papuan leaders were called into police headquarters in Jayapura for questioning. Five of those same leaders were taken into custody in late 2000 and currently are on trial in Jayapura.
On November 28, 2000, Presidium Secretary General Thaha al-Hamid was arrested and charged with separatist rebellion and _spreading hatred_ against the state. The following day, Presidium Chair Theys Eluay was arrested on the same charges. Don Flassy and John Mambor, the latter of whom had been a political prisoner under Soeharto, were arrested on November 30, 2000. The Reverend Herman Awom was formally detained on December 4, 2000. All five Papuan leaders were charged with rebellion in violation of articles 106 and 110 of the Indonesian Criminal Code, and _spreading hatred_ under articles 154 and 159 of the Indonesian criminal code (the so-called _Haatzaai Artikelen_ inherited from the Dutch colonial government). As such, the prosecution of the Papuan leaders is an unwelcome throwback to the Soeharto era, when the same laws were used to silence political dissent and reinforce political orthodoxy.
The charges, moreover, are almost identical to those brought against the local pro-independence leaders in Wamena: the criminal acts the five are alleged to have committed include publicly expressing support for Papuan independence at a rally at Theys Eluay_s residence on November 12, 1999; attending peaceful flag raising ceremonies on December 1, 1999; and attending the Mubes and congress. In mid-March 2001, the five were released into house arrest pending trial. Their trials began on May 14 in Jayapura and had not yet concluded at this writing.
A third example of arbitrary arrest and detention of Papuans concerns four students whom Indonesian authorities arrested on December 1, 2000 at a rally outside the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta. The four -- Hans Gobay (22), Laun Wenda (23), Yosep Wenda (27), and Mathius Rumbrapuk (30) - were held at Jakarta_s Salemba prison until late March, then released into house arrest pending trial. More than 300 Papuans reportedly attended the December demonstration, including some who carried a banner declaring _Peaceful Action to Commemorate the 39th Anniversary of West Papuan Independence and to Make Papua a _Peace Zone__ (_Aksi Damai Memperingati 39 Tahun Kemerdekaan Papuan Barat Jadikan Zona Damai di Papua_). Others carried the Papuan Morning Star flag and placards criticizing the roles played by the United States, Holland, and the United Nation in the 1960s; signs calling for immediate Indonesian government recognition of Papuan independence; and pleas for Indonesian government dialogue with leaders of the Papuan Presidium and an end to violence in Papua.
Although police clashed with demonstrators during the December 1 rally in Jakarta, there is no evidence that any of the four student defendants engaged in acts of violence or that they encouraged others to do so. Indeed, they were not charged with violent acts. Instead, they were charged under the same vaguely worded provisions of the Indonesian criminal code used against the independence leaders in Wamena and Jayapura.
President Wahid has said he will pardon Eluay and possibly other Papuan leaders if they are convicted. This response does not address Papuan leaders_ demands for meaningful participation in deciding the fate of the Papuan people -- it simply perpetuates a relationship in which Papuan leaders are made to depend not on impartial justice and an end to politically-motivated prosecutions, but on goodwill from Jakarta. Indonesian authorities have also announced major new development projects in the province in recent months, saying that such projects show the government's concern for conditions in Papua.67 This approach is reminiscent of the Soeharto New Order era, when the Jakarta government seemed to believe that the promise of economic development was enough to overcome all opposition, whatever its origins and causes. Indonesian authorities long trumpeted economic development as the answer to grievances in East Timor and, more recently, as the answer to the conflict in Aceh. Such promises of economic development did not reduce independence demands in East Timor, they have not reduced the level of conflict in Aceh, and are no substitute for implementing guarantees for basic rights in Papua.
Intimidation of Civil Society Actors by the Security Forces
Anti-migrant Violence by Papuan Militants
Some Papuan intellectuals, estimating that Papuans may become a numerical minority in the province within a decade or so, have called for a moratorium on migration into Papua.70 In some quarters, with conspiracy theories rife, the demographic trend is seen as the result of a deliberate _neo-colonialist_ strategy, the migrants a witting or unwitting arm of Indonesian policy. Although the primary motive for the migration continues to be economic (daily wages have long been significantly higher in Irian Jaya than in Sulawesi or Java71), politicization of the indigenous Papuan population has broadened the audience for such overheated rhetoric.
The economic jealousy stems from the fact that migrants, on the whole, are far wealthier than Papuans. Migrants tend to have better educations, experience as entrepreneurs, and skills suited to the marketplace, or some combination of all three, making competition difficult for Papuans.
Due to fear of attack, many migrants now carry handmade weapons, but they remain physically vulnerable because they are still outnumbered in most places and because, compared with well-armed Indonesian troops, they provide an easier target for Papuan militants.72
Anti-migrant violence is not new - for example, two Indonesian hostages were killed in the Mapnduma kidnapping in 1996 - but the level of violence today is unprecedented and growing. In April 2001 alone, there were three attacks:
_ April 4 - Eleven-year-old Buginese Richardo Itaar was killed after being hit with a rock in clashes between Papuans and migrants at the Abepura market. The clash broke out after 20-year-old Papuan Timotius Wamuar was stabbed by a migrant market worker.73
_ April 6 - The bodies of three employees of the logging company PT Dharma Mukti Persada were found in a forest in the Wasior region of Manokwari district. Company officials told police that the three - Harry Suwaji, Suratmin and Nelson Turnip, all non-Papuan - were killed by pro-independence TPN guerrillas.74
_ April 17 - at least one migrant, named Poli, was killed and three were wounded in the Kali Kopi area, Timika district, while gathering eaglewood. Police say pro-independence guerrillas were responsible.
Papuan community leaders have largely remained silent in the face of these killings as if oblivious to the rights of the migrants. Leaders should publicly condemns such attacks and urge their supporters to discuss concerns about migration within a framework in which the basic rights of migrants are acknowledged and protected.
56 "Papuans allowed to fly 'Morning Star' freedom flag,_Agence France-Presse, June 8, 2000.
57 "Papua's separatist flag to be lowered after Aug. 18: Wahid,_ Kyodo News, July 24, 2000.
58 _Gus Dur Bans Raising of _Morning Star_ Flag, says MPR Member,_ Antara, September 23, 2000.
59 Human Rights Watch interview with Willy Mandowen, Jakarta, March 10, 2001.
60 _Indonesian president asks Irianese not to use separatist flag,_ Agence France-Presse, October 26, 2000 (quoting cabinet secretary Marsilam Simanjuntak as saying: _The Morning Star flag has been misused as a symbol of sovereignty ... In short Wahid told Papuans not to use it any more and told them to find another cultural symbol").
61 _TNI Support Irian Jaya Police to Ban Separatist Attributes,_ Jakarta Post, April 21, 2001.
62 3On May 20, 2000, after a trial closed to the public, five Papuans were sentenced to one and a half year sentences for the incident on charges of illegal possession of weapons.
63 Laporan Tahunan 2000, Bab III, Gerakan Politik dan Pelanggaran HAM di Papua Barat Tahun 2000 (Draf), ELSHAM, March 7, 2001; Human Rights Watch interviews, Abepura, March 3-8, 2001.
64 "Victim of Irian Jaya Clash Dies in Hospital,_ Agence France-Presse, March 29, 2001.
65 "Four Wounded in Riot over Separatist Flag in Irian Jaya,_ Agence France-Presse, May 2, 2001.
66 Many cases from 1998 and 1999 are described in prior Human Rights Watch reports. See Human Rights Watch, _Indonesia: Human Rights and Pro-Independence Actions in Papua, 1999-2000,_ A Human Rights Watch Short Report, vol. 12, no. 2(c), May 2000. Human Rights Watch, _Indonesia: Human Rights and Pro-Independence Actions in Irian Jaya,_ A Human Rights Watch Short Report, Vol. 10, No. 8, December 1998.
67 "Irian Jaya intends to develop `megaprojects,'" Kompas, March 24, 2001.
68 Human Rights Watch interview with Johanis Bonay, Abepura, March 4, 2001.
69 Human Rights Watch interview with Demianus Wakman, Abepura, March 4, 2001.
70 Human Rights Watch interview with Benny Giay, Abepura, March 7, 2001.
71 See, Hal Hill, ed., Unity and Diversity: Regional Economic Development in Indonesia since 1970 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1991), pp. 89.
72 Papuan militants have also continued to attack troops, as they did in Abepura on December 7, 2000. There have been two major incidents since the Abepura attack: On February 3, 2001, Kopassus members Second Sgt. Zulkarnain, Second Sgt. Wani, Chief Sgt. Nandang and Pvt. Sudirman were killed when some 100 armed rebels attacked a military post near Betaf on Papua_s northcentral coast. One of the attackers, Mesak Dawin, was also killed in the incident. On June 13, 2001, a group of militants shot and killed five Brimob members and a civilian during a raid on a police post near Wasior in the Manokwari district. See "Five Brimob officers killed in Manokwari," Jakarta Post, June 14, 2001.
73 "Overnight clash in Abepura market claims one life,_ Jakarta Post, April 5, 2001.
74 Elsham, "Kesaksian Korban Penembakan di Wasior, Manokwari," May 23, 2001 (copy on file at Human Rights Watch). As in other cases described above, the killings in Wasior reportedly were followed by violent Brimob "sweeps." According to this same source, which Human Rights Watch has not independently confirmed, four Papuans were killed, two injured, and sixteen others taken into custody in the days following the incident. Ibid.