Tasmanian Times

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

International

West Papua resistance losing fight for freedom. Aussie link to death sqauad

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Resistance leaders in the restive Indonesian region of West Papua say they are losing their struggle for independence as authorities step up a decades-long campaign of abuse and intimidation.

After almost 50 years of Indonesian rule, the reins of control are being pulled tighter than ever, with human rights groups saying the frequency and ferocity of abuse is on the rise.

There are even claims that an elite counter-terrorism unit, one that has been funded and trained by Australia, is operating in West Papua where it is accused of targeting and killing independence leaders.

The ABC’s Hayden Cooper went undercover in the secretive Indonesian provinces, where he discovered a police state operating with impunity.

The sheer scale of the police and military presence is obvious from the moment of arrival in the ruggedly beautiful region – a treasure trove of mineral wealth and a place where two vibrant cultures meet and struggle for the right to rule.

Read more here…..
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-08-27/human-rights-abuses-in-west-papua/4225844

• Media Release

28/08/2012

Carr must do more on West Papua: Greens

The Australian Greens call on the Government to urge Indonesia to put an end to the violence in West Papua, and commend journalists from the ABC’s 7.30 program who entered the region undercover recently. Their work shines a spotlight on the ongoing abuses of human and democratic rights that are occurring in West Papua, only some 200km to the north of Australia.

“The Australian Government has known full well for some time of the atrocities going on in West Papua, but has chosen to turn a blind eye,” Australian Greens Leader and Foreign Affairs spokesperson, Senator Christine Milne, said.

“The ABC exposé means Minister Carr no longer has any excuse not to pick up the phone to his Indonesian counterpart and get some answers about what dialogue Indonesian government is having with West Papuan representatives.”

“Along with many Australians, I am very alarmed by the bloodshed of recent months, which adds to the fear experienced by the West Papuan people over many decades of Indonesian rule over their lands,” said Senator Richard Di Natale, Greens spokesperson for West Papua.

“The 7.30 program has managed to gather important coverage of the current situation there, despite considerable restrictions on journalists entering the region. It is crucial that journalists and human rights monitors are allowed access to West Papua.

“Australians are now becoming more aware of these atrocities being committed on their doorstep. They know what happened in East Timor under Indonesian rule and they know that we, as a nation, cannot sit idly by while it occurs again in West Papua.

“The Greens call on Foreign Minister Bob Carr to advocate for a new dialogue between the Indonesian government and representatives of the Papuan people. The indigenous people of West Papua should have the opportunity to decide democratically their own future in accordance with international standards of human rights and the principles of international law.”

“West Papua is a chance for Australia to show real leadership. It is a chance for us to show that we will stand up for the values of peace and democracy we so readily espouse.”

The Greens will introduce a Senate motion during the next sitting period that will call of Minister Carr to raise concerns over human rights abuses with the Indonesian Foreign Minister and request access for human rights monitors and foreign journalists.

The Greens have called on the Australian government to consider its military links to Indonesia and suspend all ties while violence continues, attributed to Indonesian security forces acting with impunity. We cannot stand idly by while this conflict escalates and human rights are being abused on our doorstop.

• WEST PAPUA NATIONAL COALITION FOR LIBERATION

Secretariat, c/o: WPPRO, P.O. Box 1571, Port Vila, Republic of Vanuatu,
Ph.:+678 7740808, +61414149001 E-mails: morningstar@vanuatu.com.vu,
awulkeweng@yahoo.com,ayamiseba@yahoo.com.au,rexruma@hotmail.com,

Date: 28 August 2011

PACIFIC ISLANDS FORUM MUST ACT URGENTLY
ON WEST PAPUA (WEST NEW GUINEA)

The situation in West Papua (West New Guinea) is sliding towards horizontal conflict. Together with Civil Society and religious Institutions we had contained the situation at least on the part of Papuans with the understanding that we do not need violence to resolve the issue. The Military wing of the OPM, the TPNPB (Tentara Pembebasan Papua Barat or the West Papuan National Liberation Army) have accepted the will of the people not to engage in active combat and give peaceful efforts a chance to succeed. Our greatest hope was that the International Institutions including Pacific Islands Forum and the Melanesian Spearhead Group will put enough pressure on Indonesia to stop the violence perpetrated by its Security Forces and Militias. Regrettably this did not happen. Violence is increasing and the Military Wing of the OPM is beginning to question the likelihood of success in peaceful efforts. If the freelance actors that TPNPB cannot bring under its command notice that the main body is having second thought about peaceful efforts, anything could happen. Melanesian payback practice fueled by decades of hatred is like a bomb needing only a spark to ignite.

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PHOTO: Detachment 88 officers receive training, supplies and operational support from the Australian Federal Police.(ABC)

• Papuans claim Australian link to death squad
ABC 7.30
By Hayden Cooper and Lisa Main

An elite counter-terrorism unit trained and supplied by Australia is being accused of acting as a death squad in Indonesia’s troubled West Papua region.

The group, known as Detachment 88, receives training, supplies and extensive operational support from the Australian Federal Police.

But there is growing evidence the squad is involved in torture and extra-judicial killings as part of efforts by Indonesian authorities to crush the separatist movement in West Papua.

The ABC’s Hayden Cooper and Lisa Main went undercover in the restive Indonesian provinces to meet with many who say an Australian Government-funded anti-terrorist team is waging a bloody campaign against activists.

On June 14, popular independence leader Mako Tabuni was gunned down as he fled from police on a quiet street in the Papuan capital.

The men who killed Mr Tabuni allegedly are part of Detachment 88, which was established in the wake of the Bali bombings.

Trained in forensics, intelligence gathering, surveillance and law enforcement by officials from the US, the UK and Australia, they have played a crucial role in Indonesia’s counter-terrorism efforts.

They are ruthless, often killing suspects, and their anti-terrorism mandate is now creeping into other areas like policing West Papuan separatists.

In December 2010, Detachment 88 killed militant Papuan activist Kelly Kwalik.

Mr Kwalik was a leader from the Free Papua Movement (OPM), a violent independence group with a record of attacking military and civilians, and Detachment 88 publically claimed responsibility.

‘Gentle way’

But KNBP’s current leader, Victor Yeimo, say unlike OPM, KNBP is non-violent and instead pursues a political solution.

“Mako was a good man. If someone was angry, Mako wouldn’t answer them,” he said.

“Even if people were angry, if he was being questioned by the police, they’d speak to him but he’d just laugh.

“His way of fighting back was by doing interviews and press conferences, it was gentle.

“People say he had weapons and so on but I was often at his house and I never saw a pistol and nor did my friends.”

According to eyewitnesses, after being approached by plain-clothed police in unmarked cars, Mr Tabuni attempted to flee.

The witness said police opened fire on the activist as he ran down the road.

“He got free, he ran across the road, he ran about two metres alongside the taxi rank,” one witness said.

“He ran along the taxi rank and tried to climb down into a gully, a drain, under the bridge.

“He was shot in the leg, he was shot but still tried to escape, then they shot him in the torso.”

Bleeding heavily, Mr Tabuni was taken not to the nearby Catholic hospital, but to a police hospital at least 20 minutes away where another witness saw the authorities bring him in.

“When he came in, I was shocked. I didn’t know what had happened and it was a shock,” he said.

“They brought him in and all they did was wash off the blood.”

‘No evidence’

The man says the police were from Detachment 88 based on their distinctive masks often worn in operation.

“I could tell just from the way they looked. And when they brought him in, the people carrying him were wearing masks,” he said.

Gustaf Kawer, Mr Tabuni’s lawyer, also believes Detachment 88 was involved.

“They used an ordinary car and also a ute. Usually, when the police make an official arrest they wear police uniforms and use police vehicles,” he said.

“But they acted as if this was not an ordinary case, as if they were dealing with terrorists.”

The Indonesian police report claims Mr Tabuni had a gun when he was shot and that he grabbed another weapon off one of the officers.

They also claim he was involved in seven violent offences before his shooting.

But Mr Kawer, who is respected internationally, says there is no evidence for any of the claims.

“I think it’s all a scenario created by the security forces so they could shoot him,” he said.

“At the present time the police are only holding two of the people who are alleged to be involved with him. They’re still being held by the police.

“Witness testimony points to their being involved but there’s not enough evidence against Mako.”

Without restraint

The activist’s death is just one of many examples of Detachment 88 operating with impunity.

A leaked video surfaced last year showing Indonesian police after they had reclaimed a remote airstrip from militant separatists.

The trophy video taken on a mobile phone by the police identifies Detachment 88 officers, who are often embedded with other units, and dead Papuans lying on the ground, including pictures of teenagers tied up with ropes.

And witnesses say Detachment 88 was among the security forces that opened fire on civilians at the Papuan National Congress last October.

To Papuan activists like Mr Yeimo, Australia’s support and training for Detachment 88 is galling.

“You give money for Indonesia to kill people in West Papua – you are the perpetrators of violence in West Papua,” he said.

“[The] Australian Government and American government, they are actors of violence in West Papua.

“Because they find them, they train them and then with the gun they kill people, they kill us like animals.”

Mr Tabuni’s death has sparked the attention of the Australian Government, with diplomats in Jakarta raising concerns about the killing with Indonesia on August 7.

Even so, it is little comfort to the independence leaders in the divided and dangerous province.

Mr Yeimo says his people have little faith that the world really cares about their plight.

“The world is behind Indonesia now, it means they all compromise with Indonesia to kill West Papuan people,” he said.

And he knows that he too is now in the firing line.

“The three days after Mako Tabuni was killed by Indonesia, they sent a text message to me, they said to me that ‘after Mako Tabuni’s dead, you’ll be next’.”

Here: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-08-28/west-papua-730/4228710

• ABC 7.30 report

Video footage and transcript

1) Foreign Minister responds to West Papua accusations
http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2012/s3578011.htm

2) Australia faces link to West Papua torture
http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2012/s3578010.htm

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-08-28/west-papua-730/4228710

• Statements from the Australian Federal Police and Indonesian Embassy below:

How much money does the AFP provide annually for Detachment 88 – either through training or other measures?

The AFP does not provide a regular and ongoing annual funding allocation to Detachment 88 or the Indonesian National Police (INP).

Any allocations we do make to the INP are solely intended to increase the capacity for counter terrorism purposes.

Between 2010 and 2012, in support of Detachment 88 counter terrorism efforts, the AFP has gifted assets including motor vehicles, office and telecommunication supplies and computer equipment. The value of these assets is $314,500.

Exactly, what training does the AFP provide Detachment 88?

The AFP provides capacity building assistance in support of the Indonesian National Police (INP), including Detachment 88.

This capacity building includes the provision of support to a range of INP initiatives implemented by the AFP, such as investigations support and forensic assistance including post bomb-blast analysis.
The AFP has also supported the INP in establishing and developing forensic and bomb data centres, the introduction of a Case Management and Intelligence System database and the provision of equipment in support of counter terrorism operations.

The AFP is not involved in INP counter terrorism tactical resolutions. AFP engagement with Detachment 88 is undertaken with its Executive and headquarters members in Jakarta, Indonesia.

We understand that Detachment 88 is involved in targeting independence leaders in Papua and West Papua. Is this a concern to the AFP? If so what measures has the AFP taken to investigate the allegations.

Detachment 88 is a specialist counter terrorism unit within the Indonesian National Police, however it should be noted that Indonesian law does not differentiate between terrorism, separatism and insurgency.

The AFP is not aware, nor been informed, that Detachment 88 is specifically targeting independence leaders in Papua and West Papua.

The AFP is aware of media reports which allege human rights abuses have been perpetrated by Detachment 88 members.

While the AFP is unable to comment directly on the recent allegations, it should be noted that human rights allegations have been made against Detachment 88 members previously, some of which have been unfounded or misreported.

The AFP does not have a mandate to investigate allegations made in relation to the conduct of foreign police forces in a foreign, sovereign country.

Will the AFP question the Indonesian Police on the activities Detachment 88 undertakes in Papua and West Papua?

The AFP has no mandate to investigate the conduct of police forces in a foreign country.

Further, the AFP does not have a mandate to question the operational taskings of the INP. Any investigation into the conduct of INP or Detachment 88 officers is a matter for the Indonesian authorities.
Further information: Jakarta Centre for Law Enforcement Cooperation (JCLEC)

The JCLEC is an academic training facility, through which operational support and capacity building assistance including training to regional law enforcement agencies and non-government agencies in responding to transnational crime, including terrorism is undertaken.

To date the JCLEC has provided training to over 12,000 regional law enforcement students, from 55 countries who have participated in over 498 training programs.

The JCLEC training undertaken by the Detachment 88 members has included crime investigation, response to chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear events and post bomb-blast management.

The principles of human rights are embedded in JCLEC programs and police accountability is incorporated into scenario-based activities.

Response to 7.30 from the Australian Federal Police

The recent unrest in the Indonesian provinces of Papua and West Papua –especially the loss of life– is regrettable and is receiving attention from the Indonesian people, the media, and the President of the Republic of Indonesia himself. The Indonesian Government has taken steps to restore law-enforcement in the Papuan provinces.

There are several points to remember while peace is being restored to the Papuan provinces: Firstly, that Indonesia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity should not be called into question. The world, including Australia, has acknowledged support for Indonesia’s territorial integrity.

Secondly, it is every country’s right to create and maintain peace within its own borders within the basic principles of Human Rights. In this regard, the Indonesian Government deploys law-enforcement officials in all parts of Indonesia, including the Papuan provinces, to ensure stability and peace in all aspects of public life.

Thirdly, every excessive use of violence by authorities is processed according to the prevailing laws. Previous cases have seen Indonesian law-enforcement personnel demoted or imprisoned for breaches of human rights, including in cases that were not covered by the media.

Fourthly, every country has procedures in place regarding foreign journalists wanting to visit to produce a program, so countries including Australia and Indonesia reserve the right to determine entry by foreigners into its own territory, whether they are tourists or asylum-seekers or journalists.

In response to the ABC’s 7.30 program (27 August 2012), it should be known that Australian journalists and production crews have been officially visiting the Papuan provinces in the last few years.

Additionally, Red Cross offices are always located in each host country’s capital city, while the host country opens branches in the regions, as does the Indonesian Red Cross in the provinces of Papua and West Papua.Thank you for your continued interest in Indonesia. As is expected of Indonesia’s vibrant journalistic media, we also invite more researched and balanced reporting by Australian media

Response to 7.30 from the Indonesian Embassy in Canberra

The recent unrest in the Indonesian provinces of Papua and West Papua –especially the loss of life– is regrettable and is receiving attention from the Indonesian people, the media, and the President of the Republic of Indonesia himself. The Indonesian Government has taken steps to restore law-enforcement in the Papuan provinces.

There are several points to remember while peace is being restored to the Papuan provinces: Firstly, that Indonesia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity should not be called into question. The world, including Australia, has acknowledged support for Indonesia’s territorial integrity.

Secondly, it is every country’s right to create and maintain peace within its own borders within the basic principles of Human Rights. In this regard, the Indonesian Government deploys law-enforcement officials in all parts of Indonesia, including the Papuan provinces, to ensure stability and peace in all aspects of public life.

Thirdly, every excessive use of violence by authorities is processed according to the prevailing laws. Previous cases have seen Indonesian law-enforcement personnel demoted or imprisoned for breaches of human rights, including in cases that were not covered by the media.

Fourthly, every country has procedures in place regarding foreign journalists wanting to visit to produce a program, so countries including Australia and Indonesia reserve the right to determine entry by foreigners into its own territory, whether they are tourists or asylum-seekers or journalists.

In response to the ABC’s 7.30 program (27 August 2012), it should be known that Australian journalists and production crews have been officially visiting the Papuan provinces in the last few years.

Additionally, Red Cross offices are always located in each host country’s capital city, while the host country opens branches in the regions, as does the Indonesian Red Cross in the provinces of Papua and West Papua.Thank you for your continued interest in Indonesia. As is expected of Indonesia’s vibrant journalistic media, we also invite more researched and balanced reporting by Australian media

Response to 7.30 from the Indonesian Embassy in Canberra

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. William Boeder

    August 27, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    At last the Australian government will be forced to acknowledge the extent of the human rights abuses rampant in the Indonesian government controlled State of West Papua.
    That Australia’s Defence Forces actively support the Indonesian Military empowerment over the West Papuan people, through their training departments role in their training of a covert Indonesian military unit known as Detachment 88, shows the secrecy that has surrounded this unity of Australia in the hostile attacks and severe oppressions thrust upon the West Papuan people.

    Soon there will be some major headlines ranging through to ‘the complicity of Australia’s entanglement’s’ in Indonesia’s warring affairs.

    Watch this space.

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