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  • Writer's pictureMerdeka Secretariat

Chronology of Action: IP Day 2019 in Jayapura

Updated: Aug 24, 2019

Friday, August 9, 2019

To commemorate the International Indigenous Peoples Day on August 9, 2019, the Papuan Youth, Student, and People’s Movement (GempaR Papua) conducted a peaceful demonstration with the theme "Papua Bukan Tanah Kosong: Tutup Mata, Lawan!” (Papua is not an Empty Land: Close Your Eyes, Fight Back) in the three cities of Jayapura, Manokwari, and Sorong.

CHRONOLOGY OF JAYAPURA CITY ACTION At the Courtyard of the University of Cendrawasi (Uncen) Abepura Cultural Museum

In Jayapura City, GempaR Papua carried out peaceful demonstrations in the form of analytical speeches, cultural performances, and film screenings with the Solidaritas Mahasiswa Uncen Peduli Budaya (Solidarity of UNCEN Students Caring for Culture). The preparation started at 8:40 a.m. on the grounds of the Technical Implementation Unit (UPT) of the Cultural Museum of Cendrawasih University in Abepura.

The activity was led by Field Coordinator Selpianus Asso Pahabol, and the Person-in-Charge of the Action, Samuel Womsiwor.

By 09:00, the oration stage and equipment were ready, and by 09:02, it had been set-up by the UPT fence. At the museum grounds, there appears to be a man (intelligence) taking pictures of the action preparations. At 09:20, the speeches in the form of invitations and appeals were delivered by the students and members of GempaR, which went on for approximately 20 minutes.

From 09:40 until 09:45, the activities began with an opening by the host. The first part of the program was given to the Field Action Coordinator, then the master of ceremonies gave the stage to student representatives from the Fak-Fak Regency, with regional songs performed by GempaR members in between.

From 10:00 to 11:20, the event went smoothly. Analytical speeches on the present situation of the Papuan Indigenous Peoples was conveyed by GempaR Papua, Solidaritas Mahasiswa Peduli Budaya, Gerakan Perempuan Revolusioner West Papua, Perwakilan Forum Independen Mahasiswa (FIM), Representatives of the West Papua Revolutionary Women's Movement, and the Forum Independen Mahasiswa (FIM), accompanied by folk songs and poetry.

Promptly at 11:24, the Vice Rector III (PR III) of Uncen arrived at the location and immediately met with the Field Action Coordinator, Selpianus Asso Pahabol. Negotiations took place between the university and the action coordinator while the speeches continued. The negotiation lasted for approximately 10 minutes and the action continued even though the Vice Rector had said that this activity was not given permission by the campus and according to him,

the UNCEN Rector's ordered for the action to be dismissed, so even the Vice Rector II could not make a defense. The field coordinator explained that this activity would not disturb the academic community because the speeches would only be at one location and the cultural stage would be disbanded later. After the discussion, the PR III left the location of the action and returned to the Uncen Auditorium where they are holding a Debate for the Chairperson Candidates of the UNCEN Student Executive Board (BEM).

During the negotiations, several police operational vehicles appeared outside the Uncen Museum courtyard fence. There were 1 Dalmas Truck, 1 Hilux Car, 1 dark glass car (Avanza / Inova), and several two-wheeled motorized vehicles. Nevertheless, the activity continued. It was 11:37 during the poetry reading that the police had entered the Uncen Musuem courtyard. The police officers were from the Brimob unit, which was clearly visible from their uniforms; the Intel Unit who were all in plain clothes; and the police in brown uniforms.

At 11:40 - 11:48, the poetry reading continued with an oration by GempaR on the History of Indigenous Peoples' Struggle at the United Nations and why August 9 is a commemoration of the World Indigenous Peoples Day. By this time, the Intelligence Unit and the Police who had been around the Museum grounds, had passed and entered the Brimob Command Line and the Police who were outside the courtyard fence began to enter.

They called on to the mass action to disperse. Their number is estimated to be around 50 consisting of the Police, Brimob, and Intelligence. The speeches were still ongoing and negotiations are underway, but the police continue to approach the action which consisted of 20 individuals, and attempted to forcibly stop the speeches.

GempaR Secretary General Yason Ngelia then asked the demonstrators to break the speeches and gather so that they can disperse peacefully. At that time the demonstrators were already surrounded by dozens of members of the police force. When they were about to disperse, Yason Ngelia's cellphone, which was used to take pictures of the activity, was seized by one of the police officers. Tension occurred during the struggle for the phone; in a tug-of-war, the microphone cable used at the action site was damaged by the police, and the cellphones that were used to take pictures were confiscated, including a camera.

In the midst of these tensions, Samuel Womsiwor as the Person-in-Charge of the Action calmed the demonstrators by having them gather and convene under one command. All became calm and followed the direction of the police. The action was dissolved and the demonstrators were directed to go with the Abepura Sector Police (ABE POLSEK).

At exactly 11:50 an action mass of 18 people had already been inside the Dalmas Trek and transported to the ABE POLSEK. Upon arrival at the ABE POLSEK, the masses were told to wait on the front page of the ABE POLSEK (Semnetara) at the Abepura Post Office.

From 18 people, 4 of them are:

1. Yason Ngelia (Secretary General of GempaR Papua),

2.Samuel Womsiwor (Person in Charge of Action), 3. Melkior Asso (Field Action Coordinator), and 4. Oria Kiwak (Master of Ceremony).

These four people were asked to enter separate rooms to be asked for information.

Of these 18 people, 1 of them was released in the name of Harun Rumbarar, on the condition of deleting the photos from his camera. While the 13 other people, had their names recorded. They are as follows: 1. Majus W Sool

2.Naman Kogoya

3. Lani He Lani

4. Alfianus Sool

5. Jeferson Saiba

6. Efrin Tabuni

7. Kinaonak Putri

8. Nare Kobak 9. Fernando Rumpaisum

10. Melpianus Asso 11. Elias Hindom 12. Yonas Tekege 13. Miseriko Ohoiwutun

The thirteen people on the list above were released, but 4 others were still held in the ABEPURA POLSEK, namely: Yason, Samuel, Melkior and Ori (full name above).

At 2:20 pm, lawyers from the LBH arrived at the Abepura Police Station, at that time based on the results of the coordination, the lawyers said that they were asked to coordinate with the police chief (according to them it was their orders to just follow) while the police chief himself was not in place. The lawyers then negotiated again to be able to meet and assist the victims, but it was further complicated when they were asked for a Power of Attorney. Because the technical obstacles of the Power of Attorney have not been held by the lawyer in the field, the advocacy process is slightly hampered because the police do not provide relief for lawyers to carry out the assistance.

At around 6:45 pm, the lawyer from LBH Papua, Mr. Imanuel Gobay arrived at the POLSEK and conducted an Advocacy. 15 minutes later, the four others were released.

Right at 7:00 pm, all 18 people arrested were released.

Record of events during the inspection process:

  1. Destruction of property by the Police at the time of arrest at the yard of the Uncen Museum, specifically a Microphone Cable;

  2. Billboards and other action devices (speakers and megaphones) were also confiscated when the mass of action was being dispersed;

  3. Physical violence against Samuel Womsiwor by the police in the examination room;

  4. Harassment by the police by pulling the loincloth (traditional clothing) of a demonstrator;

  5. All videos and photos of the actions in the cellphones of Yason Ngelia and Fernando Rumpaisum were asked to be deleted in the examination room;

  6. Oria Kiwak (Master of Ceremony) was asked to take off her shirt which had the morning star flag on it, “eh ko nanti buka ko pu baju itu”


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