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Security forces allegedly shot 17 Papuans, one dead



Yulianus Pigai, one of the victims of shooting in Deiyai Regency August 1 2017 – IST

Jayapura, Jubi – The TNI, Police and Brimob joint forces allegedly shot 17 civilians of indigenous Papuans (OAP) in Deiyai ​​District. One of them named Yulianus Pigai was shot by hot bullet, six were still being treated at Deiyai ​​Hospital, three were treated at Tendage Health Centre, Deiyai, and seven children were treated by his family.

One eyewitness (PE) said, this incident began on Tuesday afternoon, August 1, 2017, at around 16:30 local time.

At that time a young man, Ravianus Douw, 24 years old, with six other friends bathed in Oneibo Creek, Deiyai. At that time a number of workers are working on an interconnection bridge project under the contractor company PT. Putra Dewa Paniai.

“Locals appealed for vehicle assistance to the company that is building a bridge on Oneibo Creek to rush the victim to the hospital. But the company did not pay attention, so one of the residents must go to Waghete (nearby town) to call for vehicle that is quite far, at about 10 km,” he said.

“After being rushed to Madi Hospital, Paniai, the victim passed away,” he said.

A similar narrative said by Father Santon Petege Pr., a leader of Paniai Parochial told Jubi on Tuesday night (August 1).

Father Santon said, there were some young men bathing in Kali Oneibo. One of them drowned. But after being saved to the surface, this young man was still alive and in critical condition, he needs help.

They then asked for help to the bridge workers to use the company’s car to bring the victim to Paniai Hospital. Unfortunately the workers did not want to rent the car to bring the drowned victims to the hospital.

There was an unsuccessful bargain. Five hours later, a different car was obtained. The victim was then quickly taken to Madi hospital. About 2.5 hours drive by car to the hospital in Madi, Paniai.

“But he died when he got to the hospital,” said Father Santon.

The victim’s family and relatives think that the victim (Ravianus) might still be saved if the company workers agree to lend their car. They were disappointed and then got angry at the workers, who were still in the vicinity of the bridge construction.

“Then this project chief called the police. The joint forces of police, mobile brigade police and army officers came. Did not ask questions but shot several youths,” he said.

Father Santon deplored the acts of thuggery of the apparatus. According to him, they should ask in advance to find out the real case. “I am very sorry. Officers must be responsible,” he said.

The police refused of shooting recklessly                                                 

Meanwhile, Head of Public Relations of Papua Police, Kombes (Pol) A.M. Kamal confirmed to Jubi on late Tuesday the chronology of Ravianus Douw’s death. But he denied the officers shot at people recklessly.

Police also said that when local people came to the location of the project, there was an incident of beating to one of the workers and also destruction around the site. On that basis, according to him, the company then called Mobile Brigade Police which is about one kilometer from the location.

Brimob commander with local police force, about nine people, then headed to the location and checked all workers.

“There was one worker went missing, maybe because he was afraid and run, but now he’s found,” he said.

He claims that his members have attempted a persuasive approach and negotiated with the local citizens, but they failed.

“The villagers attacked the security forces probably because they thought police would defend the company. Brimob and police officers withdrew while firing warning shots into the air. Because people are still throwing stones at members of Brimob and police, they then shoot to the ground and apparently there are bounce’s bullet and wound four residents. No one died because of the bullets. Only some wounded,” he said.

Meanwhile, Paniai Police Chief, AKBP. Supriyagung said on Tuesday night (1/8) that he was at the Tigi police station to confirm the incident. “I am in the Sector police station, to check the truth of the news referred. Children (victims) are also going to the hospital,” he said.


Victims in Deiyai hospital

Officer of Deiyai Hospital emergency unit, Yanuarius Pekei said, as many as seven victims were rushed to hospitals and one of them had died from three bullets in the left and right legs.

“The one who died named Yulianus Pigai. The bullet is still in his body. The other three are still critical, named Yunior Pakage, hit by a right-footed shot to the left; Delia Pekei was shot on the right shoulder right to the right arms; And John Pakage was also hit by on his arm,” he said.

He added that three other victims of Meki Pakage, Esebius Pakage and Penis Pakage suffered minor injuries and had been given medication.(*)


The story of illegal logging from the forests of Papua



Illegal timbers – an illustration.

Jayapura, Jubi – Tempo journalist Avit Hidayat shared his experience in doing an investigation about the circulation of illegal timbers from Papua’s forest as a resource person for the discussion about “ Papua’s Forest and Logging Disputes”.

Auriga Nusantara, Eyes on the Forest, Tempo Institute, Free Press Unlimited, and Tempo Media Grup held this forum in Jakarta, Monday, 28 January 2019 and attended by other resource persons, such as Laode M. Syarif (KPK commissionaire), Rasio Ridho Sani (Gakkum-KLHK), Hilman Nugroho (PHPL-KLHK) Muhamad Kosar (JPIK), Timotius Murib (Majelis Rakyat Papua) and Papuan stakeholders from indigenous peoples, Papuan Parliament and Papua Provincial Forestry Office.

In the discussion, Avit said it is essential for the public to know about the situation in Papua. “The tropical forests in Papua are the last (forests) in Indonesia, while the Merbau wood which is the Papuan endemic trees have been becoming the target of the international market,” he said. 

Furthermore, Avid said he conducted the investigation in many different places and interviewed many resource persons; and in Papua, the Tempo team went further to the logging sites. There, they witnessed how the workers who come from other regions carried out the illegal logging activity. They also met transporters, woodmasters, drivers, and logging company staffs.

“And the most important thing is we met the supplier. The supplier is a mediator of the logging companies who play a role to bargain with ‘ondo’—the tribal chief–for compensation. For example, if in a village there are common indigenous lands, the supplier comes to measuring the areas, and give payment to indigenous peoples.”

In their investigation, the Tempo team also met the owners of a logging company who later admitted about the illegal logging activity.  However, they called it the unregistered community logging.

Meanwhile, in Aroba Sub-district of Teluk Bintuni, Papua Barat, the team went to the forest areas of the company who received the Business License for the Utilization of Natural Forest and Timber Product (IUPHHK-HA) that formerly known as a Forest Concession Permit (HPH). There, the team found the manipulation of a wood barcode. For instance, the barcode for ketapang wood is used for Merbau wood.

Moreover, the team also investigated the primary industry in Papua, Surabaya, Lumajang, Gresik by tracing the distribution of logs. Here, they found another finding, namely the fake transport data and officials’ involvement, whereas the illegal retribution practice has also become their another concern.

In their journey from Sarmi to Jayapura Municipality, the team discovered 25 retribution posts that consist of the indigenous institution, police (military) and Forestry Office. “This is the fact that we found, but I couldn’t capture it because it was too risky. We even witness a military truck used to transport the logs.”

Furthermore, the Tempo team met the export logging companies and found those companies able to export up to 6,000-meter cubic annually, while based on the Forest Product Information Management System (SIPUH), they only allowed to export around 100-meter cubic.

“In Surabaya, we went to a barge and talked with an officer. He said not all logs are given barcode. A few logging companies intentionally inserted non-barcode logs or illegal logs in there. They are mostly the HPH holders, and they even put the timbers between the logs.”

However, all these findings did not include in the audit industry report registered in the Timber Legality and Verification System Legality and Verification System (SVLK) which consist of the Assessment Agency for Sustainable Forest Production Management (LP-PHPL) and Timber Verification Agency (LV-LK). Both agencies are responsible for assessing the sustainable forest product management and verify the legality aspect of timber based on the system and standards set by the government.

“We also got the information about the involvement of LV-LK and LP-PHPL, which means they play around with such companies and culprits from the forestry office. I think the KPK has identified these cases.”

In the meantime, a resource person from the National Accreditation Committee (KAN) acknowledged that there were bribery practices in the LV-LK. The audit report had often finished before the field assessment.

Meanwhile, the participants appreciated the findings of Tempo’s investigation. They expected the government to find a solution immediately, whether it’s a regulation or supervision and law enforcement.

On the other hand, a representative of LV-LK objected this report regarding the bribery practices in his institution. But Avit said until now none of the resource persons withdrew their statements and opposed the result of the team’s investigation.

Meanwhile, Agung Wijaya, Avit’s editor for this covered story, said he was worried about Avit’s safety during the investigation. But finally, this report was completed and published.

He further said Tempo had traced the case of illegal logging since 2017. Thus, publishing the investigation report becomes a moral burden for Tempo. Therefore Tempo will continue to monitor this issue and welcome other stakeholders who attended this forum for further discussion.

Through this coverage, Tempo attempted to look the case thoroughly even though it might not give a solution because the solution is actually in the hand of all of you (who come to this forum).” (*)


Reporter: Timoteus Marten

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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Indonesian military to complete Trans-Papua Highway



Indonesian soldiers participate in a major military jungle warfare exercise in Poso, in central Sulawesi island, on March 31, 2015. -Photo: AFP

Papua, Jubi – Officials working on a troubled road project in Papua say Indonesia’s military will complete the job this year.

In December, at least 16 Indonesians working on the Trans-Papua Highway in Nduga province were massacred by fighters from the West Papua Liberation Army.

The project was put on hold with the military saying it would take over work on the 4000 kilometre highway.

Combat engineers will reportedly carry out the construction, with hundreds of extra security personnel deployed to the area.

Detik News reports a military battalion has been assigned to the building of the project’s remaining 16 bridges.

Indonesian army engineers had already been working on the Trans-Papua Highway project for a number of years.

Military involvement in the project was cited by the Liberation Army as a central reason for killing the road workers, who were suspected of being soldiers. (*)



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Indonesian soldier dead after attack at Papua airport



Members of the Indonesian Army in Papua. -Photo: AFP

Papua, Jubi – Indonesia’s military has evacuated the body of a soldier killed at an airport in Papua’s Highlands on Monday.

Xinhua reported that gunmen shot at an arriving aircraft carrying soldiers at Mapenduma airport of Nduga district, leaving one soldier dead.

Military spokesman Colonel Muhammad Aidi said when the plane was about to land, it was shot at, and soldiers who were guarding the airport shot back, triggering gunfire exchange.

He said the gunmen retreated and escaped to the forest and the plane landed.

Tempo reported that two soldiers were shot, and hospitalised, with one dying later.

The soldier’s body has been evacuated to Papua’s provincial capital Jayapura,

He is the latest apparent victim in the Highlands conflict between guerilla forces of the West Papua Liberation Army and Indonesian security forces that intensified last year. (*)



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