APSN Banner

Protesters in Sorong call for end to torture, military operations in Papua

Suara Papua - April 4, 2024

Reiner Brabar, Sorong – The group Anti-Militarism and Human Rights Care People's Solidarity in the Land of Papua held a free speech forum at Remu traffic lights intersection in Sorong City, Southwest Papua, on Thursday April 4.

The solidarity action titled "Stopping Illegal Military Operations in Papua, the Practice of Torturing Papuan civilians, Arrest and Try the Perpetrators" was held in relation to a series of human rights violations that have occurred in Papua between January and March 2024.

Action coordinator Melfin Kareth stated that the peaceful action held today was aimed at responding to the case of torture by rogue TNI (Indonesian military) soldiers from the Yonif Raider 300/Brajawijaya Regional Military Command (Kodam) Siliwangi Task Force against a civilian in Puncak regency that went viral on social media.

"The Torture of the civilian in Puncak was a human rights violation. We together with comrades from the Anti-Militarism and Human Rights Care People's Solidarity in the Land of Papua will continue to monitor this case", said Kareth.

The prolonged conflict between the TNI/Polri (Indonesian police) and the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPNPB) has resulted in civilian casualties. In the latest case, three people were arrested and tortured by TNI members from the Siliwangi Task Force (Satgas) until one of them died.

"Civilians always become the victims because they are seen as supporting the TPNPB. All of this happens because the TNI and Polri have not succeeded in getting the TPNPB, so it is the people who were always arrested and tortured and accused of being TPNPB members. One of the three people who was tortured died", he said.

Kareth asserted that the Anti-Militarism and Human Rights Care People's Solidarity in the Land of Papua will not stop holding demonstrations until the perpetrators of the torture are tried and punished as severely as possible.

"We will continue to monitor this case. We will continue to hold actions with even more protesters again", asserted Kareth.

In a speech, Apey Tarami, one of the protesters at the action, urged President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo and TNI commander General Agus Subiyanto to immediately remove the Cenderawasih/XVII regional military commander (Pangdam) Major General Izak Pangemanan.

"The rouge TNI [soldiers] from the Brajawijaya 300 Satgas who committed the torture must be dismissed and punished in accordance with prevailing laws. The Cenderawasih Pangdam must also be removed from his post", he asserted.

Legal supremacy must be enforced whoever the culprit is. Only in that way, will the people of Papua, especially the families of victims, feel a sense justice, even though they have had to lose their lives.

Tarami also touched on the decades of suffering by the Papuan people. Tragically the fate of Papuans in almost all aspects of life is as if there is no future with Indonesia. Therefore, he emphasised, only with independence can the various problems occurring in the land of Papua be resolved.

"The issue of the expropriation of customary land, the theft of natural resources, intimidation, arrest, torture and murder that has continued to occur in Papua for decades since 1961 will only end if Papua is independent, is free from the Indonesian colonial state", Tarami said.

In the peaceful action, the group called on the central and regional governments to immediately stop the expansion of natural resource (SDA) exploitation, immediately close the PT Freeport Indonesia gold-and-copper mine and LNG Tangguh, and cancel the Sorong Special Economic Zone (KEK) project and all projects by other companies that threaten Papuan lives.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Pelaku Penyiksaan Harus Diadili, Desakan Copot Pangdam Cenderawasih Terus Disuarakan".]

Source: https://suarapapua.com/2024/04/04/pelaku-penyiksaan-harus-diadili-desakan-copot-pangdam-cenderawasih-terus-disuarakan