Bucthar Tabuni

Home » International » Pers Release PNWP for 15 Years Bloody Biak Incident

Pers Release PNWP for 15 Years Bloody Biak Incident

(The voice of West Papua people struggle to get self determinationa rights according with International laws Principles, Human Rights Standarts and UN Charter)
Email : westpapuaparlemen@yahoo.com, phone  +62 081247302763 
WestPapua, July 6, 2013


Media Release for 15 Years Bloody Biak Incident

From July 2 to July 6, when the military opened fire, the morning star flag of West Papua flew over the thirty –five –meters-tall water tower near the harbor in Biak town. The demostration was led by a Jayapura based provincial governement employee named Filep Yopy Karma. Likes other, he had copies of the May 22 letter of U.S. members of Conggress, interpreted it as support for independent, and drafted a declaration of independence accordingly.

The flag appeared on the top of the tower on July 2, at about 5:00 a.m. Some hundred people gathered beneath it. Shouting freedom slogons, singing sons and dancing traditional dances. Some had painted their faces and arms wtih the morning star symbol, and as the demostration continued, many people in immediate are joined in. The water tower is both the main taxi terminal and a major market, so, the site is one that many people would pass as part of their daily lives. Small boys reportedly guarded the area wearing armbands that said Satgas ( task force) OPM. The demostration grew to more that 1000 people by one account.

Around 9:00 a.m., the regency head of Biak, Amandus Mansnembra, together with the regency military and police commanders, came, in the words of the military commander, to give guidance and direction to the demostratiors. But they didnot want to listen. Instead, they held an open forum as part of their protest. Filep Karma appeared as one of the speakers to voice the aspirations of the people of Biak and demand indepence for the people of West Papua.

About 4:30 p.m., security forces tried to break up demonstration. When the crowd recognized one intellingence agent there, Police Sergeant Irwan, who they believed had been infiltrated into the crowd to cauce trouble. They attacked him, knocking out a few teeth and breaking his leg. This led to a violent clash between the demostrators abd the security forces surrounding them. The latter consisted of a Brimob platon, a platoon from infantry Battalion 753, one from KODIM 1702, and one from navi post. According to a report prepares by local activists, thirteen troops were wounded from Biak Police. A military report said twenty three of the security forces were wounded, seventeen lightly, there seriously, and three critical. The troops were eventually withdrawn around 8:00 p.m.

Economic activity in the area came to a halat because of the demostrations. Shops and kiosks in the area closed down, and trading in the old market ceased around 5:00 p.m. After about 5:30, the demonstratiors had set up blockades around the area, preventing anyone from reaching the harbor. A ship was supposed to dock at 5:00 p.m., the Dobonsolo, was unable to do so and had to anchor offshore.

Meanwhile, on the same day, on July 2, in the subdistrict of West Biak, eleven villages heads were ordered by the subdistrict authorities to call a counter demonstration at the Biak District Council against the seperatist activisties of Filep Karma. The villages represented were Mandenderi, Adadikam, Mamoribo, Sopen, Opuri, Dedifu, Yomdori, Kababur, Warberik, Wasyai, and Andey. The village heads were all told that to ensure that the people of West Biak were not branded as OPM, they had to take part in this action.

Ealy on July 3, those gathered beneath the water tower began to hear rumors that there was going to be a move to break up demonstration. The subdistrict authorities, through their meeting with village heads, reportedly secured an agreement that there would be two prongs to the attack. A crowd from West Biak would gather in a housing complex north of the airport and would go by truck to demonstration site. When they got near the gas pumps in the harbor, they would be let off to attack the demonstratots. Another group would gather in front of the guardpost of the air force in front the Hotel Sinar Kayu, then would attack from south. About 5:30 a.m. On July 3, the village heads were taken home to gather up residents to be trucked into Biak, and about 1:00 p.m., seven trucks belonging to the Karya Kencana Harpindo Company brought counter demonstrators into the city. They were given a kind of armband so that if a clash took place with the flag raisers, the army would know whom to protect. But no attack took place ; the counter demonstrators reportedly chose to act peacefully.

According to the local activists ‘ report, the villagers given pro government banners to hold, and some expressed reluctance to take part in the counter demonstration. According the military report, 250 people from thirteen villages sought out local military and civilian leaders of their own accord to tell them that they rejected the idea of an independent West Papua, that they did not want a repetition of the bitter experince of years past, and that they wanted nothing more than work hard and help development the district of Biak. Human rights organization in Jayapura dismissed the military’s account as self serving.

The head of Biak regency parlement, Ayub Sumerta, came and asked Filep Karma to take down the flag, but before doing so, he reportedly took off his hat to honor it. He then invited the people to come to the council to discuss their demands, but they wanted to stay to guard the flag.

At 1:00 a.m. on July 4, the local military brought nine village heads together di discuss a strategy for attack and both the subdistrict (camat) and subdistrict military commander told the village heads that each man was responsible for bringing thirtymen into the city. He also told them that the district commander’s instructions were that each man should bring a weapon of some sort, whether a spear, a knife, or some other sharp object.

At 8:00 a.m., negetations began between the army and church leaders to try to resolve the situation. As a result , troops were pulled back from around the district health clinic, near the water tower, but the demonstrators refused to leave, saying they would stay until a representative of Kofi Annan came.

At 2:00 p.m., a Hercules transport plane landed in Biak with troops from the Trikora regional command, the regional command based in Ujung Pandang, Sulawesi, and anti riot forces from the police mobile brigade. Shortly there after, a group pastors from Iria Jaya ( now, Papua ) Tabernacle Church (GKII) began further negotiations with the demonstrators, who turned over the molotov cocktails, spears and other weapons they had massed for self defense. They pledged on the Bible, however, to defend the morning star flag to the death.

On July 5, after Sunday service, villagers from West Biak were brougt to Yomdori, the subdistrict center, where they stayed overnight before proceeding on to the city to prepare for the attack. The pastors, meanwhile tried uncuccessfully to convince Filep Karma to take down the flag.
The long awaited attack took place and were reinforced by troops from two warhips, a logistics ship called Waigeo and another with a registration number of 108. The troops opened fire from four sides. Witmesses reported that five civilians who were already on the ground prone were deliberately shot. By 9;00 a.m., twenty one people had been brought to the hospital, one of whom Ruben Orboi died about an hour later in the hospital’s emergency room; he had been shot in the head. Soldiers were all over tge hospital, and a nurse on duty said her superior was ordered not to say anything about anyone having died. She also told that when an army truck drew up to hospital entrance with some of the wounded, the latter were just pushed off the tuck. She said Filep Karma’s brother, Costan Karma was told to jump off truck even though his feet and hands were tied. He of course fell to the ground. Although he was barely conscious soldiers forbade the nurses to untie him, but they did anyway after pleading with him not to run.

One young man who wasin the crow when the shooting told that the arm loaded people on trucks, dead, woundedm and unhurt, and headed for the outskirts of the town. When they reached the jungle, ten others were let off the truck, while the remaining wouded and dead were driven on to where he had no idea. He was then picked up with the other survibors and taken to the navy headquarters where he was held from July 6 to July 11 and repeatedly kicked and beaten. He was not allowed to contact his family who assumed je had died and it was not until he returned on the shops instead.

People living near the water tower were taken to port area on the day of the attack and were forced to remain there all day. Of 150 people arrested after the crackdown, nineteen evebtually were charged and tried and as of November 30, 1998, were detained at the Biak district prison. Their trials began on October 5 and were continuing at the ti me report went to press. All were rebillion spreading hatred toward the government and assault under articleas 106, 154 and 170 respectively of Indonesian criminal code.

Detention about there weeks after the shootings, The cauces of death are not clear, but in neither case was an autopsy conducted. Mamoribo, who had been shot in the hand during the demostration, died at his home; Nico Smas collapsed and died while walking in the street. At least ten others believed to have taken part in the demonstration never returned home but a full accounting of the missing has not been passible because of the climate of fear that prevails in Biak as of this writing.
This time i would like :

1. called to International fact finding to West Papua to research West Papua cases during 50 years West Papua people struggle their self determination and bring Indonesia to International Court

2. Called International Community and nations of UN to protect, promote and fulfill Self Determination Rights of West Papua because this rights notyet implementated for West Papua people as peace, fair and democration.


Buchtar Tabuni

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