remember 1998 ‘Bloody Biak’ massacre by Indonesian military

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remember 1998 ‘Bloody Biak’ massacre by Indonesian military

Berichtdoor webmaster » do 03 jul 2008, 07:08

FREE WEST PAPUA CAMPAIGN OXFORD, UK http://www.freewestpapua.org MEDIA RELEASE OXFORD, ENGLAND, 2nd July 2008: For immediate release West Papuans to hold traditional ceremony on Westminster Bridge to remember 1998 ‘Bloody Biak’ massacre by Indonesian military AS BIG BEN strikes 12 Noon on Saturday 5th July, West Papuans will drop flowers into the River Thames from Westminster Bridge in an ancient Papuan ceremony to remember their fellow countrymen massacred by the Indonesian military 10 years ago. Former political prisoner and West Papuan independence leader, BENNY WENDA, will be joined by the Green Party’s Principal Male Speaker, DEREK WALL, and supporters of the UK based Free West Papua Campaign. Each flower will represent the 150 West Papuans massacred by the Indonesian military on the island of Biak in July 1998 for peacefully raising their independence flag and all the 100,000 plus West Papuans murdered by Indonesian security forces during 45 years of the Indonesian occupation. And as a symbol of resistance and hope for a future independent West Papua, Benny Wenda and Derek Wall will together raise the banned West Papuan flag on Westminster Bridge, an action which would land them both in jail for 15 years if they repeated it in Indonesian-occupied West Papua. Derek Wall will also be bringing a message of support from HUGO BLANCO, the Latin American indigenous leader and editor of Lucha Indigna (Indigenous Struggle). BACKGROUND: 10 years ago, in July 1998, West Papuans on the island of Biak heard a rumour that President Clinton had recognised West Papua’s independence from Indonesia. Amidst scenes of overwhelming joy and celebration, the people of Biak sang hymns of thanksgiving and raised the Morning Star flag, the symbol of Papuan freedom, from top of the town’s huge water tower. Tragically, the rumour was false. Within days, the Biak people felt the full brutal vengeance of the Indonesian state. 150 West Papuan men, women & children were slaughtered. The Morning Star flags were again hidden away - at least for now. To the shame of successive Indonesian governments, since Biak 1998 not a single member of the Indonesian Army, Navy or Police has been brought to justice for their part in this crime against humanity. Both the ordinary Indonesian foot-soldiers who pulled the triggers and the Generals in Jakarta & Jayapura who gave them the orders have got away with murder - at least for now. TEN YEARS LATER, the hope of “Papua Merdeka” (Free West Papua) lives on in the hearts of the people of Biak and all West Papuans. Here’s what Papuan eye-witnesses told Australian writer Kel Dummett about the events of that terrible day: “The details of the 1998 massacre are overwhelming… At 5am the [Indonesian] army opened fire on a crowd of sleeping young people at the harbour, who had been guarding their Morning Star flag, raised a few days earlier [killing about 50]. The entire population of Biak town was rounded up at gunpoint and forced to the harbour area, where for the whole day they were subjected to physical and sexual abuses, including the young children. More than 100 people—mostly women, some with babies and young children—were rounded up and forced on board two [Indonesian] naval vessels, where they were stripped, killed and their bodies mutilated and dumped at sea.” ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Dr Derek Wall, Principal Male Speaker of the Green Party of England & Wales, says: “West Papuans are fighting for freedom. They are the true ecologists, the protectors of the rainforests of Papua. Yet the Indonesian occupation of West Papua has led to the death of many people, the destruction of the forests and the repression of civil liberties. I am proud to be able to speak, once again, in support of Benny Wenda and the rest of the Free West Papua movement in their brave and vital struggle for independence and democracy.” To mark the anniversary, Benny Wenda says: “In our own homeland, we Papuans are not free even to remember our dead, but here right in the middle of London, we can honour all our people killed by Indonesia and raise our freedom flag.” --------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Following the ceremony on Westminster Bridge (12 noon to 1.00pm) at 2.00pm, Benny Wenda, Derek Wall and supporters of Free West Papua (UK) will lay a WREATH outside the Indonesian Embassy, 38, Grosvenor Square, London, W1K 2HW For interviews, please contact Richard Samuelson, Co-Director, Free West Papua Campaign, Oxford, UK. Tel: 07891 235112 E-mail: samoxen@dsl.pipex.com http://www.freewestpapua.org EDITOR’S NOTES: WEST PAPUA (previously named Netherlands New Guinea by the Dutch and Irian Jaya by Indonesia) is the western half of the island of New Guinea, bordering the independent nation of Papua New Guinea. West Papua has been illegally occupied by the Indonesian military since it was handed over, against the will of the indigenous population, by the Netherlands to Indonesia in1963. For the past 45 years, successive Indonesian regimes have used extreme violence against the people of West Papua as the only possible way of terrorising them into submitting to rule by Indonesia. Since 1963, at least 100,000 West Papuans have died at the hands of the Indonesian occupying forces, representing approximately 10% of the population. Countless others have been tortured, raped, intimidated and imprisoned. Working alongside exiled West Papuan independence leader and former political prisoner, Benny Wenda, the Free West Papua Campaign is working to raise awareness of the plight of the West Papuans under Indonesian military occupation and to build support for an internationally-mediated West Papua peace process leading to a peaceful resolution to the conflict in accordance with the democratic will of the indigenous West Papuan people. END Richard Samuelson Free West Papua Campaign, Oxford, UK. http://www.freewestpapua.org
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Re: remember 1998 ‘Bloody Biak’ massacre by Indonesian military

Berichtdoor webmaster » zo 06 jul 2008, 05:55

Biak massacre remembered -----------------Artikel overgenomen van: http://www.theage.com.au/national/biak- ... -31y6.html * Andra Jackson * July 5, 2008
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West Papuans will meet in the city tomorrow to commemorate the 10th anniversary of what they call the Biak massacre. West Papuans will meet in the city tomorrow to commemorate the 10th anniversary of what they call the Biak massacre. Photo: John Woudstra AS THEY settle into their new life in Melbourne, tomorrow brings a poignant reminder for a group of West Papuans of why they fled their country. It is the 10th anniversary of what they call the Biak massacre, when Indonesian soldiers shot and injured 200 islanders after they raised the Morning Star, symbolising West Papuan independence aspirations. Shivering, and with a slight cough, Herman Wainggai explains why their commemoration is necessary. On that day, he says, in response to protests organised by jailed West Papuan leader Phillip Karma, then Indonesian president B. J. Habibie and the West Papuan provincial government called in the Indonesian army commander to Biak Island, backed by a warship and soldiers. Mr Wainggai said that 200 protesters were shot and injured, Mr Karma was arrested, the Morning Star was ripped up and young, married women were ordered on to the warship and raped. The body of one of the women was later found floating in the sea, Mr Wainggai said. Scores of people are believed to have died in the incident. An independent investigation team reported in 1999 that 32 bodies were also recovered at sea after being dumped overboard by Indonesian forces. Mr Wainggai was jailed in 2000 for four months, and later for two years for flying the Morning Star. Tomorrow's commemoration is intended as a reminder to the world, and the Australian Government, that "human rights abuses are still happening in West Papua". Mr Wainggai said that in March, 11 students were arrested for raising the Morning Star, and his cousin, Jack Wainggai, a spokesman for the nascent West Papua National Authority, was recently arrested on his return from Vanuatu. Mr Wainggai is one of 43 activists who fled West Papua in a canoe, landing in Australia in January 2006. They were later granted protection visas. Mr Wainggai, who studied law in Jayapura, Papua's capital, and theology at a Bible college, hopes to specialise in human rights law. Mr Wainggai says the biggest cultural difference he has encountered is that "you are very individualistic and that is very contradictory with our Melanesian community system". A benefit concert is being held tonight to raise money for the families of the 11 arrested students at the Corner Hotel, 57 Swan Street, Richmond, from 8pm. The Biak massacre commemoration is at the City Square from noon-1pm.
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Re: remember 1998 ‘Bloody Biak’ massacre by Indonesian military

Berichtdoor webmaster » zo 06 jul 2008, 05:58

Artikel overgenomen van: Scoop Nieuw Zeeland http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/WO0807/S00155.htm 10 years after the Biak Massacre Sunday, 6 July 2008, 10:58 am Press Release: Australia West Papua Association Australia West Papua Association (Sydney) Media release , 4 July 2008 10 years after the Biak Massacre the oppression of the West Papuan people continues. Sunday the 6 July marks 10 years since the Indonesian security forces massacred up to 150 people in Biak , West Papua. The victims, included women and children who had gathered for a peaceful rally. They were killed at the base of a water tower flying the Morning Star flag. Other Papuans were rounded up and later taken out to sea where they were thrown off naval ships and drowned. SEARCH NZ JOBS Search Businesses FindA Looking for a property! The Australian Government who knew about the massacre turned a blind eye and did not protest to the Indonesian Government. (About two days after the initial killing an Australian Army Captain arrived in Biak to carry out an official investigation on behalf of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs) Joe Collins of AWPA Sydney said, "10 years later the West Papuan people are still oppressed and the Australian Government is still turning a blind eye to the human rights situation in West Papua. When Kevin Rudd visited Indonesia last month he could have raised concerns about the human rights situation in West Papua with the Indonesian Government but he did not, yet he raised concerns about the situation in Tibet with the Chinese Government when he visited China". "We keep being told that Indonesia is now a democracy but this does not apply to West Papua . When you can be jailed for 15 years simply for raising a flag, it is not the action of a democratic country". This is what happened to Filep Karma who was one of the original organisers of the Biak rally of 1998. He received a jail term of 15 years for simply raising the West Papuan National Flag, The Morning Star at a peaceful celebration in Jayapura on the 1st December 2004. We are also told the human rights abuses are a thing of the past but they are ongoing. At a number of demonstrations in March this year in Manokwari, West Papuans were again arrested for carrying their National flag, The Morning Star or for simply having the symbol on their T-shirts. 12 people are still in custody."West Papua is one of Australia’s nearest neighbors and we should not be ignoring the human rights situation in the territory. The Australian Government should be doing everything it can to get Jakarta to negotiate with the West Papuan leadership to try and solve peacefully all the issues of concern in West Papua". It should also urge the Indonesian Government to release all political prisoners as a sign of good faith to the West Papuan People. zie ook: http://indymedia.org.nz/newswire/displa ... /index.php
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Re: remember 1998 ‘Bloody Biak’ massacre by Indonesian military

Berichtdoor webmaster » zo 06 jul 2008, 06:00

The Jakarta Post, January 15, 2004 Opinion Reviewing the Biak Massacre Kel Dummett, Researcher, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia and a Director of the human rights watch organization, Global Justice Inc. For the many human rights organizations and individual activists around the world concerned about ongoing human rights violations in the province of Papua, the announcement (The Jakarta Post, Jan. 10, 2003) that an ad hoc team with the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) will probe alleged gross violations of human rights in Papua, is great news. For more than 40 years, the people of Papua have endured horrendous violence, including murder, rape, beatings, summary detention, forcible removal from villages and the burning of houses, schools, churches and health clinics. And most of this has occurred hidden away from the view of the international community, or shamefully the international community has turned a blind eye to the violations. Amnesty International estimates that more than 100,000 people have been killed since Indonesia took over West Papua following the disputed Act of Free Choice in 1969. However, it is a concern that Komnas HAM will only investigate two of the seven serious cases identified. One of the cases that will not be investigated is the 1998 massacre of more than 100 people, mostly women and children, on the tiny Papuan island of Biak. I visited Biak in 2002, and although the island is visually a tropical paradise, the experience was disturbing. The scars of the horrific events that took place on July 6, five years ago, have not healed. Nor have the scars of 40 years of constant, and at times deadly, intimidation by the Indonesian police and military. In Biak, perhaps more than any other place I visited in Papua, the fear of military intimidation and violence is palpable. As I traveled around Biak with my wife, I felt it was eerily unlike other places we had been. Teenage girls and young women did not engage us with their eyes or a smile. Fear and shame were written on their faces. Details of the events of that day are not well known outside of Biak, as the massacre received little attention from the world's media. However, after talking to witnesses and survivors, mostly women, and reading a Papuan church report and articles in the Sydney Morning Herald and Sun Herald newspapers, including graphic accounts from two Australian aid workers, the picture of a cold-blooded and brutal attack on defenseless civilians unravels. At 5 a.m. on July 6, 1998, the army allegedly opened fire on a crowd of sleeping young people at Biak harbor, who had been guarding their Morning Star flag, raised a few days earlier. The entire population of Biak town was rounded up at gunpoint and forced to the harbor area, where for the whole day they were subjected to physical and sexual abuses, including the young children. More than 100 people -- mostly women, some with babies and young children -- were rounded up and forced on board two naval vessels, where they were stripped, killed and their bodies mutilated and dumped at sea. No one knows the exact death toll, but a Biak church report documents the recovery of a total of 70 bodies, including those of young children, that either washed ashore or were recovered from fishing nets. The report claims many of the bodies were mutilated -- some with limbs cut off, women with breasts removed, men with penises cut off. The bodies of two women washed ashore on an outer island -- they were tied together at their legs and their vaginas had been crammed with newspaper. What is most disturbing is the fact that a senior serving Australian military intelligence officer, Capt. Andrew Plunkett, claimed in the Sun Herald newspaper, that the Biak massacre "was a dress rehearsal for the TNI atrocities in East Timor". Despite an official Australian government report confirming that the massacre took place, the Australian Government, according to Capt. Plunkett "turned a blind eye and did not raise an official public protest", thereby "giving a green light to the Indonesian military's subsequent atrocities in East Timor". The details of this massacre are so horrendous that I and many other human rights watchers around the world, call on KomnasHam to include the Biak massacre in the cases to be investigated. The writer is also a Director of the human rights watch organization, Global Justice Inc.
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Re: remember 1998 ‘Bloody Biak’ massacre by Indonesian military

Berichtdoor webmaster » zo 06 jul 2008, 06:03

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By.....Herman Wainggai Inearly July 1998 the small West Papuan island of Biak rejoiced. Rumourswere circulating that President Clinton had officially recognised WestPapua's independence. Celebrations followed and the Morning Star flagwas flown freely despite being a banned `separatist' symbol. Beforedawn on Monday 6 July, after a night of revelry, a large group of youngpeople slept near the town's harbour. A mixed army unit drawn from fourbattalions approached and opened fire on these people as they slept. The survivors, and others rounded up by a house-by-house search, were assembled around a large water tower where the Morning Star flag was fluttering above their heads. The flag was taken down and ripped into pieces. Forthe next 24 hours those assembled there were beaten, raped andtortured. In a socially conservative culture, young girls and womenwere targeted while their friends and family were forced to look on. Later,around 100 people were loaded on navy vessels and taken out to sea. Themutilated bodies washed up on the shores of Biak for many days. Theofficial explanation was that these were the victims of the AitapeTsunami in Papua New Guinea. This is despite Aitape being 1,000km away,the tsunami occurring 11 days after the massacre and the fact most ofthe bodies were easily recognised by family members as their missingloved ones. There is no shortage of evidence. Two Australian aid workers, Rebecca Caseyand Paul Meixner, witnessed atrocities first-hand. Church reportsdocumented at least 70 washed up bodies and include eye-witnessstatements. Human rights organisations spoke out at the time. Anofficial report was compiled by the Jakarta embassy's Major Dan Weadon,but never released for `diplomatic' reasons. Then there are thesurvivors who have told their stories many times. Not a single member of the Indonesian military has faced justice and the Government continues to deny the Biak Massacre. ThisSunday marks the ten year anniversary of this tragedy. It is a day ofremembrance for West Papuans throughout the world and commemorationservices will be held in many cities, including Melbourne. People oftenspeak about Biak and East Timor's Santa Cruz Massacre in the same breath, but Biak lacks the devastating film footage that brought the East Timorese struggle to a global audience. However,the parallels between East Timor and West Papua are compelling. Neitherwere part of the initial post-colonial Indonesia and both were`integrated' by military force. East Timor was given a genuine act ofself-determination and chose independence. West Papuais still waitingfor its chance to decide its own future and, like East Timor, will relyon the voices of the international community if this is ever to occur. Ina 2001 Sun-Herald article, Australian intelligence officer CaptainAndrew Plunkett stated that the Biak Massacre `was a dress rehearsalfor the TNI [Indonesian army] in East Timor'. It is quite possible thatinternational condemnation following Biak may have saved many lives ayear later in that country. Today, my friends and family backhome live under a military occupation. I spent two and a half years inan Indonesian jail for expressing my wish for freedom. Many others havedied for doing the same. If this is all part of my people's journeythen I can understand. However, if the international communitycontinues to be blind to our plight, blind to atrocities on itsdoorstep; if it continues to deny us basic freedoms in the name ofeconomics and politics, then there will be many more Biak Massacres andmuch more suffering. In a week's time members of the Australian WestPapuan Community will travel to Canberra in order to present Prime Minister Rudd with a letter asking him to raise human rights abuses with the Indonesian Government. He has already done so successfully with China. In the meantime, we will assemble in cities, towns andvillages on Sunday 6 July and remember the victims of Biak and thesurvivors who live on with physical and psychological traumas. We willtake a few moments to be silent and hold these people in our thoughts.Then we will sing, dance and celebrate the future and go on.
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Re: remember 1998 ‘Bloody Biak’ massacre by Indonesian military

Berichtdoor webmaster » zo 06 jul 2008, 06:10

At 5.30 in the morning of July 6, 1998, in Biak, an island off the north coast of West Papua, Indonesian troops opened fire on peaceful Papuan demonstrators. Between 500 and 1,000 Papuans had gathered from July 2 to July 6 after having raised the "Morning Star" flag on top of a 35 metre water-tower. The "Morning Star" flag is a symbol of West Papuans' determination to become independent from Indonesia. Dozens of bodies were washed ashore shortly after the Biak massacre. Claims at the time by the Indonesian authorities that the bodies were victims of a tidal-wave disaster in neighbouring Papua Guinea have been dismissed: the tsunami happened on July 17, eight days after the bodies were washed ashore. A local human rights spokesperson, Johanes Bonay asked: "Do Papua New Guineans wear Golkar or Indonesian student group T-shirts" referring to the fact that one body was clad in the uniform of an Indonesian high school association and another in the t-shirt of an Indonesian political party. Calls by the leading West Papuan human rights organisation, ELS-HAM, and the three main churches in West Papua for an independent, international investigation have still not been answered. West Papua Action held a Vigil in Dublin to commemorate the Biak massacre on Saturday July 1, 2000 at the entrance to St. Stephen's Green. Music was provided by Pádhraic Ó Láimhín (uilleann pipes) and speeches given by Tom Hyland and Dr. John May. There was also a visual element to the vigil with a Replica of Biak water-tower where Indonesian troops opened fire on unarmed West Papuans . PRESS COVERAGE: The Irish Times printed a notice of the commemoration of the Biak massacre on Friday June 30, and also printed two notices on Sat. July 1, 2000 - one on its Home News pages, and one in the World News section. National television channel TV3 covered the event on its 5.30pm main news programme with footage of the commemoration. Information Point Below Human Rights Watch Top Human Rights Watch: Human Rights Actions and Pro-Independance Actions In Irian Jaya December 1998 An Extremely Detailed Report From Human Rights Watch detailing the events leading up to the massacre, the events on the day and the injustices carried out in the aftermath. Go to the article »»»»http://westpapuaaction.buz.org/biak-massacare-1.htm Witness to a Bloodbath Top Witness to a Bloodbath Lindsay Murdoch Sydney Morning Herald, November 14, 1998 A Detailed Report From The Herald's Correspondent in Jakarta: http://westpapuaaction.buz.org/biak-massacare-2.htm
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Re: remember 1998 ‘Bloody Biak’ massacre by Indonesian military

Berichtdoor webmaster » zo 06 jul 2008, 06:43

Remembering the Biak Massacre ten years on rains Posted at 11:53 on Fri, 07/04/2008 State Terrorisum Thumbnail In early July 1998 the small West Papuan island of Biak rejoiced. Rumours were circulating that President Clinton had officially recognised West Papua’s independence. Celebrations followed and the Morning Star flag was flown freely despite being a banned ‘separatist’ symbol. Before dawn on Monday 6 July, after a night of revelry, a large group of young people slept near the town’s harbour. A mixed army unit drawn from four battalions approached and opened fire on these people as they slept. The survivors, and others rounded up by a house-by-house search, were assembled around a large water tower where the Morning Star flag was fluttering above their heads. The flag was taken down and ripped into pieces. For the next 24 hours those assembled there were beaten, raped and tortured. In a socially conservative culture, young girls and women were targeted while their friends and family were forced to look on. Later, around 100 people were loaded on navy vessels and taken out to sea. The mutilated bodies washed up on the shores of Biak for many days. The official explanation was that these were the victims of the Aitape Tsunami in Papua New Guinea. This is despite Aitape being 1,000km away, the tsunami occurring 11 days after the massacre and the fact most of the bodies were easily recognised by family members as their missing loved ones. There is no shortage of evidence. Two Australian aid workers, Rebecca Casey and Paul Meixner, witnessed atrocities first-hand. Church reports documented at least 70 washed up bodies and include eye-witness statements. Human rights organisations spoke out at the time. An official report was compiled by the Jakarta embassy’s Major Dan Weadon, but never released for ‘diplomatic’ reasons. Then there are the survivors who have told their stories many times. Not a single member of the Indonesian military has faced justice and the Government continues to deny the Biak Massacre. This Sunday marks the ten year anniversary of this tragedy. It is a day of remembrance for West Papuans through out the world and commemoration services will be held in many cities, including Melbourne. People often speak about Biak and East Timor’s Santa Cruz Massacre in the same breath, but Biak lacks the devastating film footage that brought the East Timorese struggle to a global audience. However, the parallels between East Timor and West Papua are compelling. Neither were part of the initial post-colonial Indonesiaand both were ‘integrated’ by military force. East Timor was given a genuine act of self-determination and chose independence. West Papua is still waiting for its chance to decide its own future and, like East Timor, will rely on the voices of the international community if this is ever to occur. In a 2001 Sun-Herald article, Australian intelligence officer Captain Andrew Plunkett stated that the Biak Massacre ‘was a dress rehearsal for the TNI [Indonesian army] in East Timor’. It is quite possible that international condemnation following Biak may have saved many lives a year later in that country. Today, my friends and family back home live under a military occupation. I spent two and a half years in an Indonesian jail for expressing my wish for freedom. Many others have died for doing the same. If this is all part of my people’s journey then I can understand. However, if the international community continues to be blind to our plight, blind to atrocities on its doorstep; if it continues to deny us basic freedoms in the name of economics and politics, then there will be many more Biak Massacres and much more suffering. In a week’s time members of the Australian West Papuan Community will travel to Canberrain order to present Prime Minister Rudd with a letter asking him to raise human rights abuses with the Indonesian Government. He has already done so successfully with China. In the meantime, we will assemble in cities, towns and villages on Sunday 6 July and remember the victims of Biak and the survivors who live on with physical and psychological traumas. We will take a few moments to be silent and hold these people in our thoughts. Then we will sing, dance and celebrate the future and go on. By Herman Wainggai
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Re: remember 1998 ‘Bloody Biak’ massacre by Indonesian military

Berichtdoor webmaster » zo 06 jul 2008, 06:46

Irian Jaya: The Biak Massacre - Indonesia http://youtube.com/watch?v=VbbndM9U4Fs November 1998 We show evidence of the Indonesian military's murder of civilians in July 1998, who dared to support the Free West Papua movement. Since Indonesia took control of Irian Jaya in the mid-1960s, people in Biak have dreamt of independence. Many support the OPM -- the rag-tag 'Free West Papua' guerrillas.
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Re: remember 1998 ‘Bloody Biak’ massacre by Indonesian military

Berichtdoor webmaster » zo 06 jul 2008, 06:48

Flashback 1998 Massacre in Biak Submitted by Gordon Douglas on February 3, 2005 - 14:23. in * News & Updates * Human Rights * Military Aggression WSWS : News & Analysis : Asia : Indonesia Massacre in West Papua A first-hand account By Mike Head 20 November 1998 Thanks to the efforts of two Australian aid workers, reports have begun to appear in the media of a ferocious massacre carried out by the Indonesian military regime in the West Papuan town of Biak on July 6. Rebecca Casey and Paul Meixner were in Biak, a town of some 30,000 people off the north coast of West Papua, on the day of the terror. An estimated 150 people were killed and many more were wounded when troops, acting directly at the behest of Indonesian Armed Forces Chief and Defence Minister General Wiranto, opened fire with automatic weapons on a crowd sleeping beneath a raised West Papuan independence flag. The shooting continued for at least four hours as other residents were hauled from their homes. Other victims were tortured and in some case raped before being dumped in the sea by naval gunships. Church and human rights groups issued first reports of the atrocity the following day. They reported that at about 5.30am on July 6, two navy vessels unloaded marines at Biak harbour while Hercules helicopters dropped about 130 troops from the 733rd infantry battalion of the regional military command. They further reported that troops had opened fire without warning. In other reports, General Wiranto was quoted as denouncing the Biak flag-raising as a "revolt against the government" and declaring that the army would take "firm action" against such protests. The World Socialist Web Site drew attention to some of these reports on July 10. However, the Habibie government in Indonesia covered up the crime. It claims that only one or two people were killed when soldiers dispersed the crowd and took down the flag. This whitewash has been assisted by the Howard government in Australia, which sent an army intelligence officer to Biak later in July, ostensibly to gather information. The Howard government said nothing, and the world media took no interest. But in the days following the massacre, Casey and Meixner secretly video-taped interviews with eye-witnesses, and took photographs and video footage of the scene, including shots of bullet holes in the tower where the flag had flown. Casey told the WSWS what happened on that morning. It was the fourth day on which the striped "morning star" flag of the West Papuan independence movement had fluttered from the top of a 35-metre water tower at Biak's jetty, protected by some 200 people. "Our friends told us to stay in our house on that day. Most of them knew that an attack would occur. The military commander had told people the night before that they had to leave the flag area. "At 5.30am we heard rapid fire gunshots--the sound of machine gun-style weapons. It went for four hours, on and off. We were advised to stay inside the house for three days, because if the military knew that we had seen anything, it would be dangerous for us. But people visited us, sometimes in hiding, and described the events. "People were sleeping out under the flag on July 6. What happened was an absolute outrage. The troops opened fire without warning. People were shot like animals, whether they ran or they stayed. Most were shot in the legs but some were shot in the body. "The troops then went to surrounding houses in the dockside area and dragged people out. Other people arriving at the jetty from outlying islands were also seized. Hundreds of people were herded together--demonstrators and non-demonstrators; wounded and non-wounded. "They were forced to lie down, face up, in the blazing sun. The troops walked over them, kicking them, for a couple of hours. Then the soldiers forced them to crawl along the road to the prison, bashing them with rifle butts. "About 200 people were locked in cells--28 to a cell--with only one 44-gallon drum of water between them. Many became sick. The only food they were given was old rice and vegetables. Some were released but only if they agreed to work as informants, to find out who raised the flag, who had given the protesters food and who had made a second flag. "We thought that at least 20 people had been shot dead and over 100 wounded but the evidence now shows that up to 150 were killed. Many of the wounded had to go back to their villages without medical attention because the hospital refused to treat them. A lot of people were missing and many still are. "We heard that victims had been dropped overboard by navy ships. Before we left Biak several days later two bodies had already been washed up on the coast. Many more bodies have since been washed up. The Indonesian authorities claimed these were victims of the tsunami (tidal wave) in Papua New Guinea, but that was two weeks after the killings." Casey outlined the background to the Biak flag-raising. "When Suharto resigned in May, there was a lot of discussion that the West Papuan people would finally be able to win their freedom from Indonesian rule. People thought that under international law, if they flew the West Papuan flag for 72 hours they would have independence. They also believed that they would have US backing, because of statements from Washington. "Conditions under Indonesian rule are extremely poor. There are no decent food supplies or health facilities. Many people die of malaria or other diseases at young ages, for no good reason. The economic crisis has made things worse, with the price of rice trebling. "The West Papuans have been second class citizens for decades. The wealth produced by the copper mine at Freeport and from the logging operations, run by companies connected to the military, has not been shared by the people." Casey said she and Meixner had given their information to some organisations when they returned to Australia, in the hope that action would be taken. "I can't believe there hasn't been an outcry about what happened," she said. It is now known, from an account given by a local lawyer to a visiting Australian student, that after the initial Biak massacre 139 people, including women and children, were taken out to sea on two navy boats. According to two survivors, women were raped and several bodies were cut up and placed in bags. Churches documented the discovery of 23 bodies in offshore fishing nets on July 11, six days before the tidal wave in neighbouring Papua New Guinea. In all, church investigators have now documented the discovery of 70 bodies. The massacre did not end the resistance to Indonesian rule. Last month another series of pro-independence demonstrations took place across West Papua. Many government buildings were reportedly burnt to the ground. Up to 20 people, including Dr Philip Karma who was arrested during the Biak massacre, have been charged with rebellion or treason and face life imprisonment. Widespread opposition to Indonesian rule Biak is the main town and trading port of an island of the same name off the north coast of West Papua, or Irian Jaya, the name that the Suharto regime gave to the western half of New Guinea. The Biak massacre was part of a wider assault by the Habibie government on students and pro-independence supporters across West Papua in early July. The previous month had seen a wave of protests against military abuses and in favour of independence, sparked in part by a letter sent to Indonesian President Habibie by 15 US Congressmen on May 22. The letter, widely circulated in West Papua, urged Habibie to initiate "direct good faith dialogues with the peoples of East Timor and Irian Jaya on human rights and a just solution to their political status". On June 22, about 100 members of a group called Communications Forum of the Younger Generation of Irian Jaya demonstrated in front of the Ministry of Justice in Jakarta, the Indonesian capital, demanding that all West Papuan political prisoners be freed. Justice Minister Muladi invited the group in to discuss the issue but said he had no authority to order the releases. He said he would convey their concerns to the next meeting of cabinet members responsible for security and political affairs. Between July 1 and 3, demonstrations in support of West Papuan independence were held in the provincial capital of Jayapura and the towns of Sorong, Nabire and Biak. On July 1 and 2, hundreds of demonstrators converged on the provincial parliament building in Jayapura, where they were violently dispersed by riot police after assembly members refused to meet them. On the second day, 41 people were detained after several buildings were stoned. The next day, two students were shot near the Cenderawasih University when troops opened fire on a crowd after students beat up a police intelligence agent. Violent clashes also erupted in Sorong on July 2 after thousands of young people calling themselves Reform Forum of Students and People of Sorong presented nine pro-independence demands to the district council. When their demands went unheeded, they burned the district council building, several stores and a car owned by the district head. As troops arrived, five people were reportedly shot. Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer was acquainted with these incidents when he met Habibie in Jakarta a few days after the first reports of the shootings at Biak. His spokesman claimed that Downer was "deeply concerned" by the reports and raised them with Habibie. These concerns were not made public however. Although the fall of Suharto, followed by the circulation of the US Congressional letter, provided the impetus for the pro-independence upsurge, flag-raisings such as that at Biak have for some years been a symbol of opposition to Indonesian rule. For example, in December 1988, 60 people were arrested after raising the flag at the Mandala sports stadium in Jayapura. Over the following month, 37 of them were convicted of subversion and sentenced to prison terms of between 2 and 20 years. For 35 years, under Sukarno, Suharto and Habibie, Indonesian rule has been characterised by military brutality and social deprivation. West Papua, with a population of some 1.8 million, has some of the worst social, health and education conditions in the world. Malnutrition affects one-fifth of its people, including half the children under five. With an annual health budget of about $1 per head, it has the poorest health standards of all 27 Indonesian provinces, including the highest infant and maternal mortality rates. The infant mortality rate ranges from 70 to 200 per 1,000. The illiteracy rate--30.5 percent, and as high as 81.5 percent in the highlands--is double the national average. Indonesia as a whole is rated by the UN as having the lowest health and education levels in Southeast Asia. These conditions prevail even though West Papua has for many years produced significant quantities of oil for the Anglo-Dutch firm Shell and others. Moreover, the territory contains one of the richest copper and gold mines in the world--the $40 billion Freeport mine, owned jointly by the Freeport McMoRan company of the US, Rio Tinto of Britain and the Jakarta regime. And of the 41.5 million hectares of forest in West Papua, almost 30 million have been set aside for timber cutting--much of which has already been logged out. The people and natural resources of New Guinea have been plundered for more than a century by colonial powers and giant companies. In 1883 the island was partitioned by three European powers. The Dutch government claimed the western half as part of the Dutch East Indies, while the German and British regimes divided the eastern half into German New Guinea in the north and British Papua in the south. Australia took advantage of World War I and Germany's subsequent defeat to take control of the eastern half. When The Netherlands was forced to grant independence to Indonesia in 1949 it retained West Papua, claiming to be preparing it for separate independence. Indonesia's president Sukarno continued to assert sovereignty, relying on the borders established in the colonial carve-up. The Australian ruling class also hoped to annex the territory to augment its colony in Papua New Guinea. But in 1962 the US intervened to insist that the Dutch make way for the Indonesian military, with which it had established close ties. In August 1962, the Dutch concluded an agreement with Indonesia to transfer sovereignty to the UN, paving the way for Indonesian troops to move into the territory in 1963. In 1969 the Indonesian regime, then headed by General Suharto, conducted a sham referendum in which the UN sanctioned a vote by 1,025 handpicked electors to "remain with Indonesia". Indonesian rule has been a vehicle for a particularly intensive exploitation of West Papua's people for corporate profit. West Papua's suffering also demonstrates the wider and devastating impact that capitalism has had on the lives of people throughout the region. In fact, the pattern of social misery alongside corporate wealth is very similar across the border in the former Australian colony of Papua New Guinea. Formal independence since 1975 has not elevated living standards in PNG, except for a tiny ruling elite that serves the interests of Rio Tinto, BHP, BP and other major companies.
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Re: remember 1998 ‘Bloody Biak’ massacre by Indonesian military

Berichtdoor webmaster » ma 14 jul 2008, 19:32

"Ze zijn in jute zakken gestopt, in zee gegooid en vele vrouwen werden eerst verkracht." Het lijden van Biak Dr C. Lagerberg De harde kern van het verzet van de kust- Papua's, dat al sinds het midden van de 19de eeuw door de protestantse Zending onder beschaving werden gebracht, bood niet alleen verzet vanuit Manokwari, maar even sterk vanuit Biak. Na de volksraadpleging van 1969 en het vertrek van de V.N. was er geen enkele matigende invloed meer op het Indonesisch bestuur, terwijl het Papua-verzet in de vorm van de vrijheidsbeweging OPM zich verhardde. De Papua-dorpen in West-Biak met clans als Awom, Dimara en andere, waarvan de namen maar beter niet vermeld kunnen worden, hadden toen al een traditie van verzet. Verslaggever Henk de Mari, die bij zijn verblijf al geruime tijd het vertrouwen van de Papua's gewonnen heeft, tekende uit de mond van enkelen een weergave op van strafexpedities, die opvallend veel lijken op het Amerikaanse optreden in de Vietnam -oorlog, toen het dorp Mei Long slachtoffer werd van een massamoord. We schrijven juni 1974. Na een aanval van de OPM op het Indonesische leger, waarbij een tiental slachtoffers aan Indonesische kant gevallen zou zijn, komt de vergelding van de Indonesische élite troepen in de vorm van het uitmoorden van de aanpalende stranddorpen Kridori en Wusdori in West-Biak. Het Indonesische leger patrouilleerde langs de beide dorpen en trof niemand aan. Na twee dagen was de bevolking na zich schuil gehouden te hebben in het oerwoud weer in het dorp om onverwachts geconfronteerd te worden met de teruggekeerde patrouille, die de mannen, 25 uit Wusdori en 30 uit Kridori op een open plek tussen de twee dorpen bij de kerk bijeendreven en dwongen met schoppen en handen een grote kuil te graven . Het procédé is bekend: een fusillade met vrouwen en kinderen als bedreigde toeschouwers, een Biaks 'killing field'. Behalve getuigen zouden bij een opgraving ook de lijken kunnen spreken . En dat was het einde niet: een dag later kwamen de militairen terug met 30 andere verdachten uit omliggende dorpen, die ze met stenen om de hals in de prauwen van Wusdiri en Kridori dwongen en uit de kust voeren om hen binnen het zicht van vrouwen en kinderen, samengedreven op het strand over boord te zetten en te verdrinken. Van die lichamen zal moeilijk een overblijfsel te vinden zijn, maar opsporing lijkt niet waarschijnlijk. Een van de meest traumatische gebeurtenissen in de reeks van mensenrechtenschendingen speelde zich in Biak af op 6 juli 1998. Het ging om de herdenking van 1 juli 1971 1) toen de onafhankelijkheid van Papua op het eiland werd uitgeroepen als reactie op de frauduleuze volksraadpleging van 1969 en de daarop volgende nationale Indonesische verkiezingen. Biak riep daarmee als eerste de onafhankelijke staat West-Papua uit, ofschoon het overgrote deel van Nieuw-Guinea dat pas zou doen op 1 december, de dag waarop de Papua's in 1961 van Nederland een vlag en een volkslied kregen..De Biakse herdenking van 1 juli 1971 had in 1998 een bijzondere actualiteit omdat na de val van president Soeharto en het aantreden van president Abdulrahman Wahid in een onrustig en opstandig Indonesië op 22 april leden van het Amerikaanse congres een brief gericht hadden aan de president van de Verenigde Staten om een einde te maken aan het onrecht dat de Papua's door de volkspeiling van 1969 was aangedaan. Afschriften van die brief kwamen in het bezit van Papua's op Biak. Jaar na jaar had zich op i juli het verzet herhaald van een vrijheidsbeweging, die geworteld is in een verleden, dat verder reikt dan de Indonesische anti-koloniale revolutie. Biak bleef een voortrekkersrol spelen in de onafhankelijkheidsbeweging van Papua als geheel. Daarbij moet men dan vooral in de rekening nemen dat we, sprekend over Papua te doen hebben met een eiland dat behoort tot Melanesië, de eilandengroep die zich tot ver in de Stille Oceaan uitstrekt en om meerdere redenen van groeiend belang is geworden. Het meest markante feit dat zich afspeelde voordat Biak in de Tweede Wereldoorlog wereldnieuws werd door de oprukkende geallieerde troepen, die met de hink-stapsprong richting Japan gingen, was het verzet van de Biakse bevolking en vooral van het schiereiland Supiori tegen de Japanse bezetting, waarbij honderden bewoners het leven lieten. Het was een verzet, dat geïnspireerd werd door de Koreri-beweging 3), die meer dan enige andere beweging met zijn cargo cult-karakter typerend is voor Melanesië, dat in tegenstelling tot de Zuid-Oost Aziatische volkeren een negroïde inslag heeft. Bovendien is het door de protestantse Zending vanaf het midden van de 19de eeuw ten koste van grote missionaire offers gekerstend en het is niet te ver gezocht als men een doorverbinding maakt van die diepwortelende Koreri-bewegingen naar de verlossingsleer van het christendom, dat in combinatie met degelijk onderwijs tenslotte aan de gehele Noordkust van Papua is ingeplant. En juist aan de Noordkust van Papua van Biak tot het uiterst westelijke eiland Batanta vindt men die bewegingen, waar de bevolking het sterkst in verzet is tegen de geestelijke knechting van vreemde overheersing. Het is opvallend hoe tot op de dag van vandaag dat verzet gedragen wordt door afstammelingen van oude Biakse clans zoals de Awomdo's van het schiereiland Supiori, die de grote opstand in de Vogelkop achter Manokwari met Permenas Awom en de guerrillastrijd van Wasior-Nabiré met Daniël Awom in de nek van de Vogelkop hebben geleid. Zonder begrip voor de mythische achtergrond van de strijd in de Vogelkop, waar de eerste Papua-verzetsbeweging in samenwerking met de bevolking van het Arfakgebergte een Indonesische legerpost liquideerde en zonder enige notie van de christelijke traditie, die in ruim anderhalve eeuw aan de Noordkust ontstond, kan vreemde overheersing geen natuurlijk gezag over die bevolking uitoefenen. De strategische betekenis van het eiland was bovendien van belang voor de historische strijd tussen de geallieerden en Japan, en daarmede voor het achter NieuwvGuinea liggende Australië. Ook nu nog is Biak van belang als tussenstop in de luchtverbinding van Australië met Europa of als landingsplaats in dienst van het moderne toeristenverkeer tussen de VS en Indonesië. De Indonesische regering is te meer doordrongen van de strategische betekenis van het eiland nadat het er in het Nieuw Guinea-conflict ondanks alle invasiepogingen niet in geslaagd is voet aan wal te krijgen op Biak het eiland, waar de Nederlandse Marine en Luchtmacht geconcentreerd waren. Vanuit Biak werd zelfs de vestiging van een bruggehoofd op de enorme kustlijn verhinderd. Maar de strategische betekenis komt het duidelijkst tot zijn recht door de instelling van de bevolking, die van oudsher met hun catamarans, de prauwen met dubbele uitleggers, de oceanen bevoeren tot ver in het Indonesische eilandenrijk en daarmee reageerden op de hongi-tochten, die de Indonesische radja's op de kusten van Nieuw Guinea hielden, zoals de informele, maar erkende "president" Markus Wonggor (krokodil) Kaisiepo graag vertelde. Het Nederlandse bestuur heeft enig begrip voor de eigenheid van het gebied getoond door na de oorlog terstond een democratisch bestel in te voren en de eerste streekraad van Nieuw Guinea te stichten onder leiding van een van zijn meest eminente bestuursambtenaren Jungle Pimpernel dr. Vic de Bruyn. 3) en die streekraad werd niet benoemd met een koloniale naam als Hollandia, Noordwijk of Hemelpoort, maar de naam werd authentiek Biaks: Kankain Karkara, met de klank van een tifa-slag. Biak was dus het begin van Papua-nationalisme, al bleef ook daar het tribalisme of provincialisme voorlopig van kracht; de erfvijand was immers het naastgelegen eiland Japen, dat vanwege de Nederlandsgezinde Biakkers van de weeromstuit Indonesisch-gezind was, waar dan nog bijkomt dat ook Biakkers zo hun bijzondere individuele eigenwaarde erkend willen zien. Zo wist een lid van de Biakse clan Frans Kasiepo zich op de voorgrond te plaatsen door over te lopen naar het Indonesische kamp, omdat hij zich door de eerste resident van Nieuw-Guinea van Eechoud miskend voelde. Dat gebeurde in de periode dat Nederland trachtte het eenheidsrijk van Nederlands-Indië te vervangen door een federaal Indonesië, de Republik Indonesia Serikat met een deelstaat Oost-Indonesia, waartoe Nieuw-Guinea zou behoren. Een dergelijke inpassing stond haaks op het inzicht van zijn neef Markus Kaisiepo,4) die onverkorte onafhankelijkheid voorstond. Na de overname door Indonesië werd natuurlijk Frans naar voren geschoven. Als men met het vliegtuig op de Biakse airstrip Mokmer landt is het eerste wat men ziet een loods met daarop in grote rode letters de naam Frans Kaisiepo, maar op dat Indonesische eerbewijs is geen Papua-erkenning gevolgd: de letters zijn sinds jaren verbleekt en geen Biakker zal die naam bijkleuren, integendeel. Op 2 juli 1998 vierde men de toekenning van de nationale vlag met het hijsen van de sinds 1961 bewaarde Morgenster, niet op het naar Frans Kaisiepo genoemde vliegveld, maar op de watertoren, waar men een rond-de-klok wacht hield met mannen, vrouwen en kinderen, alsof men de onafhankelijkheid op die manier wilde afroepen. 5) De demonstratie werd geleid door drs. Filip (Jopi) Karma. Het was na de val van Soeharto, die onder druk van studentendemonstraties en na vergeefs ingrijpen van het leger in een opstandig land, dat men verwachtingen koesterde van de nieuwe president Abdurrahman Wahid, de vriend van het volk Gus Dur. De demonstranten hadden moed geput uit de brief van Amerikaanse Congresleden aan de President van de VS om bij het nieuw aangetreden Indonesische bestuur de Papua-zaak te bepleiten. Op 2 juli 's ochtends om 5 uur kwamen een 75-tal Papua's beschilderd met de geuzenvlag, de Kedjora of Morgenster of de letters van de vrijheidsbeweging OPM, zingend en dansend rond de 35 meter hoge toren, waar anderen zich bij hen aansloten tot er zeker 500 man waren, waaronder jochies met een armband met het opschrift Satgas, zoals de ordedienst van de Papua's heette. Na een paar uur verschenen het Papua-districtshoofd Amandus Mansnembra en een aantal politie- en legercommandanten om de demonstratie "in goede banen te leiden", maar Karma las een proclamatie van onafhankelijkheid voor van 10 punten, die besloot met het aanroepen van de Heilige Drie-eenheid als getuige van de gelofte op leven en dood voor de vrijheid te vechten. In de middag meenden de demonstranten een verrader in hun midden te zien, de politiesergeant Irwan, die ze een pak slaag gaven, waarna de veiligheidstroepen ingrepen: mobiele politie, het infanteriebataljon 753, Kodim 1702 en een eenheid van de Marinepost plus Papua-politie. De demonstranten vochten terug en maakten 23 slachtoffers, van wie de meesten Papua-agenten. De troepen trokken na een paar uur terug, maar de dagelijkse gang van zaken op Biak viel stil, winkels gingen dicht en een schip, de Dobonsodo, bleef op de rede liggen. Intussen organiseerden de autoriteiten een tegendemonstratie uit het subdistrict West-Biak met het dreigement dat zij de verdenking op zich zouden laden bij de OPM te horen als zij weigerden tegen de demonstranten op te treden. Elk dorpshoofd moest zorgen voor een dertigtal tegen-demonstranten; dezen dienden een armband te dragen om voor de veiligheidstroepen herkenbaar te zijn en er zou van twee kanten een aanval op de demonstranten gelanceerd worden. Zij werden met trucks naar de watertoren gebracht, maar de geronselde Papua's vochten niet erg serieus. De demonstranten hadden zich intussen bewapend met speren en molotovcocktails en wierpen blokkades op. Op 4 juli begon er overleg tussen de lokale kerkelijke leiders en de veiligheidstroepen om tot een vergelijk te komen, maar 's middags landde een Hercules-transportvliegtuig met Trikora-militairen uit Ujung Pandang en ook rellenbestrijders van de beruchte Brimob, de semi-militaire mobiele politie traden aan. De onderhandelingen leidden ertoe dat de demonstranten hun wapens inleverden maar zwoeren op de Bijbel dat ze de Morgenster tot hun dood zouden verdedigen. In de ochtend van de vijfde juli om 5 uur vielen de veiligheidstroepen, het Pattimura -bataljon 733 aan, want er waren intussen twee oorlogsschepen met manschappen aangevoerd, die van twee kanten het vuur op de demonstranten openden. Zij schoten in het wilde weg op de menigte met scherp, ook al was er een enkele melding van een rubberkogel. Zij kwamen uit Ujung Pandang en Ambon, harde Hassanudin- en Pattimura-eenheden. De organisator van de demonstratie Philip Karma trad hun met een hoog geheven Bijbel tegemoet, uiteraard niet met gunstig gevolg. Een ooggetuige A. Awom, die de wacht hield bij een van de commandoposten, wist te ontkomen en hield zich (ook al gewapend met een bijbel) schuil dicht bij de haven en zag vanonder een brug hoe een honderdtal Biakkers, onder wie ook vrouwen en kinderen naar het schip werden gevloekt en geschreeuwd, sommigen gewond of bloedend met hun tatoeages van OPM of Morgenster. Hij zag ook twee trucks met daarin gehurkte Papua's, bewaakt door militairen. Het slot van zijn verklaring luidt: "Dat beeld van die mannen, vrouwen en kinderen, die die vroege ochtend naar het schip werden gevoerd vergeet ik niet snel. Helemaal nu ik weet, hoe het met ze afgelopen is: ze zijn in jute zakken gestopt en in zee gegooid en vele vrouwen werden eerst verkracht. Dat blijft je je levenslang bij." 6) Later spoelden lijken aan. Waarnemer Zacharias Sawor, op bezoek uit Nederland, telde 28 lijken, die afdreven naar de kust. Er ontstond door het verwarrende verloop van het gebeuren een vreemde gang van zaken bij het weergeven van het aantal slachtoffers, die uit zee aanspoelden. De militairen en Indonesische pers stelden dat de lijken uit het buurland Papua New Guinea waren aangedreven, ongeveer 900 kilometer verderop waar op 16 juli een vloedgolf, een tsunami, het dorp Aitepe had weggevaagd, maar erg geloofwaardig was die verklaring niet. Vanaf 27 juli spoelden uitsluitend op Oost-Biak lijken aan, een enkel lijk droeg een T-shirt met Indonesische opdruk; bovendien waren de lijken verminkt. Het leger beweerde dat zij getatoeëerd waren naar de trant van het oostelijk gedeelte van het eiland Papua New Guinea, maar de militaire kennis van Papua-tatouages kon waarschijnlijk de toets van kritiek niet geheel doorstaan, want er werd in elk geval geen identificatie toegestaan integendeel, de lijken werden heimelijk en haastig begraven. Sawor, afkomstig van Supiori, vernam in zijn geboortedorp de gegevens over vermiste, gedode en gedumpte bewoners; maar precieze cijfers kwamen pas langzaam beschikbaar. Vooral de roep van de kerken om een onpartijdig onderzoek diende gesmoord te worden. Een barre omstandigheid bij het arresteren van demonstranten van de vlaghijsing van begin juli was dat dezen gedwongen werden op hun rug op de grond te liggen gedurende een tweetal uren in de brandende zon, waarna militairen bevolen werd met laarzen over hun lichamen en gezichten te lopen. Een bijkomend voordeel behalve het effect van intimidatie was voor de gewapende macht, dat degenen, die niet terstond werden aangehoudenen bij het daarna uitkammen van de woningen ingerekend konden worden als zij sporen vertoonden van verbranding door de zon of van verwondingen door het optreden van de militairen. Zo werden ze, mannen, vrouwen en kinderen gedwongen over een afstand van enkele honderden meters op handen en voeten naar de dokken te kruipen onder weinig zachtzinnige begeleiding. In elk geval is duidelijk dat juist van hogerhand de opstand bijzonder ernstig werd genomen. En die inschatting was juist, maar de oplossing was niet meer dan een cover-up. Drs. Philip Karma werd gearresteerd, tezamen met Neles Sroyer, Agustinus Sada, Klemens Rumsawir en vele anderen, in totaal enkele 150 personen van wie er 19 werden voorgeleid in een rechtszitting, die op 5 oktober begon voor een publiek van enkele honderden belangstellenden; de zitting stond onder voorzitterschap van mr. M.K.Sianifar. De aanklacht luidde: opstand en verspreiding van haat tegen het regime ( de artikelen 106,154 en 170 van het Wetboek van Strafrecht). Het optreden van de gewapende macht was op geen enkele wijze object van onderzoek, toch stierven twee arrestanten Paulus Mamoribo en Nico Smas twee weken na hun vrijlating, een tiental werd vermist, van hen is nooit meer iets vernomen. In de dood van de twee arrestanten of in de vermissingen is door de bevoegde autoriteiten op geen enkele wijze aanleiding voor enige maatregel gevonden. De achtergrond van het Biak-drama vindt men het duidelijkst weergegeven door twee Australische ontwikkelingswerkers, Rebecca Casey en Paul Meixner, die het hele gebeuren bijwoonden en in interviews met de slachtoffers bijzonderheden achterhaalden. 7) Zij fotografeerden en filmden ook de schietpartij. Zij legden in hun verslag nadruk op het samenvallen van de viering van de "vrijheidsdag" 1 juli met de val van Soeharto, die geheel Indonesië in een veranderingsroes bracht. Zij maakten ook melding van Biakse wandaden als het in brand steken van een legertruck en de gevechten met de plaatselijke politie, waarbij aan politiezijde twee doden vielen. De tendens van hun weergave als verklaring van het gebeuren is de achterstelling van de Papua in het gewone dagelijkse leven: het tekort aan medische verzorging, het gebrekkige onderwijs en in het algemeen het onbehagen over het optreden of het gebrek daaraan van de plaatselijke overheden, lees: de rol van het leger, maar dieper liggende oorzaken, die de Australiërs niet vermelden zijn: de plundering van het land zoals de exploitatie van de kopermijnen in het Centrale Bergland, de export van het hardhoutbestand, de onteigening van de olievindplaatsen en de sagobestanden, het leegvissen van de visgronden en het wegvangen van (zeldzame) tropische vogels, de milieuschade bij de afvoer van de afvalproducten van de mijnbouw in de vorm van slurf, die de Ajkwa-rivier tot de monding in de Arafura-zee verontreinigen en de visstand doden en bovenal de toevloed van gesponsorde en wilde immigranten uit arme delen van Indonesië, die door protectie (en corruptie) de Papua een faire kans ontnemen en niet zelden ook zelf het leger van werklozen versterken. De onderdrukking blijkt voor elke waarnemer het hoofdmotief voor een onophoudelijk verzet. Vooral de pastorale werkers, die immers juist in het veld actief zijn hebben rapport uitgebracht via hooggekwalificeerde medewerkers.8) Zo heeft het pastorale team van de verenigde kerken zich beziggehouden met de identificatie van 51 ongeïdentificeerde lijken en vermeldde bijzonderheden over de verminking van aangespoelde lijken, die elk verband met de vloedgolf in Papua New Guinea, in Aitepe logenstraffen. Van een mannelijk lijk constateerde men dat de penis was afgekapt, terwijl de broek nog heel bleek en van een ontkleed vrouwenlichaam, dat lichaamsdelen waren weggesneden. Over de handelwijze van het leger bij collectief ingrijpen van goed aangeduide onderdelen of onder bepaald commando dient forser in de openbaarheid gebracht te worden, al zou men het uit kiesheid tegenover de slachtoffers verborgen willen houden. De eilandbevolking van Biak schatte bij de vlaghijsing van begin juli 1998 de internationale reactie op de opstanden en presidentswisseling in Jakarta verkeerd in en hield bovendien geen rekening met een zo gewelddadig optreden van de gewapende macht tegen een demonstrerende gemeenschap, maar het voortdurende lijden blijft verdere weerstand oproepen. Het meedogenloze maar in het nauw gebrachte regime in Jakarta onder militaire leiding kan daarom niet onbeantwoord blijven. Noten: 1) West Papua Courier jrg 23 nr 3 p.7 2) Zie o.a. dr. F.C.Kamma, Koreri , Dr.C.S.I.J.Lagerberg, Jaren van reconstructie, dr. J.A.Godschalk, Sela Valley. 3) Dr. V. de Bruyn zwierf tijdens de Japanse bezetting met een aantal berg-Papua's in het gebied van de Wisselmeren, waar hij onvindbaar was voor de vijand. Onder deze titel werd later een boek over zijn verzet gepubliceerd. 4) Markus Kaisiepo zou uiteindelijk in Nederland sterven als statenloos burger; als bijzonderheid kan gelden dat er bij zijn overlijden een condoléance was van het Koninklijk Huis, waarmee hij een band bleef onderhouden. 5) Over de gebeurtenissen in het algemeen is in allerlei media bericht, vooral in de Indonesische pers, maar ook met enige vertraging in Nederland en á contre coeur in Australië.De publicatie gaat in twee fasen, kort na het neerslaan van de demonstratie in juli '98 en een jaar later in 1999 als verschillende onderzoeken gepubliceerd worden. De eerste berichten komen vooral van de Indonesische bladen Suara Pemburuan (21-7 en 2-9), Sinar pagi en Kompas ( 21-7), Tifa Irian ( augustus) en later Algemeen Dagblad in Nederland (5-12); vanzelfsprekend het Papua-blad in Nederland , de West Papua Courier ( Jrg 20, nr. 1, 2 , 3 en 4 met ooggetuige-verslagen). Het actuele gebeuren vinden we ook by Mike Head in .W.S.W.S: Indonesia ( 28-11-98) met interviews van Australische ontwikkelingswerkers, die op Biak werkzaam waren.Twee tegengestelde rapporten over de mensenrechtenschendingen in 1999 als de algemene gegevens publiekelijk zijn doorgedrongen: het gezaghebbende Human Rights Watch report met de hoofdstukken The Biak demonstration ( IV) en The bodies (V) en de tegenovergestelde Indonesische verslaglegging Kronologis Kajadian Tuntutan Gerombolan Pengacau Keamanan, waarbij het laatste, de afkorting G.P.K. staat voor het door Papua's gebruikte OPM (Operasi Papua Merdeka). De rapporten over de mensenrechtenschendingen (met name over de vermissingen, de aangespoelde lijken en andere schendingen) komen voor rekening van het Papuase Tim advocasi Hak Azasi Manusia en Laporan Pelanggaran Ham di Biak. De Engelstalige pers heeft zijn bijdrage geleverd via artikelen in Sydney Morning Herald (13-7-'99) en South China Morning Post (12-7-'99) en de Indonesische pers met Jakarta Pos (12-7-'99) 6) West-Papua Courier jrg 20, verslag Z.Sawor 7) Mike Head in W.S.W.S.: Indonesia 28-11-'98 8) Laporan Tim Pastoral P.G.I. Suara Pemburuan Daily 2-9-'98 Jakarta
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