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Indonesia: Army personnel in Papua brutally attacked protesters in front of the military base

Asian Human Rights Commission Urgent Appeal - June 9, 2017

Urgent Appeal Case: AHRC-UAC-052-2017

Dear Friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information regarding the brutal attack by officers of the military regional command (Korem) 172/PWY in Jayapura, Papua against congregants of the Indonesian Christian Church (GKI) Sion Padang Bulan. The congregants were protesting against the alleged burning of Bibles conducted by army personnel. The police, Jayapura mayor and the army failed to ensure a constructive dialogue with the protesters that the perpetrators will be prosecuted. On the contrary, the army used excessive force to disperse the protesters.

Case narrative:

On 25 May 2017, on the day of the ascension of Jesus Christ to heaven, the pastor and the presbytery members of the Indonesian Christian Church (GKI) Sion Padang Bulan congregation received information and pictures of the military allegedly burning Bibles at the Regional Command (Korem) 172/PWY in Jayapura, Papua. When they went there, they found the remains of several burnt Bibles. They took pictures and took several Bibles as evidence. When they left the military base, many people had already gathered in protest at the military regional command, the news having quickly spread through social media. Although the pastor tried to calm the protesters, as the crowd became bigger, the situation got out of control. The protesters demanded that the perpetrators should be surrendered to them for punishment. Angry protesters also threw rocks and used burning tires and tree branches to block roads in Padang Bulan, nearby the regional military commands.

The Mayor of Jayapura city tried to end the protest by saying the army would punish the perpetrators who had burned the Bibles. Meanwhile, the chief commander of the Korem 172/PWY military base as well as the chief police of the Jayapura Municipality Police office and chief of the Papuan Regional Police asked the protesters to leave the prosecution of perpetrators to the military regional commands. However, all attempts to calm down the public failed. The Chief of Municipality Police of Jayapura and his assistant were injured after protesters began to attack the military regional command.

After multiple attempts of mediation had failed, two armored military vehicles drove out from the military regional command towards the protesters and opened fire at the crowd. Subsequently, the military personnel attacked several houses nearby the Padang Bulan main road. During the forceful dispersal, three persons were injured by bullets.
Around 5 p.m., army personnel carried out sweepings at Padang Bulan houses area II, where they challenged the residents to leave their houses and face them. As people did not respond to the provocation, the military personnel left the area. By 6 p.m., the army had entirely dispersed the demonstration. However, the military arrested some protesters in front of the military regional command at around 7 p.m.

Suggested action

Please write to the authorities listed below, asking them to ensure that an investigation into the use of force by the military is conducted. The investigation should be transparent and accountable. The National Commission on Human Rights should be actively involved in the investigation process. All those found guilty of excessive force and abuse of power should be held accountable before the court and the victims must be given adequate remedies.

The AHRC will write a separate letter to the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment calling for his intervention into this matter.

To support this case, please click here: http://www.urgentappeals.net/support.php?ua=AHRC-UAC-052-2017


Sample letter:

Dear....................,

Indonesia: Army personnel in Papua brutally attacked protesters in front of the military base

I am writing to voice my deep concern regarding the brutal attack by officers of the military regional command (Korem) 172/PWY in Jayapura, Papua against congregants of the Indonesian Christian Church (GKI) Sion Padang Bulan. The congregants were protesting against the alleged burning of Bibles conducted by army personnel. The police, Jayapura mayor and the army failed to ensure a constructive dialogue with the protesters that the perpetrators will be prosecuted. On the contrary, the army used excessive force to disperse the protesters.

On 25 May 2017, on the day of the ascension of Jesus Christ to heaven, the pastor and the presbytery members of the Indonesian Christian Church (GKI) Sion Padang Bulan congregation received information and pictures of the military allegedly burning Bibles at the Regional Command (Korem) 172/PWY in Jayapura, Papua. When they went there, they found the remains of several burnt Bibles. They took pictures and took several Bibles as evidence. When they left the military base, many people had already gathered in protest at the military regional command, the news having quickly spread through social media. Although the pastor tried to calm the protesters, as the crowd became bigger, the situation got out of control. The protesters demanded that the perpetrators should be surrendered to them for punishment. Angry protesters also threw rocks and used burning tires and tree branches to block roads in Padang Bulan, nearby the regional military commands.

The Mayor of Jayapura city tried to end the protest by saying the army would punish the perpetrators who had burned the Bibles. Meanwhile, the chief commander of the Korem 172/PWY military base as well as the chief police of the Jayapura Municipality Police office and chief of the Papuan Regional Police asked the protesters to leave the prosecution of perpetrators to the military regional commands. However, all attempts to calm down the public failed. The Chief of Municipality Police of Jayapura and his assistant were injured after protesters began to attack the military regional command.

After multiple attempts of mediation had failed, two armored military vehicles drove out from the military regional command towards the protesters and opened fire at the crowd. Subsequently, the military personnel attacked several houses nearby the Padang Bulan main road. During the forceful dispersal, three persons were injured by bullets.
Around 5 p.m., army personnel carried out sweepings at Padang Bulan houses area II, where they challenged the residents to leave their houses and face them. As people did not respond to the provocation, the military personnel left the area. By 6 p.m., the army had entirely dispersed the demonstration. However, the military arrested some protesters in front of the military regional command at around 7 p.m.

Therefore, I respectfully request you to ensure that an investigation into the use of force by the military is conducted. The investigation should be transparent and accountable. The National Commission on Human Rights should be actively involved in the investigation process. All those found guilty of excessive force and abuse of power should be held accountable before the court and the victims must be given adequate remedies.

I look forward to your prompt action in this matter.
Yours Sincerely,

...................

Please send your letters to:

1. Mr. Joko Widodo
President of the Republic of Indonesia
Jl. Veteran No. 16
Jakarta Pusat
INDONESIA
Tel: +62 21 3458 595
Fax: +62 21 3484 4759
E-mail: webmaster@setneg.go.id

2. Mr. Yasonna Laoly
Minister of Law and Human Rights
Jl. HR Rasuna Said Kav. 6 7
Kuningan, Jakarta 12940
INDONESIA
Tel: +62 21 525 3006, 525 3889
Fax: +62 21 525 3095

3. Dr. Mualimin Abdi SH., MH
Director General of Human Rights
Office of the Director General of Human Rights
Jl. HR Rasuna Said Kav. 6 7
Kuningan, Jakarta 12940
INDONESIA
Tel: +62 21 5253006
Fax: +62 21 5253095

4. General Pol. Drs. H.M. Tito Karnavian, M.A., Ph.D
Chief of National Police (KAPOLRI)
Jl. Trunojoyo No. 3 KebayoranBaru, Jakarta Selatan 12110
INDONESIA
Tel: +62 21 384 8537, 726 0306
Fax: +62 21 7220 669
E-mail: info@polri.go.id

5. Ms. Poengky Indarti
Commissioner of the National Police Commission
Jl. Tirtayasa VII No. 20
KebayoranBaru, Jakarta Selatan
INDONESIA
Tel: +62 21 739 2315
Fax: +62 21 739 2352
E-mail: secretariat@kompolnas.go.id, skm@kompolnas.go.id

6. Professor. Amzulian Rifai S.H, LL.M, PhD
Chairperson of Ombudsman of Republic of Indonesia
Jl. HR. Rasuna Said Kav. C-19 Kuningan (GedungPengadilan TIPIKOR) Jakarta Selatan
INDONESIA
Tel: +62 21 52960894/95
Fax: +62 21-52960904/05

7. H. Bambang Soesatyo, S.E., M.B.A
Chairperson of the Commission III of The House of Representative
KetuaKomisi III DPR RI
Gedung Nusantara II DPR RI, Lt I
JalanJenderalGatotSubroto, Jakarta,
INDONESIA
Telp: +62 21 -5715566, +62 21-5715569, +62 21-5715864
Fax: +62 21 5715566

8. Mr. Abdul Haris Semendawai
Chairperson of the Agency for Victims and Witness Protection
Lembaga Perlindungan Saksi dan Korban (LPSK)
Jalan Raya Bogor KM. 24 No. 47-49, Susukan, Ciracas, RT.6/RW.1, Susukan, Ciracas, Kota Jakarta Timur, Daerah Khusus Ibukota Jakarta 13750
Tel: +62 21 29681560
Fax: +62 21 29681551/+62 21 29681557

9. M. Imdadun Rahmat
Chairperson of the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM)
Jl. Latuharhary No. 4-B
Jakarta 10310
INDONESIA
Tel: +62 21 392 5227-30
Fax: +62 21 392 5227
E-mail: info@komnas.go.id

Thank you.

Urgent Appeals Programme
Asian Human Rights Commission (ua@ahrc.asia)

Source: http://www.humanrights.asia/news/urgent-appeals/AHRC-UAC-052-2017.

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