PO Box 21873, Brooklyn, NY 11202 USA
December 15, 2008
To: Mr. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, President, Republic of
Mr. Andi Matalatta, Minister of Justice and Human Rights,
Republic of Indonesia
Mr. Hendarman Supandji, Attorney General, Republic of
Gen. Bambang Hendarso Danuri, Chief of National Police,
Republic of Indonesia
Re: Buktar Tabuni and Yosias Syet
We are writing to express our dismay with the recent arrest
of Mr. Buktar Tabuni on the 3rd of December 2008 in Sentani,
Jayapura, Indonesia and the murder of rights activist Mr.
Yosias Syet on October 16, 2008.
Mr. Tabuni is a human rights activist, and a Student
Association leader. He has organized a number of peaceful
demonstrations. The most recent one was in support of the
launch of International Parliamentarians for West Papua in
London, and was held on October 16, 2008.
Despite the fact that the various demonstrations organized
by Mr. Tabuni have been peaceful, and in accordance with the
requirements set out in Indonesian Law No. 9/1998 regarding
freedom of expression, he was arrested, charged with
treason, and remains in detention. No warrant was presented
at the time of his arrest by the Criminal Investigation
Mr. Syet was found dead in his home on October 16, 2008.
Witnesses reported that there were distinct blue bruises on
the right flank of the upper part of his body, a wound at
the joints of the victim's right hand that seemed to have
been inflicted by a sharp object and a scar around his neck,
suggesting that he had been strangled with a rope.
In the few days immediately preceding his death, Mr. Yosias
was helping to organize a demonstration in support of the
meeting of the International Parliamentarians for West Papua
in London. Further, because Mr. Syet provided security for
Fokorus Yaboisembut, the head of the Papua Customary
Council, there is concern that this crime may have also been
an effort to intimidate Mr. Yaboisembut and the entire
Given the political context, and the professional nature of
the murder itself, it is feared that his death may be
politically motivated. .
We are writing to ask your help in assuring that Mr. Tabuni
is released immediately from custody. We have further
concerns that he may be at risk of torture and other
ill-treatment. Further, all charges against Mr. Tabuni
should be dropped.
The arrest of Mr. Tabuni for peacefully expressing his
political views is a violation of international human
rights, specifically, Article 19 of the International
Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) to which
Indonesia is a state party.
We also call on you to ensure there is a thorough
investigation of Yosias Syet's death. Inaction in the face
of this killing would facilitate impunity for the
East Timor and Indonesia Action Network (ETAN)
Papua Advocacy Team
Amnesty International USA
CC: Cameron Hume, Ambassador, U.S. Embassy, Jakarta,
Condoleezza Rice, U.S. Secretary of State,
Members, U.S. Congress