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FALEOMAVAEGA CALLS UPON GOVERNMENT OF INDONESIA TO
ASSURE SAFE AND HUMANE TREATMENT OF WEST PAPUANS IN CUSTODY AND TO WORK FOR
October 21, 2011 - Congressman Faleomavaega announced today that he has sent
a letter to Ambassador Dr. Dino Patti Djalal of Indonesia raising concerns about
the safety and treatment of Mr. Forkorus Yaboisembut and many others who were
arrested at the recent meeting of the Papuan People’s Congress in West Papua. It
has been reported by the international media that the Indonesian Armed Forces
and police have beaten and arrested hundreds of civilians who attended the
The full text of the Faleomavaega’s letter, which is copied to U.S.
Ambassador Scot Marciel to Indonesia, is included below:
Dear Mr. Ambassador:
Papuan Leader Forkorus Yaboisembut
at Papua Congress.
I am writing to request your intervention in ensuring the safety and the
humane treatment of Mr. Forkorus Yaboisembut and many others who were arrested
on Wednesday, October 19, 2011, at the third meeting of the Papuan People’s
Congress in West Papua.
According to numerous media outlets, it has been reported that the Indonesian
Armed Forces (TNI) fired shots during the meeting where a crowd of thousands of
defenseless and unarmed civilians were engaged in peaceful political assembly.
While the crowds dispersed after the shots were fired, many West Papuans,
including journalists, were attacked and apprehended by the Indonesian military
These are serious violations and crimes against humanity especially given
that the Government of Indonesia is a signatory to both of the United Nations
treaties on the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the
International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights.
Enclosed are photos that display the heavy military presence of the TNI and
police at the meeting prior to the chaos. Clearly, the presence of the
Indonesian military was to intimidate the peaceful citizens, which is a
continuation of the human rights violations by the TNI as reported in the U.S.
State Department 2010 Human Rights Report.
Media reports also continue to circulate that Imam Setiawan, Chief Police of
Jayapura Province, may have played a significant role in the attacks given his
reported links to the death of a West Papuan leader, the fatal attack on a
journalist reporting from West Papua, and many West Papuans attacked and killed
within the past few years.
I have very serious concerns in the matter and I do not condone the serious
acts of violence by the TNI and police on the peaceful demonstration by unarmed
civilians who were simply voicing their opinions about the failure of the
Government of Indonesia to seriously implement the Special Autonomy law for West
Papua. It is obvious the actions by the TNI and police are contrary to the
commitments made by President Yudhoyono to solve the issues in West Papua in a
“peaceful, just, and dignified manner.”
For these reasons, I am concerned about the events that have transpired and I
want to be assured by the Government of Indonesia that Mr. Yaboisembut and
others will be treated humanely while in custody and that you will work for
their release. I would like to meet with you sometime early next week to discuss
the matter further.
West Papua Report
Tapol, WPAT, ETAN: Indonesian
crackdown on Papuan Congress sparks outrage
Faleomavaega greetings to Papuan People's Congress
(PDF) (October 5)