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Papua Church Leaders: Gun Buyers are Called Separatists, What About the Sellers?



Benny Giay (left) and Dorman Wandikbo (right) - Jubi

Benny Giay (left) and Dorman Wandikbo (right) – Jubi

Jayapura, Jubi – Two church leaders in Papua questioned the military and police’s handling of security personnel who are accused of involvement in gun trading.

“I know where the OPM (Free Papua Movement) is and their weaponry support as well. If I wanted it could be dismissed with one shot,” said the Cenderawasih XVII Military Commander Major General Christian Zebua on 19 September 2014 (see When Military Commander Claims to Know Weapon Suppliers for OPM)

On 8 August 2014, he claimed the OPM Regional VII Commander, Erin Enden Wanimbo stated tense situation in Lanny Jaya, Papua occurred due to the failure of bullets trading with rogue police in that area. “The current condition in Lanny Jaya started from the arrangement of bullets transaction with an officer named Rahman. He wanted to sell 1,000 bullets to us. We agreed to meet in a place,” said a man who claimed himself as Erin Ende Wanimbo to Jubi by phone. (see Bullets Transaction Heat Up Lanny Jaya, Says OPM).

Shortly the Papua Governor Lukas Enembe spoke. He said as long as bullets were continuing to be traded freely in some central highland areas, Papua would never be safe. “I want to question who did supply those bullets? But obviously it is not the institution but persons. I clearly reported it to the president and the Indonesian Military Commander Moeldoko,” Enembe told reporters in Jayapura on 30 November 2014 (see Lukas Enembe: Related to Bullet Trading, I have Reported to President).


Two days before the governor’s statement, the Papua Police Chief Inspector General Yotje Mende removed the Nduga Police Chief following the arrest of bullets trading involved the Nduga police officer Second Brigadier TJ with the armed group in Wamena, Jayawijaya on Sunday, 26 October 2014 (see Police Officer Sell Bullets, Nduga Police Chief Removed).

Early in February 2015, Cenderawasih XVII Military Regional Command Provost named the Sergeant Major S and First Sergeant MM as suspects of bullets trading with the rebel. The Cenderawasih XVII Military Commander Fransen Siahaan in Jayapura admitted instead of named as suspects, both soldiers also under the process of dismissal. In addition to the two soldiers, three soldiers were also processed for similar case. (see Serma S and Sertu M named Suspects of Bullets Trading). But the First Sergeant M who later identified as First Sergeant Murib was released because he’s not proven involving in trading (see: Military Regional Commander: Sergeant Murib Not Proven Selling Bullets).

Meanwhile two church leaders in Papua, Benny Giay (Chairman of the Evangelical Church Synod) and Dorman Wandikbo (President of the Evangelical Church Synod in Indonesia) in the Public Disscussion held at the House of the Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation (YLBHI) in Jakarta on Friday (22/5/2015).
“The Indonesian Military is hiding behind this (separatism issue). We must analyze where the term is coming from and who is creating it. From August to November last year, almost every week the Military/Police culprits sold the bullets and guns to OPM. I considered it is the way of Military/Police to maintain the conflict in Papua,” Benny Giay said. He believes there is an attempt of certain parties to maintain separatism to still be existed and growing because it’s already proven that the Military/Police can sell the guns and bullets.

“If those who bought the guns were called as separatists, what about those who sold the guns that are the Military/Police officers?” said the Priest who also the anthropologist. Meanwhile the President of GIDI Synod, the Rev Dorman Wandikbo similarly said the Military/Police are responsible of the guns trading in Papua. “Do not blame the separatism,” Wandikbo sai.

He further said the Military/Police officers are often doing a transaction with a rebel group identified as the Armed Criminal Group (KKB) by the police and they later claimed themselves as OPM. “As often they involved in guns transaction, the Military/Police watched and arrested them. They (KKP) then went to the jail and the Military/Police got promoted. Then the OPM became an object, a scapegoat,” Wandikbo said.

Separately in responding the church leaders’ statement, the Military Spokesperson Major General Fuad Basya stated the Indonesian Military never involved in guns or bullets trading in Papua. “As an institution, the military is not involved,” he said as cited the CNN Indonesia on Friday night (22/5).

He added it is particular culprits who might run the bullets or guns trading. it is occurred in Papua because of the demand. “There are those who need weapons or bullets, and those who need money,” he said.

He firmly said if those culprits were soldiers, they would be punished. “They should be fired. If the Law said the Military Culprit who sell bullets or guns can get dead penalty, we must do it,” he said. (Victor Mambor/rom)

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Illegal gold mining in Jayapura has been happening since 2001




Police arrested 17 people related to illegal mining in Buper, Waena, Jayapura City. – Jubi/Courtesy

Jayapura, Jubi – Jayapura Municipal Police arrested 17 people who allegedly were involved in illegal gold mining in Bumi Perkemahan (Buper) Waena, Jayapura City on Friday, 26 June 2020.

“These seventeen people are operators of heavy equipment and worker coordinators. There are about 70 people involved in this business,” Jayapura Municipal Police Chief Gustav Urbinas told reporters on Friday (26/6/2020).

In their operation, the Police also seized two units of construction equipment, six excavators, liquid mercury and eleven jerrycans of diesel fuel.

Police Chief Urbinas said he received a report on this illegal activity two months ago, but at that time he could not arrest those who were involved because they escaped the mining site.


Illegal miners have carried out their activity in Buper, Waena, since 2001 because this sector was promising to generate income.

Four years ago, a gold miner Frans told about his experience regarding this illegal activity. He said people only need simple equipment such as a hoe, pan, and sifter for doing this activity. He further explained that all panning processes were traditional, starting from finding rocks, crushing it and putting the grinds in the pan. After mixing with water, the grids would look like porridge, and through the panning process, we can see gold flakes. However, to get gold containing rocks was not simple. People should dig at least three meters depth under the ground.

“But not all rocks we met contained gold. We would find out about the weight and type of gold after mixing it into liquid mercury,” he told

Considering this, the income of gold miners was uncertain. If they were lucky, he and his friends could get 20 to 100 grams of 24 carats which could trade at Rp 400 thousand per gram.

“It’s all depending on the current gold price. It fluctuated following the increase in the oil price. But its price now is Rp 400 thousand,” he said.

Ten years ago, the Jayapura Municipal Government had attempted to stop the illegal mining in Buper that has been happening since 2001. But, the Ondofolo (Tribal Chief) of Kampung Babrongko Waena, Ramses Wally, disagreed with the city government.

At that time, Ramses said if the city government banned this panning activity, they should provide job opportunities to those illegal gold miners. (*)


Reporter: Victor Mambor

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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Health & Education Service

Asiki resident died in a health clinic after allegedly tortured by a police officer




Marius Betera, a resident of Asiki Sub-district, Boven Digoel Regency, who died after allegedly tortured by a police officer. – IST

Jayapura, Jubi – A resident of Asiki Sub-district, Boven Digoel Regency, Papua died in a health clinic of a palm oil plantation company PT Tunas Sawa Erma on Saturday (16/5/2020). Prior to his death, a police officer reportedly tortured him.

The apostolic administrator of the Merauke Archdiocese Monseigneur Petrus Canisius Mandagi MSC asked the authority to investigate the incident and its perpetrator accordingly. Meanwhile, Yan Christian Warinussy, the Executive Director of the Institute for Research, Investigation and Development of Legal Aid (LP3BH) Manokwari, asked the National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM) to intervene the investigation.

On Saturday morning Marius Betera found banana plants in his garden located in the plantation area of PT Tunas Sawa Ema (TSE) in Camp 19 destroyed. Hence, he thought the company’s excavator did it.

He then went to the police station in Camp 19 to file a complaint. When he couldn’t meet the police officers there, he went to PT TSE’s office to express his grievance. He complained that the management of PT TSE never gave him a notice about the area clearing. It made him upset and at the same time, lost.


When leaving the company’s office, Betera met a police officer with the initial “M”. He punched and kicked him on the stomach in front of the employees of PT TSE. From some witnesses, Jubi received information saying that Betera’s ear was bleeding from the beating.

Around 11 pm, Betera returned to the police station at Camp 19 to file a complaint on his persecution but couldn’t meet anyone there. Around 1 pm, he felt unwell. People bought him to the health clinic of PT TSE at Camp 19. He then reportedly died in that clinic.

Concerning his death, the Apostolic Administrator of the Merauke Archdiocese Monseigneur Petrus Canisius Mandagi MSC asked for investigation over the incident and said the perpetrator should go on trial. “I strongly condemn this murder. Killing anyone is a crime against humanity. Anyone who perpetrated this murder, especially if he was a member of security forces, must immediately be arrested, tried and punished,” said the bishop.

Bishop Mandagi firmly said that Papuans, like any other human races, are a picture of God. He warned that every police officer stationed in Papua should represent a character of security forces who commit to protecting people.

“It means the police should protect the entire people, not only those who work in the company. If there is a problem, they should put a dialogue as a priority, not violence,” said the bishop.

Separately, the Executive Director of LP3BH Manokwari Yan Christian Warinussy stated the alleged persecution towards Marius Betera must be thoroughly investigated. He said this violence act might involve some other police officers.

Therefore, he urged the National Human Rights Commission to intervene in the investigation of this case. “We urge the National Human Rights Commission to get involved in the investigation over this case. This case should be openly investigated, [so that’ the perpetrator can be examined and tried before the Merauke District Court,” he said. (*)


Jubi journalist Victor Mambor contributed in this article


Reporter: Angela Flassy

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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Before being released, Papua political prisoners in Jakarta will undergo a rapid test




The view of Salemba detention centre from the front on Tuesday morning (12/5/2020). Until 11 a.m. Jakarta time, both the legal advisors’ team and families are still waiting outside the detention house. – Ruth Courtesy for Jubi

Jayapura, Jubi – Following the release of Issay Wenda two weeks ago, four of five Papuan political prisoners will leave the Salemba detention centre, Central Jakarta. The four political prisoners are Dano Anes Tabuni, Ambrosius Mulait, Paulus Surya Anta Ginting and Charles Kossay.

Besides some administration concerns, Surya Anta and compatriots will undergo a rapid test (initial screening) to detect their antibodies, namely IgM and IgG, which are produced by the human’s body to combat the coronavirus. Human’s body will produce these antibodies when exposed by the coronavirus.

“I am preparing the rapid test tool,” Ruth Ogetay, the nurse for Papuan political prisoners as well as a member of the Advocacy Team for Papua, told Jubi this morning by phone.

Ogetay who worked as an analyst in the laboratory of PGI Cikini Hospital, Central Jakarta, explained that this is a way to prevent the coronavirus spread. Therefore, she wants to ensure the health condition of the political prisoners before leaving the detention centre to meet their family and relatives.


“It only needs a few moments, about 5-10 minutes to find out the result. If the result is negative, they can meet their family and friends who will come to pick them up later,” said Ogetay.

“While Surya and other friends are approaching their time of freedom, it’s still uncertain for Ariana Elopore,” Michael Himan separately told Jubi.

He recently received information about this from the Prosecutor Office. He said the Attorney Office already sent a letter to release Elopore today along with other four prisoners, but there is another issue.

Ariana Elopore who detained in Pondok Bambu—a detention centre for women, was declared “not able to be released” because she had to undergo a quarantine imposed by the detention centre authority with other detainees.

“The Attorney Office said 12 detainees found positive (of having COVID-19) in the detention centre. Therefore, she is not allowed to go (today) because of the quarantine,” Himan explained.

Concerning the statement from the Attorney Office, Himan said the advisors’ team would directly meet the Pondok Bambu detention centre authority for a further explanation behind the “detention” of his client.

Previously, the five political prisoners accused of treason and conspiracy in according to Article 106 of the Criminal Code in conjunction with Article 55 paragraph 1 of the Criminal Code or Article 110 paragraph (1) of the Criminal Code.

No appeal will charge

Himan explained that his clients would not submit an appeal on the grounds of their health and safety during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This decision was taken through a comprehensive discussion with his clients, their family and legal advisors,” Himan stated in the press release of the Advocates Team for Papua received by Jubi.

Himan further explained that the release of his five clients had met the conditions stipulated in the parole by the Minister of Law and Human Rights through the Ministerial Decree No. M.HH-19.PK.01.04.04/2020 concerning the repatriation and discharge of adult and juvenile prisoners through the assimilation and integration programs to prevent and control the COVID-19 spread.

The Papuan political prisoners in Jakarta were convicted to 9 months sentence, except for Issay Wenda, who charged to 8 months in prison. (*)


Reporter: Yuliana Lantipo

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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