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ELS-HAM PAPUA Jayapura, Irian Jaya, Indonesia

November 30, 2001

[Translation by TAPOL]


The abduction and murder of Theys Hiyo Eluay, 64, the chairperson of the Papuan Presidium Council, is one of the consequences of the culture of militarism and impunity that has prevailed in West Papua (Irian Jaya) since it was annexed by Indonesia.

The history of violence dates back to the days of Sukarno, the first president of Indonesia, who proclaimed TRIKORA on 19 December 1961 in Yogyakarta. This called for the destruction of the Dutch 'Puppet State,' for mass mobilization and for the red-and-white flag to be unfurled in West Irian. Many Papuans were intimidated and murdered in those times. Amnesty International estimates that some one hundred thousand Papuans have been killed during the 38 years of integration with Indonesia.

The process of destruction intensified after the people of Papua raised the demand for separation from Indonesia during the wave of 'reformasi' demands unleashed by students during 1998. A secret operation was drafted to pacify Papuan activists. This is evident from the leaked top-secret document of the Director-General of the KESBANG and LINMAS divisions of the Ministry of the Interior, Note 578/ND/KESBANG/D IV/VI/2000. This document was issued in accordance with a radiogram from the (Caretaker) Governor of the Province of Papua, dated 2 June 2000, in response to the social and political conditions in Papua, in particular following the Second Papuan Congress in 2000 which crystallized the aspirations of the people for a Free Papua. This leaked document contains an 'Operational Plan for the Conditioning of the Territory and to Develop a network of communications in response to political moves in Irian Jaya (Papua) for independence and separation from the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia.'

This operation includes the following points: (1) re-conditioning the districts and towns of Papua, down to the most remote areas, (2) developing a network of communications by utilizing influential leaders, holding mass rallies, and so on, (3) diplomatic endeavors to secure the support of the United Nations and major states for Indonesia's sovereignty over Papua.

The methods of operations that were to be developed included the following: (1) clandestine efforts - infiltration - (2) provocations and the detention of political activists who support a Free Papua, (3) reconstruction activities, (4) a program of Papuanization, and efforts to prevent the internationalization of the Papuan question. The operational methods would be overt and covert. This would include attacks on mass demonstrations as well as clandestine operations.

The operation received the backing of the MPR (supreme legislative assembly) which, at its session in August 2000, took a decision to the effect that Papua merited serious attention.

This 'top secret' document included the name of Theys Eluay under the section referring to traditional groups of struggle. This put him on the same level as Tom Beanal, Agus Alua and (now deceased) Yusuf Tanawani.

According to a Reuters report (Nov. 30, 2000), the Ministry of the Interior confirmed that such a meeting had taken place to deal with the unrest, which Jakarta referred to as separatism, and was attended by thirteen government agencies at the national level.

In connection with the abduction of killing of Theys Hiyo Eluay, 64, an investigation undertaken by the Institute for Human Rights Study and Advocacy (ELS-HAM) has discovered the following facts:

1. Theys Hiyo Eluay was abducted and killed after having attended a reception, which was held by the Kopassus Tribuana Task Force on Saturday 10 November 2001.

2. Theys Hiyo Eluay was not the only one to have been invited to attend the reception; other members of the Papuan Presidium Council (PDP) had also been invited, including Thaha Alhamid, Willy Mandowen and Rev Herman Awom. However, they refused to attend, and only Theys attended because Colonel Hartomo (Commander of Kopassus Tribuana) went to collect him from his home on Saturday 10 November at around 10:30, bringing a Christmas present for Theys, a long-sleeved shirt.

3. The results of the autopsy performed by the Pathology Department of the University of Indonesia Department of Medicine conclude that it is reasonable to suspect that Theys Hiyo Eluay was unlawfully killed because there are signs of strangulation and swellings.

4. According to the testimony of witnesses, Theys' driver, Aristoles Masoka (a key witness), is in the hands of Kopassus, and according to the results of a police investigation, the key witness, Theys' driver, is still alive.

5. Following the death of Theys Hiyo Eluay, the witnesses, families of witnesses, Papuan activists and human rights activists have been terrorized and intimidated. The West Papuan provincial police have said that they do not dare to handle this case.

According to John Rumbiak, the supervisor of ELS-HAM Papua, the abduction and killing of Theys Hiyo Eluay is a provocative act of terror and intimidation by the security forces, which aims to create conflict in Papua and which ignores the peaceful approach through dialogue taken by Papuan activists. The aim is to turn Papua into a "Second Aceh."

Now the question being asked by the Papuan people is: Will God allow Indonesia to fall apart because Theys Hiyo Eluay is dead? No one knows, just as we don't know why 5,000 innocent people were killed by Mohammad Atta and other terrorists at the World Trade Center (WTC) in New York on 11 September 2001. But one thing is certain, terrorists wherever they may be, must be held accountable for their actions, whether for the WTC or in Jayapura. Justice and humanity demand that terrorists be brought to account. Their deeds cannot be manipulated away or stored away

ELS-HAM Papua urges the President of the Republic of Indonesia, Megawati Soekarnoputri, to establish a National Independent Investigation Team which includes international human rights experts to handle the case of the killing of Theys Hiyo Eluay, the Chair of the Papuan Presidium Council.

ELS-HAM West Papua LEMBAGA STUDI DAN ADVOKASI HAK ASASI MANUSIA Institute for Human Rights Study and Advocacy Jl. Kampus ISTP, Padang Bulan Abepura, Jayapura

Paul Barber TAPOL, the Indonesia Human Rights Campaign 25 Plovers Way, Alton Hampshire GU34 2JJ Tel/Fax: 01420 80153 Email: plovers@gn.apc.org  Internet: www.gn.apc.org/tapol 

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