• Campaigns

Indonesia: Fear for safety / threats and intimidation

, Index number: ASA 21/016/1999

Amnesty International is concerned by recent threats and intimidation against Hermanus Wayoi, Don Flassy and workers at ELS-HAM, a local human rights organization who are supporters of opening dialogue with the government concerning the political future of the province

PUBLIC AI Index: ASA 21/16/99
UA 44/99 Fear for safety / Threats and intimidation 9 March 1999
INDONESIAHermanus Wayoi
Don Flassy
Workers at ELS-HAM, a local human rights organization
Amnesty International is concerned by recent threats and intimidation against
human rights defenders and against individuals and groups in the province of
Irian Jaya who are supporters of opening dialogue (referred to as the “National
Dialogue”) with the government concerning the political future of the province.
Those targeted so far were part of a delegation who met with President Habibie
in February 1999, after some months of trying, in order to start talks on the
subject. Those also at risk are supporters, or those perceived to be supporters,
of efforts to open the debate.
The delegation, made up of around 100 people from Irian Jaya, travelled to
Jakarta, the capital, to discuss issues of greater autonomy and independence
for the province. The delegation consisted of government officials, religious
and tribal leaders and representatives from non-governmental organizations.
On 9 March, Hermanus Wayoi, who lives in Jayapura, the capital of Irian Jaya,
had the windows of both his house and his car parked outside smashed in by
a couple of men. A note was left in the car which said “you people think that
what you are doing is the best thing for the people of Papua”.
Later a rock was thrown into the office of the Forum Rekonsiliasi Rakyat Irian
(Foreri), Forum for Reconciliation of the People of Irian, located at the offices
of the non-governmental organization the Human Rights Study and Advocacy
Foundation for Irian Jaya (ELS-HAM). Attached to the rock was a message saying
“Why didn’t you invite us to the dialogue, you think you yourselves can become
the leaders of the OPM”, referring to the armed separatist group, Organisasi
Papua Merkdeka (OMP), the Free Papua Organization.
At 3am, a group of people arrived outside the home of the director of ELS-HAM,
Yohanis Bonay, demanding he come out and making abusive comments.
At around 6 am, a bottle was left outside the home of Don Flassy, a prominent
leader of the movement for the “National Dialogue”, containing a similar message
to that above. Don Flassy, who was arrested last year but later released still
faces charges, with five others, of rebellion.
The opposition movement to Indonesian rule of Irian Jaya developed following
the transfer in 1963 of de facto authority over the province from the Netherlands
to Indonesia and a subsequent plebiscite in 1969, which resulted in a vote
for integration. The OPM is the most prominent group advocating independence
for Irian Jaya, or West Papua as it is known to local people. Although the
OPM advocates armed struggle many supporters of independence have employed
peaceful means. This has included demonstrations, flag-raising ceremonies,
political discussion groups and appeals to the UN and other groups. Since
President Habibie came to power in May 1998, there have been growing demands
from the province for a review of its political status and for local grievances
to be addressed.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express/airmail
letters in Bahasa Indonesia or English or your own language:
- expressing concern at recent threats and intimidation of human rights
defenders and of individuals and groups in Irian Jaya in support of or perceived
to be in support of the “National Dialogue” with the government;
- urging the authorities to investigate these threats and asking that those
engaged in the peaceful expression of their beliefs, and human rights defenders,
be protected from such threats and intimidation;
- reminding the Indonesian Government of its obligations to protect human rights
defenders under the UN Human Rights Defenders Declaration adopted by the General
Assembly in December 1998.
Chief of Police for Irian Jaya
Brig. Gen. (Pol.) Hotman Siagian
Head of Regional Police Irian Jaya
Jl. Sam Ratulangie No. 8
Jayapura, Irian Jaya
Telegrams:Police Chief, Jayapura, Irian Jaya
Faxes:+ 62 967 533763 (best to try during local office hours +9 GMT)
Salutation:Dear Brigandier General
Chief of National Police
Gen. Roesmanhadi
Kapolri, Markas Besar Kepolisian RI
Jl. Trunojoyo 13
Kebayoran Baru, Jakarta Selatan
Faxes:+ 62 21 720 7277
Commander of the Armed Forces (ABRI)
General Wiranto, Panglima ABRI
Markas Besar ABRI, Jl. Medan Merdeka Barat No 13
Jakarta Pusat, Indonesia
Faxes:+ 62 21 36 1471 (Armed Forces HQ) / 37 8144 / 35 6404/384 5178
and to diplomatic representatives of Indonesia accredited to your country.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat,
or your section office, if sending appeals after 20 April 1999.

Choose a language to view report