By West Papua Manokwari News
Jan 24, 2009, 22:59

Indonesia always claims that West Papua is a safe place and that there is no problem in West Papua. However, Benny Wenda, West Papuan Independence leader in the United Kingdom says, ‘West Papua is now home of military’.

Two days ago we received pictures of military surrounding the town of Manokwari and had intimidated and terrorised people of Manokwari especially civilians and human rights activists.

Below is a report we received from the Institute of Research, Analysis and Development for Legal Aid (LP3BH) Manokwari and photos sent voluntarily from our friends in Manokwari.

LP3BH Report:

Dear Friends,

On Wednesday, 21st of January 2009 Indonesian military were showing their force in KODIM (military district) 1703 field in Manokwari. The show of force also took place in front of Swiss-bell Hotel where President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono will stay during his visit to Manokwari. Attached we show pictures of the Indonesian military’s show of force around Manokwari town.

Acording to Liutenant Colonel Irham Waroihan (Manokwari District military commander), the military personnel who were on duty came from Fakfak, Sorong, Nabire, Biak dan Jayapura. There were about 2500 military and police personnel who were there to secure the president’s visit.

Preident Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono arrived at 10.00 am on Thursday and went straight to the regency office of Manokwari. There was a very high security that guarded the presidential visit. Arriving at the regency office, the regent of Manokwari, Mr Dominggus Mandacan reported to the president about the earthquake that happened on the 4th of January and the government’s effort to assist the victims of the earthquake.

The Institute of Research, Analysis and Development for Legal Aid (LP3BH) Manokwari observed that two days before the president’s visit there were 20 Indonesian military (TNI) and mobile brigade who were stationed in front of the regent treasury office. Other offices within the Manokwari regency office were not guarded by the security.

In another ocassion, the Indonesian militray as usual played their classic games of intimidating people especially civilians and human rights activists in Manokwari. For instance, on Sunday, 18th of January 2008 at 16:50 (Manokwari time) two local journalists from Sorong and Manokwari came to interview Mr Yan Christian Warinussy, Director of the Institute of Research, Analysis and Development for Legal Aid Manokwari. The journalists interviewed Mr Warinussy about legal actions for 11 political prisoners (jailed for raising the West Papuan independence flag). As soon as the two journalists left Mr Warinussy’s house, one of them, who came from Manokwari, was telephoned by Liutenant TRYAS from Manokwari Military District office. Liutenat TRYAS questioned the journalist, ’Were you with Mr Warinussy? The journalist said, ’Yes, why?’ Liutenant TRYAS asked: ’Did Mr Warinussy give you any comments about the preident’s visit?’ The journalist said, ’No, he just talked about Mr Jack Wanggai, and other political prisoners’. When the journalist said this, Liuetenant TRYAS hang up his phone.

On Tuesday night, 20th January 2009, an intelligent agent from Manokawri Military district questioned PITER IHOWATI, one of West papuan National Authority (WPNA) activists. The intelligent officer said that there were five WANTED acitvists from the West Papuan National Authority. They were in the military list of WANTED people. The five people were said to be connected with the president’s visit. Their names were: MARKUS YENU, DANIEL YENU, BILLY AUPARAY, BENONI RUMBIAK dan PITER IHOWATI.

The situation on Thursday, 22nd of January 2009. Manokwari town was heavily surrounded by Indonesian military and police. Special presidential security guards came from Jakarta to secure President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s visit. In every road corners there were 2 to 8 military personnel fully equiped with automatic weapon. There was not any economic acitivity. Sanggeng market which was usually full of people trading and buying goods was empty.

Today, Thrusday 22nd of January 2009, the head of Manokwari police AKBP PIT WAHYU and some of his personnel came to Manokwari Prison and gave warning to political prisoners, Mr Jack Wanggai and Elimelek Kaiway and said: ’Watch out you two, don’t do any disturbance, OK? Today, the president is visiting Manokwari. This was a form of intimidation. The head of police also placed 20 mobile brigade personnel fully equipped with automatic weapons in the prison. There was a disagreement between the prisoners and the prison officers abouth the placement of the mobile brigade in the prison. The prisoners refused the mobile brigade personnel to be allowed inside the prison especially with automatic weapons in their hands. The prisoners felt threatened and terrorrised by the police show of force inside the prison.

Reported by:
LP3BH Manokwari
Yan & Andris