Press Release: Gross human rights violation in Wasior, 17 years on and still looking for justice

16 Jun 2018

Press Release: Gross human rights violation: Wasior, 17 years on and still looking for justice

13 June, 2018

"Bloody Wasior" is an unresolved case of gross human rights violations caused by the Indonesian State between April and October 2001 primarily in the area of Wasior district, West Papua province. It started with protest of local communities who demanded compensation from PT Dharma Mukti Persada (PT DMP), a logging company operating in Wasior district, who had illegally occupied community customary land and harvested timber resources.

The company, with the support of Brimob (Mobile Brigade Corps of the Indonesia National Police), ignored the community's demands. On 31 March 2001, an armed group attacked PT DMP, resulting in 3 casualties among the company workers. On 13 June 2001, once again an unidentified armed group attacked the basecamp of another logging company, CV Vatika Papuana Perkasa, operating in Wondiboi village (south of Wasior). Five members of Brimob and one civilian were killed in the incident. Following the shooting, Papua police force with the support of Military Command XVII Trikora launched a special operation code-named Operation Tuntas Matoa. They combed villages and towns in Wasior and nearby districts in search of the alleged attackers. 

Operation resulted in many civilian victims. The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC; Komnas HAM) identified several categories of human rights violations due to the operation, including:

1) killings (4 cases)
2) torture (39 cases) including some resulting in death
3) rape (1 case)
4) enforced or involuntary disappearance (5 cases)
5) enforced eviction leading to death and ill-health
6) loss and destruction of property 

During the operation, 51 houses were burned and property damage was caused in 8 different locations in Wasior city, Wondamawi village, Wondaboi village, Cenderawol village. Other affected areas in Wondama Bay regency include the districts of Windesi and Roon Island, respectively. The operation further claimed victims in other surrounding areas, including Sanoba (Nabire district), Yopanggar, Ransiki district, Bintuni Bay regency, Manokwari city.

According to the Law no. 26/2000 (on Human Rights Courts) the Bloody Wasior incident of 2001 qualifies as a gross human rights violation. Article 9 of the law defines crimes against humanity as " ... any action perpetrated as a part of a broad or systematic direct attack on civilians, in the form of: a) killing; b) extermination; c) enforced eviction or movement of civilians; d) arbitrary appropriation of the independence or other physical freedoms in contravention of international law; e) torture; f) rape, sexual enslavement, enforced prostitution, enforced pregnancy; g) enforced disappearance of a person."

Although it is classified as a gross human rights violation, Bloody Wasior has never been acted on properly. After 17 years, there is neither signs of action nor commitment from the Indonesia government to resolve the related cases or bring the alleged perpetrators of these crimes against humanity to court. 

The Attorney General Office had deferred to the NHRC to investigate and identify the perpetrators and document evidence to be brought to court. According to Law no. 26/2000 (on Human Rights Courts) and Law no. 8/1981 (on Criminal Procedures) the NHRC has the mandate to investigate cases of gross human rights violations. However, it is the Attorney General's Office's role to lead an investigation to uncover evidence and establish suspected perpetrators, the completion of which is still unresolved. 

To mark the passing of 17 years since Bloody Wasior, we, the "Solidaritas Organisasi Sipil (SOS) untuk Tanah Papua" (Civil Society Organisations in Solidarity for the Land of Papua), urge:  

1. The Attorney General's Office to immediately complete its investigation into Wasior case and coordinate with the NHRC to establish justice for the 2001 Bloody Wasior incident. 

2. The Government of Indonesia to establish a human rights court and bring human rights violators to justice for their atrocities against human rights such as killing, torture, rape and other violations documented by the NHRC.

3. The Government of Indonesia to establish a regional office of the NHRC in West Papua province, and to elect commissioners of the NHRC regional office in Papua province.

4. The central, provincial and district governments to immediately review operational permits of corporations operating in the Land of Papua and to promote good governance that is supportive to Papuan indigenous peoples and to environmental sustainability. The root causes of the Bloody Wasior incident includes conflict over natural resources.

Jayapura, 13 June 2018.

Contact:

●    Teddy Wakum:         +62 812 4776 8438 

●    Frangky Samperante     +62 813 1728 6019 

●    Anum Siregar        +62 852 4406 0000 


In solidarity with SOS untuk Tanah Papua:

1.    Lembaga Bantuan Hukum (LBH) Papua 

2.    Lembaga Bantuan Hukum (LBH) Yogyakarta 

3.    Solidaritas Organisasi Sipil (SOS) untuk Tanah Papua:
www.SOSuntukTanahPapua.org 
4.    KPKC Sinode GKI di Tanah Papua 
5.    SKPKC Fransiskan Papua 

6.    Perkumpulan Bantuan Hukum (PBH) Cenderawasih 

7.    Yayasan Pusaka 

8.    pt. PPMA Papua 

9.    AURIGA Jakarta 

10.    Forum Independen Mahasiswa (FIM) West Papua 

11.    LinkAr Borneo, Kalimantan Barat 

12.    SKP Keuskupan Agung Merauke ( KAME), Papua 

13.    Yayasan Anak Dusun Papua (Yadupa) 

14.    Papuan Voices Jayapura 

15.    JERAT Papua 

16.    Solidaritas Pedagang Asli Papua ( SolPAP ) 

17.    Gerakan Mahasiswa dan Pemuda (GempaR) Papua 

18.    Generasi Muda Papua Peduli Hak Adat (GEMPHA) Papua 

19.    Perhimpunan Bantuan Hukum Keadilan dan Perdamaian (PBHKP) 

20.    Perhimpunan Bantuan Hukum Sumatera Utara (BAKUMSU) 

21.    Walhi Papua 

22.    UKM Dehaling Uncen 

23.    DPP GSBI Pusat 

24.    Jaringan Advokasi dan Lingkungan (JASOIL) Tanah Papua 

25.    Perkumpulan Belantara Papua 

26.    Yayasan KIPRA Papua 

27.    Komunitas Peneliti Independen (KOPI) Papua 

28.    Dewan Masyarakat Adat Momuna (DMAM)
29.    Dewan Adat Paniai. 

30.    PMKRI Cabang Jayapura. 

31.    DPD GSBI Papua Barat 

32.    Papua Forest Watch 

33.    Suku Besar Yerisiam Gua