Police claim raid on Papuan students to block ‘Bloody Biak’ film screening

The scene at the Indonesian police raid on Papuan student quarters in Surabaya over the film Bloody Biak. Image: Suara.com

By Pebriansyah Ariefana in Surabaya

Indonesian police have revealed that police and military officers raided a Papuan student dormitory in the East Java provincial capital of Surabaya in Indonesia at the weekend because the students were allegedly planning to screen the documentary film Bloody Biak (Biak Berdarah).

Tambaksari Sectoral Police Chief Police Commander Prayitno claimed that security personnel went to the Papuan student dormitory in order to prevent an incident such as one that occurred in Malang earlier in the week from happening in Surabaya.

“[According] to information we received, they announced on social media that they would show the film Bloody Biak. So we went to the dormitory to anticipate this,” he said.

However, the planned screening of the film Bloody Biak on Friday was cancelled, and replaced by a screening of World Football Cup matches.

“If the discussion had still gone ahead. Apparently the film Bloody Biak [was to be screened] which tells the story of the massacre of Papuan people. I don’t know if this was true or not”, he said.

A joint operation by hundreds of TNI (Indonesian military), police and Public Order Agency officers (Satpol PP) raided the Papuan student dormitory located on Jl. Kalasan No. 10 Surabaya on Friday.

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The dormitory is home to hundreds of students and Papuan alumni from various tertiary education institutions in Surabaya.

Security personnel sealed off the Papuan student dormitory because of suspicions that there would be “hidden activities”.

Inside the dormitory, they were to hold a discussion and wanted to screen the film Bloody Biak that evening.

Background
On July 6, 1998, scores of people in Biak Island’s main town were wounded, arrested or killed while staging a peaceful demonstration calling for independence from Indonesia.

Earlier last week on July 1, police violently closed down a discussion by West Papuan students at Brawijaya University in the East Java city of Malang marking the 47th anniversary of the proclamation of independence in 1971 by the Free West Papua Movement.

Police claimed that they closed own the discussion following complaints from local people.

Translated from the Suara.com story by James Balowski for the Indoleft News Service. The original title of the article was “Film Biak Berdarah, Alasan Polisi Kepung Asrama Papua di Surabaya”.

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MIL OSI – Source: Evening Report Arts and Media

PNG police shoot dead 3 suspects in botched Lae armed robbery

MIL OSI – Source: Evening Report Arts and Media

Headline: PNG police shoot dead 3 suspects in botched Lae armed robbery

PNG police mobile squad vehicles at the robbery chase scene in Lae yesterday. Image: Loop PNG

Pacific Media Centre Newsdesk

Three suspected members of an armed criminal gang in Papua New Guinea’s second city of Lae are dead following a botched armed robbery,  the PNG Post-Courier reports.

One of the gang members is lucky to be alive and is being treated at the Angau Memorial Hospital following a shoot-out with police at Downtown Lae yesterday morning.

Franco Nebas and Bradley Mariori report that the wounded included a police officer who suffered pellet wounds and the Chinese owner of the shop during the attempted hold-up at the city’s shopping centre.

Lae police metropolitan commander Chief Superintendent Anthony Wagambie Jr said the police chased the criminals from downtown, through Airways Avenue, on to China Town, and Bumbu Bridge, ending up at Busurum compound.

Wagambie said that in the running gun battle, police killed three armed men and wounded one on the left leg.

Loop PNG website’s Imelda Wavik reports that the suspects opened fire on police while travelling at high speed.

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“A bullet penetrated the windscreen of a pursuing police vehicle and wednt out the back window, while another bullet hit the roof of the vehicle,” she reported.

“A [policeman] on board sustained pellet wounds to his left arm.

“Police could not immediately open fire for fear of injuring bystanders.”

Five armed men
Chief Superintendent Wagambie said the robbery took place about 9.30am when five armed men held up one of the owners of an Asian-owned shop at Downtown Lae, the Post-Courier said.

A police traffic unit on patrol near the scene was alerted when a shot was fired by the criminals at the security guards while the robbery was in progress.

The traffic unit alerted other units to block off escape routes but the criminals managed to drive through the road blocks, firing at the police while travelling at high speed, the Post-Courier said.

Wagambie said that a police vehicle in pursuit was shot at, the bullet penetrated the windscreen and wounded a police officer.

“Police could not return fire immediately because of the large number of people walking on the road as they have been instructed not to endanger the lives of public in such instances,” he said.

Meanwhile the escaping suspects abandoned the vehicle at Busurum Compound and escaped on foot while still firing at the police.

Wagambie said a lone special response unit member who sighted the suspects at the back of Malahang Technical College was fired upon and was forced to engage in a shoot-out with the four suspects.

He said from the shoot-out they were pushed further into the area between Sipaia and Hanta Compound.

Factory and home-made guns
Wagambie said they managed to retrieve two factory-made guns and a home-made gun and live ammunition in the vehicle used in the robbery.

“We believe there was also a high-powered rifle used, judging from the distance and impact the police vehicle received when fired upon by the suspects.

“I am warning criminal gangs in Lae, not to try such daring robberies. The response time for police now is fast. The criminals were quite daring to shoot at police, not only in one instance, but on more than seven encounters with police on vehicle pursuits and on foot.

“I could have lost a couple of good policemen … but thank God for his protection.

“A lot of members and the public could have been injured in the reckless shooting carried out by the escaping gang. Our police investigators are still working on the case.

“I lastly thank all of the police personnel in Lae who all did their part by backing up each other,” Wagambie said.

The Post-Courier reports that in a related incident, quick intervention by police stopped another attempted robbery near Kumalu wet crossing.

Gunshots were exchanged between police and the criminals, Bulolo police station commander Leo Kaikas said that the suspects were eventually caught arrested and locked up at Mumeng police station.

Franco Nebas and Bradley Mariori are PNG Post-Courier reporters and Imelda Wavik reports for Loop PNG.

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Why is Israel so afraid of 16-year-old Palestinian girl Ahed Tamimi?

MIL OSI – Source: Evening Report Arts and Media

Headline: Why is Israel so afraid of 16-year-old Palestinian girl Ahed Tamimi?

OPINION: By Ariel Gold and Taylor Morley

Sixteen-year-old Ahed Tamimi was back in court last Thursday, with the judge ruling for the third time that her detention be extended – this time for another five days.

Over the past week and a half, Ahed has been shuffled between numerous Israeli prisons and police stations. She has been held in cold isolation cells with cameras pointed at her 24 hours a day.

Repeatedly, without a parent or lawyer present, they have attempted to interrogate her. The reasoning for the judge’s rulings to extend her detention is that she “poses a risk” to the military and the Israeli government’s case against her.

Israel is right that Ahed Tamimi poses a risk. But it isn’t a risk to one of the most heavily armed and advanced militaries in the world or to the legal case being built against her.

The risk she poses is in her refusal to submit to the Israeli demand that Palestinians acquiesce to their own occupation.

Israeli logic is that Palestinians should cooperate with their own oppression. They should move quietly through the checkpoints, open their bags, not look their occupiers in the eye and not challenge or protest the theft of their lands, resources and freedoms.

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Israeli logic is that if they don’t like it, they can leave. Actually, they would strongly prefer that Palestinians leave. The strategy is to make life so unbearable for Palestinians, that they leave willingly. This even has a name: “voluntary transfer.”

Regular resistance
Since Ahed was a young child, she and her family have engaged in active resistance to Israel’s occupation. From 2013 up until the present, they have staged regular demonstrations against the military and the nearby settlers who have taken over their lands and water spring.

The protests are met with tear gas, rubber bullets, skunk water and live ammunition.

In 2012, Ahed’s father was declared a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International. In 2013, her uncle was killed by a tear gas canister shot to the head. In 2014, her mother was almost permanently disabled when she was shot in the leg with a .22 caliber bullet.

In 2015, a video of Ahed preventing her younger brother from being arrested went viral. Her cousins and her older brother have spent time in Israeli prisons.

On Friday, December 15, during a protest of President Trump’s announcement of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, Ahed’s 14-year-old cousin Mohammed Tamimi was shot in the face with a rubber bullet. He was taken to the hospital where he required surgery and a was placed in a medically induced coma.

A few hours later, when armed soldiers came to Ahed’s home demanding to enter, she pushed back. She slapped and kicked them, and screamed that they could not come in.

Shenila Khoja-Moolji wrote in Aljazeera about the stark contrast between the support Malala Yousafzai received after being shot in the head by the Taliban and the silence on Ahed’s case by feminist and political leaders.

Big difference
Granted, there is a big difference between being shot on the way to school and arrested after slapping a soldier.

Malala was invited to meet with President Barack Obama. She was championed by Senator Hillary Clinton and listed as one of the 100 most influential people in Time magazine.

In 2013 and 2014, Malala was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize and in 2014, she won. In contrast, while Ahed’s story has received some coverage in the news, she has yet to find state actors or prominent influencers to champion her cause.

While the West seems mostly indifferent to Ahed’s plight, Israel is hell-bent on hating the girl.

Israeli Education Minister Neftali Bennett called for Ahed and her family to “spend the rest of their lives in prison.”

Minister of Defence Avigdor Liberman said she and her family should “get what they deserve,” and prominent Israeli journalist Ben Caspit said that Israel should “exact a price at some other opportunity, in the dark, without witnesses and cameras”.

Caspit afterwards tried to backpedal his threat, saying his words had been taken out of context. But as the #MeToo movement has made clear, denying one’s intentions does not undo or excuse them.

Marginalised voices
As the #MeToo movement continues to build and uplift more marginalised voices, Ahed’s voice is not recognised when she could be regarded as a pillar in the movement.

Ahed is revoking her consent for Israel’s brutal occupation. She refuses to give her consent to Israeli forces that invade her family’s home in yet another vicious, meritless night raid. She confronts her aggressors and stands up to the violent system of power that keeps perpetuating this cycle of abuse against Palestinians.

In the same way survivors of sexual assault and rape are silenced, doubted and blamed for the crimes committed against them, Ahed is facing the same backlash from her aggressors.

Israel is working overtime to discredit her and erase her voice, with the hope that people will believe their fabrications over her truth. Now is the time for voices in the #MeToo to call for her release and help draw the parallels.

Shenila Khoja-Moolji explains the reasons for such lack of support for Ahed as being due to acceptance of state violence, Western society’s selective humanitarianism and the political, rather than individual nature of Ahed’s feminism.

These are all valid and important explanations. But support for Ahed is also a condemnation of the state of Israel. It is a condemnation of Israel’s military court system which allows children to be held in isolation and denied access to their parents during interrogation.

It is a condemnation of Israel’s settlement enterprise and continued presence on Palestinian land. To support Ahed is to rebuke Israel’s assertion that Palestinians must comply with their occupiers, that they must open the doors for the soldiers who enter their homes.

Internal power
Certainly their 16-year-old girls must not raise an arm to soldiers. It is one thing to support Malala for taking on the Taliban, but quite another to support Ahed as she takes on Israel’s strongest allies and the purported only democracy in the Middle East.

Not all feminist leaders are afraid to express support for Ahed. CodePink is hosting a petition to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, demanding Ahed’s release. We, along with others, like Jewish Voice for Peace, are asking Members of Congress to sign onto Representative Betty McCollum’s legislation to require that US aid to Israel not go to the abuse and detention of Palestinian children.

Ahed is a threat to Israel’s entire system of power. She is not only aware of her own internal power, she is completely unafraid of her aggressors.

This is the same bravery required for sexual assault survivors to tell their stories and hold their accusers responsible. It is the essence of the struggle for women’s rights and why feminism is so incompatible with militarism.

For Ahed to be successful in her fight for the liberation of her people, we first need her to be released from jail. To make this happen, we need all people who call themselves feminists and human rights advocates to say #FreeAhed.

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