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

Indonesian military joint plan for greater role in counterterrorism

Members from the Indonesian military’s Armoured Division take part in a parade to mark the 72nd anniversary of the Indonesian military’s founding in Cilegon on October 5, 2017. Image: The Jakarta Post/Ricardo/AFP

By Marguerite Afra Sapiie and Nurul Fitri Ramadhani in Jakarta

Indonesia’s Presidential Chief of Staff Moeldoko has claimed that President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo had expressed his consent to bringing back to life the suspended military Joint Special Operations Command (Koopsusgab) tasked with countering terrorism.

The team, which included and will again include personnel of the Army’s Special Forces (Kopassus), the Navy’s Denjaka squad and the Air Force’s Bravo 90 special force, would be put on standby and be ready to be mobilised at any time when terror threats emerged, Moeldoko said.

“This joint force was well trained and prepared in terms of its capacity, and it could be deployed anywhere on the country’s soil as fast as possible […]. Its role would be to assist the National Police,” Moeldoko said.

READ MORE: Jokowi to issue perppu if House fails to revise terror law

His statement has followed a recent string of terrorist attacks that has thrust Indonesia into a state of paranoia.

The joint force was first established under Moeldoko when he served as the Indonesian Military (TNI) commander in 2015. The special command’s operations, however, were suspended under the leadership of Moeldoko’s successor, retired General Gatot Nurmantyo.

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Further tasks of the special command would be discussed between TNI commander Air Chief Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto and National Police chief General Tito Karnavian, with the latter to have the final say on whether it needed the assistance of the TNI’s special team or not, Moeldoko said.

“This operation must be carried out for preventive purposes, so that the public can feel safe […]. We [the security apparatus] are ready to face any kind of situation, so people should put their trust in us and not worry,” he said.

Planned amendment
The revitalisation of the joint force did not require any new regulations, Moeldoko said, adding that the details about the command’s tasks would be adjusted with the planned amendment to the 2003 Terrorism Law.

The announcement came as the House of Representatives and the government began to clear up contentious articles that had caused deadlock in the deliberation of the Terrorism Law revision, including the legal definition of terrorism and the military’s level of involvement in counterterrorism operations.

A greater level of involvement has stirred debate among experts and human rights activists.

Seven ruling parties and the government had agreed on a definition of terrorism that included acts that had “political and ideological motives and threaten national security”, United Development Party (PPP) lawmaker Arsul Sani said.

More leeway
It is widely believed that such a definition would provide leeway for greater involvement of the TNI in counterterrorism efforts.

As the government and the lawmakers appear to be on the same page now, observers expect the bill to be passed into law in the near future.

Jokowi has recently said he would issue a regulation in lieu of law (Perppu) on the Terrorism Law if the House failed to conclude deliberations on the bill by June.

Members of a committee tasked with deliberating the bill said it was the leading opposition Gerindra Party and the Democratic Party, both political parties with strong military influence, that had demanded the inclusion of the contentious provisions.

“We support [the terrorism bill],” Gerindra chairman Prabowo Subianto said during his visit to the House.

Deliberation of the bill is believed to have been stalled mainly because of a tug-of-war between the TNI and the police, which led to division among political parties factions into pro-TNI and pro-police camps.

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MIL OSI – Source: Evening Report Arts and Media

Indonesian soldiers drink snake blood, smash bricks for US Defence Secretary

MIL OSI – Source: Evening Report Arts and Media

Headline: Indonesian soldiers drink snake blood, smash bricks for US Defence Secretary

Elite Indonesian troops drink blood from decapitated snakes during a demonstration for US Defence Secretary James Mattis in Jakarta. Image: PMC still from Washington Post video

United States Defence Secretary James Mattis has watched Indonesian special forces smash concrete blocks with their heads, walk barefoot across a flaming log, and drink blood from still-slithering bodies of snakes, reports New York Magazine.

The demonstration came at the end of a three-day visit to Indonesia this week that was part of Mattis’s Southeast Asian tour.

His next stop is Vietnam, where authorities will have trouble following this act, writes Adam K. Raymond.

After several days of meetings, Mattis was apparently ready for the show yesterday.

“The snakes! Did you see them tire them out and then grab them? The way they were whipping them around — a snake gets tired very quickly,” the man known as “Mad Dog” told reporters.

‘Mission Impossible’
The press traveling with the retired US Marine Corps general was only expecting a hostage rescue drill, Reuters reports, but the Indonesians delivered much more:

Wearing a hood to blind him, one knife-wielding Indonesian soldier slashed away at a cucumber sticking out of his colleague’s mouth, coming just inches from striking his nose with the long blade. …

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At the end of the demonstration, to the tune of the movie “Mission Impossible,” the Indonesian forces carried out a hostage rescue operation, deploying stealthily from helicopters – with police dogs. The dogs intercepted the gunman.

“Even the dogs coming out of those helicopters knew what to do,” Mattis said after the show.


A Washington Post video clip of the Indonesian special forces event.

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66 arrested, 4 beaten in pro-Papuan independence rallies across Indonesia

MIL OSI – Source: Evening Report Arts and Media

Headline: 66 arrested, 4 beaten in pro-Papuan independence rallies across Indonesia

Free West Papua rally to reject “Operation Trikora” in Malang, East Java, Indonesia. Image: AMP

Pacific Media Centre Newsdesk

West Papuan students have demonstrated to reject Indonesia’s occupation and were joined by an unprecedented wave of solidarity from people across Indonesia, reports the Free West Papua Campaign.

The West Papuan Student’s Alliance (AMP) and the Indonesian People’s Front for West Papua (FRI-West Papua) held rallies in 14 Indonesian cities on Tuesday, December 19 – Jakarta, Denpasar, Manado, Solo, Ambon, Ternate, Yogyakarta, Sula, Moratai, Malang, Bandung, Bogor, Salatiga and Semarang.

The West Papua National Committee (KNPB) also demonstrated in Port Numbay and Biak, West Papua.

The growing support from Indonesian people in solidarity with West Papua is reaching new heights and shows similarity to Indonesian solidarity with the people of Timor-Leste (East Timor) in the late 1990s, reports the Free West Papua Campaign.

While all the rallies held were peaceful, Indonesian police and police militia tried to break up the demonstrators’ freedom of expression.

In Malang, East Java, 66 people were arrested and some of those arrested were assaulted.

Demonstrators being arrested at a Free West Papua rally to reject “Operation Trikora” in Malang, Indonesia. Image: AMP

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Elia Agapa from the West Papuan Students Alliance told Suara Papua: “Our mass action saw 66 of us surrounded and blocked for demonstrating peacefully.

“There was a clash and four of those from our mass action were wounded. One of those four people is a West Papuan woman.”

The West Papua National Committee (KNPB) demonstrating in Biak, West Papua, to reject “Operation Trikora” and to show their support for the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP).

Operation Trikora

Indonesian forces in action during Operation Trikora in 1961. Image: Free West Papua Campaign

In 1961, the Dutch government (West Papua’s former colonial ruler) was moving towards granting West Papua independence and on December 1 the West Papuan national flag Morning Star was raised with the promise of full independence in the coming years.

In response, Indonesia’s President Soekarno ordered “Operation Trikora”, a military plan to take West Papua by force, on December 19.

In the next few months, with backing from the Soviet Union, the Indonesian military launched ruthless military attacks on West Papua, from naval shelling to artillery bombing.

Hundreds of Indonesian soldiers were airdropped into the country but the West Papuan defence force managed to successfully repel Indonesian attacks.

It was not until 15 August 1962 that West Papua was left unable to defend itself.

Due to growing Cold War fears of war with a communist friendly Indonesia, the US intervened and effectively forced the Dutch to hand over West Papua to Indonesia without the consulting any West Papuans.

The West Papuan defence force was disbanded and by 1963, the Indonesian military had taken full control of West Papua; their illegal occupation cemented through a so-called “Act of Free Choice”, described by critics as a sham.

This year more than 1.8 million West Papuan people signed a petition rebuking that plebiscite and calling for a legitimate act of self-determination.

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HRW condemns failure to end abusive ‘virginity tests’ in Indonesia

MIL OSI – Source: Evening Report Arts and Media

Headline: HRW condemns failure to end abusive ‘virginity tests’ in Indonesia

Women members of the Indonesian Air Force parade during celebrations marking the 70th anniversary of the Air Force at Halim Perdanakusuma airbase in Jakarta, last year. Image: Human Rights Watch/Reuters

Human Rights Watch

Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo should order Indonesia’s police chief and armed forces commander to immediately ban so-called “virginity tests” of female applicants, says Human Rights Watch.

By ending the practice, the Indonesian government would be abiding by its international human rights obligations and honouring the goals of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on Saturday – November 25.

Senior military and police officers with knowledge of the “virginity testing” policy told Human Rights Watch that the security forces continue to impose these cruel and discriminatory “tests,” which are officially classified as “psychological” examinations, for “mental health and morality reasons.”

“The Indonesian government’s continuing tolerance for abusive ‘virginity tests’ by the security forces reflects an appalling lack of political will to protect the rights of Indonesian women,” said Nisha Varia, women’s rights advocacy director.

“These tests are degrading and discriminatory, and they harm women’s equal access to important job opportunities.”

Virginity testing is a form of gender-based violence and is a widely discredited practice.

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In November 2014, the World Health Organisation issued guidelines that stated, “There is no place for virginity (or ‘two-finger’) testing; it has no scientific validity.”

Testing exposed
Human Rights Watch first exposed the use of “virginity tests” by Indonesian security forces in 2014, but since then the government has failed to take the necessary steps to prohibit the practice.

An Indonesian military doctor told Human Rights Watch that senior military personnel were well-aware of the arguments against “virginity tests,” but were unwilling to abolish them.

The doctor suggested that stopping the tests required the direct and explicit intervention of Indonesian Armed Forces commander General Gatot Nurmantyo to order an end to the practice.

“The military is a top-down organisation. We have to follow orders.”

Jokowi should declare an immediate prohibition of “virginity tests” by the military and police and create an independent monitoring mechanism to ensure that security forces comply.

The testing includes the invasive “two-finger test” to determine whether female applicants’ hymens are intact, findings that are scientifically baseless.

While Human Rights Watch found that applicants who were deemed to have “failed” were not necessarily penalised, all of the women with whom we spoke with described the test as painful, embarrassing, and traumatic.

‘Two-finger test’
Several Indonesian military and police officers told Human Rights Watch that both security forces have also sought to justify the “two-finger test” as means of determining if applicants are pregnant.

The “two-finger test” cannot determine pregnancy status, and employment discrimination based on pregnancy status is in any event a form of sex discrimination prohibited by Indonesia’s international legal obligations.

All branches of the Indonesian military – air force, army, and navy – have used “virginity tests” for decades and, in certain circumstances, also extended the requirement to the fiancées of military officers.

In May 2015, then-commander of Indonesia’s armed forces, General Moeldoko, responded to criticism of “virginity tests,” by saying to the media, “So what’s the problem? It’s a good thing, so why criticise it?”

Indonesian military spokesman Fuad Basya that same month asserted that “virginity tests” are a means of screening out inappropriate female recruits.

“If they are no longer virgins, if they are naughty, it means their mentality is not good,” Basya told The Guardian.

Current Indonesian Armed Forces chief Nurmantyo has taken no steps to ban the practice.

Abuses documented
Human Rights Watch has documented the use of abusive “virginity tests” by security forces in Egypt, India, and Afghanistan as well as in Indonesia and criticised calls for “virginity tests” for school girls in Indonesia.

“Virginity tests” have been recognised internationally as a violation of human rights, particularly the prohibition against “cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment” under article 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and article 16 of the Convention against Torture, both of which Indonesia has ratified.

The United Nations Human Rights Committee, the international expert body that monitors compliance with the ICCPR, states in a General Comment that the aim of article 7 is “to protect both the dignity and the physical and mental integrity of the individual.”

Coerced virginity testing compromises the dignity of women and violates their physical and mental integrity.

The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and other human rights treaties prohibit discrimination against women.

Because men are not subjected to virginity testing, the practice constitutes discrimination against women as it has the effect or purpose of denying women on a basis of equality with men the ability to work as police officers.

“Indonesian women who seek to serve their country by joining the security forces shouldn’t have to subject themselves to an abusive and discriminatory ‘virginity test’ to do so,” Varia said.

“The Indonesian police and military cannot effectively protect all Indonesians, women and men, so long as a mindset of discrimination permeates their ranks.”

A Human Rights Watch special report.

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