Testimony of Frengki Uamang

12 Dec 2012
Solidarity Team for Humanitarianism in Timika


Name:                                                 Frengki Uamang

Date and place of birth                    Weah, 5 April 1977

Education                                                    -

Occupation                                        Peasant

Religion                                             Protestant (Gereja Kemah Injil Papua)

Status                                                 A family man

Perpetrator                                        Members of Police Force, Mimika Resort

Date and time                                   27 November 11am until 28 November 2pm (Papua time)

Location                                             Jalan Irigasi, Kwamki Baru district

Type of maltreatment                       Extreme torture

B.            CHRONOLOGY

On 27 November 2012, at around 11am the victim, along with several other members of his church, Gereja Kemah Injil Papua were busy making preparations for a thanksgiving service. Along with an older sibling and their uncle from the church, they went across the road to buy some drinking water. As they were walking towards the stall, a silver-coloured car with darkened windows suddenly pulled up and two members of the police force in civilian clothing jumped out of the car and grabbed hold of the victim. As he was being arrested, one of the men said that they were members of the police force. After being seized, the victim was dragged about twenty metres and was asked why he was going to the church. He explained that he was going to a thanksgiving service at the church. He said that he was married, with a wife and two children and they live in Weah Kampung which is a long way away. After hearing this, one of the policemen took his hat off and put it on the head of the victim. In response to what the victim had said, the policeman said ‘Don’t lie to us.  You are going to buy firearms. Don’t lie to us.’

From 11.45 for the next four hours, the victim was held at the police office in Kwamki Baru. As soon as he arrived there, he was interrogated and accused of a number of things; it was alleged that he was planning to clear some land in Irigasi to supply food for members of the TPN/OPM (the military wing of the OPM). According to the testimony of the victim, during the interrogation, he was tortured by the police officer. He was kicked with heavy, knee-high army boots. He was beaten and kicked by the police on the back of his cranium, in the chest, in his ears, in the face and on his chin. The victim said that he was struck on his chest as well as on his feet, he was kicked on his shinbones and  in the groin (front and back).  As a result of all this, he was unable to walk for four days.

He was accused of a number of things as well as supplying the TPN/OPM with food.  He said that he had gone to the church because of a bereavement[1] and would return to his home in Weah Kampung.  Although the victim explained the purpose of his visit to Timika, the policemen subjected him to inhuman torture.

At around 3.30pm a number of policemen who arrived in two vehicles  and took the victim away, handcuffed, to Irigasi where he was staying  and he was asked to identify two houses which, the security forces alleged, were being used as hiding places for members of the TPN/OPM. The victim said that he had just arrived and knew nothing about the places they had referred to. He said that if the security forces wanted to see the place where he was going, he was wiling to take them there.

On the way, the victim was tortured. Two of his fingers were crushed, his index finger and his middle finger, and he was dragged along with a screwdriver. When they arrived at Jalan Irigasi, a residential area which was not far from the people’s gardens, three members of the police force told the victim to start praying while pointing their weapons at him.  He was ordered to crawl along on his chest while still handcuffed. As he was crawling along, one of the policemen put a lighter on his back and said:  ‘You killed friends of mine in the police force. You are a member of the TPN/OPM. You are from kali kopi.’[2]

While all this was happening, several other policemen [3] started firing their guns, shooting at the gardens and at some trees, behaving as if they were involved in a fight with members of the TPN/OPM.  By this time, the victim was resigned to his fate and thought that he would surely die.  He said the following prayer:

‘Oh God, if it be your wish, I surrender my soul and spirit into your hands. I hand my family over to you. Please protect them for as long as they live. My body will turn to dust here, my blood will water the land of the Amungsa[4] Papua.  But my soul will live for ever. Please God, bless the land of the Papuan people. Amen.’

As he was waiting for the policemen to start shooting, he said his prayer three times. However, none to the shots hit him.  Soon afterwards, the victim began to weep as he thought about his wife and children.

Not long afterwards, one of the policemen who had been shooting in the forest in Irigasi returned took the victim to the police station in Mimika on Mile 32.  On the way, the victim was questioned about shootings that had occurred in the vicinity of Freeport. The victim was held for one night at the police station. He slept the whole night with his hands still cuffed and his feet tied to the leg of a table in the office of the Mimika police.

Later that day, at 2pm, the victim was released and told to go home. As he was unable to stand up or walk unassisted because of the way he had been tortured, one of the policemen from the Mimika resort took him to Irigasi, the place where he was staying at the time.

C.            Previous arbitrary shootings, torture and arrests

On 23 November, 2012, three people were arrested and shot. Yopy Kwalik (30), Arianus Amisim (18) and Yance Tsugumo (28) were shot near the Irigasi market-place in the region of Timika. One of the men, Arianus Amisim was taken into custody by the police at Mile 32, Timika.[5]

According to evidence from the local community, from 23–29 November, the security forces arrested six people. The police also intimidated and arrested fourteen civilians. As a result of all this, many people who were living along Jalan Irigasi fled into the forest or to neighbours nearby.  To this day, they have not returned home.

D.            Statement and conclusions

1. The arrests and acts of torture perpetrated by the police against local civilians living along Jalan Irigasi for allegedly being separatists is just a small portrait of what is happening in Papua at the moment.

2. The shootings, arrests and torture against civilians in Timika as described above were part of a conditioning process in advance of the celebrations planned for Papuan independence day on 1 December 2012. This is clear from the fact that, following these arrests of civilians along Jalan Irigas, several groups of troops from Polri/TNI (the police and the army) took control of public places in Timika and started bakar batu[6], the places where the Papuan people would be celebrating 1 December.  In other places as well in Timika Indah, bakar batu   was conducted by the police and the military.

3. No summonses were issued prior to these arrests by the security forces.  Everything was done at random.

4. Arianus Amisim is still being held by the police in Mimika, Papua.

5. A list should be compiled of those who carried out these arrests and torture.

This completes the chronology of the arrests that we were able to compile. We express our gratitude for the support and advocacy from a variety of people. May God bless you.

                                                                                                                                Amungsa, 30 November 2012

Solidarity Team for Humanitarianism in Timika.

[1]  Initially, the victim had gone to Timika from Kampung Weah in the middle of November following the death of a relative named Yulianus Uamang, a student from Amungme who was studying in Malang, East Java.

[2]  Kali Kopi is the term used for the headquarters of members of Kodap 111 of the TPN/OPM Namangkawi.

[3]  When the victim was taken to the residential area in Irigasi, 10 or 12 policemen had arrived in two cars.

[4]  Amungsa is the term used by the Amungme people for land or places in Timika.

[5] See the Chronology in the appendix of the arrests in Jalan Irigasi, Timika, Papua, on 23 November 2012.

[6] Bakar batu is a traditional ceremony of Papuan people to denote reconciliation following a conflict. In this case, the troops made use of the local tradition.