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Home » » Papuan religious leader spooked by Indonesian security officers

Papuan religious leader spooked by Indonesian security officers

Written By Voice Of Baptist Papua on June 25, 2008 | 10:48 PM

The Head of the Papua’s Baptist church says harassment by Indonesia won’t stop him speaking out about human rights and justice in the province.

Papuan religious leader spooked by Indonesian security officers
Posted at 07:56 on 31 May, 2006 UTC

The Head of the Papua’s Baptist church says harassment by Indonesia won’t stop him speaking out about human rights and justice in the province.
Reverend Socratez Sofyan Yoman has released a list of incidents this year when he has been terrorised and intimidated by Indonesian military, police or intelligence officers.
On March 16th, he says his car was destroyed by Indonesian Mobile Brigade Police who, he says, falsely accused him of having Molotov cocktails to support a student demonstration in Jayapura.
The latest incident involves him being harrassed and having his passport taken away by immigration officers at Jakarta airport two weeks ago.
He says this hasn’t made him afraid to continue speaking out.
“Myself, not afraid because I am talking about the truth and justice and peace; and Im talking about human dignity and human rights. But I’m still here, afraid for my two sons. Police - if they listen or hear, that’s no problem, we have to educate them about peace, justice and the truth.”
Socratez Sofyan Yoman

From tapol

[Please ignore any previous version of this statement, which was
incorrectly edited.]


1. On the 16th of March 2006, Rev Socratez Sofyan Yoman's car was destroyed
by Indonesian Mobile Brigade Police. They falsely accused me of having
Molotov cocktails and bottled drinking water in the car to support
students' demonstration in front of Cenderawasih University Jayapura. I had
no such items in the car.

2. On the 18th of March at 7.30pm, two Indonesian intelligence officers
came to see me and said that they were looking for me. They informed
themselves as research students from Java island.

3. On the 20th of March 2006, the police took my damaged car from the
workshop without informing the owner of the car (getting my permission).

4. On the 20th of March 2006, I was invited by the police to hear their
witnesses about the destruction of my car. However, I refused to fulfil
their invitation.

5. On the 4th of May 2006 at 7.00am, a Papuan man came to my house and
questioned my wife, "Where is Sofyan?", "Sofyan must be careful because
intelligence officers are looking for him".

6. On the 7th of May 2006 at 9.00am the same Papuan man came to inform
that the intelligence officers knew Sofyan's trip to Australia. The
intelligence officers would stop him at the airport and take his passport.
I said, "You and the intelligence officers will not and never stop my
struggle. Because I am the church leader who fight for truth, justice,
peace, human rights, human dignity and human equality values and also fight
for the land of Papua to be a land of peace".

7. On the 7th of May 2006 at 1.30pm at Sentani Airport, a non-Papuan staff
came and asked me, "What is your seat number?" I just looked at his face
and said nothing. The same person chased a porter who took my briefcase and
asked him, "What is Mr Yoman's seat number?" The porter said that he did
not know it.

8. On the 14th of May 2006 at 8.00pm at Jakarta Airport, the immigration
officer took and kept my passport. I heard a conversation between an
officer (a woman who wore a scarf) and another officer (a man), "Is this
the man that was said in the telephone?" After that, an immigration officer
took my passport and ordered me to follow him to the intelligence officer's
room. However, I refused his order and left him with the passport. I said
to him, "please keep my passport", and I left. Three officers (two wore
their immigration department uniforms and one wore civilian's ordinary
clothes) chased me. They said, "Please let us solve the problem first". I
asked them, "What problem?" "You yourselves kept my passport!" "For what
reasons?" "You may keep it". The immigration officers said, "Please, sir!"
"Could you have a sympathy for us please? "We're just little people who
will be fired". When I had arguments with them, the immigration officer who
took my passport returned my passport to me. The problem was not with the
passport only, my briefcase, which contained my clothes, was also searched
very strictly.

9. Brothers and Sisters, if a church leader like myself was intimidated
and terrorised, then, that means that the security and the safety of the
Papuans are in danger. This gives a real picture that the life and the
freedom of the native Papuans is threatened and in danger.

West Papua, 17 Mei 2006
Reported by Socratez Sofyan Yoman, President of the Fellowships of West
Papuan Baptist Churches
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