Publications

Regulation of the Minister of Communication and Informatics Nr. 5 of 2020 will aggravate restrictions on freedom of expression and data privacy protection in Indonesia

Since its inception in November 2020, the Regulation issued by the Indonesian Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (Kominfo), Regulation Number 5 of 2020 on Private Electronic System Operators (PSEs), has been predicted to become a repressive policy instrument that violates human rights. This Regulation Number 5/2020 (Perkominfo) adds to the long list of threats to freedom of expression, the right to information, and privacy from the Indonesian government. Based on the Perkominfo 5/2020, the government announced in June 2022 that it would block tech companies that do not officially register as PSEs in the country until 20 July 2022, sparking public concern and criticism across the country.

Two indigenous women from Sihaporas Lamtoras injured due to joint forces intervention in customary land dispute in North Sumatra

On August 22, 2022, hundreds of members of the Police from the Simalungun Police and members of the TNI from Kodim 0207 Simalungun carried out repressive actions against the Sihaporas indigenous community in Pematang Sidamanik district, Simalungun Regency, North Sumatra Province. The indigenous people of Sihaporas Lamtoras were protesting the business activities of PT Toba Pulp Lestari (PT TPL) in their ancestral territory and aimed to stop them until the land dispute is settled. The brutality of the joint security forces in Simalungun resulted in a woman being injured by a rubber bullet.

Police disperse protest in tourist town Labuan Bajo, East Nusa Tenggara Province – many protesters arrested

On 1 August 2022, the police repressively dispersed a peaceful demonstration by mostly members of the Tourism Care Community Forum (Formapp) in Labuan Bajo against the government’s tourism management policies for Komodo National Park (KNP). For Formapp, the policies are unilateral and detrimental to residents, and the main issue is the increased entrance fees for the KNP. Labuan Bajo is a gateway town to the KNP, it is located in Komodo, West Manggarai Regency, East Nusa Tenggara Province.

Papuan journalist Victor Mambor wins Udin Award

The co-founder of Tabloid Jubi, Victor Mambor received the 2022 Udin Award from the Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) on 7 August on AJI’s 28th-anniversary celebration. Victor Mambor is a native Papuan journalist who has dedicated his life for decades to the field of journalism. The Udin Award is AJI’s annual award to promote press …

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Conflict between palm oil company PT FPIL and community of Sumber Jaya Village in Jambi Province leads to the criminalisation of small farmers

On August 4, 2022, hundreds of peasants from Sumber Jaya Village, Kumpeh Ulu District, Muaro Jambi Regency demonstrated in front of the ATR/BPN office. The peasants voiced their rights regarding the 322 hectares of land currently claimed by the palm oil company PT Fajar Pematang Indah Lestari (PT FPIL) and protest the criminalisation of peasants in Sumber Jaya Village.
PT FPIL accuses peasants of starting to occupy land legally included in the company’s Cultivation Rights Title (HGU) area and stealing their palm fruit in that area. Meanwhile, peasants feel they are entitled to the land because it was always their land, passed down for generations until a plantation company named PT Purnama Tausar Putra sized it in 1998 before being taken over by PT FPIL in 2015.

Kaimana: protest dispersed on 14 July 2022, 2 injured

A crowd of several hundred protesters gathered in various locations in Kaimana on 14 July 2022. Police officers blocked the roads to the local parliament. The local police chief, I Ketut Widiarta, called upon the crowd to enter police trucks which would bring them to the local parliament. However, the crowd rejected this proposal. Thereupon, Mr Nyai was able to convince the protesters to enter trucks which he organised by himself, while the other protesters followed on motorcycles. According to information received, police officers beat two protesters with wooden batons. The police dragged them off the bike and forced them to enter one of the trucks. One of the victims, Mr Aser Bary, was beaten with a wooden baton and sustained bruises on his chest and back as a result of the excessive force applied against him.

Jayapura: protest against formation of new provinces dispersed on 14 July 2022, four injured

The PRP submitted a formal registration letter for a peaceful protest march from provincial parliament on 11 July 20 Police Chief Mackbon publicly declared that he will not allow the protest march but would facilitate a group of PRP representatives to meet with parliament members. The PRP rejected this proposal, insisting the police respect and protect the freedom of peaceful assembly and their rights as Indonesian citizens.
According to media sources, the Jayapura police chief mobilized 2,000 police officers to prevent the protest. Police officers and crowd control vehicles too were positioned in strategic locations across Jayapura City (see photos below) since 6.00 am. Dozens of police officers dispersed a group of about 30 students at the entrance gate to the Cenderawasih University campus in Waena, Jayapura. A video of the crowd control operation shows police officers wearing helmets and heavy gear beating the protesters with wooden batons. They pushed back the protesters into the university campus after they insisted on walking towards the parliament building in Jayapura. Four protesters were injured as a result of police violence.

What’s wrong with the Indonesian justice system? Trials in Maybrat provide an insight

Insight in a case if torture and violation of the right to a fair trial of seven indigenous Papuans in the Maybrat Regency, Papua Barat Province. The indigenous Papuans were arrested and prosecuted for their alleged involvement in the attack on a military post in Kisor Village on 2 September 2021. The majority of the defendants were internally displaced shortly after the attack. All of them have been subjected to torture during police detention. Four of the defendants are believed to be below the age of 18 years, but only one of them was tried under the juvenile justice system. While 14-year-old Lukas Ky was found guilty of murder and sentenced to eight years imprisonment by the juvenile court, Robianus Yaam, Maklon Same and Yakobus Worait continue to be processed under the adult criminal justice system. All defendants deny any wrong-doing or involvement in the attack.

Nabire: security forces dispersed the protest against new provinces in Papua on 3 June

About sixty PRP supporters gathered at the Oyehe Gizi Park in Nabire on 3 June 2022 at 6.00 am and made peaceful orations. Forty minutes later, dozens of police officers arrived at the park and told the protesters to leave, claiming that other groups would need the park for an assembly. At 7.15 am, fully equipped police personnel began pushing the protesters towards the Oyehe bus terminal. The officers reportedly intercepted people recording the crowd control operation and forced them to delete the recordings from their phones. The police arrested 23 protesters and forced them to enter a police truck around 8.00 am. They were detained and interrogated at the Nabire District Police Station (POLSEK). Arrested protesters testified that the POLSEK Chief threatened to take them far away from Nabire for detention. The 23 protesters were released at 5.00 pm.

Sorong: security forces dispersed the protest against new provinces in Papua on 3 June

On 3 June 2022, around 250 people went to the streets in Sorong city to voice their opposition to Jakarta’s planned administrative partitions. At 2.30 pm, the protesters gathered at the local parliament, demanding to meet the local parliament chairman. He did not come to meet the crowd, and at 3.15 pm, the situation became tense. Some protesters reacted by burning tires in the surrounding area. In return, police officers shot teargas grenades and rubber bullets from close range into the crowd. At least ten protesters sustained injuries due to excessive force during the crowd control operation.

Merauke: security forces disperse protest against new provinces in Papua on 3 June

On 3 June, around 9:30 am dozens of PRP sympathisers, Papuan students and activists associated with the KNPB gathered at the Kudamati Road near the Mangga Market in the town of Merauke. They orated and read their arguments against the formation of new provinces loudly. The demonstration lasted for around half an hour, after which the protesters dispersed. Approximately 15 minutes later, joint security forces under the command of the Merauke police chief arrived in the area and began taking the mobile phones of bystanders to revise and delete recordings, and identify protesters. They also searched houses in the area, especially those of KNPB activists, tey seized gardening tools and traditional weapons and arrested 13 people, most affiliated with the KNPB.

Timika: security forces disperse protest against new provinces in Papua on 3 June

On 3 June 2022, people in Timika went to the streets to voice their opposition to Jakarta’s planned administrative partitions. Police officers reportedly blocked the crowd at SP3 and arrested two protesters named Mr Jakson Wenda and Mr Anas Oktovianus H Rumaropen. Both were reportedly ill-treated during the arrest. The exact circumstances of the arrest remain unclear. A small group of protesters was allowed to share their aspirations with parliament representatives.

West Papua Council of Churches: Indonesian government is denying its responsibility for the deteriorating situation in Papua

For the past two years, the West Papua Council of Churches has been actively issuing open statements and calls for support regarding the human rights situation in West Papua. In its most recent moral call, the WPCC criticises the response of the Indonesian government to the United Nations Special Mandates regarding allegations of the excessive …

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Jakarta: Police crackdown on protests against new autonomy regions in West Papua, seven arrested

A peaceful demonstration against the formation of new provinces in West Papua took place near the Internal Affairs Ministry in Jakarta on 11 March 2022. Police officers blocked the road to the ministry, forcefully dispersed the crowd and arrested 102 protesters. At least six among them were subjected to ill-treatment during arrest. Except for a Papuan student named Mr Alfius Wenda, all protesters were released on the same day.

Yahukimo Regency: Police crackdown on protests against new autonomy regions in West Papua, 2 shot dead

A peaceful demonstration against the formation of new provinces in West Papua took place on 15 March 2022 in Yakuhimo’s largest town Dekai. A heated argument between police personnel and protesters quickly escalated into unrest. The police opened fire indiscriminately at the crowd injuring at least ten protestors. Two of them died due to their injuries, and three were hospitalised at the General Hospital in Dekai. Following the crackdown, police officers reportedly arrested the person registering the protest, Mr Denias Helembo, and several other protesters.

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Human Rights in West Papua brought up at the EU

In December 2021 three Members of the European Parliament requested the Vice-President of the EU Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy to provide a written answer regarding the human rights situation in West Papua. MPs Carles Puigdemont i Casamajó (NI), Antoni Comín i Oliveres (NI), and Clara Ponsatí …

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Eight KNPB activists were arrested in Sentani

On 4 February 2022, police officers arrested eight members of the West Papua National Committee (KNPB) working at a construction site in the town of Sentani, Jayapura regency. The police also seized the activists’ mobile phones and four motorcycles without showing a warrant. At the police station, the officers interrogated the detainees in relation to the alleged theft of a motorcycle. The KNPB activists denied any wrongdoing or involvement in a criminal offence. Three of the arrested activists were minors.

Police officers arrest and torture Papuan student in Manokwari

On 3 February 2022, police officers arrested and tortured Papuan student Mr Amzal Yohame during a peaceful protest against the government’s plan to establish four new provinces in West Papua. Officers dragged him away from the crowd and into a police car. According to Mr Yohame, police officers punched him in the face and the ribs and kicked him multiple times to the waist on the way to the police station. At the station, officers forced him to take off his clothes. An officer broke his bracelet with the Morning Star emblem. The police released him after two-and-a-half hours.