Publications

Human Rights Council calls for access to West Papua during UPR

On 9 November 2022, Indonesia was reviewed for a fourth time by the UN Human Rights Council’s (HRC) Universal Periodic Review (UPR), a review in which the members of the Human Rights Council discuss the overall human rights situation in Indonesia, including in West Papua. During the three hours session in Geneva, Indonesia presented its human rights record from the state’s perspective after it had submitted its national report for this review.

Sorong, Papua Barat – 2 protesters arrested and crowd dispersed with tear gas during 1st Dec commemorations

Police officers arrested two protesters participating in peaceful commemorations of the 1st of December in Sorong, Papua Barat Province. The protesters had raised Morning Star Flags in public places. The police had increased its presence across Sorong since the early morning hours of 1 December 2022. Police officers arrested two protesters with the initials NY and MI in front of the Ramayana Mall, Klademak 3, where the Papuan Peoples’ Petition (PRP) had organised the peaceful assembly. They dispersed the crowd of about 100 people with teargas after one protester raised a Morning Star Flag.

Ternate, Maluku Utara Province – eight arrested during 1st of Dec commemorations

Eight Papuan activists of the Papuan Student Alliance (AMP) and the solidarity groups Indonesian Peoples Front for West Papuan (FRI WP) as well as Liga of Indonesian Students for Democracy (LMID) were arrested near the Jatiland Mall in the city of Ternate on 1 December 2022. Police officers brought Jack (FRI-WP), Hengky (AMP), Dino (AMP), Susan (AMP), Malo (LMID), Kama (LMID), Rino, and Gelombang to the Ternate District Police headquarters for interrogation. All protesters were released without charges at 12:00 am. Police officers reportedly forced the protesters to sign a statement according to which they would refrain from commemorating the 1 December again.  

Wamena, Jayawijaya – 23 KNPB members arrested on 8 Dec. while promoting human rights day commemorations

The police in Wamena tried to prevent a demonstration commemorating Human Rights Day already in the planning stage. On 8 December 2022, police officers in multiple locations arrested 23 members of the West Papua National Coalition (KNPB), a movement organisation promoting the right to self-determination through peaceful action. They were distributing leaflets for the commemoration of Human Rights Day. The activists were shortly detained and interrogated at the Jayawijaya District Police Station.

Jayapura city – five protestors arrested and nine ill-treated during human rights day commemorations

On 10 December 2022, protesters in Jayapura gathered in multiple locations, namely at the Abepura roundabout, Jayapura University for Science and Technology (USTJ), Expo Waena, and the Cenderawasih University campuses in Abepura and Waena. The police reportedly dispersed the protests with teargas, water cannons, and warning shots. The arrests occurred early in the morning as the activists prepared for the peaceful protest. Dozens of police officers blocked university campuses at UNCEN and USTJ, preventing the protesters from walking to the main road. Nine protesters, namely, Mr Enggel Ap You, Nando Boma, Okto Mote, Yoten Mirin, Hendrik Muyapa, Yabet Degei, Olison Package, and X Dogomo sustained injuries as a result of police violence as officers dispersed the crowd.

Wamena, Jayawijaya – 30 activists arrested during human rights days commemorations

After already trying to prevent commemorations from taking place by arresting 23 activists on 10 December 2022, the police arrested again 30 KNPB activists on 10. They were intercepted in three locations in Wamena, namely in Pikhe, Sinakma, and Potikelek, all close to each other. The police arrested the activists around 8.00 am as they were preparing banners at the assembly points.

Sentani, Jayapura Regency – 52 protestors arrested and 5 ill-treated, during human rights day commemorations

On 10 December 2022, dozens of police officers blocked protesters at the Pos 7 intersection and prevented them from walking along the main road to Jayapura City. KNPB activists tried negotiating with the police to continue their way to Jayapura. At 7.50 am, the police dispersed the crowd and reportedly arrested 52 protesters. Human rights observers managed to document the names of only 42. Five protesters, namely Mrs Agustina Kobak, Mr Zeth Matuan, Mr Insu Siep, Mr Nodi Tepmul and Mr Frengky Kogoya, sustained injuries due to excessive police violence. All protesters were loaded in trucks and brought to the Jayapura district police station in Doyo Baru for interrogation.

Human Rights in West Papua in 2022 – no improvement but further deterioration

Two major developments with a significant effect on the human rights situation in West Papua throughout 2022 were, firstly, Jakarta’s plans to amend the Papuan special autonomy law and establish new provinces in West Papua. This has caused widespread rejection among indigenous Papuans. In July 2021, the central government unilaterally amended the Papuan Special Autonomy (Otsus) Law without the participation of the Papuan Peoples Assembly (MRP) and the provincial government. Secondly, the ongoing armed conflict in West Papua causes a climate of persistent violence, particularly in the conflict areas. Papuan human rights defenders kept reporting cases of torture, extra-judicial killings and enforced disappearances – many of such cases are directly related to armed conflict.

Jayapura – ill-treatment of Papuan students protesting against the G20 summit

On 16 November 2022, hundreds of students followed the call by the Executive Student Body (BEM) and held peaceful demonstrations against the G20 summit at the Cenderawasih University campuses in Abepura and Waena, as well as at the USTJ Campus. Around 11.00 am, the police dispersed the peaceful protests with water cannons and tear gas. Police officers with rubber batons and shields attacked students and arrested seven student leaders at the UNCEN campus in Abepura.

Denpasar, Bali – ill-treatment of Papuan students protesting against the G20 summit

Papuan students in Bali carried out peaceful demonstrations against the G20 summit, which Indonesia hosted in Bali on 15 and 16 November 2022. Members of nationalist groups attacked members of the Papuan Student Alliance (AMP) as they wanted to leave their dormitory to protest against the international event peacefully. Six students suffered injuries after being attacked with stones and bamboo sticks.

Manokwari, WP – Police carry out mass arrests in response to peaceful flag-raising ceremony

On 27 November 2022, dozens of indigenous Papuans came together to commemorate the anniversary of the proclamation of the independent state of West Papua New Guinea on 27 November 1997. They gathered at the Wosi Terminal. Protesters raised Morning Star flags and flags of other countries, including the Netherlands, the United States of America and New Zealand. Around 12.30 pm, joint security forces dispersed the peaceful protest and seized the flags.

Kaimana, WP – Police carry out mass arrests in response to flag-raising ceremony

Police officers arrested twelve indigenous Papuans in the Kaimana, Kaimana Regency, on 27 November 2022. Dozens of indigenous Papuans had come together to commemorate the anniversary of the proclamation of the independent state of West Papua New Guinea on 27 November 1997. The crowd raised Morning Star Flags and flags of the European Union, the United States of America and New Zealand. The arrested four elderly and eight young Papuans were detained Station for interrogation by the Kaimana District Police.

Mukomuko police arrest at least 47 farmers within six months in Bengkulu – land conflict with PT DDP

The Mukomuko Resort Police have arrested at least 47 farmers from Malin Deman Sub-district, Mukomuko Regency, Bengkulu Province, within six months, from May to October 2022. The police often accuse the farmers who are members of the Association of Farmers Fighters Bumi Sejahtera (Perkumpulan Petani Pejuang Bumi Sejahtera/PPPBS) of stealing palm fruit belonging to PT Daria Darma Pratama (PT DDP and ignore the land conflict between PT DDP and the farmers. The police repeatedly made arbitrary arrests, detained the farmers without sufficient evidence, ill-treated them, and obstructed their right to meet with their lawyers.

Labour activists in Makassar charged with criminal coercion

On 19 September 2022, members of the National Workers Union (SPN) of Makassar City and the Makassar People’s Struggle Alliance held a demonstration at the South Sulawesi Regional Police Headquarters. This action was carried out in response to classifying nine labourers as suspects in a coercion case. The management of PT WIKA BETON had reported them through police report Number: LPB/346/IV/2022/SPKT Polda Sulsel on 28 April 2022.

Makassar Police arrest and torture a man – he dies shortly after

The Makassar Police Drug Unit arrested Muh Arfandi Ardiansyah on 15 May 2022 on Jl Rappokalling, Makassar, South Sulawesi Province. Muh Arfandi Ardiansyah was found dead the same day, sometime after being arrested. The police accused him of being a drug dealer but later amended their statement, saying that Arfandi had not been a drug dealer. Arfandi’s body was full of bruises, and several bones were broken, indicating that Arfandi had been a victim of torture by the police.

Man dies during detention at Empat Lawang, South Sumatra with signs of torture – Police allegedly asked key witness to lie

On 22 June 2022, 28-years old Ari Putra died in the custody of the Empat Lawang Resort Police, South Sumatra Province, a few hours after being arrested. Ari Putra was arrested with his friend Bayu Anggara on Tuesday night, 21 June 2022, at around 10 pm. Based on the results of the post-mortem, Ari was declared dead because he suffered bruises on the back of the head and face and swollen right cheekbone. Police said that Ari Putra died because fellow prisoners mistreated him. However, the family suspects the involvement of the Empat Lawang police officer. 

Trenggalek People’s Alliance personally demand the government revoke PT Summer Mineral Nusantara’s mine permit in East Java

Thirty-nine Trenggalek People’s Alliance representatives arrived in Jakarta on 23 October 2022. They travelled from Trenggelek district in East Java province to Jakarta to convey the residents’ rejection of the PT Sumber Mineral Nusantara (SMN) gold mine due to environmental considerations and disasters, especially floods that are getting worse in Trenggalek. Most of the water comes from the mining area.

Man dies with signs of torture during detention in Banjarmasin, South Kalimantan

A 31-year-old man called Subhan died on 10 June 2022 after eight days of detention by the Banjarmasin Police Drug Crimes Unit. Subhan was arrested at his home in Pekapuran B, Perkapuran Laut Village, Central Banjarmasin Subdistrict, Banjarmasin City, South Kalimantan Province, on 3 June 2022, on suspicion of distributing methamphetamine. Signs of violence on Subhan’s body indicated that the police had tortured him. 

More than 4o people arbitrarily arrested by North Sulawesi Police during an eviction in Kalasey Dua village

On 7 November 2022, joint forces of Manado City Police and North Sulawesi Civil Service Police Unit (Satpol PP) forcibly evicted the people of Kalasey Village, Mandolang District, Minahasa Regency, North Sulawesi Province. The eviction was carried out under the escort of at least 100 members of Manado Police consisting of Sabhara, Polwan, Brimob and Resmob units, and at least 40 members of North Sulawesi Satpol PP.

Bima Polres arrest 10 students who were protesting and demanding a road repair

On 12 May 2022, ten demonstrators who were members of the Monta Student Alliance were allegedly arbitrarily arrested and detained by the Bima Resort Police (Polres). The protest, which lasted for four days, demanded repairing roads in Waro village, Monta district, in the southern coastal area of Bima Regency. The first protest took place on 9 May, and it caused no reaction from the government regarding road reparations. Therefore, the students protested on 10,11 and 12 May. On the last day, the demonstration was more significant, and police and TNI were present to forcibly dispersed the crowd.