KNPB faces police obstruction as it prepares for its 15th-anniversary celebration

On 17 November 2023, preparations were underway for the 15th anniversary of KNPB (West Papua National Committee). According to the information received, members and activists were busy setting up the stage in front of the KNPB Mamberamo Tengah Secretariat. Around 3:40 PM, a joint police and military force comprising TNI and POLRI, led by the district police chief of Mamberamo Tengah, arrived at the KNPB secretariat.

Their purpose was to inquire and ensure the legality of the event, despite KNPB management having submitted a notification letter to the Mamberamo Tengah district police earlier in the morning on 17 November 2023, around 9:45 AM. The KNPB maintains that it is the security forces themselves that disrupt the peace in the region, merely intimidating the local populace.

On Saturday, 18 November 2023, the West Papua National Committee (KNPB) distributed flyers to issue a public announcement to the people in the Mamberamo Tengah Regency. The distribution began at Kobakma Market and extended along the streets of Kobakma District. However, an incident occurred as KNPB leaders and members were about to leave when they were obstructed by the police.

Indonesian National Police and Indonesian National Army personnel parked their vehicles on the road and detained the KNPB march on Pasar Arege Street, led by the Mamberamo Tengah Resort Police. Approximately 50 KNPB members who were planning to proceed on foot were stopped by the police. Fortunately, after successful negotiations, the situation was defused.

Following the negotiation process, the police allowed the march to continue. A few minutes later, they sent a letter stating that this activity was in preparation for KNPB’s 15th-anniversary celebration and flyer distribution, aimed at expressing gratitude for KNPB’s 15-year existence. The event proceeded peacefully thereafter.

Detailed Case Data
name of the location: Pasar Kobakma (-3.6684292869090296, 139.07927161526771)
administrative region: Indonesia, Papua Pegunungan Province, Mamberamo Tengah Regency, Kobakma District
total number of victims: dozens
period of incident: 17.11.2023 – 18.11.2023
perpetrator: police, other security forces
perpetrator details: unknown
Issues: freedom of expression, freedom of peaceful assembly, indigenous peoples
Further HRM News:

NumberName, DetailsGenderAgeGroup AffiliationViolations
dozensunknown unknownunknownindigenous, activistfreedom of assembly, freedom of expression