KNPB supporters request audience with Jayapura police chief – Police respond with ill-treatment and arrest

On 4 April 2022, supporters of the West Papua National Committee (KNPB) gathered in front of the Jayapura Municipality Police headquarters and requested a meeting with the police chief. The activists wanted to discuss the legal process against five KNPB activists who had been arrested at the Waena Cemetery in Jayapura on 28 March 2022 after attending a burial ceremony. The police charged them with an alleged violation of Article 170 of the Indonesian Criminal Code (KUHP) on violence against objects or persons. Moreover, the crowd requested information regarding the investigation against two police officers, who had previously disturbed the procession to the burial site.

Instead of meeting with the activists, the Jayapura police chief gave the order to disperse the crowd. According to information received, police officers used excessive force against the protesters. Eight KNPB activists were ill-treated and sustained injuries (see photos below, source: independent HRDs) while five others were reportedly arrested.  

The director of the Papuan Legal Aid Institute, Mr Emanuel Gobay, condemned the police’s response and pointed out that the ill-treatment of protesters violates international human rights principles and national regulations, such as Government Regulation No 2/2003 on Disciplinary rules of the National Police and Police regulation No 8/2009 on the implementation of human rights principles and standards in the Implementation of police duties.

The KNPB is the largest movement organisation in West Papua organising peaceful demonstrations and other forms of non-violent resistance. Their supporters promote the right to self-determination through a referendum.

Table with KNPB activists ill-treated during the peaceful demonstration in Jayapura

NoNameInjuries sustained
1Yosep EsemaSustained bruised hand
2Kamaniel AlimdamBleeding head injury
3Ning Otmar NingdanaOfficer punched him in the face
4Nain WahklaSustained bruises and abrasions on the hand
5Yanteb IpoumauwaSustained abrasions on the hand and foot
6Azer W AgapaSustained bruises and sprained hand
7Hosea YeimoOfficer punched his head
8Edi PayageSustained bruises on the shoulder
Table with protesters ill-treated by police personnel during KNPB protests in Jayapura on 4 April 2022 (source: independent HRDs)

Photos of injured KNPB activists, taken shortly after the police dispersed the crowd

Detailed Case Data
name of the location: POLDA Papua (-2.5348802127703465, 140.70694684799702)
administrative region: Indonesia, Papua Province, Kota Jayapura
total number of victims: eight
period of incident: 04.04.2022
perpetrator: police
perpetrator details: unknown
Issues: torture, freedom of assembly, freedom of association
Sources: independent HRDs
Further HRM News: five KNPB activists who had been arrested at the Waena Cemetery in Jayapura on 28 March 2022 after attending a burial ceremony.

NumberName, DetailsGenderAgeGroup AffiliationViolations
1Yosep Esemamaleunknownactivisttorture
1Kamaniel Alimdammaleunknownactivisttorture
1Ning Otmar Ningdanamaleunknownactivisttorture
1Nain Wahklamaleunknownactivisttorture
1Yanteb Ipoumauwamaleunknownactivisttorture
1Azer W Agapamaleunknownactivisttorture
1Hosea Yeimomaleunknownactivisttorture
1Edi Payagemaleunknownactivisttorture