In the town of Manokwari, a demonstration in commemoration of the HRD led to a confrontation between police and protestors in the Amban area. The police forcefully dispersed the protesters with teargas grenades and water cannons. Police representatives claimed that stones thrown by the crowd hit two officers. The protesters, Mr Manuel Mirin and Mr Noak Miagoni were arbitrarily detained at the Manokwari City Police headquarters. At least three other protesters were injured due to police violence.
The situation became tense as protesters wanted to walk from the main road to the University of Papua (Unipa) Campus to the Papua Barat Provincial Parliament and the Provincial Department for Law and Human Rights. The protestors demanded justice for alleged human rights violations in Papua, including cases such as the Wasior incident (2001), the Bloody Wamena Case (2004), and other reported abuses in Nduga and Yaukimo Regency emphasizing the importance of an accountability process of the perpetrators. They also voiced aspirations for self-determination and called for the immediate release of political prisoners in West Papua.
Before the demonstration, the Manokwari Police Chief, Commissioner Rivadin Benny Simangunsong, had deployed 150 personnel to secure the protest. Despite tensions and police repression, the crowd persisted near the Unipa Campus, waiting for the release of the detained protesters and the return of a seized motorcycle.
Human rights organisations demanded an internal investigation against police authorities who had given the order to block and disperse the protest in Manokwari. Mr Emanuel Gobay, the director of the Papuan Legal Aid Institute (LBH Papua), declared, “The Papua Barat Police Chief should immediately initiate a legal process against officers who committed acts of violence during the demonstration on the Human Rights Day for the alleged crime of ill-treatment as stipulated in Article 351 KUHP (Indonesian Criminal Code).”
Detailed Case Data
name of the location: Amban (-0.8408542720702253, 134.06448583435767)
administrative region: Indonesia, Papua Barat Province, Manokwari Regency, Manokwari town
total number of victims: dozens
period of incident: 10.12.2023
perpetrator details: unknown
Issues: indigenous peoples, freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, ill-treatment, arbitrary arrest
Sources: Further HRM News: https://humanrightsmonitor.org/news/police-in-west-papua-prevent-commemorations-of-human-rights-day-protesters-in-timika-and-manokwari-face-police-violence-and-arbitrary-arrests/
|freedom of assembly