Military members torture dozens of indigenous Papuans in Lanny Jaya, among them four minors – One victim killed

Military members reportedly opened fire at a group of indigenous Papuans from the Yugur Village in the Nduga Regency on 6 April 2023. A bullet injured one indigenous 17-year-old girl. The incident occurred in the forest near the Kwiyawagi Village in the Kuyawage District, Lanny Jaya Regency, Papua Pegunungan Province. The military members reportedly burnt ten residential houses and a congregational office of the Papuan Tabernacle Church to the ground, seized the villagers’ belongings, killed some of their livestock, and arrested six villagers, most of them Papuan high school students. All were tortured during detention. One of them allegedly died shortly after the torture.

Observers stated that the preparations for the security force operation already began on 30 March 2023 with the deployment of additional military personnel to the Kuyawage Village. They were brought in with three small airplanes to meet with about 370 military members approaching overland. On April 2023, the military members raided the Kuyawage Village and reportedly arrested 20 indigenous villagers. were interrogated, tortured, and detained at a nearby military post. They were allowed to leave the post at 7.00 pm.

On 4 April 2023, a group of villagers and students from the Yuguru village in the Meborok District of Nduga Regency went to the town of Tiom in the Lanny Jaya Regency to buy sugar, coffee, salt, oil, and noodles. On 6 April 2023, the group was attacked by soldiers on their way back to Meborok.

Parina Karunggu sustained a bullet injury in the back (see photos below, source: independent HRDs). The bullet reportedly continues to remain inside the body. Moreover, the military members arrested eight indigenous Papuans, among them four other minors. Wity Unue (17 years), Person Gwijangge (15 years), Apendak Karunggu (14 years), Cerita Telenggen (25 years), Kejar Murib (20 years), and Mr Oumega Tabuni (25 years) were tortured, and remain in military detention. Wity Unue reportedly succumbed to the injuries he sustained during the torture.

Apart from Parina Karunggu, all victims were arrested and detained at the military headquarters in Timika, Mimika Province. The relatives were informed about the whereabouts of the victims. On 8 April 2023, Wity Unue’s body was flown back to the Lanny Jaya Regency. The other five victims were released on 20 April 2023, after human rights defenders had leaked the case to the local media and called upon the military to release them. According to the information received, all released detainees were in poor health conditions as a result of the torture they experienced.

On 16 April 2023, security force members intercepted twelve villagers in the Goa Balim District, Lanny Jaya Regency. Angin Pela, Yeson Kogoya, Pindiron Kogoya, Iburan Pela, Demier Kogoya, Epinus Kogoya, Gonius Wanena, Wakoman Kogoya, Yenis Kogoya, Depfri Waker, Dekinus Kogoya, and Indokon Wanena were tortured while being interrogated by security force members. None of them was arrested.

Mrs Parina Karunggu sustained a bullet injury on the lower back

Detailed Case Data
name of the location: Kwiyawagi (-4.051849910222562, 138.0400716699888)  administrative region: Indonesia, Papua, Pegunungan Province, Lanny Jaya Regency, Kuyawage District, Kwiyawagi Village
total number of victims: 93
period of incident: 04.04.2023 – 16.04.2023
perpetrator: other security forces
perpetrator details: unknown
Issues: torture, ill-treatment, execution, indigenous, arbitrary detention
Sources: &,

Further HRM News:

NumberName, DetailsGenderAgeGroup AffiliationViolation
1Parina Karunggufemale17indigenousill-treatment, torture
1Apedank Karunggu, student male14indigenous ill-treatment, torture, arbitrary detention  
1Person Gwijangge, studentmale15indigenous ill-treatment, torture, arbitrary detention
1Cerita Telenggenmale25indigenous ill-treatment, torture, arbitrary detention
1Wity Unuemale17indigenous ill-treatment, torture, arbitrary detention, execution
1Oumega Tabuni male25indigenousill-treatment, torture, arbitrary detention
1Kejar Muribmale20indigenousill-treatment, torture, arbitrary detention
1Angin PelaN/AN/Aindigenousill-treatment, torture
1Yeson KogoyaN/AN/Aindigenousill-treatment, torture
1Pindiron KogoyaN/AN/Aindigenousill-treatment, torture
1Iburan PelaN/AN/Aindigenousill-treatment, torture
1Demier KogoyaN/AN/Aindigenousill-treatment, torture
1Epinus KogoyaN/AN/Aindigenousill-treatment, torture
1Gonius WanenaN/AN/Aindigenousill-treatment, torture
1Wakoman KogoyaN/AN/Aindigenousill-treatment, torture
1Yenis KogoyaN/AN/Aindigenousill-treatment, torture
1Depfri WakerN/AN/Aindigenousill-treatment, torture
1Dekinus KogoyaN/AN/Aindigenousill-treatment, torture
1Indokon WanenaN/AN/Aindigenousill-treatment, torture