Police arbitrary arrest and detain two Papuan intellectuals in Wamena

Members of the Jayawijaya District Police arbitrarily arrested two Papuan intellectuals from the Nduga Regency, Papua Province. Mr Titus Koranue and Mr Yance Kerebea have been detained at the Jayawijaya District police station since late June 2022. On 30 June 2022, police personnel conducted a house search and seized mobile phones and a laptop. The relatives believe that the police have carried out the arrest in relation to the killing of a police officer and the theft of his weapons in Wamena on 18 June 2022. Members of the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPNPB) claimed responsibility for the attack.

On 29 June 2022, officers arbitrarily arrested Mr Titus Koranue together with his 3-year-old child in front of the regent’s residence in the town of Wamena, Jayawijaya Regency, Papua Province. The officers brought Mr Koranues and his child to the Jayawijaya District Police headquarters. After seven hours of interrogation, officers called the relatives to pick up the 3-year-old child, while Mr Koanue remained in detention.

On the same day, Mr Yance Kerebea, a head of a district in the Nduga Regency, together with his wife and a relative went to the police headquarters because police officers had repeatedly come to his house and asked for him. As they entered the police station, Mr Kerebea was immediately arrested and detained without any further explanation to his relatives.

When Mr Koranue’s wife, Mrs Salina Yoman, came to the police station on 30 June 2022, to bring lunch for her husband, police officers detained and interrogated her for about six hours at the police station.

As of 18 July 2022, the police have failed to inform the relatives about the allegations of the detention, neither through a detention letter (Bhs Indonesia: surat penanhanan) nor through an oral explanation. Relatives and lawyers have talked to the Vice-Police Chief and the head of the criminal investigation department of the Jayawijaya District Police. The police officials did not elaborate on the reason for the arrest but stated both men were “secured to prevent unwanted things from happening“

Detailed Case Data
name of the location: POLRES Jayawijaya (-4.095195583465196, 138.9460374031397)
administrative region: Indonesia, Papua Province, Jayawijaya Regency, Wamena
total number of victims: two
period of incident: 29.06.2022-18.07.2022
perpetrator: police
perpetrator details: unknown
Issues: arbitrary arrest, indigenous peoples
Further HRM News:

NumberName, DetailsGenderAgeGroup AffiliationViolations
1Titus Koranuemaleunknown indigenousarbitrary detention
1Yance Kerebeamaleunknown indigenousarbitrary detention