Police officers arrest ULMWP activist in Sorong

On 5 July 2023, four armed plainclothes police officers forcefully arrested Mr Viktor Makamuke (see photo, source: independent HRD), a 52-year-old ULMWP activist, and subsequently detained him at the Sorong Selatan District Police Station. A week earlier, Mr Makamuke and his friend reportedly posted a photo in support of ULMWP Full Member in the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) on social media. The United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) unites the three main organisations promoting the right to self-determination, namely the Federal Republic of West Papua (NRFPB), National Coalition for Liberation (WPNCL) and West Papua National Parliament (PNWP).

The arrest occurred at 11:40 am, while Mr Makamuke was delivering fish near the Puri Klademak Bridge in Sorong. At the police station, officers reportedly coerced and threatened Mr Makamuke to pledge allegiance to the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia (NKRI). Shortly after the arrest, the police published a statement claiming that Mr Makamuke was the Commander of the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPNPB) in the Bomberai Region. As of now, there has been no additional official police statement regarding the charges or the status of Mr Viktor Makamuke.

The arbitrary arrest and subsequent detention without clear justification or due process violate the right to liberty and freedom of the person as well as the freedom of expression as guaranteed under various international human rights treaties to which Indonesia is a party. These actions highlight the urgent need for the Indonesian authorities to address and rectify such human rights violations.

Detailed Case Data
name of the location: Polres Sorong Selatan (-1.4462952907928257, 132.02151856502738)
administrative region: Indonesia, Papua Barat Daya Province, Sorong Selatan Regency
total number of victims: one
period of incident: 05.07.2023
perpetrator: police
perpetrator details: unknown
Issues: arbitrary detention, indigenous peoples, freedom of expression
Further HRM News:

NumberName, DetailsGenderAgeGroup AffiliationViolations
1Viktor Makamukemale52indigenous, activistfreedom of expression, arbitrary detention

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  1. Pingback: Crackdown on activists, free expression in Papua as Indonesia eyes UN Human Rights role - TrendingNZ.co.nz

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