West Papua: Enforced disappearance of a Pastor in the Pegunungan Bintang Regency

New allegations about the enforced disappearance of Papuan pastor, Rev Elisa Kalakmabin (see photo, source: Suara Papua), have been reported from the Pegunungan Bintang regency, West Papua, where the armed violence has significantly aggravated through 2021. According to Papuan news outlet Suara Papua, Rev Kalakmabin was arbitrarily arrested and interrogated at the Police Mobile Brigade (Brimob) post in the Serambakon District on 12 January 2022. Locals say the Brimob officers tortured the pastor inside the military post after finding 20 million rupiahs (about € 1,200) and airgun bullets for hunting in his bag. The police claim he escaped from the post.

A witness, who had aforehand received information about the arrest, said he heard multiple shots coming from the military post. “I went to the Brimob post around 10:00 am. I could hear shots from 100 meters, but the shooting stopped when I reached the post“. As the witness asked an officer about Rev Kalakmabin, the officer replied that the pastor had escaped from the post. Until now, neither the sub-district police in Serambakon nor the Pegunungan Bintang district police have provided further information about Rev Kalamabin’s whereabouts.

The first case of enforced disappearance in Pegunungan Bintang was reported shortly after armed clashes in May 2021. Twenty-year-old Jekson Sitokmabin and 17-year-old Asven Kasipmabin were reported missing after driving their motorcycle to the Seramkatop Village, Serambakon District. The relatives reported the disappearance to the local police but the two boys were never found

Meanwhile, armed clashes between Indonesian security forces and members of the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPNPB) have flared up again in the Kiwirok District, Pegunungan Bintang, on 17 January 2022. A police officer was reportedly injured during the armed violence.

Detailed Case Data
name of the location: Serambakon
administrative region: Indonesia, Papua Province, Pegunungan Bintang Regency, Serambakon district
total number of victims: 1
period of incident: 12.1.2022
perpetrator: police
perpetrator details: unknown police officers
Issues: arbitrary detention, disappearances, executions
Sources: Suara Papua
Further HRM News:

NumberName, DetailsGenderAgeGroup AffiliationViolations
1Pastor Elisa KalakmabinMaleunknownreligious arbitrary detention, disappearances, executions