Yahukimo Police arrest six KNPB activists in Dekai without warrant

Members of the Yahukimo District police arbitrarily arrested six activists belonging to the West Papua National Committee (KNPB) in the town of Dekai, Yahukimo Regency, on 6 July 2023. Already in June, police arbitrarily detain 17 Papuan KNPB activists in Tambrauw Regency, Papua Barat Daya Province. KNPB is a movement organisation promoting the right to self-determination through peaceful action and it is one of the most frequently targeted groups in West Papua.

The activists organised and carried on a collective cleaning activity in Dekai. The police repeatedly approached them claiming that the activists needed official permission to continue working. At 11:00 am, police officers arrested six KNPB activists without showing a warrant or justifying the arrest (see photo on top, source: independent HRD). All activists were released from the Yahukimo District Police Station at 12:20 pm after being interrogated for about one hour.

Arbitrary arrests without proper justification or due process violate the fundamental rights of individuals, including the right to freedom of expression as well as the freedom of peaceful assembly and association. The activists were detained and subjected to interrogation without legal grounds. Such actions undermine the principles of justice and freedom. The practice contributes to an environment of fear and intimidation, inhibiting the Papuan people from exercising and enjoying their human rights in West Papua.

It is crucial to ensure the freedom and safety of activists and human rights defenders in all parts of the country. Respecting and protecting human rights is not only a legal obligation but also a key component of fostering a just and inclusive society where every individual can express their views and participate in peaceful activities without fear of repression or retaliation.

Table with KNPB activists arrested in Dekai on 6 July 2023

1Semeri Balingga18 years
2Er Giban18 years
3Ance Kaningga19 years
4Boma Kobak20 years
5Ambeko Haluk20 years
6Dony Siep18 years

Six KNPB activists, after being released

Detailed Case Data
name of the location: Dekai (-4.8922653461172185, 139.54828284533153)
administrative region: Indonesia, Papua Pegunungan Province, Yahukimo Regency, Dekai Town
total number of victims: six
period of incident: 06.07.2023
perpetrator: police
perpetrator details: members of Yahukimo District Police
Issues: arbitrary detention, freedom of expression, freedom of peaceful assembly, indigenous peoples
Further HRM News:

NumberName, DetailsGenderAgeGroup AffiliationViolations
1Semeri Balinggamale18indigenous, activistfreedom of assembly, arbitrary detention
1Er Gibanmale18indigenous, activistfreedom of assembly, arbitrary detention
1Ance Kaninggamale19indigenous, activistfreedom of assembly, arbitrary detention
1Boma Kobakmale20indigenous, activistfreedom of assembly, arbitrary detention
1Ambeko Halukmale20indigenous, activistfreedom of assembly, arbitrary detention
1Dony Siepmale18indigenous, activistfreedom of assembly, arbitrary detention