On 3 June, around 9:30 am dozens of PRP sympathisers, Papuan students and activists associated with the KNPB gathered at the Kudamati Road near the Mangga Market in the town of Merauke. They orated and read their arguments against the formation of new provinces loudly. The demonstration lasted for around half an hour, after which the protesters dispersed. Approximately 15 minutes later, joint security forces under the command of the Merauke police chief arrived in the area and began taking the mobile phones of bystanders to revise and delete recordings, and identify protesters. They also searched houses in the area, especially those of KNPB activists, tey seized gardening tools and traditional weapons and arrested 13 people, most affiliated with the KNPB.
Cases of human rights violations
On 3 June 2022, people in Timika went to the streets to voice their opposition to Jakarta’s planned administrative partitions. Police officers reportedly blocked the crowd at SP3 and arrested two protesters named Mr Jakson Wenda and Mr Anas Oktovianus H Rumaropen. Both were reportedly ill-treated during the arrest. The exact circumstances of the arrest remain unclear. A small group of protesters was allowed to share their aspirations with parliament representatives.
Forty-one protesters were injured as police officers forcefully dispersed a peaceful demonstration against the formation of new Papuan autonomy regions in Jayapura on 10 May 2022. Shortly after, police officers arbitrarily arrested seven Papuan activists who partcipated in the demonstration. They were released on the same day.
Seven members of the military border security unit Yonif 711/RKS/Kampung Mosso tortured five Papuan students in the village of Mosso, Muara Tami District, Jayapura city on 6 May 2022. The students informed the military of their fishing activities. When they were done fishing, they went to the military post. They were ill-treated by military personnel for allegedly passing by other posts and not reporting their activities.
A police officer lost control of his police vehicle in the early morning of 4 May 2022 and ran over four road workers in the city of Jayapura, Papua Province. One of them died as a result of the crash while the others were injured. The driver fled the crime scene.
Thousands of protesters in the regencies Mimika and Dogiyai expressed their opposition to the formation of new provinces in West Papua. In Timika, police officers prevented the protesters from walking toward the local parliament building. Police personnel forcefully dispersed the crowd with tear gas ammunition around 9.00 am. The officers reportedly ill-treated at least four protesters and arrested and detained at least three, who were released hours later.
Police officers have shot indigenous Papuan Mr Petrus Tebay in the Bapouda Village, Paniai Timur District, Paniai Regency, on 5 April 2022. The victim was admitted to the public hospital in Madi, where he is receiving medical treatment. Earlier that day, the internet cafe owners in Bapouda had reported a theft to the local police. Mr Tebay was outside the cafe when he was suddenly shot. Allegedly the police suspected him to be the thief. Still, he was shot with no warning. Mr Tebay denies having committed any crime.
Joint security forces dispersed further protests against the division of the Provinces Papua and Papua Barat into new autonomy regions in the cities Jayapura and Nabire. In Tiom, Lanny Jaya Regency, the protest took place without interference but under close surveillance by security forces. In Jayapura, one protestor was injured by a bullet, and at least three were arbitrarily arrested and ill-treated.
The Jayapura police arrested 83 Papuans following the burial ceremony of Mr Awi Cris Pahabol at the Waena Cemetery in Jayapura on 28 March 2022. Reportedly, two police officers interfered with the procession to the cemetery and one of them was ill-treated by participants of the procession. While 77 arrestees were released within 24 hours, the police charged five KNPB activists (Mr Erepul Sama, Mr Dani Esema, Mr Frengky Edoay, Mr Luky Wisapla and Mr Yohanes Koyop) with Article 170 of the Indonesian Criminal Code (KUHP) on violence against objects or persons. The activists were allegedly tortured during interrogation.
Six police officers intimidated and arbitrarily arrested the Papuan activist and chairman of West Papua National Parliament (PNWP), Mr Buchtar Tabuni, and seven activists of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) in his house in Jayapura on 24 March 2022. Mr Tabuni and one activist were reportedly ill-treated during arrest. All were released the same day in the late evening.
A peaceful demonstration against the formation of new provinces in West Papua took place on 15 March 2022 in Yakuhimo’s largest town Dekai. A heated argument between police personnel and protesters quickly escalated into unrest. The police opened fire indiscriminately at the crowd injuring at least ten protestors. Two of them died due to their injuries, and three were hospitalised at the General Hospital in Dekai. Following the crackdown, police officers reportedly arrested the person registering the protest, Mr Denias Helembo, and several other protesters.
A peaceful demonstration against the formation of new provinces in West Papua took place near the Internal Affairs Ministry in Jakarta on 11 March 2022. Police officers blocked the road to the ministry, forcefully dispersed the crowd and arrested 102 protesters. At least six among them were subjected to ill-treatment during arrest. Except for a Papuan student named Mr Alfius Wenda, all protesters were released on the same day.
Police officers forcefully dispersed a peaceful protest by students of the Cenderawasih University (UNCEN) in Jayapura on 8 March 2022. The students voiced their aspirations against Jakarta’s plan to establish four additional provinces in West Papua, and also demanded the withdrawal of non-organic military personnel from West Papua.
According to information received from Jayapura student groups, police officers ill-treated at least 14 students. dispersed the crowd. Ten protesters were arrested and detained at the Abepura sub-district police station.
Security force personnel reportedly tortured five minors in the Sinak District, Puncak Regency, on 22 February 2022. One of the children succumbed to his injuries, while the others were brought to the Mimika regency for medical treatment. Security forces accused the children of stealing a firearm belonging to a military officer. They tortured them before and duting detention at the local police station. Thirteen-year-old Makilon Tabuni died on 24 February 2022 due the injuries sustained during the torture.
Eight Papuan activists: Malvin Yobe, Devio Tekege, Ambros Elopere, Maksi You, Paul Sode Hilapok, Luis Sitok, Ernesto Matuan, and Melvin Waine were arrested for raising the Morning Star flag in front of the sports hall (GOR) in Jayapura on 1 December 2021. The police charged the activists with Articles 106 KUHP on treason and Article 110 KUHP on criminal conspiracy against the state. Allegedly the police is unnecessarily prolonging the detention because the evidence against the eight activists is not sufficient to submit the case to the public prosecutor. On 30 January 2022, the police extended the period of detention for another 30 days. Prior to the arrest, Melvin Yobe was undergoing a pulmonary treatment program, while Sode Hilapok was suffering from hemorrhoids. Their health condition of Mr Malvin Yobe and Mr Paul Sode reportedly deteriorated in late January 2022. Mr Hilapok was once permitted to see a doctor while Mr Yobe has not yet received any medical treatment. The trial started at the Jayapura District Court in April 2022 but the first court hearing was adjourned. The trial has finally started on 17 May 2022.
On 29 August 2022, judges at the Jayapura District Court found Mr Melvin Yobe, 29, Mr Melvin Fernando Waine, 25, Mr Zode Hilapok, 27, Mr Devion Tekege, 23, Mr Yosep Ernesto Matuan, 19, Mr Maksimus Simon Petrus You, 18, Mr Lius Kitok Uropmabin, 21, and Mr Ambrosius Fransiskus Elopere, 21, guilty of treason as regulated under Article 106 of the Indonesian Criminal Code (KUHP) (see photo on top, source: Jubi). Previously, the public prosecutor demanded a sentence of one year while the lawyers had pleaded for acquittal for the defendants.
On 4 February 2022, police officers arrested eight members of the West Papua National Committee (KNPB) working at a construction site in the town of Sentani, Jayapura regency. The police also seized the activists’ mobile phones and four motorcycles without showing a warrant. At the police station, the officers interrogated the detainees in relation to the alleged theft of a motorcycle. The KNPB activists denied any wrongdoing or involvement in a criminal offence. Three of the arrested activists were minors.