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.
Cases of human rights violations
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.
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 during 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. 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 the eight men guilty of treason as regulated under Article 106 of the Indonesian Criminal Code (KUHP). 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.
On 3 February 2022, police officers arrested and tortured Papuan student Mr Amzal Yohame during a peaceful protest against the government’s plan to establish four new provinces in West Papua. Officers dragged him away from the crowd and into a police car. According to Mr Yohame, police officers punched him in the face and the ribs and kicked him multiple times to the waist on the way to the police station. At the station, officers forced him to take off his clothes. An officer broke his bracelet with the Morning Star emblem. The police released him after two-and-a-half hours.
On 1 February 2022, police officers arrested and tortured Papuan student Mr Fanimo Nyamuk Karungu for raising the morning star flag at the Mataram University campus. In the late afternoon, police officers arrested Mr Karungu in the university dormitories without a warrant and seized multiple belongings, including his mobile phone, books, Morning Star flag, and motorcycle. The officers dragged Mr Karungu to a hidden corner and collectively punched and kicked him to the body while verbally abusing him with racist insults such as pig, dog and monkey. The insults continued at the NTB regional police station.
On 7 January 2022, military members allegedly tortured a fisherman for seven hours in a post at the Sumuraman Village, in the Minyamur District of Mappi Regency. The following day, AMS was admitted to the local health centre and later transferred to the Mappi public hospital because he had difficulties breathing. Relatives filed a complaint to the Mappi District Police against the military personnel on 11 January.
On 20 August 2021, activists Fatia Maulidyanti and Haris Azhar openly discussed the relations between Indonesian security forces deployments and economic interests behind gold mining operations in the Papuan regency Intan Jaya in a YouTube video. The former military general and incumbent Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment, Mr Luhut Panjaitan, was named in the video. Mr Panjaitan sent two subpoena to the activists demanding a public apology. On 22 September 2021, Mr Panjaitan reported the activists for the alleged violation of the Indonesian Electronic Information and Transactions Law (ITE Law) and the Indonesian Penal Code (KUHP) to the police.
Military personnel allegedly ill-treated a group of civilians inside a karaoke bar in the Samkai village, Merauke regency, on 15 January 2022. According to CNN Indonesia, one officer was intoxicated and attacked a guest who allegedly recorded him with his mobile phone. Other bar clients dragged the military officer outside. As retaliation, four other officers ill-treated multiple guests inside the bar. The spokesperson of the XVII Cenderawasih military command stated that the conflict parties agreed to settle the case outside of the law.
Papuan pastor, Rev Elisa Kalakmabin has allegedly been missing since 12 January 2022. He was arbitrarily arrested and detained at the Police Mobile Brigade (Brimob) post in the Serambakon District on 12 January. Police officers reportedly found 20 million rupiahs (around 1200 EUR) and airgun bullets on him. The police claim he escaped from the post. However, a witness claims that he heard multiple gunshots coming from the post. So far, neither the sub-district police in Serambakon nor the Pegunungan Bintang district police has provided further information about Rev Kalamabin’s whereabouts.
In September 2021, three palm oil companies files a lawsuit against the Regent of Sorong Mr Johnny Kamuru for revoking their operational licenses in April 2021. The court ruled on 12 January 2022 that the regent acted according to law and that 34,400 hectares of customary land must be returned to the indigenous land rights holders in the districts Salawati, Klamono, and Segun.
Two members of the military are suspected of raping a woman in a hotel in Abepura, Jayapura, Papua Province. The spokesperson of the XVII/Cenderawasih military command, Kolonel Inf Aqsha Erlangga, declared on 31.12.2021 that the two suspects were arrested by the military police on 20.12.2021 and that the icase is being investigated. The complete chronology and motive for the rape case are not yet known and the identities of the two TNI personnel have not been disclosed.