Human Rights News

News on the human rights and conflict situation in the Indo-Pacific region.

Papuan journalist Victor Mambor wins Udin Award

The co-founder of Tabloid Jubi, Victor Mambor received the 2022 Udin Award from the Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) on 7 August on AJI’s 28th-anniversary celebration. Victor Mambor is a native Papuan journalist who has dedicated his life for decades to the field of journalism. The Udin Award is AJI’s annual award to promote press …

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Conflict between palm oil company PT FPIL and community of Sumber Jaya Village in Jambi Province leads to the criminalisation of small farmers

On August 4, 2022, hundreds of peasants from Sumber Jaya Village, Kumpeh Ulu District, Muaro Jambi Regency demonstrated in front of the ATR/BPN office. The peasants voiced their rights regarding the 322 hectares of land currently claimed by the palm oil company PT Fajar Pematang Indah Lestari (PT FPIL) and protest the criminalisation of peasants in Sumber Jaya Village.
PT FPIL accuses peasants of starting to occupy land legally included in the company’s Cultivation Rights Title (HGU) area and stealing their palm fruit in that area. Meanwhile, peasants feel they are entitled to the land because it was always their land, passed down for generations until a plantation company named PT Purnama Tausar Putra sized it in 1998 before being taken over by PT FPIL in 2015.

What’s wrong with the Indonesian justice system? Trials in Maybrat provide an insight

Insight in a case if torture and violation of the right to a fair trial of seven indigenous Papuans in the Maybrat Regency, Papua Barat Province. The indigenous Papuans were arrested and prosecuted for their alleged involvement in the attack on a military post in Kisor Village on 2 September 2021. The majority of the defendants were internally displaced shortly after the attack. All of them have been subjected to torture during police detention. Four of the defendants are believed to be below the age of 18 years, but only one of them was tried under the juvenile justice system. While 14-year-old Lukas Ky was found guilty of murder and sentenced to eight years imprisonment by the juvenile court, Robianus Yaam, Maklon Same and Yakobus Worait continue to be processed under the adult criminal justice system. All defendants deny any wrong-doing or involvement in the attack.

Police officers kill Papuan man in Paniai Regency – Relatives demand an independent investigation

Police officers dispersed civil unrest in the town of Enarotali, Panaiai Regency, using tear gas and live ammunition on 5 July 2022. The police justified the forceful intervention by claiming that protesters were damaging buildings at the Paniai Regent’s Office. A Papuan man named Donatus Nawipa (see photo, source: Suara Papua) was killed during the …

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Trial against 8 Papuan activists accused of treason launched in Jayapura

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.

Police crackdown on a peaceful protest in Jayapura – 41 protesters injured, 7 activists arrested

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.

Soldiers allegedly tortured five Papuan students in Mosso Village, Jayapura city

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.