On 30 June 2022, the Indonesian parliament passed a controversial law for the formation of three new provinces in West Papua. The law makers agreed to the legislation regardless of ongoing protests against the Governments plan to establish three new provinces
Human Rights News
News on the human rights and conflict situation in the Indo-Pacific region.
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.
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.
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. He also announced filing a civil lawsuit against Mrs Maulidyanti and Mr Azhar, demanding the activists pay 100 billion rupiahs (about six million Euro) compensation for alleged defamation. The police examined the Indonesian human rights defenders, Mrs Fatia Maulidyanti and Mr Haris Azhar, as suspects at the Metro Jaya Police Jakarta in headquarters on 23 March 2022.