The human rights court trial in relation to the Paniai Massacre of 2014 will be launched at the Makassar District Court on 21 September 2022
Human Rights News
News on the human rights and conflict situation in the Indo-Pacific region.
Since its inception in November 2020, the Regulation issued by the Indonesian Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (Kominfo), Regulation Number 5 of 2020 on Private Electronic System Operators (PSEs), has been predicted to become a repressive policy instrument that violates human rights. This Regulation Number 5/2020 (Perkominfo) adds to the long list of threats to freedom of expression, the right to information, and privacy from the Indonesian government. Based on the Perkominfo 5/2020, the government announced in June 2022 that it would block tech companies that do not officially register as PSEs in the country until 20 July 2022, sparking public concern and criticism across the country.
Military and civilian perpetrators have killed and mutilated four indigenous Papuans in Timika on 22 August 2022. The military police and the Timika regional police have launched separate investigations into the killing. As of 30 August 2022, the police had discovered body parts of the four victims, which the perpetrators packed in bags and dumped into the river. On 29 August the relatives carried out a peaceful protest demanding justice for the killing and enforced disappearance of Mr Irian Nirigi, Mr Arnold Lokbere, Mr Atis Tini, and Mr Limaniol Nirigi.
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 August 22, 2022, hundreds of members of the Police from the Simalungun Police and members of the TNI from Kodim 0207 Simalungun carried out repressive actions against the Sihaporas indigenous community in Pematang Sidamanik district, Simalungun Regency, North Sumatra Province. The indigenous people of Sihaporas Lamtoras were protesting the business activities of PT Toba Pulp Lestari (PT TPL) in their ancestral territory and aimed to stop them until the land dispute is settled. The brutality of the joint security forces in Simalungun resulted in a woman being injured by a rubber bullet.
On 1 August 2022, the police repressively dispersed a peaceful demonstration by mostly members of the Tourism Care Community Forum (Formapp) in Labuan Bajo against the government’s tourism management policies for Komodo National Park (KNP). For Formapp, the policies are unilateral and detrimental to residents, and the main issue is the increased entrance fees for the KNP. Labuan Bajo is a gateway town to the KNP, it is located in Komodo, West Manggarai Regency, East Nusa Tenggara Province.
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 …
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.
The latest draft of the Indonesian Criminal Code consists of several articles that discriminate against non-Muslims, including religious minorities; women and girls, and LGBT people; that potentially criminalise individuals who organise peaceful protests; among many other human rights issues.
A case of torture and violation of the right to fair trial in the Maybrat Regency provides an insight into the justice system. The seven 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. Four were allegedly minors, but only one of them was tried under the juvenile justice system. Fourteen-year-old Lukas Ky was found guilty of murder and sentenced to eight years imprisonment.
Human rights defenders and media outlets reported the killing of two Papuan young men by members of the Indonesian military on 13 April 2020. According to relatives, Eden Armando Bebari and Ronny Wandik went at 8am to a river at Mile 34 inside the Freeport concession area to catch fish. In the evening, relatives looked for Eden and Ronny because they had not returned to their homes. Their relatives only found the motorcycles at Mile 34. Around 11.30 pm, rumors spread in the town of Timika that soldiers of the military mobile border security unit Gab YR 712 and YR 900 had shot dead two members of the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPN PB). The following day, the relatives were informed that the bodies of Eden and Ronny had been brought to the public hospital in Mimika.
More than two years later judges at the III-17 Military Court in Manado have found Lieutenant Gabriel Bowie Wijaya and Private Sugi Harnoto guilty of killing two Papuans in Timika.
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 was killed during the crowd control operation.
On 4 June 2022, a military member shot dead 16-year-old civilian, Rafael Ivan Balaweling in the Prafi District of Manokwari Regency, Papua Barat Province. The shooting occurred during a wedding ceremony in the Aimasi village. According to the military spokesperson, General Tatang Subarna, the shooting was triggered by an argument between Staff Sergeant AFTJ and Rafael Ivan Balaweling.