At least 17 victims killed and 5 forcefully disappeared in West Papua throughout 2021

Human Rights Monitor (HRM) has compiled a list of victims of enforced disappearance and extra-judicial killings between January and December 2021. The chronology of events and witness testimonies allege members of the Indonesian police or military of committing these atrocities. All victims are indigenous Papuans – a finding which reflects the continuing pattern of state violence, violations of the right to life and the persistent racial discrimination that indigenous Papuans face in Indonesia. Most cases have not been followed up through independent investigations and the prosecution of perpetrators in transparent and public trials.

In multiple cases, security force officials publicly claimed that the victims were affiliated with the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPNPB) and killed in combat. This appears to be a common strategy to prevent further investigations into the cases and convince the public that the security forces acted in accordance with legal procedures.     

We demand Indonesian authorities immediately conduct independent, impartial and effective investigations into these cases. All perpetrators should be brought to justice in civilian courts through fair and transparent trials, as stipulated in international human rights treaties.

In memory of the victims and in solidarity with their families, who continue to seek justice, the Human Rights Monitor has compiled the following section with short case narratives of all reported cases of extra-judicial killings and enforced disappearances in West Papua throughout 2021:

  • Military members shot dead a disabled Papuan villager, Mr Donatus Mirib (36 years), in Ndugusiga, Intan Jaya Regency, on 27 February 2021. Military representatives claimed that Donatus Mirib was affiliated with the TPNPB. Relatives denied the accusations.
  • On 12 October 2021, members of the police mobile brigade (Brimob) shot dead Mr Surya Wenda as the officers forcefully dispersed a private celebration with firearms in the town of Wamena, Jayawijaya regency, with firearms.
  • Armed clashes in the town Sugapa, Intan Jaya Regency, resulted in the death of a two-year-old infant, Melpianus Sondegau (see photo on top, source: YKKMP), on 26 October 2021. The relatives claim that the shots came from the local military command (Koramil) in Sugapa.
  • Military members arrested Mr Semuel Kobogau (31 years), inside a small store in Sugapa town on 5 October 2021 and subsequently brought Mr Kobogau, to the nearby Raider 501 military post. It was the last time he was seen alive. A police investigation into the allegations of enforced disappearance did not bring any results

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