Indonesia

Eight KNPB activists were arrested in Sentani

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.

Series of arrests and torture of West Papua activists – 10 arrested, 2 tortured

Human rights defenders condemned the arrest of ten West Papua activists in three cities across Indonesia throughout early February 2020. Police personnel reportedly tortured two arrestees, both students, during two separate incidents in the cities of Manokwari, Papua Barat province, and Mataram, Nusa Tenggara Barat (NTB) Province. The Indonesian Government continues to restrict human rights …

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Police officers arrest and torture Papuan student in Manokwari

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.

Papuan student in Mataram was tortured for raising the Morning Star flag at the university campus

On 1 February 2022, police officers arrested and tortured Papuan student Mr Fanimo Nyamuk Karungu for raising the morning star flag for half an hour 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 racist slurs continued at the NTB regional police station. Mr Karungu refused to answer any questions without legal counsel. He was released after six-and-a-half hours, at around 1:00 am.

West Papua Council of Churches laments displacement and killing of Papuans

On the 167th Anniversary of the Gospel Entering the Land of Papua, the West Papua Council of Churches (WPCC) has released a open letter praying for the safety of the Papuan people. “Lord, right now the lives of Papuans are being messed with by the interests of the State, encouraged by the fervor of racism, …

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Jakarta paths the way for the formation of new provinces in West Papua

On 27 January 2021, the National Parliament (DPR RI) held a first discussion about the formation of new autonomy regions in various parts of Indonesia, including West Papua. The government has announced plans to establish four additional provinces on its territory in the western half of New Guinea Island (see table below). The Papua Barat …

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Military members torture fisherman in Mappi Regency, West Papua

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.

West Papua: Police mobile brigade occupy schools in Yahukimo regency – Students protest peacefully

Papuan students are protesting against the occupation of three schools in the Yahukimo Regency. Members of the police mobile brigade (Brimob) have been using the school facilities since October 2021, which reportedly led to a breakdown of school activities in the affected areas. On 20 January 2022, about 300 protesters walked to the Yahukimo education department in Dekai and demanded the immediate withdrawal of Brimob members from the schools.

Criminalisation of human rights defenders Haris Azhar and Fatia Maulidyanti: Jakarta police alleged to be biased

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.

Military members ill-treat civilians inside karaoke bar in Merauke

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.

West Papua: Enforced disappearance of a Pastor in the Pegunungan Bintang Regency

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) port 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.

Administrative court rules against palm oil companies in Sorong

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.

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 …

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Military members accused of raping woman in Jayapura

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.

The Armed Conflict in West Papua throughout 2021 – Trends, Developments and Future Indications

On 23 December 2021, the chief of the Papua Regional Police in Indonesia, Mathius Fakhiri, gave a press conference in which he announced that armed contacts between Indonesian security forces and resistance fighters in the Papua Province had risen by 87,57% in comparison to the previous year. Fakhiri referred to 92 armed clashes throughout 2021. …

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