West Papua

The indigenous peoples in West Papua suffer from human rights violations in the decades long lasting political and economical conflict there. West Papua refers to the western half of the New Guinea island. It is comprised of the two Indonesian provinces Papua and Papua Barat.

Eight Papuan activists found guilty of treason and sentenced to ten months for raising Morning Star Flag

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.

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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Kaimana: protest dispersed on 14 July 2022, 2 injured

A crowd of several hundred protesters gathered in various locations in Kaimana on 14 July 2022. Police officers blocked the roads to the local parliament. The local police chief, I Ketut Widiarta, called upon the crowd to enter police trucks which would bring them to the local parliament. However, the crowd rejected this proposal. Thereupon, Mr Nyai was able to convince the protesters to enter trucks which he organised by himself, while the other protesters followed on motorcycles. According to information received, police officers beat two protesters with wooden batons. The police dragged them off the bike and forced them to enter one of the trucks. One of the victims, Mr Aser Bary, was beaten with a wooden baton and sustained bruises on his chest and back as a result of the excessive force applied against him.

Jayapura: protest against formation of new provinces dispersed on 14 July 2022, four injured

The PRP submitted a formal registration letter for a peaceful protest march from provincial parliament on 11 July 20 Police Chief Mackbon publicly declared that he will not allow the protest march but would facilitate a group of PRP representatives to meet with parliament members. The PRP rejected this proposal, insisting the police respect and protect the freedom of peaceful assembly and their rights as Indonesian citizens.
According to media sources, the Jayapura police chief mobilized 2,000 police officers to prevent the protest. Police officers and crowd control vehicles too were positioned in strategic locations across Jayapura City (see photos below) since 6.00 am. Dozens of police officers dispersed a group of about 30 students at the entrance gate to the Cenderawasih University campus in Waena, Jayapura. A video of the crowd control operation shows police officers wearing helmets and heavy gear beating the protesters with wooden batons. They pushed back the protesters into the university campus after they insisted on walking towards the parliament building in Jayapura. Four protesters were injured as a result of police violence.

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.