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 six Indonesian provinces: Papua, Papua Barat, Papua Tengah, Papua Pegunungan, Papua Selatan, Papua Barat Daya.

Sorong, Papua Barat – 2 protesters arrested and crowd dispersed with tear gas during 1st Dec commemorations

Police officers arrested two protesters participating in peaceful commemorations of the 1st of December in Sorong, Papua Barat Province. The protesters had raised Morning Star Flags in public places. The police had increased its presence across Sorong since the early morning hours of 1 December 2022. Police officers arrested two protesters with the initials NY and MI in front of the Ramayana Mall, Klademak 3, where the Papuan Peoples’ Petition (PRP) had organised the peaceful assembly. They dispersed the crowd of about 100 people with teargas after one protester raised a Morning Star Flag.

Ternate, Maluku Utara Province – eight arrested during 1st of Dec commemorations

Eight Papuan activists of the Papuan Student Alliance (AMP) and the solidarity groups Indonesian Peoples Front for West Papuan (FRI WP) as well as Liga of Indonesian Students for Democracy (LMID) were arrested near the Jatiland Mall in the city of Ternate on 1 December 2022. Police officers brought Jack (FRI-WP), Hengky (AMP), Dino (AMP), Susan (AMP), Malo (LMID), Kama (LMID), Rino, and Gelombang to the Ternate District Police headquarters for interrogation. All protesters were released without charges at 12:00 am. Police officers reportedly forced the protesters to sign a statement according to which they would refrain from commemorating the 1 December again.  

Police officers arrest and torture two Papuans for carrying a toy gun in Nabire

Police officers arbitrarily arrested and tortured two Papuan university students with the initials DT and ET at the Samabusa Harbour in Nabire on 17 December 2022. The police claimed that DT and ET carried illegal firearms. DT and ET were reportedly tortured inside the police car on the way from the harbour to the Nabire District Police Headquarters and again during interrogation at the station.

Wamena, Jayawijaya – 23 KNPB members arrested on 8 Dec. while promoting human rights day commemorations

The police in Wamena tried to prevent a demonstration commemorating Human Rights Day already in the planning stage. On 8 December 2022, police officers in multiple locations arrested 23 members of the West Papua National Coalition (KNPB), a movement organisation promoting the right to self-determination through peaceful action. They were distributing leaflets for the commemoration of Human Rights Day. The activists were shortly detained and interrogated at the Jayawijaya District Police Station.

Jayapura city – five protestors arrested and nine ill-treated during human rights day commemorations

On 10 December 2022, protesters in Jayapura gathered in multiple locations, namely at the Abepura roundabout, Jayapura University for Science and Technology (USTJ), Expo Waena, and the Cenderawasih University campuses in Abepura and Waena. The police reportedly dispersed the protests with teargas, water cannons, and warning shots. The arrests occurred early in the morning as the activists prepared for the peaceful protest. Dozens of police officers blocked university campuses at UNCEN and USTJ, preventing the protesters from walking to the main road. Nine protesters, namely, Mr Enggel Ap You, Nando Boma, Okto Mote, Yoten Mirin, Hendrik Muyapa, Yabet Degei, Olison Package, and X Dogomo sustained injuries as a result of police violence as officers dispersed the crowd.

Wamena, Jayawijaya – 30 activists arrested during human rights days commemorations

After already trying to prevent commemorations from taking place by arresting 23 activists on 10 December 2022, the police arrested again 30 KNPB activists on 10. They were intercepted in three locations in Wamena, namely in Pikhe, Sinakma, and Potikelek, all close to each other. The police arrested the activists around 8.00 am as they were preparing banners at the assembly points.

Sentani, Jayapura Regency – 52 protestors arrested and 5 ill-treated, during human rights day commemorations

On 10 December 2022, dozens of police officers blocked protesters at the Pos 7 intersection and prevented them from walking along the main road to Jayapura City. KNPB activists tried negotiating with the police to continue their way to Jayapura. At 7.50 am, the police dispersed the crowd and reportedly arrested 52 protesters. Human rights observers managed to document the names of only 42. Five protesters, namely Mrs Agustina Kobak, Mr Zeth Matuan, Mr Insu Siep, Mr Nodi Tepmul and Mr Frengky Kogoya, sustained injuries due to excessive police violence. All protesters were loaded in trucks and brought to the Jayapura district police station in Doyo Baru for interrogation.

Security force members open fire at crowd in Mappi Regency – one dead, at least eight persons injured

Security forces opened fire at a crowd of indigenous Papuans, as they were passing a Military Special Forces (Kopassus) Post. At least, nine persons were injured during the incident, among them two minors. The Papuan human rights coalition called upon the National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM) to conduct a timely and thorough investigation into the case. The Papua Regional Police (Polda Papua) declared that police officers opened fire at the crowd because the crowd attacked them during an attempt to prevent clashes between conflict parties. The claim contradicts the findings of the investigation by the Papuan human rights coalition.

Human Rights in West Papua in 2022 – no improvement but further deterioration

Two major developments with a significant effect on the human rights situation in West Papua throughout 2022 were, firstly, Jakarta’s plans to amend the Papuan special autonomy law and establish new provinces in West Papua. This has caused widespread rejection among indigenous Papuans. In July 2021, the central government unilaterally amended the Papuan Special Autonomy (Otsus) Law without the participation of the Papuan Peoples Assembly (MRP) and the provincial government. Secondly, the ongoing armed conflict in West Papua causes a climate of persistent violence, particularly in the conflict areas. Papuan human rights defenders kept reporting cases of torture, extra-judicial killings and enforced disappearances – many of such cases are directly related to armed conflict.

Victims and relatives disappointed over settlement of serious human rights violations in Indonesia

In 2022, the Jokowi administration took initiative to address past human rights violations, these efforts were poorly planned, monitored, and implemented. Both the trial of the 2014 Panai Case and the presidential decree for the non-judicial settlement of past serious human rights violations gave the impression that the government wants to burnish its human rights image among the international community instead of making a serious effort to establish justice and eradicate impunity.

Jayapura – ill-treatment of Papuan students protesting against the G20 summit

On 16 November 2022, hundreds of students followed the call by the Executive Student Body (BEM) and held peaceful demonstrations against the G20 summit at the Cenderawasih University campuses in Abepura and Waena, as well as at the USTJ Campus. Around 11.00 am, the police dispersed the peaceful protests with water cannons and tear gas. Police officers with rubber batons and shields attacked students and arrested seven student leaders at the UNCEN campus in Abepura.

Denpasar, Bali – ill-treatment of Papuan students protesting against the G20 summit

Papuan students in Bali carried out peaceful demonstrations against the G20 summit, which Indonesia hosted in Bali on 15 and 16 November 2022. Members of nationalist groups attacked members of the Papuan Student Alliance (AMP) as they wanted to leave their dormitory to protest against the international event peacefully. Six students suffered injuries after being attacked with stones and bamboo sticks.

Manokwari, WP – Police carry out mass arrests in response to peaceful flag-raising ceremony

On 27 November 2022, dozens of indigenous Papuans came together to commemorate the anniversary of the proclamation of the independent state of West Papua New Guinea on 27 November 1997. They gathered at the Wosi Terminal. Protesters raised Morning Star flags and flags of other countries, including the Netherlands, the United States of America and New Zealand. Around 12.30 pm, joint security forces dispersed the peaceful protest and seized the flags.

Kaimana, WP – Police carry out mass arrests in response to flag-raising ceremony

Police officers arrested twelve indigenous Papuans in the Kaimana, Kaimana Regency, on 27 November 2022. Dozens of indigenous Papuans had come together to commemorate the anniversary of the proclamation of the independent state of West Papua New Guinea on 27 November 1997. The crowd raised Morning Star Flags and flags of the European Union, the United States of America and New Zealand. The arrested four elderly and eight young Papuans were detained Station for interrogation by the Kaimana District Police.