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.

Attack on Papuan human rights organisation – Perpetrators set a motorcycle on fire

The Papuan Legal Aid Institute (LBH Papua) was subjected to an attack in the early morning of 9 May 2022. A motorcycle was set on fire inside the garage of the LBH Office in Jayapura City. LBH Papua is part of a coalition of human rights organisations in West Papua and provides legal and non-legal support to political activists and other victims of human rights violations.

Trial against 8 Papuan activists accused of treason launched in Jayapura

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.

Soldiers allegedly tortured five Papuan students in Mosso Village, Jayapura city

Seven members of the military border security unit Yonif 711/RKS/Kampung Mosso tortured five Papuan students in the village of Mosso, Muara Tami District, Jayapura city on 6 May 2022. The students informed the military of their fishing activities. When they were done fishing, they went to the military post. They were ill-treated by military personnel for allegedly passing by other posts and not reporting their activities.

Intoxicated police officer ran over four road workers in Jayapura – one victim dies

A police officer lost control of his police vehicle in the early morning of 4 May 2022 and ran over four road workers in the city of Jayapura, Papua Province. One of them died as a result of the crash while the others were injured. The head of the Papuan Regional Police’s professionalism and security affairs division (Propam Polda Papua), Mr Sanchez Napitupulu, suspects that the driver was intoxicated as the incident occurred. The police are looking for the perpetrator who fled the crime site without providing assistance to the victims. Two of his colleagues, EN and YN, who were inside the police vehicle as the accident occurred, surrendered to the police shortly after the accident.  

KNPB supporters request audience with Jayapura police chief – Police respond with ill-treatment and arrest

On 4 April 2022, 8 supporters of the West Papua National Committee (KNPB) were ill-treated and 5 others arrested as the activists wanted to discuss the legal process of the five KNPB members who had been charged the police. Instead of meeting with the activists, the Jayapura police chief gave the order to disperse the crowd. According to information received, police officers used excessive force against the protesters. Eight KNPB activists were ill-treated and sustained injuries (see photos below, source: independent HRDs) while five others were reportedly arrested.  

Protests against the formation of new provinces in West Papua continue as Indonesian Minister claims 82% of Papuans support government plans

Thousands of protesters in the regencies Mimika and Dogiyai expressed their opposition to the formation of new provinces in West Papua. In Timika, police officers prevented the protesters from walking toward the local parliament building. Police personnel forcefully dispersed the crowd with tear gas ammunition around 9.00 am. The officers reportedly ill-treated at least four protesters and arrested and detained at least three, who were released hours later.

Police officer shot and injured an indigenous Papuan in Paniai Regency

Police officers have shot indigenous Papuan Mr Petrus Tebay in the Bapouda Village, Paniai Timur District, Paniai Regency, on 5 April 2022. The victim was admitted to the public hospital in Madi, where he is receiving medical treatment. Earlier that day, the internet cafe owners in Bapouda had reported a theft to the local police. Mr Tebay was outside the cafe when he was suddenly shot. Allegedly the police suspected him to be the thief. Still, he was shot with no warning. Mr Tebay denies having committed any crime.

Minor executed by security forces during armed clashes in Nduga Regency

Indonesian security forces executed seventeen-year-old Parunus Lokbere outside his home in the Nogolaid Village in Kenyam District, Nduga Regency, on 5 April 2022. His body was buried on 7 April 2022. The shooter has not been identified. The situation in Kenyam remains tense. All indigenous Papuans are under close surveillance by the police and military. Local informants declared that multiple houses of local residents in Kenyam were damaged by security force members with mortar grenades and bullets.

Security forces again disperse protests against new autonomy regions, minor injured in Nabire

Joint security forces dispersed further protests against the division of the Provinces Papua and Papua Barat into new autonomy regions in the cities Jayapura and Nabire. In Tiom, Lanny Jaya Regency, the protest took place without interference but under close surveillance by security forces. In Jayapura, one protestor was injured by a bullet, and at least three were arbitrarily arrested and ill-treated.

Criminalisation of Indonesian HRDs continues– Police examine Haris Azhar, Fatia Maulidyanti and NGO activists

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.

Police arrest 82 Papuans after burial ceremony – Five persons processed for attacking officer

The Jayapura police arrested 83 Papuans following the burial ceremony of Mr Awi Cris Pahabol at the Waena Cemetery in Jayapura on 28 March 2022. Reportedly, two police officers interfered with the procession to the cemetery and one of them was ill-treated by participants of the procession. While 77 arrestees were released within 24 hours, the police charged five KNPB activists (Mr Erepul Sama, Mr Dani Esema, Mr Frengky Edoay, Mr Luky Wisapla and Mr Yohanes Koyop) with Article 170 of the Indonesian Criminal Code (KUHP) on violence against objects or persons. The activists were allegedly tortured during interrogation.

photo of Buchtar Tabuni

Police intimidate and arrest Papuan activist Buchtar Tabuni and six others in Jayapura

Six police officers intimidated and arbitrarily arrested the Papuan activist and chairman of West Papua National Parliament (PNWP), Mr Buchtar Tabuni, and seven activists of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) in his house in Jayapura on 24 March 2022. Mr Tabuni and one activist were reportedly ill-treated during arrest. All were released the same day in the late evening.

West Papua Council of Churches: Indonesian government is denying its responsibility for the deteriorating situation in Papua

For the past two years, the West Papua Council of Churches has been actively issuing open statements and calls for support regarding the human rights situation in West Papua. In …

West Papua Council of Churches: Indonesian government is denying its responsibility for the deteriorating situation in Papua Read More »

Jakarta: Police crackdown on protests against new autonomy regions in West Papua, seven arrested

A peaceful demonstration against the formation of new provinces in West Papua took place near the Internal Affairs Ministry in Jakarta on 11 March 2022. Police officers blocked the road to the ministry, forcefully dispersed the crowd and arrested 102 protesters. At least six among them were subjected to ill-treatment during arrest. Except for a Papuan student named Mr Alfius Wenda, all protesters were released on the same day.

Yahukimo Regency: Police crackdown on protests against new autonomy regions in West Papua, 2 shot dead

A peaceful demonstration against the formation of new provinces in West Papua took place on 15 March 2022 in Yakuhimo’s largest town Dekai. A heated argument between police personnel and protesters quickly escalated into unrest. The police opened fire indiscriminately at the crowd injuring at least ten protestors. Two of them died due to their injuries, and three were hospitalised at the General Hospital in Dekai. Following the crackdown, police officers reportedly arrested the person registering the protest, Mr Denias Helembo, and several other protesters.