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.

Soldiers found guilty of killing two Papuans in Timika and dismissed from military service

Human rights defenders and media outlets reported the killing of two Papuan young men by members of the Indonesian military on 13 April 2020. According to relatives, Eden Armando Bebari and Ronny Wandik went at 8am to a river at Mile 34 inside the Freeport concession area to catch fish. In the evening, relatives looked for Eden and Ronny because they had not returned to their homes. Their relatives only found the motorcycles at Mile 34. Around 11.30 pm, rumors spread in the town of Timika that soldiers of the military mobile border security unit Gab YR 712 and YR 900 had shot dead two members of the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPN PB). The following day, the relatives were informed that the bodies of Eden and Ronny had been brought to the public hospital in Mimika.
More than two years later judges at the III-17 Military Court in Manado have found Lieutenant Gabriel Bowie Wijaya and Private Sugi Harnoto guilty of killing two Papuans in Timika.

Police officers kill Papuan man in Paniai Regency – Relatives demand an independent investigation

Police officers dispersed civil unrest in the town of Enarotali, Panaiai Regency, using tear gas and live ammunition on 5 July 2022. The police justified the forceful intervention by claiming that protesters were damaging buildings at the Paniai Regent’s Office. A Papuan man named Donatus Nawipa (see photo, source: Suara Papua) was killed during the …

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Nabire: security forces dispersed the protest against new provinces in Papua on 3 June

About sixty PRP supporters gathered at the Oyehe Gizi Park in Nabire on 3 June 2022 at 6.00 am and made peaceful orations. Forty minutes later, dozens of police officers arrived at the park and told the protesters to leave, claiming that other groups would need the park for an assembly. At 7.15 am, fully equipped police personnel began pushing the protesters towards the Oyehe bus terminal. The officers reportedly intercepted people recording the crowd control operation and forced them to delete the recordings from their phones. The police arrested 23 protesters and forced them to enter a police truck around 8.00 am. They were detained and interrogated at the Nabire District Police Station (POLSEK). Arrested protesters testified that the POLSEK Chief threatened to take them far away from Nabire for detention. The 23 protesters were released at 5.00 pm.

Sorong: security forces dispersed the protest against new provinces in Papua on 3 June

On 3 June 2022, around 250 people went to the streets in Sorong city to voice their opposition to Jakarta’s planned administrative partitions. At 2.30 pm, the protesters gathered at the local parliament, demanding to meet the local parliament chairman. He did not come to meet the crowd, and at 3.15 pm, the situation became tense. Some protesters reacted by burning tires in the surrounding area. In return, police officers shot teargas grenades and rubber bullets from close range into the crowd. At least ten protesters sustained injuries due to excessive force during the crowd control operation.

Merauke: security forces disperse protest against new provinces in Papua on 3 June

On 3 June, around 9:30 am dozens of PRP sympathisers, Papuan students and activists associated with the KNPB gathered at the Kudamati Road near the Mangga Market in the town of Merauke. They orated and read their arguments against the formation of new provinces loudly. The demonstration lasted for around half an hour, after which the protesters dispersed. Approximately 15 minutes later, joint security forces under the command of the Merauke police chief arrived in the area and began taking the mobile phones of bystanders to revise and delete recordings, and identify protesters. They also searched houses in the area, especially those of KNPB activists, tey seized gardening tools and traditional weapons and arrested 13 people, most affiliated with the KNPB.

Timika: security forces disperse protest against new provinces in Papua on 3 June

On 3 June 2022, people in Timika went to the streets to voice their opposition to Jakarta’s planned administrative partitions. Police officers reportedly blocked the crowd at SP3 and arrested two protesters named Mr Jakson Wenda and Mr Anas Oktovianus H Rumaropen. Both were reportedly ill-treated during the arrest. The exact circumstances of the arrest remain unclear. A small group of protesters was allowed to share their aspirations with parliament representatives.

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.

Police crackdown on a peaceful protest in Jayapura – 41 protesters injured, 7 activists arrested

Forty-one protesters were injured as police officers forcefully dispersed a peaceful demonstration against the formation of new Papuan autonomy regions in Jayapura on 10 May 2022. Shortly after, police officers arbitrarily arrested seven Papuan activists who partcipated in the demonstration. They were released on the same day.

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.

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.