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.

Police officers ill-treat protesters in Jayapura during a peaceful demonstration against new autonomy regions in West Papua

Police officers forcefully dispersed a peaceful protest by students of the Cenderawasih University (UNCEN) in Jayapura on 8 March 2022. The students voiced their aspirations against Jakarta’s plan to establish four additional provinces in West Papua, and also demanded the withdrawal of non-organic military personnel from West Papua.
According to information received from Jayapura student groups, police officers ill-treated at least 14 students. dispersed the crowd. Ten protesters were arrested and detained at the Abepura sub-district police station.

Security force members torture five minors in Puncak Regency – One victim dies two days later

Security force personnel reportedly tortured five minors in the Sinak District, Puncak Regency, on 22 February 2022. One of the children succumbed to his injuries, while the others were brought to the Mimika regency for medical treatment. Security forces accused the children of stealing a firearm belonging to a military officer. They tortured them before and duting detention at the local police station. Thirteen-year-old Makilon Tabuni died on 24 February 2022 due the injuries sustained during the torture.

Trial against Papuan human rights activist Victor Yeimo continues despite ongoing medical treatment

On 9 May 2021, members of the Nemangkawi task force arrested Victor Yeimo (see photo, source: Jubi) in Jayapura. He is the West Papua National Committee (KNPB) international spokesperson, a civil resistance movement organisation promoting the right to self-determination. He has been detained at the Police Mobile Brigade (Brimob) headquarters in Jayapura for months. The trial against Mr Yeimo was initially launched at the Jayapura District Court in August 2021 but had to be interrupted because his health condition significantly deteriorated during detention. After almost six months of medical treatment at the public hospital, the judges decided to continue the trial. Mr Yeimo’s lawyers accuse the judges of ignoring their client’s right to health. The judges gave the order to detain Victor Yeimo at the Abepura detention facility, despite a medical letter stating that he needs further treatment for recovery at the hospital.

Papuan Legal Aid Institute is concerned about the health condition of political detainees 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. 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 the eight men guilty of treason as regulated under Article 106 of the Indonesian Criminal Code (KUHP). Previously, the public prosecutor demanded a sentence of one year while the lawyers had pleaded for acquittal for the defendants.

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.

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 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 insults continued at the NTB regional police station.

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.

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.