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.

Human Rights Council calls for access to West Papua during UPR

On 9 November 2022, Indonesia was reviewed for a fourth time by the UN Human Rights Council’s (HRC) Universal Periodic Review (UPR), a review in which the members of the Human Rights Council discuss the overall human rights situation in Indonesia, including in West Papua. During the three hours session in Geneva, Indonesia presented its human rights record from the state’s perspective after it had submitted its national report for this review.

Caught on video: Police officer and son torture J&T employees in Wamena

A police officer and his son were caught on surveillance camera beating up multiple J&T employees in the town of Wamena, Jayawijaya Regency, on 8 December 2022. The officer’s son beat at least four employees inside the J&T Express Office. The officer also punched one of the employees who defended himself against the attack and intimidated them with death threats.

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.