Human Rights Update West Papua – 1st Quarter 2017

In the first quarter of 2017, security forces killed four indigenous Papuans while the perpetrators remain untouched by law. The killings occurred in the regencies Kepulauan Yapen, Jayawijaya and Dogiyai. These Papuan regencies continue to be classified as 'red zones', where security force members tend to label indigenous Papuans as supporters of separatist Assaults movements. Hence, security force operations are conducted with a high level of violence. The majority of violations were committed by police officers during arrest or detention, where victims are vulnerable to acts of torture. The period between January and March 2017 revealed a case pattern, comprising violations such as extra-judicial killings, torture, violations of indigenous peoples rights, limitations regarding media freedom and violations of the right to fair trial.

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Human Rights Update West Papua – 2nd Quarter 2017

In the second quarter of 2017, the number of torture and ill-treatment cases has significantly increased while the cases of extra-judicial killings have dropped in comparison to the previous quarter of 2017. While the months January to April 2017 were comparatively quiet in terms of political arrests, activists and human rights defenders reported at least 321 political arrests during the second quarter of 2017, which mainly occurred in May. One can observe a greater variety of violations during the reporting period covering also violations against human rights defenders, political arrests and violations of the right to health. The strategy to criminalize peaceful political activists with treason charges continues to be commonly applied by law enforcement agencies in West Papua. The violations during this reporting period were equally committed by members of police and military units. At least four cases with the involvement of police officers were brought to the attention of police-internal investigation body PROPAM between April and June.

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