Treason trial against Polish citizen and Papuan defendant launched in Wamena

The trial against Polish citizen Jakub Fabian Skrzypski and the Papuan defendant Simon Magal has been launched on 14 January 2019 at the District Court in Wamena, Jayawijaya Regency of Papua Province. Both men have been charged with the articles 106 and 110 of the Indonesian Criminal Code KUHP on treason, article 53 KUHP regarding the attempt to commit a criminal offense and article 55 KUHP on committing, ordering or participating in a criminal offense. The trial was postponed twice because Jakub Skrzypski refused to attend the court hearing. His lawyers stated that he had gone into a hunger strike, criticizing the bad conditions during detention at the Jayawijaya District police station. Skrzypski’s requests to move the trial to Jayapura city and to have a Polish interpreter were both rejected by the panel of judges.

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Video of Papuan suspect being tortured with snake goes viral

A video showing two police officers torturing a Papuan man with snake during detention has gone viral after being published on the online platform YouTube. The video received more than 83.000 views after Indonesian human rights lawyer Veronica Koman shared the video on her Twitter account, claiming that Sam Lokon, a member of the West Papua National Committee (KNPB) faced a similar torture technique after being arrested last month. Koman further explained that the torture has features of racism given the pattern of the persecution in Papua. The video shows a handcuffed Papuan man sitting on the floor in front of a wall while two police officers attempt to force a confession from the suspect. The officers threaten the man to put the reptile in his mouth and trousers if he would not confess the alleged theft of a mobile phone. Multiple international media outlets published articles about the abuse.

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Half Hearted Recognition - A Study on Customary Forest Concession License in Papua

The Indonesian NGOs Auriga, Jerat Papua (Papuan Peoples' Network) and ELSAM (Institute for Policy Research and Advocacy) have published a new report on Customary Forest Concession License (IUPHHK-MHA) and its implementation in the Indonesian Provinces of Papua and Papua Barat. The report describes the latest condition of forest management policy faced by the Papuan indigenous peoples and the competition between the central government and Papua regional administrations resulting from the regulation over forest management. This competition is found in the implementation of forest and indigenous peoples-related laws and regulations.

 

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Indonesia not capable to deal with its dark past - Attorney General’s office returns inquiry reports to KOMNAS HAM

On 27 November 2018, the attorney General’s office has once again returned the case files of nine alleged serious human rights abuses to the National Human Rights Commission (KOMNAS HAM) . The cases had been investigated by KOMNAS HAM and were repeatedly submitted to the attorney General’s office for further processing. Among the cases are two serious human rights violations which occurred in West Papua, namely the cases in Wamena (4 April 2003) and Wasior (13 June 2001). The attorney General’s office returned the files with the reason that the evidence in all nine cases was allegedly insufficient to initiate a legal process. The chairman of KOMNAS HAM, Mr. Ahmad Taufik Damanik, stated in a public interview with the Indonesian news magazine TEMPO, that the inquiry reports had been returned without further instructions for completion.

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ULMWP Chairman hands independence petition to UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

The chairman of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP), Beni Wenda, has delivered a petition on self-determination to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet. On 25 January 2019, Beni Wenda met the high commissioner in Geneva, Switzerland, as part of a delegation representing the Pacific island state of Vanuatu. According to the ULMWP, the petition was signed by more than 1.8 million West Papuans and expresses their wish for decolonization of the Indonesian Provinces of Papua and Papua Barat.

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Update on military operation in Nduga – Number of refugees and reported fatalities among indigenous civilians rising

A widespread military operation has been ongoing in Nduga Regency since 4 December 2018. Many indigenous Papuans have fled into the surrounding forests and neighboring regencies in fear of security force violence. An evacuation team found the bodies of three killed victims in the districts Mbuwa and Dal and confirmed a witness report regarding the killing of another villager by military members. In the district of Mbulmu Yalma, five indigenous villagers – among them two minors – were reported missing since the the military offensive began. Human rights defenders claim, that refugees originate from twelve districts in the Nduga Regency which have been affected by the military operation, namely the districts Mbulmu Yalma, Dal, Yigi, Nirkuri, Yal, Mugi, Mam, Mbuwa, Inikgal, Mapenduma, Kegayem and Meborok. According to the head of Negeyagin District, 407 refugees had sought shelter in the districts Negeyagin, Wutpaga and Kwiyawagi. Other refugees were heading towards the regencies Jayawijaya, Mimika, Asmath and Lani Jaya.

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Three KNPB activists charged with treason – Human rights lawyers file pre-trial

A coalition of Papuan human rights organisations and human rights lawyers have filed a pre-trial to the District court in Timika in response to the unlawful arrest and subsequent criminalisation of three  activists of the West Papua National Committee (KNPB). On 31 December 2018, joint security forces raided the KNPB office in Timika and arrested the six KNPB activists who had organised a worship ceremony (see image on the left). On 7 January 2019, three KNPB activists Mr. Yanto Awerkion, Mr. Sem Asso, and Mr. Edo Dogopia were called for further questioning. The three activists were then arrested and transferred to the city of Jayapura on 8 January 2019, where they were charged with treason and remain in detention awaiting trial.

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Attempted criminalisation and intimidation of Papuan human rights defender

The ICP has received credible information regarding the intimidation and attempted criminalisation of female Papuan human rights defender Raga Kogeya (see image on the left). On 18 December 2018, the news outlet BBC Indonesia published a video about the military operation in the Nduga Regency on YouTube. The video contained footage of interviews with indigenous villagers from the Nduga Regency including Raga Kogeya, who originates from the same area. During the interview the human rights activist demanded an investigation into allegations of extra-judicial killings and the withdrawal of Indonesian security forces from indigenous villages. She mentioned that some indigenous Papuans had been killed by the explosives that the military dropped during the attacks in Nduga.

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Human Rights Update West Papua – January 2019, covering October - December 2018

The last quarter of 2018 was characterized by a significant increase in reported political arrests and cases of torture and illtreatment. Police forces conducted mass arrests during various peaceful assemblies. Commemorations were organised in different areas of Indonesia, including Sulawesi Island, Java, Bali and the Moluccans. This indicates that peaceful political activity among civil society not only in West Papua but also in other parts of Indonesia was on the rise by the end of 2018, while police forces continued to severely limit freedom of assembly and freedom of expression for groups that challenge Indonesia’s unitary state doctrine. The increase in cases of torture and ill-treatment should be observed in direct correlation to the growing number of reported political arrests. Police forces continue to use excessive force against protesters and people documenting the abuses. The ICP is so far not aware of any of these cases being further investigated.

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Joint security forces arrest six activists and disperse worship ceremony at KNPB office in Timika

Human rights defenders and  local media outlets have reported another repressive act against the West Papua National Committee (KNPB), a political movement that promotes the right to political self-determination for West Papua through a referendum. The organisation facilitates worships and peaceful demonstrations through its Indonesian-wide network and is among the Papuan civil society  groups which face a high level of criminalization and political persecution by Indonesian law enforcement institutions. On 31 December 2018, joint security forces raided the KNPB office in Timika and arrested the six KNPB activists Mr. Ruben Kogoya, Ms. Johanna Songgonau, Mr. Elius Wenda, Mr. Edo Dogopia, dan Mr. Vincent Gobay and local KNPB chairman Yanto Awerkion (30 years). Mr. Yanto Awerkion, Mr. Ruben Kogoya, and Ms. Johanna Songgonau were beaten during the arrest. Ms. Songgonau’s shirt was severely torn such that it exposed her breasts. A large number of participants had come to the office and attended the new year worship ceremony. At 8.10 pm, approximately 200 joint security force members armed with machine guns circled the KNPB office and forcefully dispersed the peaceful assembly.

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More Articles...

  1. Indonesian Govt denies alleged use of chemical weapons during military operation in Nduga Regency
  2. Update on Nduga Case – Rescue team publishes first report on massacre and military raids
  3. The Trans Papua Road - Scientists assess environmental and socio-economic challenges
  4. Update on military raid in Nduga Regency - Local Govt launches rescue mission
  5. Indonesian-wide ‘Trikora’ Commemorations accompanied by mass arrests – at least 107 peaceful protesters arrested, many ill-treated
  6. Make West Papua Safe Campaign – Activists raise awareness on security force violence and foreign funding
  7. Military Raid in the Tsinga District of Mimika Regency – two villagers arbitrarily arrested and detained
  8. UN’s OHCHR spokesperson concerned about mass arrests and longstanding structural issues in West Papua
  9. Human Rights Watch press release on Nduga Case
  10. How long is killing still used to settle problems in Papua?
  11. Update on mass arrests during commemoration of 1st December – at least 5 protesters ill-treated during arrests in Jayapura
  12. Mass arrests during commemorations of International Human Rights Day in West Papua
  13. Violence escalates in the highland regency of Nduga – at least 24 people killed in armed conflict
  14. Documentary shows fathers of murdered children and their struggle for justice
  15. Brimob officers collectively torture 3 bystanders witnessing mass arrests in Jayapura
  16. Police officers obstruct Papuan journalist in Tomohon City, North Sulawesi
  17. Commemoration of “Papuan Independence Day” - Police responds with mass arrests and ill-treatment
  18. Failed crowd control operation in Merauke – Three residents ill-treated, 27 arrested
  19. Dispersal of peaceful assembly in Jayapura – Police arrests 107 KNPB supporters and ill-treats four activists
  20. Security force operation in Lanny Jaya Regency
  21. Case update: Law enforcement process and detention conditions of arrested Polish citizen
  22. Military member kills Papuan stundent in Waroki Village, Nabire Regency
  23. Torture and killing of Ishak Dewayekua - Disappointing verdict in military trial
  24. Military members allegedly kill Anekanus Komarigi in Nduga Regency
  25. Police ill-treat five participants after peaceful event on human rights at the Papuan student dormitory in Makassar, South Sulawesi Province
  26. Human Rights Update West Papua - 3rd Quarter 2018
  27. Eleven university students arrested for peacefully expressing their opionion in public
  28. Military operation in Puncak Jaya Regency allegedly causes death of at least five civilians
  29. TAPOL and ETAN Joint Statement - UN General Assembly 73: Correcting the Record On Human Rights Violations in West Papua and the 1969 UN Resolution Regarding ‘Act of Free Choice’
  30. Six air force members collectively torture Papuan man in Sentani

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