REPORT ON THE UNLAWFUL ARRESTS OF 648 WEST PAPUANS BETWEEN 28 - 31 MAY 2016

A. INTRODUCTION

This report is based on testimony collected on location by members of the West Papua National Committee (KNPB). The information has been verified by Jakarta Legal Aid Institute (LBH Jakarta) to be consistent with its own telephone witness interviews. The number of people arrested is consistent with local media reports. Some of the identities of the arrestees could not be obtained.

SUMMARY

On 31 May 2016, thousands of West Papuans conducted peaceful demonstrations simultaneously in Jayapura, Sentani, Wamena, Manokwari, Boven Digoel, Yalimo, Paniai, Yahukimo and Manado. The demonstrations were held in support of the ULMWP to be recognized as a full member of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG), to demand the release of all West Papua political prisoners and to ask the support of Africa Carribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries in West Papua struggle to freedom.

In total, 574 West Papuans were unlawfully arrested in just one day which is on 31 May 2016. The details are as follows: 455 people in Sentani, 112 people in Wamena, and 7 people in Manado. Children also got arrested in Sentani. Three people were beaten in Yahukimo. Protestors were tear-gassed and one person got shot with rubber bullet in Manado.

All were released which shows that the unlawful arrest was done to prevent West Papuans to express their opinions.

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CHRONOLOGY

 25 May 2016:

The Chairman of KNPB announced that mass protests to be held on 31 May 2016 in order to support ULMWP to be recognized as a full member to the MSG, to ask for the support of ACP in West Papua’s self-determination struggle and to demand the release of all West Papua political prisoners.

 

28 May 2016:

SENTANI:
At around 9.20 a.m., 24 KNPB activists were arrested and taken to Doyo police station when they were distributing leaflets calling for the mass protests. Besides the arrest of the activists, nine mobile phones were also confiscated. Names of the arrestees are: Agus Bahabol, Naila Kossay, Yunani Balyo, Fino Bahabol, Yosua Wenda, Otis Wenda, Sami Wenda, Mito Bahabol, Mesi Bahabol, Rani Wenda, Markus Balyo, Pilatus Marian, Omis Balingga, Ose Bahabol, Lenius Tablo, Andreas Bahabol, Meli Tepmul, Yoris Kelemen, Tomi Hisage, Yosua Wenda, Obet Sobolim, Oni Tepmul, Sinduk Kobak, Carles Pawika.
At 4 p.m., all of them were released.

JAYAPURA:
At around 2 p.m., 26 KNPB activists were arrested and taken to Jayapura police station when they were distributing leaflets calling for the mass protests. Names of the arrestees are:  Weak Alikno, Itoni Pahabol, Armi Pahabol, Nikson Pahabol, Muko Silak, Kori Pahabol, Sakarias Yogi, Aldo Mupo, Ocart Haluk, Beli Yogi, Tinus Balingga, Yulian Kayame, Nikson Hisage, Dani Yohame, Marfin Mirin, Zan Haluk, Isai, Wilil, Eto Pahabol, Alpius Yumai, Doni Pombai, Edo Pahabol, Calvin Wenda, Kobabe Wanimbo, Bayam, Kiri Keroman.

 

30 May 2016:

YAHUKIMO:
At around 10.25 a.m., three KNPB activists were arrested and taken to Yahukimo police station. They were arrested when they were distributing leaflets about supporting ULMWP to be recognized as a full member to the MSG and demand to release all of West Papua political prisoners. They were beaten in the police truck on the way to the police station. The arrestees are: Darpinus Bayage, Ison Bahabol and Amiter Bahabol.

WAMENA:
At around 11.15 a.m., 21 KNPB activists were arrested and taken to Jayawijaya police station when they were holding a meeting preparing protest the following day at KNPB secretariat. Names of the arrestees are: Warpo Sampari Wetipo, Hasan Kogoya, Marta Haluk, Mardi Heluka, Hery Kosay, Firdaus Hilapok, Paska Iyaba, Marsel Marian, Melianus Kosay, Hiron Hiluka, Yufry Kogoya, Pilemon Meaga, Domy Meaga, Manu Wuka, Martinus Wamu, Deminus Wantik, Ardis Wilil, Nuber Surabut, Mely Wantik, Asa Asso, Yulius Towolom.


31 Mei 2016:

JAYAPURA:
The protest was started at 7 a.m.. Police prevented masses from five different meeting points to be joined together. Police also did not allow the masses to come to the parliament house. Members of parliament had to receive the masses outside the parliament house. The protest was finished at 5.15 p.m. peacefully.

SENTANI:
At 5.10 a.m., police came to KNPB secretariat. Police asked protestors to gather protest properties. At 6.20 a.m., police called military to come over. After the military officers arrived, police and military then entered the secretariat and took a computer, a printer, three megaphones, two mobile phones and some clothing. Some people were taken to Doyo police station. Military also raided the secretariat surrounding areas and took some Morning Star nokens from Papuan women. At around 8 a.m., people started to march. Some were arrested at around 8 a.m. and the others at around 3 p.m. Number of people arrested in total is 455 people.

WAMENA:
The protest was held from morning. 112 people were arrested but then released at around 4.30 p.m.

MANADO:
At around 9 a.m., people started to walk to the local parliament from Papuan students’ boardinghouse. People were tear-gassed and one person got shot with rubber bullet. Seven KNPB activists were arrested and taken to Manado police station, namely: Hiskia Meage, Emanuel Ukago, Laos Alua, Arni Wetipo, Andreas Dabla, Sony Liwiya, Agus Tabuni. They were released the following day.

MANOKWARI:
The protest was held peacefully with no arrest.

PANIAI:
The protest was held peacefully with no arrest. People support ULMWP to be recognized as a full member to the MSG, demand release of all West Papua political prisoners, reject human rights violation fact-finding team formed by Indonesian state, demand freedom of the press and also demand a referendum for West Papua.

BOVEN DIGOEL:
The protest was held peacefully from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. with no arrest. People were demanding release of all West Papua political prisoners and supporting ULMWP to be recognized as a full member to the MSG.

DEKAI:
The protest was held peacefully with no arrest. People demanded release of West Papua political prisoners. They were received by the local parliament.

YALIMO:
The protest was held peacefully from 8 a.m. to 12 a.m. with no arrest. Protestors gather from four different meeting points.


LAWS VIOLATED BY THE INDONESIAN GOVERNMENT

  • Indonesian Constitution article 28E (2), articles 28G (1) and (2), articles 28I (1), (2), (3), (4) and (5) on the right to freedom of expression and protection from torture.
  • Law Number 12 Year 2005 on the Implementation of International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; over security forces blocking and dispersing demonstrations.
  • Law Number 9 Year 1998 on Freedom to Express Opinions in Public articles 2, 5 and 7.
  • Chief of Police Regulation Number 7 Year 2012 on Guidelines on Management, Service, Security, and Handling of Public Expressions of Opinion, articles 3, 5, 9, 26, 27 and 28; because the police’s actions were not proportional and professional in handling the demonstrations resulted in unlawful hundreds of arrests.
  • The Criminal Code article 351 on mistreatment, over the beatings of arrestees in Yahukimo.


Respectfully,
21 June 2016
LBH Jakarta

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