West Papua petition delivered to the United Nations

The 'Free West Papua Campaign' has delivered a historic petition to the United Nations, which calls on the UN to act upon human rights abuses in West Papua and to re-list West Papua in the UN's decolonisation agenda. The global petition was launched at the British Parliament in January 2017 under the coordination of Papuan independence leader Benny Wenda. On 28 August 2017, the 'Free West Papua Campaign' had organized a swimming campaign in which the historic document was carried by six swimmers across lake Geneva over a distance of 69 km (see images top and bottom). Three days later, the swimming team together with Benny Wenda and pro-independence supporters jointly marched the petition in a symbolic walk to the United Nations in Geneva.

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Human Rights Update West Papua - 3rd Quarter

In the third quarter of 2017, the number of torture and ill-treatment cases reported throughout the third quarter of 2017 have significantly increased from 17 to 135 victims. This is related to mass arrests in Nabire and a violent shooting in Deiyai Regency. Extra-judicial killings continue to occur in West Papua on frequent basis. One can also observe a significant increase of cases in which human rights defenders were obstructed, intimidated or attacked. Severe government negligence with regard to health services are a growing concern, particularly in the central highlands of West Papua. Local media and human rights defenders already reported two cases of epidemic outbreaks, which have cost the lives of 130 people since the beginning of 2017 – most of them children. While no political arrests occurred during the first quarter of 2017, the series of political arrests related to suppression of Papua-related political demonstrations - both in and outside of West Papua - continue. While most numbers indicate an aggravation of the general human rights situation in West Papua in comparison to previous quarters, one could observe a slight decrease with regard to assaults and obstruction of journalists. There are indications for a general trend since 2015 of the number of treason charges to have continuously decreased.

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30 months imprisonment and dismissal from military service for the burning of bibles

A panel of judges of the II-19 military court in Jayapura has sentenced soldier Serda Bangun Ahmad Kasmawan to 30 months imprisonment. Furthermore, he will be dismissed from military service. Serda Bangun Ahmad Kasmawan burned a carton of bibles as he was cleaning out a storage room at the Kasrem 172/PWY military base in Padang Bulan, Jayapura on 25 May 2017. The trial was open to public.

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Update Oneibo Shooting: Perpetrators' sentence disproportionately low

The police chief of the Tigi Sub-District Police, Maing Raini, and three mobile brigade officers, namely commander Aslam Djafar, officer Esra Sattun and officer Victor Manggaprouw were sentenced to apologize and will be transferred to another district police. Many victims and human rights defenders regard the sentence as disproportionately low, considering that the officers applied excessive use of force during the dispersal of villagers in Oneibo on 1 August 2017, which lead to the death of Yulianus Pigai, whilst at least ten villagers sustained bullet injuries, among them five minors.

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Police brutality in Nabire – high school student beaten because he did not wear a helmet

A senior high school student named Bryan Kowi was allegedly beaten with a rattan stick by a police officer on 5 September 2017 in Nabire. According to the local media outlet Tabloid Jubi, Bryan Kowi and his friend were driving a motor cycle without wearing helmets. When they passed the regent's office, a police officer hit Bryan twice with a rattan stick on the head and the back.

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Military member opens fire at indigenous fishermen at Poumako Port, Timika

The ICP has received a report by the Justice and Peace Secretariat of the Timika Diocese regarding the allegedly killing of Theodorus Kamtar by members of the Indonesian armed forces. Two of his tribesmen were injured by bullets during the attempt to dissolve a brawl at the Poumako Port, Timika. The incident was related to a dispute over customary fishing grounds between an indigenous local fisherfolk and migrant fishers from other parts of Indonesia. The indigenous community felt their livelihood threatened by  the better equipped migrant fishermen whose advanced catching methods had resulted in a decrease of fish population in the area.

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Series of political arrests continues - 100 protesters arrested during peaceful commemorations in Java

According to independent media outlet “Tabloid Jubi”, 100 protesters were arrested in the Javanese cities of Jakarta, Yogyakarta and Semarang on 15 August 2017, as they joined peaceful commemorations of the 'New York Agreement'. The protests were organized by the Indonesian Solidarity Group 'FRI West Papua' in cooperation with the 'Papuan Student Alliance' AMP. In all cities, members of multiple religious and nationalist mass organisations launched counter protests to prevent the commemorations, which also took place in other Indonesian cities like Malang, Bandung and Ternate (North Maluku). Tabloid Jubi reported that the arrests in Jakarta and Semarang were accompanied by violent acts against protesters. In Semarang the police arrested two lawyers, who had been at the assembly point to monitor the commemoration. The members of various religious and nationalist groups allegedly assisted the police to block and dissolve the pro-Papuan demonstrations.

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Military officers kill Robi Murib in Ilaga, Puncak Regency

The local human rights organisation ELSHAM Papua has reported the alleged killing of Robi Murib (27 years old) by a group of military members in the highland town of Ilaga, Puncak Regency. On 7 July 2017, Robi and two friends had come together to consume alcoholic drinks in front of Robi's house. However, a heated argument among the three friends broke out as a group of  military officers passed the location around 2.15 pm East Indonesia Time (EIT). When the military patrol approached the house, one member recognized that Robi was armed with a revolver, which was attached to his belt.

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Joint West Papua report details deterioration in the last two years

More than 40 organisations in West Papua, Jakarta and worldwide have brought their analysis on the human rights and conflict situation in West Papua together. The executive summary of the 218-pages report explains how several human rights standards have deteriorated over the last two years. The report is compiled by the International Coalition for Papua (ICP) and the German Westpapua-Netzwerk (WPN). You can now download the report on this page.

The years 2015 and 2016 were characterized by a significant aggravation of the human rights situation in West Papua compared to previous years. Reports by local human rights defenders describe an alarming shrinking of democratic space. Although Indonesian President Joko Widodo pushed economic development and granted clemency to five long-term political prisoners, the police strictly limited even the most peaceful dissident political activities.

An Indonesian translation of the report is being prepared by Franciscans International and will be available soon.

ICP Members comment on the UPR report adoption

We, Geneva for Human Rights, VIVAT International, International Coalition for Papua, Westpapua-Netzwerk and Franciscans International, welcome the adoption of the outcomes of the UPR of Indonesia. We appreciate the Government of Indonesia's acceptance of three recommendations on the human rights situation in West Papua.1 We regret the rejection of one important recommendation on access for UN mechanisms to West Papua.2

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More Articles...

  1. Updating Papua Road Map
  2. GoI extends Freeport’s contract without the consent of the indigenous people or addressing human rights and environmental degradation
  3. Local parliament asks Brimob and PT Dewa Krisna to leave Deiyai Regency
  4. Series of arbitrary arrests and torture in Manokwari
  5. Oneibo Case submitted to UN Special Procedures
  6. Amnesty International publishes statement on 'Oneibo Shooting'
  7. Government negligence leads to health crisis in the regencies Deiyai and Dogiyai
  8. Mobile brigade police officers open fire at villagers in Oneibo, Deyai Regency
  9. Military officer accuses human rights defender of seeking popularity
  10. Cases of human rights violations submitted to the Special Procedures of the UN Human Rights Council
  11. Military members torture Niko Hisage in Wamena
  12. Human Rights Update West Papua – 2nd Quarter 2017
  13. Nabire District Police carries out violent raid and arbitrary arrests
  14. Papuan Catholics protest against their own bishops
  15. Papuan student faces six month imprisonment sentence
  16. Police officers torture 15 year old boy in Wamena
  17. Human Rights Update West Papua – 1st Quarter of 2017
  18. UN High Commissioner blames Indonesia for non-cooperation with UN mechanisms
  19. 320 political arrests throughout May 2017
  20. Epidemic outbreak in Lanny Jaya Regency causes death of 37 villagers
  21. Police officer allegedly beats human rights defender
  22. Military members open fire at protesters in Jayapura
  23. Dutch human rights ambassador visits Jayapura
  24. Human rights in Indonesia under review at the UPR - Eight countries address human rights situation in West Papua
  25. Series of assaults against local journalists in Papua
  26. Protests and side event on press freedom in West Papua as Indonesia hosts 'World Press Freedom Day'
  27. Military members attack two Papuan men with knifes in Uwibutu Village, Paniai Regency
  28. ULMWP lobbies parliament of Uganda to support West Papuan independence
  29. Pacific island countries deliver joint statement on West Papua at ACP council meeting in Brussels
  30. Tensions and military presence due to conflict between mining companies in Nifasi increase