Ronaldo Yawan dies during detention at police station in Biak – relatives raise allegations of torture

The Papuan victim solidarity group ‘Bersatu untuk Kebenaran’ (BUK) has expressed concerns over allegations of torture during the detention of a suspect at the district police station in Biak, Papua Province. Police officers arrested Ronaldo Yawan on 13 June 2019 after a resident had filed a complaint against him for stealing a pig. Relatives claim that they had already settled the issue outside of law. Witnesses saw police officers beating Ronaldo at the harbour, shortly after he was arrested on a ship leaving from Biak to Manokwari. Two days later, on 15 June 2018 around 5.00 pm, Ronaldo Yawan was found dead in his detention cell. Police officers claim that Ronaldo Yawan hung himself using his belt.



Two prisoners die after attempted escape from Abepura Detention Facility – KOMNAS HAM suspects prison negligence

Ten convicts attempted to escape the Abepura Detention Facility (Lapas Klas IIA Abepura) in Jayapura on the 24 April 2019. A group of local residents discovered the escapees shortly after the escape and beat them before prison wardens brought them back to the detention facility. The Papuan representative office of the national human rights commission (KOMNAS HAM Papua) launched an investigation into the deaths of Maikel Ilinmaton (25 years) and Selyus Logo (27 years). The investigation was unable to prove whether the wardens had tortured the prisoners as a form of punishment for the attempted escape. However, the investigation came to the result that negligent behavior by the prison wardens was a contributing factor for the deaths of both prisoners.


Second extra-judicial killing in Wogikel Village within ten months

The Papuan news outlet Tabloid Jubi published an article about another extra-judicial killing in Wogikel Village of the Ilwayap District, Merauke Regency. An intoxicated police officer with the initials RK shot dead Yohanes Octo Moiwend on 4 June 2019, around 0.30 am. The shooting occurred during a dispute between RK and Yohanes Octo Moiwend in front of a local bar. RK and two bar owners dragged Yohanes Moiwend outside the bar and collectively beat him. Witnesses stated that officer RK pulled his revolver and repeatedly hit Yohanes Moiwend with the gun handle before he released two shots. Yohanes Moiwend sustained a bullet wound near the ear, causing his instant death.  



Military member opens fire at group of protesters in Asmath regency – four protesters killed, another four injured

The forceful dispersal of a protest by a group of supporters of a local election candidate has resulted in the killing of four indigenous Papuans on 27 May 2019 in Basim Village in the district of Fayit, Asmath Regency. Four other protesters were injured during the incident. According to local media outlets the protest occurred shortly after the local election commission announced the election results. At 10.00 am, an angry mob of approximately 350 protesters began vandalizing the house of a newly elected local parliament member. Three military members - namely second sergeant Jamaludin Retop, corporal Eko Saputro and sergeant FR - who were guarding a nearby military post saw the incident and attempted to disperse the crowd using fire arms instead of applying means of de-escalation.



Political detainee’s physical condition deteriorates during detention – relatives request adequate medical treatment

The ICP has received credible information regarding the deteriorating health condition of Papuan political activist Sami Lokon during custody. Sami Lokon was arrested in early January 2019. Police officers accused him of motor cycle theft but failed to provide a warrant and sufficient evidence for the arrest. Human rights activists claim that Sami Lokon was tortured during detention at the KP3 police station in the Jayapura harbor, where police officers attempted to force a confession from him. A police officer allegedly beat him with a wooden stick on the back and slapped him on the left and right cheek for ten times.

Although, Sami Lokon refused to sign the confession letter, the police charged him with article 480 of the Indonesian criminal code (KUHP) on reception and distribution of stolen goods. The criminal charges appear to be a pretext to criminalize Sami Lokon. During the police interrogations, officers repeatedly asked the activist about his relation to the West Papua National Committee, a political movement organization promoting the right to self-determination of the Papuan people through civil resistance and other peaceful activities.



AHRC on Indonesia: A Review of the Indonesian Government’s Obligation under International Human Rights Instruments in Regard to the Truth, Remedy and Justice of Gross Violations of Human Rights

May 30, 2019

By Chrisbiantoro1


As a member of the United Nations (UN)2, Indonesia has ratified at least six major international human rights treaties3. Currently, Indonesia is a member of the UN Human Rights Council 4, therefore, it has obligations to increase the standard of human rights protection in its territory under the resolution of the UN General Assembly creating the Human Rights Council.5 This short paper will address the concern on the performance of the human rights obligations of the Indonesian’s Government in accordance with international human rights law, regional human rights instruments and national law.


The Mairasi Tribe protests against prolongation of logging concession

Indigenous communities of the Mairasi tribe living in the villages Undurara, Wosimo and Inyora, Teluk Wondama Regency of Papua Barat Province are protesting against the prolongation of a logging concession on their ancestral land. The ministry for forestry affairs (now the ministry for forestry and environmental affairs) approved the logging concession for the company PT. Kurniatama Sejahtera (Number SK.648/Menhut-II/2009) on 15 October 2019. The Mairasi communities represent the view that the presence of the company has not contributed to the welfare of the local indigenous peoples. On the contrary, the presence of the company has resulted in heavy military presence, hence the Mairasi people do not longer feel safe on their own land. They demand the provincial agency for forestry and environmental affairs not to prolong PT. Kurniatama Sejahtera’s concession on their indigenous lands.


The WCC Executive Committee Statement: Concern and Solidarity for West Papua

27 May 2019

Statement: Concern and Solidarity for West Papua

Let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.
Amos 5: 24 (NRSV)

The executive committee of the World Council of Churches, meeting in Bossey, Switzerland, on 22-28 May 2019, recalls the many initiatives and expressions of concern about the situation in the Indonesian provinces of Papua and Papua Barat (together referred to herein as “West Papua” or “Tanah Papua”) by national, regional and international ecumenical and church-related organizations over many years. Since the joint World Council of Churches (WCC)/Christian Conference of Asia (CCA) delegation visit to Indonesia (including West Papua) in 1999, the WCC has repeatedly lifted up issues related to human rights, environmental degradation, and economic justice in West Papua, particularly from the perspective of the Indigenous Papuan people. The same concerns were raised through the Living Letters team visit to Indonesia in July 2008, and the WCC General Secretary’s visit to West Papua in June 2012, and underlined in WCC governing body statements (including by the executive committee in February 2012, and by the central committee in June 2016).


Terrorist organization allegedly established training camps in West Papua

The police is currently investigating allegations regarding several training camps which have been established by the Islamist terror organisation Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD). The police suspects that JAD trained recruited fighters in the Papuan regencies Merauke and Keerom. According to Indonesian terrorism expert, Al Chaidar Puteh, from the Malikussaleh University in Aceh, the JAD has several members owning companies and land in the Papua Province. The JAD cell based in Lampung, South Sumatra, claimed responsibility for the terror attack in central Jakarta on 17 January 2016.


Government keeps restrictive policy for foreign journalists covering in West Papua

An interview on 23 May 2019 with the head of the immigration division in the regional office of the Ministry for Law and Human Rights in Papua Province, Mr. Hermansyah Siregar (see intro image), has confirmed what human rights organisations had been criticising since May 2015, when President Joko Widodo announced the opening of West Papua to foreign journalists. West Papua remains a restricted area for foreign journalist. Any journalist visa will only be approved once the applicant has obtained all necessary documents through the Clearing House procedure, a lengthy bureaucratic procedure which is mandatory for foreign journalists intending to cover in the Indonesian provinces of Papua and Papua Barat.


More Articles...

  1. Papuan provincial parliament is drafting local regulation on the settlement of human rights violations
  2. Police officers shoot two indigenous Papuans in Deiyai Regency – one victim dead another injured
  3. Update treason trials: Imprisonment sentences for five KNPB activists
  4. Amnesty International proposes human rights agenda to Indonesia's election candidates
  5. Peaceful protest in Malang attacked and dispersed - Asian Human Rights Commission launches Urgent Appeal
  6. Upset police officer pulls gun and opens fire in Asei Village, Jayapura Regency
  7. Update treason trial - Polish citizen sentenced to five years imprisonment and four years for his Papuan companion
  8. In Memoriam Father Neles Kebadabi Tebay - ‘a pioneer’
  9. Law enforcement institutions in West Papua continue to use treason for criminalization of political activists
  10. Police cracks down on peaceful West Papua demonstrations in Bali and Malang
  11. AJAR publishes new report on female victims of violence in West Papua - I am here
  12. Human rights defenders raise allegations of torture and discrimination against Nabire Police
  13. Police officers arbitrarily arrest two Papuans and a baby in Sentani – both men subjected to torture during detention
  14. Joint Conference by the International Coalition for Papua, the Westpapua-Netzwerk, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International
  15. Human Rights Update West Papua – April 2019, covering January – March 2019
  16. Police officers arbitrarily arrest market women in Wamena – one person sustains bullet injury
  17. Allegations on violence against visitors and negligence at the Siriwini General Hospital in Nabire
  18. Update on armed conflict in Nduga: Number of casualties on the rise as armed clashes continue
  19. Devastating flash flood and landslides hit Jayapura
  20. Police raise criminal charges against radical Islamic leader Jafar Umar Thalib and followers
  21. Update on security force operation in Nduga: Approximately 2000 indigenous Papuans displaced, 13 IDPs reported dead
  22. Nine KNPB activists unlawfully arrested in Merauke – one activist subjected to physical ill-treatment
  23. Special Rapporteur on the right to food presents report on Indonesia Mission to Human Rights Council
  24. Dubious website alleges human rights defenders of disseminating false information
  25. Papuan Regional Police investigates acts of vandalism - Radical Islamic leader summoned
  26. Indonesia: UN experts condemn racism and police violence against Papuans, and use of snake against arrested boy
  27. Papua human rights situation, religious freedom, focuses of WCC delegation visit to Indonesia
  28. Heavy police presence during pre-trial against the Mimika district police chief - two KNPB activists allegedly ill-treated
  29. Police officers kill suspected drug dealer in Sorong
  30. Treason trial against Polish citizen and Papuan defendant launched in Wamena