Law enforcement institutions in West Papua continue to use treason for criminalization of political activists

Treason continues to be among the top criminal charges used by Indonesian authorities to criminalize peaceful political activity that contradicts the government ideology of a unitary state (NKRI). Seven political activists are currently tried in three trials – all of them have been charged with the penal code articles 106 and/ or 110 regulating the act of treason. For the first time treason charges have been used to prosecute a foreigner in West Papua. Two ‘treason trials’ are currently held at the Jayawijaya District Court in Wamena, a further one at the Mimika District Court in Timika.


Police cracks down on peaceful West Papua demonstrations in Bali and Malang

Police forces again cracked down on two peaceful demonstrations in cities of Denpasar, Bali Province and Malang, Java Tengah Province. According to the Papuan news outlet Tabloid Jubi, the demonstrations were organised the Papuan Student Alliance (AMP) and the Indonesian Peoples’ Front for West Papua (FRI-WP). The demonstration was held as a protest activity to the Indonesian elections on 17.04.2019. In Malang the protestors also demanded the closure of PT Freeport Indonesia’s Grasberg mine and the right for political self-determination of the Papuan people. The demonstration in Bali took place on 11 April 2019. The AMP and the Indonesian Legal Aid Institute (YLBHI LBH) claim that police officers ill-treated seven protesters during the violent dispersal of the peaceful rally (see images on top and below).


AJAR publishes new report on female victims of violence in West Papua - I am here

The Indonesian NGO 'Asia for Justice and Rights' (AJAR) has pulished a new report on the situation of indigneous Papuan women who have become victims of violence and human rights abuses. The report compiles action research conducted from 2013-18 by members of the Papuan Women’s Working Group (PWG), an informal group established as a collaboration between Asia Justice and Rights (AJAR) and five Papuan organisations. The purpose was threefold: 1) to strengthen the voices of women victims of violence; 2) to take steps to counter impunity with practical local action; and 3) to strengthen understanding about the social-economic causes and impact of violence as experienced by indigenous Papuan women. This action research included participatory tools to document the experiences and voices of Papuan women. The research team created a process for “listening-in” to women who were speaking candidly about their own lives. Key themes were documented and reflected upon by members of the working group and other experts. The PWG, together with Komnas Perempuan (the National Commission on Violence against Women), launched a narrative and video report based on the stories of 170 indigenous women, in Bahasa Indonesia at the Papuan Governor’s Office in July 2017. The report includes the cumulative findings and key themes that emerged from this new round of action research

Dowload the full report here

Human Rights Update West Papua – April 2019, covering January – March 2019

The number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) due to either armed conflict or natural disasters continued to increase during the first quarter of 2019. The ongoing armed conflict in the Nduga regency has reportedly led to the displacement of more than 36.000 people between December 2018 and March 2019. President Joko Widodo has ordered strong military measures against the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPN PB) in order to continue with the implementation of large-scale infrastructure projects in the provinces of Papua and Papua Barat, making a withdrawal of security forces from the Nduga Regency highly unlikely. In addition, a flash flood and landslides in the Jayapura area on 16 March 2019 caused the displacement of further estimated 5.000 people.


Human rights defenders raise allegations of torture and discrimination against Nabire Police

The Justice Peace and Integrity of Creation Desk (JPIC) of the Papuan Tabernacle Church (KINGMI Papua) documented a case of torture at the Oyehe Police Post in Nabire, Papua Province. Human rights defenders also raised allegations of discrimination in law enforcement against the Nabire Police. In the late afternoon of 7 April 2019, Mr. Yusup Badii (39 years), a civil a servant working at the Nabire municipal cleaning agency, was collecting waste in the Oyehe area of Nabire Town. A physical dispute between Yusup Badii and a Non-Papuan merchant occurred after Mr Badii had reprimanded the merchant to deposit his waste only to designated waste collecting spots. Yusup Badii sustained a bleeding injury on the leg and the eyebrow during the brawl.


Police officers arbitrarily arrest market women in Wamena – one person sustains bullet injury

Human rights defenders have reported another case of ill-treatment in Wamena, the main city of the Jayawijaya Regency, Papua Province. The case occurred on 26 March 2019 at 1.00 pm, as four plain cloth officers of the Jayawijaya District Police were monitoring a local store in Trikora Road, in front of the local military command, where they suspected illegal gambling activities. Twenty-three-year-old Vinsen Kosay sustained a bullet injury in the right foot as he was standing next to the store while the officers arbitrarily arrested three indigenous women, named Kalina Tabuni, Mia Dabi and Mama Rumbewas. The bullet pierced his foot from the outside to the sole (see intro image). The women were selling betel nuts and vegetables in front of the store.


Police officers arbitrarily arrest two Papuans and a baby in Sentani – both men subjected to torture during detention

The Association of Human Rights Lawyers for Papua (PAHAM Papua) has documented another case of arbitrary arrest and torture in the town of Sentani, Jayapura Regency. Police officers of the Sentani District Police arrested Atison Bahabol (20 years), Eki Balingga (20 years) and his 13-months-old son Namu Balingga on 5 April 2019, at 7.13 pm, at the Soloikma Dormitory, which is located in the Ceria residential area of Sentani. Prior to the arrest, a political activist named Basoka Logo had posted pictures of Atison Bahabol and Eki Balingga with his family holding a leaflet with the slogan ‘Mobilisation for Referendum – Rally for Referendum - Boycott the elections on 17 April 2019’ on Facebook (see top image). According to PAHAM Papua, the police officer did not show arrest warrants as they conducted the arrests.


Allegations on violence against visitors and negligence at the Siriwini General Hospital in Nabire

The ICP received credible information on various cases of human rights violations at the Siriwini General Hospital in the city of Nabire, Papua Province. The Papuan Tabernacle Church has raised concerns over new policies at the public hospital which have resulted in multiple civil rights violations. In addition, human rights defenders raised a case indicating the neglect of minimum health quality standards. An alleged neglect caused the death of a four-year-old child in June 2018.

The director of Siriwini General Hospital, Dr. Johni Ribo Tandasau, has introduced visitor cards (see image on the left) for relatives and friends who come to the hospital to visit the patients. Visitors have to purchase the cards for IDR 50.000, approximately € 3,30. The director has justified the policy, claiming that too many visitors and repeated confrontation under the influence of alcohol disturb the recovery of patients and have allegedly resulted in an increased mortality rate at the Siriwini hospital.


Joint Conference by the International Coalition for Papua, the Westpapua-Netzwerk, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International

The International Coalition for Papua (ICP) together with the Westpapua-Netzwerk (WPN), Human Rights Watch (HRW) and Amnesty International (AI) will host a conference on the human rights situation in West Papua. The conference carries the title `Indonesia after Elections: Prospects for Human Rights Reforms and Conflict Resolution?´ and will take place in Berlin (Kleinmachnow) on the 14 and 15 May 2019. Among the speakers will be Andreas Harsono (HRW), Papang Hidayat (AI Indonesia) as well as human rights defenders and journalists from West Papua. The ICP has also invited German politicians, lawyers and legal experts who will share their analysis on recent human rights developments in West Papua in several panel discussions.

A program and registration information of the event can be downloaded here

Update on armed conflict in Nduga: Number of casualties on the rise as armed clashes continue

The Foundation for Justice and the Integrity of Papuan Peoples (YKKMP) has published a new report with updated information on the current situation in the regency of Nduga. Since the beginning of a widespread security force operation on 4 December 2018, journalists, human rights defenders and observers are restricted from going to the Nduga Regency. The number of civilian casualties is rising as the armed clashes between Indonesian security forces and the West Papua Liberation Army continues. Local human rights organisations have documented the cases of at least eleven indigenous Papuans, who have been killed by security force members since the commencement of the military operations (see table below), which have been ongoing since 4 December 2018.


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