Human Rights Watch urges Indonesia to investigate deaths of Papuan protesters

On their press release of 7 September 2019 HRW's Australia Director Elaine Pearson said "Indonesian police have a duty to avoid the use of force in response to Papuans who take their grievances to the streets," and added "Any wrongful use of force needs to be investigated and those responsible held to account."

Indonesia: Investigate Deaths of Papuan Protesters
Allow Access to UN, Foreign Journalists, Rights Monitors

(Sydney, September 7, 2019) – Indonesian authorities should impartially investigate the deaths of at least 10 Papuans during recent unrest in the easternmost provinces of Papua and West Papua, Human Rights Watch said today. Restrictions on access to Papua for foreign journalists and rights monitors and a partial internet shutdown have hindered reporting on the situation.

The Indonesian government should immediately allow unfettered access to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to travel to Papua to investigate the situation, Human Rights Watch said.

Read press release on HRW website

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Papua Church Leaders call for the involvement of the international community

Church Leaders from GKI, GIDI, Fellowship of Baptist Churches and KINGMI Papua have expressed their concern about the situation in Papua. They express their sympathy to the victims of violence and those with lost or damaged property during the protests between 19-29 August across Papua and West Papua. They also express their gratitude to the thousands of Papuans who have been brave to protest against racial discrimination, something that has been experienced for a long time by Papuans in all walks of life.

On their Letter of Appeal, the Church Leaders recount a series of concerning events that took place between the first day of protests and 3 September 2019 and have led to a crisis situation with escalating violence and the continued heavy presence of security forces. They conclude by calling for international action and urging the Government of Indonesia to have a mediated dialogue with the ULMWP.

DOWNLOAD THE PASTORAL LETTER OF APPEAL AS PFD HERE

 

Amnesty International Press Release - Attempted criminalisation of human rights Lawyer Veronica Koman

Drop charges against lawyer for Papuan political activists

Responding to the East Java police’s decision to bring charges against human rights lawyer Veronica Koman, Amnesty International Indonesia’s Executive Director Usman Hamid said:

“Veronica Koman is a human rights defender who has provided legal aid to many Papuan political activists and documented human rights violations in Papua. She is now being persecuted for tweeting about a violent attack on a Papuan student’s dormitory on August 17, in which police fired tear gas.

“This is an appalling attack on the right to freedom of expression in Indonesia, and a brazen attempt to silence a brave activist. These charges are clearly intended to deter others from speaking out against human rights violations related to Papua.

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Security force operation in Puncak Regency – about 800 indigenous IDPs flee their homes

According to multiple Papuan media outlets, a security force operation in the Gome District of the highland regency Puncak has resulted in the displacement of several hundred indigenous peoples, mainly women and children. Between 24 and 26 August 2019, joint security forces have conducted raids in the villages Tegelobak, Mitimaga, Kelanungin, Upaga and Ninggabuma with the goal to arrest Goliat Tabuni and Anton Tabuni, two commanders of the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPN PB) controlling some areas in the regencies of Puncak and Puncak Jaya. An exchange of fire between the security forces and the TPN PB was reported from Mitimaga on 24.08.2018 around 3.00 pm.

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Amnesty International urges police to drop treason charges against six Papuan activists in Java

3 September 2019         Index: ASA 21/0970/2019
 
INDONESIA: POLICE MUST DROP MAKAR (REBELLION) CHARGES AGAINST SIX PAPUAN ACTIVISTS

Amnesty International Indonesia urges the Jakarta Regional Police Force (Polda) to immediately drop all “rebellion (makar)” charges brought against six political activists who are campaigning for the right to self-determination for Papua, and to immediately and unconditionally release them. The activists were charged and detained under Articles 106 and 110 of Indonesia’s Criminal Code (KUHP), which cover crimes against the security of the state, solely for exercising their rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and expression.

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Leading ULMWP activist arrested and charged with document forgery

Members of the Jayapura municipality police have arrested the head of the politics desk of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP), Bazoka Logo (see intro image). The police pressed charges against Logo for alleged violation of article 266 of the Indonesian Criminal Code (KUHP) on document forgery. Bazoka Logo’s lawyers from the Papuan Legal Aid Institute (LBH Papua), the Association of Human Rights Lawyers for Papua (PAHAM Papua) and Posbakum Madim stated that the arrest was not conducted in accordance with law enforcement procedures. They regard the arrest as an attempt to criminalize the ULMWP activist, who had organised a peaceful demonstration in commemoration of the ‘New York Agreement’ on 15 August 2019.

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UN High Commissioner for Human Rights expresses concern about the situation in West Papua

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said her office was "disturbed" by the escalating violence in Papua and West Papua in the past two weeks, especially the deaths of some protestors and security forces. The OHCHR released the following Comment earlier today:

(Geneva, 4 Septermber 2019) "I have been disturbed by escalating violence in the past two weeks in the Indonesian provinces of Papua and West Papua, and especially the deaths of some protestors and security forces personnel. This is part of a trend we have observed since December 2018, and we have been discussing our concerns with the Indonesian authorities. There should be no place for such violence in a democratic and diverse Indonesia, and I encourage the authorities to engage in dialogue with the people of Papua and West Papua on their aspirations and concerns, as well as to restore internet services and refrain from any excessive use of force. Blanket internet shutdowns are likely to contravene freedom of expression and limiting communications may exacerbate tensions".

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Government imposes internet blockade after anti-racism riots in West Papua

The Government has blocked the internet in the Provinces of Papua and Papua Barat since 19 August 2019 after large scale demonstrations and several riots in multiple Papuan cities. Several media outlets reported that the blockade was eased on 5 September 2019, after the Government assessed that the situation in West Papua had 'calmed down'. Other sources claimed that the internet was still down in multiple Papuan cities. The rallies were carried out in response to acts of racial discrimination against Papuan students in the Javanese cities of Malang, Surabaya and Semarang in mid-August. The Government justified the measure, arguing that the blockade would prevent the spreading of false information and assist law enforcement personnel to calm down ongoing tensions. The head of the Papuan branch of Indonesian telecommunication provider PT. Telkom Indonesia, Mr. Charles Aronggear, confirmed that the internet restrictions were imposed by the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology. He stated in an interview on 26 August 2019 that it is not clear when the restrictions will be lifted again.

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West Papua-wide anti-racism protests accompanied by violence – eight protesters killed, 50 injured during crackdown in Waghete

Last week, anti-racism rallies in West Papua were accompanied by riots, chaos and violent crackdowns by security forces. The protests occurred in response to acts of racial discrimination and assault by security forces and nationalist mass organisations against Papuan students in the Javanese cities of Malang, Surabaya and Semarang in mid-August. The protesters also expressed their aspirations for political self-determination, arguing that Papuans are treated as ‘second-class’ citizens in Indonesia. The government deployed additional security forces in various Papuan regions and has blocked the internet across in the Provinces of Papua and Papua Barat since 19 August 2019 to prevent the spreading of information through social media and hamper media coverage on the current situation in West Papua. The worst outbreak of violence was reported from the regency of Deiyai, where the forceful dispersal of demonstrations resulted in the deaths of eight protesters. Fifty protesters were injured during the crackdown.

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Police prevents peaceful commemoration of the ‘International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples’

Members of the Lanny Jaya district police have prevented Papuan indigenous leaders to peacefully commemorate the ‘International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples’ in the highland town of Tiom. According to the chairman of the Papuan Customary Council (Dewan Adat Papua, DAP), Dominikus Sorabut, police members stopped him and 200 other DAP members on 9 August 2019 (see intro image) in front of the district police station as they were on the way to a large field in Tiom where the commemoration was supposed to take place. Police officers intercepted the group and did not allow them to go continue to Tiom. The group finally returned to Wamena.

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More Articles...

  1. Commemorations of New York Agreement accompanied by arrests, violence and racism - Papuan students subjected to harassment and assaults
  2. Update trial: JUT sentenced to five months imprisonment
  3. New law allows prosecution of foreign researchers – academics fear restrictions of academic freedom
  4. Constitutional court reviews law on the formation of Papua Province
  5. Update Armed Conflict in Nduga Regency: CSOs estimate a total number of 177 fatalities and more than 5.000 IDPs
  6. Joint Submission to the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee Inquiry - Media Freedom in West Papua
  7. The Salim Group builds palm oil empire in West Papua
  8. New Caledonia rejects independence from France – Next referendum possible in 2020
  9. Papuan church congregation under police surveillance – Church members prevented from attending worship in Jayapura
  10. Commemorations of Papuan independence Proclamation – Protesters face intimidation and restrictions on freedom of assembly
  11. Update armed conflict in Nduga Regency – security force members kill indigenous woman and take her baby
  12. Human rights defenders reveal illegal gold mining operation at Siriwo River, Nabire Regency
  13. Human Rights Update West Papua - 2nd Quarter 2019
  14. 23 victims of extra-judicial killings in West Papua throughout 2018
  15. Update on ongoing military operation in Nduga Regency – death toll higher than expected
  16. Ronaldo Yawan dies during detention at police station in Biak – relatives raise allegations of torture
  17. Two prisoners die after attempted escape from Abepura Detention Facility – KOMNAS HAM suspects prison negligence
  18. Second extra-judicial killing in Wogikel Village within ten months
  19. Political detainee’s physical condition deteriorates during detention – relatives request adequate medical treatment
  20. The Mairasi Tribe protests against prolongation of logging concession
  21. Terrorist organization allegedly established training camps in West Papua
  22. Military member opens fire at group of protesters in Asmath regency – four protesters killed, another four injured
  23. 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
  24. The WCC Executive Committee Statement: Concern and Solidarity for West Papua
  25. Government keeps restrictive policy for foreign journalists covering in West Papua
  26. Papuan provincial parliament is drafting local regulation on the settlement of human rights violations
  27. Police officers shoot two indigenous Papuans in Deiyai Regency – one victim dead another injured
  28. Update treason trials: Imprisonment sentences for five KNPB activists
  29. Amnesty International proposes human rights agenda to Indonesia's election candidates
  30. Peaceful protest in Malang attacked and dispersed - Asian Human Rights Commission launches Urgent Appeal

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