Joint security forces arrest six activists and disperse worship ceremony at KNPB office in Timika

Human rights defenders and  local media outlets have reported another repressive act against the West Papua National Committee (KNPB), a political movement that promotes the right to political self-determination for West Papua through a referendum. The organisation facilitates worships and peaceful demonstrations through its Indonesian-wide network and is among the Papuan civil society  groups which face a high level of criminalization and political persecution by Indonesian law enforcement institutions. On 31 December 2018, joint security forces raided the KNPB office in Timika and arrested the six KNPB activists Mr. Ruben Kogoya, Ms. Johanna Songgonau, Mr. Elius Wenda, Mr. Edo Dogopia, dan Mr. Vincent Gobay and local KNPB chairman Yanto Awerkion (30 years). Mr. Yanto Awerkion, Mr. Ruben Kogoya, and Ms. Johanna Songgonau were beaten during the arrest. Ms. Songgonau’s shirt was severely torn such that it exposed her breasts. A large number of participants had come to the office and attended the new year worship ceremony. At 8.10 pm, approximately 200 joint security force members armed with machine guns circled the KNPB office and forcefully dispersed the peaceful assembly.

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Indonesian Govt denies alleged use of chemical weapons during military operation in Nduga Regency

A controversial article published by the Australian news outlet ‘The Saturday Paper’ alleges that Indonesian troops may have used chemical weapons during an ongoing military operation in the remote highland regency of Nduga. A local group of the ‘West Papua National Liberation Army’ killed at least 17 construction workers on 2 December 2018. The Indonesian army launched a widespread military offensive on 4 December 2018, in an attempt to trace down and prosecute the perpetrators. Eyewitnesses claimed that the infantry was backed up by four helicopters. One helicopter allegedly dropped seven explosives, while the other three helicopters fired large caliber machine guns at various targets, including several villages. It is unclear which types of explosives were used. Eyewitnesses claimed that the projectiles exploded in the sky and subsequently produced a dense smoke.

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Update on Nduga Case – Rescue team publishes first report on massacre and military raids

A rescue team consisting of church leaders, Nduga government representatives, local parliament members and civil society figures have published a report on the killing of 17 government contractors. The report also contains information on the rescue mission, which was launched on 13 December 2018  to evacuate the bodies of four more employees who were still missing since the killing. The rescue team collected information on the military raid between 4 and 10 December 2018 and the situation of affected indigenous communities in the districts Mbuwa, Dal and Mbulmu Yalma.

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Make West Papua Safe Campaign – Activists raise awareness on security force violence and foreign funding

A group of activists have launched the ‘Make West Papua Safe’ Campaign on 7 December 2018 -  the fourth anniversary of the so-called ‘Bloody Paniai Case’. The campaign targets foreign government aid to the Indonesian police and military which have been responsible for a large number of human rights violations in West Papua over the past 50 years – some of them have been categorized as serious human rights abuses. Activists from the Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Desk of the Papuan Tabernacle Church, the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace of the Archdiocese of Brisbane, Tapol, West Papua Update and Pasifika have published a short advocacy video on the case which occurred on 7 and 8 December 2014 in the highland town of Enarotali and resulted in the killing of five pupils by Indonesian security forces.

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The Trans Papua Road - Scientists assess environmental and socio-economic challenges

A team of researchers of the Centre for Tropical Environmental and Sustainability Science,  of the James Cook University in Cairns, Australia have published a scientific article on the impacts of the controversial ‘Trans Papua Raod’ project. The article ‘Hidden challenges for conservation and development along the Trans Papuan economic corridor’ provides new insights in the current state of the project implementation and a scientific analysis regarding the environmental, political and socio-economic challenges that West Papua’s flora, fauna and indigenous communities will face as a result of the project. It is expected that the presence of the road will contribute to conditions which are contrary to conservation and sustainable development, with a strong focus on natural resource exploitation and economic growth under exclusion of the Papuan indigenous peoples. The  Centre for Tropical Environmental and Sustainability Science has also published a video with the title ‘Hidden Challenges of the Trans-Papuan Economic Corridor’, which can be viewed on YouTube. A short summary of the article was published on the website of the ‘Alliance of Leading Researchers and Thinkers (ALERT).

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Military Raid in the Tsinga District of Mimika Regency – two villagers arbitrarily arrested and detained

Local human rights defenders have reported military raids on the 1 and 2 December 2018 in the villages Nosolanop, Mesember, Benganggin and Beanegogom, which are located in the Tsinga District of Mimika Regency. The villagers claimed that the raids were conducted by members of the military special forces ‘Kopassus’ to collect information about a local guerilla command of the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPN-PB), which had repeatedly opened fire at Freeport vehicles and security force members in the neighboring Tembaggapura district in 2017 and 2018. The military members seized the villagers’ cell phones and returned them on the 11 December 2018.

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Update on military raid in Nduga Regency - Local Govt launches rescue mission

Two new videos have been published on the internet platform Youtube. The videos provide new insight on the latest situation in the Nduga Regency, where armed clashes between the Indonesian military and the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPN-PB) have caused a high number of casualties among civilians. Until know, security forces are strictly limiting the access to the area – first information about the casualties and the current situation in Nduga remains unconfirmed and uncertain. Human rights defenders and journalists are still not allowed to cover events on site.

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UN’s OHCHR spokesperson concerned about mass arrests and longstanding structural issues in West Papua

The mass arrest of demonstrators in Indonesia who were attempting to mark a national day for indigenous people in the east of the archipelago, has been condemned by the UN human rights office, OHCHR. More than 500 activists were detained at the start of the month - though they’ve since been released. Spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani explained to UN News' Daniel Johnson on Friday, what’s behind these latest developments.

Listen to Interview on official UN website

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Indonesian-wide ‘Trikora’ Commemorations accompanied by mass arrests – at least 107 peaceful protesters arrested, many ill-treated

The 19 December 1961 marks a historic date in Indonesia – it was the date on which the Indonesian army launched the Trikora operation, a military offensive with the aim to seize and annex the former Dutch colonial territory of Netherlands New Guinea. Indigenous Papuans and Pro-Papuan activists in multiple cities throughout Indonesia organised peaceful commemorations on the 19 December 2018. In various cities security forces responded with mass arrests or forcefully dispersed the crowd. According to human rights activists, security force members ill-treated protesters as they conducted arrests in Jayapura and Ternate, Maluku Utara Province. In the Javanese city of Malang, 16 peaceful protesters were subjected to ill-treatments by plain cloth officers and members of nationalist mass organisations. A similar incident was reported from Denpasar, Bali, where the forceful dispersal by police officers and members of nationalist mass organisations resulted in the ill-treatment of four protesters.

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Human Rights Watch press release on Nduga Case

Indonesia: Papuan Militants Kill 17

Police Should Investigate Worksite Killings; Military Should Show Restraint

View press release in HRW website

(Jakarta, December 10, 2018) – Indonesian police should investigate a Papuan armed group’s killing of at least 17 people, including a soldier, at a construction area in Nduga in Papua’s densely forested Central Highlands on December 2, 2018, Human Rights Watch said today.

The circumstances of the killings remain unclear. Papuan militants should cease unlawful killings, and the Indonesian government should ensure that its security forces act in accordance with international standards and not commit abuses in response to the attack.

“A Papua militant group’s attack on a worksite raises grave concerns that require a full investigation,” said Elaine Pearson of Human Rights Watch. “Militants and responding security forces should not inflict harm on ordinary Papuans.”

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More Articles...

  1. How long is killing still used to settle problems in Papua?
  2. Update on mass arrests during commemoration of 1st December – at least 5 protesters ill-treated during arrests in Jayapura
  3. Mass arrests during commemorations of International Human Rights Day in West Papua
  4. Violence escalates in the highland regency of Nduga – at least 24 people killed in armed conflict
  5. Documentary shows fathers of murdered children and their struggle for justice
  6. Brimob officers collectively torture 3 bystanders witnessing mass arrests in Jayapura
  7. Police officers obstruct Papuan journalist in Tomohon City, North Sulawesi
  8. Commemoration of “Papuan Independence Day” - Police responds with mass arrests and ill-treatment
  9. Failed crowd control operation in Merauke – Three residents ill-treated, 27 arrested
  10. Dispersal of peaceful assembly in Jayapura – Police arrests 107 KNPB supporters and ill-treats four activists
  11. Security force operation in Lanny Jaya Regency
  12. Case update: Law enforcement process and detention conditions of arrested Polish citizen
  13. Military member kills Papuan stundent in Waroki Village, Nabire Regency
  14. Torture and killing of Ishak Dewayekua - Disappointing verdict in military trial
  15. Military members allegedly kill Anekanus Komarigi in Nduga Regency
  16. Police ill-treat five participants after peaceful event on human rights at the Papuan student dormitory in Makassar, South Sulawesi Province
  17. Human Rights Update West Papua - 3rd Quarter 2018
  18. Eleven university students arrested for peacefully expressing their opionion in public
  19. Military operation in Puncak Jaya Regency allegedly causes death of at least five civilians
  20. TAPOL and ETAN Joint Statement - UN General Assembly 73: Correcting the Record On Human Rights Violations in West Papua and the 1969 UN Resolution Regarding ‘Act of Free Choice’
  21. Six air force members collectively torture Papuan man in Sentani
  22. Timika District Police fails to provide adequate medical treatment during detention
  23. 67 ULMWP supporters arrested during peaceful demonstration in Jayapura
  24. Joint security forces raid the KNPB office in Timika – two activists shot down
  25. Final Countdown - Greenpeace publishes new report on reform of the palm oil industry
  26. Kimam sub-district police again involved in case of extra-judicial killing
  27. AHRC Urgent Appeal - Polish citizen and indigenous Papuans arrested and detained by police
  28. TAPOL and ETAN call on the immediate release of Simon Magal and Jakub Skrzypski
  29. 35 protesters arrested during peaceful demonstration in Bintuni, Papua Barat Province
  30. Political Activist prosecuted for uploading video on Facebook – Amnesty International launches Urgent Action

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