Local elections in highland regencies Puncak Jaya and Nduga accompanied by violent clashes leaving 6 people dead

The General Election Commission (KPU) has begun to organise the local elections (PILKADA or PEMILUKADA) for the positions of governors, regents and mayors in Indonesia. The elections are planned to take place before December 2018. The electoral preparations in the highland regencies Nduga and Puncak Jaya were accompanied by violent clashes between armed groups and security forces who had been deployed to the regencies to secure the election process. In the regency of Nduga, an unknown armed group opened fire at an airplane injuring the pilot and later armed clashes between security forces and the perpetrators resulted in the death of three people. Moreover, the head of Torere district and two police officers were killed in the Puncak Jaya regency where they had to supervise local elections for the Hulu district.

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Joint security forces allegedly kill indigenous Papuan during crowd control operation in Jayawijaya Regency

A mob violence on 6 June 2018 between villagers from Wouma and the neighboring village Welesi has resulted in the killing of Pinggiget Murib (see image on the left). Both groups used stones and traditional weapons such as bow and arrows. The clashes stopped after joint security forces had forcefully intervened. One officer from the police mobile brigade special unit and a military officer were wounded during the attempt to disperse the crowd with tear gas and fire arms. The independent Papuan media outlet ‘Tabloid Jubi’ published a witness testimony according to which Pinggiget Murib died as a result of severe bullet injuries which he sustained during the crowd control operation. The chief of Jayawijaya district police denied the allegations, stating that Pinggiget Murib had sustained lethal injuries caused by stones. The victim’s family demanded a compensation payment of 30 pigs and three billion rupiahs from the Jayawijaya regional government.

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Papuan pastor and villager ill-treated in Kaimana Regency

The ’Papuan Institute for Human Rights Study and Advocacy' (ELSHAM Papua) published a new case report about the ill-treatment of a pastor and a villager in Kaimana Regency on their website. According to ELSHAM, a government official beat Rev. Edison Giay in a heated dispute over his testimonial report in relation to a boat accident. Ronald Kirihio, a villager who days later accompanied Rev. Giay to the Kaimana district police station, was also beaten by several police officers. As Ronald tried to defend himself he was detained and criminally charged.

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ALRC concerned about extra-judicial executions and ongoing impunity

The ‘Asian Legal Resource Centre’ (ALRC), a sister organisation to the ‘Asian Human Rights Commission’ (AHRC) has expressed its concern over the situation of extra-judicial and summary executions in Indonesia in a written Submission to the 38th Regular Session of the UN Human Rights Council. The large majority of perpetrators responsible for past and present extra-judicial executions are not prosecuted in accordance with international standards as described in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) or the  International Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT) to which Indonesia is a state party. This failure has resulted in a widespread climate of impunity across the country. The ALRC particularly refers to a number of past and recent cases of extra-judicial executions in West Papua. On the Abepura case of 2000 has been processed at a national human rights court. However, the court released all the perpetrators because collected evidence was considered as  insufficient for a prosecution.

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Police and military collectively torture Papuan fisherman in Sorong

Various Papuan media outlets have published articles about a shooting at the local fish market near the Puri Bridge in Klademak II, Sorong City. On 13 June 2018 at 6.00 am, a member of the police mobile brigade (BRIMOB) special forces named Syarifudin and a military officer reportedly tortured the local fisherman Frans Kbarek (21 years) and released multiple shots at him. Frans Kbarek sustained a bullet wound in the stomach, a cut in the lip, and bruises on his right cheek and left knee. He had to be hospitalized at the Naval Hospital in Sorong. The shooting was the result of a dispute between a group of five fisherman and the security force officers who had prevented them from leaving the port to go fishing with their canoes. According to Frans Kbarek, the officers asked him and his friends to pay Rp. 300 000 (approximately 21 US$) for each fishing canoe leaving the port. Frans Kbarek refused to pay the money, arguing that the officers are misusing their authority to make money.

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Australian Green Party underlines commitment for human rights situation in West Papua

The Australian Green Party organized a national meeting in Brisbane on 19 May 2018. The party had invited several experts on the situation in West Papua to speak about the current situation in West Papua, among them Dr Jacob Rumbiak (ULMWP member), Indonesian human rights lawyer Veronika Koman (see image left) and Jason MacLeod (academic, expert on community development and movement building). The meeting was also attended by the Green Party senators Richard Di Natale and Andrew Barlett.

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Unlawful arrests reported from Timika – three Papuans prosecuted and ill-treated

The ‘Association of Human Rights Lawyers for Papua’ (PAHAM Papua) has documented the unlawful arrests of Polce Tsugumol (31 years), Orpa Wanjomal (40 years), Titus Kwalik (48 years), Julianus Dekme (31 years) and Alosius Ogolmagi (49 years). The arrests occurred in the night from 9 to 10 June 2018 at multiple locations in Timika City. All five arrestees are indigenous Papuans and three of them were ill-treated during the detention. They were taken to the Police Mobile Brigade (BRIMOB) headquarters in Timika. According to PAHAM, the police officers conducted the arrests without a warrant. Apart from physical ill-treatments, the officers threatened Orpa Wanjomal at gunpoint and forced her to tell the whereabouts of possible evidence for the prosecution of her stepson. They intimidated family members and obstructed a human rights lawyer and relatives at the police station. The Asian Human RIghts Commission (AHRC) published a statement in which the organisations condemns the arrests as violation of the right to fair trial.

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Military member kills indigenous Papuan in Yapen Island

Local human rights defenders have reported a further extra-judicial killing case from the regency Kepulauan Yapen. A member of the Kodim 1709 Yapen Waropen military unit named Frits Raunsai killed 42-years-old Yohanis Bisai in his house. The incident occurred in Anotaurai Village (Cengkeh Street), in the Yapen Selatan District. On 21 May 2018 around 00.30 am, the perpetrator came to Yohanis Bisai’s house, punched him and subsequently stabbed the victim with his bayonett knife to the forehead, the chest and twice in the back. Yohanis Bisai was rushed to the intensive care unit of the General Hospital in Serui where he died due to the severe injuries which he sustained from the knife attack.

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Right to Health in West Papua – report on UN Special Rapporteur mission to Indonesia published

The UN Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, Mr. Dainius Puras, visited Indonesia from the 22 March to the 3 April 2017. The findings of his Indonesia mission have recently been published and will be presented during the 38th session of the UN Human Rights Council, which will take place from 18 June to 6 July 2018 in Geneva. In his report, the special rapporteur also referred to the condition of  health services in West Papua and addressed various issues of particular concern in the context of Indonesia’s easternmost provinces.

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Conflict over customary land in Tambrauw Regency - Indigenous Mpur communities reject corn plantation company

The Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Desk (JPIC) of the Christian Evangelical Church in Papua (GKI-TP) has published a report about an ongoing landrights conflict in Tambrauw Regency between the Mpur Tribe and the agricultural company PT. Bintuni Agro Prima Perkasa (PT. BAPP), a subsidiary of the Salim Group. The conflict began in 2015, as the company started to establish its plantation with a concession area of area of 19.369 ha on the tribe’s customary land.  PT BAPP had decided to build a corn plantation after the initial proposal for the establishment of a palm oil plantation was rejected by the local government of Tambrauw Regency. The local government has prolonged the concession period - originally expiring in 2017 - although the land conflict remains unresolved.

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More Articles...

  1. 14 indigenous Papuans arbitrarily arrest in Nimbontong District
  2. Greenpeace investigation reveals involvement of international companies in massive destruction of Papuan rainforest
  3. Yulianus Yeimo passed away – number of dead victims in the ‘Bloody Paniai Case' rises from four to five
  4. Police officers collectively ill-treat man and journalist during political debate in Nabire Regency
  5. Update on shooting in Mauwa - Gerry Goo succumbs to his injuries
  6. Indonesia and EU negotiate on free trade agreement - NGOs demand Palm oil to be excluded from trade
  7. Allegations regarding excessive use of force during military operation in Opitawak Village – at least one dead and two injured
  8. Solomon Islands Government delegation visits West Papua - Civil society groups concerned
  9. UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food closes Indonesia visit with end of mission statement – Situation in West Papua needs the Government’s serious attention
  10. Unprofessional behavior of security forces lead to shooting in Mauwa Village – two villagers sustain bullet injuries
  11. Human Rights Update West Papua - April 2018 (covering Jan-Mar 2018)
  12. UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food visits Indonesia
  13. Security forces unlawfully arrest 45 university students in Jayapura
  14. Police officer beats Papuan man at public hospital in Karubaga, Tolikara Regency
  15. Asian Human Rights Commission urges Indonesian Government to review new Penal Code Bill
  16. Disappointment over court ruling in Poumako Case – military court sentences perpetrator to eight months
  17. Joint oral statement regarding situation of malnutrition in West Papua at the 37th session of the UN Human Rights Council
  18. Presence of militant Islamic leader in Kerom creates tensions
  19. Indigenous woman shot dead in Timika – seven mobile police brigade officers under investigation
  20. Parliament members in the Netherlands concerned about situation of indigenous peoples in West Papua
  21. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights visits Indonesia
  22. BBC Journalist has to leave West Papua because her tweets “hurt feelings of the Indonesian military”
  23. Military members torture Papuan man to death - Asian Human Rights Commission launches urgent appeal
  24. Papuan central highlands remain human rights hot spot – security force members torture group of indigenous Papuans
  25. Freedom of assembly under threat - Security forces prevent commemoration of international human rights day in Dogiyai Regency
  26. Army officer insults Filep Karma during interrogation at Cengkarang Airport
  27. Papuan students outside of West Papua face systematic harassment
  28. LIPI survey elucidates difference in perceptions regarding situation in West Papua
  29. Devastating health conditions in the Papuan regencies Asmat and Pegunungan Bintang – epidemic outbreaks and malnutrition reveal government failures
  30. Ten cases of extra-judicial killings in West Papua throughout 2017

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