Mass arrests during commemorations of International Human Rights Day in West Papua

Every year, people around the world commemorate the 10th December as the International Human Rights Day. Commemorations in West Papua this year were organised in multiple cities: Timika, Merauke, Jayapura, Manokwari and Oksibil. In Merauke and Timika, police forces arrested a total number of 137 protesters. In Jayapura, approximately 700 police officers and additional military members blocked roads and dispersed crowds in multiple locations. Several KNPB activists, including the protest coordinator Hosea Yeimo, were allegedly ill-treated at BUPER, Waena.

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Violence escalates in the highland regency of Nduga – at least 24 people killed in armed conflict

An armed attack against construction workers on 2 December 2018 in the remote highland regency of Nduga have allegedly resulted in the deaths of at least 15 civilians and one Indonesian army member, while leaving three further civilians injured. Subsequent clashes between the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPNPB), which is the armed wing of the independence movement, and the Indonesian military forces (TNI) allegedly caused the deaths of five military members and at least four civilians. The TPNPB  has claimed responsibility for the attack against the construction workers. The number of fatalities reported varies between Indonesian authorities and various media sources. Hundreds of indigenous Papuans from the villages Mbua, Yall and Yigi fled into the surrounding forests because they feared repressive acts by Indonesian security forces.

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Documentary shows fathers of murdered children and their struggle for justice

A group of human rights defenders made a short film entitled Justice for Murdered Children about the killing of five school children by the Indonesian police and military in Enarotali on Dec 7 and 8, 2014. It features the fathers of the children speaking about their search for justice in the face of ongoing intimidation. The film clearly highlights the complicity of foreign governments who continue to arm, train and keep silent about state violence in West Papua.

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Failed crowd control operation in Merauke – Three residents ill-treated, 27 arrested

A failed crowd control operation in the City of Merauke has resulted in the arrest of 27 community members. According to local human rights defenders, members of the Merauke District Police (Polres Merauke) severely beat Bonivasius Buyopu, Anselmus Erro and Melkior Jebe. Melkior Jebe was additionally injured by a bullet as the police dispersed the crowd with fire arms. The incident was confirmed by the independent media outlet Tabloid Jubi. Three police officers were injured during the incident, which occurred in the Karang Indah district of Merauke Town, Papua Province on the 24 November 2018. Prior to the incident, a group of local residents armed with machetes, sticks and axes had searched the alleged perpetrator of an attempted child abduction. As eight police officers came to the Karang Indah district around 6.00 pm to investigate the case, an argument between the residents and the police officers ended in a clash between both sides.

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Brimob officers collectively torture 3 bystanders witnessing mass arrests in Jayapura

Members of the police mobile brigade (Brimob) have tortured Benyamin Lagowan (27 years), Hendrikus Madai (27 years) and Laorens Kerebea (24 years) after they witnessed mass arrests and the ill-treatment of protesters during 1st December commemorations in Jayapura city. On the 1 December 2018, at 11.15 am, Benyamin Lagowan together with his wife and 8 months-year-old daughter stopped at the roundabout in Abepura where they witnessed how police officers detained a group of arrested protesters at the Abepura sub-district police station (Polsek Abepura). As Benyamin Lagowan took out his cell phone to record the incident, a mobile brigade officer approached him from behind and tore the phone from his hands. As Benyamin protested against the violent behavior the officer shouted “are you resisting?” while kicking him on the right thigh. Another mobile brigade officers hit Benyamin Lagowan with a rifle butt on the shoulder. Upon seing this two further officers came and started to beat Benyamin Lagowan.

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Dispersal of peaceful assembly in Jayapura – Police arrests 107 KNPB supporters and ill-treats four activists

Members of the Jayapura municipality police dispersed a peaceful assembly organised by the West Papua National Committee (KNPB) at the Pegunungan Bintang Student Dormitory in Perumnas III residential area in Waena, where the organisation celebrated the 10th Anniversary. According to online media outlet Suara Papua, 150 officers of the crowd control unit DALMAS backed up by military members forcefully dispersed the peaceful assembly on 19 November 2018, at 10.15 am. The police arrested 107 KNPB activists and temporarily detained them at the Jayapura Municipality Police Station (Mapolresta Jayapura). Among the arrested activists were the secretary of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) Markus Haluk (see intro image), the KNPB chairman Agus Kossay, and the KNPB secretary Vero Hubi.

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Police officers obstruct Papuan journalist in Tomohon City, North Sulawesi

On 1 December 2018, members of the local police and the military have obstructed Papuan journalist Piter Lokon  in the city of Tomohon, North Sulawesi Province as he covered a prayer session in commemoration of the 1st December at the Papuan student dormitory. People in West Papuan consider the date as the Papuan national independence day. The event was organised by the West Papua National Committee (Komite Nasional Papua Barat KNPB), a political movement organisation which claims the right to political self-determination for West Papua through a referendum. Piter Lokon, who works for the independent news outlet Tabloid Jubi since 2016, had received an official invitation to cover the prayer session.

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Security force operation in Lanny Jaya Regency

Local human rights defenders reported that the police has launched an operation in the highland regency of Lanny Jaya in order to arrest the local armed resistance (TPN PB) leaders Enden Wanimbo and Purom Wenda. According to the information, joint security forces were deployed in Popome Village of Balingga District on 7 November 2018. The operation was confirmed by various local news outlets and is related to the killing of a motorcycle taxi driver on 2 November 2018 by members of the armed resistance (TPN PB). Exchange of fire between security forces and the TPN PB on 3 November 2018 lead to the death of two TPN PB fighters. Local sources reported that many villagers in the Balingga District feared repressive acts by security forces and fled to Tiom, the main town and administrative center of Lanny Jaya Regency.

Commemoration of “Papuan Independence Day” - Police responds with mass arrests and ill-treatment

The national police forcefully dispersed peaceful assemblies in commemoration of the 1st December and arrested 547 protesters in multiple cities of Indonesia. Many indigenous Papuans consider the date as the ‘Papuan Independence Day’. This year marks the 57th anniversary of the first official Morning Star flag raising under the Dutch colonial government. Human rights defenders reported that police officers applied excessive use of force against protesters and bystanders during the arrests in Jayapura. In Surabaya, members of nationalist mass organisations joining a counter rally threw stones at the Papuan protesters, injuring 16 people.

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Case update: Law enforcement process and detention conditions of arrested Polish citizen

According to information from the local news outlet Tabloid Jubi, the Papuan Regional Police (Polda Papua) has completed the investigation against the Polish citizen Jakup Febian Skrzypski (see intro image) and submitted the case files to the public prosecutor's office in Wamena. According to Polda Papua spokesman Commissioner Kamal, the public prosecution has assessed the case files as complete and will soon initiate the trial against the Polish citizen. Jakup Skrzypski has been charged with the treason article 106 of the Indonesian Penal Code (KUHP), which carries a maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment. Skrzypski was arrested in Jayawijaya Regecency on 26 August 2018 – the police suspects him being involved in weapon trade with the armed separatist movement TPN – OPM.

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More Articles...

  1. Military member kills Papuan stundent in Waroki Village, Nabire Regency
  2. Torture and killing of Ishak Dewayekua - Disappointing verdict in military trial
  3. Military members allegedly kill Anekanus Komarigi in Nduga Regency
  4. Police ill-treat five participants after peaceful event on human rights at the Papuan student dormitory in Makassar, South Sulawesi Province
  5. Human Rights Update West Papua - 3rd Quarter 2018
  6. Eleven university students arrested for peacefully expressing their opionion in public
  7. Military operation in Puncak Jaya Regency allegedly causes death of at least five civilians
  8. 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’
  9. Six air force members collectively torture Papuan man in Sentani
  10. Timika District Police fails to provide adequate medical treatment during detention
  11. 67 ULMWP supporters arrested during peaceful demonstration in Jayapura
  12. Joint security forces raid the KNPB office in Timika – two activists shot down
  13. Final Countdown - Greenpeace publishes new report on reform of the palm oil industry
  14. Kimam sub-district police again involved in case of extra-judicial killing
  15. AHRC Urgent Appeal - Polish citizen and indigenous Papuans arrested and detained by police
  16. TAPOL and ETAN call on the immediate release of Simon Magal and Jakub Skrzypski
  17. 35 protesters arrested during peaceful demonstration in Bintuni, Papua Barat Province
  18. Political Activist prosecuted for uploading video on Facebook – Amnesty International launches Urgent Action
  19. Indonesian Government plans to expand diplomatic efforts on West Papua in the Pacific Region
  20. Police disperses two peaceful demonstrations in Jayapura - 93 protesters arrested
  21. Violation of law enforcement procedures still common in West Papua
  22. Papua regional police raises criminal charges against arrested Polish citizen
  23. Update on Freeport's mass lay offs - dismissed laborers report Employment Minister to Ombudsman
  24. Police officers shoot down Fery Korwa in Manokwari
  25. Australian academic blacklisted and deported
  26. ALRC statement on arbitrary arrest and detention in West Papua
  27. Press release by Papuan civil society coalition: Concession policies threaten environment and indigenous peoples in West Papua
  28. Police officers open fire at Papuan students in Waena, Jayapura – two students injured
  29. Series of arrests in Papuan central highlands – Police takes Polish citizen into custody
  30. Police officers arbitrarily arrest UNCEN and STIKOM student representatives in Jayapura

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