BBC Journalist has to leave West Papua because her tweets “hurt feelings of the Indonesian military”

The journalist Rebecca Henschke (see image on the left) and her camera team was forced to leave West Papua in early February for allegedly offending members of the military on her Twitter account. Henschke was in the Asmat region to cover the health situation in the area. A measles epidemic and associated malnutrition had caused the deaths of more than 60 children.

Rebecca Henschke, who has been working in Indonesia for 12 years, posted a picture of shipped goods at the port on Twitter and commented "these are the humanitarian supplies for the extremely malnourished children in Papua - instant noodles, sweetened soft drinks and biscuits". The military issued a complaint stating that the journalist had hurt the feelings of soldiers who intended to help the people in the Asmat Regency. They also claimed that Henschke’s photo shows deliveries to local shops, not the humanitarian supplies.

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Military members torture Papuan man to death - Asian Human Rights Commission launches urgent appeal

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has launched an urgent appeal in response to the to death of Mr. Isak Dewayekua (23), an indigenous Papuan who was severly tortured by three army personnel of Yonif 755/Yalet in Kimaam, Merauke Regency, Papua Province. The army personnel forced Isak’s family to accept monetary compensation and sign a letter which demanded that the family drop the case. Currently, the Investigation is still being conducted by the Military Police of Merauke Regency. Later, the case was transferred to the higher Military Police Institution in Military Regional Office (Pomdam) XVII/ Cendrawasih from December 29, 2017.

 

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Papuan central highlands remain human rights hot spot – security force members torture group of indigenous Papuans

The local news outlet ‘Suara Papua’ has reported another case of torture in the central highlands of West Papua in early January. According to ‘Suara Papua’, a group of 30 indigenous Papuans consisting of men, women and children were intercepted by military members at Kilo seven in Napua District on the 3 January 2018 at 03.00 am as they  wanted to drive to their village in Nduga regency by car. The interception occurred after the driver had called members of KODIM 1702 Jayawijaya, because he suspected some group members of carrying ammunition to the Nduga regency.

 

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LIPI survey elucidates difference in perceptions regarding situation in West Papua

The 'Indonesian Institute of Sciences' (LIPI) in cooperation with 'Change.org' has conducted an internet survey among 27.298 Indonesian citizens about their perceptions regarding West Papua. The majority of participants consisted of Non-Papuans (98%), most of them living outside of West Papua. The survey was conducted for three weeks in November 2017 and covered multiple demographic entities, varying in terms of education, gender and age. The collected data reveals the existence of significant differences in perception regarding the current situation of West Papua between Non-Papuans and indigenous Papuans.

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Freedom of assembly under threat - Security forces prevent commemoration of international human rights day in Dogiyai Regency

The ICP received credible information from the Justice Peace and Integrity of Creation Desk (JPIC) of the Papuan Tabernacle Church (KINGMI Papua) according to which joint security forces have prevented the peaceful commemoration of the international human rights day on the 10 December 2017 in the city Moanemani of Dogiyai Regency. Human rights defenders reported that fully armed members of the infantry (AD), air force (AU), mobile police brigade unit (BRIMOB) and crowd control police unit (DALMAS) blocked the road and prevented protesters from voicing their aspirations to the local parliament of Dogiyai regency.

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Devastating health conditions in the Papuan regencies Asmat and Pegunungan Bintang – epidemic outbreaks and malnutrition reveal government failures

Multiple Indonesian news outlets have reported of new cases revealing the ongoing health crisis in West Papua. At least 62 villagers died in the Asmat regency due to malnutrition and the outbreak of measles epidemic since September 2017. Hundreds of villagers have been infected by measles and face difficulties to access health care services. Similar conditions have been reported from Pedam Village in Pegunungan Bintang regency, where 25 villagers had died between October and December 2017 because of measles, diarrhea and malnutrition. The large majority of affected are indigenous Papuans below the age of five years.

 

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Army officer insults Filep Karma during interrogation at Cengkarang Airport

According to a recent article published on the news website of media outlet KBR, the former political prisoner and Papuan pro-independence activist Filep Karma was intercepted by five Air Force officers (AURI) at the Soekarno-Hatta Airport in Cengkarang on 3 January 2018. The officers had stopped Filep Karma around 9.00 pm in  the airport building because he was wearing a pin showing the image of a morning star flag - a symbol of cultural identity which is also used by the Papuan independence movement. According to Filep Karma, the military officers asked him whether he wears a “OPM flag” to which Filep replied that the pin is ”just a symbol. Based on the 1945 Constitution a flag is made from cloth measuring 1x2 metres. It's not a flag". He was interrogated for almost two hours.

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Ten cases of extra-judicial killings in West Papua throughout 2017

The International Coalition for Papua (ICP) has documented the extra-judicial killings of  ten indigenous Papuans throughout the year 2017. The ICP demands Indonesian authorities to immediately conduct independent, impartial and effective investigations into these cases. All perpetrators should be brought to justice at  civilian courts through fair and transparent trials, as stipulated in international human rights treaties.

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Papuan students outside of West Papua face systematic harassment

Papuans Behind Bars (PBB) has published a report on the systematic harassment and intimidation against Papuan students in Indonesia between September and December 2017. The report was compiled to expose police and military intimidation  of Papuan students and civil society groups outside of West Papua. Student movements like the 'Papuan Student Alliance' (AMP) and other Papuan civil society groups reported multiple cases in which Papuan students became victims of ill-treatment, arbitrary arrest and intimidated. The PBB report views the cases as part of a trend of civil  and political rights violations, limiting freedom of expression and assembly of indigenous Papuans. Throughout the past four years, police, military and nationalist para-military groups have prevented Papuan students outside of West Papua from exercising their right to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression.

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Security force raid in Nduga Regency – five victims injured by bullets, four tortured

The 'Advocacy Network on Law Enforcement and Human Rights of the Papuan Central Highlands' (JAPH-HAM) together with the 'Commission for the Disappeared and Victims of Violence' (KONTRAS) published a press release on 20 December 2017 in response to an alleged security force raid in the area around the Daragma Airport in Mugi District of Nduga Regency, Papua Province. According to JAPH-HAM and KONTRAS, the raids between 12  and 15 December 2017 appeared to be an act of revenge after violent clashes between the Papuan Liberation Army (TPN) and Indonesian Military (TNI) had caused the death of a constructions worker. One TNI soldier sustained bullet injuries during the exchange of fire.

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More Articles...

  1. Police officer shoots and kills Papuan man in Mappi Regency
  2. Human rights defenders face intimidation and discreditation after press release on security force raids in Nduga Regency
  3. CCA delegation observes human rights violations in West Papua
  4. New documentary and report about struggles in the lives of Papuan women
  5. ULMWP leaders' summit held in Port Vila
  6. Papuan worker disappears as armed conflict near the Freeport Mine escalates - Amnesty International launches Urgent Appeal
  7. AI Indonesia demands investigation into allegations of unlawful killing
  8. Press freedom in West Papua under threat - two assaults on local journalists throughout November
  9. Conflict over land between palm oil company and indigenous land owner results in police violence
  10. Army officers torture villagers in Moso Village
  11. Security situation at the Freeport Mine in Tembagapura deteriorates
  12. Mysterious shootings at the Freeport mine continue
  13. Six military members search house of Papuan journalist without warrant
  14. 38 people in districts Semenage and Werima die due to absence of health services
  15. West Papua petition delivered to the United Nations
  16. Human Rights Update West Papua - 3rd Quarter
  17. 30 months imprisonment and dismissal from military service for the burning of bibles
  18. Police brutality in Nabire – high school student beaten because he did not wear a helmet
  19. Series of political arrests continues - 100 protesters arrested during peaceful commemorations in Java
  20. Joint West Papua report details deterioration in the last two years
  21. Update Oneibo Shooting: Perpetrators' sentence disproportionately low
  22. Military member opens fire at indigenous fishermen at Poumako Port, Timika
  23. Military officers kill Robi Murib in Ilaga, Puncak Regency
  24. ICP Members comment on the UPR report adoption
  25. Updating Papua Road Map
  26. GoI extends Freeport’s contract without the consent of the indigenous people or addressing human rights and environmental degradation
  27. Local parliament asks Brimob and PT Dewa Krisna to leave Deiyai Regency
  28. Series of arbitrary arrests and torture in Manokwari
  29. Oneibo Case submitted to UN Special Procedures
  30. Amnesty International publishes statement on 'Oneibo Shooting'

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