AI Urgent Action: Papuan activists detained and charged

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Seven Papuan political activists have been detained as a result of their peaceful political activities. They have been charged with 'incitement' and could face up to six years imprisonment.

Three of the men have reported being beaten and burnt with cigarettes
while in detention. On 20 May 2015, four political activists from the West Papua National Committee (KNPB), Nopinus Humawak (also known as Narko Murib), Alex Nekenem, Maikel Asso and Yoram Magai were arrested
with around 70 others at a peaceful rally in Manokwari, West Papua province

The protest was in support of a peaceful Papuan pro-independence umbrella group, the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP). According to witnesses, dozens of protesters were beate by police with rifle butts during the rally. While the majority of the protesters were subsequently released, the four men were charged with "incitement" under Article 160 of Indonesia's Criminal Code and could face up tosix years


On 14 June, Nopinus Humawak reportedly escaped from detention.
The three other men told their lawyers that they had been beaten by at least four police personnel while in detention and burnt with cigarettes.
They are currently being held at the police mobile brigade (Brimob) detention center in Manokwari.

In another incident in Biak, Papua province, activists Apolos Sroyer and Dorteus Bonsapia were detained on 20 May when they visited the police station to inform them of a planned protest in support of
ULMWP. Police held them overnight at the station for questioning and on the following day they were charged with "incitement". A third political activist from Biak, Wamoka Yudas Kossay, was also charged with "incitement" on 22 May, after he took part in a peaceful protest in
support of ULMWP at the Darfuar market the day before. He was not provided a lawyer during his interrogation.

Please write immediately in English, Bahasa or your own language: Urging the authorities to immediately and unconditionally release Alex Nekenem, Maikel Asso, Yoram Magai, Nopinus Humawak, Apolos Sroyer, Dorteus Bonsapia and Wamoka Yudas Kossay, as they have been arrested solely for the peaceful exercise of their right to freedom of expression; Calling
on them to ensure that pending their release,the seven men are not tortured or otherwise ill-treated and have
regular access to their families, lawyers of their choice and any medical treatment that they require.


Papua Regional Head of Police
Yotje Mende
Jl. Samratulangi No. 8 Jayapura,
Fax: 01162 967 533763
Salutation:Dear Brigadier General

Director General for Human Rights
Aidir Amin Daud
Ministry of Law and Human Rights
Jl. H.R. Rasuna Said Kav No. 4-5
Kuningan, Jakarta Selatan 12950,
Fax: 01162 215 253095
Twitter: @Humas_Kumham
Salutation: Dear Aidir Amin Daud

And copies to:

Chairperson of the National Human
Rights Commission (Komnas HAM)
Nur Kholis
Jl Latuharhary No.4

Menteng Jakarta Pusat
10310, Indonesia
Fax: 01162 213 912026
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Find a sample letter here


Additional information

Indonesia enshrines guarantees to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly in its Constitution and national legislation. But legislation continues to be used to criminalize peaceful political activities and to imprison people solely for the peaceful exercise of their rights to freedom of expression and opinion, peaceful assembly conscience and religion. Dozens of peaceful political activists are currently imprisoned in the Papuan region (provinces of Papua and West Papua), some sentenced to as long as 20 years imprisonment, for attending, organizing or participating in peaceful political activities or protests, or possessing, raising or waving the prohibited pro-independence'Morning Star' flag of Papua. Many of those arrested are charged with "rebellion"(makar) under Articles 106 and 110 (crimes against the security of the state)of Indonesia's Criminal Code.

Amnesty International has also documented the use of excessive force and firearms as well as torture and other ill-treatment against political activists and others accused of links to pro-independence groups.

Accountability for such acts is rare, and at most security personnel receive disciplinary sanctions. Amnesty International takes no position whatsoever on the political status of any province of Indonesia, including calls for independence. However, the organization believes that the right to freedom of expression includes the right to peacefully
advocate referendums, independence or other political solutions. One of the reasons why cases of torture and other ill-treatment continue to occur in Indonesia is the failure to revise Indonesia's Criminal Code, to criminalize acts of torture. In 2008, the UN Committee against Torture called on the Indonesian government to revise the Criminal Code to incorporate the crime of torture consistent with the definition in Article 1.1 of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, and to ensure that all acts of torture are punishable by appropriate penalties which take into account their grave nature.

The Criminal Code has been under revision for about three decades.
The Ministry of Law and Human Rights submitted a new draft of the Criminal Code to parliament in June 2015
for deliberation in August.