Human Rights Update West Papua - 3rd Quarter

In the third quarter of 2017, the number of torture and ill-treatment cases reported throughout the third quarter of 2017 have significantly increased from 17 to 135 victims. This is related to mass arrests in Nabire and a violent shooting in Deiyai Regency. Extra-judicial killings continue to occur in West Papua on frequent basis. One can also observe a significant increase of cases in which human rights defenders were obstructed, intimidated or attacked. Severe government negligence with regard to health services are a growing concern, particularly in the central highlands of West Papua. Local media and human rights defenders already reported two cases of epidemic outbreaks, which have cost the lives of 130 people since the beginning of 2017 – most of them children. While no political arrests occurred during the first quarter of 2017, the series of political arrests related to suppression of Papua-related political demonstrations - both in and outside of West Papua - continue. While most numbers indicate an aggravation of the general human rights situation in West Papua in comparison to previous quarters, one could observe a slight decrease with regard to assaults and obstruction of journalists. There are indications for a general trend since 2015 of the number of treason charges to have continuously decreased.

 Download Third Quarterly Report as PDF File: Q3 2017

During the reporting period Papuan human rights defenders reported a number of incidents which occurred in June 2017, such as the police raid at the 'Karang Barat' complex of Nabire City, the torture of Niko Hisage in Wamena and the intimidation and death threats against an eyewitness of the Maikel Marani Killing in Yapen Island. Police forces in Nabire carried out political mass arrests against members of the West Papua National Committee (KNPB). The arrests were accompanied by acts of torture against the protesters, mostly during detention at local police stations. In July military members allegedly killed Robi Murib in Ilaga, Puncak Regency, because he wore a fire arm. Security force members often execute members of the armed independence movement instead of turning them over to law enforcement agencies as it has happened in the case of Maikel Marani in March 2017. In the same month, human rights defender Theo Hesegem reported that a high ranking military officer tried to discredit him and his work after he had assisted a torture victim in Wamena. The most significant incident during the reporting period occurred in Oneibo village of Deiyai Regency in August 2017. A group of police brigade special unit officers opened fire at a crowd of angry villagers, killing one man and injuring ten other villagers - five of them minors. Despite the severity of the violation, only four special unit officers received minor disciplinary sanctions in a police-internal 'code of conduct' trial. Until the end of the reporting period, no further legal prosecution against the perpetrators was initiated. Besides the shooting incident in Oneibo, the Deiyai Regency was also affected by epidemic outbreaks which mainly occurred in the Tigi District due to the absence of health service posts and vaccination programs. August 2017 was marked by a further shooting at the Poumako harbour in Timika and several mass arrests related to peaceful commemorations of the 'New York Agreement' in various cities of Java. For the month of September, only a case of police brutality in Nabire was reported so far.

Download Third Quarterly Report as PDF File: Q3 2017

Download Second Quarterly Report PDF File: Q2 2017

Download First Quarterly Report PDF File: Q1 2017

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