WAN-IFRA investigates media freedom in West Papua

The World Association of Newspapers and News Publisher (WAN-IFRA) launched an investigation on the media freedom situation in the Papuan cities Jayapura, Merauke and Timika between 30th January and 3rd February 2017. A delegation from the Media Freedom Committee Indonesia (MFCI) consisting of eight Indonesian journalists from Jakarta, Makassar and Solo traveled to Papua province, where they followed local journalists from Papuan news organisations during media coverage for five days. The initiative was part of WAN-IFRA's Strengthening Media and Society programme which is backed by the Denmark Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


Human rights lawyers concerned about detention conditions of three Papuan defendants

A team of human rights lawyers has conducted a press conference in Jayapura in which they expressed their concerns regarding the detention conditions of three defendants, who are currently undergoing trial at the Nabire District Court of Papua Province. On the 13 October 2016, officers from the Papua regional police arrested Aloysius Kayame at the Sentani Airport. Jemmy Magay Yogi and Demianus Magay Yogi were arrested on 16 October 2016 in Waena, Jayapura. All suspects were charged due allegations of threats, extortion, possession of firearms and treason. The Papuan regional police linked the charges to an incident in Wotay, Distrik Yatamo, Kabupaten Paniai  on 31 January 2015. The police justified the arrests due to a conflict on customary land which had occurred after Jemmy, Demianus and Aloisius had claimed compensation for the utilization of their ancestral land  for a public road.


NGOs deliver statement about the situation of indigenous Papuans at Human Rights Council

Between 27th  February and 24th  March 2017, the  34th Regular Session of the Human Rights Council United Nations Human Rights Council has taken place in Geneva. During an open session named “Human rights situations that require the Council’s attention” on 15th March 2017, several NGOs, namely VIVAT International, Franciscans International, World Council of Churches, Geneva for Human Rights, TAPOL, ICP and the West Papua Netzwerk delivered a joint statement.


'Swim for West Papua' - Free West Campaign launches global petition

On Tuesday 24th January 2017 the International Parliamentarians for West Papua together with the Free West Papua Campaign launched the global petition in support of the West Minster Declaration  in the British parliament at the Palace of Westminster. The launching was chaired by Rt Hon Andrew Smith MP, co-founder of the International Parliamentarians for West Papua and Benny Wenda, Spokesman for the United Liberation Movement for West Papua. The advocacy groups have also planned an additional initiative named 'Swim for West Papua', which should serve the purpose to highlight and promote the petition.


Indonesia deports two French journalists from West Papua

Indonesia has deported two French journalists from the province of Papua. Jean Frank Pierre and Basille Marie Longhamp were shooting a documentary film on the nature and culture of the Papua Province and were forced to leave the country via Timika airport last Friday. Officials in Jakarta said that the two had ordinary visas without the required permits to work there.


Urgent Appeal - Police officers torture Mr. Edison Hesegem to death in Jayawijaya General Hospital

The International Coalition for Papua has received credible information about a torture case in the highland city of Wamena, which was committed by six members of the Jayawijaya District Police, Jayawijaya regency, Papua province. The torture occurred on 11th January 2017 during detention at a police post and on 11th January 2017 at the emergency room of Jayawijaya General Hospital in Wamena. According to local human rights defenders, medical personal witnessed six officers as they tortured Mr. Edison Hesegem at the medical facility where he was meant to receive medical aid. The torture was so severe that Mr. Edison Hesegem died in the hospital the following day. In an attempt to downplay the torture, the head of the Papuan regional Police, Mr. Paulus Waterpauw, made a public statement in which he explained that Mr. Edison sustained the fatal injury as he fell off a fence during an attempted escape. Please support this Urgent Appeal to ensure that the investigation into allegations of human rights violations against Mr. Edison Hesegem in Jayawijaya General Hospital, Papua province, will be conducted in a proper and impartial manner.


Saving Raja Ampat waters with tourism

By Seto Wardhana, published in The Jakarta Post

raja ampat newphoto oct08 smallEnvironmentalists and academics estimate that Indonesia might suffer losses of US$18.6 million from damage to coral reefs in Raja Ampat, West Papua, caused by the Caledonian Sky cruise ship earlier this month.

Conservation International Indonesia (CII), Papua State University and the Regional Technical Implementing Unit (UPTD) conducted research to analyze the damage to the coral reefs.

Ricardo Tapilatu, who headed the research, said that several endemic reefs that were unique to that part of the world were damaged.


European Parliament adopts Resolution on Indonesia, noticing arrest of peaceful protesters in West Papua

On the 19th January 2017, the European Parliament adopted a resolution on Indonesia  as a response to the blasphemy case against Jakarta governor Ahok and a current case against two Papuan political activists, who are facing treason charges for having participated a peaceful demonstration. According to the Indonesian penal code (KUHP) treason charges can result in maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

The pro-indepence organisation West Papua National Committee (KNPB) called for peaceful Indonesian-wide demonstrations in support of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) on the 19th  December 2016. That day, peaceful demonstrations took place in Jayapura, Merauke, Wamena, Nabire in Papua Province, Manado in  North Sulawesi Province, Gorontalo and Yogyakarta. The police arrested at least 528 peaceful protesters, including minors. Hosea Yeimo and Ismael Alua were arrested in Jayapura and charged under Articles 106 and 110 of the Indonesian Criminal Code (KUHP). Both activists were released on bail on 11th  January 2017 while legal proceedings of the case continue.


Vanuatu takes lead in expressing Pacific Sates' concern regarding human rights situation in West Papua

The Pacific State Vanuatu has again expressed its concerns regarding the human rights situation in West Papua to the international community. Vanuatu's Minister of Justice and Community Development, Mr Ronald K Warsal delivered a statement on behalf of six other Pacific States - namely Tonga, Nauru, Palau, Tuvalu, the Marshall Islands, and the Solomon Islands - during the 34th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva. Vanuatu had already made similar statements during the past Human Rights Council Sessions 31 and 25. The growing international support in addressing the violations of human rights of indigenous Papuans could already been observed during the 71st Session of the United Nations General Assembly in 2016, where the same Pacific States were outspoken towards the ongoing human rights violations in the easternmost Indonesian provinces of Papua and Papua Barat.