Military Raid in the Tsinga District of Mimika Regency – two villagers arbitrarily arrested and detained

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Local human rights defenders have reported military raids on the 1 and 2 December 2018 in the villages Nosolanop, Mesember, Benganggin and Beanegogom, which are located in the Tsinga District of Mimika Regency. The villagers claimed that the raids were conducted by members of the military special forces ‘Kopassus’ to collect information about a local guerilla command of the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPN-PB), which had repeatedly opened fire at Freeport vehicles and security force members in the neighboring Tembaggapura district in 2017 and 2018. The military members seized the villagers’ cell phones and returned them on the 11 December 2018.

Two villagers named Joap Beanal and Minus Kum were arrested in Beanegogom village on 2 December 2018 because they protested against the raids, because the military members did not show warrants or other document from the Mimika local government legitimizing the raid. The two villagers were detained for nine days before they were allowed to return to the village on 10 December 2018. Family members were prohibited from visiting Joap Beanal and Minus Kum during detention. Many villagers allegedly fled in fear of arbitrary violent acts by military members. According to information dating 13 December 2018, some of the refugees have not returned to their homes, yet.