Attempted criminalisation and intimidation of Papuan human rights defender

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The ICP has received credible information regarding the intimidation and attempted criminalisation of female Papuan human rights defender Raga Kogeya (see image on the left). On 18 December 2018, the news outlet BBC Indonesia published a video about the military operation in the Nduga Regency on YouTube. The video contained footage of interviews with indigenous villagers from the Nduga Regency including Raga Kogeya, who originates from the same area. During the interview the human rights activist demanded an investigation into allegations of extra-judicial killings and the withdrawal of Indonesian security forces from indigenous villages. She mentioned that some indigenous Papuans had been killed by the explosives that the military dropped during the attacks in Nduga.

On 20 December 2018, police officers arbitrarily arrested Raga Kogeya and her two children (12 years and 6 years) at 9.15 am at Trikora Road in the highland city of Wamena, Jayawijaya Regency, Papua Province. Without showing a warrant, the police officers brought Raga Kogeya and her children to the police station and interrogated them. Raga Kogeya requested a lawyers, saying that she would not answer any question without legal council. The police allegedly seized her cell phone and copied contacts and other data from her phone. Raga Kogeya and her children were released at 1.08 pm.

After the release, Raga Kogeya traveled to the city of Jayapura, where she attended a meeting with other human rights defenders and civil society representatives to establish a team with the purpose to evacuate the bodies of civilians who had been killed during the military raid in Nduga Regency. In the early morning of 24 December 2018, Raga Kogeya returned from Jayapura City to Wamena town. Members of the intelligence followed her to the Jayapura airport, taking pictures and video recordings. The close surveillance continued as Raga Kogeya left the airport in Wamena. Plain cloth officers followed her to her house in Wamena, and have continued to monitor Raga Kogeya’s movements closely.

The case was brought to the attention of the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders and the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples.