Commemoration of “Papuan Independence Day” - Police responds with mass arrests and ill-treatment

The national police forcefully dispersed peaceful assemblies in commemoration of the 1st December and arrested 547 protesters in multiple cities of Indonesia. Many indigenous Papuans consider the date as the ‘Papuan Independence Day’. This year marks the 57th anniversary of the first official Morning Star flag raising under the Dutch colonial government. Human rights defenders reported that police officers applied excessive use of force against protesters and bystanders during the arrests in Jayapura. In Surabaya, members of nationalist mass organisations joining a counter rally threw stones at the Papuan protesters, injuring 16 people.


Failed crowd control operation in Merauke – Three residents ill-treated, 27 arrested

A failed crowd control operation in the City of Merauke has resulted in the arrest of 27 community members. According to local human rights defenders, members of the Merauke District Police (Polres Merauke) severely beat Bonivasius Buyopu, Anselmus Erro and Melkior Jebe. Melkior Jebe was additionally injured by a bullet as the police dispersed the crowd with fire arms. The incident was confirmed by the independent media outlet Tabloid Jubi. Three police officers were injured during the incident, which occurred in the Karang Indah district of Merauke Town, Papua Province on the 24 November 2018. Prior to the incident, a group of local residents armed with machetes, sticks and axes had searched the alleged perpetrator of an attempted child abduction. As eight police officers came to the Karang Indah district around 6.00 pm to investigate the case, an argument between the residents and the police officers ended in a clash between both sides.


Dispersal of peaceful assembly in Jayapura – Police arrests 107 KNPB supporters and ill-treats four activists

Members of the Jayapura municipality police dispersed a peaceful assembly organised by the West Papua National Committee (KNPB) at the Pegunungan Bintang Student Dormitory in Perumnas III residential area in Waena, where the organisation celebrated the 10th Anniversary. According to online media outlet Suara Papua, 150 officers of the crowd control unit DALMAS backed up by military members forcefully dispersed the peaceful assembly on 19 November 2018, at 10.15 am. The police arrested 107 KNPB activists and temporarily detained them at the Jayapura Municipality Police Station (Mapolresta Jayapura). Among the arrested activists were the secretary of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) Markus Haluk (see intro image), the KNPB chairman Agus Kossay, and the KNPB secretary Vero Hubi.


Torture and killing of Ishak Dewayekua - Disappointing verdict in military trial

On 9 August 2018, a panel of judges at the Military Court III-19 in Jayapura found the three military members first Sergeant La Dili Wance, Abiatar Harri Katoar and Fredrik Pattiasina guilty for collectively ill-treating Ishak Dewayekua, causing the victim’s death. First Sergeant La Dili Wance was sentenced to one year and eight months imprisonment, while Abiatar Harri Katoar and Fredrik Pattiasina received an imprisonment sentence of one year and four months. The three defendants were charged with article 351 (1), (3), article 55 (1/1) of the Indonesian Penal Code (KUHP), article 26 and article 190 (1), (3) and (4) of the Law 31/1997 about military justice. The imprisonment period will be reduced by the period of detention. The three members were dismissed from military service. However, human rights activists criticized that the applied legal standards during the justice process were low and the verdict is disproportionate to the severity of the crime.


Security force operation in Lanny Jaya Regency

Local human rights defenders reported that the police has launched an operation in the highland regency of Lanny Jaya in order to arrest the local armed resistance (TPN PB) leaders Enden Wanimbo and Purom Wenda. According to the information, joint security forces were deployed in Popome Village of Balingga District on 7 November 2018. The operation was confirmed by various local news outlets and is related to the killing of a motorcycle taxi driver on 2 November 2018 by members of the armed resistance (TPN PB). Exchange of fire between security forces and the TPN PB on 3 November 2018 lead to the death of two TPN PB fighters. Local sources reported that many villagers in the Balingga District feared repressive acts by security forces and fled to Tiom, the main town and administrative center of Lanny Jaya Regency.

Military members allegedly kill Anekanus Komarigi in Nduga Regency

Independent human rights defenders have reported another case of extra-judicial killings in the regency of Nduga. On 1 January 2018, members of the military special forces (Kopassus) tortured Anekanus Komarigi (20) inside the Maleo Military Post, located in the Kenyam District of Nduga Regency. Anekanus Komarigi and three friends went to the Maleo military post to buy a motorcycle because some military members allegedly ran a second-hand motorcycle business. The friends sat down with two military members in front of the post to drink tea and eat cookies. As the military members went inside the post, Anekanus wanted to follow them inside to watch television. The military members prevented Anekanus Komarigi from entering and rudely pushed him outside. A subsequent dispute escalated into a brawl.


Case update: Law enforcement process and detention conditions of arrested Polish citizen

According to information from the local news outlet Tabloid Jubi, the Papuan Regional Police (Polda Papua) has completed the investigation against the Polish citizen Jakup Febian Skrzypski (see intro image) and submitted the case files to the public prosecutor's office in Wamena. According to Polda Papua spokesman Commissioner Kamal, the public prosecution has assessed the case files as complete and will soon initiate the trial against the Polish citizen. Jakup Skrzypski has been charged with the treason article 106 of the Indonesian Penal Code (KUHP), which carries a maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment. Skrzypski was arrested in Jayawijaya Regecency on 26 August 2018 – the police suspects him being involved in weapon trade with the armed separatist movement TPN – OPM.


Police ill-treat five participants after peaceful event on human rights at the Papuan student dormitory in Makassar, South Sulawesi Province

The ‘Makasar Peoples Alliance for Democracy’ has published a statement according to which four men were allegedly intercepted and ill-treated by members of the Makassar Municipality Police (POLRESTABES Makassar) after participating in a peaceful event related to the human rights situation in West Papua. The event took place on the 13 October 2018 at the Papuan student dormitory yard in Lanto Dg. Pasewang street, Makassar, South Sulawesi Province. The alliance reported that a dozen plain cloth officers entered the dormitory yard around 4.30 pm and removed banners and posters, stating that the students did not receive a permission for the event. At 7.00 pm, the students began to present self-composed poem and orations as well as music and comedy performances, while approximately 20 uniformed police officers closely monitored the event in front of the dormitory premises. Four police intelligence members followed the discussion and performances inside the dormitory. At 10.00 pm the police demanded to accelerate the event schedule alleging that public events were not allowed to take place after 10.00 pm. Thereupon, organizers closed the event at 10.05 pm.


Military member kills Papuan stundent in Waroki Village, Nabire Regency

The Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation (JPIC) Desk of the Papuan Tabernacle Church (KINGMI Papua) has documented the extra-judicial killing of a Papuan theology student in Waroki Villlage, Nabire Barat District of Nabire regency. On 21 October 2018 at 08.00 pm, Daud Oyomi (27) left his house with the motorcycle to buy water. Four military members in civil clothing were standing at junction. As Daud Oyomi passed the four military members, one of the soldiers suddenly draw his gun and fired a shot at Daud. The bullet hit Daud in the chest (see image below), causing his instant death on the spot. The reason for the assault remains unclear.


Human Rights Update West Papua - 3rd Quarter 2018

The third quarter of 2018 was characterized by a considerable increase in political arrests resulting from police action during the dispersal of various peaceful demonstrations. The majority of political demonstrations were organised in relation to the 73rd General Assembly Session of the United Nations, during which Vanuatu and other Pacific countries had raised the West Papua issue. Political activities within the Papuan civil society appear to have significantly risen in September 2018 in correspondence with international political events outside Indonesia.


More Articles...

  1. Eleven university students arrested for peacefully expressing their opionion in public
  2. Military operation in Puncak Jaya Regency allegedly causes death of at least five civilians
  3. TAPOL and ETAN Joint Statement - UN General Assembly 73: Correcting the Record On Human Rights Violations in West Papua and the 1969 UN Resolution Regarding ‘Act of Free Choice’
  4. Six air force members collectively torture Papuan man in Sentani
  5. Timika District Police fails to provide adequate medical treatment during detention
  6. 67 ULMWP supporters arrested during peaceful demonstration in Jayapura
  7. Joint security forces raid the KNPB office in Timika – two activists shot down
  8. Final Countdown - Greenpeace publishes new report on reform of the palm oil industry
  9. Kimam sub-district police again involved in case of extra-judicial killing
  10. AHRC Urgent Appeal - Polish citizen and indigenous Papuans arrested and detained by police
  11. TAPOL and ETAN call on the immediate release of Simon Magal and Jakub Skrzypski
  12. 35 protesters arrested during peaceful demonstration in Bintuni, Papua Barat Province
  13. 35 protesters arrested during peaceful demonstration in Bintuni, Papua Barat Province (2)
  14. Political Activist prosecuted for uploading video on Facebook – Amnesty International launches Urgent Action
  15. Indonesian Government plans to expand diplomatic efforts on West Papua in the Pacific Region
  16. Police disperses two peaceful demonstrations in Jayapura - 93 protesters arrested
  17. Violation of law enforcement procedures still common in West Papua
  18. Papua regional police raises criminal charges against arrested Polish citizen
  19. Update on Freeport's mass lay offs - dismissed laborers report Employment Minister to Ombudsman
  20. Police officers shoot down Fery Korwa in Manokwari
  21. Australian academic blacklisted and deported
  22. ALRC statement on arbitrary arrest and detention in West Papua
  23. Press release by Papuan civil society coalition: Concession policies threaten environment and indigenous peoples in West Papua
  24. Police officers open fire at Papuan students in Waena, Jayapura – two students injured
  25. Series of arrests in Papuan central highlands – Police takes Polish citizen into custody
  26. Police officers arbitrarily arrest UNCEN and STIKOM student representatives in Jayapura
  27. Ongoing restrictions on freedom of opinion in West Papua - political activists subjected to arbitrary arrest and unfair trial
  28. Nationalist mass organisations attack Papuan student dormitory in Surabaya to force raising of Indonesian flag
  29. Five military members injured during accompaniment of electricity survey
  30. Indigenous community in North Biak protests against aerospace project