West Papua Human Rights Update January 2020

The last quarter of 2019 was dominated by the aftermath of the Papua-wide anti-racism riots that took place throughout August and September 2019 and the exacerbation of the armed conflict in the central highlands. The trials in relation to the anti-racism riots and the subsequent political prosecutions during the previous quarter have been launched. Some lawyers attempted to raise criminal procedure violations in pre-trial hearings – none of the pre-trial hearings were successful. The statistics clearly reflect the continuing prosecution of political activists, as Government authorities keep on restricting civil society space for peaceful protest, freedom of assembly, media freedom and freedom of expression in West Papua. While the number of arrests have significantly decreased compared to the third quarter, the figure is still considerably high and the main reason is that the 1st December, which many indigenous Papuans regard as the ‘Papuan Independence Day’, was marked by a high number of political arrests and treason charges against indigenous Papuans participating in the commemoration.

Read more...

Four students in Ternate expelled from university for participating in peaceful demonstration for West Papua

The director of Khairun University expelled four students for participating in a peaceful demonstration in commemoration of the ‘Papuan Independence Day’ in front of the Muhammadiyah University Campus in Ternate, Maluku Utara Province, on 2 December 2019. Police officers forcefully dispersed the demonstration and arrested the students Arbi M Nur, Fahyudi Kabir, Ikra S Alkatiri and Fahrul Ahmad Abdullah along with 6 other protesters. The protesters were subsequently detained for 24 hours at the Ternate District Police Station. According to the students, the officers dragged and repeatedly beat the protesters during arrest. After the release, the Ternate district police sent a letter to the directorate of Khairun University, stating that the students had participated in activities which ‘must be categorized as treasonous acts (makar)’. Although the police letter is not a legally binding document, the university expelled the students for their involvement in the peaceful protest.

Read more...

Security force operation in Intan Jaya Regency during Christmas – indigenous villagers flee their homes

A further security force operation was launched in the highland regency of Intan Jaya. A few days before Christmas, police and military helicopters deployed additional military units to Intan Jaya (see intro image), after armed clashes between the Indonesian military (TNI) and the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPN-PB) on 17 December 2019 had resulted in the death of two TNI members. Human rights defenders and news outlets reported that indigenous peoples from the villages Wayasiga, Bulapa, Kulapa, Yoparu, Wabui, Ugimba and Ndugusiga have fled their homes as a result of the armed clashes and the heavy military presence. The total number of IDPs is currently not known. According to information received, the military members searched houses and occupied the school facilities of the catholic primary school SD YPPK Titigi to accommodate soldiers.

Read more...

Update on Treason Trial against Polish citizen – Supreme court raises sentence to 7 years

On 14 January 2019, the District Court in Wamena launched the trial against Polish citizen Jakub Fabian Skrzypsk. Skrzypski was charged with the articles 106 and 110 of the Indonesian Criminal Code (KUHP) on treason because he had met with members of the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPN-PB). The police claimed that he intended to sell weapons to the TPN-PB.  The panel of judges found Skrzypski guilty and sentenced him to five years imprisonment. Jakub Skrzypski’s team of lawyers and the public prosecutor had both filed an appeal against the verdict to the Supreme Court in May 2019. The Supreme Court has now ruled that Skrzypski’s imprisonment sentence shall be raised to seven years.

Read more...

Police officers open fire at house in Yahukimo Regency – Two residents sustain bullet injuries

The online media outlets ‘Suara Papua’ and 'Noken Wene’ have reported another shooting in Dekai, the largest town in the regency of Yahukimo. According to the media outlets, members of the police mobile brigade special unit (Brimob) and the Yahukimo District Police approached the victim’s house on 20 December 2019 around 6.10 pm in multiple vehicles, as Fetrik Nepsan and Lefinus Saram were sitting on the porch in front of the house. Relatives claimed that the police officers instantly released shots at both men, without giving instructions or releasing warning shots.

Read more...

Police officer ill-treats journalist in Dekai, Yahukimo Regency

The local media outlet JUBI has reported that one of their journalists named Piter Lokon was allegedly ill-treated by members of the police in the town of Dekai on 18 December 2019. Piter Lokon was covering a protest as a police officer approached him and reportedly hit him with his rifle butt on the hand and the waist. The bruises which Piter Lokon sustained during the attack had to be treated at the Dekai General hospital. The journalist stated that he had shown his press card to the police officer. Nevertheless, the officer attacked Mr. Lokon and subsequently seized his camera, a notebook and a mobile phone which he had brought in a traditional net bag.

Read more...

Military members alleged of executing Papuan driver in Nduga Regency

The armed conflict in Nduga has resulted in another civilian fatality. According to information received, military members shot dead a driver named Hendrik Lokbere, on 20 December 2019 around 7.15 pm, as he was driving his pick-up truck on Yosema Road towards the bordering area between the regencies of Nduga and Asmath, where Mr Lokbere wanted to pick up a group of indigenous Papuans who had been working in their gardens. Prior to the incident, armed clashes between Indonesian military forces (TNI) and the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPN-PB) had occurred between the morning and afternoon. The incident was witnessed by one of Mr Lokbere’s relatives, who had accompanied him inside the car.

 

Read more...

KOMNAS HAM observes deterioration of human rights situation throughout 2019 as Govt institutions block the settlement of human rights violations

The human rights situation in West Papua throughout 2019 has significantly deteriorated. This assessment is based on statistics by the Papuan Representative Office of the National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM Perwakilan Papua). Komnas HAM Perwakilan Papua Chairperson, Frits Ramandey, stated on 10 December 2019 (see intro image, source: Jubi) that his office documented 154 cases of alleged human rights violations throughout 2019. This number has significantly increased in comparison to previous years, with 68 of such alleged cases in 2018 and 89 cases in 2017. Fifty-nine of the cases were directly filed to the representative office while the remaining 95 cases were documented after the office had taken note of the incident through other information channels.

Read more...

Second update on trials and detentions after anti-racism riots in West Papua

Three months after Papua-wide anti-racism protests and riots, a series of trials and arrests occurred in various cities Indonesian cities. This article provides an overview on trials in relation to the protests and the subsequent wave of criminalization against human rights defenders and political activists. ICP summarized earlier stages of the legal proceedings and detentions in a previous article. The following article covers recent developments in relation to the anti-racism riots between late November and mid-December 2019.

Read more...

Special force members intimidate human rights defender in Nabire

The head of the Justice, Peace and Integrity Office of the Papuan Taberncale Church (JPIC Kingmi Papua), Mr. Yones Douw, has been subjected to acts of intimidation. Two members of the military special force division ‘Kopassus’ belonging to the Maleo regiment came to his house in the Papuan town of Nabire on 7 December 2019 asking questions about his work and plans to commemorate the global Human Rights Day. Yones Douw understood the unannounced visit as an attempt of intimidation. The military members also asked questions about his children.

Read more...

More Articles...

  1. Military operation in Lanny Jaya claims lives of two indigenous villagers and causes internal displacement
  2. Recent cyber-attacks aimed to prevent publication of new report on Papuan political prisoners
  3. Commemoration of ‘Papuan Independence Day’ - 115 Papuans reportedly arrested, at least 31 charged with treason
  4. Lawyers express concern regarding health condition of political detainees
  5. Update on trials and detentions after racist assaults on Papuan students and subsequent anti-racism riots in West Papua
  6. Human Rights Watch is calling for Indonesia to release peaceful Papua activists
  7. New discourse on settlement of past human rights violations in Indonesia – Papuans hope for Justice
  8. Military members kill indigenous Papuan and injure three others in Tolikara Regency
  9. 'Papuans Behind Bars' publishes new report on political prisoners, treason charges and lack of judicial transparency in political prisoner cases
  10. IPAC publishes new report - Numbers matter, The 2020 census and conflict in Papua
  11. 1,200 Papuan students return to Meepago area - Police arrests 19 protesters during peaceful assembly in Nabire
  12. 2019 Press Freedom Index in Papua Province: lowest in Indonesia
  13. Human rights defenders find grave in Nduga Regency – Evidence points to involvement of Indonesian military members
  14. Anti-racism riot in Wamena affects education and medical services in the regencies Jayawijaya and Yahukimo
  15. Update on Biak police detention suicide case – Victim’s family demand transparency and justice
  16. Update: Crackdown on student protest in Jayapura – four killed victims confirmed
  17. Mysterious death of student in Enarotali – Police excludes murder as cause of death
  18. Amnesty International - Papua visit shows President Widodo still neglecting human rights
  19. Update: Riot in Wamena – Chronology of events and consequences of the riot
  20. Appointment of Prabowo as Defense Minister met with criticism by human rights activists
  21. Update Anti-Racism Protests: 93 protestors and activists charged within the past two months
  22. Update Nduga Regency: Security force operation still ongoing – death toll estimated at 189
  23. West Papua conflict exacerbates after racist assaults against Papuan students - An analysis
  24. Human Rights Update West Papua - 3rd Quarter 2019
  25. President Jokowi willing to meet with representatives of independence movement
  26. Amnesty International deeply concerned about increasing use of “makar” against Papuans - Open Letter to President Joko Widodo
  27. Ecumenical Forum of Papuan Churches further appeal to President Joko Widodo
  28. Papua Church Leaders urge the Indonesian Government to withdraw army and police from Papua
  29. Police officers obstruct Papuan journalists covering student rally in Jayapura
  30. Series of arrests continues after Papua-wide rallies against racism