Recent cyber attacks believed to suppress publication of new report on Papuan political prisoners

The EU based web host ‘GreenNet’, which is hosting websites of human rights and other civil society organisations, was subjected to two cyber attacks on 22 and 23 November 2019. The attacks were categorized as Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS). Such attacks aim to overwhelm the servers with millions of requests until they run out of capacity and become unavailable. According to GreenNet the attacks lasted for exactly one hour, indicating that it was likely to have been a "DDoS for hire". A forensic examination found strong circumstantial evidence that the cyber attacks aimed to prevent the publication of a new report on Papuan political prisoners and detainees throughout 2018 and 2019 by ‘Papuans Behind Bars’. GreenNet called on private users and civil society organizations to disseminate the report widely.

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Commemoration of ‘Papuan Independence Day’ - 104 Papuans reportedly arrested, at least 20 charged with treason

Reports by human rights defenders and media articles mention a total of 104 arrests in multiple locations across West Papua. The arrests occurred in relation to commemorations of 1st December, which many indigenous Papuans regard as the ‘Papuan Independence Day’. This year marks the 58th anniversary of the first official Morning Star flag raising under the Dutch colonial government. In Jayapura, the police summoned two leaders of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP), Markus Haluk and Edison Waromi. At least twenty arrestees were charged with treason.

 

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Lawyers express concern regarding health condition of political detainees

Lawyers are concerned about the deteriorating health condition of several Papuan political detainees in Jakarta and Jayapura. A group of lawyers in Jakarta stated in a public interview with Papuan media outlet Suara Papua that the health condition of pro-independence activist Surya Anta Ginting and five Papuan students have been deteriorating since last week. The six political detainees are in custody at the Rutan Salemba Detention facility in Jakarta (Rutan Salemba Jakarta). According to the lawyers, some of the detainees suffer from a sore throat and typhus.

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Military members kill indigenous Papuan and injure three others in Tolikara Regency

A group of military members reportedly shot dead a Papuan student named Lemitur Wandik (27 years) on 9 November 2019 at Giling Batu Street in the highland town of Karubaga, Tolikara Regency. Three of Lemitur’s friends were injured during the incident. One of them, Yakoka Wandik, was taken into custody at the Tolikara District Police station. Residents had called the military personnel to settle a dispute between migrant traders and a group of indigenous Papuans.

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Update on trials and detentions after racist assaults on Papuan students and subsequent anti-racism riots in West Papua

Three months have passed since a large number of demonstrations were held across West Papua and other parts of Indonesia to protest against multiple acts of racism against Papuan students in the Javanese cities of Malang and Surabaya. Some of the rallies turned violent and resulted in the destruction of Government offices, public facilities and stores. The riots were followed by a wave of criminalisation and legal prosecutions against Papuans who participated in the protests, but also against human rights defenders and political activists. While most of the protesters and activists are still detained for further police investigation, the first trials have been initiated in early November. Hereinafter is a brief update on the first court trials and detentions.

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'Papuans Behind Bars' publishes new report on political prisoners, treason charges and lack of judicial transparency in political prisoner cases

Numerous political arrests have taken place in 2018 and 2019 as the Indonesian authorities attempted to suppress political protests in West Papua and Indonesia. In particular, treason charges have been used to an unprecedented extent to arrest political activists during August and September this year, in response to an apparent increase in support across Indonesia for the West Papuan self-determination struggle. Foreign as well as local human rights advocates are being subjected to similar scrutiny.

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Human Rights Watch is calling for Indonesia to release peaceful Papua activists

(Jakarta, November 28, 2019) – Indonesian authorities should drop treason charges and release at least 22 activists detained since August 2019 for peaceful acts of free expression concerning Papua, Human Rights Watch said today. These abusive prosecutions show backtracking by President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s administration in dealing with the human rights situation in West Papua and Papua provinces.

Ahead of Papuan nationalists’ “Independence Day” on December 1, foreign diplomats and United Nations officials should monitor demonstrations in Papua and West Papua provinces and the law enforcement response.

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IPAC publishes new report - Numbers matter, The 2020 census and conflict in Papua

The Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict (IPAC) has published a new report discussing conflict-related issues and challenges in West Papua for the implementation of the upcoming census  in 2020. Increasing polarization of West Papua's civil society have resulted in high potential for horizontal conflicts. As tensions keep growing in the provinces of Papua and Papua Barat, provincial and local government institutions have failed to produce valid demographic data on West Papua's population.

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New discourse on settlement of past human rights violations in Indonesia – Papuans hope for Justice

The new Coordinating Minister for Politics, Law and Security Affairs, Mahfud, plans to accelerate the settlement of past human rights violations in Indonesia. Mahfud said he wants to implement the re-establishment of Truth and Reconciliation Commissions (Komisi Kebenaran dan Rekonsiliasi, KKR). According to Mahfud, the government will submit a draft law on Truth and Reconciliation Commission for the upcoming national legislation program (Prolegnas) before 18 December 2019. The KKR commission had already been established in 2004, but was dissolved again in 2006 after the Constitutional Court cancelled Law 27/2004 on Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

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1,200 Papuan students return to Meepago area - Police arrests 19 protesters during peaceful assembly in Nabire

The Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Desk (JPIC) of the Papuan Tabernacle Church (KINGMI Papua) have reported further arrests of students in the Papuan town of Nabire. According to JPIC Kingmi Papua, 1,200 students from Meepago, one of the seven customary regions in West Papua, have interrupted their studies in other Indonesian cities and returned to their homes because they feared further racism-motivated attacks like the ones that took place in the Javanese cities of Malang and Surabaya in mid-August 2019. The students built a refugee post in Nabire in early September. Around 720 students gathered at the refugee post for almost two months. The students sent letters to the regents in Meepago and requested an audience in order to discuss their situation with the local government representatives.

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More Articles...

  1. 2019 Press Freedom Index in Papua Province: lowest in Indonesia
  2. Human rights defenders find grave in Nduga Regency – Evidence points to involvement of Indonesian military members
  3. Anti-racism riot in Wamena affects education and medical services in the regencies Jayawijaya and Yahukimo
  4. Update on Biak police detention suicide case – Victim’s family demand transparency and justice
  5. Update: Crackdown on student protest in Jayapura – four killed victims confirmed
  6. Mysterious death of student in Enarotali – Police excludes murder as cause of death
  7. Amnesty International - Papua visit shows President Widodo still neglecting human rights
  8. Update: Riot in Wamena – Chronology of events and consequences of the riot
  9. Appointment of Prabowo as Defense Minister met with criticism by human rights activists
  10. Update Anti-Racism Protests: 93 protestors and activists charged within the past two months
  11. Update Nduga Regency: Security force operation still ongoing – death toll estimated at 189
  12. West Papua conflict exacerbates after racist assaults against Papuan students - An analysis
  13. Human Rights Update West Papua - 3rd Quarter 2019
  14. President Jokowi willing to meet with representatives of independence movement
  15. Amnesty International deeply concerned about increasing use of “makar” against Papuans - Open Letter to President Joko Widodo
  16. Ecumenical Forum of Papuan Churches further appeal to President Joko Widodo
  17. Papua Church Leaders urge the Indonesian Government to withdraw army and police from Papua
  18. Police officers obstruct Papuan journalists covering student rally in Jayapura
  19. Series of arrests continues after Papua-wide rallies against racism
  20. More extra-judicial killings reported during security force operation in Puncak Regency
  21. Update on situation in Wamena and Jayapura after the riots
  22. Violence escalates in West Papua - ULMWP Chairman calls for urgent UN visit to West Papua
  23. NGOs call on CGF members to take immediate action against deforestation
  24. Outbreaks of violence in Wamena and Jayapura – first counts estimate 31 civilian fatalities, 87 persons injured
  25. 3 indigenous Papuans killed, 4 wounded during security force operation in the Regency of Puncak
  26. Update Anti-Racism Demonstrations: Government responds with mass arrests and prosecution of activists
  27. Full response - Veronica Koman published press statement on Facebook
  28. UN experts request Indonesia to protect rights of Veronica Koman and others reporting on Papua protests
  29. Jayapura Police alleged of neglect – Nationalist militant groups attack indigenous Papuans
  30. Military members alleged of killing indigenous Papuan in Wouma District, Jayawijaya Regency