Update treason trials: Imprisonment sentences for five KNPB activists

In early May 2019, judges found the Polish citizen Jakub Skrzypski and co-defendant Simon Magal guilty of having committed treasonous acts imprisonment. Skrzypski was sentenced to five years, Simon Magal to four years imprisonment. The judges argued that the public prosecution and the police had gathered sufficient evidence that Jakub Skrzypski had planned to sell weapons to the West Papua National Liberation Movement (TPN-PB), while Simon Magal had allegedly facilitated the trade. However, Jakub Skrzypski states that he is a tourist who was just interested in the Papuans political struggle for independence. He asserts being innocent and rejected the verdict against him. His lawyers stated that he plans to appeal against the verdict.  The head of Amnesty International Indonesia, Usman Hamid, stated in an interview with news outlet Al Jazeera "We consider all of them to be prisoners of conscience who are imprisoned solely for peacefully expressing their political views and [who] have not used violence or hatred - The prosecutor failed to prove any evidence that [Skrzypski] committed treason”.


Amnesty International proposes human rights agenda to Indonesia's election candidates

Amnesty international has published a document proposing a human rights human rights to candidates during the Indonesian presidential and parliamentarian elections on 17 April 2019. The agenda consists of nine points, addressing the most important shortcomings in the field of human rights in Indonesia. Several agenda items have a particular high relevance for the human rights context in West Papua. Point six of the agenda demands the government to respect human rights in Papua.

Amnesty International calls on all presidential and parliamentary candidates to commit publicly to ensuring that human rights are protected, respected and fulfilled, as provided in international human rights law and standards and the country's own Constitution.

The PDF document on the human rights agenda may be downloaded here


Peaceful protest in Malang attacked and dispersed - Asian Human Rights Commission launches Urgent Appeal

INDONESIA: Peaceful public protest attacked and dispersed

ISSUES: Freedom of expression and opinion, human rights defenders, fair trial, legal aid

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information from a national human rights organization, the Commission for the Disappearances and Victims of Violence (KontraS), regarding the brutal attack and forced dissolution of a peaceful public protest organized by the Papuan university students. Police and vigilante groups attacked the students, resulting in many student injuries and trauma. There has been no proper investigation undertaken by the law enforcement agency, and there is no guarantee and protection to exercise the right to freedom of expression and opinion.


Law enforcement institutions in West Papua continue to use treason for criminalization of political activists

Treason continues to be among the top criminal charges used by Indonesian authorities to criminalize peaceful political activity that contradicts the government ideology of a unitary state (NKRI). Seven political activists are currently tried in three trials – all of them have been charged with the penal code articles 106 and/ or 110 regulating the act of treason. For the first time treason charges have been used to prosecute a foreigner in West Papua. Two ‘treason trials’ are currently held at the Jayawijaya District Court in Wamena, a further one at the Mimika District Court in Timika.


Upset police officer pulls gun and opens fire in Asei Village, Jayapura Regency

Local media outlets have reported another case of police violence in Asei Kecil, a small village in the Sentani Timur District of Jayaura Regency in Papua Province. On 15 April 2019 at 5.00pm, police brigadier chief A.K. came to Asei Kecil Village to meet with Apner Kaigere (36 years). At that time, Apner Kaigere was with his wife and his nephew Anderson Hengga (17 years). Officer A.K. was upset because Abner Kaigere allegedly demolished a house which was inhabited by officer A.K.’s parents. According to Mr. Kaigere’s wife, the house had been heavily damaged during the flash flood, which hit Sentani on 16 March 2019.


Police cracks down on peaceful West Papua demonstrations in Bali and Malang

Police forces again cracked down on two peaceful demonstrations in cities of Denpasar, Bali Province and Malang, Java Tengah Province. According to the Papuan news outlet Tabloid Jubi, the demonstrations were organised the Papuan Student Alliance (AMP) and the Indonesian Peoples’ Front for West Papua (FRI-WP). The demonstration was held as a protest activity to the Indonesian elections on 17.04.2019. In Malang the protestors also demanded the closure of PT Freeport Indonesia’s Grasberg mine and the right for political self-determination of the Papuan people. The demonstration in Bali took place on 11 April 2019. The AMP and the Indonesian Legal Aid Institute (YLBHI LBH) claim that police officers ill-treated seven protesters during the violent dispersal of the peaceful rally (see images on top and below).


Update treason trial - Polish citizen sentenced to five years imprisonment and four years for his Papuan companion

The panel of judges at the Jayawijaya District Court in Wamena has sentenced Polish defendant, Jakub Skrzypksi, to five years imprisonment. His Papuan companion and co-defendant, Simon Magal, was sentenced to four years. According to the judges, both men had been proven guilty, fulfilling the legal prerequisites for treasonous acts as stipulated in article 106 of the Indonesian Criminal Code KUHP. The public prosecution, represented through Ms Febiana Wilma Sorbu, had earlier demanded an imprisonment sentence of ten years.


AJAR publishes new report on female victims of violence in West Papua - I am here

The Indonesian NGO 'Asia for Justice and Rights' (AJAR) has published a new report on the situation of indigenous Papuan women who have become victims of violence and human rights abuses. The report compiles action research conducted from 2013-18 by members of the Papuan Women’s Working Group (PWG), an informal group established as a collaboration between Asia Justice and Rights (AJAR) and five Papuan organisations. The purpose was threefold: 1) to strengthen the voices of women victims of violence; 2) to take steps to counter impunity with practical local action; and 3) to strengthen understanding about the social-economic causes and impact of violence as experienced by indigenous Papuan women. This action research included participatory tools to document the experiences and voices of Papuan women. The research team created a process for “listening-in” to women who were speaking candidly about their own lives. Key themes were documented and reflected upon by members of the working group and other experts. The PWG, together with Komnas Perempuan (the National Commission on Violence against Women), launched a narrative and video report based on the stories of 170 indigenous women, in Bahasa Indonesia at the Papuan Governor’s Office in July 2017. The report includes the cumulative findings and key themes that emerged from this new round of action research

Dowload the full report here

In Memoriam Father Neles Kebadabi Tebay - ‘a pioneer’

The mass of funerary wreaths on the way up to the High school for Theology and Philosophy (STFT) where Fr Neles Tebay has been laid to rest is impressive. All layers of the society are represented, the government (local as well as national), the religious institutions, the NGOs, the security forces and great variety of persons and just ordinary people. No doubt left that the man who died at the age of 55 after fighting a devastating bone cancer has touched the heart and mind of a lot of people.


Human rights defenders raise allegations of torture and discrimination against Nabire Police

The Justice Peace and Integrity of Creation Desk (JPIC) of the Papuan Tabernacle Church (KINGMI Papua) documented a case of torture at the Oyehe Police Post in Nabire, Papua Province. Human rights defenders also raised allegations of discrimination in law enforcement against the Nabire Police. In the late afternoon of 7 April 2019, Mr. Yusup Badii (39 years), a civil a servant working at the Nabire municipal cleaning agency, was collecting waste in the Oyehe area of Nabire Town. A physical dispute between Yusup Badii and a Non-Papuan merchant occurred after Mr Badii had reprimanded the merchant to deposit his waste only to designated waste collecting spots. Yusup Badii sustained a bleeding injury on the leg and the eyebrow during the brawl.


More Articles...

  1. Police officers arbitrarily arrest two Papuans and a baby in Sentani – both men subjected to torture during detention
  2. Joint Conference by the International Coalition for Papua, the Westpapua-Netzwerk, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International
  3. Human Rights Update West Papua – April 2019, covering January – March 2019
  4. Police officers arbitrarily arrest market women in Wamena – one person sustains bullet injury
  5. Allegations on violence against visitors and negligence at the Siriwini General Hospital in Nabire
  6. Update on armed conflict in Nduga: Number of casualties on the rise as armed clashes continue
  7. Devastating flash flood and landslides hit Jayapura
  8. Police raise criminal charges against radical Islamic leader Jafar Umar Thalib and followers
  9. Update on security force operation in Nduga: Approximately 2000 indigenous Papuans displaced, 13 IDPs reported dead
  10. Nine KNPB activists unlawfully arrested in Merauke – one activist subjected to physical ill-treatment
  11. Special Rapporteur on the right to food presents report on Indonesia Mission to Human Rights Council
  12. Dubious website alleges human rights defenders of disseminating false information
  13. Papuan Regional Police investigates acts of vandalism - Radical Islamic leader summoned
  14. Indonesia: UN experts condemn racism and police violence against Papuans, and use of snake against arrested boy
  15. Papua human rights situation, religious freedom, focuses of WCC delegation visit to Indonesia
  16. Heavy police presence during pre-trial against the Mimika district police chief - two KNPB activists allegedly ill-treated
  17. Police officers kill suspected drug dealer in Sorong
  18. Treason trial against Polish citizen and Papuan defendant launched in Wamena
  19. Video of Papuan suspect being tortured with snake goes viral
  20. Half Hearted Recognition - A Study on Customary Forest Concession License in Papua
  21. ULMWP Chairman hands independence petition to UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
  22. Three KNPB activists charged with treason – Human rights lawyers file pre-trial
  23. Human Rights Update West Papua – January 2019, covering October - December 2018