Police officers disperse residents with water cannon in Jayapura - one person dead

A Papuan man identified as Justinus Silas Dimara (35 years old) died as members of the police forcefully dispersed a group of local residents in Hamadi, Jayapura city, on 25 May 2020 (see intro image, source: Jubi). Previously, the Governor of Papua and the Jayapura Municipal Government announced a lockdown due to the growing number of COVID-19 infections, calling upon the residents in Jayapura to stay at home between 2.00 pm and 6.00 am. However, the group of local residents gathered in front of a closed restaurant to drink alcoholic beverages as the police arrived around 5.30 pm. The police officers claim that the group refused to follow the instructions to return to their homes, hence they dispersed the group using the water cannon of the police vehicle.


CC TV records police officers torturing suspect in Mimika Regency

As they were investigating a case of illegal alcohol sale, police officers tortured Ayub Jr Hutagaol in the district of Wania, Mimika regency. The torture occurred inside Mr Hutagaol’s shop and was caught on CC TV. The recordings quickly went viral after local residents shared the video on social media. A team of lawyers representing Ayub Huatagaol officially filed the case to the Mimika District Police. District Police Chief, Era Adhinata, announced in an interview with media outlet Jubi that he will process the perpetrators through a police internal investigation for violation of the police ethic code and a law enforcement procedure.


Allegations of enforced disappearance in Intan Jaya - Two indigenous Papuans reported missing

According to the local media outlet Suara Papua, two indigenous Papuans from the village of Janamba in the Hitadipa district of Intan Jaya regency have been missing since 21 April 2020. Witnesses claim that they saw military members arresting Apianus Zanambani (22 years), Luter Zanambani (23 years) and a third man, whose name wasn't mentioned, near the Sugapa National Senior High School 1 (SMA Negeri 1) during a military raid in the town of Sugapa, Intan Jaya. The third man arrested was later released, however there is no information about the whereabouts of Apianus and Luter Zanambani. Another informant stated that military members allegedly brought both men to the Mamba Village, Sugapa District.


UPDATE The Jakarta Six: Cancellation of Release

(London, 12 May 2020) TAPOL condemns the political decision to cancel the early release of five political prisoners that were arrested in Jakarta for demonstrating in favour of the self-determination of West Papua.

On 24 April 2020, the Central Court of Jakarta sentenced Paulus Suryanta Ginting, Ambrosius Mulait, Dano Tabuni, Charles Kossay, and Ariana Elopere to nine months’ imprisonment; while Isay Wenda was sentenced to eight months. Isay Wenda was released on 29th April 2020 having served his full sentence.



Papuan student arrested for Facebook post – Police press charges

Members of the Papuan Regional Police Criminal Investigation Unit (Reskrim Polda Papua) have arrested a 25-year-old Papuan student with the initials GM in his house in North Jayapura on 1 May 2020 for posting an image of the Indonesia's President Joko Widodo wearing a hat with the Morning Star symbol on his Facebook account and YouTube channel. GM is a student enrolled in a university in Yogyakarta. The police charged the student with article 28 (2) in conjunction with article 45A (2) of Law No. 19 /2016 about the amendment of Law No. 11/2008 on Electronic Information and Transaction on hate speech.



Police investigator in Sorong Selatan prevents lawyers from meeting with defendants

The Manokwari Institute for Research Study and Development of Legal Aid (LP3BH Manokwari) reported another case of obstruction against three lawyers in the regency of Sorong Selatan. According to LP3BH Director, Yan Christian Warinussy, the lawyers of the Legal Aid Institute (LBH) Kaki Abu wanted to visit the four suspects who were arrested in multiple locations during a police raid in the regency of Maybrat between 15 and 23 April 2020. The police suspect them of being involved in the killing of a police officer in the regency of Bintuni.



Freeport operating with reduced workforce due to increase of COVID-19 cases

COVID-19 infections in the Mimika Regency, where Freeport operates the Grasberg mine, reached 150 cases as of 17 May, including 102 cases in Tambagapura, the living quarters built to house Freeport workers and their families. This has led Freeport to cut his workforce and operate the mine with only an essential team. The ICP reported on 7 May that despite 85 Freeport employees testing positive for COVID-19, the Grasberg Mine kept operating at full capacity as before.


Update: Number of Covid-19 cases in Papua rise to 301

The number of confirmed coronavirus infections in West Papua has risen from 137, as reported on 23 April, to 301 cases as of 6 May 2020. In Papua province a total of 248 cases had been reported. So far, 63 patients have recovered while 178 are been treated. Although the death toll has remained the same, seven have died from COVID-19 in Papua province, the number of cases is increasing fast. The majority of Covid-19 cases were found in Jayapura and Mimika Regency. On 5 May 2020, the Provincial Government of Papua renewed its emergency response status for 28 days, from 7 May to 4 June 2020.

In Papua Barat 53 persons have tested positive as of 7 May 2020, most of these COVID-19 cases are concentrated in the Regencies of Sorong (12), Raja Ampat (14), Teluk Bintuni (11), and Manokwari (6), and the city of Sorong (9). A total of ten have died due to the virus, most of them in Sorong city.


Korindo palm oil plantation calls police to settle land dispute – One indigenous Papuan dead as a result of torture

The ‘Office for Justice and Peace of the Archdiocese of Merauke’ (SKP Keuskupan Agung Merauke) has documented the killing of an indigenous Papuan from the Asiki district in the regency of Boven Digoel. Witnesses saw how a police officer severely tortured Marius Betera in front of the office building of palm oil company PT. Tunas Sawa Erma POP Block A (PT. TSE POP A) after he complained about the clearing of his garden by one of the company’s excavators. The victim died at the company’s clinic approximately three hours after the incident as a result of the injuries he sustained during the beating. Local human rights organisations demand that the alleged perpetrator should be held responsible in a police-internal code of conduct trial and a criminal trial in a public court. PT. TSE POP A is a subsidiary of the Korindo Group, which operates multiple palm oil and timber companies in West Papua.


Residents reject construction of a military base in Tambrauw

The Indonesian military (TNI) is building a military base in the regency of Tambrauw, Papua Barat Province. Local residents claim that military members have pressured them to release 5 hectares of customary land for the construction of a Military District Command (KODIM) and a Military Sub-District Command (KORAMIL) in the Kwoor District. They demanded the local Government to build adequate health and education facilities instead of military facilities.  The residents fear that the presence of the military in the regency will lead to cases of military violence against local residents. Especially the elder generation of indigenous Papuans in Tambrauw has still experienced the violent military operations under Indonesia’s former president Suharto, which were accompanied by gross human rights violations against the indigenous population of West Papua.


More Articles...

  1. Human Rights Update West Papua - 1st Quarter 2020
  2. Govt fails to respect freedom of expression in West Papua – Police arrest students and summon church leader
  3. Human Rights Watch Indonesia: New Arrests for Peaceful Political Expression
  4. New IPAC Report available: COVID-19 and Conflict in West Papua
  5. Trade Minister revokes timber licensing for wood export – Papuan Forest under threat
  6. TAPOL denounces sentences handed to Jakarta Six
  7. Seventh update on trials and detentions after anti-racism riots in West Papua
  8. Police operation in Maybrat Regency accompanied by arrests and torture
  9. Three policemen died due to clashes with military members
  10. Amnesty Indonesia: Urge the Government to Immediately Protect the Rights of Health Workers!
  11. Update on Corona Pandemic in West Papua – Number of infections rise to 137
  12. Two Papuans shot dead in Mimika - Military members allegedly mistook victims for resistance fighters
  13. Urgent appeals filed with UN by 63 political prisoners in Indonesia amid the COVID-19 Pandemic
  14. Police officers arrest Papuan human rights activist and relatives in Mimika Regency – five allegedly beaten during custody
  15. Trial update on killing of Govt contractors in Nduga Regency – Mispo Gwijangge released
  16. One employee killed and six injured during TPN PB attack on Freeport office
  17. Sixth update on trials and detentions after anti-racism riots in West Papua
  18. Jokowi’s Omnibus Bill for job creation – Observers fear far-reaching consequences for West Papua
  19. Coronavirus has reached West Papua
  20. Papuan student arrested in Ambon for wearing a net bag with Morning Star symbol
  21. CSO demands access for Indonesian Red Cross to West Papua
  22. Armed conflict in West Papua aggravates throughout past weeks – over 1,500 IDPs flee to Timika
  23. Public worship in Nduga overshadowed by armed clash – Security forces kill one indigenous woman, at least three others injured
  24. Police officers fail to protect truck driver during mob attack in Dogiyai Regency
  25. Fifth Update on trials and detentions after anti-racism riots in West Papua
  26. Unrest throughout August and September 2019 results in 59 fatalities
  27. Joint security forces kill indigenous community leader and minor during raid in Intan Jaya
  28. Wamena after the September-Riots – Freedom of assembly still subjected to limitations
  29. Komnas HAM categorises Paniai incident as serious human rights violation – Case submitted to Attorney General
  30. Laporan Baru ICP tentang Papua Barat: hak asasi manusia, konflik dan situasi pembangunan