Public discourse about prolongation of Papuan Special Autonomy intensifies

The period for the special autonomy in the provinces Papua and Papua Barat will be over in 2021. While the Government of Indonesia promotes the prolongation of the special autonomy, the discussion about a “second special autonomy” is polarizing the society in West Papua. Many indigenous Papuans argue that the special autonomy has failed to bring upon prosperity for indigenous Papuans and boost development, while a small political elite has benefited from the large special autonomy funds. The inconsistent implementation of the special autonomy law over a time span of 20 years has created disappointment among many indigenous Papuans and re-fueled demands for self-determination as the special autonomy period is coming to an end.

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Indigenous Papuans allegedly subjected to intimidation and torture since establishment of new military bases in Tambrauw

Human rights defenders have raised allegations on multiple cases of intimidation and violence against indigenous Papuans since two military bases are being built in the regency of Tambrauw, Papua Barat Province. A bystander recorded a video in the village of Orwen, Kwoor district, showing four military members of the Kwoor Sub-District Command (KORAMIL) intimidating and shouting at four indigenous Papuans. Some of the villagers appear not to speak Indonesian. Even though the video does not show acts of physical violence, human rights defenders claim that the military members repeatedly kicked the villagers during the incident. The Head of the Information Department of XVIII Kasuari Military Command, Colonel Andi Gus Wulandri, downplayed the acts as coaching (Bhs Indonesia: ‘pembinaan’). He claimed in an interview with media outlet Jubi that indigenous leaders had asked the soldiers to discipline the four men.

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Student in Ternate under investigation for participating in peaceful rally for Papuan independence

On 2 December 2019, the Director of Khairun University expelled four students for participating in a peaceful demonstration in commemoration of the ‘Papuan Independence Day’. The protest took place in front of the Muhammadiyah University Campus in Ternate, Maluku Utara Province. The Ternate police are now investigating one of the students named Arbi M. Nur. The authorities accuse the student of violating Article 106 of the Indonesian Criminal Code (KUHP) on treason and Article 160 KUHP on incitement. According to CNN Indonesia, the Ternate District Police informed the public prosecution in Ternate about the investigation on 13 July 2020.

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Military members reportedly killed two indigenous Papuans during routine inspection in Nduga Regency

Military members have reportedly shot dead two indigenous Papuans, Elias Karunggu, the 40-year-old father and Seru Karunggu, 20-year-old son, at the military post near Masonggorak village, approximately half a kilometre away from Nduga’s largest town of Kenyam. The victims reportedly belonged to a group of 58 internally displaced persons (IDPs) from the districts of Kegayem, Paro and Yenggelo. The IDPs had left their villages and lived in the jungle since the Indonesian government launched a widespread military operation against the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPN PB) in Nduga in December 2018. The group had decided to give up their shelter and move to the town of Kenyam due to food shortage and sicknesses in the refugee shelter.

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Allegations of fatal military violence in Boven Digoel Regency

The Justice and Peace Department (SKP KAME) of the Archdiocese Merauke has received credible information regarding the alleged torture of sixteen-year-old Oktovianus Warip Betere in the Asiki District of Boven Digoel Regency, Papua Province. According to the head of the SKP KAME, Anselmus Amo, members of the 561 Caraka Yudha Kodam Brawijaya border control unit arrested Oktavianus Betere and subsequently tortured him inside a military post. The military members admitted him shortly after to a local community health centre (Puskesmas). A post-mortem examination at a local clinic confirmed that the victim’s body was bruised and wounded.

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Police in Wasior alleged of using excessive force and torturing a suspect

Members of the Teluk Wondama District Police allegedly tortured a suspect named Sedrik Kaikatu as he was receiving medical treatment at the public hospital in the town of Wasior, Papua Barat Province. Sedrik Kaikatu had sustained multiple injuries while police officers tried to arrest him. The Chief of the Teluk Wondama District Police, Yohanes Agustiandaru, explained that Mr Kaikatu was admitted to the public hospital because he injured himself as he fell off a roof, where he was trying to hide from the police officers. The police chief’s statement contradicts the testimonies of other sources who claim that the officers released multiple shots when the suspect attempted to escape. The Manokwari police had put Sedrik Kaikatu on the list of wanted persons for alleged involvement in the theft at a mobile phone store in Manokwari on 23 April 2020.

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New Release: The humanitarian crisis in West Papua: Internal conflict, the displacement of people, and the coronavirus pandemic

The ICP, together with the Foundation for Justice and Integrity of the Papuan People (YKKMP), the Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Desk of the Papuan Tabernacle Church (JPIC Kingmi Papua) and the Papuan Institute for Human Rights Study and Advocacy (ELSHAM Papua) has published a new special report on the situation of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the central highlands of West Papua. The majority of IDPs in West Papua remain unreached by fundamental public healthcare and education services. Thousands of IDPs are forced to live in overcrowded conditions in temporary shelters or in households of relatives, facilitating the quick spreading of COVID-19 in the provinces of Papua and Papua Barat.

Download full report here

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Political prisoner Surya Anta Ginting talks about inhuman conditions at detention centres in Jakarta

On 24 April 2020, Paulus Surya Anta Ginting and five Papuan activists were found guilty of treason for organising a peaceful protest against racism in front of the State Palace in Central Jakarta on 28 August 2019. He and four of the activists were sentenced to nine months imprisonment. Another activist was imprisoned for eight months. Surya Anta Ginting has now talked about their incarceration and the inhuman conditions they experienced during police custody at the Mako Brimob Prison and inside the Salemba Detention Center, one of the largest correctional facilities in Indonesia’s overcrowded capital Jakarta. The Papuan news outlet Suara Papua published an article about Surya Ginting’s experience during detention.

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Udeido art group launches „Tonawi Mana” virtual exhibition on human rights situation in West Papua

The art group Udeido has launched its virtual exhibition on the human rights situation in West Papua - it carries the name “Tonawi Mana”. It can be viewed on the group’s website until 17 August 2017. The exhibition is a further initiative by Udeido to push the development of superb and critical art in West Papua.

Tonawi Mana is a term from the language of the indigenous Mee tribe in the central highlands of West Papua. It refers to those elderly Mee who are “able to tap the hearts of their listeners and also stimulate all the voices that are not expressed by their owners to be expressed. They speak as a wise for the weak ones. For these Tonawi, peace can be realized by speaking out all the problems […] Tonawi Mana refers to the wise who always speak up when a dispute or injustice occurs.” The exhibition shows artwork from Papuan artists as well as artists from other regions in Indonesia who have expressed their perception and critical views of the situation of indigenous Papuans in drawings, photography paintings, installations and poems.

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Corruption allegations against Korindo palm oil conglomerate

Activists have called on the Indonesian authorities to launch an investigation into the allegations of corruption by the Korindo Group, a privately-owned conglomerate. Investigative journalists uncovered a $ 22 million "advisory" payment from the company. The activists are also pushing for the protection of the rights of indigenous communities affected by the company's palm oil operations. Korindo has so far cleared 25,000 hectares (62,000 acres) of rainforest in West Papua.

The investigation, a collaboration between Mongabay, the Gecko Project, the Korean Center for Investigative Journalism-Newstapa and Al Jazeera, examined the irregularities related to the payment and the role they played in the rapid expansion of Korindo's oil palm plantations in Indonesia’s easternmost province of Papua.

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More Articles...

  1. Labour Union files lawsuit against Freeport Indonesia and Department of Manpower and Transmigration
  2. Police officers arbitrarily arrest and torture suspect in Keerom Regency
  3. Students in Malang, Makassar and Bali demand the investigation of human rights violations in WP – two demonstrations dispersed
  4. KNPB Chairman in Maybrat and minor arbitrarily arrested
  5. At least 33 victims of extra-judicial killings in West Papua throughout 2019
  6. Papuan Council of Churches: the heart of the Papuan problem is racism and injustice
  7. Merdeka Secretariat's Solidarity Month for West Papua
  8. Human Rights Update West Papua - 2nd Quarter 2020
  9. NTB Regional Police allegedly forced a student to make false video statement about West Papua
  10. #MakeWestPapuaSafe aims to stop foreign government support for Indonesian police
  11. Sign ETAN's Petition: Free West Papua Political Prisoners
  12. Ninth update on trials and detentions after anti-racism riots in West Papua
  13. Press Release - #PapuanLivesMatter: West Papua Network and United Evangelical Mission urge the Indonesian government to end racism against indigenous Papuans
  14. #MakeWestPapuaSafe Campaign organizes webinar about Balikpapan 7 with Sarah Thompson
  15. Pusaka Press Release: Urging the State and Corporations to Protect and Respect Environmental Human Rights Defenders in Papua
  16. Update on trial against 23 defendants in Fakfak arrested during 1st December Commemorations and accused of treason and criminal conspiracy
  17. TAPOL regrets Court sentencing of ‘Balikpapan Seven’ political prisoners
  18. Update on trial against ‘Balikpapan 7’ – Judges sentence Papuan activists to ten and eleven months imprisonment
  19. Corona prevention policies increase violence – Security force members leave three indigenous Papuans injured in Paniai
  20. Police officers arrest four students during peaceful assembly in support of Balikpapan 7
  21. Papuan Parliament, MRP and religious leaders criticise injustice and demand release of ‘Balikpapan 7’
  22. Series of attacks against human rights defenders advocating for human rights in West Papua
  23. Theo Hesegem's views on the #BlackLivesMatter #PapuanLivesMatter Campaign
  24. Statement by Papua's religious leaders on the trial against 7 Papuan defendants at the Balikpapan District Court
  25. Yones Douw talks about the #BlackLivesMatter Campaign in West Papua
  26. Update: Trial on internet blockage in West Papua – Administrative Court rules President and Minister acted unlawfully
  27. Eighth update on trials and detentions after anti-racism riots in West Papua
  28. Attorney General rejects the Paniai Case files again for further processing
  29. Papua Police Chief presses charges against KNPB member in Mimika – suspect injured during arrest
  30. Police officers disperse residents with water cannon in Jayapura - one person dead