Human rights lawyer intimidated in Jayapura

The ICP has credible information regarding the intimidation of Papuan lawyer and human rights defender, Gustaf Kawer (see photo, source: Jubi), in the city of Jayapura on 7 November 2020. Around 09.30 pm, Mr Kawer stopped his car in front of a store to buy something for their children, his family was with him in the car. In that moment a red pick-up truck with a police plate number (AD 1722 PJ) approached them from behind and overtook their car. The pick-up truck came so close to their car that the side doors and one side mirror of Mr Kawer’s car were damaged. Gustaf Kawer wanted to hold the driver accountable for the damage, so he followed the pick-up truck but was not able to keep pace with the fast pick-up. The pick-up truck escaped through the traffic with high speed. The following day, Mr Kawer tried to trace the owner with the plate number. He found out that the vehicle used a false plate number which was not officially registered.

Mr Kawer understood the incident as an act of intimidation. According to Mr Kawer, the incident occurred shortly after the Indonesian political magazine TEMPO published an interview in which he gave his views about the enforcement of human rights in Papua.

Gustaf Kawer also works as the Executive Director of the Association for Human Rights Lawyers for Papua (Paham Papua) and has provided legal support to many Papuan political activists and human rights defenders, among them the Balikpapan 7. The trial against the seven Papuan activists draw the attention of national and international media outlets during the anti-racism unrest that took place in all major cities across West Papua between August and September 2019.