KNPB members again arrested in Merauke – Police chief threatens to shoot activists in the legs

The Merauke police has again carried out raids against the political movement organisation West Papua National Coalition (KNPB), which advocates the right for self-determination through non-violent demonstrations and peaceful civil resistance activities. On 13 December 2020, joint security force members allegedly destroyed parts of the KNPB office facilities in Merauke (see top photo, source: independent human rights defenders) and arrested 14 KNPB members (see table below). The director of the Papuan Legal Aid Institute (LBH Papua), Imanuel Gobay, stated that police officers beat the 14 activists with wooden sticks during the arrest and detention at the police station (see photo below, source: independent human rights defenders). The police officers reportedly arrested the activists without showing a warrant. All of them are currently in custody.

Victims Torture-Merauke 3According to the Merauke police chief, Untung Sangaji, the police is investigating treason allegations against the activists.  The officers seized multiple documents on the right to self-determination as evidence at the KNPB office. Moreover, the Police Chief declared in an interview with the news outlet Jubi that he would shoot the KNPB activists if they continue to conduct treasonous activities in Merauke. “If they will again engage in treasonous activities, I am going to shoot them in the legs. Yes, if they are insolent, shoot them, this is the territory of the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia", said Sangaji during the interview.

The victim's relatives complained that police officers used physical force to expel them from the police station, where they had come to request the official arrest warrants and bring food for the activists. One of the relatives testified that the head of the Merauke Criminal Investigation Department (Kasat Reskrim Polres Merauke) stuck his finger into her cheek while pushing her out of the police office.

The documented cases of arrests against peaceful political activists have significantly increased in the regency of Merauke throughout the past month. On 17 November 2020, police officers arbitrarily arrested 55 persons, including members of the Papuan Peoples Assembly (MRP) who had come to the town of Merauke to conduct a consultation meeting for the evaluation of the Papuan Special Autonomy. On 30 November 2020, the police officers reportedly entered the KNPB office in Merauke and arbitrarily arrested six KNPB members without showing a warrant.

Table with arrested KNPB members during police raid in Merauke on 13 December 2020

No

Name

Age

Additional information

1

Charles Sraun

38 years

chairman of KNPB branch office in Merauke, arrested at 2.00 pm in the KNPB office in the Almasuh area, Merauke, beaten with rattan sticks on the body during arrest and detention

2

Petrus Paulus Kontremko

32 years

vice-chairman of KNPB branch office in Merauke, arrested at 2.00 pm in the KNPB office in the Almasuh area, Merauke, beaten with rattan sticks on the body during arrest and detention

3

Kristian Yandun

38 years

arrested at 2.00 pm in the KNPB office in the Almasuh area, Merauke, sustained bleeding head injury after officers repeatedly hit him with rattan sticks to the head and body

4

Robertus Landa

23 years

arrested at 2.00 pm in the KNPB office in the Almasuh area, Merauke, beaten with rattan sticks on the body during arrest and detention

5

Michael Beteop

24 years

arrested at 2.00 pm in the KNPB office in the Almasuh area, Merauke, sustained bleeding injury on the back after officers repeatedly hit him with wooden sticks to the body

6

Elias Kmur

38 years

arrested at 2.00 pm in the KNPB office in the Almasuh area, Merauke, beaten with rattan sticks on the body during arrest and detention

7

Marianus Anyum

25 years

arrested at 11.15 pm in the KNPB office in the Almasuh area, Merauke, beaten with rattan sticks on the body during arrest and detention

8

Kristian. M. Anggunop

24 years

arrested at 11.15 pm in the KNPB office in the Almasuh area, Merauke, beaten with rattan sticks on the body during arrest and detention

9

Emanuel. T Omba

24 years

arrested at 11.15 pm in the KNPB office in the Almasuh area, Merauke, beaten with rattan sticks on the body during arrest and detention

10

Petrus Kutey

27 years

arrested at 11.15 pm in the KNPB office in the Almasuh area, Merauke, beaten with rattan sticks on the body during arrest and detention

11

Linus Pasim

26 years

arrested at 11.15 pm in the KNPB office in the Almasuh area, Merauke, beaten with rattan sticks on the body during arrest and detention

12

Salerius Kamogou

24 years

arrested at 11.15 pm in the KNPB office in the Almasuh area, Merauke, beaten with rattan sticks on the body during arrest and detention

13

Petrus Koweng

28 years

arrested at 11.15 pm in the KNPB office in the Almasuh area, Merauke, beaten with rattan sticks on the body during arrest and detention

14

Yohanes Yawon

23 years

arrested at 11.15 pm in the KNPB office in the Almasuh area, Merauke, beaten with rattan sticks on the body during arrest and detention