Security forces crack-down on peaceful protests for release of Victor Yeimo – 49 protesters arrested, 19 tortured, one shot

The West Papua National Committee (KNPB) and multiple solidarity groups have organised a series of peaceful protests in the Papua province and other parts of Indonesia. The protesters demanded the unconditional and immediate release of Victor Yeimo, human rights activist and international KNPB spokesperson. The protests in Jayapura, Dekai, Yahukimo Regency and Ambon (Maluku Province) were forcefully dispersed by security forces. In total, 49 protesters were arrested. Nineteen protesters were reportedly tortured during arrest and police detention. Further protests were held in Malang and Surabaya (Java Timur Province) without notable incidents.

Jayapura City
KNPB Protest Free Victor Yeimo 4The KNPB and the Papuan Peoples Petition (PRP) organised peaceful demonstrations for the immediate release of Victor Yeimo in multiple locations in Jayapura on 16 August 2021. Joint security forces dispersed the protests with tear gas and water cannons. The chairman of the KNPB, Agus Kossay, and a KNPB supporter named Alfa Hisage (see photo on the left, source: KNPB) were reportedly punched to the head as security forces dispersed a demonstration in Waena. Both sustained a bleeding head injury as a result of the security force violence.

A dozen police officers gathered in front of the Yahukimo student dormitory in Waena to monitor the situation at the dorm. Some officers reportedly entered the dormitory premises without showing a warrant or asking permission.

Dekai, Yahukimo Regency
Victim Ferianus Asso Yahukimo DemoThe KNPB and the PRP launched a peaceful protest (see intro image, source: Jubi) in support of Victor Yeimo’s release in the town of Dekai on 16 August 2021. The local police dispersed the protest with force and arrested 48 protesters. One protester named Ferianus Asso (29 years) sustained a bullet injury in the stomach as the police dispersed a crowd of protesters near Ruka Blok A in Dekai. He received medical treatment at the general hospital in Dekai (see photo on the right, source: KNPB). Forty-four protesters were later released at 11.00 am, while Anton Hubusa, Lasarus Heluka, Afen Sambon and Fredy Heluka remained in custody. They were released on 17 August 2021.

Names of arrested protesters: (1) Rayono Kobak, (2) Arius Sobolim, (3) Kenis Balingga, (4) Lipet Sobolim, (5) Dani Urban, (6) Eniel Sengket, (7) Teppi Urban, (8) Jekson Mirin, (9) Kenias Suhun, (10) Jen Massi, (11) Sakori Massi, (12) Werban, (13) Her Odban, (14) Demianus Esema, (15) Elkius Esema, (16) Tapilis Lokon, (17) Welianus Heluka, (18) Tius Wetapo, (19) Sepius Keroman, (20) Akius Kobak, (21) Nila Busup, (22) Ampinus Kobak, (23) Meki Kandeng, (24) Jefri Keroman, (25) Derti Keroman, (26) Maikel Siep, (27) Er Heluka, (28) Mius Sama, (29) Kalvin  Sama, (30) Assa Giban, (31) Amanus Suhun, (32) Hariel Keroman, (33) Demison Keroman, (34) Salos Balingga, (35) Obet Magayang, (36) Dey Kobak, (37) Mario Ropmak, (38) Matim Keroman, (39) Rido Balingga, (40) Lius Esema, (41) Miel Esangoet, (42) Yorina Bahapol, (43) Elis Silak, (44) Siba Yahuli, (45) Anton Hubusa, (46) Lasarus Heluka, (47) Afen Sambon and (48) Fredy Heluka.
    
Ambon, Maluku Province
Members of the Papuan Student Alliance (AMP) and The Indonesian Peoples’ Front for West Papua (FRI-WP) launched a peaceful protest in Ambon on 15 August 2021. Apart from demanding Victor Yeimo’s release, the demonstration was held to commemorate the New York Agreement. Police officers and plainclothes officers forcefully dispersed the peaceful assembly after 15 minutes. Seventeen activists were reportedly beaten and kicked by the officers during the attempt to isolate single protesters from the crowd (see table below, source: AMP)

A restaurant owner allowed the protesters to seek shelter inside his house. One protester, Wetub Ilham, was arrested and tortured as he recorded the crowd control operation. The police forced him to delete all video footage of the protest from his mobile phone. He was allowed to leave custody at 4.40 pm after other protesters demanded Wetub’s release in front of the police station.

Table with protesters who experienced security force violence during a peaceful protest in Ambon, Maluku Province on 15 August 2021

No.

Name

Organisation

Form of torture

1.

ABNER HOLAGO

AMP

Was punched, kicked with army boots to the head causing a bleeding nose and mouth

2.

HERMAN GIBAN

AMP

Was punched, kicked and pushed, causing victim to fall on the ground

3.

KRIS MOTE

AMP

Beaten and dragged on the floor

4.

NATAN WEYA

AMP

Was punched, and pushed causing victim to fall on the ground, police officers dragged him over the pavement

5.

YULIANTI ADII (female)

AMP

Police officer punched and kicked her, pulled her hair and stepped on the victim’s feed causing the victim to fall on the ground

6.

ANDY KOSSAY

AMP

Was punched, kicked and pushed causing victim to fall on the ground

7.

PERSON HELOPERE

AMP

Was dragged, kicked and punched to the right temple causing a bleeding cut

8.

ALFANDI FOKATEA

FRI-WP

Was repeatedly kicked and punched to the body and the head, victim almost fainted and sustained bruises

9.

ALVIAN ARIES

FRI-WP

Was punched to the head and kicked causing victim to fall on the ground, victim sustained bruises on the hand

10.

FIJAI JABAN

FRI-WP

Was punched and sustained a bleeding mouth, officers kicked and dragged the victim causing him to fall on the ground.

11.

RUSLAN SAMARA

FRI-WP

Was punched to the neck, then kicked and pulled the Ruslan, causing him to fall on the floor.

12

LANAL (female)

FRI-WP

Waspunched in the face, slapped, kicked in the body until she experienced pain in the back, she fainted during the protest

13.

TAUFIK

FRI-WP

Was punched and kicked to the body, officers dragged causing the victim to fall on the ground

14.

FIAN S

FRI-WP

Was punched and kicked to the body, officers dragged causing the victim to fall on the ground

15.

AFDANI D

FRI-WP

Police officer beat the Afandi with a sandal and kicked him causing the victim to fall on the ground

16.

RAUL

FRI-WP

Police officer beat the Raul with a sandal and dragged him causing the victim to fall on the ground

17.

WETUB ILHAM

FRI-WP

Was given the task to document the protest, the police officers intimidated him. An officer snatched his mobile phone and brought him to the police station in a separate car. The officer punched him to the right temple and strangled his neck inside the police vehicle. At the police station officers searched his belongings and forced him to erase the video he had recorded during the protest.