Victim of torture dies in Tambrauw Regency – Observers demand independent investigation

On 9 April 2021, two members of the Pamrahwan Yonif RK 763 military post tortured indigenous Papuan, Moses Yewen, 45, in the village of Wayo, Tambrauw Regency. He reported the incident to the military police and demanded the withdrawal of military personnel from Fef and the Tambrauw Regency.  On 7 May 2021, Moses Yewen suddenly passed away in his house in the Wayo Village, Fef District. Observers believe that his death is related to the torture he experienced one month earlier. Mose Yewen (see photo, Suara Papua) was an indigenous land rights holder in the Fef District, where the military has erected a military post and a military sub-district command.

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Again internet breakdown as armed conflict escalates – Coincidence or deliberate government measure?

Since 30 April 2021, the internet in Papua’s largest city, Jayapura, has been dysfunctional. The breakdown occurred only five days after members of the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPN PB) killed a Papuan intelligence chief in the Puncak Regency on 25 April 2021. Thereupon, Indonesian security forces launched an operation against the TPN PB on 27 April to find and arrest the perpetrators. Media observers and human rights activists suspect that the Government has deliberately shut down the internet to impede the flow of information on the conflict situation in the central highlands. Similar operations over the past two years have been frequently accompanied by human rights violations and internal displacement of the indigenous population.

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Westpapua-Netzwerk fears further violence in WP due to the "terrorist" categorisation

The Westpapua-Netzwerk (WPN), a forum of organisations and individuals in Germany advocating for human rights in West Papua, has issued an open statement expressing its concern over the classification of the TPNPB-OPM as "terrorists" as a further step in the spiral of escalation in West Papua. On 29 April 2021, the Indonesian government announced that it is categorising the armed fighters for the independence and freedom of West Papua as a terrorist organisation. In this context, the WPN calls for the protection of human rights defenders, the prosecution of racist violence, the visit of the UN OHCHR, among other calls. The statement reads as follows:

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Further armed clashes cause more internal displacement in Puncak Regency

Local informants in the Puncak Regency have confirmed further armed clashes between Indonesian security forces and the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPN PB). The firefights occurred near Puncak’s largest town Kimak, in the Ilaga District. Around 7.00 PM, TPN PB fighters reportedly attacked the district police headquarters in Kimak. According to the media outlet Jubi, two police officers were injured during the clashes. People living in the surrounding villages fled their homes in the early morning hours of the following day.

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KNPB Spokesperson Victor Yeimo arrested and charged with treason

On 9 May 2021, members of the Nemangkawi task force arrested Victor Yeimo (see photo, source: Jubi) in Jayapura. He is the West Papua National Committee (KNPB) international spokesperson, a civil resistance movement organisation promoting the right to self-determination. Yeimo also plays a significant role in forming a petition against the prolongation of Papua’s special autonomy status. According to various media sources, the police had already searched Victor Yeimo since the Uprising, a series of protests against the racial discrimination of ethnic Papuans and for self-determination in 23 towns across West Papua and 17 cities in Indonesia between 19 August and 30 September 2019. The police believe that he played a major role in organising and leading the protests.

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What’s wrong with the education and healthcare system in West Papua? A case study in Yalimo provides insights

NGOs and other observers keep criticising the Government for the low education and healthcare standards which continue to exist in West Papua. Mainly, the Papua Province falls far behind national standards in terms of availability, accessibility, quality and adequacy of healthcare and education services. Despite considerably large special autonomy funds allocated to the provincial and local governments in West Papua, the education and health situation has hardly improved over the past decade.

A recent visit by the Papuan parliamentarian to the Yalimo area brings insights into the failures in the education and healthcare system in West Papua. The visit took place between 5 and 10 March 2021. The term Yalimo refers to the area claimed by the Yali (see photo, source: UEM), an ethnic group in the central Papuan highlands. Today, the area spreads over the Papuan regencies Yahukimo and Yalimo.

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What about Jokowi’s promise to open access for foreign journalists to West Papua?

On 10 May 2015, President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) declared during a visit to the Merauke Regency, Papua Province, that the government will open access for foreign journalists to the provinces Papua and Papua Barat. Jokowi explained during the interview that the Clearing House procedure would be abolished, and foreign journalists covering events in West Papua would no longer need special permission differing from the permission for other parts of Indonesia.

Five years after Jokowi’s promise, it is not clear to what extent President Jokowi’s commitment in 2015 was implemented. Human rights organisations criticise that the statement was never enforced through government regulation. Such regulation should guarantee that foreign journalists can cover news events freely in West Papua without intimidation, limitations or being escorted by security force members during media coverage.

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Police press charges against Papuan student for social media post

The Jayapura police have charged Papuan student Ferry Pakage for posting a video on social media. Police officers arrested Ferry Pakage and a friend named Gerius Wenda in the town of Sentani, Papua Province, on 23 February 2021. Ferry was charged with Article 28(2) on hate speech (SARA) of the Electronic Information and Transaction Act for posting a video showing a group of Papuan university students demanding to burn an Indonesian flag. The criminal investigators submitted the case to the public prosecutor’s office in Jayapura on 23 April 2021.

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SAFEnet suspects internet disruptions in West Papua are deliberate

The South-East Asia Freedom of Expression Network (SAFEnet) affirms that the internet disruptions seem to co-relate with security-related incidents in West Papua over the past year. The internet in the regencies Jayapura and Sarmi has been dysfunctional since 30 April as the violent conflict in the central highlands gained new tension after the West Papua National Liberation Army killed the Papuan Intelligence Chief. Vice President of Corporate Communications of telecommunications company PT Telkom, Pujo Pramono, declared that the disconnection of a submarine cable was responsible for the disruption. The connection will be fully recovered in the first week of June 2021, said Pramono.

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Papuan man arrested for alleged weapon trade – Lawyers rise allegation of torture against police

The Association of Human Rights Lawyers for Papua (PAHAM Papua) has criticised the police for disregarding international human rights standards and criminal procedures during the arrest and detention of Papuan suspect Peniel Kogoya in the town of Nabire on 19 April 2021. According to PAHAM Papua director Gustaf Kawer, the police officers allegedly arrested Peniel Kogoya without showing a warrant and later tortured him during police detention to force a confession. The police accuse Peniel Kogoya of supplying the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPN PB) with firearms.

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More Articles...

  1. First effects of Govt’s terrorist label for Papuan armed groups - Papuan student organisation in Bali stigmatised as terrorists
  2. Indigenous communities demand the stop of construction of military command and immediate withdrawal of military in Tambrauw
  3. Indonesian Govt labelling Papuan resistance groups as terrorists earns widespread criticism
  4. Indonesian Government labels Papuan armed separatist groups as terrorists
  5. Military operation in Puncak causes internal displacement - Jakarta continues deployment of additional troops
  6. TPN PB kills Papua Intelligence Chief in Puncak Regency – Human rights observers fear further military raids
  7. Verdict in trial against political activist – Judges sentence Soon Tabuni to 1 year and € 57,000 fine
  8. Journalist in West Papua subjected to intimidation – Activists urge the police to prosecute perpetrators
  9. New Report on Deforestation in West Papua - Highest levels of deforestation occurred under Jokowi Government
  10. Public order police prohibit peaceful assembly and intimidates protesters in Deiyai
  11. Law enforcement process against 2 Papuan students in Jakarta – Judge rules arrest in accordance with criminal procedure code
  12. Human Rights Update West Papua - 1st Quarter 2021
  13. Minister says previous Government responsible for massive deforestation in West Papua – NGOs demand action against illegal palm oil businesses
  14. Police officers torture Papuan during custody in Nabire
  15. West Papua Council of Churches asks the MSG to accept ULMWP's membership
  16. Greenpeace publishes revealing report on deforestation in West Papua
  17. Soldiers torture Papuan man in Tambrauw Regency - Residents demand the withdrawal of military
  18. Resistance fighters execute two teachers and a pupil in Puncak Regency
  19. West Papua Council of Churches: President Widodo should meet the Papua pro-referendum group
  20. Security force members shoot dead Papuan gold panner in Mimika Regency
  21. Amnesty International publishes new report – Human rights situation in West Papua shows no improvement
  22. Students launch peaceful protest against Freeport mine in Jayapura – Police disperse crowd and arrest three protesters
  23. 12 KNPB Activists in Merauke provisionally released from police detention
  24. Temianus Wandikbo sentenced to 16 months for alleged involvement in Freeport shooting
  25. Further case of enforced disappearance causes ethnic tensions in Nduga
  26. Update on the situation of IDPs from Nduga and Intan Jaya – Activists confirm further fatalities
  27. Police impede public human rights event in Jayapura
  28. Man shot down as police disperse crowd in Timika – Relatives demand compensation
  29. Police carry out nine political arrests in Timika and Jayapura
  30. Jokowi takes palm oil waste off toxic waste list