Update on criminalisation of KNPB activists in Merauke – Kristian Yandum dies during police detention

Kristian Yandum (see photo, source: Jubi), one of 13 members of the West Papua National Committee (KNPB) who had been arrested in December 2020, has passed away at the Bunda Pengharapan Hospital in Merauke on 27 February 2021. The news about his death came only three weeks after his lawyers had expressed concerns regarding police officers’ negligent behaviour. They didn’t process Kristian Yandum’s request for medical attention during detention at the Merauke District Police Headquarters for almost one month. The ICP has not yet received any verified information about the cause of death.

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Papuan couple arbitrarily arrested, beaten and detained – both victims demand strict sanctions against police and public prosecutor

A panel of judges acquitted Agustinus Bebe and Adolfina Sarce Nari on 22 February 2021. The verdict set an end to 148 days of arbitrary detention. The couple was unlawfully arrested due to extortion allegations on 17 July 2020 after they had requested the payment of outstanding debts. The Papuan Association of Human Rights Lawyers (PAHAM Papua) explained that the police officers had violated multiple criminal procedure provisions the law enforcement operation. The officers failed to show a warrant during the arrest. They tortured Agustinus Bebe and his wife during detention at the Papua Regional Police (Polda Papua Headquarters), forcing them to sign a confession letter. The public prosecutor submitted the case to the Jayapura District Court despite the lack of evidence collected during the police investigation. Agustinus Bebe and Adolfina Sarce Nari demand strict sentences for the police officers and the public prosecutor.

 

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Protests against formation of Papua Tengah Province continue – Thousands of people in Dogiyai go to the streets

Thousands of people from 11 districts in the Dogiyai Regency have peacefully protested against establishing a new Province in West Papua on 22 February 2021 (see photos, source: Yamoye 'Ab). The protesters also rejected building a district police headquarter (Polres Dogiyai) in Dogiyai. The formation of the new 'Papua Tengah Province' is championed by a handful of people under the Meepago Regent Association's lead, while the majority of West Papuans is against the administrative partition. The regents from Nabire, Dogiyai, Deiyai, Paniai, Intan Jaya, Mimika and Puncak support the administrative partition as it opens up a wide range of opportunities for a small political elite in West Papua.

 

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Police violence in Jayapura - Internal police investigation body accused of negligence

New allegations have been raised regarding a case of torture by members of the Papua Regional Police (Polda Papua). As the victim’s relatives wanted to file a complaint against the perpetrator, the internal police investigation body (Propam) reportedly refused to process the complaint. According to the Papuan media outlet ‘Suara Papua’, a twenty-six-years-old Papuan man with the initials RW (victim wants to stay anonymous) was beaten up by three police officer at the Polda Papua headquarters in Jayapura on 14 January 2021. RW had fallen asleep inside a public transport vehicle. The police officers accused him of being drunk. RW explained that he fell asleep inside the car because he had been fishing in the early morning.

 

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Deforestation cause floods in the Keerom Regency

Floods once again struck the Papuan Regency of Keerom in early February 2021 after heavy rainfalls had lasted for more than a day (see photo, source: Jubi). The water level reached up to 1.5 meters and caused damages to 1,155 houses and 4,500 hectares of agricultural land. About 4,400 residents, mainly from Arso and Arso Barat's districts, were reportedly displaced and sought temporary shelter in public facilities. The Arso area used to be a natural water reservoir but was closed with buildings and settlements over the past decades. The water originated from the three rivers Tami, Bewani and Skamto, which flow through the Keerom Regency.

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Three Papuans tortured and killed by security forces in Intan Jaya

After a shooting in the Sugapa District on 15 February resulted in the death of a military (TNI) member, the TNI conducted multiple raids around the village of Mamba chasing after members of the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPN PB) who were named as the perpetrators of the shooting.

During the search a young man named Janius Bagau, 26, was shot in the left arm during a raid in the Village of Amaesiga (see foto on top, source: JPIC Kingmi Papua). He was evacuated to the Bilogai Health Center in Yokatapa Village, Sugapa District. Two of Janius Bagau's brothers named Yustinus Bagau, 20, and Sony Bagau,16, accompanied him to the medical facility.

Later in the evening, TNI members came to the health centre and reportedly interrogated the three young men. The soldiers beat Janius, Yustinus and Sony Bagau inside the health centre until the three men died due to the injuries they sustained during the torture. Their bodies were buried the following day in Tambabuga, Bilogai village. After the incident, dozens of villagers from the affected areas fled to Bilogai in fear of further repressive acts by security force members (see photo below, source: Suara Papua).

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Government plans to establish Papua Tengah Province - Military members create manipulated video to promote administrative partition

The Government of Indonesia is planning to establish a new province in West Papua. The plan has triggered rejection among many civil society groups and the Papuan Peoples’ Assembly (MRP). Many Papuans argue that the formation of the new province only serves the interests of a small political elite and ignores the aspirations of the majority of the Papuan people who do not support the administrative partition.

In January 2021, people in Biak, Jayapura, Sorong and other cities across West Papua repeatedly launched peaceful protests against the Government’s plan to push through amendments to the Law No 21/2001 on the Special Autonomy for the Province of Papua (UU Otsus Papua) to path the way for the establishment of a new ‘Papua Tengah Province’. Article 76 of the law stipulates that the MRP and the provincial parliament (DPRP) must approve new autonomy areas. The central Governments wants to amend the article, making the agreement by the MRP and DPRP no longer necessary. The MRP is opposing the Government's plan and has announced it will appeal against the UU Otsus Papua's unilateral revision to the Constitutional Court.

 

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Update on law enforcement process in killing of Rev Yeremia Zanambani – Relatives agree on autopsy under conditions

The relatives of Rev. Yeremia Zanambani, the Papuan pastor killed by military members in Mamba village, Intan Jaya Regency, on 19 September 2020, have agreed to an autopsy of the victim’s body with the condition that the autopsy is done by an independent medical team. It should also be conducted transparently and fairly under supervision of independent observers. The team of observers shall consist of lawyers, members of the National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM), the Indonesian Fellowship of Churches (PGI), multiple NGOs including Amnesty International Indonesia and local parliament members. Furthermore, the relatives urged the authorities to conduct the autopsy in the Hitadipa District, Intan Jaya.

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Update on situation of IDPs from Mimika – IDPs face challenges after return to their villages

In late January 2021, the first internally displaced persons (IDPs) from the villages Waa, Arwanop, Opitawak and Banti in the Mimika Regency returned to the Tembagapura District after spending almost eleven months in the town of Timika. Human rights observers have expressed concern over the current situation of the IDPs. According to information received, the IDPs cannot access health services and continue to be prevented from returning to their villages.

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IDPs from Nduga need urgent medical care – Many children suffer scabies

The Foundation for Justice and the Integrity of the Papuan People (YKKMP) has documented multiple health ailments among internally displaced children from the Nduga Regency. According to YKKMP Director Theo Hesegem, the Nduga IDPs in Wamena, particularly women and children, need immediate medical attention. YKKMP had facilitated the medical treatment for six internally displaced children and one woman. They suffer scabies (see images, source: YKKMP) and cannot access free health care in the Jayawijaya Regency. The treatment was paid using donations collected by the YKKMP.

About 8,000 IDPs from Nduga have sought shelter in the Jayawijaya Regency. According to solidarity groups, 400 IDPs have died since January 2019 in Jayawijaya due to diseases and other strains they face. A humanitarian aid team from the Cenderawasih University that visited the Nduga IDPs in Wamena in late November 2020, already observed that skin diseases were among the most common health challenges for many IDPs.

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More Articles...

  1. Merauke Police accused of hampering access to medical treatment during detention
  2. More than 600 IDPs seek shelter in Catholic church facilities in Intan Jaya
  3. Update on trial against KNPB leader – Adam Sorry sentenced to six years imprisonment
  4. Land rights conflicts in Boven Digoel – Military members intimidate indigenous land rights holders
  5. Update on trials in relation to Maybrat Police Raid – All three defendants acquitted
  6. Update on law enforcement process against KNPB leader Adam Sorry – Public prosecutor seeks a sentence of 11 years
  7. More IDPs in Intan Jaya - Residents fled violence in Ndugusiga
  8. Update on pre-trial against Merauke Police Chief - Judge rejects release of 13 political activists
  9. Update on IDP situation in Mimika – First IDPs return to their villages
  10. Update on arbitrary detention and torture of 14 activists in Merauke – Pre-trial against Merauke Police Chief
  11. Eighteen IDPs died in Jayawijaya due to lack of medical attention
  12. Extensive public support for indigenous Papuans againts the Tambrauw Military Base
  13. Top Indonesian palm oil developments in 2020
  14. Cooperation between the Archdiocese of Merauke and palm oil company causes outrage
  15. Human Rights Update West Papua - 4th Quarter 2020
  16. Attorney General establishes special team to settle 13 cases of gross human rights violations
  17. KNPB activist arrested and detained – LBH Papua condemn procedural violations
  18. Papua sawmill loses legality certification over allegations of forged permit
  19. Security force members torture indigenous Papuan on New Year’s Eve
  20. Security forces and right-wing groups prevent peaceful ‘Trikora’ demonstration in Jakarta
  21. Update on law enforcement process in multiple cases of human rights violations in Intan Jaya
  22. New report details numerous violations by PT Freeport Indonesia in West Papua
  23. Military Base in Tambrauw inaugurated without consent of indigenous land rights holders
  24. KNPB members again arrested in Merauke – Police chief threatens to shoot activists in the legs
  25. Sixth Anniversary of ‘Bloody Paniai Case’ – No perpetrators prosecuted
  26. Celebration of International Human Rights Day in Nabire accompanied by arrests – Papuan Catholic Priests call for dialogue and reconciliation
  27. Update on killing of four Papuans in Puncak Regency – Victim’s families demand thorough investigation
  28. Former Papuan detainee sick – relatives suspect long-term consequences of torture during custody
  29. Update on the situation of IDPs from Nduga, Intan Jaya and Mimika
  30. Military members raid Soloitma Dormitory in Sentani – eleven residents reportedly tortured, one Papuan woman killed

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