New protests against special autonomy and for the release of Papuan political prisoners – 146 protesters arrested in Manokwari

Last week, hundreds of people from the Papua Barat province came together to join two public demonstrations in the city Manokwari, the provincial capital of Papua Barat. The protest on 25 May 2021 was dispersed by joint security forces -146 protesters were arrested and temporarily detained. The police claimed some protesters violated COVID-19 health protocols. The Papuan Student Alliance (AMP) and The Indonesia Peoples Front for West Papua (FRI-WP) organised peaceful protests in the Javanese cities Bandung, Jakarta, Malang and Jember. The protest in Malang was reportedly followed by violence between Papuan students and nationalist counter groups.  Protesters in Jember were reportedly intimidated by nationalist groups. All protests expressed disagreement with the continuation of the Papuan special autonomy funding and demanded the immediate release of all Papuan political prisoners.

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Update on Internet breakdown in Jayapura – Internet connection planned to be repaired in early June

On 21 May 2021, the Ministry for Communication and Informatics released a press statement (number 180/HM/KOMINFO/05/2021), according to which the internet connection in Jayapura has been partly re-established since 21 May 2021. The General Manager of Telkom Witel Papua, Sugeng Widodo, explained that the internet band width is still very limited and only available in a few public places as well as essential institutions such as hospitals and government offices. Jayapura-based journalists and media outlets are supposed to use a media centre which has been set up at the at the Witel Papua head office in Jayapura.

 

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Six Papuan protesters standing trial in Sorong accused of treason

On 18 May 2021, judges at the Sorong District Court launched two trials against six Papuan defendants (see photo, source: LBH Kaki Abu) who had been arrested on 27 November 2020 during a peaceful demonstration in Sorong. People had gathered with Morning star flags and banners peacefully calling upon the Indonesian Government to recognize the proclamation of the Republic of West Papua New Guinea by a Papuan independence group at the European Parliament in Brussels on 27 November 1997.

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Joint security forces arrest three IDPs in Puncak, among them one minor

According to the Papuan media outlet Suara Papua, joint security forces arrested three indigenous Papuans on 16 May 2021. The arrest reportedly occurred in the Tanah Merah Village, where 16-year-old Nelius Magai, Jon Waker, 30, and Ones Magai, 30, had fled after being displaced from their homes in the Tegelobak Village. They have been detained at the Gome Military Post in the Puncak Regency, where a widespread security force operation has been ongoing since late April 2021 (see photo).

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New shootings indicate spreading of armed conflict in West Papua

Recent armed attacks on Indonesian security forces in the regencies Maybrat, Yahukimo and Pegunungan Bintang over the past weeks indicate the armed conflict is spreading to new regencies in West Papua. While isolated armed clashes have been reportedly occurred in Pegunungan Bintang and Yahukimo throughout 2020, the recent attack against police officers in Maybrat is the first incident of this kind reported from the regency.

The armed conflict recently gained momentum, as members of the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPN PB) killed Papuan Security Chief I Gusti Putu Danny Nugraha Karya in the Puncak Regency on 25 April 2021. A few days later, joint security forces launched a massive operation in Puncak (see photo), which reportedly caused the internal displacement of thousands of indigenous villagers.

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Update on situation of IDPs in Puncak Regency – Local government say thousands displaced due armed clashes

The Papuan media outlet Suara Papua has published new data on internally displaced persons in the Puncak Regency, where Indonesian security forces have launched a widespread operation against the West Papua National Liberation Army since 27 April 2021. According to the Social Affairs Department in Puncak, 653 internally displaced persons (IDPs) are currently seeking shelter at the local government complex in Puncak’s largest town of Kimak (see photo, source: Suara Papua). Thousands of indigenous villagers from the Mabugi and Ilaga Utara districts are believed to hide in churches and the forests.

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West Papua Council of Churches voices concern over the escalating situation in Papua

The West Papua Council of Churches (WPCC) recently reached out to President Jokowi, the Commander of the Indonesian National Armed Forces and expressed condolences to the victims of violence on both sides of the ongoing armed conflict. The WPCC sees the causes of the problems in Papua in the 'colonial gaze' with which Papua is often being looked at by Indonesian officials; the systematic destruction of a Papuan identity with history including the burning of ethnohistoric and political writings on Papua in the past and the labelling of the OPM as a terrorist organisation in a context of impunity for gross human rights violations committed against the Papuan people. The criminalisation of the OPM as terrorists and the military approach, the WPCC fears, will cause thousands of more killings of Papuans, has caused IDPs and destroyed critical political thought in Papua. WPCC calls on President Jokowi to fulfil his promise to meet with the ULMWP. While supporting the rights of Palestinians and Rohingyas, the Indonesian government labels the OPM a terrorist group while the OPM has not targeted churches, malls or train stations. The WPCC points out that there is no evidence the OPM engages in such attacks and warns of the risk that such attacks may in the future even be caused by Indonesian security forces in order to then falsely blame the OPM and prevent international human rights monitoring.

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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 years), 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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Update on prosecution of Victor Yeimo – TAPOL reports case to UN Special Procedures

The London-based human rights organisation TAPOL has reported the arrest of Victor Yeimo, the international spokesperson of the West Papua National Committee (KNPB), to the Special Procedures of the UN Human Rights Council. Yeimo was arrested on 9 May 2021 and is currently detained at the Police Mobile Brigade (Brimob) headquarters in Jayapura, Papua Province. The police believe Victor Yeimo played a significant role in organising and leading 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.

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Again internet break down 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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More Articles...

  1. Westpapua-Netzwerk fears further violence in WP due to the "terrorist" categorisation
  2. KNPB Spokesperson Victor Yeimo arrested and charged with treason
  3. What about Jokowi’s promise to open access for foreign journalists to West Papua?
  4. SAFEnet suspects internet disruptions in West Papua are deliberate
  5. Further armed clashes cause more internal displacement in Puncak Regency
  6. What’s wrong with the education and healthcare system in West Papua? A case study in Yalimo provides insights
  7. Police press charges against Papuan student for social media post
  8. Papuan man arrested for alleged weapon trade – Lawyers rise allegation of torture against police
  9. First effects of Govt’s terrorist label for Papuan armed groups - Papuan student organisation in Bali stigmatised as terrorists
  10. Indigenous communities demand the stop of construction of military command and immediate withdrawal of military in Tambrauw
  11. Indonesian Govt labelling Papuan resistance groups as terrorists earns widespread criticism
  12. Indonesian Government labels Papuan armed separatist groups as terrorists
  13. Military operation in Puncak causes internal displacement - Jakarta continues deployment of additional troops
  14. TPN PB kills Papua Intelligence Chief in Puncak Regency – Human rights observers fear further military raids
  15. Verdict in trial against political activist – Judges sentence Soon Tabuni to 1 year and € 57,000 fine
  16. Journalist in West Papua subjected to intimidation – Activists urge the police to prosecute perpetrators
  17. New Report on Deforestation in West Papua - Highest levels of deforestation occurred under Jokowi Government
  18. Public order police prohibit peaceful assembly and intimidates protesters in Deiyai
  19. Law enforcement process against 2 Papuan students in Jakarta – Judge rules arrest in accordance with criminal procedure code
  20. Human Rights Update West Papua - 1st Quarter 2021
  21. Minister says previous Government responsible for massive deforestation in West Papua – NGOs demand action against illegal palm oil businesses
  22. Police officers torture Papuan during custody in Nabire
  23. West Papua Council of Churches asks the MSG to accept ULMWP's membership
  24. Greenpeace publishes revealing report on deforestation in West Papua
  25. Soldiers torture Papuan man in Tambrauw Regency - Residents demand the withdrawal of military
  26. Resistance fighters execute two teachers and a pupil in Puncak Regency
  27. West Papua Council of Churches: President Widodo should meet the Papua pro-referendum group
  28. Security force members shoot dead Papuan gold panner in Mimika Regency
  29. Amnesty International publishes new report – Human rights situation in West Papua shows no improvement
  30. Students launch peaceful protest against Freeport mine in Jayapura – Police disperse crowd and arrest three protesters

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