Update: Trial on internet blockage in West Papua – Administrative Court rules President and Minister acted unlawfully

On 3 June 2020, the panel of judges at the Jakarta State Administrative Court ruled that the internet ban imposed by President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) and the Minister for Communication and Informatics was against the principle of governance. The Indonesian government blocked or throttled the internet services in 54 cities and regencies across Papua and West Papua, from Aug. 21 through Sept. 4, 2019, during the widespread riots and demonstrations against racism. The judges ruled that the defendant party has to pay the court fee of IDR 457,000 (about € 28.85). The verdict did not make any clear statement as to whether President Jokowi and his minister have to make a public apology as the plaintiffs had initially demanded. On 12 June 2020, the Government appealed against the verdict. However, one of the President's staff later said that Jokowi gave the order to withdraw the appeal.

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Eighth update on trials and detentions after anti-racism riots in West Papua

This article provides an overview of the trials related to Papua-wide anti-racism protests between late August and late September 2019 as well as the subsequent wave of criminalisation against human rights defenders and political activists. The International Coalition for Papua summarised earlier stages of the legal proceedings and detentions in previous articles (first update, second update, third update, fourth update, fifth update, sixth update, seventh update). The following article covers the developments throughout May 2020 and early June 2020s concerning the riots.

Regional authorities have released inmates early from penitentiaries across Indonesia following a regulation issued in April by the Law and Human Rights Ministry to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in overcrowded correctional facilities. The Ministry has provided a legal basis for the release through Human Rights Ministerial Regulation No. 10/2020 on the terms and conditions of assimilation and integration of prisoners and juvenile inmates to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and Human Rights Ministerial Decree No. 19/2020 on the release of prisoners and juvenile inmates through assimilation and integration to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The pandemic and the implementation of these regulations is affecting the conditions of the Papuan and pro-Papua detainees.

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Attorney General rejects the Paniai Case files again for further processing

In late May 2020, the Attorney General returned the case files of the Panai Case of 2014 again. Komnas HAM had submitted a reviewed version of the investigation dossier on 14 April 2020 to be processed by a human rights court. According to the Attorney General, Komnas HAM failed to follow instructions to meet all requirements for further processing the case. Multiple NGOs in Indonesia criticised that the Attorney General was not willing to prosecute past gross human rights violations and was blocking the prosecution process. They called on President Joko Widodo to act as a mediator between both government institutions to avoid further delays in the prosecution process.

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Allegations of enforced disappearance in Intan Jaya - Two indigenous Papuans reported missing

According to the local media outlet Suara Papua, two indigenous Papuans from the village of Janamba in the Hitadipa district of Intan Jaya regency have been missing since 21 April 2020. Witnesses claim that they saw military members arresting Apianus Zanambani (22 years), Luter Zanambani (23 years) and a third man, whose name wasn't mentioned, near the Sugapa National Senior High School 1 (SMA Negeri 1) during a military raid in the town of Sugapa, Intan Jaya. The third man arrested was later released, however there is no information about the whereabouts of Apianus and Luter Zanambani. Another informant stated that military members allegedly brought both men to the Mamba Village, Sugapa District.

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Papua Police Chief presses charges against KNPB member in Mimika – suspect injured during arrest

Police officers arrested two members of the West Papua National Committee (KNPB) on 26 May 2020 in the district of Kuala Kencana, Mimika Regency. One of the arrestees is the spokesperson of the KNPB branch in Mimika regency, with the initials ST. Police officers shot ST in the leg because he allegedly tried to escape the arrest. The police accused ST of posting content of hate speech against the Papuan Police Chief, Paulus Waterpauw on his Facebook account. They charged ST with article 28 (2) in conjunction with article 54A (2) of Law No. 19 /2016 about the amendment of Law No. 11/2008 on Electronic Information and Transaction on hate speech and article 36 in conjunction with 52 (2) of the same law on ‘deliberately causing disadvantage to other persons’.

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Papuan student arrested for Facebook post – Police press charges

Members of the Papuan Regional Police Criminal Investigation Unit (Reskrim Polda Papua) have arrested a 25-year-old Papuan student with the initials GM in his house in North Jayapura on 1 May 2020 for posting an image of Indonesia's President Joko Widodo wearing a hat with the Morning Star symbol on his Facebook account and YouTube channel. GM is a student enrolled in a university in Yogyakarta. The police charged the student with article 28 (2) in conjunction with article 45A (2) of Law No. 19 /2016 about the amendment of Law No. 11/2008 on Electronic Information and Transaction on hate speech.

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Police officers disperse residents with water cannon in Jayapura - one person dead

A Papuan man identified as Justinus Silas Dimara (35 years old) died as members of the police forcefully dispersed a group of residents in Hamadi, Jayapura city, on 25 May 2020 (see intro image, source: Jubi). Previously, the Governor of Papua and the Jayapura Municipal Government announced a lockdown due to the growing number of COVID-19 infections, calling upon the residents in Jayapura to stay at home between 2.00 pm and 6.00 am. However, the group of local residents gathered in front of a closed restaurant to drink alcoholic beverages as the police arrived around 5.30 pm. The police officers claim that the group refused to follow the instructions to return to their homes. Hence they dispersed the group using the water cannon of the police vehicle.

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Freeport operating with reduced workforce due to increase of COVID-19 cases

COVID-19 infections in the Mimika Regency, where Freeport operates the Grasberg mine, reached 150 cases as of 17 May, including 102 cases in Tembagapura, the living quarters built to house Freeport workers and their families. This has led Freeport to cut his workforce and operate the mine with only an essential team. The ICP reported on 7 May that despite 85 Freeport employees testing positive for COVID-19, the Grasberg Mine kept operating at full capacity as before.

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CC TV records police officers torturing suspect in Mimika Regency

Police officers tortured Ayub Jr Hutagaol in the district of Wania, Mimika regency during a police raid to investigate a case of illegal alcohol sale. The torture occurred inside Mr Hutagaol’s shop and was caught on CC TV. The recordings quickly went viral after local residents shared the video on social media. A team of lawyers representing Ayub Huatagaol officially filed the case to the Mimika District Police. District Police Chief, Era Adhinata, announced in an interview with media outlet Jubi that he will process the perpetrators through a police internal investigation for violation of the police ethic code and a law enforcement procedure.

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Korindo palm oil plantation calls police to settle land dispute – One indigenous Papuan dies as a result of torture

The ‘Office for Justice and Peace of the Archdiocese of Merauke’ (SKP Keuskupan Agung Merauke) has documented the killing of an indigenous Papuan from the Asiki district in the regency of Boven Digoel. Witnesses saw how a police officer severely tortured Marius Betera in front of the office building of palm oil company PT. Tunas Sawa Erma POP Block A (PT. TSE POP A) after he complained about the clearing of his garden by one of the company’s excavators. The victim died at the company’s clinic approximately three hours after the incident as a result of the injuries he sustained during the beating. Local human rights organisations demand that the alleged perpetrator should be held responsible in a police-internal code of conduct trial and a criminal trial in a public court. PT. TSE POP A is a subsidiary of the Korindo Group, which operates multiple palm oil and timber companies in West Papua.

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More Articles...

  1. Update, The Jakarta Six: Cancellation of release
  2. Police investigator in Sorong Selatan prevents lawyers from meeting with detainees
  3. Update: Number of Covid-19 cases in Papua rise to 301
  4. Residents reject construction of a military base in Tambrauw
  5. Human Rights Update West Papua - 1st Quarter 2020
  6. Govt fails to respect freedom of expression in West Papua – Police arrest students and summon church leader
  7. Human Rights Watch Indonesia: New Arrests for Peaceful Political Expression
  8. New IPAC Report available: COVID-19 and Conflict in West Papua
  9. Trade Minister revokes timber licensing for wood export – Papuan Forest under threat
  10. TAPOL denounces sentences handed to Jakarta Six
  11. Seventh update on trials and detentions after anti-racism riots in West Papua
  12. Police operation in Maybrat Regency accompanied by arrests and torture
  13. Three policemen died due to clashes with military members
  14. Amnesty Indonesia: Urge the Government to Immediately Protect the Rights of Health Workers!
  15. Update on Corona Pandemic in West Papua – Number of infections rise to 137
  16. Two Papuans shot dead in Mimika - Military members allegedly mistook victims for resistance fighters
  17. Urgent appeals filed with UN by 63 political prisoners in Indonesia amid the COVID-19 Pandemic
  18. Police officers arrest Papuan human rights activist and relatives in Mimika Regency – five allegedly beaten during custody
  19. Trial update on killing of Govt contractors in Nduga Regency – Mispo Gwijangge released
  20. One employee killed and six injured during TPN PB attack on Freeport office
  21. Sixth update on trials and detentions after anti-racism riots in West Papua
  22. Jokowi’s Omnibus Bill for job creation – Observers fear far-reaching consequences for West Papua
  23. Coronavirus has reached West Papua
  24. Papuan student arrested in Ambon for wearing a net bag with Morning Star symbol
  25. CSO demands access for Indonesian Red Cross to West Papua
  26. Armed conflict in West Papua aggravates throughout past weeks – over 1,500 IDPs flee to Timika
  27. Public worship in Nduga overshadowed by armed clash – Security forces kill one indigenous woman, at least three others injured
  28. Police officers fail to protect truck driver during mob attack in Dogiyai Regency
  29. Fifth Update on trials and detentions after anti-racism riots in West Papua
  30. Unrest throughout August and September 2019 results in 59 fatalities

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