Update, The Jakarta Six: Cancellation of release

(London, 12 May 2020) TAPOL condemns the political decision to cancel the early release of five political prisoners that were arrested in Jakarta for demonstrating in favour of the self-determination of West Papua.

On 24 April 2020, the Central Court of Jakarta sentenced Paulus Suryanta Ginting, Ambrosius Mulait, Dano Tabuni, Charles Kossay, and Ariana Elopere to nine months’ imprisonment; while Isay Wenda was sentenced to eight months. Isay Wenda was released on 29th April 2020 having served his full sentence.

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Police investigator in Sorong Selatan prevents lawyers from meeting with detainees

The Manokwari Institute for Research Study and Development of Legal Aid (LP3BH Manokwari) reported another case of obstruction against three lawyers in the regency of Sorong Selatan. According to LP3BH Director, Yan Christian Warinussy, the lawyers of the Legal Aid Institute (LBH) Kaki Abu wanted to visit the four suspects who were arrested in multiple locations during a police raid in the regency of Maybrat between 15 and 23 April 2020. The police suspect them of being involved in the killing of a police officer in the regency of Bintuni.

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Update: Number of Covid-19 cases in Papua rise to 301

The number of confirmed coronavirus infections in West Papua has risen from 137, as reported on 23 April, to 301 cases as of 6 May 2020. In Papua province a total of 248 cases had been reported. So far, 63 patients have recovered while 178 are been treated. Although the death toll has remained the same, seven have died from COVID-19 in Papua province, the number of cases is increasing fast. The majority of Covid-19 cases were found in Jayapura and Mimika Regency. On 5 May 2020, the Provincial Government of Papua renewed its emergency response status for 28 days, from 7 May to 4 June 2020.

In Papua Barat 53 persons have tested positive as of 7 May 2020, most of these COVID-19 cases are concentrated in the Regencies of Sorong (12), Raja Ampat (14), Teluk Bintuni (11), and Manokwari (6), and the city of Sorong (9). A total of ten have died due to the virus, most of them in Sorong city.

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Human Rights Watch Indonesia: New Arrests for Peaceful Political Expression

More Than 70 Papuan, Moluccan Activists Jailed for Nonviolent Protests

The Indonesian government should immediately release at least 70 Papuan and Moluccan activists imprisoned for peacefully voicing their political views, Human Rights Watch said today. The government should adopt measures to ensure that police and prosecutors, especially in the eastern provinces, protect free expression rights in accordance with a 2018 constitutional court ruling. 

From April 25 to 27, 2020, the police in Maluku arrested 23 activists, including at least two children, who allegedly participated in flag-raising ceremonies commemorating the 70th anniversary of the declaration of independence of the Republic of South Moluccas (Republik Maluku Selatan, RMS) in 1950. The police indicated that seven of the activists will be charged with treason under article 106 of the criminal code, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.

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Residents reject construction of a military base in Tambrauw

The Indonesian military (TNI) is building a military base in the regency of Tambrauw, Papua Barat Province. Local residents claim that military members have pressured them to release 5 hectares of customary land for the construction of a Military District Command (KODIM) and a Military Sub-District Command (KORAMIL) in the Kwoor District. They demanded the local Government to build adequate health and education facilities instead of military facilities.  The residents fear that the presence of the military in the regency will lead to cases of military violence against local residents. Especially the elder generation of indigenous Papuans in Tambrauw has still experienced the violent military operations under Indonesia’s former president Suharto, which were accompanied by gross human rights violations against the indigenous population of West Papua.

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New IPAC Report available: COVID-19 and Conflict in West Papua

The Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict has published a new short briefing report with the title “COVID-19 and Conflict in West Papua”. The report was released on 13 April 2020 and describes the dispute over COVID-19 policies between local Governments in West Papua and the central Government against the background of the aggravating armed conflict in Indonesia’s eastern-most provinces.

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Human Rights Update West Papua - 1st Quarter 2020

The first quarter of 2020 was marked by the outbreaks of armed clashes in multiple regencies of West Papua and multiple trials in relation to the Papua-wide anti-racism riots throughout August and September 2019, which resulted in imprisonment sentences for protesters. Lawyers deplored that the trials failed to meet the principles of a fair trial. Many defendants were found guilty and sentenced to imprisonment, although witness testimonies and evidence presented in court did not prove the involvement of the defendants in any criminal acts. Hence, many of the sentenced defendants have appealed against the verdicts. Moreover, human rights observers raised the concern that judges applied double standards. The verdicts for three non-Papuans who had been found guilty of hate speech against indigenous Papuans, and four migrants who collectively killed a Papuan during outbreaks of ethnic violence in Jayapura, were considered mild.

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Trade Minister revokes timber licensing for wood export – Papuan Forest under threat

In February 2020, the Indonesian Trade Minister, Agus Suparmanto, signed ministerial regulation No. 15/2020 regarding provisions on the export of industrial forestry products. The new regulation revokes former ministerial regulation No. 84/2016, and with it the legal requirement to verify any timber for export through a verification certificate (V-legal) which proves that the wood was not logged illegally. It will enter into force on 27 May 2020. The trade ministry intends to simplify the verification process for small-scale and middle-size timber producers in order to increase the timber export. This change in policy will have a strong impact on regions that are home to the last primary rain forests in Indonesia, like West Papua. Environmental groups fear that the regulation will accelerate illegal logging and timber trade.

 

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Govt fails to respect freedom of expression in West Papua – Police arrest students and summon church leader

The Government continues to subject the freedom of expression in West Papua to heavy restrictions. The Papuan police severely limit the democratic space and political rights since late August 2019, when people all over Papua went to the streets to protest against racial discrimination against indigenous Papuans. Human rights defenders reported two recent incidents in which the police took action against pupils and a church leader for peacefully expressing their opinion or views.

On 2 May 2020, the police in Nabire arrested five school students and temporarily detained them at the Nabire district police station because they had painted the morning star flag with spray paint on their shirts (see intro image). It is a common practice in West Papua that senior high school students colour their school uniforms on the graduation day as a sign that they have completed their school education.

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TAPOL denounces sentences handed to Jakarta Six

(London, 24 April 2020) TAPOL denounces the sentencing by the district court of Central Jakarta which found six political prisoners guilty of treason today and demands their immediate release. Paulus Suryanta Ginting, Ambrosius Mulait, Ariana Elopere, Dano Tabuni, and Charles Kossay were sentenced to nine months imprisonment, whereas Isay Wenda was sentenced to eight months imprisonment.

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More Articles...

  1. Seventh update on trials and detentions after anti-racism riots in West Papua
  2. Police operation in Maybrat Regency accompanied by arrests and torture
  3. Three policemen died due to clashes with military members
  4. Amnesty Indonesia: Urge the Government to Immediately Protect the Rights of Health Workers!
  5. Update on Corona Pandemic in West Papua – Number of infections rise to 137
  6. Two Papuans shot dead in Mimika - Military members allegedly mistook victims for resistance fighters
  7. Urgent appeals filed with UN by 63 political prisoners in Indonesia amid the COVID-19 Pandemic
  8. Police officers arrest Papuan human rights activist and relatives in Mimika Regency – five allegedly beaten during custody
  9. Trial update on killing of Govt contractors in Nduga Regency – Mispo Gwijangge released
  10. One employee killed and six injured during TPN PB attack on Freeport office
  11. Sixth update on trials and detentions after anti-racism riots in West Papua
  12. Jokowi’s Omnibus Bill for job creation – Observers fear far-reaching consequences for West Papua
  13. Coronavirus has reached West Papua
  14. Papuan student arrested in Ambon for wearing a net bag with Morning Star symbol
  15. CSO demands access for Indonesian Red Cross to West Papua
  16. Armed conflict in West Papua aggravates throughout past weeks – over 1,500 IDPs flee to Timika
  17. Public worship in Nduga overshadowed by armed clash – Security forces kill one indigenous woman, at least three others injured
  18. Police officers fail to protect truck driver during mob attack in Dogiyai Regency
  19. Fifth Update on trials and detentions after anti-racism riots in West Papua
  20. Unrest throughout August and September 2019 results in 59 fatalities
  21. Joint security forces kill indigenous community leader and minor during raid in Intan Jaya
  22. Wamena after the September-Riots – Freedom of assembly still subjected to limitations
  23. Komnas HAM categorises Paniai incident as serious human rights violation – Case submitted to Attorney General
  24. Laporan Baru ICP tentang Papua Barat: hak asasi manusia, konflik dan situasi pembangunan
  25. Press release: New Report on the West Papua Human Rights and Conflict Situation published by the ICP
  26. Fourth Update on trials and detentions after Anti-Racism Riots in West Papua
  27. Trial update on killing of Govt contractors in Nduga Regency – Lawyers request forensic examination of defendant’s teeth
  28. Freedom of speech in West Papua under threat – police presses charges against student for Facebook post on Sugapa Shooting
  29. One indigenous civilian killed and two injured in Sugapa – 15 villages in Intan Jaya Regency reportedly affected by internal displacement
  30. Third Update on trials and detentions after anti-racism riots in West Papua

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