UN Experts question Indonesia regarding security operation in Nduga

Since the security force operation in the regency of Nduga in Papua province started in December 2018, there have been numerous reports concerning a series of human rights violations happening in the area. The conflict in the Papuan highlands and its consequences, especially for the civilians caught in the middle, have been brought to the attention of the relevant United Nations Special Procedures first in March 2019 and then again in May 2020.

The UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions; UN Special Rapporteur on rights of indigenous peoples; UN Special Rapporteur on human rights of internally displaced persons; and UN Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, immediately reacted to this issue and communicated with the Indonesian government in April 2019 as the number of displaced indigenous Papuans was increasing.

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Papuan students in Makassar attacked during peaceful protest against prolongation of Papuan Special Autonomy

Papuan students and members of the ‘Solidarity Forum Caring for the Papuan People’ (FSP-RP) organised a peaceful demonstration in the city of Makassar, South Sulawesi Province. The students were protesting against the government's plan to prolong the special autonomy status for the provinces Papua and Papua Barat, which is supposed to come to an end in 2021. Members of nationalist mass organisations (ORMAS) allegedly assaulted protesters with stones and helmets. Five protesters were reportedly injured as the Ormas members attacked them with helmets and bare hands while others were throwing stones at the crowd. Multiple police officers witnessed the attacks but failed to protect the peaceful assembly and take action against the attackers.

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Three KNPB activists currently tried under treason charges at Sorong District Court

Three members of the organisation ‘West Papua National Committee’ (KNPB) named Simon Sasior, Marten Muk and Yakobus Assem, have been standing trial at the Sorong District Court since 15 September 2020. Police arrested the three political activists in relation to the killing of a Police Mobile Brigade (Brimob) officer during a raid in the Maybrat Regency in late April 2020. Although the raid was conducted to track down homicide perpetrators, none of the three activists have been charged with murder. Instead, the public prosecutor has raised charges against defendants for alleged treason and criminal conspiracy as stipulated under Articles 106 and 110 of the Indonesian Criminal Code, for being associated with the KNPB. The KNPB is a political movement organisation which is conducting peaceful protests to advocate the right to political self-determination of the Papuan people through a referendum.

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Police officer in Manokwari prevents lawyers from meeting with defendants

The obstruction of lawyers visiting suspects and defendants during detention continues to be among the most common offences against human rights defenders in West Papua. The Manokwari Institute for Research Study and Development of Legal Aid (LP3BH Manokwari) has recently reported an incident in which a police officer named Andi Sudirman prevented three LP3BH Manokwari lawyers from meeting with two of their clients. On 16 September 2020, Thresje Julianty Gasperzs, Karel Sineri and Bruce Labobar came to the Papua Barat Regional Police (Polda Papua Barat) Headquarters in Manokwari to discuss the trial process with their two defendants.

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Peaceful protests against prolongation of Papuan Special Autonomy in Nabire and Timika – Police responds with mass arrests

Multiple civil society groups joining the ‘Papuan Peoples Front’ (FRP) organised peaceful protests against the prolongation of the Papuan Special Autonomy in the cities of Nabire and Timika on 23 and 24 September 2020. The activists registered the protests in advance as required, but the police in Timika and Nabire refused to issue an acknowledgement letter (STTP or ’Surat Tanda Terima Pemberitahuan’). Still, thousands of people came together to express their rejection towards the government’s plan to prolong the special autonomy status of the Indonesian provinces of Papua and Papua Barat. Instead, the protesters demanded a democratic and dignified solution through a referendum over West Papua’s political status. Yells accompanied both demonstrations for the ‘Papuan Independence’ (‘Papua Merdeka’), and protesters carried banners with Morning Star symbols. The local police in both cities responded with mass arrests. The police forcefully dispersed the rally in Timika. Human rights defenders documented a case of violence against a protester in Timika.

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Indonesia must inform on allegations of extra-judicial killings in West Papua #PapuanLivesMatter

The UN Human Rights Committee is requesting the Indonesian government to provide information about the alleged extra-judicial killings by security force members in the provinces of Papua and West Papua. The Human Rights Committee (CCPR), the body that monitors implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), has adopted the List of Issues prior to Reporting (LOIPR) of Indonesia at its 129th session (29 June to 24 July). More specifically, the Committee is asking for the number of victims of extra-judicial executions disaggregated by ethnicity, in particular indigenous Papuans, and the reparations provided to the victims' families. 

The International Coalition for Papua (ICP) has documented the extra-judicial killings of 33 civilian victims by security force members throughout the year 2019. All the victims, except one, were ethnic Papuans. The list of 33 documented victims does not include victims of extra-judicial killings during the forceful dispersal of a protest against racism and the subsequent outbreak of ethnic violence in the town of Wamena, Jayawijaya regency, on 23 September 2019. Investigations into the case are still ongoing. According to data published by the police, 33 persons were killed (25 non-Papuans and 8 Papuans) during the riots. However, non-government sources allege that the riots have cost the lives of 41 people, from which sixteen were ethnic Papuans. Data show that the majority of them died as a result of bullet injuries indicating a high possibility of extra-judicial killings by security force members during the crackdown.

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Papuan Youth Church Leaders condemn actions of military regarding the killing of Pastor Zanambani

The West Papua Christian Youth Forum has publicly condemned the actions of the army and the police who carried out the shooting of Pastor Yerimia Zanambani in Intan Jaya. "The shooting of this Pastor is the third time this has happened. Pastor Elisa Tabuni was shot dead in Puncak Jaya on 16 August, 2004, Pastor Geyimin Nirigi was shot dead on 19 December 2018 in Mapenduma district, and Pastor Yerimias Zanambani, S.Th was also shot dead by the Army on Saturday 19 September 2020. So, up to now, when the Army has carried out the shooting, it is never resolved. We hope for justice on this land", said the Head of the Youth of the GKI Church in West Papua, Pastor Edison Sekenyap.

Open Letter in PDF

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Indigenous Papuan allegedly tortured during police custody in Merauke – Suspect dies in health centre

Relatives demand justice for the death of Michael Ipnun (see intro image). Michael was involved in a traffic accident near the village of Sarmayam in the Tanah Miring District on 21 September 2020. According to information received, he was sitting on the back of a motorcycle as the crash occurred. Around 7.30 pm, police officers took Michael Ipnun into custody shortly after regaining consciousness after the crash. Subsequently, the officers detained him at the Sarmayam Police post and later brought him to the Tanah Miring Sub-district police station where Michael was interrogated.

The relatives stated that they found bruises all over his body which appeared not to be related to the traffic accident. Moreover, Michael Ipnun’s wrists, feet and neck showed marks indicating that Michael’s extremities had been tied up. According to the director of the Justice and Peace Department (JPIC) of the Arch-Diocese Merauke, Father Anselmus Amo, three villagers witnessed how Michael Ipnun’s arms, legs and neck were tied to a chair at the Sarmayam Police post.

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Students launch petition against prolongation of Papuan special autonomy in Manado – Police reacts with roadblocks and tear gas

Police officers have prevented Papuan students from conducting a peaceful assembly on 21 September 2020 in the city of Manado, North Sulawesi Province. The students wanted to launch a petition against the prolongation of the Papuan Special Autonomy and for the right to self-determination of the Papuan people. The officers reacted by setting up roadblocks (see intro image, source: Suara Papua) in three different locations around the Papuan student dormitory in Manado, preventing students from other cities in North Sulawesi to enter the dormitory. The Manado Legal Aid Institute (LBH Manado) and the students tried in vain to convince the police officers to allow the peaceful assembly. The officers dispersed the crowd with teargas as some of the protesters attempted to overcome the police barriers.

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Papuan Pastor Yerimia Zanambani killed in Intan Jaya

Another extra-judicial execution has reportedly occurred in the highland regency of Intan Jaya, Papua Province, on 19 September 2020. According to the Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Desk of the Papuan Tabernacle Church (Kingmi Papua), members of the Yonif 711/RKS/Brigif 22/OTA, DAM XIII/MDK Military Unit killed the 68-year-old Pastor Yerimia Zanambani (see intro image). The killing happened near Bomba, a small village in the Hitadipa District. Rev Zanambani was a pastor and bible translator working for the Protestant Evangelical Church in Indonesia (GKII).

However, the military representative Captain Kogabwihan Suriastawa declared in an interview with the national news outlet Kompas, that members of the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPN PB) allegedly killed the pastor.  He explained that the TPN PB aimed to draw attention to the armed conflict in West Papua shortly before the annual United Nations General Assembly in late September 2020. Human rights defenders claim that this inaccurate information. They explained that the Indonesian military (TNI) is distributing false information about the incident to seek the support of the public and protect their members from being prosecuted. They stated that the scenario described by the TNI representative is highly unlikely because Rev Zanambani was an indigenous Papuan and well-respected pastor in his congregation. His pastoral activities were an enrichment for the entire congregation, including for those community members affiliated with the TPN PB.

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More Articles...

  1. Verdict in treason trial in Sorong - Ten months imprisonment for eleven Papuan activists
  2. Papuan activists reimburse Veronica Koman's scholarship funds to the Indo govt
  3. Joint security forces kill three indigenous Papuans near Freeport Mine in Mimika
  4. Conflict tension increases in Intan Jaya Regency
  5. Armed conflict in West Papua continues: Government deploys 500 soldiers to the central highlands
  6. East Timor - 16 people on trial for peacefully protesting in solidarity with West Papua
  7. Joint security force members torture three indigenous Papuans in Boven Digoel for not using face masks
  8. Papuan Youth Church Leaders raise their voices regarding racism, injustice and Special Autonomy
  9. Police officers obstruct journalists at the district police station in Yahukimo
  10. Raids, mass arrests and torture by security forces in Yahukimo
  11. Police officers open fire at 16-year-old Papuan in Dogiyai Regency
  12. Papuan suspect killed during police detention in Sorong – Police Chief blames detainee
  13. Indonesian govt can’t neglect internally displaced Papuans - UN requests detailed information
  14. Police officers arrest Papuan activist for Facebook post
  15. Update on prosecution of political prisoner Bazoka Logo
  16. Police finally takes action against illegal gold mine in Jayapura
  17. UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women publishes List of issue for upcoming review of Indonesia
  18. 'Balikpapan 7' finally back in Jayapura
  19. Joint Security forces torture three indigenous Papuans in Sorong Selatan
  20. PT Freeport Indonesia conducts Environmental Impact Analysis – Indigenous communities fear expansion of mining area
  21. Papuan prisoners neglected – Govt fails to arrange return to West Papua
  22. Police disperse NY Agreement commemorations in Jayapura – 32 protesters arrested, one ill-treated during arrest
  23. Indo govt continues to pressure human rights defender Veronica Koman
  24. Trial against 11 political activists in Sorong – Prosecutor demands 16 months for alleged treason
  25. UN requests Indonesian govt to report on civil and political issues in West Papua
  26. TAPOL Press Release: West Papua 2019 Freedom of Expression and Freedom of Assembly Report
  27. West Papua has the worst democracy index in Indonesia
  28. Deforestation in West Papua – 1,488 hectares forest logged down between January and May 2020
  29. Public discourse about prolongation of Papuan Special Autonomy intensifies
  30. Multiple indigenous Papuans subjected to intimidation and torture since establishment of new military bases in Tambrauw

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