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

This article provides an overview on 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). The following article covers recent developments in relation to the riots throughout March 2020.

Statistical data suggests that Indonesian police officers reportedly conducted at least 525 arrests between 18 August and 25 September 2019. Subsequently, the police and the public prosecutors initiated legal processes against at least 116 suspects. Twenty-two of them have been charged with treason for participating in demonstrations against racism or peacefully advocating for the right to self-determination.

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Jokowi’s Omnibus Bill for job creation – Observers fear far-reaching consequences for West Papua

In the third quarter of 2019, economic growth in Indonesia decreased to a three-year low of 4.97 percent as a result of shrinking exports and investments. President Jokowi reacted by drafting the Omnibus Bill on job creation as an effort to boost the economy. The business owners and investors claim that Indonesia is over-regulated, with heavy bureaucracy through central government regulations as well as ministerial-, agency- and regional-level rules posing a burden to business owners and companies. The Omnibus Bill on job creation suggests amendments to 73 laws and consists of 15 chapters and 174 articles to reduce bureaucracy and make Indonesia more attractive for investors.

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Coronavirus has reached West Papua

According to local reports, the Coronavirus has reached West Papua. On 26 March, local hospitals were able to identify seven cases of COVID-19 in the Papuan cities of Merauke, Jayapura and Biak. The patients’ age ranged from 21 to 51 years old and they all had returned recently from trips to Jakarta or other cities in West Indonesia. Local Governments reacted immediately and took various measures to prevent the quick spreading of the virus.

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Public worship in Nduga overshadowed by armed clash – Security forces kill one indigenous woman, at least three others injured

The new members of the local parliament in the regency of Nduga were inaugurated on 24 February 2020. On 26 February 2020, the parliament members organised a public worship with a traditional earth oven in the town of Kenyam, to which many indigenous peoples from nearby districts came. The public event was overshadowed by an armed clash between members of the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPN PB) and Indonesian Security Forces. During the exchange of fire, the security forces shot dead 25-year-old Wislina Tabuni (see intro image) as she was seeking cover. She sustained a lethal bullet wound to the neck and died shortly after the attack. Another indigenous Papuan named Yosman Wasiangge (20 years) was severely injured by a bullet during the shooting. The projectile hit Yosman in the right side of the lower back (see image on the right). He was flown on 27 February 2020 to the general hospital in Timika, where the projectile was surgically removed on the following day.

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Papuan student arrested in Ambon for wearing a net bag with Morning Star symbol

Seven months ago, multiple racist assaults against Papuans students by nationalist mass organisations and discriminative interventions by the local police in the Javanese cities Malang and Surabaya caused large scale demonstrations against racism in all major cities across West Papua, some of them turning into violent riots. The Papuan Student Alliance (AMP) has reported a further case, in which military members arbitrarily arrested a Papuan student for wearing a bag with a Morning Star symbol in the city of Ambon, Maluku Province.

 

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Police officers fail to protect truck driver during mob attack in Dogiyai Regency

Police officers have failed to protect a truck driver named Yus Yunus during a mob attack in the regency of Dogiyai on 23 February 2020. The incident was allegedly triggered by a traffic accident on the Trans-Papua road in the village of Ekimani, Kamu Utara District and resulted in the death of a local resident named Demianus Mote. Police officers of the Kamu Sub-district Police were present at the site of crime but failed to protect Yus Yunus from the angry mob. He died as a result of the injuries he sustained during the attack. A video recorded during the incident shows that Yus Yunus sought protection behind fully armed mobile brigade police officers, as multiple attackers repeatedly hit his head with sticks and stones.

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CSO demands access for Indonesian Red Cross to West Papua

The Papuan Legal Aid Institute (LBH Papua) has demanded the Indonesian Government to take urgent measures to provide humanitarian help to victims of internal displacement in multiple regencies of West Papua through the Indonesian Red Cross (PMI). The statement followed recent outbreaks of armed violence in the regency of Mimika which reportedly caused the displacement of over 1.500 indigenous peoples from the district of Tembagapura in early March 2020. The internal displacement of civilians in Tembagapura is not an isolated case. In late December 2019 and January 2020, residents of 15 villages in the regency of Intan Jaya fled their homes after the Indonesian Government deployed additional military units to the regency to conduct a wide-ranging military operation. Other cases of internal displacement due to the military operations and armed clashes in West Papua have been reported from the regencies Puncak, Lanny Jaya and Nduga throughout 2019.

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Fifth Update on trials and detentions after anti-racism riots in West Papua

This article provides an overview on 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). The following article covers recent developments in relation to the riots throughout February 2020.

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Armed conflict in West Papua aggravates throughout past weeks – over 1,500 IDPs flee to Timika

The armed conflict in West Papua has significantly aggravated throughout the past weeks. Armed clashes between Indonesian security forces and the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPN PB) were reported from the Papuan regencies Nduga, Pegunungan Bintang, Kerom and Mimika. Many of the clashes resulted in the deaths of security force members. Multiple armed attacks in the regency of Mimika reportedly caused the displacement of over 1,500 indigenous Amungme people from four villages. For the first time, multiple violent incidents within a short time frame occurred in the regency of Pegunungan Bintang. Indonesian security forces suspect that the local TPN PB forces used stolen weapons for the attacks. TPN PB members had retrieve eleven fire arms of various sizes from a crashed military chopper in June 2019.

 

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Unrest throughout August and September 2019 results in 59 fatalities

The unrest due to Papua-wide anti-racism riots between late August and late September marks one of the most significant events throughout 2019. The ICP has put together a list of victims who died during the series of violent incidents. Outbreaks of ethnic violence between Papuans and non-Papuans as well as violent security force crackdowns on demonstrations resulted in a total number of 59 civilian fatalities within a period of less than one month. While the situation in West Papua has temporarily calmed down, the potential risk of further outbreaks of violence continues to exist as the root causes of the conflict remain unaddressed.  The Indonesian Government has not taken meaningful steps to counter the marginalisation of indigenous Papuans, tackle racist notions among Indonesian security forces and civil society or enter into dialogue with the independence movement to settle the political conflict in West Papua.

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More Articles...

  1. Joint security forces kill indigenous community leader and minor during raid in Intan Jaya
  2. Wamena after the September-Riots – Freedom of assembly still subjected to limitations
  3. Komnas HAM categorises Paniai incident as serious human rights violation – Case submitted to Attorney General
  4. Laporan Baru ICP tentang Papua Barat: hak asasi manusia, konflik dan situasi pembangunan
  5. Press release: New Report on the West Papua Human Rights and Conflict Situation published by the ICP
  6. Fourth Update on trials and detentions after Anti-Racism Riots in West Papua
  7. Trial update on killing of Govt contractors in Nduga Regency – Lawyers request forensic examination of defendant’s teeth
  8. Freedom of speech in West Papua under threat – police presses charges against student for Facebook post on Sugapa Shooting
  9. One indigenous civilian killed and two injured in Sugapa – 15 villages in Intan Jaya Regency reportedly affected by internal displacement
  10. Third Update on trials and detentions after anti-racism riots in West Papua
  11. Update on killing of Govt contractors in Nduga Regency - Trial against defendant launched in Jakarta
  12. Constitutional Court rejects request to review law on formation of Irian Barat Province
  13. West Papua Human Rights Update January 2020
  14. Four students in Ternate expelled from university for participating in peaceful demonstration for West Papua
  15. Security force operation in Intan Jaya Regency during Christmas – indigenous villagers flee their homes
  16. Police officers open fire at house in Yahukimo Regency – Two residents sustain bullet injuries
  17. Military members alleged of executing Papuan driver in Nduga Regency
  18. Second update on trials and detentions after anti-racism riots in West Papua
  19. Update on Treason Trial against Polish citizen – Supreme court raises sentence to 7 years
  20. Police officer ill-treats journalist in Dekai, Yahukimo Regency
  21. KOMNAS HAM observes deterioration of human rights situation throughout 2019 as Govt institutions block the settlement of human rights violations
  22. Special force members intimidate human rights defender in Nabire
  23. Military operation in Lanny Jaya claims lives of two indigenous villagers and causes internal displacement
  24. Recent cyber-attacks aimed to prevent publication of new report on Papuan political prisoners
  25. Commemoration of ‘Papuan Independence Day’ - 115 Papuans reportedly arrested, at least 31 charged with treason
  26. Lawyers express concern regarding health condition of political detainees
  27. Update on trials and detentions after racist assaults on Papuan students and subsequent anti-racism riots in West Papua
  28. Human Rights Watch is calling for Indonesia to release peaceful Papua activists
  29. New discourse on settlement of past human rights violations in Indonesia – Papuans hope for Justice
  30. Military members kill indigenous Papuan and injure three others in Tolikara Regency

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