Verdict in treason trial in Sorong - Ten months imprisonment for eleven Papuan activists

On 17 September 2020, the panel of judges at the Sorong District Court found eleven Papuan activists guilty of criminal conspiracy as stipulated under the article 110 of the Indonesian Criminal Code (KUHP). The public prosecutor sought a sentence of 16 months for Daniel Jitmau, Paulus Syama, Lukas Nauw, Simon Aifat, Berto Tomow, Frengky Nauw, Lukas Smass, Marlinda Mangko, Silvester Nauw, Wilson Kofias and Jhosua Kingho. All defendants were arrested on 27 November 2019, after planning a public event through which they allegedly supported the establishment of the separate state ‘West Papua New Guinea’. The police found banners, flags and stickers with the Morning Star during the arrest.

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Papuan activists reimburse Veronica Koman's scholarship funds to the Indo govt

The Ebamukai Solidarity Movement/Team has collected donations to reimburse the scholarship funds which the Indonesian Education Fund Management Institution (LPDP) provided for Veronica Koman’s law study in Australia. The movement has managed to collect donations for an amount of IDR 773,876,918 (about € 44.144) after the LPDP urged Koman to repay the funds. The Executive Director of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP), Markus Haluk, explained in an interview with the media outlet Jubi that the funds were raised within days and the donations came from Papuan government representatives, politicians, activists, entrepreneurs and Veronika Koman’s relatives. On 16 September 2020, the former political prisoners Ambrosius Mulait and Dano Tabuni, together with the human rights lawyer, Michael Himan, went to the office of the LPDP in Jakarta (see intro image, source: Suara Papua) to return the funds together with an Indonesian flag. They also symbolically returned the Papua Special Autonomy Fund in the form of one million rupiahs (about € 57).

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Joint security forces kill three indigenous Papuans near Freeport Mine in Mimika

The ICP has received credible information regarding the killing of Mrs Demiana Wanmang, 25, Mr Demu Kiwak, 28, and Mr Uterus Newegalen, 18. This happened at Mile 69, an illegal gold panning site near the Grasberg Mine which is operated by PT Freeport Indonesia in the Tembagapura district of the Mimika regency. On 16 August 2020, joint security force members of the Tindak Nemangkawi Task Force opened fire at the group of four gold panners. Three of them died instantly as a result of the fatal bullet wounds. The task force members likely mistook the group for members of the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPN PB). A similar incident already occurred on 13 April 2020, as military members shot dead Eden Armando Bebari and Ronny Wandik at Mile 34, where the two men were fishing.

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Joint security force members torture three indigenous Papuans in Boven Digoel for not using face masks

Independent human rights defenders have documented a case of torture in the regency of Boven Digoel, Papua Province. The incident was confirmed by multiple media outlets. Joint police-military forces allegedly tortured three indigenous Papuans from the indigenous Kombai Tribe – among them one female – during a routine COVID-19 control in Boven Digoel’s largest town Tanah Merah. The security force members had reportedly stopped them because they were not wearing a face mask while riding their motorcycles. The Boven Digoel Government, the local customary council and the victims’ family agreed to settle the case outside the law through a compensation payment of 50 million rupiahs (about € 2,840) and three pigs.

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Conflict tension increases in Intan Jaya Regency

The conflict situation in the remote highland regency Intan Jaya has become significantly more tense during the past days. Human rights defenders have observed military (TNI) members repeatedly approaching primary and middle schools in Intan Jaya’s major town Sugapa to monitor Papuan pupils who appeared to support the right to political self-determination in West Papua. Moreover, the ICP received credible information according to which military members documented the identities of these pupils and interrogated them after school. The human rights defenders claim that the monitoring activities have been ongoing since early August 2020. The most recent monitoring activity was reported from a middle school in Sugapa on 5 September 2020 (see into image and image on the right).

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Papuan Youth Church Leaders raise their voices regarding racism, injustice and Special Autonomy

Following repeated calls by Church Leaders, like the open letter from the WPCC released in July 2020, calling for an end of racism and injustice in the land of Papua and rejecting the Special Autonomy "version 2" or "volume II", the West Papua Christian Youth Forum has issued an open letter to President Joko Widodo supporting the Papuan Church Councils position on Special Autonomy and Dialogue as well as the Papuan Peoples Petition rejecting Special Autonomy. They share that "the problem of Papua has become increasingly complex and severe because the root of the problem is racism and injustice, not separatism and treason. It has now been increasingly complicated due to the global mobilization of "Black Lives Matter and West Papua Lives Matter" which has become part of the international community. However, no matter how difficult and complicated, there must be a way out for a win-win solution."

Open Letter in PDF

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Armed conflict in West Papua continues: Government deploys 500 soldiers to the central highlands

The Indonesian government has deployed 500 additional soldiers of the Yonif Raider 432 Waspada Setiajaya Unit to West Papua. According to the national media, the non-organic troops should help the local governments to stabilize the situation and secure infrastructure as well as other development projects in West Papua’s central highlands, which are known as the stronghold of the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPN PB). Meanwhile, the troops have arrived in Jayapura (see intro image) from where they will be flown to 20 military outposts in the regencies Yalimo, Yahukimo, Nduga, Mamberamo, Lanny Jaya and Tolikara. The non-organic troops are supposed to stay in West Papua between nine and twelve months.

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Police officers obstruct journalists at the district police station in Yahukimo

The Papuan branch office of the Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI Papua) has condemned the obstruction of two Papuan journalists in the town of Dekai, in the Yahukimo regency, where joint security forces have conducted widespread raids in response to the murder of three civilians. Ruland Kabak (see intro image, source: Suara Papua) and Atamus Kepno wanted to obtain information about the murders and the ongoing investigation. Several police officers intimidated the journalists, refused to provide information on the case and prevented them from meeting with suspects.

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East Timor - 16 people on trial for peacefully protesting in solidarity with West Papua

Sixteen protesters had to stand trial because they conducted a peaceful protest in solidarity with the people of West Papua in front of the Indonesian embassy in Dili, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, commonly referred to as East Timor. The group of protesters, all members of the Maubere Peoples’ Front for West Papua (FRMWP), had participated in a seminar on the humanitarian crisis in West Papua on 3 September 2020. The peaceful demonstration on 4 September 2020 was a follow-up activity of the seminar. According to the media outlet ‘Suara Papua’, police officers dispersed the demonstration and arrested 16 out of 60 protesters.

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Raids, mass arrests and torture by security forces in Yahukimo

Joint security forces have launched raids in the town of Dekai, the largest city in the Yahukimo regency, Papua Province. The raids took place as part of the investigation into three murder cases, which occurred in the second half of August 2020 and in which all victims were migrants. The West Papua National Liberation Army (TPN PB) has claimed responsibility for two of the murders. According to an official TPN PB statement, two of the victims, one a lumberjack and the other a construction worker, were allegedly affiliated with the Indonesian state intelligence. The third victim was a staff of the local election commission (KPU). The security force members searched multiple houses and seized traditional weapons, hunting gear, gardening tools, and other items with the morning star symbol. Local human rights defenders claimed that sixteen residents were reportedly arrested and temporarily detained. Two persons were allegedly tortured during police detention. On 2 September 2020, the local police Chief, Ignatius Benny Ady Prabowo, mentioned in an interview with the media outlet Suara Papua a total number of 14 arrestees  He stated that all of them were released.

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More Articles...

  1. Police officers open fire at 16-year-old Papuan in Dogiyai Regency
  2. Papuan suspect killed during police detention in Sorong – Police Chief blames detainee
  3. Indonesian govt can’t neglect internally displaced Papuans - UN requests detailed information
  4. Police officers arrest Papuan activist for Facebook post
  5. Update on prosecution of political prisoner Bazoka Logo
  6. Police finally takes action against illegal gold mine in Jayapura
  7. UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women publishes List of issue for upcoming review of Indonesia
  8. 'Balikpapan 7' finally back in Jayapura
  9. Joint Security forces torture three indigenous Papuans in Sorong Selatan
  10. PT Freeport Indonesia conducts Environmental Impact Analysis – Indigenous communities fear expansion of mining area
  11. Papuan prisoners neglected – Govt fails to arrange return to West Papua
  12. Police disperse NY Agreement commemorations in Jayapura – 32 protesters arrested, one ill-treated during arrest
  13. Indo govt continues to pressure human rights defender Veronica Koman
  14. Trial against 11 political activists in Sorong – Prosecutor demands 16 months for alleged treason
  15. UN requests Indonesian govt to report on civil and political issues in West Papua
  16. TAPOL Press Release: West Papua 2019 Freedom of Expression and Freedom of Assembly Report
  17. West Papua has the worst democracy index in Indonesia
  18. Deforestation in West Papua – 1,488 hectares forest logged down between January and May 2020
  19. Public discourse about prolongation of Papuan Special Autonomy intensifies
  20. Multiple indigenous Papuans subjected to intimidation and torture since establishment of new military bases in Tambrauw
  21. Student in Ternate under investigation for participating in peaceful rally for Papuan independence
  22. Allegations of fatal military violence in Boven Digoel Regency
  23. New Release: The humanitarian crisis in West Papua: Internal conflict, the displacement of people, and the coronavirus pandemic
  24. Udeido art group launches „Tonawi Mana” virtual exhibition on human rights situation in West Papua
  25. Military members kill two indigenous Papuans during routine inspection in Nduga Regency
  26. Police in Wasior alleged of using excessive force and torturing a suspect
  27. Political prisoner Surya Anta Ginting talks about inhuman conditions at detention centres in Jakarta
  28. Corruption allegations against Korindo palm oil conglomerate
  29. Labour Union files lawsuit against Freeport Indonesia and Department of Manpower and Transmigration
  30. Police officers arbitrarily arrest and torture suspect in Keerom Regency

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