Update on Freeport's mass lay offs - dismissed laborers report Employment Minister to Ombudsman

In February 2017, PT Freeport Indonesia (PT FI) introduced a furlough program to release its workers from their obligations and return them to their point of leave. The Freeport laborers went on strike. PT FI claimed that the workers’ strikes were illegal and thus the strikers were considered to have "voluntarily resigned". In early 2017, PT FI reportedly fired around 4,200 workers participating in the strike. So far, attempts to involve human rights organisations, ministries and government institutions have not lead to a perceptible outcome for the dismissed workers.

On 28 August, hundreds of Freeport laborers gathered at HR. Rasuna Said Street in central Jakarta, in front of the PT FI head office. Security forces repeatedly tried in vain to dissolve the peaceful demonstration. The laborers continued the protest over night, sleeping in front of building (see intro image and image below). The following day eight representatives were allowed to attend a meeting with the management of PT FI. However, the meeting did not bring about any agreement on the longlasting labor rights conflict.


Police officers shoot down Fery Korwa in Manokwari

Local human rights defenders have reported a police shooting in Manokwari, Papua Barat Province, near the Wosi Market. On 26 August 2018 at 10.00 am, police officers from the Manokwari sub-district municipality police (Polsek Manokwari Kota) shot Fery Korwa (20) in front of the Fajar Roon Hotel in Trikora Wosi Street. Ferry Korwa sustained a bullet injury to the right side of the upper back and had to be trated at the local Navy Hospital (see intro image). The bullet pierced his torso from back to front as he was running away from police officers. According to the local police, Ferry Korwa allegedly stole a mobile phone from a junior high school student and tried to avoid arrest. In response, the victim’s relatives blocked the road at 12.00 am. They claimed that the police used excessive force during the arrest and demanded that the officers in charge shall be prosecuted.

The local police justified the use of fire arms, claiming that Ferry Korwa carried a sharp weapon. The head of the criminal investigation unit of Manokwari sub-district police, B. Limbong,  stated in a public interview on 27 August 2018 that Fery Korwa  threatened the officers with a weapon. He explained that his men tried to shoot the suspect in the leg but accidently hit his upper back. The statement contradicts the information collected by local human rights defenders - eyewitnesses who helped Ferry Korwa after the shooting stated that he did not carry any weapon.

Australian academic blacklisted and deported

Immigration officers have prevented Belinda Lopez, a PhD candidate for Indonesian studies at Macquarie University, from entering Indonesia shortly after landing at the International Ngurah Rai Airport in Bali on 3 August 2018. She was detained for 17 hours in a room at the airport (see intro image) and forced to board an airplane to Australia on the following day, leaving around 10.00 pm. According to Belinda, the authorities repeatedly asked her whether she was a journalist and had "done something bad to Indonesia".

The incident appears to be closely related to her former work as editor for the Indonesian newspapers 'The Jakarta Post' and 'The Jakarta Globe'. Belinda said that Indonesian Immigration authorities denied her visa extension in 2016 after it was suspected she, as a reporter, was conducting media coverage in the province of Papua. At that time she was told that this measure was an administrative matter which meant that she could not return to Indonesia for six months. “Why am I now on the Indonesian government blacklist? For how long? For what reason? For going to Papua? This is devastating for me.” she posted in the social media platforms Twitter and Facebook.


Series of arrests in Papuan central highlands – Police takes Polish citizen into custody

Human rights defenders in the Jayawijaya Regency have reported a series of arrests between 25 and 26 August 2018. According to the received informantion, members of the Jayawijaya District Police arrested eight people, one of them a Polish citizen named Jakub Fabian Skrzypski (39). Mr Skrzypski and three Papuan men were arrested on 25 August 2018 around 12.20 pm at the Napua Military Post in Wamena. Subsequently, they were interrogated at the Jayawijaya District Police Station and later released at 02.00 pm.

On 26 August 2018 at 09.10 am, police officers again arrested Naftali Wasahe and Edward Wandik together with two Papuan senior high school students at the Potikelek Market in Wamena. Jakub Fabian Skrzypski was arrested in his Hotel in Wamena. On the same day, members of the Jayawijaya District Police conducted two further arrests in the nearby city of Elelim, in the Yalimo Regency. Alex Wasahe and Yohanis Wandik were arrested at 08.20 pm and brought to the Jayawijaya district police station in Wamena for further interrogation. According to local informants, the police had allegedly found amunition in possesion of some of the arrestees.


ALRC statement on arbitrary arrest and detention in West Papua

August 30, 2018

A Written Submission to the 39th Regular Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council by the Asian Legal Resource Centre

INDONESIA: Arbitrary arrest and detention in Papua must be ended; the Rule of Law must be amplified

The Asian Legal Resource Centre (ALRC) wishes to inform the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) about repetition of cases of arbitrary arrest and detention in Papua (currently Papua Province and West Papua Province). The ALRC has learned that the law enforcement agencies in Papua and West Papua Province have not yet fully respected the Rule of Law and Due Process.


Police officers arbitrarily arrest UNCEN and STIKOM student representatives in Jayapura

Student activists have reported that Police officers arrested the chairman of the Cenderawasih University Executive Student Body (BEM UNCEN), Ferry Kombo. The arrest took place on 16 August 2018 at 04.00 pm in front of Dian Harapan hospital in Waena, Jayapura. Ferry Kombo was taken into custody at the Jayapura district police station and released on the following day. It is unknown whether the police will press charges against him. The arrest occurred after Ferry Kombo  had organized an orientation activity for first semester students (OSPEK) on 14 August 2018. Senior students distributed bracelets with the morning star symbol and asked the new students to wear them. The morning star is a symbol of cultural identity in West Papua, but is also the emblem of the Papuan independence movement. During the orientation, the students sang Papuan songs and collectively shouted “Papua Merdeka” (‘Free Papua’) inside and outside the university premises.


Press release by Papuan civil society coalition: Concession policies threaten environment and indigenous peoples in West Papua

On 23 August 2018, the ‘Civil Society Coalition for Justice, Human Rights and the Environment in the Land of Papua’ published a press release, criticizing the approvement of concessions in the Provinces Papua and Papua Barat under the Jokowi government. According to the coalition,  government agencies have approved concessions for eleven palm oil companies with a total area of 237.752 hectares of forest between 2015 and 2018. Some of the companies are allegedly involved in environmental crimes with the participation of police and military members. The coalition claims that the expansion of palm oil plantations in West Papua will push deforestation and increase the number of land conflicts between investors and the indigenous landowners.


Ongoing restrictions on freedom of opinion in West Papua - political activists subjected to arbitrary arrest and unfair trial

Law enforcement institutions in West Papua continue to strictly limit the freedom of opinion and freedom of assembly in Indonesia’s easternmost provinces, in an attempt to counteract aspirations for political independence. The independent news outlet ‘Suara Papua’ published an article according to which members of the Merauke District Police arbitrarily arrested 14 activists of the Papuan student movement GemapaR (Gerakan Mahasiswa Pemuda dan Rakyat) in the early morning hours of 9 August 2018 in the city of Merauke.

Yason Ngelia, the secretary of GempaR stated that the arrests took place in two different locations where the students intended to commemorate the ‘International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples’. Three male activists named Andi Kahol, Beatus and Ruben as well as one female activist named Ronelly were arrested at Libra at 9.17 am. The arrest of ten other activists was reported at Mangga Dua. The local head of police confirmed that four activists were arrested because they conducted a public oration without having a ‘permit’.



Police officers open fire at Papuan students in Waena, Jayapura – two students injured

The International Coalition for Papua has received credible information in relation to the alleged torture and ill-treatment of two Papuan students on 27 August 2018 in the residential area of Perumnas 3 Waena, Jayapura. Yetron Kogoya sustained a bullet wound on the right shoulder (see intro image) as police officers opened fire at a group of Papuan students. He was brought to the Bhayangkara police hospital for medical treatment. Asmel Yigibalom was tortured by police officers during detention at the Perumnas 3 Police post, resulting in a bleeding head injury which needed to be stitched at the Abepura General Hospital. According to the information received, police officers from the Jayapura district police arrested at least 14 students from Lanny Jaya regency and temporarily detained them at the district police station in Jayapura.


Nationalist mass organisations attack Papuan student dormitory in Surabaya to force raising of Indonesian flag

The Papuan Student Alliance AMP has reported a further attack on the Papuan student dormitory in Surabaya, East Java Province. On 15 August 2018 at 11.30 am, approximately 30 members from multiple nationalist mass organisations (ORMAS) came to the Papuan student dormitory in Tampaksari District of Surabaya. At 12.30, a group of students asked a representative of the mass organisations to enter the dormitory and discuss the purpose of the visit. According to the head of the ORMAS groups, Basuki Rahmad, the group intended to raise the Indonesian flag in the dormitory front yard in preparation for the commemoration of the Indonesian Independence Day on 17 August. Subsequently, at least ten ORMAS members forced their way into the dormitory yard while the students were still talking with Mr. Rahmad.


More Articles...

  1. Five military members injured during accompaniment of electricity survey
  2. Indigenous community in North Biak protests against aerospace project
  3. Police officers beat up two drivers in Sentani
  4. Lack of Facts and low standard of justice during military trial against perpetrators of extra-judicial killing – AHRC launches urgent appeal
  5. Military operation in Nduga Regency - Indonesian human rights organisations concerned about attacks against civilians
  6. Human Rights Update West Papua - covering April - June 2018
  7. Intimidation of Papuan students in Surabaya – female student activist sexually assaulted by police officer
  8. Joint Statement: 20th Anniversary of the ‘Biak Massacre’, West Papua
  9. UN High commissioner questions invitation from Indonesian Government
  10. Brawl between Papuan students and nationalist mass organisation in Malang - Police fails to protect Papuan students' freedom of assembly
  11. Death threats against Papuan Human Rights Defender
  12. Amnesty International publishes new report on extra-judicial killings and impunity in West Papua
  13. Local elections in highland regencies Puncak Jaya and Nduga accompanied by violent clashes leaving 6 people dead
  14. Joint security forces allegedly kill indigenous Papuan during crowd control operation in Jayawijaya Regency
  15. Papuan pastor and villager ill-treated in Kaimana Regency
  16. Police and military collectively torture Papuan fisherman in Sorong
  17. Unlawful arrests reported from Timika – three Papuans prosecuted and ill-treated
  18. Right to Health in West Papua – report on UN Special Rapporteur mission to Indonesia published
  19. ALRC concerned about extra-judicial executions and ongoing impunity
  20. Australian Green Party underlines commitment for human rights situation in West Papua
  21. Military member kills indigenous Papuan in Yapen Island
  22. Conflict over customary land in Tambrauw Regency - Indigenous Mpur communities reject corn plantation company
  23. 14 indigenous Papuans arbitrarily arrest in Nimbontong District
  24. Greenpeace investigation reveals involvement of international companies in massive destruction of Papuan rainforest
  25. Yulianus Yeimo passed away – number of dead victims in the ‘Bloody Paniai Case' rises from four to five
  26. Police officers collectively ill-treat man and journalist during political debate in Nabire Regency
  27. Update on shooting in Mauwa - Gerry Goo succumbs to his injuries
  28. Indonesia and EU negotiate on free trade agreement - NGOs demand Palm oil to be excluded from trade
  29. Allegations regarding excessive use of force during military operation in Opitawak Village – at least one dead and two injured
  30. Solomon Islands Government delegation visits West Papua - Civil society groups concerned


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