Verdict in trial against political activist – Judges sentence Soon Tabuni to 1 year and € 57,000 fine

On 23 April 2021, judges at the Timika District Court found Soon Tabuni guilty of violating Article 45A (2) on hate speech of Law No. 19 /2016 about the amendment of Law No. 11/2008 on Electronic Information and Transaction. He was sentenced to one year imprisonment and a fine of one billion rupiahs (about € 57,000), substitutable by six months detention. Previously, the public prosecutor had sought a sentence of one year and six months in addition to the fine of one billion rupiahs. Soon Tabuni still considers appealing against the verdict. Human rights observers understand his prosecution as an act of criminalisation and an attack on the freedom of expression.

Read more...

Journalist in West Papua subjected to intimidation – Activists urge the police to prosecute perpetrators

Papuan journalist Victor Mambor was reportedly intimidated on 21 April 2021. According to information received, the perpetrator(s) damaged Victor Mambor’s car between 12.00 and 2.00 am. The vehicle was parked on a public road in front of his house in Jayapura. The perpetrator(s) smashed the windshield and two side windows and defaced the car with spray paint (see photos, source Jubi). Activists believe that the attack was meant to intimidate Victor Mambor after he wrote several critical articles on the human rights situation in West Papua for the Papuan news outlet Jubi. Victor Mambor officially reported the case to the local police.

Read more...

New Report on Deforestation in West Papua - Highest levels of deforestation occurred under Jokowi Government

The Indonesian NGO Auriga has published a new report about deforestation in West Papua. The report carries the title “Planned Deforestation: Forest Policy in Papua” and contains updated information about the reasons, developments and current state of forests in West Papua. Even though Indonesia has successfully decreased its carbon emissions on a national level since 2015, the highest levels of deforestation in West Papua have reportedly occurred under the current Minister of Environment and Forestry, Siti Nurbaya, who has held office since the first term of Joko Widodo’s presidency.

The provinces of Papua and Papua Barat are home to the largest remaining forest area in Indonesia, with 33,847,928 hectares. Both provinces were granted an autonomy status in 2001. However, the special autonomy status has not helped reduce deforestation in West Papua due to a lack of clarity in harmonising conflicting national and local regulations. Growing deforestation in West Papua is related to the massive administrative partition that has taken place in West Papua. Each time new regencies were formed, the lack of definitive administrative boundaries, functional regional government organisational and proper development planning has contributed to deforestation.

Get the full report

Read more...

Minister says previous Government responsible for massive deforestation in West Papua – NGOs demand action against illegal palm oil businesses

The Indonesian Minister for Environment and Forestry, Siti Nurbaya, explained in recent media interviews that the former Government was responsible for the massive deforestation and expansion of palm oil plantations in West Papua. She stated that all concessions had received recommendation letters from local regents and the governors in West Papua. According to Nurbaya, her ministry had significantly reduced the rate of oil palm expansion proposed by the regents and the Papuan governors. Local activists urged the Government to take immediate action against illegal palm oil activities instead of hiding behind the mistakes of past governments.

Read more...

Public order police prohibit peaceful assembly and intimidates protesters in Deiyai

In the Deiyai Regency, Papua province, the local police prohibited a peaceful assembly against the prolongation of the special autonomy and the planned administrative partition of the Papua Province into five provinces. A civil society group named Papuan People Solidarity (SRP) planned to organise an open panel discussion in the town of Waghete on 19 April 2021. Still, the local police decided to ban the event on short notice. Members of the public order police task force (Satpol PP), together with two indigenous leaders, reportedly drove through Waghete and intimidated the residents with megaphones, warning them not to participate in the public assembly. SRP finally cancelled the panel discussion.

Read more...

Police officers torture Papuan during custody in Nabire

On 22 February 2021, police officers reportedly arrested Rupinus Nabelau in front of the Jepara Wadio Hotel in Nabire without showing a warrant. He was suspected of buying illegal firearms. Rupinus’ relatives and lawyer claim the officers brought him to an unknown location and tortured him for several hours. In vain, the relatives tried to find Rupinus Nabelau at the Nabire police station and the local hospital. In the late evening, family members were informed that he was admitted to the Siriwini Hospital in Nabire. Rupinus Nabelau’s face was allegedly bruised due to physical torture as they visited him at the hospital the following morning.

Read more...

Law enforcement process against 2 Papuan students in Jakarta – Judge rules arrest in accordance with criminal procedure code

A judge at the South-Jakarta District Court (see photo, source: Jubi) ruled that the arrest and detention of the Papuan students Kevin Molama and Ruland Karafir were following criminal procedure regulations in Indonesia. Lawyers explained that the judge ignored multiple failures which police officers had committed during arrest and detention. The police officers reportedly entered the dormitory in civil clothing without showing an arrest and search warrant at the time of the arrest. According to the lawyers, the police issued the warrant letters one week after the arrest.

Read more...

West Papua Council of Churches asks the MSG to accept ULMWP's membership

Shortly after releasing an open letter on April 2, 2021, calling for attention to the serious problems faced by the Papuan people, for President Jokowi to meet the Papua pro-referendum group and for the UN High Commissioner to visit West Papua, among others; the WPCC has released an open letter addressed to the leaders of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) supporting the full membership of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) in the MSG (*). The letter closes with a request to accept as a member of the MSG. The letter, which was released on 12 April 2021, reads as follows:

Time after time, as Pastors, we have had to bury our people who have been shot dead by Herod's troops. We cry for the merciless death of Christians in West Papua. Our tears have run dry. The dignity and self-worth of the people created at God's Hand have been trampled on for too long. We are likened to animals. Sometimes we ask God, Do you still hear our prayers and tears? Where can we take the Melanesian people who are left in West Papua so they can be saved?

Read more...

Human Rights Update West Papua - 1st Quarter 2021

Of the eight reported cases of extra-judicial killings and enforced disappearances between January and March this year, seven were related to the central highlands' armed conflict. There was no investigation into any of the killings because the military claimed the victims were associated with the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPN PB). The intensity of the ongoing conflict is likely to aggravate as Jakarta continues deploying additional non-organic troops to West Papua. At least 1,800 additional military personnel and 100 special police force members were transferred to West Papua in the first quarter of 2021 to fight against the TPN PB, maintain public order and secure government and military interests. The Indonesian Government continues to seek a violent solution to the conflict. In March 2021, the Indonesian Government announced its plan to add the TPN PB to the terrorist organisations' list. This measure would make peaceful talks between the conflict parties even more improbable. The deployment of non-organic security forces and ongoing armed clashes go to the detriment of the indigenous peoples in conflict areas. The armed violence in the Intan Jaya Regency resulted in further displacements of at least 3,600 indigenous Papuans.

download-button

Read more...

Greenpeace publishes revealing report on deforestation in West Papua

Greenpeace International has released a report titled "License to Clear: The Dark Side of Permitting in West Papua" on 6 April 2021 revealing allegations of systematic violations on plantation and forest release permits in Papua. It urgently calls on the Indonesian government in Jakarta and the provincial governments to protect the area designated for palm oil plantations in Papua from further deforestation. "Since 2000, the land released from the forest estate for plantations in Papua Province alone has totalled nearly a million hectares (951,771 ha) – an area more than one and a half times the size of the island of Bali". Greenpeace reported that most of this land currently still forested, so the government must reverse the move by permanently protecting the uncleared forest areas and recognising customary land rights.

After climbing to a peak in 2015 and 2016, the rate of deforestation has been falling in Papua Province for the last three years, mainly due to a decrease in forest clearance for plantations. The report attempts to address the critical questions of the extent to which government policies have contributed to this downward trend in deforestation, and whether it will continue.

Read more...

More Articles...

  1. Soldiers torture Papuan man in Tambrauw Regency - Residents demand the withdrawal of military
  2. Resistance fighters execute two teachers and a pupil in Puncak Regency
  3. West Papua Council of Churches: President Widodo should meet the Papua pro-referendum group
  4. Security force members shoot dead Papuan gold panner in Mimika Regency
  5. Amnesty International publishes new report – Human rights situation in West Papua shows no improvement
  6. Students launch peaceful protest against Freeport mine in Jayapura – Police disperse crowd and arrest three protesters
  7. 12 KNPB Activists in Merauke provisionally released from police detention
  8. Temianus Wandikbo sentenced to 16 months for alleged involvement in Freeport shooting
  9. Further case of enforced disappearance causes ethnic tensions in Nduga
  10. Update on the situation of IDPs from Nduga and Intan Jaya – Activists confirm further fatalities
  11. Police impede public human rights event in Jayapura
  12. Man shot down as police disperse crowd in Timika – Relatives demand compensation
  13. Police carry out nine political arrests in Timika and Jayapura
  14. Jokowi takes palm oil waste off toxic waste list
  15. Indonesia offers Elon Musk Papuan Island Biak for SpaceX launchpad causing rage among its residents
  16. Commemoration of International Women’s Day accompanied by repressive acts against Papuans – Malang police chief accused of racism
  17. Police investigates 13 palm oil investors in Papua Barat Province
  18. Jakarta deploys new troops to West Papua whilst turning a blind eye on IDPs – civil society groups try to compensate Government neglect
  19. Indius Sambom sentenced to 20 months imprisonment – Lawyers say verdict not based on facts
  20. Two Papuan students arrested and detained in Jakarta
  21. Bloodshed in Intan Jaya continues - Military members kill high school student
  22. Military members shoot dead a Papuan with disability in Intan Jaya
  23. Update on criminalisation of KNPB activists in Merauke – Kristian Yandum dies during police detention
  24. Papuan couple arbitrarily arrested, beaten and detained – both victims demand strict sanctions against police and public prosecutor
  25. Protests against formation of Papua Tengah Province continue – Thousands of people in Dogiyai go to the streets
  26. Deforestation cause floods in the Keerom Regency
  27. Government plans to establish Papua Tengah Province - Military members create manipulated video to promote administrative partition
  28. Update on situation of IDPs from Mimika – IDPs face challenges after return to their villages
  29. Police violence in Jayapura - Internal police investigation body accused of negligence
  30. Three Papuans tortured and killed by security forces in Intan Jaya

Subcategories

  • 2021
  • 2020
  • 2019
  • 2018

    News and Developments in and about West Papua

  • 2017

    News and Developments in and about West Papua

  • 2016

    News and Developments in and about West Papua

  • 2015

    News and Developments in and about West Papua

  • 2014

    Latest News and Developments in and about West Papua

  • 2013

    Latest News and Developments in and about West Papua