Government plans to establish Papua Tengah Province - Military members create manipulated video to promote administrative partition

The Government of Indonesia is planning to establish a new province in West Papua. The plan has triggered rejection among many civil society groups and the Papuan Peoples’ Assembly (MRP). Many Papuans argue that the formation of the new province only serves the interests of a small political elite and ignores the aspirations of the majority of the Papuan people who do not support the administrative partition.

In January 2021, people in Biak, Jayapura, Sorong and other cities across West Papua repeatedly launched peaceful protests against the Government’s plan to push through amendments to the Law No 21/2001 on the Special Autonomy for the Province of Papua (UU Otsus Papua) to path the way for the establishment of a new ‘Papua Tengah Province’. Article 76 of the law stipulates that the MRP and the provincial parliament (DPRP) must approve new autonomy areas. The central Governments wants to amend the article, making the agreement by the MRP and DPRP no longer necessary. The MRP is opposing the Government's plan and has announced it will appeal against the UU Otsus Papua's unilateral revision to the Constitutional Court.

 

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Update on situation of IDPs from Mimika – IDPs face challenges after return to their villages

In late January 2021, the first internally displaced persons (IDPs) from the villages Waa, Arwanop, Opitawak and Banti in the Mimika Regency returned to the Tembagapura District after spending almost eleven months in the town of Timika. Human rights observers have expressed concern over the current situation of the IDPs. According to information received, the IDPs cannot access health services and continue to be prevented from returning to their villages.

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Police violence in Jayapura - Internal police investigation body accused of negligence

New allegations have been raised regarding a case of torture by members of the Papua Regional Police (Polda Papua). As the victim’s relatives wanted to file a complaint against the perpetrator, the internal police investigation body (Propam) reportedly refused to process the complaint. According to the Papuan media outlet ‘Suara Papua’, a twenty-six-years-old Papuan man with the initials RW (victim wants to stay anonymous) was beaten up by three police officer at the Polda Papua headquarters in Jayapura on 14 January 2021. RW had fallen asleep inside a public transport vehicle. The police officers accused him of being drunk. RW explained that he fell asleep inside the car because he had been fishing in the early morning.

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Merauke Police accused of hampering access to medical treatment during detention

The Papua Legal Aid Institute (LBH Papua) has expressed concerns over the health condition of political activist Kristian Yandum. Kristian Yandum was arrested along with 13 other members of the West Papua National Commission (KNPB) on 13 December 2020 at the KNPB Almasuh branch office in Kaiburse Village, Merauke Regency. The drop in his health condition may be related to the torture he and the other activists experienced during arrest and police detention.

 

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Three Papuans tortured and killed by security forces in Intan Jaya

After a shooting in the Sugapa District on 15 February resulted in the death of a military (TNI) member, the TNI conducted multiple raids around the village of Mamba chasing after members of the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPN PB) who were named as the perpetrators of the shooting.

During the search a young man named Janius Bagau, 26, was shot in the left arm during a raid in the Village of Amaesiga (see foto on top, source: JPIC Kingmi Papua). He was evacuated to the Bilogai Health Center in Yokatapa Village, Sugapa District. Two of Janius Bagau's brothers named Yustinus Bagau, 20, and Sony Bagau,16, accompanied him to the medical facility.

Later in the evening, TNI members came to the health centre and reportedly interrogated the three young men. The soldiers beat Janius, Yustinus and Sony Bagau inside the health centre until the three men died due to the injuries they sustained during the torture. Their bodies were buried the following day in Tambabuga, Bilogai village. After the incident, dozens of villagers from the affected areas fled to Bilogai in fear of further repressive acts by security force members (see photo below, source: Suara Papua).

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More than 600 IDPs seek shelter in Catholic church facilities in Intan Jaya

The Papuan media outlet 'Suara Papua' has again reported the displacement of several hundred indigenous Papuans including women and children in the Intan Jaya Regency (see images, source: Suara Papua). The internally displaced persons (IDPs) originate from the villages Bilogai, Kumbalagupa dan Puyagiya in the Intan Jaya Regency. They have fled their homes after the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPN PB) killed a trader in Bilogai on 8 February 2021. Six-hundred-fifty IDPs are currently seeking shelter at the Pastor’s house and the nunnery in Bilogai. The Catholic workers used their food stock to supply the IDPs with food. Later the congregation received further food aid from a private company and the local military.

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Update on law enforcement process in killing of Rev Yeremia Zanambani – Relatives agree on autopsy under conditions

The relatives of Rev. Yeremia Zanambani, the Papuan pastor killed by military members in Mamba village, Intan Jaya Regency, on 19 September 2020, have agreed to an autopsy of the victim’s body with the condition that the autopsy is done by an independent medical team. It should also be conducted transparently and fairly under supervision of independent observers. The team of observers shall consist of lawyers, members of the National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM), the Indonesian Fellowship of Churches (PGI), multiple NGOs including Amnesty International Indonesia and local parliament members. Furthermore, the relatives urged the authorities to conduct the autopsy in the Hitadipa District, Intan Jaya.

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West Papua Council of Churches calls for solidarity with WP

As a commemoration of 166 Years of the Gospel entering the Land of Papua, the West Papuan Council of Churches has release a new letter on 5 February 2021. Through this latest letter, the Council of Churches asks all congregations to take time for praying and fasting once a week to ask God for wisdom and strength. The letter also calls for people in Indonesia, the Pacific and elsewhere to stand in solidarity with them. The Council also thanks those who have been standing in solidarity with Papua, especially the Prime Ministers of Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands and the Pacific Islands Forum leaders, as well as the World Council of Churches and the Church in Asia & the Pacific, for visiting and seeing the conditions of the Nduga Refugees in Wamena. The content of the letter reads as follows:

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IDPs from Nduga need urgent medical care – Many children suffer scabies

The Foundation for Justice and the Integrity of the Papuan People (YKKMP) has documented multiple health ailments among internally displaced children from the Nduga Regency. According to YKKMP Director Theo Hesegem, the Nduga IDPs in Wamena, particularly women and children, need immediate medical attention. YKKMP had facilitated the medical treatment for six internally displaced children and one woman. They suffer scabies (see images, source: YKKMP) and cannot access free health care in the Jayawijaya Regency. The treatment was paid using donations collected by the YKKMP.

About 8,000 IDPs from Nduga have sought shelter in the Jayawijaya Regency. According to solidarity groups, 400 IDPs have died since January 2019 in Jayawijaya due to diseases and other strains they face. A humanitarian aid team from the Cenderawasih University that visited the Nduga IDPs in Wamena in late November 2020, already observed that skin diseases were among the most common health challenges for many IDPs.

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Update on trial against KNPB leader – Adam Sorry sentenced to six years imprisonment

The chairman of the West Papua National Committee (KNPB) branch office in the Maybrat Regency, Adam Sorry (see image, source: Suara Papua), was sentenced to six years in prison. A panel of judges at the Sorong District Court found him guilty for the alleged involvement of a homicide case in the Sori Village, Maybrat Regency. Before the verdict, the public prosecutor had sought a sentence of eleven years imprisonment for Sorry. Adam Sorry's lawyer plans to appeal against the ruling. He represents the view that law enforcement institutions attempt to criminalise Adam Sorry because of his political views and membership to the KNPB.

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More Articles...

  1. Land rights conflicts in Boven Digoel – Military members intimidate indigenous land rights holders
  2. Update on trials in relation to Maybrat Police Raid – All three defendants acquitted
  3. Update on law enforcement process against KNPB leader Adam Sorry – Public prosecutor seeks a sentence of 11 years
  4. More IDPs in Intan Jaya - Residents fled violence in Ndugusiga
  5. Update on pre-trial against Merauke Police Chief - Judge rejects release of 13 political activists
  6. Update on IDP situation in Mimika – First IDPs return to their villages
  7. Update on arbitrary detention and torture of 14 activists in Merauke – Pre-trial against Merauke Police Chief
  8. Eighteen IDPs died in Jayawijaya due to lack of medical attention
  9. Extensive public support for indigenous Papuans againts the Tambrauw Military Base
  10. Top Indonesian palm oil developments in 2020
  11. Cooperation between the Archdiocese of Merauke and palm oil company causes outrage
  12. Human Rights Update West Papua - 4th Quarter 2020
  13. Attorney General establishes special team to settle 13 cases of gross human rights violations
  14. KNPB activist arrested and detained – LBH Papua condemn procedural violations
  15. Papua sawmill loses legality certification over allegations of forged permit
  16. Security force members torture indigenous Papuan on New Year’s Eve
  17. Security forces and right-wing groups prevent peaceful ‘Trikora’ demonstration in Jakarta
  18. Update on law enforcement process in multiple cases of human rights violations in Intan Jaya
  19. New report details numerous violations by PT Freeport Indonesia in West Papua
  20. Military Base in Tambrauw inaugurated without consent of indigenous land rights holders
  21. KNPB members again arrested in Merauke – Police chief threatens to shoot activists in the legs
  22. Sixth Anniversary of ‘Bloody Paniai Case’ – No perpetrators prosecuted
  23. Celebration of International Human Rights Day in Nabire accompanied by arrests – Papuan Catholic Priests call for dialogue and reconciliation
  24. Update on killing of four Papuans in Puncak Regency – Victim’s families demand thorough investigation
  25. Former Papuan detainee sick – relatives suspect long-term consequences of torture during custody
  26. Update on the situation of IDPs from Nduga, Intan Jaya and Mimika
  27. Military members raid Soloitma Dormitory in Sentani – eleven residents reportedly tortured, one Papuan woman killed
  28. ++ Live Ticker: 1st December Commemorations in West Papua, Indonesia and other parts of the world++
  29. UN OHCHR calls for a platform for inclusive dialogue with the people of Papua
  30. Make West Papua Safe Campaign - Stop funding military repression in Papua, plead TAPOL speakers

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