Joint West Papua report details deterioration in the last two years

More than 40 organisations in West Papua, Jakarta and worldwide have brought their analysis on the human rights and conflict situation in West Papua together. The executive summary of the 218-pages report explains how several human rights standards have deteriorated over the last two years. The report is compiled by the International Coalition for Papua (ICP) and the German Westpapua-Netzwerk (WPN).

The years 2015 and 2016 were characterized by a significant aggravation of the human rights situation in West Papua compared to previous years. Reports by local human rights defenders describe an alarming shrinking of democratic space. Although Indonesian President Joko Widodo pushed economic development and granted clemency to five long-term political prisoners, the police strictly limited even the most peaceful dissident political activities.

The full report can be downloaded here: www.humanrightspapua.org/hrreport/2017

A translated version of the report in Bahasa Indonesia will be available soon.

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Urgent Action: Papua Prisoner of Conscience Denied Parole (Amnesty International)

Political activist, Oktovianus Warnares was convicted of “rebellion” (makar) in 2013 after peacefully commemorating the 50th anniversary of the handover of Papua to the Indonesian government. He is a prisoner of conscience and should be immediately and unconditionally released.

Oktovianus Warnares, a prisoner of conscience who has served more than two thirds of his prison term, is eligible for parole. His sentence reduction, an otherwise automatic arrangement, was denied on the grounds that Oktovianus Warnares has to first declare on paper his allegiance to the state of Indonesia according to Government Regulation No. 99/2012.

Oktovianus Warnares, along with five other Papuan political activists, organised on 1 May 2013 a flag-raising ceremony of the Morning Star, a symbol forbidden under the Government Regulation No. 77/2007. The event was held in the vicinity of a government building in Biak Numfor, Papua province to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the handover of Papua to the Indonesian government by the United Nations Temporary Executive Authority (UNTEA).

The group was immediately arrested after the police opened fire on dozens who were gathering. Oktovianus Warnares and the other men were charged with “rebellion” (makar) under Articles 106 and 110 of the Indonesian Criminal Code (KUHP) and possession of ammunition and explosives under Article 1(1) of the Emergency Law No. 12/1951. His lawyer claimed that the police planted the evidence to incriminate them

On 10 February 2014, the Biak District Court convicted Oktovianus Warnares and the other Papuan activists guilty of all charges and sentenced him to three years’ imprisonment. Following the appeal process, the sentence has twice been extended; the Jayapura High Court increased the sentence into five years’ and then on 26 August 2014 the Supreme Court ruled his sentence to be seven years’ imprisonment. The other five activists have all since been released.

Please write immediately in English, Bahasa Indonesia or your own language urging authorities to:

  • Immediately and unconditionally release Oktovianus Warnares as he has been convicted and imprisoned solely for the peaceful exercise of his human right to freedom of expression, and
  • Stop evoking vague and overbroad legislation to arrest, prosecute and punish persons for peacefully exercising their human rights.

PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 11 OCTOBER 2017 TO:

Minister of Law and Human Rights

Mr. Yasonna Laoly
Ministry of Law and Human Rights
Jl. H.R. Rasuna Said Kav. 6-7,
Jakarta Selatan 12940Indonesia
Twitter: @Kemenkumham_RI
Fax: +62 (0)21 525 3004
Salutation: Dear Minister
Chief of the Presidential Staff Office
Mr. Teten Masduki
Gedung Bina GrahaJl. Veteran No. 16,
Jakarta Pusat 10110, Indonesia
Twitter: @KSPgoid
Fax: +62 (0)21 345 0009

Salutation: Dear Mr.  And copies to:

Chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM)

Mr. Nur Kholis
Jl. Latuharhary No. 4B
Menteng,Jakarta Pusat 10310, Indonesia
Twitter: @komnasham
Fax: +62 (0) 21 392 5227

Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country! 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Indonesia enshrines guarantees to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly in its Constitution and national legislation. But legislation continues to be used to criminalize peaceful political activities and to imprison people solely for the peaceful exercise of their rights to freedom of expression and opinion, peaceful assembly conscience and religion.

Article 6 of Government Regulation No. 77/2007 which prohibits the display of separatist logo or flags, and Articles 106 and 110 of the Criminal Code which prescribes a heavy punishment for “rebellion” (makar) with the maximum punishment of life imprisonment have been used to criminalize peaceful activism beyond the legitimate restriction on freedom of expression and association as set out in Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)  to which Indonesia is a State Party.

Amnesty International has also documented the use of excessive force and firearms as well as torture and other ill-treatment against political activists and others accused of links to pro-independence groups. Accountability for such acts is rare and, at most, security personnel only receive disciplinary, as opposed to criminal, sanctions. See other Amnesty International’s document for these issues: 

Amnesty International takes no position whatsoever on the political status of any province of Indonesia, including calls for independence. However, the organization believes that the right to freedom of expression includes the right to peacefully advocate referendums, independence or other political solutions.

Name: Oktovianus Warnares

Gender m/f: m
UA: 199/17 Index: ASA 21/7008/2017 Issue Date: 30 August 2017

 

 

Court Ruling Criticised as Racist by Rights Activists

obby 1

A plain clothes police officer grabs Obby Kogoya by his nostrils and pulls him by his nose

obby 2

A plain clothes police officer uses his foot to push Obby Kogoya’s face into the ground.

Obby Kogoya, a victim of degrading treatment, was found guilty of attacking police officers by a district court yesterday in Yogyakarta, Indonesia (27/07/2017)). Rights activists condemned the ruling as racist and unjust. The verdict is part of the aftermath of one of the most racially-charged incidents targeting West Papuans that has occurred in recent years.

The incident in question occurred during the three-day siege of a West Papuan dormitory located in Yogyakarta (14-16 July 2016). Hundreds of police officers and civil militia prevented West Papuan students from holding a peaceful demonstration in support of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua’s (ULMWP) application for full membership status in the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG). Dozens of students were prevented from either entering or exiting the dormitory. Police prevented anyone, including the Indonesian Red Cross, from delivering food and water to the students inside. Tear gas was utilised by police multiple times. The students were continually met by racially-charged physical and verbal abuse. More than one hundred civil society organisations across Indonesia condemned the incident as racist, discriminatory, and a violation of the right tofreedom of speech.

On the second day of the siege, Obby Kogoya and eleven other West Papuan friends came to the dorm to deliver cassavas for the trapped students. They were attacked, beaten, and kicked by police and the civil militia, and subjected to verbal racial abuse. At this time, the infamous photos of Obby Kogoya receiving degrading treatment were captured (photos at top). Eight people including Obby Kogoya were subsequently taken to the police headquarters. Obby was the only one who was charged. He was cited under article 212 of penal code for the alleged crime of attacking police officers.

Over a year later, the court finally delivered its judgment. Obby Kogoya was found guilty and sentenced to four months in prison with one year probation. His defence lawyers, the Yogyakarta Legal Aid Institute, published a statement criticising the decision as racist. They stressed that the evidence of Obby Kogoya attacking police officers was not established during the trial. Further, while his lawyers also reported on the degrading treatment that Obby received from the police over the past year, there has been no sign of any follow-up investigation conducted by police. Obby Kogoya and his lawyers are presently discussing his option to appeal the verdict.

Additional sources:

http://www.humanrightspapua.org/news/23-2017/247-papuan-student-faces-six-month-imprisonment-sentence

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2016/07/15/police-arrest-seven-papuan-students-prevent-demo.html

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2016/07/19/police-websites-hacked-after-papuan-students-protest.html

http://tabloidjubi.com/eng/obby-kogoya-challenges-yogyakarta-polices-move-to-name-him-suspect/

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2017/07/27/papuan-student-sentenced-to-jail-over-resistance-to-police.html

http://www.humanrightspapua.org/news/23-2017/247-papuan-student-faces-six-month-imprisonment-sentence

http://www.humanrights.asia/news/ahrc-news/AHRC-STM-107-2016/?searchterm=yogyakarta%20papua

Indonesia: End impunity and arbitrary arrests in West Papua


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A new report by Papuans Behind Bars (PBB) exposes the Indonesian government’s increased use of arbitrary arrests to shut down protests in West Papua in 2015, and urges the Government of Indonesia to answer for ongoing impunity, state violence and increased arbitrary arrests in West Papua.

The 28-page report ‘Rising voices, rising arrests: A look at West Papua in 2015’ exposes how freedom of expression and assembly in the region remains severely restricted. This is in spite of the release of five prominent long-term political prisoners in May 2015, and President Joko Widodo’s assurances that West Papua is open to foreign journalists.

Based on data and testimonies collected and verified by PBB, the report shows that 1083 Papuans were arrested arbitrarily across Indonesia in 2015. This represents the highest number of arbitrary arrests documented in a single year since comprehensive records began in 2012. 80% of those detained were arrested for participating in or planning peaceful demonstrations.

The report shows a change in the pattern of charges. In a positive development, the use of treason charges under Article 106 of the Indonesian Criminal Code against political detainees decreased significantly and the use of the controversial Emergency Law 12/1951 ceased altogether. However, the use of charges of incitement under Article 160 of the Indonesian Criminal Code increased. Although the number of cases of torture of detainees on arrest and in detention decreased significantly, reports of torture outside of detainee cases remain frequent. The report also gives evidence that ill-treatment of detainees is on the rise. In 2015, 690 cases of ill-treatment of detainees were recorded, more than four times as many as than in 2014. Testimonies from political prisoners highlight their concerns over being denied visits from their families, being under constant surveillance and poor or complete lack of access to medical treatment.

In addition, the report exposes ongoing state violence and impunity of state security personnel. At least 11 people died as a result of state violence in West Papua in 2015. Further, the culture of impunity remains embedded amongst security forces, the perpetrators of the fatal shooting of four teenagers in Paniai regency, Papua province,  in December 2014, have still not been brought to trial.

The report’s publication comes at a time when national, regional and international actors are increasingly voicing concerns over human rights abuses in West Papua.

The serious issue of human rights violations, including arbitrary arrests, summary executions, and torture in West Papua was raised at the United Nations Human Rights Council  in June 2016 by the delegations of the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu. Both delegations urged the Human Rights Council and the Government of Indonesia to work together to facilitate a visit by Mr David Kaye, the current UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Opinion and Expression to West Papua.

This echoes promises that the Indonesian government made during the country´s previous Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in 2012, promises that it has yet to follow-up on. Indonesia’s human rights record will come under the international spotlight again for the country’s UPR in 2017. PBB’s 2015 report calls on Indonesia to “Allow free and unrestricted access for all UN Special Rapporteurs wishing to visit and report on Papua.” Ahead of the 2017 UPR, it urges the Government of Indonesia to take meaningful actions in-line with their international human rights commitments  towards ending arbitrary arrests, torture, and ill-treatment of detainees, as well as to address ongoing impunity within the security forces.

The full report can be downloaded here: 2015 Rising Voices Rising Arrests

January – March 2016: Sentencing of police and military brutality insufficient

In Brief

In the first three months of 2016, Indonesian authorities continue to react repressively to developments surrounding the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP), a Papuan civil society coalition advocating self-determination and a representative to the West Papuan people to the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG). While cases of treason have considerably decreased in 2015, hopes of the cessation of this controversial law may be dashed by an ongoing investigation into seven prominent civil society members following a ULMWP event in Wamena, Jayawijaya regency.

The sentencing of four soldiers and two police officers in two separate brutality incidents that took place last year is a step in the right direction for state accountability in Papua. However, the light sentences received by the perpetrators showed that punishment received by security officers served merely as a slap on the wrist rather than meaningful punishment intended to secure justice for victims. The light sentences received by officers, particularly the 18-months’ sentences each for two Jayapura city officers found guilty of openly committing violence, sends a wrong message in the face of continual abuses.

The refusal of a visa permit to a French journalist following his documentary on West Papua throws President Jokowi’s previous promises of media freedom in Papua into serious question. Increasing international awareness and interest on West Papua – as is reflected in concerns raised by the Solomon Islands at the UN Human Rights Council in March – will likely place increasing pressure on the Indonesian government to address historic and ongoing human rights abuses in West Papua.

Arrests

Seven people, including Catholic priest, questioned over ULMWP office

Reports from Wamena-based civil society groups stated that seven people were questioned by police in relation to the opening of a United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) office in Wamena.  The building, which was built in the style of the customary honai, is also the new office site for the Wamena Papuan Customary Council (Dewan Adat Papua, DAP).

The event, which took place on 15 February, was attended by hundreds of local community members in Wamena. A prayer session was held to mark the event, led by Father John Djonga, a Catholic priest and well-known local figure. Father John Djonga also led a ceremonial blessing ritual of the office building. An address by ULMWP leader Oktovianus Mote was read out by Markus Haluk, a member of the ULMWP Internal Affairs Working Team. A speech was also given by Dominukus Surabut, a local Papuan Customary Council (Dewan Adat Papua, DAP) leader and ex-political prisoner. In his speech, Surabut spoke about the Indonesian Government’s failure to fulfill, respect and guarantee the rights of indigenous Papuans. The event also saw the erection of a ULMWP sign in front of the office building. According to local human rights sources, Jayawijaya intelligence officers (Kasat Intel Polres Jayawijaya) were briefly present to observe the event’s activities but did not make any arrests that day.

The following day, on 16 February, the Head of Jayawaijaya Regional Police (Kapolres Jayawijaya) and the Military District Commander of Unit 1702 (Dandim 1702 Jayawijaya) arrived at the ULMWP office site and forcibly removed the ULMWP sign in front of the building. Authorities reportedly explained to DAP elders that they had done so as the ULMWP was a banned organisation whose principles were opposed to the principles of Pancasila and warned them against activities that were in conflict with the State. (“merupakan organisasi terlarang yang asasnya berbeda dengan Pancasila sehingga Kapolres dan Dandim melarang mereka melakukan kegiatan-kegiatan yang bertentangan dengan Negara.”) Authorities reportedly seized the ULMWP sign as evidence, and also stated that the speeches conducted the day before would be used as evidence in court as it allegedly contained statements that were in conflict with the principles of Indonesian State. Shortly after, Jayawijaya police issued summonses to seven people who were involved in the opening of the DAP/ULMWP office. They were Father John Djonga, Dominikus Sorabut, Enjel Sorabut, Piter Wanimbo, Boni Mulait, Yesaya Dimara and Dr Gunawan. All seven men were summoned to be interrogated as witnesses to the opening of the DAP/ULMWP office, which police deemed as a case of treason. In the summonses, no single individual was accused with treason.

According to lawyers with the Democracy Alliance of Papua (Aliansi Demokrasi untuk Papua, AlDP), four of the seven men have already been questioned by police – Father John Djonga, Enjel Sorabut, Piter Wanimbo and Boni Mulait. Police reportedly questioned them regarding the opening of the office building and the ULMWP. It is understood that the seven men continue to face calls to be questioned, reportedly in relation to activities of 15 February, which continue to be regarded as a case of treason. However it remains uncertain if any of the seven men will face criminal charges.

Releases

Yusanur Wenda released on parole

On 20 January 2016, Yusanur Wenda was released on parole. On 20 January 2005, Wenda was arrested under accusations of arson and being a member of the Free Papua Movement (Organisasi Papua Merdeka, OPM).  He was sentenced to 17 years’ imprisonment. Papuan civil society members have long argued that Wenda is an ordinary civilian and not an OPM fighter.

Political cases

Four soldiers from Military District Command 1710 in Timika jailed

Human rights lawyers confirmed that four soldiers from Military District Command 1710 (Komando Distrik Militer 1710, Kodim 1710) involved in the killing of two young Papuan men in Timika have been sentenced to imprisonment. On 28 August, Imanuel Marimau and Yulianus Okare, both 23 years old, were shot dead and at least five others suffered injuries when solders opened fire on a group of people in Koperapoka in Mimika Regency. Two of the soldiers were reportedly drunk when they interrupted a traditional ritual held in a church courtyard by members of the Kamoro tribe in Timika in honour of a local man who had received a doctorate degree.

During a military court trial, Chief Sergeant Makher Mathijs Rehatta was found guilty of manslaughter and severe maltreatment under Articles 338 and 351 of the Indonesian Criminal Code and sentenced to 12 years imprisonment. Chief Private Gregorius Bernadus Geta was found guilty of aiding manslaughter and aiding maltreatment under Articles 56, 338 and 351 and sentenced to three years imprisonment. First Sergeant Ashar was found guilty of maltreatment under Articles 351 and sentenced to nine years imprisonment.  First Private Imanuel Imbiri was found guilty of the unlawful use of sharp weapons under Emergency Law 12/1951 and sentenced to three years imprisonment. All four men were expelled from military service.

Two Jayapura City police officers sentenced

On 20 January, Chief Brigadier Suherman and Brigadier Dimanik of Jayapura City police were found guilty of openly committing violence under Article 170 of the Indonesian Criminal Code and were each sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment. On 28 August 2015, the two police officers kidnapped and tortured three Papuan men – Elieser Awom, Soleman Yom and Yafet Awom. The three men were accused of stealing a motorcycle and were told that they were to be interrogated at a police station.

Cases of concern

ULMWP Public Discussion axed due to police presence

Papuan newspaper Tabloid Jubi reported that a public forum organised by the ULMWP was cancelled due to police presence at the venue. On 12 March, police officers blocked the forum from taking place at a student dormitory in Mimika. The forum, which was co-organised by the ULMWP Internal Affairs working team and the Central Executive Board of the Indonesia-Highland Student Association (DPP-AMPTPI), intended to discuss latest developments and the current situation in Papua, including the events that took place following the opening of the ULMWP office in Wamena, Jayawijaya Regency. Police reportedly blocked participants from entering the room where the forum was meant to take place. Plainclothes police officers were also guarding the area surrounding the student dormitory. Upon seeing the heavy police presence at the venue, the organisers then decided to cancel the public forum.

News

Indonesia bans French reporter from entering Indonesia

In early January, French journalist Cyril Payen was reportedly denied a visa request to visit Indonesia following a documentary he made about West Papua last year. In mid-2015, after obtaining the necessary visa requirements, Payen visited Indonesia and produced a documentary entitled “Forgotten War of the Papuans.” The documentary was broadcast on 18 October on France 24 and reportedly resulted in the French ambassador in Jakarta being summoned by the Indonesian Foreign Ministry. International press freedom watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemned Indonesia’s refusal to let Payen visit and urged President Jokowi to keep his promise of opening West Papua to foreign journalists.

Solomon Islands raises concerns on Papua at the UN Human Rights Council

On 15 March, the Solomon Islands raised concerns regarding ongoing human rights violations in West Papua at the 31st regular session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. Minister Counseller and Chargé d’Affaires of the Solomon Islands Mission the UN and the WTO in Geneva, Mr Barrett Salato stated concerns regarding violence perpetrated by Indonesian security forces. He stated that such violence showed “a strong pattern of racial discrimination that disadvantages indigenous Melanesian Papuans in their own land.” The Solomon Islands urged Indonesia to facilitate access to West Papua for the UN Special Procedures, in particular the Mandates on Freedom of Expression, Association and Assembly and to allow for a human rights fact-finding mission to West Papua.

March 2016 Papuan Political Prisoners

No Prisoner Arrested Charges Sentence Case Accused of violence? Concerns reported re legal process? Prison/

Place of detention

1 Arnes Silak 15 June 2015 Uncertain Police investigation pending KNPB Sentani Airport arrest Uncertain Uncertain Papuan Police Headquarters
2 Yafet Keiya 28 May 2015 Uncertain Police investigation pending MSG demo in Nabire Uncertain Uncertain Nabire
3 Ottis Munipa 28 May 2015 Uncertain Police investigation pending MSG demo in Nabire Uncertain Uncertain Nabire
4 Wamoka Yudas Kossay 22 May 2015 Article 160 Indonesian Criminal Cod 10 months

MSG demo in Biak Uncertain  Yes Biak
5 Apolos Sroyer 20 May 2015 Article 160 Indonesian Criminal Code 10 months MSG demo in Biak Uncertain  Yes Biak
6 Dorteus Bonsapia 20 May 2015 Article 160 Indonesian Criminal Code 10 months MSG demo in Biak Uncertain  Yes Biak
7 Narko Murib 20 May 2015 Article 160 1.5 years MSG demo in Manokwari Uncertain Yes Manokwari
8 Alexander Nekenem 20 May 2015 Article 160 1.5 years MSG demo in Manokwari Uncertain Yes Manokwari
9 Yoram Magai 20 May 2015 Article 160 1.5 years MSG demo in Manokwari Uncertain Yes Manokwari
10 Othen Gombo 20 May 2015 Article 160 1.5 years MSG demo in Manokwari Uncertain Yes Manokwari
11 Ruben Furay 1 May 2015 Uncertain Police investigation pending Kaimana 1 May 2015 Uncertain Uncertain Kaimana
No Prisoner Arrested Charges Sentence Case Accused of violence? Concerns reported re legal process? Prison/

Place of detention

12 Sepi Surbay 1 May 2015 Uncertain Police investigation pending Kaimana 1 May 2015 Uncertain Uncertain Kaimana
13 Yosep Siep 9 July 2014 Articles 187, 164 Supreme Court appeal being considered Pisugi Election Boycott Yes Yes Released pending appeal
14 Marthen Marian 9 July 2014 Articles 187, 164 Supreme Court appeal being considered Pisugi Election Boycott Yes Yes Released pending appeal
15 Jhoni Marian 9 July 2014 Articles 187, 164 Supreme Court appeal being considered Pisugi Election Boycott Yes Yes Released pending appeal
16 Alapia Yalak 4 June 2014 Uncertain Police investigation pending Yahukimo arrests Yes Yes Papua Police Headquarters
 17 Jemi Yermias Kapanai 1 February 2014 Articles 106, 108, 110 and Emergency Law 12/1951 3.5 years Sasawa military raid arrests Yes Yes Serui Prison
18 Septinus Wonawoai 1 February 2014 Articles 106, 108, 110 and Emergency Law 12/1951 3.5 years Sasawa military raid arrests Yes Yes Serui Prison
19 Rudi Otis Barangkea 1 February 2014 Articles 106, 108, 110 and Emergency Law 12/1951 3.5 years Sasawa military raid arrests Yes Yes Serui Prison
20 Kornelius Woniana 1 February 2014 Articles 106, 108, 110 and Emergency Law 12/1951 3.5 years Sasawa military raid arrests Yes Yes Serui Prison
21 Peneas Reri 1 February 2014 Articles 106, 108, 110 and Emergency Law 12/1951 3.5 years Sasawa military raid arrests Yes Yes Serui Prison
22 Salmon Windesi 1 February 2014 Articles 106, 108, 110 and Emergency Law 12/1951 3.5 years Sasawa military raid arrests Yes Yes Serui Prison
23 Obeth Kayoi 1 February 2014 Articles 106, 108, 110 and Emergency Law 12/1951 3.5 years Sasawa military raid arrests Yes Yes Serui Prison
24 Piethein Manggaprouw 19 October 2013 Articles 106, 110 3 years Third Papuan Congress demo in Biak No Yes Biak
No Prisoner Arrested Charges Sentence Case Accused of violence? Concerns reported re legal process? Prison/

Place of detention

25 Oktovianus Warnares 1 May 2013 Articles 106, 110, Emergency Law 12/1951 7 years Biak flag-raising, 1 May commemoration Yes Yes Biak
26 Markus Sawias 1 May 2013 Articles 106, 110, Emergency Law 12/1951 4 years Biak flag-raising, 1 May commemoration Yes Yes Biak
27 George Syors Simyapen 1 May 2013 Articles 106, 110, Emergency Law 12/1951 4.5 years Biak flag-raising, 1 May commemoration Yes Yes Biak
28 Isak Klaibin 30 April

2013

Articles 06, 107, 108, 110, 160 and 164 3 years and 6 months Aimas 1 May commemoration No Yes Sorong
29 Jefri Wandikbo 7 June 2012 Articles 340, 56, Law 8/1981 8 years KNPB activist tortured in Jayapura Yes Yes Abepura
30 Darius Kogoya 1 May 2012 106 3 years 1 May demo and flag-raising No No Abepura
31 Wiki Meaga 20 November 2010 106 8 years Yalengga flag-raising No Yes Wamena
32 Meki Elosak 20 November 2010 106 8 years Yalengga flag-raising No Yes Wamena

PDF version: PBB Jan – March 2016.EN

December 2015: Jakarta police action show discrimination against Papuans

In brief

At the end of December 2015, there were at least 35 political prisoners in Papua.

Indonesian security forces reacted to commemorative events of 1 December with killings, torture, mass arrest, ill-treatment and excessive use of force against indigenous Papuans. 1 December marks the date which West Papuans consider to be their national day, although this is not recognised by the Indonesian Government. On Yapen Island, four people were killed and at least eight others injured as a result of shootings by Yapen Regional Police during a raid on a commemorative flag-raising ceremony in an area where National Liberation Army/Free Papua Movement (Tentara Pembebasan Nasional, TPN / Organisasi Papua Merdeka, OPM) members were allegedly active. In Jakarta, at least 306 people were arrested and at least 133 suffered serious injuries due to police brutality. Two female Papuan protestors faced sexual abuse by Jakarta Metro police officers (Polda Metro Jaya) and two foreign journalists who attempted to report on the event faced police intimidation. In Nabire, 49 people were arrested in two separate incidents in relation to peaceful commemorative activities. Many of those involved were severely beaten by Nabire police and Mobile Brigade (Brigade Mobile, Brimob) officers, including a Papuan journalist attempting to report on the arrests.

While this recent spate of arrests is unsurprising given the pattern of systematic repression of freedom of assembly and expression during significant commemorative dates, the scale of arrests recorded this year is far greater than that of recent years. In the last three years, from 2012-2014, at least 11 people have been arrested for commemorating 1 December, while 42 people have been arrested for commemorating 1 May, which marks the administrative transfer of Papua to Indonesia. By comparison, in 2015 alone, 264 people were arrested in relation to 1 May while 355 people were arrested, four killed and at least 145 suffered injuries due to police and military action on 1 December. The huge jump in the number of arrests of peaceful demonstrators commemorating significant dates this year is at odds with President Jokowi’s message of securing human rights and bringing peace to Papua. Additionally, police action in Jakarta confirms that Papuans who express their opinions remain at risk of arbitrary arrest and ill-treatment throughout Indonesia, and not only in their home region.

The extrajudicial execution and torture of four people in Yapen island, two of whom are reported to have belonged to a faction of the armed pro-independence group, TPN-OPM, is of particular concern. Such reckless and cruel methods used by security forces demonstrate their complete lack of respect for the basic human rights of Papuans living in areas reported to be high in pro-independence activity.

Arrests

355 arrested for commemorating 1 December

Papuan and Jakarta-based civil society groups reported that 355 people were arrested and at least 145 were injured due to excessive use of force by state security forces towards participants commemorating 1 December in Jakarta and Nabire. 1 December marks the date which West Papuans consider to be their national day.

In a separate incident, four people were killed and eight others seriously injured during a military raid on a commemorative flag raising ceremony in Wanampompi village in Anggaisera District, Yapen Island. As there were no arrests in this case, we have filed this case under ‘Cases of Concern’.

Jakarta

On 1 December 2015, 306 people were arrested in Jakarta after attempting to conduct a long march. Most of those arrested were Papuan students who were members of the Papuan Student Alliance (Aliansi Mahasiswa Papua, AMP). According to comprehensive reports from AMP, at least 133 people suffered injuries and/or health complications when Jakarta Metro police officers (Polda Metro Jaya), uniformed and plainclothes intelligence officers, and Brimob officers attempted to forcibly disperse demonstrators by beating them and firing tear gas in their direction. Two female protestors faced sexual abuse by police officers when they were stopped on their way to join the demonstration. Two foreign journalists faced police intimidation and harassment. One of them, Archicco Guilianno from Australia Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), was beaten by a police officer.

According to credible information from local human rights sources, arbitrary arrests, detention and excessive use of force occurred in different locations close to the Hotel Indonesia traffic roundabout in Central Jakarta. Demonstrators had intended to gather at the roundabout before embarking on a march headed towards the Presidential Palace.

At around 08:30, the first group of demonstrators had gathered outside BCA bank, close to the Hotel Indonesia traffic roundabout. They were closely guarded and contained by Jakarta Metro police officers, Public Order police (Sabhara), traffic police and intelligence officers. Representatives from the Jakarta Legal Aid Institute (Lembaga Bantuan Hukum Jakarta, LBH Jakarta), who provided legal accompaniment for AMP, attempted to negotiate with police officers to allow demonstrators to continue with the planned march. During the containment, police officers attempted to force demonstrators to remove articles of clothing and decoration which displayed the Morning Star flag, a symbol of Papuan independence.

At 10:43, the first group of demonstrators attempted to join another group of demonstrators that had gathered at a second location nearby, but were blocked by security forces. At 11:00, after another failed attempt at negotiating with the police, demonstrators attempted to break out of the police blockade three times. Police reportedly reacted by firing tear gas, throwing sticks and stones, and firing one blank round and one live round at demonstrators. Niko Suhun, a 23-year-old Papuan student and AMP member, was shot in the head with a rubber bullet and collapsed on the spot. Police continued to beat him with batons when he was unconscious. Zet Tabuni, a 26-year-old AMP member, was beaten when he attempted to help Niko Suhun when he collapsed. Tabuni was reportedly punched on the temple by a police officer wearing a knuckleduster ring. Reports stated that from 11:00 to 12:20, police continued to contain the group of demonstrators, kicking and beating them with rattan canes. At around 12:20, police began rounding up demonstrators and forcing them onto buses to be detained in Jakarta Metro Police Headquarters (Polda Metro Jaya).

According to an AMP report, at least 133 people suffered injuries from tear gas inhalation and excessive use of force employed by police officers. Local sources collected detailed information on 13 demonstrators that suffered ill-treatment during the demonstration. Two female demonstrators – Eka Kosay and Martina Douw – faced sexual assault and harassment by police officers when they were on their way to join other demonstrators at the Hotel Indonesia roundabout.

Information received by credible local human rights sources reported that at around 08:35, a second group of demonstrators gathered outside the German Embassy, close to the Hotel Indonesia traffic roundabout, were similarly contained and guarded by Jakarta Metro police and Brimob officers. Attempts to negotiate with police to allow them to continue with the planned march were unsuccessful. At around 11:10, police announced to demonstrators that the gathering was only allowed until 12:00. At 12:00, at least 151 demonstrators were rounded into Crowd Control (Pengendalian Massa, Dalmas) vehicles to be detained in Jakarta Metro Police Headquarters. 22 demonstrators gathered at a third location were similarly arrested and brought to Jakarta Metro Police Headquarters.

Two foreign journalists faced intimidation and harassment while reporting on the AMP demonstration in Jakarta. Archicco Guilliano from Australia Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) was struck by police officers when he refused to cede to their demands of erasing footage he had recorded that documented violence inflicted on demonstrators. Stephanie Vaessen from Al Jazeera was reportedly filming the demonstration on her mobile phone when she was approached by five police officers who ordered her to delete the footage. When she refused, the police officers reportedly snatched her phone and deleted the footage before returning it to her.

According to AMP demonstrators who were detained in Jakarta Metro Police Headquarters, police intimidated and threatened the detainees. At around 17:00, all but 22 demonstrators were released from detention. The 22 people remaining in detention underwent further interrogation. At 11:00, 20 of the 22 detainees were released. The two remaining detainees, Enos Suhun and Eliakim Itlay, were charged with violence against persons or property, incitement, violence or threat of violence against a state officer and maltreatment under Articles 170, 170, 212 and 351 of the Indonesian Criminal Code. On 4 December, the two men, who are students at a vocational teaching college in Tangerang (STKIP Surya Tangerang) were released from detention at Jakarta Metro Police Headquarters. According to lawyers with LBH Jakarta, their case has been dropped by the police.

Nabire

According to reports from a Nabire human rights investigator, 49 people were arrested in two separate incidents in relation to activities commemorating 1 December.

On 28 November 2015, 17 Papuans were detained by Nabire police and Brimob officers when they attempted to clean a site at Bunga Bangsa Papua Field in preparation for a prayer session in commemoration of 1 December. The 17 men were detained overnight and released the following day.

On 1 December 2015, 32 Papuans were arrested when they assembled at Bunga Bangsa Papua Field to participate in the commemorative prayer session. Police officers forcibly dispersed the crowd, reportedly beating people with rifle butts and wooden beams. The 32 detainees were interrogated at Nabire Regional Police Station before being released without charge. Reports from local human rights sources stated that at least four of the detainees sustained injuries due to police beatings.

According to a report, Topilus B Tebai, the editor of Papuan news site Majalah Selangkah, was intimidated and harassed by Nabire Regional police officers while reporting on the planned prayer session. Tebai was taking photos of police activity at the scene when he was approached by two police officers who stopped him and asked for his camera. The report further states that one of the police officers then tried to kick him. When he told the police officers that he was a journalist and showed his press card, they began yelling at him and demanded to speak to his superiors. When Tebai protested, five more police officers forcibly removed his camera, kicked him and removed him from the area.

KNPB Merauke activist detained for possession of Morning Star flags

According to local human rights sources, on 2 December 2015, KNPB Merauke activist Emerikus Kakupu was arrested for possession of Morning Star and KNPB flags by Merauke Regional Police. He was detained by five police officers outside an embroidery shop where he had collected the flags. According to KNPB sources, the owner of the embroidery shop allegedly reported Kakupu to police when he collected the flags from the shop. Kakupu was questioned for several hours before being released without charge. He was reportedly required to report to the Criminal Investigation Unit (Kasat Reskrim) the following day.

23 AMP student activists arrested in Jakarta for organising protest against 1961 Operation Trikora

On the morning of 19 December, at least 23 student activists belonging to the AMP were detained by Metro Jaya District Police (Polisi Daerah Metro Jaya, Polda Metro Jaya) and Brimob officers in Jakarta. AMP activists had gathered in remembrance and protest of Operation Trikora that took place 54 years ago on 19 December 1961. Operation Trikora was an Indonesian military operation aimed at seizing what was then Dutch New Guinea. The 23 student activists were detained for several hours at the Metro Jaya District Police Station before being released at 17:30 the same day. According to representatives from the Jakarta Legal Aid Institute (Lembaga Bantuan Hukum Jakarta, LBH Jakarta), police stated that the reason for their detention was that the activists had not submitted a notice of demonstration and that the demonstration contained pro-independence sentiment.

Releases

End of prison term for Odie Aitago

Odie Aitago was sentenced to seven months’ imprisonment and is likely to have been released on 15 December. He was arrested on 15 May 2015 alongside Obed Korie, who was released in October, for participating in a demonstration against palm oil plantation company PT Permata Putera Mandiri (PPM) in Sorong.

Political trials and cases overview

ULMWP supporters sentenced to 10 months’ imprisonment

Human rights lawyers accompanying Apolos Sroyer, Dorteus Bonsapia and Wamoka Yudas Kossay reported that on 7 December 2015, the three detainees were sentenced to 10 months’ imprisonment each after being found guilty of incitement under Article 160 of the Indonesian Criminal Code. On 20 May 2015, the three men were arrested for demonstrating their support for a bid by ULMWP for membership in the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG). On 28 December 2015, recently freed ex-political prisoner Filep Karma visited the three detainees in Biak prison to express his solidarity.

Cases of concern

Four killed, two from torture, eight seriously injured during raid in Wanampompi village in Yapen island

Information received by local human rights investigators stated that on 1 December 2015, four people were killed and eight others seriously injured by military officers from Military District Command 1709 and Yapen Regional Police during a security raid in Wanampompi village in Anggaisera District, Yapen Island regency. The local community were reportedly taking part in a flag-raising ceremony in commemoration of 1 December when the raid took place.

On 1 December 2015, at 06:00, a joint security task force conducted a patrol in Wanampompi village in Anggaisera District, Yapen Island Regency. The task force consisted of officers from the Yapen Regional Police (Polres Yapen) and Military District Command 1709. Reports received stated that the local community and members of the TPN/OPM had participated in the flag-raising ceremony.

According to reports from local sources, Yonas Manitori, reportedly a TPN-OPM member, was shot and killed when he approached the security convoy and questioned the purpose of the patrol. Upon seeing this, Herik Manitori, a local TPN/OPM leader, and another man, Yulianus Robaha, attempted to come to the aid of Yonas Manitori, but were both shot. When other villagers attempted to help the three men, security forces allegedly reacted by firing shots at them. The shootings led to death of another villager, Darius Andiribi, and seriously injured eight other people. Upon being shot, Herik Manitori and Yulianus Robaha were both dragged onto trucks and tortured to death. Herik Manitori’s stomach was torn open with a bayonet and his right eye was reportedly dug out. Both of Yulianus Robaha’s legs were reportedly amputated. According to KNPB report, his amputated left leg was never found. His stomach was reportedly ripped open. Eight other people suffered serious gunshot injuries. Reports stated that Wanampompi villagers fled the shootings and that many were still hiding in surrounding forests up to a week after the incident.

Komnas HAM Papua representative Frits Ramandey stated in media reports that a team had been sent to Wanampompi village to investigate the incident. He stated that investigations showed that a gunfight had erupted between the security convoy and TPN/OPM following the flag-raising ceremony. Sr. Comr. Rudolf Patrick told the Jakarta Post that the internal affairs division of the Papua Police, or Propam (Provos Pengamanan, Provost Security) had examined 25 police personnel involved in the raid.

A year on from ‘Bloody Paniai’: Perpetrators still not held to account

On 8 December 2015, Papuan human rights coalition SKP HAM Papua (Solidaritas Korban Pelanggaran Hak Asasi Manusia, Solidarity for Victims of Human Rights Violations) held a film screening and press conference in commemoration of the first anniversary of the ‘Bloody Paniai’ incident. On 8 December 2014, four teenagers were killed and at least 17 others were injured when security forces opened fire into a crowd in Enarotali district, Paniai regency. The crowd had gathered to protest the ill-treatment of three boys by military officers the day before.

Komnas HAM investigations into the incident has been fraught with irregularities. After four months of investigations, Komnas HAM recommended the formation of a pro-justicia inquiry team but little progress has been made since. Investigations had reportedly stalled due to a shortage in funding and an unwillingness from victims’ families to conduct exhumations and allow autopsies. While police and military authorities have also conducted their own internal fact-finding investigations into the incidents, the results of these have not been made public.

News

Note regarding the removal of five men in KIP treason arrest case from the political prisoner list

Human rights lawyers from KontraS Papua reported that Jayapura police investigating the case of Dr Don Flassy, Dr Lawrence Mehue, Mas Jhon Ebied Suebu, Onesimus Banundi and Elias Ayakeding were not able to secure evidence needed to prosecute them under charges of treason. On 14 April 2015, the five men were arrested following a meeting days earlier with the Indonesian Minister of Defense, General Ryamizard Ryacudu. On 5 May 2015, the five men were released on bail but remained under city arrest and were obliged to report weekly to the police. It is unclear if the police will continue to pursue this case. Reports from their lawyers indicate that it seems unlikely that the five ex-detainees will be taken to trial. We will continue to report on this case should any new developments come to light.

December 2015 Papuan Political Prisoners

No Prisoner Arrested Charges Sentence Case Accused of violence? Concerns reported re legal process? Prison/

Place of detention

1 Arnes Silak 15 June 2015 Uncertain Police investigation pending KNPB Sentani Airport arrest Uncertain Uncertain Papuan Police Headquarters
2 Yafet Keiya 28 May 2015 Uncertain Police investigation pending MSG demo in Nabire Uncertain Uncertain Nabire
3 Ottis Munipa 28 May 2015 Uncertain Police investigation pending MSG demo in Nabire Uncertain Uncertain Nabire
4 Wamoka Yudas Kossay 22 May 2015 Article 160 Indonesian Criminal Cod 10 months

MSG demo in Biak Uncertain  Yes Biak
5 Apolos Sroyer 20 May 2015 Article 160 Indonesian Criminal Code 10 months MSG demo in Biak Uncertain  Yes Biak
6 Dorteus Bonsapia 20 May 2015 Article 160 Indonesian Criminal Code 10 months MSG demo in Biak Uncertain  Yes Biak
7 Narko Murib 20 May 2015 Article 160 1.5 years MSG demo in Manokwari Uncertain Yes Manokwari
8 Alexander Nekenem 20 May 2015 Article 160 1.5 years MSG demo in Manokwari Uncertain Yes Manokwari
9 Yoram Magai 20 May 2015 Article 160 1.5 years MSG demo in Manokwari Uncertain Yes Manokwari
10 Othen Gombo 20 May 2015 Article 160 1.5 years MSG demo in Manokwari Uncertain Yes Manokwari
11 Ruben Furay 1 May 2015 Uncertain Police investigation pending Kaimana 1 May 2015 Uncertain Uncertain Kaimana
12 Sepi Surbay 1 May 2015 Uncertain Police investigation pending Kaimana 1 May 2015 Uncertain Uncertain Kaimana
13 Yosep Siep 9 July 2014 Articles 187, 164 Supreme Court appeal being considered Pisugi Election Boycott Yes Yes Released pending appeal
14 Marthen Marian 9 July 2014 Articles 187, 164 Supreme Court appeal being considered Pisugi Election Boycott Yes Yes Released pending appeal
15 Jhoni Marian 9 July 2014 Articles 187, 164 Supreme Court appeal being considered Pisugi Election Boycott Yes Yes Released pending appeal
16 Alapia Yalak 4 June 2014 Uncertain Police investigation pending Yahukimo arrests Yes Yes Papua Police Headquarters
 17 Jemi Yermias Kapanai 1 February 2014 Articles 106, 108, 110 and Emergency Law 12/1951 3.5 years Sasawa military raid arrests Yes Yes Serui Prison
18 Septinus Wonawoai 1 February 2014 Articles 106, 108, 110 and Emergency Law 12/1951 3.5 years Sasawa military raid arrests Yes Yes Serui Prison
19 Rudi Otis Barangkea 1 February 2014 Articles 106, 108, 110 and Emergency Law 12/1951 3.5 years Sasawa military raid arrests Yes Yes Serui Prison
20 Kornelius Woniana 1 February 2014 Articles 106, 108, 110 and Emergency Law 12/1951 3.5 years Sasawa military raid arrests Yes Yes Serui Prison
21 Peneas Reri 1 February 2014 Articles 106, 108, 110 and Emergency Law 12/1951 3.5 years Sasawa military raid arrests Yes Yes Serui Prison
22 Salmon Windesi 1 February 2014 Articles 106, 108, 110 and Emergency Law 12/1951 3.5 years Sasawa military raid arrests Yes Yes Serui Prison
23 Obeth Kayoi 1 February 2014 Articles 106, 108, 110 and Emergency Law 12/1951 3.5 years Sasawa military raid arrests Yes Yes Serui Prison
24 Soleman Fonataba* 17 December 2013 Articles 106, 110)1, 53, 55 1.5 years city arrest, appeal pending Sarmi 2013 Melanesian flag arrests No / not yet clear No City arrest ends on 23 January 2016
25 Edison Werimon* 13 December 2013 Articles 106, 110)1, 53, 55 1.5 years city arrest, appeal pending Sarmi 2013 Melanesian flag arrests No / not yet clear No City arrest ends on 23 January 2016
26 Piethein Manggaprouw 19 October 2013 Articles 106, 110 3 years Third Papuan Congress demo in Biak No Yes Biak
27 Oktovianus Warnares 1 May 2013 Articles 106, 110, Emergency Law 12/1951 7 years Biak flag-raising, 1 May commemoration Yes Yes Biak
28 Markus Sawias 1 May 2013 Articles 106, 110, Emergency Law 12/1951 4 years Biak flag-raising, 1 May commemoration Yes Yes Biak
29 George Syors Simyapen 1 May 2013 Articles 106, 110, Emergency Law 12/1951 4.5 years Biak flag-raising, 1 May commemoration Yes Yes Biak
30 Isak Klaibin 30 April

2013

Articles 06, 107, 108, 110, 160 and 164 3 years and 6 months Aimas 1 May commemoration No Yes Sorong
31 Jefri Wandikbo 7 June 2012 Articles 340, 56, Law 8/1981 8 years KNPB activist tortured in Jayapura Yes Yes Abepura
32 Darius Kogoya 1 May 2012 106 3 years 1 May demo and flag-raising No No Abepura
33 Wiki Meaga 20 November 2010 106 8 years Yalengga flag-raising No Yes Wamena
34 Meki Elosak 20 November 2010 106 8 years Yalengga flag-raising No Yes Wamena
35 Yusanur Wenda 30 April 2004 106 17 years Wunin arrests Yes No Wamena

* While these detainees have been bailed and are not currently behind bars, they continue to face charges and are currently undergoing investigation. As they are vulnerable to re-arrest, we will continue to monitor any developments in these cases.

PDF Version: Papuans Behind Bars December 2015

October/November 2015: State accountability for abuses remain exception rather than the rule

In brief

At the end of October 2015, there were at least 42 political prisoners in Papua. At the end of November, there were at least 41 political prisoners in Papua.

On 19 November 2015, Filep Karma was released after 11 years in prison. He had consistently rejected offers of release via remission or clemency from the Indonesian government, stating that this would mean an admission of guilt. However, on the day of his release, Karma was not given a choice to remain in prison but was simply removed. Karma has stated that he will continue to peacefully express his political aspirations of an independent Papua. However, it remains to be seen if this would be tolerated by Indonesian security forces. Just a few days before Karma’s release, on 16 November 2015, a demonstration calling for democracy and media freedom was forcibly dispersed by Wamena police. The demonstration was led by five ex-political prisoners who were released in May 2015.

The four detainees arrested for demonstrating their support for a bid by the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) for membership within the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) in May 2015 have been sentenced to 1.5 years’ imprisonment each. There are concerns that Narko Murib, one of the detainees, is not receiving adequate medical care for serious health complications that he is currently experiencing. Human rights lawyers representing this case, as well as another case in Biak also involving ULMWP supporters, have noted that there appears to be a substitution of treason charges with other criminal charges. In particular, detainees are charged with incitement, under Article 160 of the Indonesian Criminal Code.

Three soldiers were sentenced to imprisonment, with another awaiting verdict, over the killing of two Papuan men by Military District Command 1710 soldiers in Koperapoka, Mimika on 28 August 2015. While the prosecution of military officials for abuses are encouraging, they remain the exception rather than the rule. In the ‘Bloody Paniai’ incident, another high profile case of state violence, securing convictions has not been so easy. In spite of investigations carried out by the National Commission of Human Rights (Komnas HAM) into the shootings that took place on 8 December 2014, there are no indications of progress in bringing perpetrators to account.

Arrests

Monks and human rights activists detained for demonstrating on Bloody Paniai; journalist beaten

On 8 October 2015, 18 people were detained for participating in a demonstration demanding accountability for the ‘Bloody Paniai’ shootings of December 2014. Amongst the detainees were five Franciscan monks, an Augustinian monk, and civil society members from local human rights organisations. Demonstrators were calling for President Jokowi to expedite the legal process for the Paniai case.

Reports from the Office for Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation (Sekretariat Keadilan, Perdamaian dan Keutuhan Ciptaan, SKPKC Papua) stated that Jayapura City police forcibly dispersed the demonstration by beating protestors with rifle butts. Abeth You, a journalist with the Papuan news site Majalah Selangkah, was strangled and beaten by a police officer and had his photos erased from his camera when he attempted to report on the arrests.

The 18 detainees were forced onto two police trucks and were taken to the Abepura Police Station. They were held in the trucks for an hour and a half before being released without charge.

Three KNPB activists interrogated over French journalist visit

On 9 October 2015, three West Papua National Committee (Komite Nasional Papua Barat, KNPB) Sentani activists were detained and interrogated for several hours by Sentani police over a visit by Marie Dhumieres, a Jakarta-based French journalist to Pegunungan Bintang regency. On 1 October 2015, Dhumieres, who reportedly received a police permit to visit Papua, visited Ohika district in Pegungunan Bintang regency to cover the inauguration of the executive board of the local KNPB chapter. The three KNPB activists – Agus Kossay, Bano Kalaka and Nodi Hilka – were released without charge.

Suara Papua reported that four days later, on 13 October, the KNPB Sentani secretariat was raided by Jayapura Regional police and Mobile Brigades (Brigade Mobil, Brimbob) officers under the instructions of the Head of Jayapura Regional Police (Kapolres) AKBP Sondang Siagian. During the raid, police painted over a wall that had an image of the Morning Star on it. No arrests were made during the raid.

15-year-old boy detained for wearing Morning Star flag t-shirt

On 8 October, Matheus Louw, a 15-year-old high-school student, was arrested in Sorong for wearing a t-shirt that had an image of the Morning Star flag and a slogan stating “Free West Papua.” He was detained at around 16:15 Papua time by an army officer while watching a football match at the Military Regional Command 171 Headquarters (Markas Komando Resort Militer 171, Makorem 171). He was questioned briefly at the military headquarters before being taken by eight police officers to be further interrogated by Criminal Investigation Unit (Reskrim) at the Sorong City Regional Police Station. Louw was reportedly forced to sign a statement stating that he would not repeat his actions and was forced to surrender his t-shirt as ‘evidence’. While charges were not brought against him, reports from local human rights sources stated that police threatened to shoot and imprison him if he wore clothing with the Morning Star motif and such slogans again. He was released after an hour of interrogation at Sorong City Regional Police Station.

Releases

Filep Karma released

On 19 November 2015, Papua’s most well-known political prisoner, Filep Karma, was released via a special decade remission. He had consistently rejected offers of remission or clemency from the Indonesian government, due to the implicit admission of guilt to which he does not subscribe. However, on the day of his release, he was not given a choice to remain in prison but was simply removed. In 2004, Karma was arrested and charged with treason for raising the Morning Star flag.

End of prison terms for Obed Korie and Jantje Wamaer

Papuans Behind Bars has removed Obed Korie and Jantje Wamaer from the list of political prisoners as it is likely that they have been released following the end of their prison terms.

Obed Korie was sentenced to five months’ imprisonment and was scheduled to be released on 15 October 2015. He was arrested on 15 May 2015 for participating in a demonstration against palm oil plantation company PT Permata Putera Mandiri (PPM) in Sorong.

Jantje Wamaer is believed to have been released on 1 October 2015, following the end of his prison sentence of 2.5 years.  Like Obed Korie, his release is yet to be confirmed. He was arrested on 1 May 2013 for participating in an event in Biak commemorating the 50th anniversary of the administrative transfer of Papua to Indonesia. Three other men – Oktovianus Warnares, George Syors Simyapen and Markus Sawias – in this case are still behind bars in Biak prison.

Political trials and cases overview

MSG Manokwari demonstrators sentenced to 1.5 years’ imprisonment

Lawyers with LP3BH (Institute for Research, Investigation and Development of Legal Aid) reported that on 27 November 2015, Alexander NekenemNarko Murib, Maikel Aso (alias Othen Gombo) and Yoram Magai were sentenced to 1.5 years’ imprisonment each. The prosecution had previously demanded a prison sentence of two years each for the four detainees.

LP3BH lawyers have argued that the Public Prosecutor in this case, Syahrul, SH, committed contempt of court when he failed to provide sufficient medical care for Narko Murib, who is suffering from stomach complications arising from malaria and tuberculosis. During a court hearing on 9 November 2015, Head Judge Maryono, SH, ordered the Public Prosecutor to ensure that Murib received adequate medical attention after he was unable to attend the hearing due to his poor health. Instead of sending Murib to a hospital, the Public Prosecutor ordered a police officer to give him painkillers and to examine his blood pressure.

The four men were amongst 75 people arrested on 20 May 2015 for taking part in a demonstration in Manokwari in support of the bid by the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) for membership in the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG).

Public Prosecutor demands 1.5 years’ imprisonment for ULMWP supporters

Human rights lawyers accompanying Apolos Sroyer, Dorteus Bonsapia and Wamoka Yudas Kossay, reported that on 25 November 2015, the prosecution demanded prison sentences of 1.5 years each for the three detainees who face charges of incitement and spreading lies under Article 160 of the Indonesian Criminal Code and Article 14 of Law 1/1946 respectively. They were expected to receive a verdict in early December 2015. On 21 May 2015, the three detainees were arrested alongside 14 others in Biak for demonstrating their support for a bid by the ULMWP for membership of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG).

Cases of concern

Three soldiers sentenced to imprisonment, one more awaiting verdict

In our last update we reported on the fatal shooting of two Papuan men by two soldiers from Military District Command 1710 (Komando Distrik Militer 1710, Kodim 1710) in Koperapoka, Mimika regency on 28 August 2015. Media reports stated that three soldiers have been sentenced to imprisonment for their involvement in the incident. First Private Makher Rehatta was sentenced to 12 years’ imprisonment, while First Sergeant Ashar was sentenced to nine years’ imprisonment. The two soldiers were found responsible for opening fire on 28 August 2015, which led to the deaths of two Papuan men. Chief Private Gregorius R. Geta was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment for his involvement in the shootings. Another soldier, First Private Imanuel Imbiri, is currently awaiting the verdict of his trial. The four soldiers were believed to have been under the influence of alcohol when the shootings occurred.

Demonstration led by five ex-political prisoners curbed by Wamena police

On 16 November 2015, a demonstration led by five ex-political prisoners was stopped from taking place by Jayawijaya Regional police. Domi Mecky Meaga, one of the coordinators of the demonstration, told Suara Papua that police dispersed the demonstration even though a Notice of Demonstration had previously been submitted to the police. Meaga stated that at the time of dispersal, police had beaten demonstrators and that at least one gunshot was heard. The demonstration called for the opening of democratic space in Papua, a guarantee of safety for Papuans, and to allow foreign journalists to enter and report on Papua.

Police disperse activists visiting Theys Eluay grave

On 10 November 2015, Jayapura Regional police dispersed a group of activists and university students who were visiting the tomb of Theys Eluay to mark the 14th anniversary of his assassination. KNPB leader Victor Yeimo told local media that armed police intimidated the activists and forbade them from cleaning the grave site or taking photographs. On 10 November 2001, Theys Eluay was murdered by Kopassus special forces officers. His driver, Aristoteles Masoka, disappeared the same night.

Kopassus officer opens fire and beats villagers while intoxicated

Reports from local human rights investigators stated that on 2 October 2015, a Kopassus officer with the initials ‘MK’ severely beat Kaspar Merom, a local villager in Merauke, after wrongly accusing him of theft. The officer, who was reportedly under the influence of alcohol, began beating Merom with a baton when he denied any wrongdoing. The youth sustained a deep cut on the mouth. When Merom and his friend, who was also present at the time, retaliated, the Kopassus officer retreated and ran away to a Kopassus post nearby. The officer then reportedly returned with a pistol, but failed to find the two youths. He then allegedly proceeded to fire shots in the local residential area. He also reportedly strangled another youth, Theo Torip, and threatened him at gunpoint to reveal the whereabouts of Merom and his friend. The following day, several Kopassus officers reportedly returned to the area and warned residents not to launch any reports on the incident.

News

Note regarding the removal of Kamori Murib from the political prisoner list

Information received from Wamena-based human rights groups reported that in early October 2015, Kamori Murib escaped Wamena prison. In light of this he has been removed from the list of political prisoners. On 9 December 2014, Kamori Murib was arrested and tortured in relation to the possession of a pistol. He had intended to handover to the authorities a pistol belonging to a deceased relative, but was instead detained and charged under Emergency Law 12/1951. On 20 August 2015, he was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment. We will continue to report on this case should any new developments come to light.

November 2015 Papuan Political Prisoners

No Prisoner Arrested Charges Sentence Case Accused of violence? Concerns reported re legal process? Prison/

Place of detention

1 Arnes Silak 15 June 2015 Uncertain Police investigation pending KNPB Sentani Airport arrest Uncertain Uncertain Papuan Police Headquarters
2 Yafet Keiya 28 May 2015 Uncertain Police investigation pending MSG demo in Nabire Uncertain Uncertain Nabire

 

 

3 Ottis Munipa 28 May 2015 Uncertain Police investigation pending MSG demo in Nabire Uncertain Uncertain Nabire

 

 

4 Wamoka Yudas Kossay 22 May 2015 Article 160 Indonesian Criminal Code, Article 14 of Law 1/1946 Verdict in early December

 

MSG demo in Biak

 

Uncertain  Yes Biak
5 Apolos Sroyer 20 May 2015 Article 160 Indonesian Criminal Code, Article 14 of Law 1/1946 Verdict in early December MSG demo in Biak

 

Uncertain  Yes Biak
6 Dorteus Bonsapia 20 May 2015 Article 160 Indonesian Criminal Code, Article 14 of Law 1/1946 Verdict in early December MSG demo in Biak

 

Uncertain  Yes Biak
7 Narko Murib 20 May 2015 Article 160 1.5 years MSG demo in Manokwari Uncertain Yes Manokwari
8 Alexander Nekenem 20 May 2015 Article 160 1.5 years MSG demo in Manokwari Uncertain Yes Manokwari
9 Yoram Magai 20 May 2015 Article 160 1.5 years MSG demo in Manokwari Uncertain Yes Manokwari
10 Othen Gombo 20 May 2015 Article 160 1.5 years MSG demo in Manokwari Uncertain Yes Manokwari
11 Odie Aitago 15 May 2015 Article 170 7 months Sorong demo against PT PPM Yes Uncertain Sorong
12 Ruben Furay 1 May 2015 Uncertain Police investigation pending Kaimana 1 May 2015 Uncertain Uncertain Kaimana
13 Sepi Surbay 1 May 2015 Uncertain Police investigation pending Kaimana 1 May 2015 Uncertain Uncertain Kaimana
14 Dr Don Flassy* 14 April 2015 Articles 106, 55(1),53(1) On bail KIP treason arrests Uncertain Uncertain Bailed, city arrest, cannot leave Jayapura
15 Dr Lawrence Mehue* 14 April 2015 Articles 106, 55(1),53(1) On bail KIP treason arrests Uncertain Uncertain Bailed, city arrest, cannot leave Jayapura
16 Mas Jhon Ebied Suebu* 14 April 2015 Articles 106, 108(2), 55(1), 53(1) On bail KIP treason arrests Uncertain Uncertain Bailed, city arrest, cannot leave Jayapura
17 Onesimus Banundi* 14 April 2015 Articles 106, 108(2), 55(1), 53(1) On bail KIP treason arrests Uncertain Uncertain Bailed, city arrest, cannot leave Jayapura
18 Elias Ayakeding* 14 April 2015 Articles 106, 160 On bail KIP treason arrests Uncertain Uncertain Bailed, city arrest, cannot leave Jayapura
19 Yosep Siep 9 July 2014 Articles 187, 164 Supreme Court appeal being considered Pisugi Election Boycott Yes Yes Released pending appeal
20 Marthen Marian 9 July 2014 Articles 187, 164 Supreme Court appeal being considered Pisugi Election Boycott Yes Yes Released pending appeal
21 Jhoni Marian 9 July 2014 Articles 187, 164 Supreme Court appeal being considered Pisugi Election Boycott Yes Yes Released pending appeal
22 Alapia Yalak 4 June 2014 Uncertain Police investigation pending Yahukimo arrests Yes Yes Papua Police Headquarters
 23

 

 

Jemi Yermias Kapanai 1 February 2014 Articles 106, 108, 110 and Emergency Law 12/1951 3.5 years Sasawa military raid arrests Yes Yes Serui Prison
24 Septinus Wonawoai 1 February 2014 Articles 106, 108, 110 and Emergency Law 12/1951 3.5 years Sasawa military raid arrests Yes Yes Serui Prison
25 Rudi Otis Barangkea 1 February 2014 Articles 106, 108, 110 and Emergency Law 12/1951 3.5 years Sasawa military raid arrests Yes Yes Serui Prison
26 Kornelius Woniana 1 February 2014 Articles 106, 108, 110 and Emergency Law 12/1951 3.5 years Sasawa military raid arrests Yes Yes Serui Prison
27 Peneas Reri 1 February 2014 Articles 106, 108, 110 and Emergency Law 12/1951 3.5 years Sasawa military raid arrests Yes Yes Serui Prison
28

 

Salmon Windesi 1 February 2014 Articles 106, 108, 110 and Emergency Law 12/1951 3.5 years Sasawa military raid arrests Yes Yes Serui Prison
29 Obeth Kayoi 1 February 2014 Articles 106, 108, 110 and Emergency Law 12/1951 3.5 years Sasawa military raid arrests Yes Yes Serui Prison
30 Soleman Fonataba* 17 December 2013 Articles 106, 110)1, 53, 55 1.5 years city arrest, appeal pending Sarmi 2013 Melanesian flag arrests No / not yet clear No City arrest ends on 23 January 2016
31 Edison Werimon* 13 December 2013 Articles 106, 110)1, 53, 55 1.5 years city arrest, appeal pending Sarmi 2013 Melanesian flag arrests No / not yet clear No City arrest ends on 23 January 2016
32 Piethein Manggaprouw 19 October 2013 Articles 106, 110 3 years Third Papuan Congress demo in Biak No Yes Biak
33 Oktovianus Warnares 1 May 2013 Articles 106, 110, Emergency Law 12/1951 7 years Biak flag-raising, 1 May commemoration Yes Yes Biak
34 Markus Sawias 1 May 2013 Articles 106, 110, Emergency Law 12/1951 4 years Biak flag-raising, 1 May commemoration Yes Yes Biak
35 George Syors Simyapen 1 May 2013 Articles 106, 110, Emergency Law 12/1951 4.5 years Biak flag-raising, 1 May commemoration Yes Yes Biak
36 Isak Klaibin 30 April

2013

Articles 06, 107, 108, 110, 160 and 164 3 years and 6 months Aimas 1 May commemoration No Yes Sorong
37 Jefri Wandikbo 7 June 2012 Articles 340, 56,  Law 8/1981 8 years KNPB activist tortured in Jayapura Yes Yes Abepura
38 Darius Kogoya 1 May 2012 106 3 years 1 May demo and flag-raising No No Abepura
39 Wiki Meaga 20 November 2010 106 8 years Yalengga flag-raising No Yes Wamena
40 Meki Elosak 20 November 2010 106 8 years Yalengga flag-raising No Yes Wamena
41 Yusanur Wenda 30 April 2004 106 17 years Wunin arrests Yes No Wamena

* While these detainees have been bailed and are not currently behind bars, they continue to face charges and are currently undergoing investigation. As they are vulnerable to re-arrest, we will continue to monitor any developments in these cases.

 

Briefing Paper: Political arrests in West Papua from 2012-2014

PBB EN coverThis briefing paper provides an analytical overview of data on political arrests in West Papua from 2012 to 2014. It includes analysis of emerging trends in human rights violations associated with these political arrests.

Our analysis shows that during the three-year period of this report, the majority of those detained were arrested because of their participation in demonstrations or other types of peaceful political activity. 2013 was a particularly bad year, with a record high of 548 arrests. The data also showed that most of those detained were male (95%).

Charges of treason (Article 106 of the Indonesian Criminal Code) and conspiracy to commit treason (Articles 106 and 110) were the most frequently used charges against political detainees.

While the use of Emergency Law 12/1951, which punishes the possession of sharp weapons, firearms and ammunition, has decreased, there appears to be a substitution of this charge with other politically motivated charges of criminal violence, such as Articles 187 or 170.

The number of cases of torture and denial of access to lawyers has increased over the three-year period. Of particular concern is the sharp five-fold increase in 2014 of the number of detainees tortured for participating in demonstrations

You can download the full report here.