November 2014: KNPB remain most targeted Papuan civil society group

In brief

At the end of November 2014, there were at least 65 political prisoners in Papuan jails.

The West Papua National Committee (Komite Nasional Papua Barat, KNPB) remains the most heavily targeted civil society group in Papua. So far this year, there have been 101 arrests of KNPB activists or those suspected of being affiliated to the KNPB. The pattern of mass arrests of KNPB members continued this month with 28 KNPB members arrested for participating in peaceful commemorative activities celebrating the 6th anniversary of the formation of the KNPB in 2008. This July, 36 KNPB arrests were made in relation to a peaceful planned boycott of the Indonesian Presidential elections. There appears to be no end in sight for punitive and indiscriminate actions against the KNPB, including raids, mass arrests, arbitrary detention, ill-treatment and torture. Police attempts to delegitimise the KNPB as an ‘illegal’ organisation under the auspices of Law 17/2013 on Social Organisations (UU 17/2013 tentang Organisasi Kemasyarakatan) restricts peaceful expression and represents a shrinking of democratic space.

The 12 detainees in the Nimbokrang Elections Boycott case were released on bail but may yet be tried and are currently under city arrest. The four detainees in the Freedom Flotilla arrests case in Sorong in August 2013 and the two detainees in the Sarmi treason case in December 2013 likewise remain in legal limbo. In these cases, bail conditions included the possibility of re-arrest if found repeating the same ‘offence,’ such as demonstrating or boycotting an election. These stringent bail conditions together with police surveillance and restrictions on physical movement are aimed at deterring indigenous Papuan activists from exercising their right to peaceful protest. This clearly violates the rights to freedom of assembly and expression. Similarly, the inclusion of activists and leaders in police ‘wanted’ lists (Daftar Pencarian Orang, DPO) is another strategy used by police to criminalise and intimidate indigenous civil society groups.

Linus Hiel Hiluka and Kimanus Wenda, two political prisoners detained in Nabire who are serving sentences of 19 years and 10 months each, were subjected to inhumane treatment by police. The trial for Areki Wanimbo, who has been detained since 6 August, is expected to begin in December. Wanimbo was arrested alongside two French journalists who visited him as part of their investigations into the situation in Lanny Jaya. He faces charges of conspiracy to commit treason which carries a maximum six-year sentence.

Arrests

KNPB members in Nabire, Dogiyai and Kaimana face ill-treatment and arbitrary arrest for commemorating anniversary

28 West Papua National Committee (Komite Nasional Papua Barat, KNPB) members in Nabire, Dogiyai and Kaimana were subject to arrest and ill-treatment by Indonesian police during commemorative activities celebrating the 6th anniversary of the formation of the KNPB. 

Nabire

On 19 November, ten people were arrested in two separate gatherings in Nabire City district. According to testimony of one those arrested and later released, Agus Tebay, the organiser of one of the gatherings was beaten on arrest. All ten men were reported to have been detained in isolation overnight and were not given access to proper sanitation, food or water. On 23 November, it was reported that four of the men had been released. According to a report from Papuan news site Suara Papua, the six men who remain in detention, Sadrak Kudiai, the head of KNPB Nabire, Agus Tebay, Derius Goo, Yafet Keiya, Hans Edoway and Aleks Pigai were charged with incitement and treason under Articles 160, 106 and 55 of the Indonesian Criminal code.

Dogiyai

12 men were arrested in Dogiyai Regency when KNPB members gathered to commemorate the anniversary of the KNPB. They were stopped by Nabire police and Mobile Brigades (Brigade Mobil, Brimob) officers, some of whom were fully armed. When KNPB members attempted to negotiate with the security forces to allow them to conduct a prayer session, police reportedly responded by firing shots into the crowd and beating and arresting those who attempted to flee. Four of the 12 men arrested – David Pigai, Oktovianus Tebay, Markus Mote and Ansalmus Pigay – were reported to have suffered gunshot wounds.

According to an early report by Majalah Selangkah, David Pigai is reported to have been heavily beaten and stabbed in the back of the head with a bayonet blade in detention. It is believed that he is being denied access to medical attention. The detainees were also reportedly denied food and clean water. David Pigai, the head of KNPB Dogiyai, Enesa Anouw, Marsel Saul Edowai and Agus Waine were charged with incitement and treason under Articles 160, 106 and 55 of the Indonesian Criminal code.

Kaimana

According to a report by Jubi, on 24 November, police conducted a search operation in the KNPB secretariat in Kaimana regency and arrested six KNPB members. The arrests follow activities held on 19 November by KNPB Kaimana commemorating the 6th anniversary of the KNPB. Gofur Kurita, Nikolaus Busira, Demianus Waita, Marden Namsau, Kores Namsau and Dewi Kurita were released shortly afterwards.

Releases

Nimbokrang detainees bailed

On 13 and 14 November, the 12 detainees in the Nimbokrang case were released on bail and are currently under city arrest. Lawyers from KontraS Papua (Komisi untuk Orang Hilang dan Korban Tindak Kekerasan) reported that seven of the detainees, Philemon Yare, Loserek Loho, Sahayu Loho, Alpi Pahabol, Gad Mabel, Enos Hisage and Herman Siep, originally from Yalimo, were released and flown back to Yalimo. The remaining five detainees, Nius Alum, Yos Watei, Jhon Pigai and Anton Gobay, were released the following day. Police informed KontraS Papua lawyers that the decision to release the detainees was because some of the detainees were elderly and that a few of them were tribal leaders from Yalimo whose prolonged detention might destabilise the situation in that area. According to lawyers, during police investigations the 12 detainees were not treated as main suspects in the case. Despite this, they spent more than three months in detention, charged with treason and are now set to remain in a legal limbo.

On 10 August 2014, the 12 detainees were arrested alongside eight others under accusations of involvement with the National Papua Army/Free Papua Movement (Tentera Papua Nasional/Operasi Papua Merdeka) TPN/OPM. Their arrests followed repeated police raids in Berab village in Nimbokrang district, reportedly due to information received by security forces about alleged armed pro-independence camps in the village. Lawyers reported that while unlikely, the 12 men are still at risk of facing trial.

Stefanus Banal released

On 18 November, Stefanus Banal was released from Abepura prison. Information received from the Office for Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation of Franciscans of Papua (Sekretariat Keadilan Perdamaian dan Keutuhan Ciptaan Fransiskan Papua, SKPKC Jayapura) stated that Banal has not yet received an operation needed for his leg as a result of being shot on arrest by police in Oksibil in Pegunungan Bintang regency. The operation required involves removing metal rods that were inserted in his leg to realign his broken shin bone. The medical treatment he initially received in Bhayangkara Police hospital shortly after his arrest in May 2013 was criticised by human rights investigators as being insufficient. Abepura prison authorities had refused to pay for his medical costs, which have so far been covered by civil society groups.

Political trials and cases overview

Sasawa detainees sentenced, appeal to be transferred to Serui prison

On 13 November, the seven detainees in the Sasawa case were sentenced to three-and-a-half years’ imprisonment each after being found guilty of conspiracy to commit treason, rebellion and possession of sharp weapons. The Public Prosecutor in the case had demanded for a four year prison sentence.

According to defence lawyers, the trial could not be considered to be fair as only two witnesses were called to submit their testimonies. More importantly, lawyers argued that the court did not take into account the fact that the witnesses faced intimidation in Sasawa, where all aspects of social life is heavily controlled by the criminal armed group headed by Fernando Worawoai. The 12 detainees were accused of being affiliated with this group.

Lawyers stated that the seven detainees have decided not to appeal their sentences for fear of potentially receiving longer sentences. However the seven detainees have requested a transfer to Serui prison to be closer to their families. The Regional Office for the Ministry of Law and Human Rights (Kantor Wilayah Kementerian Hukum dan HAM, Kanwil Hukum dan HAM), in Jayapura stated that this request may not be fulfilled as the local government lacks the funds for the transfer and that the associated costs may have to be met by the families themselves. Lawyers were told by Jayapura authorities that they would have to appeal to the Regional Office in Manokwari instead as Sorong is part of West Papua province and not Papua province.

Areki Wanimbo trial imminent

Defence lawyers reported that the trial for Areki Wanimbo will be held in Wamena. Wanimbo, who is currently held in Papuan Police Headquarters in Jayapura, is expected to be transferred to detention in Wamena in early December. Wanimbo was arrested alongside two French journalists who were released after 11 weeks in detention. He faces charges of conspiracy to commit treason under Articles 106 and 110 of the Indonesian Criminal Code. These charges carry a maximum six-year sentence.

Kimanus and Linus inhumanely treated in detention

A report from the Democracy Alliance for Papua (Aliansi Demokrasi untuk Papua, AlDP) described the inhumane treatment faced by Linus Hiel Hiluka and Kimanus Wenda in Nabire Regional police station. On 8 November, Hiluka and Wenda were moved from Nabire prison to the holding cell of Nabire Regional police station due to an earlier incident. Both men were given permission to do odd jobs outside Nabire prison where they could earn some money to send to their families. In reaction to being denied permission to leave Nabire prison to send money to his family, Wenda reportedly chased a prison guard with an axe as he was chopping wood in the kitchen. Shortly afterwards, they were moved to a special cell in Nabire Regional police station and refused permission to leave. They were reportedly refused access to a toilet and were only given plastic bottles to use.

Following the incident, the Head of the Correctional Division (Kepala Divisi Pemasyarakatan, Kadiv Pas) of the Regional Office of the Ministry of Law and Human Rights (Kementerian Hukum dan Hak Asasi Manusia, Kemenkumham) stated that the two men may be transferred to Abepura prison in light of security concerns. However, ALDP lawyers brokered an agreement with the authorities to allow both men to remain in Nabire prison so that they could remain close to their families.

Cases of concern

Police block access to lawyers in new ammunition case

Worrying details of police attempts to block access to legal representation have emerged with regard to the arrests of five people in Wamena. According to Jubi, on 26 October, Rambo Wenda was arrested alongside two male and two female counterparts on suspicion of buying of ammunition, among other accusations. Information received from local human rights investigators states that Jayawijaya Regional police fired dozens of shots at the time of arrest, resulting in all five detainees suffering gunshot wounds to the legs.

According to local human rights lawyers, Wamena police attempted to block the detainees’ access to lawyers by stating that the detainees were already receiving legal accompaniment from the Papua Legal Aid Institute (Lembaga Bantuan Hukum, LBH Papua), when in fact they were not. Human rights lawyers stated that this was a way for police to block access to lawyers until the very last stages of investigation before their case was transferred to the Public Prosecutor. The five detainees remain without legal representation. It is not yet clear what charges they face.

News

Filep Karma’s book marks 10 year imprisonment

On 1 December, ‘As if we were half beasts: Indonesian racism in the land of Papua (‘Seakan Kitorang Setengah Binatang: Rasialisme Indonesia di Tanah Papua’) was launched, marking Karma’s 10th year behind bars. The book tells the story of Karma’s childhood in Wamena and Jayapura, the tragedy of Bloody Biak on 6 July 1998 and the racist attitudes of Indonesians towards indigenous Papuans. Karma is currently carrying out a 15-year prison sentence for treason.

Note regarding removal of George Ariks from the list of political prisoners

In this month’s update, we have removed George Ariks from the list of political prisoners. Papuans Behind Bars has not received any new information regarding Ariks for more than a year and it is likely that he has been released as his five-year sentence passed in 2009, should now have been spent. However, we will continue to report on his case should any new information come to light.

November 2014 Papuan political prisoners

  Prisoner Arrested Charges Sentence Case Accused of violence? Concerns reported re legal process? Prison / Place of detention
1 Sadrak Kudiai 19 November 2014 Articles 160, 106 and 55 Awaiting trial KNPB anniversary arrests in Nabire Uncertain Yes Nabire Regional police station
2 Agus Tebay 19 November 2014 Articles 160, 106 and 55 Awaiting trial KNPB anniversary arrests in Nabire Uncertain Yes Nabire Regional police station
3 Derius Goo 19 November 2014 Articles 160, 106 and 55 Awaiting trial KNPB anniversary arrests in Nabire Uncertain Yes Nabire Regional police station
4 Yafet Keiya 19 November 2014 Articles 160, 106 and 55 Awaiting trial KNPB anniversary arrests in Nabire Uncertain Yes Nabire Regional police station
5 Hans Edoway 19 November 2014 Articles 160, 106 and 55 Awaiting trial KNPB anniversary arrests in Nabire Uncertain Yes Nabire Regional police station
6 Aleks Pigai 19 November 2014 Articles 160, 106 and 55 Awaiting trial KNPB anniversary arrests in Nabire Uncertain Yes Nabire Regional police station
7 David Pigai 19 November 2014 Articles 160, 106 and 55 Awaiting trial KNPB anniversary arrests in Dogiyai Uncertain Yes Nabire Regional police station
8 Aneas Anou 19 November 2014 Articles 160, 106 and 55 Awaiting trial KNPB anniversary arrests in Dogiyai Uncertain Yes Nabire Regional police station
9 Marsel Edowai 19 November 2014 Articles 160, 106 and 55 Awaiting trial KNPB anniversary arrests in Dogiyai Uncertain Yes Nabire Regional police station
10 Agus Waine 19 November 2014 Articles 160, 106 and 55 Awaiting trial KNPB anniversary arrests in Dogiyai Uncertain Yes Nabire Regional police station
11 Areki Wanimbo 6 August 2014 Articles 106 and 110 Awaiting trial French journalists arrests in Wamena Uncertain Uncertain Papuan Police Headquarters
12 Pastor Ruten Wakerkwa 1 August 2014 Unknown Police investigation pending Lanny Jaya 2014 military raid arrests Uncertain Uncertain Lanny Jaya Regional police station
13 Sudi Wetipo 14 July 2014 Unknown Police investigation pending Boycott Pilpres 2014 in Wamena Uncertain Uncertain Jayawijaya Regional police station
14 Elius Elosak 14 July 2014 Unknown Police investigation pending Boycott Pilpres 2014 in Wamena Uncertain Uncertain Jayawijaya Regional police station
15 Domi Wetipo 14 July 2014 Unknown Police investigation pending Boycott Pilpres 2014 in Wamena Uncertain Uncertain Jayawijaya Regional police station
16 Agus Doga 14 July 2014 Unknown Police investigation pending Boycott Pilpres 2014 in Wamena Uncertain Uncertain Jayawijaya Regional police station
17 Yosep Siep 9 July 2014 Articles 187, 164 Awaiting trial Boycott Pilpres 2014 in Wamena Yes Uncertain Jayawijaya Regional police station
18 Ibrahim Marian 9 July 2014 Articles 187, 164 Awaiting trial Boycott Pilpres 2014 in Wamena Yes Uncertain Jayawijaya Regional police station
19 Marsel Marian 9 July 2014 Articles 187, 164 Awaiting trial Boycott Pilpres 2014 in Wamena Yes Uncertain Jayawijaya Regional police station
20 Yance Walilo 9 July 2014 Articles 187, 164 Awaiting trial Boycott Pilpres 2014 in Wamena Yes Uncertain Jayawijaya Regional police station
21 Yosasam Serabut 9 July 2014 Articles 187, 164 Awaiting trial Boycott Pilpres 2014 in Wamena Yes Uncertain Jayawijaya Regional police station
22 Alapia Yalak 4 June 2014 Unknown Police investigation pending Yahukimo arrests Yes Yes Papua Police Headquarters
23 Ferdinandus Blagaize 24 May 2014 Unknown Police investigation pending Merauke KNPB arrests No Uncertain Okaba District police station
24 Selestinus Blagaize 24 May 2014 Unknown Police investigation pending Merauke KNPB arrests No Uncertain Okaba District police station
25 Lendeng Omu 21 May 2014 Unknown Police investigation pending Yahukimo arrests Uncertain Yes Yahukimo Regional police station
26 Jemi Yermias Kapanai 1 February 2014 Articles 106, 108, 110 and Emergency Law 12/1951 3.5 years Sasawa military raid arrests Yes Yes Sorong
27 Septinus Wonawoai 1 February 2014 Articles 106, 108, 110 and Emergency Law 12/1951 3.5 years Sasawa military raid arrests Yes Yes Sorong
28 Rudi Otis Barangkea 1 February 2014 Articles 106, 108, 110 and Emergency Law 12/1951 3.5 years Sasawa military raid arrests Yes Yes Sorong
29 Kornelius Woniana 1 February 2014 Articles 106, 108, 110 and Emergency Law 12/1951 3.5 years Sasawa military raid arrests Yes Yes Sorong
30 Peneas Reri 1 February 2014 Articles 106, 108, 110 and Emergency Law 12/1951 3.5 years Sasawa military raid arrests Yes Yes Sorong
31 Salmon Windesi 1 February 2014 Articles 106, 108, 110 and Emergency Law 12/1951 3.5 years Sasawa military raid arrests Yes Yes Sorong
32 Obeth Kayoi 1 February 2014 Articles 106, 108, 110 and Emergency Law 12/1951 3.5 years Sasawa military raid arrests Yes Yes Sorong
33 Yenite Morib 26 January 2014 Unknown Police investigation pending Dondobaga church arrests Yes Yes Puncak Jaya regional police station
34 Tiragud Enumby 26 January 2014 Unknown Police investigation pending Dondobaga church arrests Yes Yes Puncak Jaya regional police station
35 Deber Enumby 4 January 2014 Emergency Law 12/1951 Police investigation pending Kurilik firearms arrests Yes Yes Papua Police Headquarters
36 Soleman Fonataba 17 December 2013 106, 110)1, 53, 55 Trial beginning on 6 August Sarmi 2013 Morning Star flag arrests No / not yet clear No On bail, cannot leave Sarmi
37 Edison Werimon 13 December 2013 106, 110)1, 53, 55 Trial beginning on 6 August Sarmi 2013 Morning Star flag arrests No / not yet clear No On bail, cannot leave Sarmi
38 Piethein Manggaprouw 19 October 2013 106, 110 2 years Third Papuan Congress demo in Biak No Yes Biak
39 Oktovianus Warnares 1 May 2013 106, 110, Emergency Law 12/1951 7 years Biak flag-raising, 1 May commemoration Yes Yes Biak
40 Yoseph Arwakon 1 May 2013 106, 110, Emergency Law 12/1951 2 years and 6 months Biak flag-raising, 1 May commemoration Yes Yes Biak
41 Markus Sawias 1 May 2013 106, 110, Emergency Law 12/1951 2 years Biak flag-raising, 1 May commemoration Yes Yes Biak
42 George Syors Simyapen 1 May 2013 106, 110, Emergency Law 12/1951 4.5 years Biak flag-raising, 1 May commemoration Yes Yes Biak
43 Jantje Wamaer 1 May 2013 106, 110, Emergency Law 12/1951 2 years and 6 months Biak flag-raising, 1 May commemoration Yes Yes Biak
44 Hengky Mangamis 30 April 2013 106, 107, 108, 110, 160 and 164 1 year and 6 months Aimas 1 May commemoration No Yes Sorong
45 Yordan Magablo 30 April

2013

106, 107, 108, 110, 160 and 164 1 year and 6 months Aimas 1 May commemoration No Yes Sorong
46 Obaja Kamesrar 30 April

2013

106, 107, 108, 110, 160 and 164 1 year and 6 months Aimas 1 May commemoration No Yes Sorong
47 Antonius Saruf 30 April

2013

106, 107, 108, 110, 160 and 164 1 year and 6 months Aimas 1 May commemoration No Yes Sorong
48 Obeth Kamesrar 30 April

2013

106, 107, 108, 110, 160 and 164 1 year and 6 months Aimas 1 May commemoration No Yes Sorong
49 Klemens Kodimko 30 April

2013

106, 107, 108, 110, 160 and 164 1 year and 6 months Aimas 1 May commemoration No Yes Sorong
50 Isak Klaibin 30 April

2013

106, 107, 108, 110, 160 and 164 3 years and 6 months Aimas 1 May commemoration No Yes Sorong
51 Isak Demetouw (alias Alex Makabori) 3 March 2013 110; Article 2, Emergency Law 12/1951 2 years 2 months Sarmi treason No Yes Sarmi
52 Niko Sasomar 3 March 2013 110; Article 2, Emergency Law 12/1951 2 years 2 months Sarmi treason No Yes Sarmi
53 Sileman Teno 3 March 2013 110; Article 2, Emergency Law 12/1951 2 years 2 months Sarmi treason No Yes Sarmi
54 Jefri Wandikbo 7 June 2012 340, 56, Law 8/1981 8 years KNPB activist tortured in Jayapura Yes Yes Abepura
55 Timur Wakerkwa 1 May 2012 106 2 years and 6 months 1 May demo and flag-raising No No Abepura
56 Darius Kogoya 1 May 2012 106 3 years 1 May demo and flag-raising No No Abepura
57 Wiki Meaga 20 November 2010 106 8 years Yalengga flag-raising No Yes Wamena
58 Meki Elosak 20 November 2010 106 8 years Yalengga flag-raising No Yes Wamena
59 Filep Karma 1 December 2004 106 15 years Abepura flag-raising 2004 No Yes Abepura
60 Yusanur Wenda 30 April 2004 106 17 years Wunin arrests Yes No Wamena
61 Linus Hiel Hiluka 27 May 2003 106 19 years and 10 months Wamena ammunition store raid Yes Yes Nabire
62 Kimanus Wenda 12 April 2003 106 19 years and 10 months Wamena ammunition store raid Yes Yes Nabire
63 Jefrai Murib 12 April 2003 106 Life Wamena ammunition store raid Yes Yes Abepura
64 Numbungga Telenggen 11 April 2003 106 Life Wamena ammunition store raid Yes Yes Biak
65 Apotnalogolik Lokobal 10 April 2003 106 20 years Wamena ammunition store raid Yes Yes Biak

Papuans Behind Bars aims to provide accurate and transparent data, published in English and Indonesian, to facilitate direct support for prisoners and promote wider debate and campaigning in support of free expression in West Papua.

Papuans Behind Bars is a collective effort initiated by Papuan civil society groups working together as the Civil Society Coalition to Uphold Law and Human Rights in Papua. It is a grassroots initiative and represents a broad collaboration between lawyers, human rights groups, adat groups, activists, journalists and individuals in West Papua, as well as Jakarta-based NGOs and international solidarity groups.

Questions, comments and corrections are welcomed, and you can write to us at info@papuansbehindbars.org

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