Case Summaries

Latest cases


Raja Ampat cultural group leader arrest
Nimbokrang arrests
French journalists arrests in Wamena
Lanny Jaya 2014 military raid arrests
Second Boycott Pilpres Wamena arrests

All cases



Raja Ampat cultural group leader arrest

On 22 August at around 23:00, Abner Bastian Wanma, the Head of the Sarak Cultural Collective, Sorong (Sanggar Budaya SARAK-Sorong), a Papuan cultural group, was detained overnight in Waisai, Raja Ampat. SARAK-Sorong were scheduled to perform at the opening of … Continue reading

Nimbokrang arrests

On 10 August 2014, 20 people, including four women and one child, were arrested in Warambaim in Nimbokrang district under accusations of being members of the TPN/OPM. These arrests follow previous raids in July, reportedly after Mobile Brigades (Brigade Mobil, … Continue reading

French journalists arrests in Wamena

On 6 August 2014, Areki Wanimbo, a tribal leader from Lanny Jaya was arrested alongside four other Papuans and two French journalists. While the other four Papuans were released shortly afterwards, Mr Wanimbo was initially charged with possession of ammunition … Continue reading

Lanny Jaya 2014 military raid arrests

On 1 August 2014, Ruten Wakerkwa was arrested during a fight that broke out between Indonesian security forces and an armed group led by Enden Wanimbo in Ekanom village. He was detained in Lanny Jaya Regional police station, reportedly for … Continue reading

Second Boycott Pilpres Wamena arrests

On 14 July, four people were arrested reportedly because they chose not to vote in the 9 July Indonesian Presidential Elections. The four men were detained in Jayawijaya Regional police station. Sudi Wetipo, Elius Elosak, Domi Wetipo and Agus DogaContinue reading

Election boycott Wamena arrests

On 9 July 2014, 18 people were arrested in Wamena for their involvement in distribution of flyers calling for an election boycott. While 13 of them were released shortly after, the remaining five were charged with Articles 187 and 164 … Continue reading

Merauke KNPB arrests

On 24 May 2014, two activists from the West Papua National Committee (Komite Nasional Papua Barat, KNPB) were arrested in Okaba district in Merauke regency for reportedly possessing a referendum-related document and books on Papuan history that were intended  for … Continue reading

Yahukimo arrests

On 21 May, human rights activist Lendeng Omu was beaten and arrested by Yahukimo Regional police who stopped and questioned him about his affiliations with the KNPB. Local villagers burned down a police post in Yahukimo in retribution to this … Continue reading

Yalengga military attack

Military under the command of Lt. Col. Gustaf Agus Irianto, shot ten people dead, accusing them of being members of the Free Papua Organisation (OPM). Two survivors of the shooting were arrested, tortured for several days and were eventually tried … Continue reading

14 star flag-raising, Abepura 2002

Three men were arrested for raising the 14-star flag of the West Melanesian State at Cenderawasih University in Abepura. This flag, which advocates a united state for the whole of Melanesia, including West Papua, is considered treasonous by the Indonesian … Continue reading

Wamena weapons arsenal

On the morning of 4 April 2003 a group of people broke into the weapons arsenal at Wamena District Military Command and escaped with weapons and ammunition. Two soldiers and one of the raiding party were killed in the clash. … Continue reading

Demonstration in support of FWPC office in PNG

On 26 November 2013, 28 demonstrators, including three women, were arrested during demonstrations in Jayapura. The demonstrations were held to support the opening of a Free West Papua Campaign office in Papua New Guinea and the Sorong to Samarai campaign. … Continue reading

Demonstration against Otsus Plus arrests

Yason Ngelia was one of 15 demonstrators arrested during demonstrations against the Special Autonomy bill at Cenderawasih University (UNCEN) campus in Jayapura. He is accused of having committed a crime against a UNCEN student on campus. Police forcibly shaved Ngelia’s … Continue reading

Third Papuan Congress demo in Biak

On 19 October, Biak activist Piethein Manggaprouw was arrested for his involvement in a peaceful demonstration commemorating the second anniversary of the Third Papuan Peoples’ Congress.  Manggaprouw has been charged with conspiracy to commit treason under Articles 106 and 110 … Continue reading

Freedom Flotilla arrests in Sorong

On 28 August 2013, four community leaders were arrested in Sorong after a prayer session and statement to the press in solidarity with the Australian civil society-led ‘Freedom Flotilla’ campaign. They were charged with conspiracy to commit treason under Articles … Continue reading

Death of Yapen police

In April and May 2013, five men were arrested in relation to a fatal attack on police Mobile Brigades (Brimob) officer Jefri Sesa. Local sources report that three of the five men who remain in detention have suffered torture in … Continue reading

Timika 1 May commemoration

On 1 May 2013, fifteen people were arrested in Timika during a flag-raising ceremony commemorating 1 May, marking the administrative transfer of Papua to Indonesia. Five men were reportedly charged with treason and held in Timika prison. There have been … Continue reading

Biak 1 May commemoration

On 1 May 2013, six activists were arrested in Biak after police opened fire into a crowd of 50 people gathered for a flag-raising ceremony in commemoration of 1 May, the anniversary marking the administrative transfer of Papua to Indonesia. … Continue reading

Aimas 1 May commemoration

On 30 April 2013, seven people were arrested after security forces opened fire into a crowd of community members. The crowd had gathered at the house of Isak Klaibin in Sorong, Aimas dsitrict with the intention of commemorating 1 May, … Continue reading

13 May 2013 accountability demonstration

Victor Yeimo was prosecuted for his participation in a peaceful pro-referendum demonstration on March 2009 in Jayapura city. He was charged with treason and incitement under articles 106 and 160, and sentenced to one year imprisonment. Yeimo was released in … Continue reading

Indonesian flag at PNG border

On 28 February 2013, Boas Gombo was arrested for allegedly lowering an Indonesian flag and shouting protests to police immigration officials at the border to Papua New Guinea. He had reportedly been severely beaten by an Indonesian police official the … Continue reading

The Sarmi four

On 3 March 2013, four men were arrested at Yamna village in Sarmi district. Upon their arrest Isak Demetouw (alias Alex Makabori) and Daniel Norotouw from Jayapura, and Niko Sasomar and Sileman Teno from Sarmi were allegedly found with weapons and … Continue reading

Depapre arrests and torture case

Matan Klembiap and Daniel Gobay were arrested at gunpoint on 15 February 2013 along with Arsel Kobak, Eneko Pahabol, Yosafat Satto, Salim Yaru and Obed Bahabol. They were asked about the whereabouts of pro-independence activists Sebby Sambom and Terianus Satto. … Continue reading

Manokwari demonstration and KNPP meeting

Police have reportedly charged three human rights activists, Markus Yenu, Eliaezer Awom and Jhon Warijo with treason in relation to their involvement in a peaceful demonstration on 17 January 2013 and a meeting of the National Coalition of Young Papuans … Continue reading

Biak explosives case

Two men were arrested in Biak around 21 October 2012 and have been held to face trial, charged with possession of weapons. However we have little information about their case. A media report at the time reported that the police … Continue reading

Pugima KNPB case

Two men were searched by police in a street control as they were returning to Pugima village from Wamena town. Police claimed that they were carrying documents related to the OPM and KNPB, so they were held and charged with … Continue reading

Timika treason and explosives case

Around twelve KNPB members were arrested in Timika on the night of 19 October. Six were set free a few weeks later, and the other six were held to face charges of possessing weapons. Although the case was reported as … Continue reading

Yapen Indigenous People’s Day Celebrations

A demonstration took place in Serui on 9 August 2012 to mark World Indigenous Peoples’ Day. After the military dispersed the demonstration by firing into the air, they arrested at least six people. Of these, two men were held to … Continue reading

Serui ‘TPN training camp’ case

As part of a military operation in the Angkaisera region of Yapen Island in May and June 2012, military forces claimed to have discovered a training camp for TPN-OPM guerilla fighters. There were reports that houses were burned and at … Continue reading

1 May 2012 human rights demo

Fourteen people were arrested in a demonstration on 1 May as they tried to unfurl the banned Morning Star flag in Sentani at the grave of Theys Eluay, a Papuan leader killed in 2001. The demonstration was demanding protection for … Continue reading

Demta flag-raising 2010

A conflict had broken out between two groups in Demta. One group was focussed around a cultural centre they called the Mammo, where their activities, possibly of a messianic or cultish nature, involved belief in a king who would bring … Continue reading

Abepura prison riot trial

After hearing that an escaped prisoner had been shot dead, inmates at Abepura Prison were angry and rioted, smashing windows of the prison. Five men, including two political prisoners were blamed for inciting the riot and transferred to the Papuan … Continue reading

14 star flag-raising, Manokwari 2010

The 14 star West Melanesian flag was raised in Manokwari. Police arrested eight people, seven of whom were detained. After a trial regarded as unfair three of the defendants were found guilty of treason and given sentences between seven months … Continue reading

Yalengga case 2010

Nine people were walking to a funeral in the central highlands. It seems they may have wanted the dead man to be buried alongside the Morning Star flag. They were arrested by police before they reached their destination, accused of … Continue reading

Demta flag-raising, 2009

A conflict had broken out between two groups in Demta. One group was focussed around a cultural centre they called the Mammo, where their activities, possibly of a messianic or cultish nature, involved belief in a king who would bring … Continue reading

Biak flag-raising 2009

A 62 year old man was arrested for flying the Morning Star flag outside his house in Orwe village in Biak, on the day some Papuans regard as their independence day. He was tried for treason and sentenced to six … Continue reading

MRP flag-raising 2009

After the Morning Star flag was raised outside the Papuan People’s Consultative Assembly in Jayapura, two men were arrested and charged with treason. They were eventually found innocent on the treason charge, but sentenced to one year in prison for … Continue reading

Bintuni flag-raising 2009

Three men were arrested for raising the a flag similar to the banned Morning Star flag outside the Bintuni Bay regent’s office. They were later sentenced to between two and three years for treason. Share

Nabire demonstration 2009

The West Papua National Committee (Komisi Nasional Papua Barat, KNPB) set up a camp in Bunga Bangsa park in Nabire, in order to organise a demonstration on 6 April 2009. However, at 05:00 while people were still sleeping the police … Continue reading

IPWP support demonstration 2008

Buchtar Tabuni is a leader within the West Papua National Committee (Komisi Nasional Papua Barat, KNPB), an organisation which campaigns for a referendum on Papuan independence. On 16 October 2008 the KNPB organised a peaceful demonstration to support the launch … Continue reading

Fak-Fak flag-raising

After the Morning Star flag had been flying for two minutes outside the Pepera building in Fak-Fak, police moved in on the assembled gathering, arresting 35 people, and later rounding up another eleven. The arrested men were forced to strip … Continue reading

Anti-Freeport demonstration, Abepura 2006

Clashes broke out in front of Cenderawasih University at a demonstration demanding the closure of the Freeport mine. As police tried to storm a blockade they lost control of the situation, and four policemen and one air force officer were … Continue reading

Wunin case

Like many cases in the Central Highlands, a complete chronology of the events in Wunin in January 2004 has not been published. It appears that between seven and nine men were arrested in January, accused of being members of the … Continue reading

Abepura flag-raising 2004

On 1 December, the date many West Papuans regard as their Independence day, a flag-raising ceremony took place outside Abepura. Police attacked the gathering, injuring at least 4 people and arresting 20. Of these, Filep Karma and Yusak Pakage were … Continue reading

Bokondini election boycott

Four men were arrested while allegedly distributing leaflets calling for a boycott of the elections which were to be held on 5 April 2004 in Bokondini, a remote part of the Central Highlands. One of the four, Marius Kogoya, was … Continue reading

Pro-referendum demo, March 2009

Two men were arrested in Jayapura Harbour as they disembarked from a passenger ship, and fifteen other students were arrested in a police raid on the compound of the Papuan Customary Council. Three of these men were later charged with … Continue reading

Third Papuan Peoples’ Congress

The Third Papuan People’s Congress took place in Zakeus field, Abepura from 17-19 October 2011. The event hosted representatives from all over West Papua, a follow-on to previous Congresses in 1961 and 2000.  On the third day, the Congress delacred … Continue reading

Sentani ammunition smuggling arrests

On 3 February 2014, Kristianus Delgion Madai was arrested for reportedly smuggling eight 8.4mm calibre bullets while in transit at Sentani airport. He was charged for possession of ammunition under Emergency Law 12/1951. Share

Sasawa military raid arrests

On 1 February, 17 people were arrested following a large-scale military raid in Sasawa village in Yapen island. While others have been released, seven men were charged with conspiracy to commit treason under Articles 106 and 110, rebellion under Article … Continue reading

Sasawa military raid arrests

On 1 February 2014, 17 people were arrested following a large-scale military raid in Sasawa village in Yapen island. While most were released, seven men were charged with conspiracy to commit treason and rebellion under Articles 106,110 and 108of the … Continue reading

Dondobaga church arrests

On 26 January 2014, two men were arrested during a raid at Dondobaga church in Kurilik village, Puncak Jaya. The arrests came three weeks after the arrest of Deber Enumby in the same village, reportedly for the theft of eight … Continue reading

Kurilik firearms arrest

On 4 January 2014, Deber Enumby was arrested in Kurlik village in Puncak Jaya following the theft of eight firearms from the Kurilik police post. He was charged with Emergency Law 12/1951 and, according to Papua police potentially faces the … Continue reading

Sarmi 2013 Melanesian flag arrests

On 13 December 2013, Edison Werimon was arrested when a West Melanesian 14-star flag and allegedly treasonous documents were found in his home in Sarmi. Soleman Fonataba was arrested four days later. The two men were charged with conspiracy to … Continue reading

Pegunungan Bintang police raid 2013

On 19 May 2013, Stefanus Banal was arrested during a police raid in Oksibil, Pegunungan Bintang regency, under accusations of involvement in an arson attack on a local police station. Banal, who reportedly had no involvement in the attack, was … Continue reading