Numbungga Telenggen

Date of Birth26 years old in 2003
ChargesArticles 106 and 110
Date of Arrest04/04/2003
Case DetailsCharged with treason and conspiracy in relation to the 2003 raid on the Jayawijaya District Military Command’s weapons arsenal
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Numbungga Telenggen

Numbungga Telenggen is a farmer from Napua village near Wamena town in Jayawijaya district, and was 27 years old at the time of his arrest. Following a raid on the Jayawijaya District Military Command weapons arsenal on 4 April 2003, Mr Telenggen was arrested the same day and charged with treason.

According to a report by the Office for Justice and Peace (Sekratariat untuk Keadilan dan Perdamaian, SKP), Mr Telenggen was arrested on 4 April by four armed soldiers and taken to a nearby military guard post.

Mr Telenggen’s version of events is recounted in an article by local NGO Alliance of Democracy for Papua (Aliansi Demokrasi untuk Papua, ALDP). He says that immediately preceding his arrest he was approached by soldiers. Not knowing what they wanted he ran away, whereupon they fired at him twice as he ran, first in the stomach and then in the left thigh. He was unable to run further and was then arrested. Mr Telenggen maintains that at the time of the raid on the weapons arsenal, he was at Ibele passenger terminal, some 25 kilometres away. He states that didn’t know anything about the raid.

A report by an NGO coalition states that on receiving Mr Telenggen into custody, police reported noting gunshot wounds to the right side of his chest, his stomach and his thigh. The military version of events, detailed in the same report, maintains that the gunshot wounds were sustained when Mr Telenggen was fired at while fleeing the scene of the raid on the weapons arsenal.

According to the investigations of the NGO coalition, Mr Telenggen, Apotnalogolik Lokobal, Kanius Murib, Jefrai Murib, and Kimanus Wenda were detained in the Jayawijaya District Military Command for around five days, far exceeding the 24-hour limit for military detention. According to SKP, during the period of military detention Mr Telenggen was beaten with a wooden bar, threatened with a gun pointed at his head, and blindfolded with a black cloth. His hands, legs and neck were tied and he was ordered to roll on the wet floor. The NGO coalition found that the five detainees were then handed over to the Jayawijaya Police Station on 15 April 2003. When Mr Telenggen and the other detainees arrived at the police station, they were sent to the local hospital for a medical check. Doctor Berry Wopari reportedly found that they had all sustained severe wounds and were unwell, with the exception of Kanius Murib.

An undated report by ALDP noted many accusations of irregularities in the trial. These included the lack of translators and the prosecution remaining almost silent throughout the trial as their role was being assumed by the judges themselves. The judges reportedly failed to respect the defendants’ rights to be assumed innocent until proven guilty, and pushed the prisoners to accept the state’s version of the story. They also repeated prejudices about the local people of Wamena, such as “people here are lazy and stupid.” According to a 2008 document signed by a government official based in Jayapura, Mr Telenggen was found guilty under the charges of treason (article 106 of the Indonesian penal code) and conspiracy (article 110) and was sentenced to life imprisonment.

There have been a number of concerns raised about the treatment of those incarcerated in connection with this case. In 2004 while imprisoned in Wamena prison, Mr Telenggen and the other people accused of the raid on the weapons store were reportedly “still being intimidated by the intelligence of the Military District Command and Police Mobile Brigade, even when in jail,” according to Ms Anum Sirigar, a member of their legal team. They were also allegedly being denied access to the prison hall, where they were supposed to be able to meet their families or take exercise, because the military were using it for their own purposes.

A report by ALDP (2008) describes the forced removal of Mr Telenggen from Wamena prison, where he was initially held. On 15 December 2004 he, along with eight other prisoners, was reportedly woken in the middle of the night, beaten until bruised and bleeding and forced to get into a police vehicle. The prisoners were moved to Gunung Sari prison in Makassar on the island of Sulawesi, far from their families. The sudden nature of this move caused fears for their safety at the time. Following the death of fellow prisoner Michael Heselo in Makassar hospital in August 2007, the remaining eight prisoners were moved back to Papua. Mr Telenggen was brought to Biak prison on 28 January 2008, along with Jefrai Murib and Apotnalogolik Enos Lokobal.

Mr Telenggen has reportedly been in poor health whilst in prison and has not received adequate medical attention. His situation has been highlighted by church organisations in 2007 and by political prisoner and activist Filep Karma in 2010.

Aliansi Demokrasi untuk Papua, “Tiga napol narapidana politik kasus,” June 2011,

Aliansi Demokrasi untuk Papua, “Mereka pulang mimpi,” 5 February 2008,  

Aliansi Demokrasi untuk Papua, “Peristiwa Pembobolan Gudang Senjata KODIM 1702 Jayawijaya, Wamena, 4 April 2003,” [undated],

Nazarudin Bunas, Head of the Papuan Provincial Department of Justice and Human Rights, “Daftar Naripidana tahanan politik 2008,” [undated], received by TAPOL in November 2011

NGO coalition for the protection and upholding of Human Rights in Papua, Jayapura, “Initial report into the 4 April 2003 Wamena case,” 6 May 2003,

Office for Justice and Peace of Jayapura, Imparsial Jakarta, Progressio Timor Leste, the Synod of the Christian Evangelical Church in Papua, and Franciscans International, “The practice of torture in Aceh and Papua 1998–2007,”Jayapura and Jakarta, November 2007,

Sekretariat untuk Keadilan dan Perdamaian, “They still intimidated, even in jail!” Jayapura, 5 June 2004,