Filep Karma

Sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment for the act of simply raising a flag, Filep Karma is undoubtedly the best-known political prisoner in West Papua. His release on 19 November 2015 was widely celebrated among Papuan civil society.

The son of a prominent local politician, originally from Biak island, Filep Karma studied political science in Java before working as a civil servant in Papua.

Mr Karma’s first conviction for treason occurred in the euphoric weeks following the fall of Suharto’s regime, as people all over Indonesia rose up to seize the new possibilities to express their aspirations and seek to redress the injustices of the dictatorship. Human Rights Watch has chronicled the demonstrations which broke out across Papua, when people were emboldened by a letter from a group of US Congress members which asked President Habibie to review the status of West Papua and East Timor. On 2 July 1998 Mr Karma led a demonstration in Biak where the Morning Star Flag was raised on a water tower near the harbour. Despite a confrontation with the police that same day, the demonstrators managed to defend the flag and the port for four more days.

The Morning Star flag is a symbol of Papuan identity and seen as treasonous by the Indonesian state. While it was allowed under Indonesia’s 2001 Special Autonomy laws relating to the governance of Papua, it was subsequently banned again by Presidential Regulation 77/2007.

Early on the morning of 6 July, the military took control of Biak Harbour. Eben Kirksey, an American anthropologist who happened to be in Biak at the time, reported that Filep Karma was shot in each leg, but survived. However he also recorded eye-witnesses telling of trucks laden with the dead and dying, and how local investigators claimed that 139 bodies were loaded onto two navy ships and dumped at sea. Thirty-two bodies were later washed up along the coast.

Andreas Harsono, a consultant for Human Rights Watch has recorded that 150 people were arrested that day, 19 of whom were brought to trial, including Filep Karma. On 25 January 1999 Mr Karma was sentenced to six-and-a-half years in prison, but he later appealed and was released after spending 18 months in detention. An article in local Papuan newspaper the Cenderawasih Pos confirmed that the charge was treason under article 106 of the Indonesian Criminal Code, and mentioned that around 2000 sympathisers were present at his trial.

After his release, according to Andreas Harsono, Mr Karma continued to work for the government, training new civil servants. On 1 December 2004, the day many Papuans regard as the anniversary of the granting of independence by the Dutch, Mr Karma was once again arrested for organising a flag-raising. In their report “Protest and Punishment – Political Prisoners in West Papua,” Human Rights Watch noted that Mr Karma had sent a letter to local police informing them of the intention to hold a celebration on Trikora Field, Abepura, that day. The event consisted of speeches, prayers and dancing (Mr Karma’s speech that day can be viewed on Youtube), during which the Morning Star flag was raised. Clashes broke out as police tried to take down the flag, and police fired into the crowd.

Mr Karma, together with Yusak Pakage was arrested the next day. National newspaper Tempo reported that as a protest against his detention, Mr Karma began a hunger strike, and also tied a white cloth over his mouth, refusing to speak.

During the trial process, according to Human Rights Watch, both Filep Karma and Yusak Pakage challenged the court’s authority to prosecute them, claiming they were West Papuan citizens, not Indonesians. The defence also protested the impartiality of one of the judges, after a series of inflammatory remarks. The judge in question had apparently told the police to “Smash in the head of Filep if he’s naughty” and even said “You be quiet, you want to die do you?” to a female pro-Karma protester as he punched and kicked her. The defence lawyers were also subjected to intimidation; a severed dog’s head was left outside the Jayapura Legal Aid (LBH) office with a threatening note addressing the two defence lawyers by name.

Once again there were huge public demonstrations in support of the two defendants, both inside and outside the courtroom. The force of this was felt on 10 May, as angry supporters protested the prosecution’s demand that the two men be sentenced to five years in prison. The Human Rights Watch report indicates that courtroom windows and vehicles were smashed, and the crowd tried to blockade the vehicle containing the two defendants so that Mr Karma could address the crowd directly. However, the police fought back and at least thirteen people, including two policemen, were injured in the clashes that followed. The Head of the Jayapura police and ten others were later demoted because of human rights violations that occurred during these protests, but subsequent hearings were protected by 300 police officers surrounding the court.

On 26 May 2005, Filep Karma and Yusak Pakage were found guilty of treason. Mr Karma’s sentence was 15 years, three times longer than the prosecution’s original demand that had triggered the angry protests two weeks previously. Defending the heavy sentences, the judges said there were no factors which could mitigate the sentences. Appeals to the Court of Appeals and Supreme Court were unsuccessful.

Mr Karma’s state of health in prison has been a source of concern since at least August 2009, when he was brought to the Dok II Hospital in Jayapura for kidney problems, according to the Solidarity Organization for Victims of Human Rights Abuses in Papua (Solidaritas Korban Pelanggaran HAM di Papua, SKPHP). The hospital recommended that he be transferred to Cikini Hospital in Jakarta to see a specialist in urological surgery, but the prison refused to pay for this treatment, although it is their legal obligation to do so. Instead, members of SKPHP in Jayapura and activists in Manokwari went out on the streets to raise money for the treatment. This way they were able to pay the costs of flights and accommodation for members of his family who supported him during the trip. Filep Karma was in Jakarta from 19 to 31 July 2010. The RP 60.8 million medical bill was paid for mostly by international NGOs (94%), and the remainder by the Provincial government of Papua.

As supporters mobilised to raise funds for his treatment, Mr Karma worked to draw attention to the plight of other political prisoners, especially Ferdinand Pakage who needed treatment for an eye injury after he was beaten by a prison guard. Local newspaper Tabloid Jubi reported Mr Karma as saying that he was holding back from leaving to Jakarta for treatment in order to leave together with Ferdinand Pakage, but that in the end he was forced to leave alone. A message from the prison reportedly received by West Papua Media even indicated that Mr Karma started a hunger strike on 5 October 2010, demanding adequate medical attention for Ferdinand Pakage, although no reports were received about how long this protest lasted.

Mr Karma continued to experience health problems until 2012, when local doctors recommended he should travel once again to Jakarta for a colonoscopy. A press release from his family published by West Papua Media stated that once again the Indonesian state refused to pay for this treatment. Once again Mr Karma’s supporters across Papua and internationally had to raise money for the treatment.

On 3 December 2010 Mr Karma was moved out of Abepura prison to the Papuan Police Headquarters. This was after a disturbance broke out in the prison, when prisoners learnt that Miron Wetipo, an inmate who had recently escaped, had been shot dead. Mr Karma, along with another political prisoner Buchtar Tabuni and three others were moved to the police station and accused of being the ringleaders. However, BUK Papua has reported that the two men were merely trying to negotiate a dialogue with the prison chief to investigate the shooting, and trying to prevent the prisoners from destroying the prison. Reports in local newspapers Tabloid Jubi and Bintang Papua reveal that the five men were charged with criminal damage under article 170 of the criminal code, and also that for some days after they were moved their lawyer was not able to visit them. Mr Karma once again refused food for a period in protest. They remained in the police station until 7 March 2011.

In 2011 Mr Karma was one of several Papuan political prisoners who was offered remission as part of Indonesia’s celebration of its independence day on 17 August. He refused this offer, saying that he would only accept unconditional freedom, accompanied by an apology to the Papuan people who have been killed, or oppressed, or who have had their land taken from them. A video of this refusal can be viewed on West Papua Media Alerts.

Because of the extremely long sentence he received for peacefully expressing his views, and possibly because of his own determination to stay firm with his beliefs even while behind bars, Filep Karma‘s case has attracted support from many international organisations and has also become a focus for campaigns against Indonesia’s repressive use of the treason laws. Human Rights Watch has repeatedly chronicled his case, and Amnesty International has described him as a prisoner of conscience since at least February 2005, while consistently campaigning for his release. In August 2011, 26 US Congressmen signed a letter to Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono requesting his release. A United Nations body, the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has also issued a high-level opinion on Mr Karma’s case, claiming his detention represents a breach of articles 9, 10, 11 19 and 20 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and demanding that he be immediately released and compensated.

There were reports of Filep Karma‘s family being targeted and physically attacked. Andrefina Karma, Filep’s daughter was allegedly deliberately hit by a motorcycle outside her house in Jayapura on 6 June 2013. The motorcyclist had reportedly been waiting around and monitoring the house when Andrefina was on her way back home from work, when he crashed into her when she entered the alley to her house. He had allegedly attempted to approach her after the crash, but left hurriedly when concerned neighbours came to the scene.

On 19 November 2015, Mr Karma was finally released via a special decade remission. While Mr Karma has repeatedly rejected clemency and remissions, due to the implicit admission of guilt to which he does not subscribe, in the event he was not given the choice to refuse this remission, but instead simply removed from the prison. Mr Karma was accompanied during his release by his lawyer Ms Olga Hamadi, of KontraS Papua.

Sources

Amnesty International, “Indonesia Prisoners of Conscience Action 2005,” 1 February 2005, https://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/ASA21/004/2005/en/8763d4e1-d51c-11dd-8a23-d58a49c0d652/asa210042005en.html

Andreas Harsono, “Belajar Dari Filep Karma,” 24 February 2011, http://www.andreasharsono.net/2010/11/belajar-dari-filep-karma.html

Bintang Papua, “Filep Karma and Buchtar Tabuni to face charges ‘for damaging public property’,” posted in translation by West Papua Media, 16 December 2011, http://westpapuamedia.info/2010/12/16/filep-karma-and-buchtar-tabuni-to-face-charges-for-damaging-public-property/

BUK Papua, “Filep Karma,” 9 August 2010, http://bukpapua.org/?p=19

BUK Papua, “Filef Karma dan Buktar Tabuni Dipindah Ke Kapolda Papua,” 5 December 2005, https://bukpapua.wordpress.com/2010/12/05/filef-karma-dan-buktar-tabuni-dipindah-ke-tahanan-kapolda-papua/

Cenderawasih Pos, “Filep Karma Divonis 6 Tahun Penjara,” 26 January 1999, http://groups.yahoo.com/group/irianjaya/message/536

Eben Kirksey, “What is Indonesia Trying to Hide in West Papua?” 17 October 2012, http://ebenkirksey.blogspot.fr/2012/10/what-is-indonesia-trying-to-hide-in.html

ETAN, “26 Members of the House of Representatives Write Indonesia President to Call for Release of Papuan Prisoner Filep Karma,” 19 August 2011, http://www.etan.org/news/2011/08filepletter.htm

Filep Karma, “Freedom for West-Papua speech,” 2004, posted on Youtube 6 April 2008,

Freedom Now, “United Nations Declares Indonesia’s Detention of Filep Karma a Violation of International Law, Calls for Immediate Release,” 16 November 2011, http://www.freedom-now.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/Karma-Press-Release-FINAL2.pdf

Human Rights Watch, “Protest and Punishment – Political Prisoners in Papua,” February 2007, http://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/reports/papua0207webwcover.pdf

Human Rights Watch, Indonesia: Human Rights and Pro-Independence Actions in Irian Jaya, 1998,

http://www.hrw.org/legacy/reports98/biak/biak.htm

Jubi, “Karma Continues His Hunger Strike,” posted in translation by West Papua Media, 11 December 2011, http://westpapuamedia.info/2010/12/11/karma-continues-his-hunger-strike-komnasham-unable-to-visit-filep-and-buchtar/

Tempointeractif.com, “Filep Karma Masih Mogok Makan dan Bicara,” 11 December 2004, http://www.tempo.co.id/hg/nusa/papua/2004/12/11/brk,20041211-15,id.html

West Papua Media Alerts,” Papuan Prisoner of Conscience Filep Karma in Jakarta for Medical Treatment,” 27 September 2012, http://westpapuamedia.info/2012/09/27/papuan-prisoner-of-conscience-filep-karma-in-jakarta-for-medical-treatment/

West Papua Media Alerts, “Filep Karma Refuses Indonesia’s Remission,” 20 August 2011, http://westpapuamedia.info/2011/08/20/filep-karma-refuses-indonesias-remission/

West Papua Media Alerts, “Emergency: Papuan Political Prisoner Filep Karma refusing to Eat,” 5 October 2010, http://westpapuamedia.info/2010/10/05/emergency-papuan-political-prisoner-filep-karma-refusing-to-eat/

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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.

 

August / September 2015: Shootings in Timika echo Bloody Paniai incident

In brief

At the end of August 2015, there were at least 45 political prisoners in Papua. At the end of September, the number of political prisoners remained the same.

In Timika alone, there were three separate incidents of shootings against young indigenous Papuans perpetrated by Indonesian security forces during the extended period of this Update. On 28 August, Imanuel Marimau and Yulianus Okare, both 23 years old, were shot dead by two soldiers from Military District Command 1710 (Komando Distrik Militer 1710, Kodim 1710) during a traditional ritual held in honour of a local man who had received a doctorate degree. At least five others were injured. On 28 September, two separate shootings occurred. The first involved the shooting of three teenagers by Mimika Baru District Police (Polsek Mimika Baru), resulting in the death of 18-year-old Kalep Bagau and the injuring of two others. While the motives behind the shootings remain unclear, witnesses allege that it was in response to an act of vandalism earlier that day. An hour following this incident, Niko Bedes, aged 21, was shot and seriously injured by two army officers after a motorcycle he was riding pillion on collided into their vehicle, on Yos Sudarso street in Timika.

In Jayapura, three young men were kidnapped and tortured by Jayapura City police officers over the alleged theft of a motorcycle. In another incident in Intan Jaya, students were brutally beaten by authorities, including the Regent of Intan Jaya, Natalis Tabuni, and police Mobile Brigades (Brigades Mobil, Brimob) officers under his instruction.

The willingness to resort to excessive use of force not only demonstrates a low standard of professionalism and discipline within security forces, but also shows a poor understanding of basic human rights obligations. This climate of increasing police and military brutality further exacerbates existing tensions and distrust towards state authorities amongst indigenous Papuans.

The arrests of students in Intan Jaya and Sorong who were protesting the poor state of the education system in Papua shows that it is not only political demonstrations that are shut down; restrictions on freedom of expression are wide-ranging and can affect any attempt to criticise the government.

Arrests

13 students arrested in Sorong for demonstrating against poor education system

On 13 August, 13 students were arrested by Sorong City Regional Police on their way to hold a demonstration demanding the resignation of the Sorong City Head of Education and Culture due to the poor state of the education system. Amad Rumalean, the Head of the Sorong Regional Police Criminal Investigation Unit (Kasat Reskrim), told Jubi that the demonstration was forcibly dispersed as the demonstrators did not have a letter of ‘consent’ from the police, thus making the action ‘illegal.’ It is believed that the 13 demonstrators have since been released without charge.

KNPB Merauke leader arrested during raid on secretariat

On 8 August 2015, at around 11:00 Papua time, Gento Emerikus, a KNPB leader from Merauke was arrested by police during a raid on the KNPB secretariat led by Marthin Koagouw, the Head of the Operational Division, (Kepala Bagian Operasional, Kabagops) of Merauke Regional Police. According to an eyewitness interviewed by Jubi, police reportedly cited a planned event boycotting Indonesia’s Independence Day on 17 August and prevented them from holding any gatherings. KNPB members denied planning a boycott. It is believed that Emerikus has since been released.

Two KNPB activists arrested and beaten for distributing flyers

On 16 September, two KNPB members, Hariel Luluk and Arpinus Magayong were arrested by Yahukimo police for distributing flyers announcing the outcome of the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) meeting in Papua New Guinea. They were beaten in detention in Yahukimo Regional Police Station and were released without charge a few hours later.

Releases

Yoseph Arwakon released following sentence remission

On 17 August, Yoseph Arwakon, one of five remaining detainees in the Biak 1 May case was released after receiving remission. Remissions are regularly given to prisoners on Indonesian Independence Day. The four remaining detainees, Oktovianus Warnares, Markus Sawias, George Syors Simyapen and Jantje Wamaer continue to serve their sentences in Biak prison.

Three activists in Fakfak released

Information from KNPB activists in Fakfak reported that the three men arrested in Fakfak on 3 July 2015 for participating in a demonstration in support of the ULMWP have been released. Apnel Hegemur, Roy Marten Mury and Daniel Hegemur were detained for several hours before being released without charge.

UNIPA student leader released

Information from lawyers from the Institute for Research, Investigation and Development of Legal Aid, (Lembaga Penelitian, Pengkajian dan Pengembangan Bantuan Hukum, LP3BH) reported that Domingus Babika, a student at the State University of Papua (Universitas Papua, UNIPA) active in leading demonstrations in Manokwari, was released shortly after his detention on 1 May 2015. Babika was arrested for his role in leading a demonstration in Manokwari commemorating the 52nd anniversary of the administrative transfer of Papua to Indonesia.

Political trials and cases overview

Lanny Jaya torture case victims sentenced to three years’ imprisonment; Kelpis Wenda escapes prison

Lawyers from AlDP reported that on 20 August, Kamori Murib and Kelpis Wenda were sentenced to three years’ imprisonment for possessing a firearm under charges of Emergency Law 12/1951. The Public Prosecutor had previously called for a four-year sentence each for the two men. On 23 August, Kelpis Wenda reportedly escaped Wamena prison during a mass prison break.

The two men were arrested and tortured in relation to the possession of a pistol. They had reportedly intended to hand over a pistol belonging to a deceased relative to the Papuan Legislative Council (Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat Papua, DPRD) authorities in Puncak Jaya regency, in response to a weapons amnesty.

Palm oil plantation protestors sentenced

On 25 August, Obed Korie was sentenced to five months’ imprisonment while Odie Aitago to seven months. Prosecutor Katrina Dimara previously demanded a prison sentence of one year for Obed Korie and eight months for Odi Aitago. On 15 May 2015, the two men were arrested in Sorong for demonstrating against palm oil plantation company PT Permata Putera Mandiri (PPM), a subsidiary of the Austindo Nusantara Jaya Group. Korie and Aitago were among a group of indigenous Papuans from the Iwaro tribe who protested against PPM’s seizure of their customary land. They were charged with violence towards persons or property under Article 170 of the Indonesian Criminal Code. Korie is expected to be released in October and Aitago in December this year.

MSG demo detainees in Manokwari still detained at Brimob HQ

Lawyers with LP3BH reported that the four detainees – Alexander Nekenem, Narko Murib, Maikel Aso and Yoram Magai – arrested in May for their participation in a demonstration in support of the ULMWP bid for MSG (Melanesian Spearhead Group) membership remain in detention at the Brimob Headquarters (Mako Brimob) in Manokwari. Lawyers reported that their detention at the Brimob headquarters make access to healthcare, family and lawyers particularly difficult for the four detainees. The four men have been charged with incitement under Article 160 of the Indonesian Criminal Code.

ULMWP supporters detained in Biak to face trial in October

Human rights lawyers accompanying Apolos Sroyer, Dorteus Bonsapia and Wamoka Yudas Kossay reported that the trial for the three men will begin on 15 October. The three men face charges of incitement and spreading lies under Article 160 of the Indonesian Criminal Code and Article 14 of Law 1/1946 respectively. The three men are currently being detained in Biak Prison.

Piethein Manggaprouw sentence increased to three years

Kontras Papua lawyers accompanying Piethein Manggaprouw reported that his prison sentence was increased from two to three years following a court decision of an appeal launched by the Prosecution. On 19 October 2013, Manggaprouw was arrested for leading a peaceful demonstration in Biak commemorating the Third Papuan Peoples’ Congress.

Markus Sawias sentence increased to four years

KontraS Papua reported that Markus Sawias, one of the four remaining detainees in the Biak 1 May case received an increased prison sentence of four years following a decision on a second appeal launched by the Prosecution. On 1 May 2013, Sawias was one of six people arrested following a peaceful flag-raising ceremony at which police opened fire.

Cases of concern

Three teenagers shot by district police in Timika; one dead, two injured

Information received by local human rights investigators reported that on 28 September, at around 19:00 Papuan time, three teenagers were shot by Mimika Baru District Police (Polsek Mimika Baru) at Gorong-Gorong market in Timika regency. While the motive behind the shooting remains unclear, according to witness statements recorded by local investigators, the shootings were reportedly in response to the vandalism of a house. 18-year-old Kalep Bagau was shot dead while two other teenagers, Efrando Sabarofek and Bastian Korwa, both 17 years old, sustained injuries.

Reports containing testimonies from the surviving victims stated that the three teenagers were idling away time by the Tiang Tower in Timika when three Mimika Baru District police officers in a patrol car stopped and threatened them. The officers reportedly told the teenagers: “Leave this place. If not, we will shoot you. (Kamu bubar dari tempat itu, kalau tidak kamu dapat tembak).” One of the teenagers replied: “Brother, we are just sitting here, we are not doing anything. (Kaka, kami hanya duduk-duduk saja, kami tidak buat apa-apa).” Following this response, the police drove away. Sometime later, the three teenagers decided to head to Biak Complex (Kompleks Biak Jalur Satu). On their way there, they noticed the patrol car from earlier on parked outside a residence. As they were passing, the three Mimika Baru District police officers opened fire on them from a distance of about six to seven metres away.

Bagau, a high school student at Hope Vocational High School (SMK Harapan), was shot in the chest and died shortly afterwards. Sabarofek was shot on the left side of his chest and inner right thigh. Korwa was shot on the ride side of his chest with a rubber bullet. Both surviving teenagers, Sabarofek and Korwa, managed to escape from the police, and were brought to Timika General Hospital (Rumah Sakit Umum Timika). According to testimony from one of the surviving victims, shortly after the shootings, security officers arriving in three cars and several motorcycles had gathered at the scene of the shootings. While the motive behind the shootings remain uncertain, witness testimony alleges that it may have been in response to a vandalism on the residence where the patrol car was parked earlier that day.

Latest information from the surviving victims reported that Sabarofek’s condition remains critical and he is currently seeking medical treatment, while Korwa sustained light injuries. Local human rights investigators stated that police have not taken responsibility for medical costs. Reports also alleged that parents of the two victims have been threatened by police officers. Police have reportedly telephoned them threatening that their sons would be detained. Families of the victims have requested human rights defenders accompanying the survivors to seek answers to why police had shot the three teenagers.

Two Papuans shot dead by soldiers in Timika

On 28 August, Imanuel Marimau and Yulianus Okare, both 23 years old, were shot dead while at least five others suffered injuries when two soldiers from Military District Command 1710 (Komando Distrik Militer 1710, Kodim 1710) opened fire on a group of people in Koperapoka in Mimika Regency. Chief Sergeant Serkha Makher and First Sergeant Sertu Arshar 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.

According to information from Timika-based investigators, two army officers arrived on motorcycles in an intoxicated state and attempted to disrupt the celebrations. After being told that they were not welcome at the event, the soldiers reportedly left, only to return a short while later with rifles and bayonets. They then allegedly began threatening the group of people with their weapons before leaving the church courtyard and positioning themselves on the road outside. Reports state that the soldiers then fired shots at the group, killing two and injuring at least four others. Reports state that Mairimau died after he was shot at the back of the head, while Okoare died from a gunshot wound in the stomach. Marthinus Afukafi, Martinus Imputa, Thomas Apoka, Moses Imipu and Amalia Apoka suffered gunshot injuries and were later hospitalised. According to reports in Jubi, there may be more victims of the shooting, but data was unavailable as security forces restricted human rights investigators from collecting information on victims hospitalised at Mimika General Hospital (Rumah Sakit Umum Daerah Mimika).

According to a report from Jubi, Lieutenant Colonel Andi Kusworo, the District Military Commander of Kodim 1710, stated that a new regulation would be issued regarding restrictions on soldiers carrying weapons while in towns. On 28 August, the two soldiers were arrested and detained in the Military Police office in Timika. According to a military spokesperson, the soldiers had allegedly acted in self-defence after being attacked by members of the group who participated in the celebrations.

On 7 September, the National Human Rights Commission (Komisi Nasional Hak Asasi Manusia, Komnas HAM) sent a monitoring team to Timika tasked with collecting data on the incident. Komnas HAM Chief Nur Kholis criticised the lack of transparency in investigations conducted by relevant state institutions. The military is reported to be conducting its own investigations into the incident.

Local and international civil society groups, including church and student organisations, have strongly condemned the shootings. The Council of Pacific Churches (Dewan Gereja-Gereja Pasifik) urged Indonesian authorities to address arbitrary killings, torture and human rights violations in Papua. On 4 September, demonstrators from the Papuan Students Alliance (Aliansi Mahasiswa Papua, AMP) in Malang demanded that the perpetrators be brought to trial and the military be withdrawn from Papua.

Army officers shoot Papuan man over roadside accident

Reports from Timika-based human rights defenders stated that on 28 September, a 21-year-old man named Niko Bedes was shot by two army officers following a roadside accident. While this incident took place shortly after the shootings of three Papuan teenagers by Mimika Baru District police officers (see item above), it appears to be a separate shooting, unrelated to the earlier incident.

According to reports, at around 20:00 Papua time, Bedes hitched a motorcycle ride from a friend following a trip to the market. On their way back, his friend lost control of the motorcycle and collided with an oncoming vehicle on Yos Sudarso street in front of the post office in Timika. Two army officers then reportedly stepped out of the vehicle. While Bedes remained laying on the road after the collision, his friend managed to run away. The two army officers then shot Bedes, injuring his left calf.

Shortly after that, Bedes was forced into a police patrol car that had arrived at the scene. He was brought to Mimika Baru District Police Station and put in a detention cell separate from other detainees. Local reports stated that the two army officers also confiscated his mobile phone and wallet containing IDR 250,000 and his identity card. Bedes was kept overnight in a cell and not given any medical attention despite his screams for help the whole night. He bled continuously from his leg. The next morning, at around 08:00, he was told by police officers that he could return home. He was not offered any medical assistance by police. As he could not walk, a police officer, whose identity is not known, drove him to the main road and gave him IDR 20,000 to pay for a motorcycle taxi ride home. He was later brought to Timika General Hospital by his wife. On 30 September, when asked about the incident, police reportedly stated that the victim had got into an accident when his motorcycle collided with a metal beam by the side of the road. There has been no police investigation into this case thus far.

Three Papuans kidnapped and tortured in Jayapura

On 28 August, three men were kidnapped and tortured in Jayapura by Jayapura City police (Polresta Jayapura). Jubi reported that at around 03:00, Elieser Awom, Soleman Yom and Yafet Awom were out buying cigarettes at a kiosk close to their home when they were forced into a car by four men. One of the four men reportedly wore a police uniform while the other three were dressed in plainclothes. The three young Papuan men were accused of stealing a motorcycle and were told that they were to be interrogated at a police station.

Instead of being taken to a police station, they were driven to East Sentani, a town at the opposite end of Jayapura. Throughout the journey there, they were forced to confess to the accusations under torture. According to testimony reported in Jubi, Yafet Awom was stabbed on the thigh with a knife and burned with cigarette butts. He also suffered bruises on the right side of his body from being beaten with a butt of a bayonet. He is reported to be in a state of trauma and is having difficulty speaking and eating. Soleman Awom was stabbed in the neck with a bayonet and also suffered other bruises from being beaten and kicked. Elieser Awom was stabbed in the back and on the right shoulder and kicked in the chest. He is having difficulty walking due to the beatings he suffered.

Once they arrived in Sentani, Soleman Yom and Elieser Awom were forced out of the car. When they started running away, the men in the car fired four shots in their direction. Yom and Awom hid in a village nearby and were sent home by local villagers the following day. Yafet Awom was detained in Jayapura City Regional Police Station and released the following morning.

On 31 August, relatives of the three victims went to the Papuan Police Headquarters to demand a thorough investigation into the incident. According to a statement made by Papuan Police Chief Inspector General Paulus Warterpauw, the two Jayapura City police officers, Second Brigadiers (Bripda) Suherman and Damani, are currently being investigated by Propam (Provos Pengamanan, Provost Security), the police internal complaints and investigations mechanism and the Criminal Investigations unit (Reskrim Polda). The three men are receiving legal accompaniment from the Democracy Alliance for Papua (Aliansi Demokrasi untuk Papua, AlDP).

Roby Pekey shot then charged with theft

In our July update, we reported on the detention and shooting of 21-year-old Roby Pekey by Jayawijaya Regional police in Wamena. He was then sent to Wamena General Hospital for medical treatment for his gunshot injuries. Information from lawyers accompanying him stated that Pekey is currently in detention at Wamena Regional Police Station while awaiting trial. He has been charged with theft under Article 362 of the Indonesian Criminal Code for allegedly stealing a motorcycle.

Lawyers accompanying Pekey has stated that his arrest and detention were carried out in contravention with regular police procedure. AlDP reported that his detention warrant was released two days, or more than 24 hours, after his arrest. According to Indonesian criminal procedure, a detention warrant must be issued 24 hours after a detainees’ arrest. Additionally, lawyers stated that he was arrested without an arrest warrant.

During court hearings in August, Second Brigadier (Bripda) Eko Putra Wijaya Basri, one of the policeman involved in Pekey’s arrest, testified that he had shot Pekey in the left ankle to incapacitate him. Basri admitted that even though Pekey had fallen to the ground and had been secured by police officers, he was shot again by another police officer. His testimony contradicts previous statements by Jayawijaya Regional Police that Pekey had only been shot once. His lawyers report that Pekey was shot three times. Pekey, a nursing student, maintained that he had not stolen the motorcycle but had instead bought it from a pawn shop.

Tolikara incident detainees under town arrest

In our July update, we reported on the detention of two men in relation to the Tolikara case. Human rights lawyers with KontraS Papua accompanying Jundi Wanimbo and Ariyanto Kogoya reported that the two men have been released from detention but remain under city arrest. The two men were arrested in relation to the burning of kiosks on 17 July, which spread to a musholla (a prayer room) where Eid al-Fitr prayers were taking place.

On 18 September, lawyers accompanying the two men submitted a bail appeal to the Wamena High Court. On 23 September, the two men were released from detention in the Papuan Police Headquarters (Polda Papua) on bail but remain under town arrest in Tolikara. They still face charges of arson and violence against person or property under Articles 187 and 170 of the Indonesian Criminal Code, but it is not yet clear when their trial will begin.

On 17 July, a 16-year-old teenager named Endy Wanimbo was shot dead and at least 11 people suffered gunshot injuries when security officers started shooting at a crowd of people who were protesting the use loudspeakers during an Eid prayer session. According to KontraS Papua lawyers, there is little sign that the perpetrators of the shootings will be brought to account.

Intan Jaya Regent participates in brutal forced dispersal of student demonstration

On 17 and 18 August, student demonstrators demanding transparency regarding mismanagement of student aid funds were brutally dispersed by Intan Jaya authorities. Students also protested against planned mining activity in Intan Jaya without proper consultation with local customary land owners

On 17 August, students from the Intan Jaya Student Movement (Gerakan Pelajar dan Mahasiswa Peduli Intan Jaya, GPMPI) demonstrating outside Soko Paki Airport in Intan Jaya were forcibly dispersed by Brimob officers under the instruction of Natalis Tabuni, the Regent of Intan Jaya. According to a witness account as reported by Suara Papua, Brimob officers reportedly beat demonstrators with rifle butts and fired five shots in the direction of the student demonstrators. None sustained injuries.

The following day, on 18 August, the same group of student demonstrators embarked on a long march. When they arrived outside the Regent’s residence, they began to negotiate with a security officer who instructed the students not to demonstrate. In an attempt to disperse the students, Natalis Tabuni reportedly came out of his house with a firearm and began firing shots into the air. Tabuni also reportedly joined Brimob officers that were present at his residence in beating the students. Suara Papua reported that several other local government officials also threw stones at the students. At least 14 students sustained injuries.

Student leader Melianus Duwitau, who also suffered beatings, told Majalah Selangkah that despite having met with authorities from the Ministry of People’s Welfare in Intan Jaya, action had not been taken regarding the disbursement of funds to students in need. He stated that 68 university students from Intan Jaya had not yet received student aid that had been promised to them.

News

Filep Karma rejects remission

West Papuan activist and political prisoner, Filep Karma, has rejected an offer of remission on his 15-year prison sentence. Remissions are typically given to prisoners on Indonesian Independence Day on 17 August. Karma has stated that he would only leave Abepura Prison, where he is currently being detained, if he was given unconditional release. Karma stated that “I did not commit any crime when I raised the Morning Star Flag in 2004. I will keep campaigning for independence once I am free.”

In 2004, Karma was arrested and charged with treason for raising the Morning Star Flag, a symbol of Papuan identity. However, Bagus Kurniawan, Head of Abepura Prison, has claimed that the prison did not received any official decree from Jakarta offering remission to Filep Karma.

Attempts to further restrict foreign media scrapped as two British journalists face possible five-year prison sentence

A new regulation attempting to widen restrictions on foreign journalists was promptly scrapped following opposition from President Joko Widodo regarding the move. On 26 August, Major General Soedarmo, the Director General of Political and General Administration at the Ministry of Home Affairs (Ditjen Polpum Kemendagri) announced new procedures for foreign journalists, movie crew members and NGO workers seeking to conduct work in Papua.

The first requirement included an application for a permit issued by the Coordinating Team for Visiting Foreigners at the Foreign Affairs Ministry. The Coordinating Team was to consist of a task force that includes amongst others, members from the State Intelligence Body (Badan Intelejen Negara, BIN) and the national police. Foreign journalists, movie crew members and NGO workers were also required to apply for a permit from the Directorate General for Political Affairs and General Administration at the Home Affairs Ministry. In addition to this, a permit from local administrative authorities under the National Unity and Political Affairs office was also required for access to remote areas. Lastly, foreign journalists, movie crew members and NGO workers were required to present IDs officially issued by Indonesian representatives abroad.

Home Minister Tjahjo Kumolo stated in the Jakarta Post that the new regulation was needed “to prevent foreign journalists from conducting intelligence activities.” Soedarmo also stated that such regulations were “a form of protection for the state.” National civil society groups criticized the regulations as a setback for media freedom in Indonesia. The Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) Indonesia stated that the regulation contravened Article 28 of the Indonesian Constitution and Law No. 40/1999 on the press which guarantees media freedom. The Jakarta Foreign Correspondents Club criticized the regulation as “a stain on Indonesia’s transition to democracy and claims by its government that it supports a free press and human rights.”

According to various media reports, Kumolo apologized to President Jokowi by telephone and rescinded the new regulation. While the Clearing House committee which vetted visa applications for foreign journalists has been disbanded, the current application process remains unclear.

Two British journalists, Rebecca Prosser and Neil Bonner are currently standing trial under charges of violating Indonesian immigration law and face a possible five-year prison sentence. The journalists were making a National Geographic-funded documentary about piracy in the Malacca Strait. On 29 September, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) called on Indonesian authorities “to stop abusing its draconian immigration legislation and to drop the proceedings against these two journalists.”

September 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 Trial beginning 15 October

 

MSG demo in Biak

 

Uncertain  Yes Biak
5 Apolos Sroyer 20 May 2015 Article 160 Indonesian Criminal Code, Article 14 of Law 1/1946 Trial beginning 15 October

 

MSG demo in Biak

 

Uncertain  Yes Biak
6 Dorteus Bonsapia 20 May 2015 Article 160 Indonesian Criminal Code, Article 14 of Law 1/1946 Trial beginning 15 October

 

MSG demo in Biak

 

Uncertain  Yes Biak
7 Narko Murib 20 May 2015 Article 160 Awaiting trial MSG demo in Manokwari Uncertain Yes Manokwari
8 Alexander Nekenem 20 May 2015 Article 160 Awaiting trial MSG demo in Manokwari Uncertain Yes Manokwari
9 Yoram Magai 20 May 2015 Article 160 Awaiting trial MSG demo in Manokwari Uncertain Yes Manokwari
10 Othen Gombo 20 May 2015 Article 160 Awaiting trial MSG demo in Manokwari Uncertain Yes Manokwari
11 Obed Korie 15 May 2015 Article 170 5 months Sorong demo against PT PPM Yes Uncertain Sorong
12 Odie Aitago 15 May 2015 Article 170 7 months Sorong demo against PT PPM Yes Uncertain Sorong
13 Ruben Furay 1 May 2015 Uncertain Police investigation pending Kaimana 1 May 2015 Uncertain Uncertain Kaimana
14 Sepi Surbay 1 May 2015 Uncertain Police investigation pending Kaimana 1 May 2015 Uncertain Uncertain Kaimana
15 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
16 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
17 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
18 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
19 Elias Ayakeding* 14 April 2015 Articles 106, 160 On bail KIP treason arrests Uncertain Uncertain Bailed, city arrest, cannot leave Jayapura
20 Kamori Murib 9 December 2014 Emergency Law 12/1951 3 years Lanny Jaya torture Yes Yes Wamena
21 Yosep Siep 9 July 2014 Articles 187, 164 Supreme Court appeal being considered Pisugi Election Boycott Yes Yes Released pending appeal
22 Marthen Marian 9 July 2014 Articles 187, 164 Supreme Court appeal being considered Pisugi Election Boycott Yes Yes Released pending appeal
23 Jhoni Marian 9 July 2014 Articles 187, 164 Supreme Court appeal being considered Pisugi Election Boycott Yes Yes Released pending appeal
24 Alapia Yalak 4 June 2014 Uncertain Police investigation pending Yahukimo arrests Yes Yes Papua Police Headquarters
 25 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
26 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
27 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
28 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
29 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
30 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
31 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
32 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 On bail, cannot leave Sarmi
33 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 On bail, cannot leave Sarmi
34 Piethein Manggaprouw 19 October 2013 Articles 106, 110 3 years Third Papuan Congress demo in Biak No Yes Biak
35 Oktovianus Warnares 1 May 2013 Articles 106, 110, Emergency Law 12/1951 7 years Biak flag-raising, 1 May commemoration Yes Yes Biak
36 Markus Sawias 1 May 2013 Articles 106, 110, Emergency Law 12/1951 4 years Biak flag-raising, 1 May commemoration Yes Yes Biak
37

 

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
38 Jantje Wamaer 1 May 2013 Articles 106, 110, Emergency Law 12/1951 2 years and 6 months Biak flag-raising, 1 May commemoration Yes Yes Biak
39 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
40 Jefri Wandikbo 7 June 2012 Articles 340, 56,  Law 8/1981 8 years KNPB activist tortured in Jayapura Yes Yes Abepura
41 Darius Kogoya 1 May 2012 106 3 years 1 May demo and flag-raising No No Abepura
42 Wiki Meaga 20 November 2010 106 8 years Yalengga flag-raising No Yes Wamena
43 Meki Elosak 20 November 2010 106 8 years Yalengga flag-raising No Yes Wamena
44 Filep Karma 1 December 2004 106 15 years Abepura flag-raising 2004 No Yes Abepura
45 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.

July 2015: Threats to human rights defenders in Papua on the rise

In brief

At the end of July 2015, there were at least 51 political prisoners in Papua.

Information received from the Central Papuan Highlands Coalition for Peace, Law and Human Rights (Koalisi untuk Kedamaian, Hukum dan HAM Pegunungan Tengah Papua) reported an increasing climate of intimidation and harassment against human rights defenders and lawyers in Wamena. Coalition members providing accompaniment to Roby Erik Pekey, a victim of arbitrary police violence in Wamena, have been subject to harassment due to their role in addressing impunity. An increased number of reports of intimidation faced by human rights defenders underscores the need for the state to take urgent measures to ensure their protection.

Reports from the Coalition describing how Jayawijaya police were able to freely mistreat Roby Pekey while he sought medical treatment in Wamena Hospital is yet another example of open police brutality in public spaces. In our April 2015 update, we recorded two other cases of victims who were arbitrarily detained, tortured and cruelly treated in hospitals.

In Tolikara on 17 July, a 16-year-old teenager was shot dead and at least 11 others injured when security forces shot into a crowd that were protesting the use of loudspeakers during an Eid al-Fitr prayer session. The shootings provoked the burning of several kiosks, which spread quickly to amusholla (a prayer room) where the prayers were taking place. While police were quick to secure the arrests of two men who were allegedly involved in the arson, perpetrators of the shootings from the security forces have so far not yet been identified or brought to account. Investigations into the incident are currently ongoing.

At least 40 members of the United Liberation Movement of West Papua (ULMWP) were arrested for participating in a prayer session giving thanks to the outcome of the June summit of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG). Since May this year, 264 people have been arrested for expressing their support or being involved with the ULMWP. The targeting of ULMWP members and its supporters for arbitrary arrest demonstrates Indonesia’s zero-tolerance policy towards peaceful aspirations of West Papuan independence.

Arrests

40 arrested in Fakfak for organising prayer session; three charged with public order offences 

On 3 July 2015, at least 40 people were arrested for organising a prayer session in Fakfak. A group of people had gathered at the regional secretariat office of the ULMWP to give a prayer of thanks for the ULMWP being granted Observer status by the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) during its June summit in Honiara, Solomon Islands.

Three men remain in detention and face charges of public order offences under Article 510 of the Indonesian Criminal Code that punishes the staging of a public event without police permission. According to lawyers from the Institute for Research, Investigation and Development of Legal Aid, (LP3BH, Lembaga Penelitian, Pengkajian dan Pengembangan Bantuan Hukum), Apnel Hegemur, Roy Marten Mury and Daniel Hegemur were initially charged with conspiracy to commit rebellion under Articles 108 and 110, but these charges were later changed.

The three men are believed to be in detention at Fakfak Regional Police Station while awaiting trial.

Two men arrested for participating in demonstration against palm oil plantation company PT Permata Putera Mandiri

Human rights organization Pusaka reported that on 15 May 2015, two men were detained for their involvement in a demonstration against palm oil plantation company PT Permata Putera Mandiri (PPM). Obed Korie and Odie Aitago were arrested alongside several other demonstrators who were eventually released. The demonstrators, consisting of students and community members from the Iwaro tribe in South Sorong Regency, blocked PPM offices in protest against land grabbing, illegal logging and unfair compensation, amongst other concerns, by PT PPM.

Korie and Aitago were charged with violence towards persons or property under Article 170 of the Indonesian Criminal Code. On 14 July, they attended their first court hearing. Their trial is expected to continue in August.

Releases

There were no reported releases in July 2015.

Political trials and cases overview

Narko Murib rearrested

Information received from LP3BH lawyers reported that on 3 July, Narko Murib, one of four men detained in May for participating in a demonstration, was rearrested more than two weeks after his escape from police Mobile Brigade (Brigade Mobil, Brimob) headquarters in Manokwari.

A detention warrant issued by Manokwari police states that Murib will be held at the Brimob headquarters in Manokwari until 6 August 2015. The case files for the three other detainees have been transferred to the Prosecution. LP3BH lawyers have also reported further instances of denied access to the four detainees. On 24 July, Simon Banundi, a lawyer with LP3BH, was told by Brimob officers that he could not meet with the four detainees due to instructions from Papua Police Chief Inspector General Paulus Warterpauw denying the detainees any visitors.

Cases of concern

Teenager shot dead and 11 others injured in Tolikara clash

On 17 July, a clash broke out between security forces and dozens of members of a congregation of the Evangelical Church in Indonesia (Gereja Injili di Indonesia, GIDI) in Karubaga, Tolikara Regency. Endy Wanimbo, a 16-year-old teenager was shot dead while 11 others were injured.

At around 07:00 Papuan time, a group of GIDI members gathered outside the compound of a Military Command (Komando Rayon Militer, Koramil) post where Eid al-Fitr prayers were taking place in a prayer room (musholla). According to Papuan newspaper Jubi, they were protesting the use of loudspeakers during the prayer session, claiming that it was interrupting a GIDI Youth Conference that was taking place nearby. According to eyewitness accounts as reported in several media reports, some protestors started throwing stones at security forces and worshippers in the compound in retaliation to the use of loudspeakers during the prayer session.

At 07:05, Brimob officers, Tolikara Regional Police and military officers from Infantry Battalion 756 (Batalyon Infanteri 756, Yonif 756) started shooting at the crowd of people gathered outside the Koramil compound. A 16-year-old teenager named Endy Wanimbo was shot dead and at least 11 people suffered gunshot injuries. It is understood that this provoked the burning of several kiosks in the vicinity of the Military Compound and that the fire then spread to the musholla. Reports stated that along with the musholla, around 60 shops were destroyed in the fire and 211 people were left homeless.

According to Jubi, two victims of the shootings, Amaten Wenda and Yetimbula Yikwa, were physically manhandled into giving their thumbprints and forced to sign a letter, of which the contents are unknown, while receiving treatment at Jayapura General Hospital.

Early statements from Papuan civil society organisations criticised various statements made in the media which squarely placed blame for the clash on the Papuan community in Tolikara. A statement released by church leaders in Papua urged security forces to cease the use of weapons and violence in dealing with conflict. On 18 July, the National Commission on Human Rights (Komisi Nasional Hak Asasi Manusia, Komnas HAM) reported its early findings, stating that “the conflict was triggered by police shootings.”

On 23 July, two men were arrested in connection with the arson. Jubi reported that police identified the two men, currently known by their initials as ‘AK’ and ‘JW’, from video footage and eyewitness accounts. The two men will be charged with incitement and violence against persons or property under Articles 160 and 170 of the Indonesian Criminal Code.

Suara Papua reported that Reverend Enden Wanimbo, the President of GIDI, criticised the arrests, highlighting that, by contrast, the perpetrators of the shootings have so far not been identified or brought to account. On 27 July, Reverend Wanimbo, along with Reverend Benny Giay, the leader of the Tabernacle Church in Papua (Kingmi Papua), met with the Papuan branch of the Nahdatul Ulama (NU), agreeing to come to a resolution.

Investigations by government institutions and Papuan civil society groups into the incident are currently ongoing.

Nursing student arbitrarily shot by Wamena police; human rights defenders and lawyers from Coalition threatened

A report received by the Central Papuan Highlands Coalition for Peace, Law and Human Rights (Koalisi untuk Kedamaian, Hukum dan HAM Pegunungan Tengah Papua) stated that on 21 June, Roby Erik Pekey, a 21-year-old nursing school student was arbitrarily shot and detained by Jayawijaya Regional police in Wamena. Police chased and shot Pekey reportedly because he was suspected of stealing a motorcycle a couple days before the incident.

Information received from the Coalition stated that on 21 June, Pekey was chased on motorcycle by a group of 14 plainclothes police officers. During the chase, police proceeded to fire shots at him, causing him to fall off his motorcycle. He was then shot in the right ankle and left thigh and was left unable to walk. Plainclothes officers then reportedly picked him up and threw him into a compound of a nearby house. Police then threatened to shoot him in the head when he started to plead innocence. One of the officers shot him a third time in his left leg.

Shortly after, Pekey was sent to Wamena General Hospital under tight police supervision. On the way to the hospital, Pekey continued to plead innocence by explaining that he had bought his motorcycle from someone who had decided to pawn it. Police officers responded by kicking him in the mouth and eyes. Upon arrival to the hospital, Pekey was thrown onto the asphalt ground, resulting in blisters on his back.

According to the report by the Coalition, upon seeing Pekey’s dire condition, the families of other patients requested medical staff to attend to him first. In response, police officers stopped doctors from doing so and proceeded to taunt and humiliate Pekey by lifting and swinging his injured legs.

Later that evening, Pekey’s family were stopped from visiting him in hospital, reportedly under instructions from Semmy Ronny Thaba, the Head of Jayawijaya Regional Police. The next day, on 22 June, four police officers paid Pekey a visit in hospital, threatening him and his family with guns and forcing him to sign a letter accepting his arrest warrant.

According to the Coalition, police did not conform to the proper procedures in their arrest of Pekey and did not conduct thorough investigations before arresting him. In early July, Jayawijaya police were quoted in several Papuan newspapers, insisting that police officers had acted according to standard procedure during Pekey’s arrest. Thaba stated that police had first fired warning shots but were forced to shoot Pekey when he attempted to escape.

Human rights defenders from the Coalition reported that Pekey was not guilty of stealing the motorcycle, but had acquired it from someone else who had decided to pawn it. Police investigators stated that they would conduct further investigations into these allegations but that they would continue to detain and interrogate Pekey once his injuries have healed.

On 28 July, Hesegem and other human rights defenders from the Coalition accompanied Pekey during a pre-trial hearing in Wamena District Court challenging his arrest. Information received from the Coalition stated that the pre-trial hearing was attended by dozens of police officers, reportedly set up to intimidate them. According to witness accounts as described in a report by the Coalition, police investigators were overheard stating that they “had to kill” AlDP lawyer Anum Siregar, one of the human rights lawyers accompanying Pekey.

Information from the Coalition also detailed other incidents of intimidation and harassment towards their members from Wamena police in connection with this case. On 22 July, police officers blocked the office of human rights organisation Papua Lotus Heart Foundation (Yayaysan Teratai Hati Papua, YTHP), and reportedly threatened Father John Jonjonga, the organisation’s Director. According to the Coalition, Hesegem has also faced threats from Wamena police in connection with his work as a human rights defender in other cases.

News

Clearing House Committee disbanded

Indonesian magazine Tempo reported that on 14 July 2015, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed that the Clearing House Committee has been disbanded. Siti Sofia Sudarma, the Director of Information and Media at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told Tempo that opening Papua to foreign journalists would bring about “positive change to Indonesia”. In May, during a visit to Papua, President Joko Widodo had announced that foreign journalists would no longer be restricted from entering Papua. Prior to this, foreign journalists were required to undergo a stringent visa application process involving the unanimous approval of the Clearing House Committee, which consisted of 18 separate government agencies.

However, contradictory statements from Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Tedjo Edhy Purdijatno and Papua National Police Spokesman Sr. Comr. Agus Rianto issued shortly after the President’s announcement in May suggested that foreign journalists would still be subject to screening when applying for visas to report in Papua. A newly established ‘Foreign Affairs Monitoring Team’ is expected to play a similar role to the Clearing House Committee in vetting visa applications from journalists.

Papuan civil society groups commemorate 17th anniversary of the Biak massacre

On 2 July 1998, in the wake of the fall of the New Order regime, political prisoner Filep Karma led a demonstration in Biak where the Morning Star independence flag was raised on a water tower near the harbour. Over the following four days, demonstrators occupied the area and defended the flag from police who attempted to take it down. On 6 July, the Indonesian military took control of the harbour by brutal force. At least 32 people were killed by being dumped in the sea, three people were disappeared, 150 people were tortured, and 33 people were arbitrarily arrested during the massacre.

In commemoration of the 17th anniversary of the Biak massacre, on 6 July this year, a number of Papuan civil society groups gathered for a press conference. Amongst them were KontraS Papua (Komisi untuk Orang Hilang dan Korban Tindak Kekerasan), Solidarity for Victims of Human Rights Violations (Solidaritas untuk Korban Pelanggaran Hak Asasi Manusia, SKP-HAM), United for Truth (Bersatu Untuk Kebenaran, BUK), Garda Papua and the Independent Student Forum (Forum Independen Mahasiswa, FIM).

July 2015 Papuan Political Prisoners

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

Place of detention

1 Apnel Hegemur 3 July 2015 Articles 108, 110 Awaiting trial Fak Fak ULMWP arrests Uncertain Uncertain Fakfak
2 Roy Marten Mury 3 July 2015 Articles 108, 110 Awaiting trial Fak Fak ULMWP arrests Uncertain Uncertain Fakfak
3 Daniel Hegemur 3 July 2015 Articles 108, 110 Awaiting trial Fak Fak ULMWP arrests Uncertain Uncertain Fakfak
4 Arnes Silak 15 June 2015 Uncertain Police investigation pending KNPB Sentani Airport arrest Uncertain Uncertain Papuan Police Headquarters
5 Yafet Keiya 28 May 2015 Uncertain Police investigation pending MSG demo in Nabire Uncertain Uncertain Nabire
6 Ottis Munipa 28 May 2015 Uncertain Police investigation pending MSG demo in Nabire Uncertain Uncertain Nabire
7 Wamoka Yudas Kossay 22 May 2015 Article 160 Awaiting trial MSG demo in Biak Uncertain Uncertain Biak
8 Apolos Sroyer 20 May 2015 Article 160 Awaiting trial MSG demo in Biak Uncertain Uncertain Biak
9 Dorteus Bonsapia 20 May 2015 Article 160 Awaiting trial MSG demo in Biak Uncertain Uncertain Biak
10 Narko Murib 20 May 2015 Article 160 Awaiting trial MSG demo in Manokwari Uncertain Yes Manokwari
11 Alexander Nekenem 20 May 2015 Article 160 Awaiting trial MSG demo in Manokwari Uncertain Yes Manokwari
12 Yoram Magai 20 May 2015 Article 160 Awaiting trial MSG demo in Manokwari Uncertain Yes Manokwari
13 Othen Gombo 20 May 2015 Article 160 Awaiting trial MSG demo in Manokwari Uncertain Yes Manokwari
14 Obed Korie 15 May 2015 Article 170 On trial Sorong demo against PT PPM Uncertain Uncertain Sorong
15 Odie Aitago 15 May 2015 Article 170 On trial Sorong demo against PT PPM Uncertain Uncertain Sorong
16 Ruben Furay 1 May 2015 Uncertain Police investigation pending Kaimana 1 May 2015 Uncertain Uncertain Kaimana
17 Sepi Surbay 1 May 2015 Uncertain Police investigation pending Kaimana 1 May 2015 Uncertain Uncertain Kaimana
18 Domingus Babika 1 May 2015 Unclear Police investigation pending Manokwari 1 May 2015 Uncertain Uncertain Manokwari Regional Police Station
19 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
20 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
21 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
22 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
23 Elias Ayakeding* 14 April 2015 Articles 106, 160 On bail KIP treason arrests Uncertain Uncertain Bailed, city arrest, cannot leave Jayapura
24 Kelpis Wenda 17 March 2015 Emergency Law 12/1951 On trial Lanny Jaya torture Yes Yes Wamena
25 Kamori Murib 9 December 2014 Emergency Law 12/1951 On trial Lanny Jaya torture Yes Yes Wamena
26 Yosep Siep 9 July 2014 Articles 187, 164 Supreme Court appeal being considered Pisugi Election Boycott Yes Yes Released pending appeal
27 Marthen Marian 9 July 2014 Articles 187, 164 Supreme Court appeal being considered Pisugi Election Boycott Yes Yes Released pending appeal
28 Jhoni Marian 9 July 2014 Articles 187, 164 Supreme Court appeal being considered Pisugi Election Boycott Yes Yes Released pending appeal
29 Alapia Yalak 4 June 2014 Uncertain Police investigation pending Yahukimo arrests Yes Yes Papua Police Headquarters
 30 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
31 Septinus Wonawoai 1 February 2014 Articles 106, 108, 110 and Emergency Law 12/1951 3.5 years Sasawa military raid arrests Yes Yes Sorong
32 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
33 Kornelius Woniana 1 February 2014 Articles 106, 108, 110 and Emergency Law 12/1951 3.5 years Sasawa military raid arrests Yes Yes Sorong
34 Peneas Reri 1 February 2014 Articles 106, 108, 110 and Emergency Law 12/1951 3.5 years Sasawa military raid arrests Yes Yes Sorong
35 Salmon Windesi 1 February 2014 Articles 106, 108, 110 and Emergency Law 12/1951 3.5 years Sasawa military raid arrests Yes Yes Sorong
36 Obeth Kayoi 1 February 2014 Articles 106, 108, 110 and Emergency Law 12/1951 3.5 years Sasawa military raid arrests Yes Yes Sorong
37 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 On bail, cannot leave Sarmi
38 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 On bail, cannot leave Sarmi
39 Piethein Manggaprouw 19 October 2013 Articles 106, 110 2 years Third Papuan Congress demo in Biak No Yes Biak
40 Oktovianus Warnares 1 May 2013 Articles 106, 110, Emergency Law 12/1951 7 years Biak flag-raising, 1 May commemoration Yes Yes Biak
41 Yoseph Arwakon 1 May 2013 Articles 106, 110, Emergency Law 12/1951 2 years and 6 months Biak flag-raising, 1 May commemoration Yes Yes Biak
42 Markus Sawias 1 May 2013 Articles 106, 110, Emergency Law 12/1951 2 years Biak flag-raising, 1 May commemoration Yes Yes Biak
43 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
44 Jantje Wamaer 1 May 2013 Articles 106, 110, Emergency Law 12/1951 2 years and 6 months Biak flag-raising, 1 May commemoration Yes Yes Biak
45 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
46 Jefri Wandikbo 7 June 2012 Articles 340, 56,  Law 8/1981 8 years KNPB activist tortured in Jayapura Yes Yes Abepura
47 Darius Kogoya 1 May 2012 106 3 years 1 May demo and flag-raising No No Abepura
48 Wiki Meaga 20 November 2010 106 8 years Yalengga flag-raising No Yes Wamena
49 Meki Elosak 20 November 2010 106 8 years Yalengga flag-raising No Yes Wamena
50 Filep Karma 1 December 2004 106 15 years Abepura flag-raising 2004 No Yes Abepura
51 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.

June 2015: Lawyers denied access while detainees tortured

In brief

At the end of June 2015, there were at least 45 political prisoners in Papua.

Information received from defence lawyers in Manokwari reported that three detainees who were arrested last month for their involvement in a peaceful demonstration were severely beaten in detention by police Mobile Brigade (Brigade Mobil, Brimob) officers. At least one of the three, KNPB member Alexander Nekenem, was tortured by Brimob officers who stubbed cigarettes out on him. Under instructions from the Head of the Manokwari Regional Police, AKP Tommy H. Pontororing, lawyers were denied access to their three clients following the escape of Narko Murib, a fourth detainee in the same case. Due to barriers to access, lawyers only found out about the torture and ill-treatment endured by the detainees several days after.

A second case involving arbitrary violence perpetrated by Brimob officers was that of the fatal shooting of Yoteni Agapa, a 19-year-old Papuan in Ugapuga village in Dogiyai Regency. Brimob officers shot Agapa when he started arguing with them regarding a confrontation that had occurred earlier in the day. This tendency for Brimob officers to respond in such a trigger-happy manner is not uncommon. Since the start of 2015, at least two people have died and seven have been injured as a result of excessive use of force and misuse of firearms by police in Papua. So far, there have been no independent investigations into these incidents and thus the perpetrators continue to enjoy total impunity.

Ongoing investigations by the National Human Rights Commission (Komisi Nasional Hak Asasi Manusia, Komnas HAM) into the ‘Bloody Paniai’ incident of December 2014 seem to have stalled, reportedly due to a lack of funding. Additionally, separate investigations conducted by the Ministry of Politics, Law and Security alongside the Papuan National Police, criticized by human rights observers as lacking credibility, seem to be complicating matters still further.

14 students were arrested in Abepura and Waena for fundraising in support of the Komnas HAM investigations into Bloody Paniai. This case echoes the Yahukimo arrests in March 2015, where more than a hundred people were arrested in relation to a week-long fundraising event for Cyclone Pam victims in Vanuatu. The arrests show that public rallies of any kind in Papua continue to be suppressed, even those for humanitarian purposes.

Arrests

KNPB Yahukimo member arrested in Sentani

Majalah Selangkah reported that on 15 June, Arnes Silak, a KNPB Yahukimo member, was arrested at Sentani Airport in Jayapura. Silak was on his way back to Yahukimo after seeking medical treatment in Jayapura. KNPB Yahukimo’s leader Marten Suhuniap stated in Majalah Selangkah that KNPB members in Yahukimo had previously received threats and were constantly followed by intelligence officers. It remains unclear what charges, if any, Silak is facing. He is currently being detained at the Papua Provincial Police Headquarters (Kepolisian Daerah Papua, Polda Papua).

23 people detained for 24 hours for participating in a peaceful political discussion

On 3 June at around 16:00 Papua time, 23 people were arrested for participating in a meeting held at the Sinapuk Indigenous Council Office (Kantor Dewan Adat Sinapuk) in Wamena. Information received from the Advocacy Network for Upholding Law and Human Rights (Jaringan Advokasi Penegakan Hukum dan HAM Pegunungan Tengah Papua, JAPH&HAM) reported that the purpose of the meeting was to hold a discussion on opening democratic space in Papua and to conduct an evaluation of a demonstration that was planned for 28 May but was disallowed by the Jayawijaya Regional police.

During the arrests, police reportedly confiscated items from the Sinapuk Indigenous Council, including 56 arrows, four bows, two axes, seven knives and a book on the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP). The 23 detainees were brought to Jayawijaya Regional Police Station.

In reaction to these arrests, the following day on 4 June, hundreds of community members rallied outside the police station to demand the release of the 23 detainees. They were released at 16:00 Papua time.

ULMWP demo dispersed in Sorong; 1 KNPB member arrested

Papuan news site reported that on 16 June, Nando Kagoya was arrested in Sorong and questioned for several hours before being released without charge. Kogoya was arrested while on his way to participate in a KNPB-organised march in support of the ULMWP bid for membership of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG). Protestors who took part in the march were forcefully dispersed by Sorong Regional Police. Kogoya was arrested at a roadblock where police stopped and searched motorists in the area. He was detained when police found a KNPB leaflet in his bag.

14 students arrested for collecting donations for Bloody Paniai investigation

On 22 June, 14 students were arrested in Abepura and Waena for collecting donations in support of investigations by the National Human Rights Commission (Komisi Nasional Hak Asasi Manusia, Komnas HAM) into the ‘Bloody Paniai’ incident that took place last December. Papuan media reported that the slow progress made by Komnas HAM’s Ad Hoc Team in charge of conducting investigations into the incident was due to a lack of funding. The 14 students, who were members of the Independent Students Forum (Forum Independen Mahasiswa, FIM), were detained for several hours at Jayapura Regional Police Station before being released without charge. According to a report by KontraS Papua (Komisi untuk Orang Hilang dan Korban Tindak Kekerasan Papua) and Unite for Truth (Bersatu Untuk Kebenaran, BUK), the students collected donations as an act of protest against Komnas HAM who have been criticised as slow and ineffective in their investigations into Bloody Paniai.

Releases

Two Pisugi detainees released pending appeal; two escaped

Lawyers with the Democracy Alliance for Papua (Aliansi Demokrasi untuk Papua, AlDP) reported that Jhoni Marian and Marthen Marian have been released following the end of their one-year prison terms. Whereas Yali Walilo and Ibrahim Marian reportedly escaped from prison at some point during the last month. Yosep Siep, who suffered psychological and physical ailments, has returned to his home village in Pisugi district. His trial is expected to be resumed once he receives medical treatment and is considered fit to stand trial.

Even though Jhoni Marian and Marthen Marian have been released, a ruling by the Jayapura High Court (Pengadilan Tinggi Jayapura) increasing their initial prison sentences from one to three years’ imprisonment means that they are still at risk of re-imprisonment. However, due to an appeal submitted to the Indonesian Supreme court by AlDP lawyers challenging this ruling, they are not required to remain in detention while the decision is being considered. The Supreme Court decision will determine whether the two men will be required to serve the increased prison sentence.

Previously, the Wamena District Court sentenced the Jhoni Marian, Marthen Marian, Yali Walilo and Ibrahim Marian to one-year imprisonment each under charges of conspiracy to endanger security under Articles 187 and 164 of the Indonesian Criminal Code.  They were accused of making Molotov cocktail bombs in attempts to disrupt voting during the Presidential elections of July 2014.

Defence lawyers with the Democracy Alliance for Papua (Aliansi Demokrasi untuk Papua, AlDP) stated that the decision was taken despite witness testimony from police stating that the four men were not involved in the acts of arson of which they are suspected. Additionally, the four men were tortured while in detention in Jayawijaya Regional Police Station. During court hearings in March, they testified that they had been forced to confess to charges under torture.

As Jhoni Marian and Marthen Marian are still at risk of re-imprisonment and Yosep Siep remains at risk of standing trial, they will remain our list of political prisoners.

Political trials and cases overview

Three in Manokwari MSG demo case ill-treated in detention; one detainee escaped

Lawyers from LP3BH (Institute for Research, Investigation and Development of Legal Aid, Lembaga Penelitian, Pengkajian dan Pengembangan Bantuan Hukum) reported that Alexander Nekenem, Yoram Magai and Othen Gombo (alias Maikel Aso) have been ill-treated in detention following the escape of a fourth detainee in the same case, Narko Murib (alias Novi Umawak), from police Brimob Headquarters in Manokwari on 15 June.

On 20 May, Nekenem, Magai, Gombo and Murib were arrested for their involvement in a demonstration in support of a bid by the ULMWP for MSG membership. They were charged with incitement under Article 160 of the Indonesian Criminal Code.

On 1 June, Nekenem, Murib and Gombo were questioned regarding their involvement with the KNPB. When questioned, Murib stated that he had led a prayer session during the demonstration before it was forcibly dispersed. Following the dispersal of the demonstration, he returned to attend a class at the State University of Papua (Universitas Papua, UNIPA), where he is enrolled as a student. Murib later received word that his friends had been detained following the dispersal of the demonstration and that they were being denied food in detention. Upon hearing this, he decided to bring food to those detained at the Brimob Headquarters. However, when he arrived to the Brimob Headquarters, he was himself detained, as he had been seen being involved in the demonstration earlier in the day. On 9 June, the period of detention for the four men was extended to 19 July 2015.

On 15 June, LP3BH lawyers received information that Narko Murib had escaped from the Brimob Headquarters. The following day, lawyers met with the Head of the Criminal Investigation Unit (Kepala Satuan Reserse dan Kriminal, Kasat Reskrim) of Manokwari Regional Police, AKP Tommy H. Pontororing, and asked to meet with the three remaining detainees who had been transferred from the Brimob Headquarters to holding cells at Manokwari Regional Police Station. However, police informed lawyers that they were not allowed to visit the three detainees at that moment and told them to return the next morning.

Upon gaining access to Nekenem, Magai and Gombo the following morning, lawyers found that the three men had been severely beaten by four Brimob officers while in detention in the Brimob Headquarters. Nekenem was tortured by Brimob officers who stubbed cigarettes out on him. He also suffered a bruised jaw from heavy beatings. The three men are currently being held in an isolation cell in Manokwari Regional Police Station. They are reportedly not allowed access to proper sanitation or toilets and were only given plastic bags and bottles to use. The men are forced not to eat most of the food brought by their families due to the lack of access to proper toilets.

Cases of concern

Group of Papuan youth attacked by Brimob in Dogiyai Regency; one shot dead

According to information received from several human rights sources, on 25 June, a group of ten Papuan youths was reportedly attacked by Brimob officers in Ugapuga village in Dogiyai Regency. A report from a Nabire-based human rights investigator stated that the ten men were attacked by Brimob officers following a road accident which led to the injuring of a dog which belonged to one of the men. Angered by the accident, the group attempted to extract money from passing drivers. This was then reported by one of the drivers to the police, which led to Brimob officers arriving at the scene.

According to eyewitness accounts recorded by KontraS Papua, BUK and the Paniai Indigenous Council (Dewan Adat Paniai), Brimob officers arrived at around 22:00, in a Toyota Avanza car and confronted the group. When Yoteni Agapa, one of the men in the group, argued back, he was shot in the chest twice. He then attempted to run away, but was shot two more times in the right arm. A few seconds later he collapsed to the floor and died. One of the men in the group, Melianus Mote, was slashed in the arm with a bayonet blade when he started to run away. According to a report by Jubi, the eight other men in the group may also have suffered injuries when they ran away. Brimob officers reportedly continued to kick and beat Agapa with rifle butts even though he was already lifeless.

At around 00:00, Agapa’s body was taken back to his home village of Jigiugi in Ugapuga district. Community members in the area also found and kept the bullet casings from Agapa’s shooting. The following two days, on 26 and 27 June, the Ugapuga District police and Brimob officers visited Agapa’s family to ask their permission to conduct an autopsy on Agapa and to return the bullet casings found at the scene. Both requests were refused by the family.

News

House of Representatives rejects political prisoners pardon

The Jakarta Post reported that on 22 June, a proposal put forward by President Joko Widodo for a second, broader release of Papuan political prisoners was rejected during a hearing with Commission I of the Indonesian House of Representatives. There were concerns that releases “would go on to inflame separatism.” Commission I Deputy Chairman Tantowi Yahya told Indonesian press that “a comprehensive roadmap” would first need to be implemented before support would be given to the plan.

Following the Commission I meeting, Indonesian Military Chief General Moeldoko told Indonesian press that the military were considering “appointing guards to accompany foreign journalists” reporting in Papua.

Papua Itu Kita cultural event aims to destigmatise Papuans

On 13 June, activists from Papua Itu Kita (We are Papua), a campaigning movement based in Jakarta, held an event at the Ismail Marzuki Park (Taman Ismail Marzuki, TIM) aimed at spreading awareness of Papuan culture and issues through song, dance and storytelling. The day-long event was attended by hundreds of participants, including members of the public, Papuan activists and human rights groups based in Jakarta. Reverend Benny Giay, the leader of the Tabernacle Church in Papua (Kingmi Papua), who spoke at the event raised the issue of the history of violence in Papua and suggested a national day of mourning in Indonesia to remember victims of human rights violations in Papua.

June 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 Awaiting trial MSG demo in Biak Uncertain Uncertain Biak
5 Apolos Sroyer 20 May 2015 Article 160 Awaiting trial MSG demo in Biak Uncertain Uncertain Biak
6 Dorteus Bonsapia 20 May 2015 Article 160 Awaiting trial MSG demo in Biak Uncertain Uncertain Biak
7 Alexander Nekenem 20 May 2015 Article 160 Awaiting trial MSG demo in Manokwari Uncertain Yes Manokwari
8 Yoram Magai 20 May 2015 Article 160 Awaiting trial MSG demo in Manokwari Uncertain Yes Manokwari
9 Othen Gombo 20 May 2015 Article 160 Awaiting trial MSG demo in Manokwari Uncertain Yes Manokwari
10 Ruben Furay 1 May 2015 Uncertain Police investigation pending Kaimana 1 May 2015 Uncertain Uncertain Kaimana
11 Sepi Surbay 1 May 2015 Uncertain Police investigation pending Kaimana 1 May 2015 Uncertain Uncertain Kaimana
12 Domingus Babika 1 May 2015 Unclear Police investigation pending Manokwari 1 May 2015 Uncertain Uncertain Manokwari Regional Police Station
13 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
14 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
15 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
16 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
17 Elias Ayakeding* 14 April 2015 Articles 106, 160 On bail KIP treason arrests Uncertain Uncertain Bailed, city arrest, cannot leave Jayapura
18 Kelpis Wenda 17 March 2015 Emergency Law 12/1951 On trial Lanny Jaya torture Yes Yes Wamena
19 Kamori Murib 9 December 2014 Emergency Law 12/1951 On trial Lanny Jaya torture Yes Yes Wamena
20 Yosep Siep 9 July 2014 Articles 187, 164 Supreme Court appeal being considered Pisugi Election Boycott Yes Yes Released pending appeal
21 Marthen Marian 9 July 2014 Articles 187, 164 Supreme Court appeal being considered Pisugi Election Boycott Yes Yes Released pending appeal
22 Jhoni Marian 9 July 2014 Articles 187, 164 Supreme Court appeal being considered Pisugi Election Boycott Yes Yes Released pending appeal
23 Alapia Yalak 4 June 2014 Uncertain Police investigation pending Yahukimo arrests Yes Yes Papua Police Headquarters
 24 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
25 Septinus Wonawoai 1 February 2014 Articles 106, 108, 110 and Emergency Law 12/1951 3.5 years Sasawa military raid arrests Yes Yes Sorong
26 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
27 Kornelius Woniana 1 February 2014 Articles 106, 108, 110 and Emergency Law 12/1951 3.5 years Sasawa military raid arrests Yes Yes Sorong
28 Peneas Reri 1 February 2014 Articles 106, 108, 110 and Emergency Law 12/1951 3.5 years Sasawa military raid arrests Yes Yes Sorong
29 Salmon Windesi 1 February 2014 Articles 106, 108, 110 and Emergency Law 12/1951 3.5 years Sasawa military raid arrests Yes Yes Sorong
30 Obeth Kayoi 1 February 2014 Articles 106, 108, 110 and Emergency Law 12/1951 3.5 years Sasawa military raid arrests Yes Yes Sorong
31 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 On bail, cannot leave Sarmi
32 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 On bail, cannot leave Sarmi
33 Piethein Manggaprouw 19 October 2013 Articles 106, 110 2 years Third Papuan Congress demo in Biak No Yes Biak
34 Oktovianus Warnares 1 May 2013 Articles 106, 110, Emergency Law 12/1951 7 years Biak flag-raising, 1 May commemoration Yes Yes Biak
35 Yoseph Arwakon 1 May 2013 Articles 106, 110, Emergency Law 12/1951 2 years and 6 months Biak flag-raising, 1 May commemoration Yes Yes Biak
36 Markus Sawias 1 May 2013 Articles 106, 110, Emergency Law 12/1951 2 years Biak flag-raising, 1 May commemoration Yes Yes Biak
37 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
38 Jantje Wamaer 1 May 2013 Articles 106, 110, Emergency Law 12/1951 2 years and 6 months Biak flag-raising, 1 May commemoration Yes Yes Biak
39 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
40 Jefri Wandikbo 7 June 2012 Articles 340, 56,  Law 8/1981 8 years KNPB activist tortured in Jayapura Yes Yes Abepura
41 Darius Kogoya 1 May 2012 106 3 years 1 May demo and flag-raising No No Abepura
42 Wiki Meaga 20 November 2010 106 8 years Yalengga flag-raising No Yes Wamena
43 Meki Elosak 20 November 2010 106 8 years Yalengga flag-raising No Yes Wamena
44 Filep Karma 1 December 2004 106 15 years Abepura flag-raising 2004 No Yes Abepura
45 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.

Dorteus Bonsapia

On 21 May, 17 people were arrested outside of Darfuar market in Samofa district, Biak, for demonstrating their support for a bid by the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) for membership of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG). KNPB sources reported that Biak police forcibly dispersed the demonstration and confiscated three KNPB flags, a camera and a phone. While 12 people were released shortly after, five KNPB members were detained for further interrogation at Biak Regional Police Station. They were released after several hours of interrogation but are required to report to the police daily.

On 22 May, Wamoka Yudas Kossay, one of the five KNPB members, was charged with incitement when he reported to the police. He was interrogated without legal representation and was only asked if he wanted a lawyer after investigators completed the Police Investigation Report (Berita Acara Pemeriksaan, BAP) for his case. He was also charged with incitement under Article 160 and was transferred to Biak City District Police Station to be detained.

Kossay is detained alongside two other men, Apolos Sroyer and Dorteus Bonsapia, who were also charged with incitement under Article 160. According to lawyers from KontraS Papua (Komisi untuk Orang Hilang dan Korban Tindak Kekerasan Papua), on 19 May, KNPB members submitted a notice of demonstration to Biak police. Police reportedly called on the leaders of the demonstration to report to the Police Station. In response to this demand, on 20 May, Apolos Sroyer and Dorteus Bonsapia visited Biak Regional Police Station. Sroyer, the Head of the Biak People’s Local Parliament (Parlemen Rakyat Daerah, PRD), and Bonsapia were two of three people who had signed the notice of demonstration. They were interrogated overnight and transferred to Biak City District Police Station the following day.

Reports from lawyers with KontraS Papua stated that on 23 May plainclothes officers from the Biak Regional Police searched Apolos Sroyer’s home without a search warrant. Police reportedly took photos of his home, his relatives and in particular a map of the states belonging to the MSG that was hung in the front terrace of his house.

On 15 October, the trial for three men began. The three men face charges of incitement and spreading lies under Article 160 of the Indonesian Criminal Code and Article 14 of Law 1/1946 respectively. On 25 November, the prosecution demanded prison sentences of 1.5 years’ each for the three detainees. 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 28 December 2015, recently freed ex-political prisoner Filep Karma visited the three detainees in Biak prison to express his solidarity.

Sources

Information from KontraS Papua, May – December 2015

Report from KontraS Papua, Laporan Penangkapan di Biak, 26 May 2015

Report from Jayapura-based human rights sources, 479 Aktivis Ditangkap, 30 April – 1 Juni 2015, 4 June 2015

Updated: 25 January 2016

Apolos Sroyer

On 21 May, 17 people were arrested outside of Darfuar market in Samofa district, Biak, for demonstrating their support for a bid by the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) for membership of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG). KNPB sources reported that Biak police forcibly dispersed the demonstration and confiscated three KNPB flags, a camera and a phone. While 12 people were released shortly after, five KNPB members were detained for further interrogation at Biak Regional Police Station. They were released after several hours of interrogation but are required to report to the police daily.

On 22 May, Wamoka Yudas Kossay, one of the five KNPB members, was charged with incitement when he reported to the police. He was interrogated without legal representation and was only asked if he wanted a lawyer after investigators completed the Police Investigation Report (Berita Acara Pemeriksaan, BAP) for his case. He was also charged with incitement under Article 160 and was transferred to Biak City District Police Station to be detained.

Kossay is detained alongside two other men, Apolos Sroyer and Dorteus Bonsapia, who were also charged with incitement under Article 160. According to lawyers from KontraS Papua (Komisi untuk Orang Hilang dan Korban Tindak Kekerasan Papua), on 19 May, KNPB members submitted a notice of demonstration to Biak police. Police reportedly called on the leaders of the demonstration to report to the Police Station. In response to this demand, on 20 May, Apolos Sroyer and Dorteus Bonsapia visited Biak Regional Police Station. Sroyer, the Head of the Biak People’s Local Parliament (Parlemen Rakyat Daerah, PRD), and Bonsapia were two of three people who had signed the notice of demonstration. They were interrogated overnight and transferred to Biak City District Police Station the following day.

Reports from lawyers with KontraS Papua stated that on 23 May plainclothes officers from the Biak Regional Police searched Apolos Sroyer’s home without a search warrant. Police reportedly took photos of his home, his relatives and in particular a map of the states belonging to the MSG that was hung in the front terrace of his house.

On 15 October, the trial for three men began. The three men face charges of incitement and spreading lies under Article 160 of the Indonesian Criminal Code and Article 14 of Law 1/1946 respectively. On 25 November, the prosecution demanded prison sentences of 1.5 years’ each for the three detainees. 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 28 December 2015, recently freed ex-political prisoner Filep Karma visited the three detainees in Biak prison to express his solidarity.

Sources

Information from KontraS Papua, May – December 2015

Report from KontraS Papua, Laporan Penangkapan di Biak, 26 May 2015

Report from Jayapura-based human rights sources, 479 Aktivis Ditangkap, 30 April – 1 Juni 2015, 4 June 2015

Updated: 25 January 2016