Linus Hiluka

Date of BirthAged 40 in 2011
Charges106, 110
Date of Arrest27/05/2003
Case DetailsCharged with treason and conspiracy in relation to the 2003 alleged raid on the Jayawijaya District Military Command’s weapons arsenal
Sentence19 years and 10 months
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Linus Hiluka, aged 40 in 2011, is a farmer from Ibele village near Wamena town in Jayawijaya district. Following an alleged raid on the Jayawijaya District Military Command weapons arsenal on 4 April 2003, Mr Hiluka was arrested and charged with treason. Mr Hiluka had been a member of the Baliem Papua Panel (BPP), and after the Second Papuan People’s Congress in Jayapura in the year 2000 he was active in communicating its resolutions to his local community. Mr Hiluka believes that due to his activities, police were looking for an excuse to arrest him following the incident on 4 April 2003.

Mr Hiluka was arrested on 27 May 2003 when soldiers raided his house in Ibele, Wamena, in connection with the alleged raid. An account given by a family member states that the soldiers fired shots around the village, and forced Mr Hiluka to lie face down on the ground while firing shots around the edge of his body. Several other members of the village were reportedly beaten during the arrest.

According to an NGO report by the Office for Justice and Peace (Sekratariat untuk Keadilan dan Perdamaian, SKP, another detainee witnessed Mr Hiluka being kicked in the jaw and forehead by military personnel whilst in military detention. His alleged connection to the crime was based on the two ‘Morning Star’ flags that were found when his house was searched, rather than any evidence which directly linked him to the attack on the arsenal. The Morning Star flag is a symbol of Papuan identity, and while it was explicitly allowed under Indonesia’s 2001 Special Autonomy laws relating to the governance of Papua, in policy, national law and practice, the possessing or raising the flag is viewed as a criminal act of treason.

A report by ALDP (2003) noted many accusations of irregularities in the trial of Mr Hiluka and the other men detained in connection with the 4 April events. These included the lack of translators and the prosecution remaining almost silent throughout the trial, as their role was being assumed by the judges themselves. The judges reportedly failed to respect the defendants’ rights to be assumed innocent until proven guilty, and pushed the prisoners to accept the state’s version of the story. They also repeated prejudices about the local people of Wamena, such as “people here are lazy and stupid.” According to a 2008 document signed by a government official based in Jayapura, Mr Hiluka was found guilty under the charges of treason (article 106 of the Indonesian penal code) and conspiracy (article 110) and was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment.

A report by ALDP (2008) describes the forced removal of Mr Hiluka from Wamena prison, where he was initially held. On 15 December 2004 he, along with nine other prisoners, was reportedly woken in the middle of the night, beaten until bruised and bleeding and forced to get into a police vehicle. The prisoners were moved to Gunung Sari prison in Makassar on the island of Sulawesi, far from their families. The sudden nature of this move caused fears for their safety at the time. Following the death of fellow prisoner Michael Heselo in Makassar hospital in August 2007, and subsequent protests, the remaining eight prisoners were returned to Papua. On 28 January 2008 Mr Hiluka and Kimanus Wenda were moved to Nabire prison in Papua, a location which remains difficult to access for friends and family in Wamena.

Since Mr Hiluka was moved to Nabire prison there have been serious concerns about his welfare. Reports from his family, published by the website ‘Papuan Journalists’ (Warta Papua Barat) state that he has been targeted because he was interviewed by Human Rights Watch, giving information which was published in their 2010 report “Protest and Punishment.” In 2010 articles on the same website state that Mr Hiluka was reportedly denied medical attention despite the fact that a doctor previously told him that he needed routine medication. On 25 May 2011 Linus Hiluka and fellow prisoners Kimanus Wenda and Tomi Tabuni were reportedly beaten by four prison guards named Thomas Hamadi, Ferdi Layu, Deni Tandiago and Judi. The beating followed an incident in which the prisoners had reportedly protested against the racist abuse they had received in the prison.

On 9 July 2011, a letter was published on Warta Papua Barat which is listed as being written by Mr Hiluka. In this letter he states, among other things, that his detention violates a number of his rights.

In February 2014, Linus Hiluka and Kimanus Wenda received a sentence reduction of two months to their 20-year prison sentences. The Provincial Office of Law and Human Rights informed representatives of Jayapura based NGO, the Alliance for Democracy for Papua (Aliansi Demokrasi untuk Papua, AlDP) that the two men have been placed in a special category allowing them to obtain remission from authorities in Jakarta.

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

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

Human Rights Watch, “Protest and Punishment,” 20 February 2007,

Linus Hiel Hiluka, “West Papua: Suara hati anak negeri Papua,” 9 July 2011,

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

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

TAPOL Interview with family member, name and date withheld for protection reasons

Warta Papua Barat, “Koronologis Tahanan Politik Di Lembaga Pemasyarakatan Nabire,” 19 August 2010,

Warta Papua Barat, “Kami tapol di lapas kelas II B Nabire. Kami dipukuli dan dianiaya oleh oknum petugas,” 21 June 2011,

Yones Douw,Tapol-Napol LINUS HELUKA dan KIMANUS WENDA Diskriminasi oleh oknum petugas Lapas Klas II Nabire,” Warta Papua Barat,14 May 2010,