On 10 August 2014, 20 people, including four women and one child, were arrested in Warambaim in Nimbokrang district, under accusations of being members of the Papuan National Army/Free Papua Organisation (Tentera Papua Nasional/Organisasi Papua Merdeka, TPN/OPM). Their arrests followed previous raids in Berab village in Nimbokrang district in July 2014, reportedly after Mobile Brigades (Brigade Mobil, Brimob) and Papua regional police (Kepolisian Daerah Papua, Polda Papua) received information about alleged armed pro-independence camps in the village.
A letter of complaint submitted to the Head of Papua National Police province by human rights lawyers representing the 12 men who remain in detention reported that some of the 20 people detained were beaten by police. Paulus Logo was hit repeatedly on the neck with rifle butts, beaten on the back with batons and hit on the head with a wooden stick on arrest. Wene Naftali Hisage was also hit repeatedly with rifle butts and beaten with batons on arrest. In detention at Jayapura Regional police station, Hisage was hit on the mouth, back and neck with a wooden plank and his legs were stamped on by police officers. He had acted as a translator for those detainees who do not speak Indonesian, and police started beating him when they thought his translation was insufficient. A woman named Amina Sapla was hit on the back and left arm with a car jack. The letter also stated that another detainee, Jhon Lakopa Pigai, still had visible injuries from beatings endured on arrest and in detention. Sahayu Loho was forced to wear military fatigues and pose with several objects that had been found in one of the police searches, including arrows and a baton, and was then photographed by police.
Eight people were released without charge the following day on 11 August, including the four women and one child and three other men – Paulus Logo, Wene Naftali Hisage and Albert Matuan. Even though they had technically been released without charge, several police investigators continued to interrogate them on their identities and instructed that they remain in the police station. On 13 August, lawyers from KontraS Papua were denied access to the remaining 12 detainees. Investigators refused to provide any information regarding the detainees and instead asked the lawyers to coordinate with the Head of the Criminal Investigation Unit (Kepala Satuan Reserse dan Kriminal, Kasat Reskrim) of Jayapura Regional police station. When they approached the Kasat Reskrim, he in turn allowed access only to the eight people who had technically been released but remained in detention three days after their arrest. Upon meeting the eight individuals and hearing their plight, lawyers demanded their release. They were then released an hour later.
Lawyers continued to be denied access to the 12 remaining detainees – Philemon Yarem, Loserek Loho, Sahayu Loho, Enos Hisage, Herman Siep, Nius Alom, Jhon Lakopa Pigai, Gad Mabel, Anton Gobay, Yos Watei, Matius Yaung and Alpi Pahabol. Investigators at Doyo District police station refused their request of a copy of the arrest warrant, stating instead that this was not possible without permission from the Head of the Regional police (Kepala Polisi Resort, Kapolres). On 14 August, after hours of negotiation with the police, lawyers managed to obtain arrest warrants for only four of the detainees – Philemon Yare, Loserek Loho, Sahayu Loho and Enos Hisage. On 18 August, lawyers were permitted to meet these four detainees to get the Power of Attorney letters signed but were not allowed to hold discussions with them.
In the following days, after continued barriers to access, lawyers managed to negotiate with police to meet with the eight other detainees in order to get their Power of Attorney letters signed. According to lawyers, six of the detainees do not speak Indonesian, exposing them to greater vulnerability during their legal process. The 12 men were charged with treason under Article 106 of the Indonesian Penal Code.
Information received from human rights lawyers, August – October 2014
Report by the JPIC Team of GKI TP Church Synod Office, “Penyisiran aparat keamanan di Kampung Berap,” 17 September 2014
Report by a Jayapura-based human rights investigator, “Penangkapan 21 orang yang diduga anggota TPN/OPM”, 12 August 2014
Report by Jayapura-based human rights source, “Aparat Kabungan Kerebek Rumah Warga Kampung Brab, Tiga Orang Ditangkap,” 25 July 2014
Last updated: 18 December 2014