(English) Ferry Gombo

Ferry Gombo is the head of the Student Council at Universitas Cenderawasih (Uncen) in Jayapura. He chaired a meeting on 18 August 2019 at which representatives of almost all West Papuan student and movement organisations were engaged in planning a peaceful protest on 19 August 2019 in Jayapura. Mr Gombo was selected as the protest coordinator, and was responsible for drafting and delivering the protest Notification Letter to Jayapura Police Resort.

He was arrested without arrest warrant on 6 September 2019 by Papua Regional Police at Sentani airport over the 29th August protest. 

On 4 October 2019, Ferry Gombo and six other prisoners were transferred from Papua Regional Police Detention Center, Jayapura, Papua Province to East Kalimantan Province for “security reasons”. This transfer was in breach of Indonesian criminal procedure law; it was conducted, inter alia, without informing their lawyers and families, and without the requisite approval from the Supreme Court. Further to these breaches, the transfer has resulted in a significant increase in legal aid costs (due to the airfares needed to attend each trial), and has cut the prisoners off from their families and culture.
He was detained Balikpapan Prison Class IIB, Balikpapan, East Kalimantan Province until his release in July 2020.


(English) Balikpapan – Seven Political Prisoners on Treason Charges

The seven individuals detained in Balikpapan were key activists of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) and the West Papua National Committee (KNPB) and student leaders. Agus Kossay, Buchtar Tabuni, Alexander Gobay, Ferry Gombo, Stevanus Itlay, Irwanus Uropmabin and Hengky Hilapok were arrested between 6 – 17 September 2019 following protests in Jayapura, during which Morning Star flags were flown and people were demanding an independence referendum. On 4 October 2019 they were transferred without any prior notice to their lawyers and/or families, from Papua to East Kalimantan province on the basis of “security reasons”. This transfer significantly increased the cost of providing legal aid for the trial and cut the prisoners off from their families and other sources of support. The trials commenced on 11 February 2020 and were guarded by hundreds of Indonesian police.

The prosecutors sought extremely long sentences that caused anger and indignation in West Papua. When they were freed, the State refused to fly them back to West Papua leaving them to incur large travel costs, especially during the pandemic. More than a thousand people welcomed them in a ceremony when they finally arrived in West Papua on 22 August 2020.