Victor Yeimo

Update 12 May 2021

Victor Yeimo, born in 1983, is a pro-independence activist. He was the General Secretary of the West Papua National Committee (Komite Nasional Papua Barat, KNPB) until 2018. Currently he is the international spokesperson for KNPB and PRP (Papuan People’s Petition) that rejects the continuation of Special Autonomy in West Papua.

Mr Yeimo was arrested at 7.15pm when he was at a kiosk in Jayapura on 9 May 2021 without an arrest warrant. Mr Yeimo’s lawyers received arrest and detention warrants the following day at 6pm. This is in breach of Indonesian criminal procedure law which requires an arrest warrant to be presented at the time of arrest. The Indonesian Police said that  Mr Yeimo is arrested for alleged treason during heightened tensions in West Papua over his role in the 2019 West Papua Uprising. 

In the first evening, Mr Yeimo was moved from Papua regional police’s detention center in Jayapura to the  Police’s Mobile Brigade Headquarters (Mako Brimob) in Abepura,  without any notice to his lawyers. Mako Brimob signifies higher security and more access restriction. Mr Yeimo’s lawyers have complained that this would make the family’s visit difficult.

Mr Yeimo has been was charged with article 106 of the Indonesian Criminal Code (KUHP) and or Article 110 of the KUHP on criminal conspiracy and or Article 160 KUHP on incitement and or Article 187 KUHP on arson and or Article 365 KUHP on theft using violence and or Article 170 (1) on collective violence and or Article 2 of Emergency Law No 12/1961 on illegal possession of slashing and stabbing arms as well as multiple legal provisions regulated under Law No 24/2009 on Flag, Language, National Emblem, and the National Anthem. Police have indicated that they will add more charges.

Papua police chief stated that, “We are looking into all police reports, the process forwards will proceed based on each report, let him get old in prison.” Arrest warrant includes information of alleged crime committed and alleged laws violated. Scope of interrogation should stick to that information only. Arresting Mr Yeimo then digging his past acts through days of interrogation reflects intention to frame and arbitrarily detain Mr Yeimo.

Under Indonesian criminal procedure law, an arrestee may be not accompanied by their lawyer side by side during interrogation in relation to treason charges. Mr Yeimo was initially interrogated for allegations of treason so his lawyer was not by his side. In the end, however, Mr Yeimo was also charged with non-treason charges which required a lawyer to be present by his side.

Up to date there have been two interrogations. The first one was on the evening he was arrested. The second one was scheduled the following day, but Mr Yeimo was sick on May 10th, so the interrogation was postponed to May 11th. Despite protest by the lawyers, Mr Yeimo’s access to lawyer during interrogation was still restricted based on the treason charge procedure.

According to Mr Yeimo’s lawyers, Mr Yeimo complained about the cell he was placed in on the first night. It was the furthest away from the main entrance and it has bad air ventilation. He asked to be put in the cell closest to the main door. He was moved to the middle cell on May 11th. He is now put in the self confinement cell, where the sunlight is only available through ventilation at the top of his cell and from the main door. Mr Yeimo has been provided the access to clean water. Due to his medical condition, he needs to take medicines three times a day.

Until the time of the writing of this report, Mr Yeimo has been prevented from having access to his family.  No family member has been able to pay him a visit. 

Police have not informed the lawyers when the next interrogation is. However, this does not mean that the interrogation is finished. It is likely that the process is only paused due to the Eid holidays. Papua police chief, on May 12th, stated that, “I have asked the investigators to not hurry in digging into each report, to connect each law violated by him.” He expects life imprisonment for Mr Yeimo.

We are concerned that additional charges would be added against Mr Yeimo when interrogation continues.

May 2013

The KNPB emerged around 2008 as an organisation which organises mass demonstrations around West Papua, often to push for a referendum on West Papua’s political status, or to support the initiatives of the International Parliamentarians and International Lawyers for West Papua (IPWP and ILWP).

Several prominent figures in the KNPB were arrested after some demonstrations in the early days of the KNPB. Buchtar Tabuni was arrested on 3 December 2008 because of his role in organising a demonstration on 16 October that year, and Sebby Sambom was also arrested shortly afterwards. Later Mako Tabuni, Yance Mote and Serafin Diaz were arrested on 3 April 2009 in connection with a demonstration on 10 March. Although both demonstrations had gone peacefully, all those arrested were charged with treason and incitement (Articles 106 and 160 of the Indonesian Criminal Code). Buchtar Tabuni‘s case was the first to come to trial, and while he was found innocent of treason, he was convicted for incitement. This seems to have set a precedent, as the judge passed similar sentences in the other four cases.

Victor Yeimo was Deputy General Secretary of the KNPB at the time of his arrest. According to an article posted on the Papua Post website, Yeimo had been on the police wanted list since May 2009. A student group has reported that on 18 April his family home in Nabire was raided and three family members were arrested and interrogated overnight by police demanding to know his whereabouts. Finally on 21 October 2009 Yeimo was arrested in a hotel in Abepura by police conducting a sweeping operation, unconnected to any political activity.

Yeimo was prosecuted for his participation in the KNPB demonstration on March 2009. According to a report of the trial in Bintang Papua newspaper, he was accused of having cried out “Papua” to which the crowd replied “Merdeka!” (Freedom), “Special Autonomy,” to which the crowd shouted “No”, and “Referendum,” which was met with the response “Yes.”

Earlier allegations of Yeimo’s involvement in an attack on the Abepura city police station in April 2009 (reported on in an International Crisis Group report) appear to have been dropped rapidly after Mr Yeimo’s arrest.

Yeimo was charged with treason and incitement under Articles 106 and 160 of the Indonesian Criminal Code. If he was convicted of both treason and incitement, he would have faced a three-year prison sentence, but on 23 July 2010, he was found guilty of incitement rather than treason and was given a sentence of one year’s imprisonment minus time already spent in detention. In response, the Public Prosecutor submitted an appeal to indict Yeimo under Article 106 for treason, which would increase his total prison sentence to three years.

Papuan news sites Tabloid Jubi and Papua Post reported on this verdict in July 2010, stating that Yeimo was expected to be released in October 2010. However in a statement following his most recent arrest on 13 May 2012, Papuan police spokesman Gede Sumerta, alleged that Yeimo had escaped from prison in October 2010. His lawyer at the time, Gustaf Kawer, responded to this claim, stating that Yeimo had not escaped from prison and was sentenced to one year’ imprisonment, instead of three years as alleged by Sumerta, adding that Yeimo was seeking medical treatment in hospital in October 2010.

In commenting on the detention of Yeimo, Harry Maturbongs of KontraS Papua, reported in Tabloid Jubi, said: “Is it wrong if somebody says that the Act of Free Choice should be reviewed, that Special Autonomy has failed, and to ask that human rights in Papua be respected?”

As the KNPB has grown as a social movement across Papua, repression against its activists has also increased. Yeimo himself has stated to the Suara Papua website that 22 KNPB members were killed by security forces during 2012 and 55 were imprisoned.

On 1 December 2012, a day many Papuans commemorate as the anniversary of the first raising of their national flag in 1961, the KNPB attempted to hold a demonstration marching from the site of the assassination of Mako Tabuni to the grave of Theys Eluay, a Papuan leader assassinated by Indonesian security forces in 2001. Police stopped the demonstration and arrested Yeimo, who was soon released. Al Jazeera journalists travelling with Mr Yeimo at the time documented some of these events, and their documentary “Goodbye Indonesia” gives an insight into the daily tension KNPB leaders face.

Yeimo was arrested again on13 May 2013, when police stopped a group of demonstrators in Jayapura from carrying out a march demanding government accountability in the wake of the deaths, arrests and injuries from the commemorative events of 1 May 2013. Majalah Selangkah reported that Yeimo and three other activists, Yongky Ulimpa, Ely Kobak and Marthen Manggaprouw were arrested when Yeimo attempted to negotiate with the police to allow the march to proceed. A report from an activist present at the demonstration states that all four were severely beaten upon arrest and were allegedly hit with rattan canes, kicked and beaten in detention. Yeimo is the only one that currently remains in detention, and has been transferred to Abepura prison. He is expected to complete a three-year sentence in relation to the 2009 incident. This is despite statements made by his lawyers that he received a one-year sentence.

 

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Papuans Behind Bars: May 2013

In brief

At the end of May 2013 there were at least 76 political prisoners in Papuan jails. The first two weeks of May saw scores of demonstrators arrested for their activities commemorating 50th anniversary of the administrative transfer of Papua to Indonesia. Excessive force was used by the Indonesian security forces in relation to these commemorative activities. This led to the deaths of three activists in Sorong, 36 persons arrested of whom 30 remain in detention, and allegations of torture in Timika and Jayapura.

In the previously reported Yapen police death case, new reports have emerged of allegations of torture, with two of those arrested remaining at risk of torture in detention. Luis Gedi was conditionally released, while trials for Boas Gombo, the Yapen Indigenous Day celebrations’, the Sarmi arrests and the Biak explosives case continue. The verdicts for the Timika explosives case have been delivered.

Arrests

Arrests and excessive use of force in relation to commemorative events of 1 May

During the period of 30 April to 13 May 2013, three Papuan activists were killed in Sorong, 36 were arrested in Timika, Sorong, Biak, Abepura and Jayapura, with 30 remaining in detention. At least 12 people suffered injuries as a result of the brutal treatment of demonstrators by Indonesian security forces responding to the commemoration of 1 May which this year marked the 50th anniversary of the administrative transfer of Papua to Indonesia in 1963. The Indonesian authorities issued a statement beforehand banning 1 May demonstrations, a violation of the rights of freedom of expression, association and assembly as guaranteed in the Indonesian Constitution.

On 30 April, at around 17:00 East Indonesia time, a gathering of community members took place at the house of Isak Klaibin in Aimas district in Sorong, with the intention of commemorating 1 May. Reports from human rights sources state that police and military forces in four vehicles arrived at around 20:00, surrounding the house. The security forces fired several warning shots, which agitated the demonstrators who then proceeded towards the vehicles. Human rights groups report that the security forces responded by firing into the crowd for 20 minutes, causing the deaths of two activists, Apner Malagawak and Thomas Blesia.

Seven people were arrested – Isak Klaibin, Klemens Kodimko, Obeth Kamesrar, Antonius Safuf, Obaja Kamesrar, Yordan Magablo and Hengky Mangamis – following this incident, and have been charged with treason under Articles 106, 107, 108, 110, 160 and 164 of the Indonesian Criminal Code. Isak Klaibin is also accused of being a TPN-OPM leader. According to Yan Christian Warinussy, Director of the Institute of Research, Analysis and Development for Legal Aid (LP3BH) which is accompanying the seven activists who are currently detained in Sorong police station, the police have cited Article 115 of the Indonesian Criminal Procedure Code in attempts to hinder their access to legal counsel. Article 115 states that in cases of individuals suspected of treason, lawyers may observe the interrogation but may not actually hear what is being said. Warinussy has stated that the police do not normally invoke this Article in such cases.

Local human rights investigators report that at least two demonstrators suffered injuries during the shootings. Herman Lokden, who was shot in the back, is in critical condition while Andareas Safisa sustained injuries from being shot in the foot. LP3BH investigators in Manokwari have reported that after intensive investigations, there is a strong indication that Indonesian security forces have acted illegally by firing into the crowd without warning, which is a gross violation of human rights.

A third activist, Salomina Klaibin, the sister of Isak Klaibin, who was shot in the stomach, thigh and shoulder died in hospital a few days later. Local human rights investigators have reported suspicious circumstances surrounding Salomina’s death, stating that she seemed to be on her way to recovery following an operation on 3 May and was even told by her doctor on 7 May that she would be discharged the following day. On 7 May, at around 11:00, the Chief and Deputy Chief of Sorong district police visited Salomina in hospital. Local sources reported that at the time of this visit, police prevented Salomina’s family from entering her room. Prior to this, security forces had allegedly visited Salomina in hospital to question her though they failed to obtain any information. The security forces reportedly asked her about her brother, Isak Klaibin, who is currently in police detention. Eyewitness testimony from her family alleges that on the night of 7 May around 21:00, a man dressed in a doctor’s coat and black jeans, came into Salomina Klaibin’s room with a syringe filled with a black substance. Without any explanation, the man allegedly injected the substance in the syringe into her intravenous drip, and then left the room in a hurry. Local sources reported that a few minutes later, Salomina started convulsing and wet herself on the bed. The hospital staff attempted to resuscitate her but she died shortly after at 23:20. Human rights group LP3BH has called for an autopsy to be carried out.

On 1 May in Timika, a group of civilians conducted a commemorative ceremony at which the Morning Star flag was raised, resulting in the arrests of at least 15 people, who are allegedly at risk of torture. Local activists have reported that out of the 15 who are currently detained in Mimika police station – Domi Mom, Altinus Uamang, Musa Elas, Jhoni Niwilingame, Hari Natal Magai, Jhon Kum, Semuil Deikme, Miryam Stenamun, Mon Deikme, Aminus Hagabal, Yakob Onawame, Heri Onawame, Biru Kogoya, Beanal and Alpon – at least ten are reportedly facing treason charges. Local human rights investigators have reported that at least two civilians were injured in this incident when security forces fired into the crowd. Local activists have also reported that during a visit to Mimika police station, they were not allowed to see five of the detainees who were separated from the others. It is unclear if the 15 civilians have legal representation at the time of writing.

According to human rights sources, similar events in Biak led to the arrests of at least six activists, five of whom have been named. On 1 May, police opened fire into a crowd of 50 people gathered for a flag-raising ceremony. Local human rights sources report that at least one person was hurt in the incident. Local sources have also reported that Oktofianus Warnares, who led the flag-raising ceremony, has been arrested along with Yosepus Arwakon, George Syors Simyapen, Yona Rumawak and John Sauyas. It is unclear what charges they are facing and if they have legal representation.

Local activists have reported the arrest of West Papua National Committee (Komisi Nasional Papua Barat) leader for Sorong region, Martinus Yohami, on 1 May while giving a speech during a peaceful demonstration. It is unclear if he is facing any charges or has legal representation. Markus Yenu who, as reported in the April Update, was targeted by the police in relation to his involvement in peaceful demonstrations was again pursued for arrest on 1 May by the police. Local human rights sources report that police moved to arrest him during a commemorative march in Jayapura, but protestors positioned themselves between Markus and the police, allowing him to disappear into the crowd.

On 13 May, in reaction to the deaths, arrests and injuries from the commemorative events of 1 May, a coalition of human rights groups and civil society organisations carried out province-wide demonstrations demanding accountability from the government. In Jayapura, protestors gathered outside the Cenderawasih University in preparation for a march, but were stopped by police. Independent Papuan news site Majalah Selangkah reported the arrest of KNPB leader Victor Yeimo, who attempted to negotiate with the police to allow the march to proceed, and three other activists: Yongky Ulimpa, Ely Kobak and Marthen Manggaprouw. A report received from local activists present at the demonstration states that all four activists were severely beaten upon arrest and that they were allegedly hit with rattan canes, and kicked and beaten in detention. Local activists also reported the arrests and ill-treatment of three other activists: Nius Matuan, Wily Kombo and Markus Giban, all of whom are students at Cenderawasih University. Papuan news site Suara Papua reported the alleged torture in detention of Markus Giban by Jayapura police, resulting in the university student suffering from a broken arm. Local sources state that six of the activists (all but Victor Yeimo), were allegedly threatened by the police with charges of treason, but were released several hours later when no evidence could be found against them.

Victor Yeimo has been transferred to Abepura prison where he remains in detention. Local sources report that he has been held in relation to a previous case in 2009, when he was sentenced to one year imprisonment for his involvement in a peaceful demonstration. Victor Yeimo reportedly served nine months of this sentence. He is expected to complete the rest of his prison sentence from 2009, though the length of this remaining sentence is disputed. Victor is receiving legal accompaniment from his lawyer Manfret Naa.

Oktovianus Pogau, a journalist with Suara Papua, reported police using excessive force on the crowd of demonstrators at Cenderawasih University, severely beating them and destroying several motorcycles during an attempt to disperse the protestors. Following this event, local activists have reported an increase in the presence of security forces in Sentani, Abepura and Jayapura Kota. Mobilised tanks and police vehicles are said to be carrying teargas equipment and water cannons.

Last year, 13 people were arrested in similar events on 1 May 2012 for their participation in a demonstration commemorating 1 May at which the Morning Star flag was raised. All were released with the exception of Timur Wakerkwa and Darius Kogoya who were convicted of treason and continue to serve three-year and two-and-a-half year prison sentences respectively. Human rights groups have highlighted the deterioration in the human rights situation in Papua by comparing the response to the commemorative events of other years.

More arrests in relation to Yapen police death

Local human rights investigators have reported the arrests of four more civilians who have allegedly been tortured in relation to the death of Jefri Sesa, a Yapen police officer. On 3 May 2013, Astro Kaaba was arrested by police special force officers allegedly under the directions of Yapen police. He was brought to Yapen police station where he was reportedly severely tortured until he lost consciousness for close to 20 hours. Local sources have reported that 17-year old Hans Aronggear has also been arrested and allegedly tortured in relation to this case. Yahya Bonay, Hans Aronggear and Astro Kaaba are undergoing investigation and are currently detained at Serui police station, reportedly facing charges of treason. Sources have also reported the arrests of two civilians, Luis Samai and Musa Samai, who have been released and are currently in critical condition after being severely tortured. It is unclear whether the three men who remain in detention have access to legal representation.

Radio host arrested in Manokwari

On 3 May 2013, Dimas Anggoro, a radio host for Radio Matoa FM based in Manokwari, was reportedly arrested for discussing the issue of financial difficulties faced by the Manokwari district office on air. Criticism of an Indonesian official in Papua was also allegedly expressed on the show. Anggoro was accompanied to the Sanggeng police station, where he is believed to be detained, by colleagues from the Alliance of Independent Journalists (Aliansi Jurnalis Independen, AJI). Wally Jack, an AJI coordinator in Jayapura, reportedly called on Indonesian authorities to refer to existing press laws rather than resort to arrest. He specifically quoted Law No. 40 on the press that refers to the use of the existing complaints procedure where a person or group feels aggrieved over a news item. A press release by the Pacific Freedom Forum stated that there were concerns for the safety of Anggora and his associates, as little news has been received since his arrest.

Releases

Luis Gedi released

Luis Gedi has been released from Abepura prison on the condition that he reports monthly to the police for approximately the next three years. Gedi was serving a 15-year sentence after being charged under Articles 212 and 214 in relation to violence which occurred on 16 March 2006. Clashes between demonstrators demanding the closure of the Freeport mine and security forces erupted leaving three policemen and one Air Force intelligence officer dead. Gedi was amongst the 23 people charged in relation to this incident. The torture he was subjected to on 16 and 17 April 2006 has been documented by the Indonesian Working Group on Advocacy against Torture. It included being burnt with cigarettes and beaten with wooden beams. Human rights investigators have reported how Gedi, under torture, confessed to the killing of policeman Rahman Arizona and gave the name of his friend, Ferdinand Pakage. Pakage is still currently serving a 15-year sentence in Abepura prison.

Political trials and cases overview

Yapen Indigenous Day Celebrations case: Unfair trial

On 8 May 2013, the trial of Edison Kendi and Yan Piet Maniamboi in the Yapen Indigenous Day Celebrations case resumed, with the court hearing witness statements. Local activists have reported that during the court session, the Prosecutor asked police who were present to confiscate all cameras and mobile phones belonging to observers, resulting in tension in the courtroom. Local investigators stated that the situation returned to normal when the police guaranteed to return the items later.

As previously reported in the April Update, Prosecutor Matius Matulesi called on ex political-prisoner Jon Nuntian, and Jamal Omrik Manitori, to testify against Edison Kendi and Yan Piet Maniamboi. Local human rights sources report that Manitori was forced by Matulesi to sign a letter agreeing to be a witness to the case. Manitori refused to accede to this and did not testify against Kendi and Maniamboi. However, local sources report that statements allegedly made by Jon Nuntian against Kendi and Maniamboi as recorded in police minutes of the case were read out by the Prosecutor. The Prosecutor reportedly declared that the examination of witnesses was complete though there were four other witnesses who were not present as they were out of town. On 16 May, the agenda was set for the hearing of the testimony of Edison Kendi and Yan Piet Maniamboi, but the hearing was postponed reportedly due to the absence of members of the prosecution team.

Local activists reported that the next hearing on 20 May, which proceeded with the testimony of the two defendants, revealed that the police investigation report was flawed and it was thus rejected by the defendants. It also became clear that Kendi and Maniamboi did not receive legal accompaniment during the investigation and that despite this, they were not informed by the police that the legal investigation report was signed by their lawyer. The hearing also reportedly saw the Prosecutor putting forth photographic and video evidence of a demonstration led by the two accused in Jayapura while claiming that the material showed evidence of their participation in a  demonstration in Serui. This was rejected by the lawyers of the two activists. They stated that the so-called evidence had no relation to the case at hand which involved the demonstrations held on 1 May 2012 and 9 August 2012 in Serui, Yapen island.

The next hearing, scheduled for 28 May, to proceed with the Prosecutor’s indictment  against the two activists, was postponed to 4 June 2013, reportedly because the indictment had not been received by the Serui District Court from the Jayapura High Court.

Trial begins for Boas Gombo, denied access to legal counsel

The trial of Boas Gombo, who was arrested on 28 February 2013 at the border between Indonesia and Papua New Guinea, has reportedly begun despite the lack of a defence counsel for Gombo. Local human rights lawyers have reported that they have requested for Gombo to be accompanied by legal counsel, but that the trial had reportedly gone ahead nonetheless.

Trial continues for Sarmi arrests

In the April Update, Papuans Behind Bars had not yet received enough information to confirm if Isak Demetouw (Alex Makabori), Daniel Norotouw, Niko Sasomar and Sileman Teno can be considered as political prisoners. New information received from local human rights sources indicate that this can now be confirmed, in light of reports that the four men, who were arrested on 3 March 2013, have allegedly been charged under fabricated charges by a joint military and police task force in Sarmi.

According to their version of events, given in an interview with a local activist, the four men headed to Sarmi from Jayapura on 1 March with the intention of carrying out a socialisation event for residents in Sarmi, aimed at raising awareness regarding political developments in Papua and violations that have occurred during the ongoing conflict. A local source has reported that this event took place on 2 March, from 19:00 to 20:30 local time, during which the four men received information that the Indonesian military were aware of their whereabouts and activity. The four men state that on 3 March the army task force pursued them in Yanma village, where they were allegedly arrested without a search warrant and handled in a brutal manner. They also allege that the military and police authorities planted evidence in order to charge them, including bottles of medicine, weapons and TPN/OPM documents. During interrogation, the four men allegedly faced intimidation and death threats from security officials and were denied access to lawyers.

Human rights lawyers reported that the men were charged with treason and conspiracy to commit violence under Articles 106 and 110 of the Criminal Code. Local sources state that from the date of their arrest, the four men were detained in Sarmi police station for 21 days, after which an extension of detention until 3 May was issued. On 28 April they were transferred to the Regional Papua police station for further detention. On 3 May, their case was referred to the Public Prosecutor and they were then transferred to Abepura prison, where they are currently detained, awaiting their trial which will be heard at the Jayapura District Court.

Verdict scheduled for Biak explosives trial

As reported in the March Update, an appeal submitted by the defence lawyers for KNPB activists Paulus Alua and Bastian Mansoben, who were charged under Emergency Law 12/1951 for possession of explosives, was rejected by the court. Human rights lawyers have reported that the verdict for this case will be delivered by the Biak District Court on 11 June 2013.

Verdicts delivered for Timika Six

On 14 May 2013, the verdict was delivered for the six KNPB Timika activists – Stephen Itlay, Romario Yatipai, Paulus Marsyom, Alfret Marsyom, Jack Wansior and Yantho Awerkion – who were charged with treason. They were sentenced to 8 months in prison, less time already spent in detention and are expected to be released in June 2013. Human rights lawyers stated that Yantho Awerkion, who faced an additional primary charge of possession of explosives, would not be given an additional prison sentence on top of the initial 8-month sentence. This decision comes despite the court reportedly finding him guilty of possession of explosives.

Period of detention for Jamal Omrik Manitori extended until 22 June 2013

Local human rights investigators have reported that in the Serui TPN case, the Public Prosecutor has submitted an appeal demanding a longer sentence for Jamal Omrik Manitori than the one-year prison sentence decided by the court. Manitori, who has been detained since 3 July 2012, is currently undergoing a second period of detention lasting 60 days, from 1 May to 22 June 2013, during the appeals process.

News

National civil society and international community respond to brutal events of 1 May

On 2 May 2013, following commemorative events of 1 May (see ‘Arrests’), the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, voiced concern over the suppression of freedom of expression and excessive use of force on demonstrators in Papua, calling on the Indonesian government to allow peaceful protests and hold accountable those responsible for the violence. She called on the government to implement the recommendations put forward by the National Commission of Human Rights (Komnas HAM) and the National Commission on Violence against Women (Komnas Perempuan) regarding freedom of expression and underlined the lack of transparency in addressing serious human rights violations in Papua.

On 4 May, a joint statement issued by NAPAS, KontraS, Sekretariat Bersama (SEKBER Buruh), Politik Rakyat, Perempuan Mahardhika, Forum Mahasiswa Demokrasi (FORMAD), KPO-Perjuangan Rakyat Pekerja (KPO-PRP) and Yayasan Pusaka, urged the Indonesian government to conduct a thorough investigation into the incident in Aimas district, Sorong (see ‘Arrests’), to immediately release all activists and to repeal Regulation 77/2007, which has been used to stigmatise Papuans as separatists. A coalition of 11 international organisations consisting of TAPOL, the International Coalition for Papua, Survival International, Franciscans International, West Papua Advocacy Team, East Timor and Indonesia Action Network, West Papua Action Auckland, Australia West Papua Association (Sydney), Peace Movement Aorearoa, Pacific Media Centre and Pacific Scoop submitted an appeal to the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression, Frank La Rue, to take action by raising the issue with the Indonesian government. The appeal highlighted the killing, arbitrary arrests and excessive use of force against peaceful protestors in Papua between 30 April and 13 May.

Papuan political prisoners reject SBY offer of clemency

Yunus Wonda, a deputy speaker of the Papuan provincial legislature has stated that Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono  will reportedly offer all political prisoners in Papua clemency under the government’s ‘special autonomy plus’ program. This offer came about during a meeting at Wonda’s private residence which was attended by Papuan figures including Papua Governor Lukas Enembe. In reaction to this offer, 25 political prisoners in Abepura prison put forth a statement strongly rejecting clemency. The statement, which amongst others included signatures from Victor Yeimo, Dominikus Surabut, Daniel Gobay, Timus Wakerkwa and Boas Gombo, called for political rights and stated that any offer of amnesty or clemency offered by the Indonesian president would be rejected. An explanatory statement signed by Selpius Bobii, stated that their position as political prisoners informed the international community of the situation in Papua and called for “real steps to bring an end to the status of the Papuan political and legal dispute.” Filep Karma has also reportedly rejected the term ‘Narapidana Politik (napol)’or convicted political prisoners, as it suggests that acts of violence were committed, when the vast majority of political prisoners are being held because of their political beliefs.

OMCT issues urgent appeal on behalf of Matan Klembiap

On 27 May 2013, the International Secretariat of the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) issued an urgent appeal on behalf of Matan Klembiap, who is currently detained in Abepura prison where he is awaiting trial. The appeal highlighted the extensive torture Klembiap was subjected to and urges competent authorities, amongst other things, to guarantee the physical and psychological integrity of Klembiap and to carry out prompt, effective, thorough, independent and impartial investigations into these allegations. Newly received information from local human rights sources indicates that Klembiap is at risk of physical and mental disability after enduring severe torture during his detention at Jayapura police station from 15 to 18 February 2013.

NAPAS and Kontras march

On 16 May, activists from National Papua Solidarity (NAPAS) and the Commission for the Disappeared and Victims of Violence (Komisi Untuk Orang Hilang dan Korban Tindak Kekerasan, KontraS), held a public discussion on political prisoners, marking the launch of Papuans Behind Bars in Jakarta. The discussion, which was held in the Jakarta offices of KontraS, challenged statements previously made by the authorities, including the Coordinating Minister for Legal, Political and Security Affairs, Djoko Suyanto that there are no political prisoners in Papua. It also addressed the use of Articles 106 to 110 of the Criminal Code to target activists and political prisoners’ inadequate access to healthcare. The event featured interactive discussions with the Deputy Minister of Justice and Human Rights, Denny Indrayana, and Albert Hasibuan, the chief legal advisor to the President on Law and Human Rights. Following the public discussion, activists from KontraS and NAPAS marched to the Coordinating Ministry of Legal, Political and Security Affairs and to the Presidential Palace to demand the release of Papuan political prisoners.

May 2013 Papuan political prisoners

  Prisoner Arrested Charges Sentence Case Accused of violence? Concerns reported re legal process? Prison
1 Victor Yeimo 13 May 2013 160 3 years 2009 demo; Jayapura demo demanding accountability in relation to 1 May commemoration No Yes Abepura prison
2 Dimas Anggoro 3 May 2013 Unknown Unknown Manokwari radio show No Pending Sanggeng police station
3 Astro Kaaba 3 May 2013 Treason Unknown Yapen police death Yes Pending Serui police station
4 Hans Arrongear Unknown Treason Unknown Yapen police death Yes Pending Serui police station
5 Martinus Yohami 1 May 2013 Unknown Unknown Abepura demonstration, 1 May commemoration No Pending Abepura police station
6 Unknown 1 May 2013 Unknown Unknown Biak flag-raising, 1 May commemoration No Pending Biak police custody
7 Oktofianus Warnares 1 May 2013 Unknown Unknown Biak flag-raising, 1 May commemoration No Pending Biak police custody
8 Yosepus Arwakon 1 May 2013 Unknown Unknown Biak flag-raising, 1 May commemoration No Pending Biak police custody
9 George Syors Simyapen 1 May 2013 Unknown Unknown Biak flag-raising, 1 May commemoration No Pending Biak police custody
10 Yona Rumawak 1 May 2013 Unknown Unknown Biak flag-raising, 1 May commemoration No Pending Biak police custody
11 John Sauyas 1 May 2013 Unknown Unknown Biak flag-raising, 1 May commemoration No Pending Biak police custody
12 Domi Mom 1 May 2013 Treason Unknown Timika flag-raising, 1 May commemoration No Pending Mimika police station
13 Altinus Uamang 1 May 2013 Treason Unknown Timika flag-raising, 1 May commemoration No Pending Mimika police station
14 Musa Elas 1 May 2013 Treason Unknown Timika flag-raising, 1 May commemoration No Pending Mimika police station
15 Jhoni Niwilingame 1 May 2013 Treason Unknown Timika flag-raising, 1 May commemoration No Pending Mimika police station
16 Hari Natal Magai 1 May 2013 Treason Unknown Timika flag-raising, 1 May commemoration No Pending Mimika police station
17 Jhon Kum 1 May 2013 Treason Unknown Timika flag-raising, 1 May commemoration No Pending Mimika police station
18 Semuil Deikme 1 May 2013 Treason Unknown Timika flag-raising, 1 May commemoration No Pending Mimika police station
19 Miryam Stenamun 1 May 2013 Treason Unknown Timika flag-raising, 1 May commemoration No Pending Mimika police station
20 Mon Deikme 1 May 2013 Treason Unknown Timika flag-raising, 1 May commemoration No Pending Mimika police station
21 Aminus Hagabal 1 May 2013 Treason Unknown Timika flag-raising, 1 May commemoration No Pending Mimika police station
22 Yakob Onawame 1 May 2013 Treason Unknown Timika flag-raising, 1 May commemoration No Pending Mimika police station
23 Heri Onawame 1 May 2013 Treason Unknown Timika flag-raising, 1 May commemoration No Pending Mimika police station
24 Biru Kogoya 1 May 2013 Treason Unknown Timika flag-raising, 1 May commemoration No Pending Mimika police station
25 Beanal 1 May 2013 Treason Unknown Timika flag-raising, 1 May commemoration No Pending Mimika police station
26 Alpon 1 May 2013 Treason Unknown Timika flag-raising, 1 May commemoration No Pending Mimika police station
27 Hengky Mangamis 30 April 2013 106, 107, 108, 110, 160 and 164 Trial ongoing Aimas shootings, 1 May commemoration No Yes Sorong police station
28 Yordan Magablo 30 April

2013

106, 107, 108, 110, 160 and 164 Trial ongoing Aimas shootings, 1 May commemoration No Yes Sorong police station
29 Obaja Kamesrar 30 April

2013

106, 107, 108, 110, 160 and 164 Trial ongoing Aimas shootings, 1 May commemoration No Yes Sorong police station
30 Antonius Safuf 30 April

2013

106, 107, 108, 110, 160 and 164 Trial ongoing Aimas shootings, 1 May commemoration No Yes Sorong police station
31 Obeth Kamesrar 30 April

2013

106, 107, 108, 110, 160 and 164 Trial ongoing Aimas shootings, 1 May commemoration No Yes Sorong police station
32 Klemens Kodimko 30 April

2013

106, 107, 108, 110, 160 and 164 Trial ongoing Aimas shootings, 1 May commemoration No Yes Sorong police station
33 Isak Klaibin 30 April

2013

106, 107, 108, 110, 160 and 164 Trial ongoing Aimas shootings, 1 May commemoration; accused of being TPN/OPM No Yes Sorong police station
34 Yahya Bonay 27 April 2013 Unknown Unknown Yapen police

death

Yes Pending Serui police custody
35 Yosia Karoba 1 April 2013 Unknown Unknown Paniai civilian arrests No Pending Tolikara police station
36 Nonggop Tabuni 9 March 2013 Unknown Unknown Paniai civilian arrests No Pending Unknown
37 Delemu Enumby 9 March 2013 Unknown Unknown Paniai civilian arrests No Pending Unknown
38 Jelek Enembe 9 March 2013 Unknown Unknown Paniai civilian arrests No Pending Unknown
39 Isak Demetouw(alias Alex Makabori) 3 March 2013 110; Article 2, Emergency Law 12/1951 Trial ongoing Accused of being TPN/OPM No Pending Sarmi
40 Daniel Norotouw 3 March 2013 110; Article 2, Emergency Law 12/1951 Trial ongoing Accused of being TPN/OPM No Pending Sarmi
41 Niko Sasomar 3 March 2013 110; Article 2, Emergency Law 12/1951 Trial ongoing Accused of being TPN/OPM No Pending Sarmi
42 Sileman Teno 3 March 2013 110; Article 2, Emergency Law 12/1951 Trial ongoing Accused of being TPN/OPM No Pending Sarmi
43 Boas Gombo 28 February 2013 Unknown Trial ongoing Indonesian flag at PNG border No Pending Abepura
44 Matan Klembiap 15 February 2013 110; Article 2, Emergency Law 12/1951 Trial ongoing Terianus Satto and Sebby Sambom affiliation No Yes Police detention, Jayapura
45 Daniel Gobay 15 February 2013 110; Article 2, Emergency Law 12/1951 Trial ongoing Terianus Satto and Sebby Sambom affiliation No Yes Police detention, Jayapura
46 Alfret Marsyom 19 October 2012 106 8 months Timika explosives case Possession of weapons Yes Timika
47 Jack Wansior 19 October 2012 106 8 months Timika explosives case Possession of weapons Yes Timika
48 Yantho Awerkion 19 October 2012 106, Emergency Law 12/1951 8 months Timika explosives case Possession of weapons Yes Timika
49 Paulus Marsyom 19 October 2012 106 8 months Timika explosives case Possession of weapons Yes Timika
50 Romario Yatipai 19 October 2012 106 8 months Timika explosives case Possession of weapons Yes Timika
51 Stephen Itlay 19 October 2012 106 8 months Timika explosives case Possession of weapons Yes Timika
52 Yan Piet Maniamboy 9 August 2012 106 Trial ongoing Indigenous people’s day celebrations, Yapen No Yes Serui
53 Edison Kendi 9 August 2012 106 Trial ongoing Indigenous people’s day celebrations, Yapen No Yes Serui
54 Timur Wakerkwa 1 May 2012 106 3 years 1 May demo and flag-raising No No Abepura
55 Darius Kogoya 1 May 2012 106 3 years 1 May demo and flag-raising No No Abepura
56 Paulus Alua 21 October 2012 Emergency Law 12/1951 Trial ongoing Biak explosives case Possession of explosives Yes Biak
57 Bastian Mansoben 21 October 2012 Emergency Law 12/1951 Trial ongoing Biak explosives case Possession of explosives No Biak
58 Forkorus Yaboisembut 19 October 2011 106 3 years Third Papua Congress No Yes Abepura
59 Edison Waromi 19 October 2011 106 3 years Third Papua Congress No Yes Abepura
60 Dominikus Surabut 19 October 2011 106 3 years Third Papua Congress No Yes Abepura
61 August Kraar 19 October 2011 106 3 years Third Papua Congress No Yes Abepura
62 Selphius Bobii 20 October 2011 106 3 years Third Papua Congress No Yes Abepura
63 Wiki Meaga 20 November 2010 106 8 years Yalengga flag-raising No Yes Wamena
64 Oskar Hilago 20 November 2010 106 8 years Yalengga flag-raising No Yes Wamena
65 Meki Elosak 20 November 2010 106 8 years Yalengga flag-raising No Yes Wamena
66 Obed Kosay 20 November 2010 106 8 years Yalengga flag-raising No Yes Wamena
67 Yusanur Wenda 30 April 2004 106 17 years Wunin arrests Yes No Wamena
68 Dipenus Wenda 28 March 2004 106 14 years Bokondini election boycott Unclear No Wamena
69 George Ariks 13 March 2009 106 5 years Unknown Unknown No Manokwari
70 Filep Karma 1 December 2004 106 15 years Abepura flag-raising 2004 No Yes Abepura
71 Ferdinand Pakage 16 March 2006 214 15 years Abepura case 2006 Yes Yes Abepura
72 Jefrai Murib 12 April 2003 106 Life Wamena ammunition store raid Yes Yes Abepura
73 Linus Hiel Hiluka 27 May 2003 106 20 years Wamena ammunition store raid Yes Yes Nabire
74 Kimanus Wenda 12 April 2003 106 20 years Wamena ammunition store raid Yes Yes Nabire
75 Numbungga Telenggen 11 April 2003 106 Life Wamena ammunition store raid Yes Yes Biak
76 Apotnalogolik Lokobal 10 April 2003 106 20 years Wamena ammunition store raid Yes Yes Biak

Papuans Behind Bars aims to provide accurate and transparent data, published in English and Indonesian, to facilitate direct support for prisoners and promote wider debate and campaigning in support of free expression in West Papua.

Papuans Behind Bars is a collective project initiated by Papuan civil society groups working together as the Civil Society Coalition to Uphold Law and Human Rights in Papua. It is a grassroots initiative and represents a broad collaboration between lawyers, human rights groups, adat groups, activists, journalists and individuals in West Papua, as well as Jakarta-based NGOs and international solidarity groups.

Questions, comments and corrections are welcomed, and you can write to us at info@papuansbehindbars.org

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13 May 2013 accountability demonstration

Victor Yeimo was prosecuted for his participation in a peaceful pro-referendum demonstration on March 2009 in Jayapura city. He was charged with treason and incitement under articles 106 and 160, and sentenced to one year imprisonment. Yeimo was released in October 2010.

His latest arrest came on 13 May 2013, when police stopped a group of demonstrators in Jayapura from carrying out a march demanding government accountability in the wake of the deaths, arrests and injuries from the commemorative events of 1 May 2013. Yeimo and three other activists, Yongky Ulimpa, Ely Kobak and Marthen Manngaprouw were arrested when he attempted to negotiate with the police to allow the march to proceed. A local human rights source present at the demonstration states that all four were severely beaten upon arrest and were allegedly hit with rattan canes, kicked and beaten in detention. Yeimo is the only one that currently remains in detention, and has been transferred to Abepura prison.

Local sources report that he has been held in relation to the case in 2009, where he was charged with incitement and sentenced to one-year imprisonment. Papuan police spokesman Gede Sumerta, alleged that Yeimo had escaped from prison in October 2010, instead of having been released.  He is expected to complete a three-year sentence in relation to the 2009 incident. This is despite statements made by his lawyers that he received a one-year sentence.

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Papuans Behind Bars: March 2013

Papuans Behind Bars is a new project about political prisoners in West Papua. Our aim is to provide accurate and transparent data, published in English and Indonesian, to facilitate direct support for prisoners and promote wider debate and campaigning in support of free expression in West Papua.

Papuans Behind Bars is a collective project initiated by Papuan civil society groups working together as the Civil Society Coalition to Uphold Law and Human Rights in Papua. It is a grassroots initiative and represents a broad collaboration between lawyers, human rights groups, adat groups, activists, journalists and individuals in West Papua, as well as Jakarta-based NGOs and international solidarity groups.

The project holds records of over 200 current and former political prisoners, and the website –www.papuansbehindbars.org – will go live later this month. We will publish monthly Updates, providing alerts on political arrests and a round-up of latest developments affecting Papuan political prisoners. The March Update is the third in the series.

Questions, comments and corrections are welcomed, and you can write to us at info@papuansbehindbars.org

In brief

At the end of March 2013 there were at least 40 political prisoners in Papuan jails. Throughout March there was an increase in the number of reported arbitrary arrests, detention, alleged torture and harassment of civilians in West Papua. There were more political arrests in Sarmi, Manokwari and Paniai.

Jon Nuntian of the TPN camp case, arrested in May 2012 and charged with treason, was released in March. Two teenagers arbitrarily arrested in Paniai last month and accused of being TPN/OPM members have also been released. The Biak explosives and Timika treason and explosives trials continued, and a report by a local human rights activist sheds new light on the Wamena explosives case. The trial of Deny Hisage and five other KNPB activists began at the end of the month.

Arrests

Four alleged TPN/OPM members arrested in Sarmi

On 3 March 2012, four men were arrested at Yamna village in Sarmi district by four members of an army task force at about 10:30 for their alleged involvement with the National Liberation Army/Free Papua Movement (Tentara Pembebasan Nasional, TPN / Organisasi Papua Merdeka, OPM). They were brought to Pantai Timur Police Station before being transferred to Sarmi Police Station and have been identified as Isak Demetouw (alias Alex Makabori) and Daniel Norotouw from Jayapura, and Niko Sasomar and Sileman Teno from Sarmi.

According to an army commander, the task force received information from a resident of Nengke village in Sarmi district about four armed TPN/OPM members on motorcycles headed in the direction of Jayapura. Upon their arrest they were allegedly found with TPN/OPM documents dated 26 February 2013, a TPN/OPM member card, an M9 bayonet, Morning Star symbols, a photo of Niko Sasomar carrying an M16, a backpack containing IDR 20 million, three mobile phones and two bottles of medicine.

The police stated that the four men were guilty of conspiracy to commit violence in Sarmi and Jayapura districts. They were charged with Article 110 of the Criminal Code and Article 2 of the Emergency Law 12/1951 for conspiracy and possession of a sharp weapon, carrying a minimum 20 year prison sentence and a maximum life sentence.

Although the men have yet to be tried, since the Puncak Jaya shootings there have been a number of reports of civilians being wrongly been accused of TPN/OPM involvement. In Paniai eight civilians in two separate cases have been arrested and some tortured due to false accusations of TPN/OPM involvement, before being released without charge (see below).

Manokwari: Human rights activists charged with treason for peaceful demonstration and meeting

Three human rights activists, Markus Yenu, Eliaezer Awom and Jhon Warijo, have reportedly been charged with treason by the Manokwari police in relation to their involvement in a peaceful demonstration on 17 January 2013 and a meeting of the National Coalition of Young Papuans (Komite Nasional Pemudah Papua, KNPP), which took place between 31 January and 2 February 2013.

Police stated that they had received enough evidence from the description of eight witnesses against Markus Yenu, the Executive Governor of the West Papua National Authority (WPNA) District 2 of Manokwari, for the proceedings to go ahead. The case is currently being filed. Yenu was reportedly arrested on 6 March 2013 and taken to the Manokwari police station where he was interrogated about the peaceful demonstration on 17 January 2013 during which the Morning Star flag was flown.

While in detention, Yenu was allegedly visited by Yakobus Marzuki, the former Chief of Police in 2008 and current Director of the Papuan Police Intelligence who claimed that there was evidence proving Yenu’s involvement in provoking acts of arson and destruction on 5 December 2012 following the shooting of political prisoner Thimotius Ap. According to Yenu, police allegedly indicated that four others, Frans Kapisa, Billy Auparay, Ottow Rumaseb and Zeth Wambrauw, alongside Jakobus Wanggai and Eliaezer Awom, were also identified as suspects. Jakobus Wanggai is himself a former political prisoner, having served time in prison for raising the Melanesian 14-star flag. It is unclear whether Markus Yenu has legal representation at the time of writing.

The police reportedly stated that Eliaezer Awom and Jhon Warijo had not responded to the summons and that they would forcefully be brought in if the second summons was ignored. Police allegedly believe that Jhon Warijo, the head of the KNPP, is currently not in Manokwari and are said to be seeking witnesses to prove that during the demonstration on 17 January, Eliaezer Awom stated that he was the Commander of the OPM. They also claimed that they have secured evidence against the suspects in the form of three Morning Star flags and other documents seized during the demonstration.

Paniai: Six civilians arrested, pregnant woman molested and baby assaulted in raid to find pro-independence members

On 7 February 2013 Musa Yeimo, the leader of a local church in Ipakiye village, Paniai, was arrested and ill-treated along with five other civilians; Benny Yeimo, Mesak Yeimo, Sam Yeimo, Kalep Yeimo and Alpius Nawipa. While the six were detained in Paniai District Police Station, residents of Ipakiye village held two public protests demanding their release. The six civilians say they have no affiliations to the pro-independence OPM and were released unconditionally on 9 March due to lack of evidence.

According to a report by the Asian Human Rights Commission, prior to the arrests the joint police and army force raided the home of Stephanus Yogi, a civilian who managed to escape capture after receiving advance warning of the raid from other villagers. Four officers reportedly forced their way into the house and, unable to find Stephanus Yogi or get information from his wife Dorpina Gobay, they sexually harassed her and physically assaulted the couple’s 18-month old baby. Mrs Gobay had been unable to communicate with police as she speaks only the local language, and does not speak Indonesian.

There has been an increase in the targeting and arrests of civilians under accusations of their involvement with the TPN/OPM since the Puncak Jaya shootings that led to the death of eight Indonesian soliders and four civilians. There has been a reported increase in presence of the Indonesian army and police in Paniai since the Puncak Jaya shootings in February, and local activists reported several cases of intimidation and harassment of civilians involving arbitrary strip searches and confiscation or destruction of peoples’ mobile phones.

Releases

Serui: TPN camp case – Jon Nuntian released

According to a local activist report received via email, Jon Nuntian was reportedly released on or around 14 March 2013. Nuntian was arrested on 29 May 2012 under suspicion of involvement with a TPN camp and detained in Serui prison. On the night of his arrest, the Umagi news pro-independence website reported that military troops had burned houses in the local area of Wanampompi village, Yapen Island, which the police claimed contained a TPN/OPM training camp. This reportdescribes Nuntian as an ordinary civilian. He was charged with treason under Article 106 of the Criminal Code and it is uncertain if his trial ever commenced.

According to a report by Tabloid Jubi, when Wadapi residents demonstrated against the arrest of Jon Nuntian outside the Yapen Legislative Assembly, a journalist covering the event was threatened by the local police and warned not to publish the story.

Release of two teenagers alleged to be OPM members in Paniai

On 11 March 2013, teenagers Alpons Gobay and Meny Gobay were released from police detention. Aged 15 and 18 respectively, Alphons and Meny were reportedlyarrested in Paniai on 25 February and arbitrarily detained over trumped up charges for two weeks before being released. A local activist reported that the two teenagers were arrested in their house and charged with possession of ammunition. The pair had reportedly returned from the local market that morning when they found a stranger in their house, who informed them that he was resting and intended to go fishing in Bobaigo. The pair thought the stranger not to be a threat and carried on preparing their lunch. The man then left all of a sudden, leaving a noken (a woven Papuan bag) behind.

Soon after at 10:00, a joint army and police task force raided the house and arrested the men, allegedly beating them and later on torturing them while they were detained at Paniai Police Station. The police had reportedly found a handheld transceiver, a 7.56 caliber cartridge, a mobile phone, two TPN/OPM identity cards which do not belong to the teenagers, and woven Morning Star symbols in the noken that was left by the stranger. They charged the two teenagers with Emergency Law 12/1951 for possession of ammunition.

As with the above case of the six civilians arrested in Paniai, these arrests come in the wake of the Puncak Jaya shootings, following which there has been an increase in targeting of civilians under allegations of being members of TPN/OPM.

Political Trials and Cases Overview

While some ongoing political trials can be seen as ‘purely’ political cases, others allegedly involve criminal as well as political elements. Because these cases are more complex, Papuans Behind Bars is sometimes unable to determine whether the defendants are political prisoners until more details of the case are known. We are, however, concerned that some defendants are at risk of not receiving adequate legal representation or a fair trial due to the apparent political nature of the trials and the stigma around them.

Biak explosive trial continues

The trial of two activists from the West Papua National Committee (Komisi Nasional Papua Barat, KNPB), Barnabas Mansoben and Paulus Aluacontinued in March.  Charged with Emergency Law 12/1951 for possession of explosives, the two were awaiting the fourth hearing at the Biak District Court, which expected to hear the witnesses and examine the evidence. A lawyer for the two activists has stated that the indictments were excessive and had appealed to the judge for their release given the absence of strong evidence. The lawyer’s submission was rejected.

Timika treason and explosives case

On 22 March the trial of six KNPB members charged with possession of explosives continued at the Timika District Court, with all six called to the stand. Arrested on 29 October 2012, the defendants’ statements described the information presented in the police investigation report as untrue and stated that they had never even seen some of the items presented as evidence against them.

Yakonias Womsiwor stated that the indigenous Biak arrows and other sharp items used as evidence against him were items that he used for hunting and fishing. He also stated that unlike the claims in the indictment, Steven Itlay and Romario Yatipai did not order him to make those weapons and neither did Paulus Marsyom, Yanto Awerkion and Alfret Marsyon help him to make the arrows. The statements made by the five other KNPB members supported Womsiwor’s statement.

Steven Itlai and Romario Yatipai stated that they had both led demonstrations before, but that these had all been peaceful demonstrations that had received the necessary permits from the Timika police. Yanto Awerkion stated that he had no knowledge of, and was not the owner of the material used for dynamite fishing that was presented as evidence against him.The trial was due to continue on 28 March 2013 when witnesses were to be called to testify, however this session has been postponed until 4 April.

The KNPB in both Timika and Wamena have strongly denied that their members were involved in any conspiracy to make bombs, and allege that the accusations are part of a strategy to discredit and criminalise their organisation.

Wamena explosives case 

An investigation report by a local human rights activist has revealed new information about the Wamena explosives case, in which several people have been arrested and allegedly tortured.  Local human rights investigators believe a string of events to be connected to this case. The events which are believed to be related are: the arrests of eight or nine KNPB activists on 29 September 2012, an attack on a police post in Pirime around 27 November, the arrests and alleged torture of seven people on 29 November, the shooting of Hubertus Mabel and Natalias Alua and the arrest of KNPB activists Simeon Dabi, Meki Walo Kogoya and Wene Gombo  on the morning of 16 December, the setting alight of the Wouma police post in Wamena town on the evening of 16 December, the burning down of the honai adat(traditional house) of the Papuan Indigenous Council (Dewan Adat Papua, DAP) that same evening following the shootings and arrests, and lastly the arrest and torture of Agus Hiluka on the evening of 16 December, in connection with the burning of the Wouma police post.

Eight or nine people were reportedly arrested in Wamena on 29 September 2012 in connection with a bomb found in the yard of the Jayawijaya District Legislative Office, including Yan Yunus Wamu, Edo Doga, Irika Kosay, Yusuf Hiluka, Yan Mabel, Lucky Matuan, Natalia Kosay (female), and Melianus Kosay. On 12 October 2012, five KNPB activists were arrested in Jayapura, allegedly in connection with the same case. The five youths – Yasons Sambom, Denny Hisage, Anike Kogoya, Feliks Bahabol and Linus Bahabol – were released without charge. On 13 October 2012 an individual with the initials ‘NL’ was reportedly arrested in Wamena in connection with the same case. On 27 November 2012, there was an attack on a police post in Pirime, several hours journey from Wamena, which was followed by the arrest and alleged torture of seven people: ‘KW’, ‘LK’, ‘TW’, ‘GK’, ‘DT’, ‘TT’ and ‘YW’, who have reportedly been bailed. On 1 December 2012, Athys Wenda of the Lani Jaya KNPB was arrested in Wamena, and it is now thought that he is being seen as linked to the Wamena explosives case.

On the morning of 16 December, KNPB activist Hubert Mabel was shot dead by security forces, allegedly Detachment 88. While previous reports had stated that Natalias Alua was murdered, local human rights activists report that he allegedly was in a coma and that although he has been freed from detention, he is required to report to the police. A report received by e-mail from a local human rights activist stated that Wene Gombo, who was arrested the same night, is no longer in detention but is required to report to the police. Meki Walo Kogoya and Wene Gombo were arbitrarily arrested, detained and allegedly tortured on 16 December 2012 by the police who reportedly sought to gain information on Hubert Mabel’s whereabouts.  Later the same night the police post at Wouma in Wamena town was set alight, and following this the honai adat (traditional house) of the Papuan Indigenous Council (Dewan Adat Papua, DAP) was burned down, allegedly by police.

Following these events, according to reports received by local human rights investigators, police then arrested and severely tortured Agus Hiluka on the evening of 16 December 2012, on suspicion of setting the Wouma police post on fire. According to the report by local human rights investigators, Hiluka was severely beaten with a gun on his left ear and his left eye, until it was destroyed. He was also bleeding profusely from the mouth and nose. After the torture the police took him to Wamena hospital and handcuffed him to the bed. The following afternoon, upon finding the suspect still handcuffed to the bed and having soiled himself, local human rights defenders succeeded in persuading police to un-cuff Hiluka from the hospital bed, following which he was taken to police detention. The current whereabouts of Hiluka is unknown.

It is believed that at least eight KNPB members are currently facing trial: Edo Doga, Yan Yunus Wamu, Jemi Mabel, Melias Kosay, Natalia Kosay, Irika Kosay, Yusuf Hiluka, Lucky Matuan and Athys Wenda. A report received from a local human rights investigator states that nine people arrested at the KNPB secretariat in Wamena on 29 September 2012 are still in detention. The report also mentions others in connection with this case: Yupinus Daby, who was under investigation in relation to the Dani Kogoya case but later returned to Wamena to be charged for the Wamena explosives case, Kemius Jigibalom, though not connected to the case, was reportedly arrested for being mentally ill, and Sailin Kosay, who is thought to have been arrested with the eight other activists at the KNPB secretariat on 29 September 2012.

Trial begins for six KNPB activists in Abepura ammunition case

The trial of six pro-independence KNPB activists charged with possession of ammunition began on 28 March 2013. Denny Hisage , Rendis Wetipo, Wene J Wenda, Anike Kogoya, Jhon Pekey and Olis Pigay were reportedly arrested on 30 October 2012 and charged with Article 187 and 55 of the Indonesian Criminal Code and Emergency Law 12/1951. The six were allegedly arrested in a rented house containing ammunition. The activists are being provided with legal accompaniment by the Civil Society Coalition to Uphold Law and Human Rights in Papua.

News

Australian supporters show new film on demonstrations in West Papua and raise money for political prisoners

On 1 March the West Papua Melbourne Community hosted an awareness-raising evening at Kindness House in inner city Melbourne. Along with food and singing, the event hosted a film produced by Peter Woods, comprising footage from his last two trips to West Papua. The film was well received by an enthusiastic crowd of 50 people, and revealed the extent of the large public demonstrations demanding independence across West Papua during the 12 months following the Third Papuan People’s Congress in October 2011. The film will be available for showing in early May. The event raised AUD 300 in support of political prisoners in West Papua.

Arbitrary arrest and torture of civilians in Paniai

Local human rights activists have reported an arrest and alleged torture of Reverend Yunus Gobai, a local priest in Enarotoli, the regional centre of Paniai. On 2 March 2013 at 08:30, Gobai was arrested and allegedly tortured by local and Mobile Brigades (Brigades Mobile, Brimob) police at the Enarotali police compound, resulting in severe injuries. He was released after family members were reportedly forced by the Paniai police to gather money to secure his release despite the lack of criminal charges against Gobai. He was released two hours after his arrest. Local activists report that the priest was arrested after exhibiting symptoms of a mental illness that he suffers from. Police claim that Gobai was arrested because he had assaulted a woman and that the money given by his family was a fine demanded by her.

On 7 March another case of arbitrary arrests in Sinak in the district of Paniai was reported. Local news site Suara Papua reported that three members of the Baptist Church; Tinius Kiwo, Wurin Tabuni and Kiwenus Tabuni, were arrested by Wamena district police and their whereabouts is not currently known. The three men were allegedly severely tortured with razor blades following their arrest. The report also states that the reason behind their arrest and detention remains unclear.

As with the political arrests of civilians in Paniai outlined above, these arbitrary arrests come at an unstable time following the Puncak Jaya shootings, where civilians are being targeted by police under false suspicion of TPN/OPM involvement.

Joint Oral Statement in UN Human Rights Council demands release of political prisoners

On 12 March 2013, a coalition of NGOs including the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC), the International Coalition for Papua (ICP) and Survival International (SI) presented a joint oral statement to 22nd Session of the UN Human Rights Council. The statement addressed the increasing persecution and arbitrary arrests of political activists and human rights defenders in West Papua, under the guise of anti-terrorism measures. The case of torture of 20 inmates in Abepura prison, the arrests of seven men in Depapre in connection with pro-independence activists and the arrest and ill-treatment of Yunus Gobai were highlighted in the statement to illustrate the problem of ongoing violence and impunity in Papua. The statement called for peaceful dialogue under neutral mediation, open access to Papua and the release of all political prisoners.

Political prisoner Selpius Bobii speaks out on the challenges facing West Papua

Human rights activist and political prisoner Selpius Bobii has published two articles entitled “The Annihilation of Indigenous West Papuans: A Challenge and a Hope,” and “Stop violence in Paniai, proceed with heart to heart communication”. His first article addresses the challenges facing West Papua, including amongst others, the violations that have resulted from Indonesian military operations, health issues and the loss of land and natural resources affecting the indigenous people.

His second article highlights the violence, intimidation and unlawful detention in recent weeks in Paniai, warning that conflicts in Papua affect both Papuans and non-Papuans alike, although indigenous Papuans are most adversely affected. Bobii was arrested on 19 October 2011 at a gathering of the Papuan Peoples’ Congress in Jayapura that was shut down by Indonesian security forces. He is currently serving a three-year sentence on charges of treason.

Ex-political prisoner Herman Wainggai advocates in the US for the release of Papuan political prisoners

Herman Wainggai, an ex-political prisoner who now advocates in the US for human rights issues in Papua, spoke at an event on 27 March 2013 organised by the Free West Papua Political Prisoners campaign. The campaign aims to inform the general public of the issues facing West Papua and to gain support for the release of political prisoners. Wainggai was arrested in 2002 and charged with treason for an event he organised where the fourteen-star West Melanesian flag was to be raised. If you are based in the US and would like to find out more about the campaign you can get in touch with Amy Frazier or Herman Wainggai.

March 2013 Papuan political prisoners

Prisoner Arrested Charges Sentence Case Accused of violence? Concerns reported re legal process? Prison
Markus Yenu 6 March 2013 106 Trial ongoing Manokwari demonstration and KNPP meeting No Pending Manokwari
Isak Demetouw (alias Alex Makabori) 3 March 2013 110; Article 2, Emergency Law 12/1951 Trial ongoing Accused of being TPN/OPM No Pending Sarmi
Daniel Norotouw 3 March 2013 110; Article 2, Emergency Law 12/1951 Trial ongoing Accused of being TPN/OPM No Pending Sarmi
Niko Sasomar 3 March 2013 110; Article 2, Emergency Law 12/1951 Trial ongoing Accused of being TPN/OPM No Pending Sarmi
Sileman Teno 3 March 2013 110; Article 2, Emergency Law 12/1951 Trial ongoing Accused of being TPN/OPM No Pending Sarmi
Matan Klembiap 15 February 2013 110; Article 2, Emergency Law 12/1951 Trial ongoing Terianus Satto and Sebby Sambom affiliation No Yes Police detention, Jayapura
Daniel Gobay 15 February 2013 110; Article 2, Emergency Law 12/1951 Trial ongoing Terianus Satto and Sebby Sambom affiliation No Yes Police detention, Jayapura
Alfret Marsyom 19 October 2012 106, Emergency Law 12/1951 Trial ongoing Timika explosives case Possession of weapons Yes Timika
Yakonius Womsiwor 19 October 2012 106, Emergency Law 12/1951 Trial ongoing Timika explosives case Possession of weapons Yes Timika
Yantho Awerkion 19 October 2012 106, Emergency Law 12/1951 Trial ongoing Timika explosives case Possession of weapons Yes Timika
Paulus Marsyom 19 October 2012 106, Emergency Law 12/1951 Trial ongoing Timika explosives case Possession of weapons Yes Timika
Romario Yatipai 19 October 2012 106, Emergency Law 12/1951 Trial ongoing Timika explosives case Possession of weapons Yes Timika
Steven Itlay 19 October 2012 106, Emergency Law 12/1951 Trial ongoing Timika explosives case Possession of weapons Yes Timika
Jamal Omrik Manitori 3 July 2012 106 Not yet tried Serui ‘TPN camp’ case Unknown Yes Serui
Yan Piet Maniamboi 9 August 2012 106 Trial ongoing Indigenous people’s day celebrations, Yapen No Yes Serui
Edison Kendi 9 August 2012 106 Trial ongoing Indigenous people’s day celebrations, Yapen No Yes Serui
Timur Wakerkwa 1 May 2012 106 3 years 1 May demo and flag-raising No No Abepura
Darius Kogoya 1 May 2012 106 3 years 1 May demo and flag-raising No No Abepura
Paulus Alua 21 October 2012 Emergency Law 12/1951 Trial ongoing Biak explosives case Possession of explosives Yes Biak
Barnabas Mansoben 21 October 2012 Emergency Law 12/1951 Trial ongoing Biak explosives case Possession of explosives No Biak
Forkorus Yaboisembut 19 October 2011 106 3 years Third Papua Congress No Yes Abepura
Edison Waromi 19 October 2011 106 3 years Third Papua Congress No Yes Abepura
Dominikus Surabut 19 October 2011 106 3 years Third Papua Congress No Yes Abepura
August Kraar 19 October 2011 106 3 years Third Papua Congress No Yes Abepura
Selpius Bobii 20 October 2011 106 3 years Third Papua Congress No Yes Abepura
Wiki Meaga 20 November 2010 106 8 years Yalengga flag-raising No Yes Wamena
Oskar Hilago 20 November 2010 106 8 years Yalengga flag-raising No Yes Wamena
Meki Elosak 20 November 2010 106 8 years Yalengga flag-raising No Yes Wamena
Obeth Kosay 20 November 2010 106 8 years Yalengga flag-raising No Yes Wamena
Yusanur Wenda 30 April 2004 106 17 years Wunin arrests Yes No Wamena
Dipenus Wenda 28 March 2004 106 14 years Bokondini election boycott Unclear No Wamena
George Ariks 13 March 2009 106 5 years Unknown Unknown No Manokwari
Filep Karma 1 December 2004 106 15 years Abepura flag-raising 2004 No Yes Abepura
Ferdinand Pakage 16 March 2006 214 15 years Abepura case 2006 Yes Yes Abepura
Luis Gedi 16 March 2006 214 15 years Abepura case 2006 Yes Yes Abepura
Jefrai Murib 12 April 2003 106 Life Wamena ammunition store raid Yes Yes Abepura
Linus Hiluka 27 May 2003 106 20 years Wamena ammunition store raid Yes Yes Nabire
Kimanus Wenda 12 April 2003 106 20 years Wamena ammunition store raid Yes Yes Nabire
Numbungga Telenggen 11 April 2003 106 Life Wamena ammunition store raid Yes Yes Biak
Apotnalogolik Lokobal 10 April 2003 106 20 years Wamena ammunition store raid Yes Yes Biak
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December 2014: Bloody Paniai: military brutality threatens Jokowi’s promise of human rights in Papua

In brief

At the end of December 2014, there were at least 55 political prisoners in Papuan jails.

Six Papuans were killed and at least 22 others suffered injuries as a result of indiscriminate shootings by military and police officers on 8 December 2014 in Enarotali district in Paniai regency. Security forces fired into a crowd of around 800 peaceful demonstrators who were performing a traditional Papuan waita dance in protest of the torture of a 13-year-old boy by Special Military Team Unit Batallion 753 (Oknum Tim Khusus Batalyon 753, Timsus 753) officers the previous day. Timsus 753 military officers were also responsible of the documented torture of two Papuans in May 2010. This brutal treatment of children by State security forces in open and public spaces is particularly alarming and sums up the entrenched culture of impunity in Papua.

Without conducting a thorough, independent and impartial investigation, Indonesian military officials gave what one analyst called a “classic response” by shifting blame for the 8 December shootings on the Free Papua Movement (Operasi Papua Merdeka, OPM). In another response, dismissed by Papuan community leaders as fabrications, Tedjo Edhy Purdijatno, the Coordinating Minister for Politics, Law and Security told Indonesian media outlets that the shootings had already been dealt with in the customary manner, by performing an indigenous ritual of bakar batu. These responses seriously call into question the political will of Indonesian authorities to seek accountability and transparency for what has come to be known as ‘Bloody Paniai.’

While President Joko Widodo stated that a fact-finding team would be formed, it remains to be seen if it would be a joint inquiry consisting of the army, police, the National Commission of Human Rights (Komisi Nasional Hak Asasi Manusia, Komnas HAM), and traditional Papuan leaders, in accordance with the recommendations of Komnas HAM. The importance of such a joint inquiry would be to ensure that military personnel responsible could be questioned and therefore held to account. Political and human rights analysts have speculated that the 8 December shootings may have been fuelled by an emboldened military following the announcement of Jokowi’s support for a new regional military command (Komando Daerah Militer, Kodam) in Papua. Long-standing violations by the Indonesian military in Papua, perpetuated by a culture of impunity, suggest that such plans are incompatible with Jokowi’s earlier pledges of protecting human rights in Papua. On 27 December, tens of demonstrators in Jayapura were arrested for protesting the planned visit of President Jokowi. The demonstrators, along with other Papuan civil society groups, rejected Jokowi’s visit in response to Bloody Paniai.

In a separate case in Puncak Illaga in Mimika regency this month, at least 26 Papuans were arrested and ill-treated, some of whom were tortured. This case echo three other cases reported in 2014: the Nimbokrang arrests in August, the Sasawa arrests in February and Bloody Yotefa in July. In these cases, security forces continue to target ordinary Papuan civilians with excessive use of force and indiscriminate arrests in a bid to collectively punish indigenous Papuan communities for violent acts committed by other criminal individuals and groups. Such violent reprisal attacks highlight the lack of basic protection afforded to indigenous Papuans against atrocities committed by Indonesian state security forces.

One of the detainees in the Pisugi Elections Boycott case, Yosep Siep, has been hospitalized due to pains endured as a result of torture faced on arrest. Court hearings for the five Pisugi detainees have been repeatedly postponed due to the difficulty of obtaining witness testimonies in court. In Nabire, ten West Papua National Committee (Komite Nasional Papus Barat, KNPB) members were released after more than a month in detention, reportedly due to the lack of evidence to bring them to trial.

Arrests

Several arrested for demonstrating against Jokowi visit

Papuan news source Suara Papua reported that on 27 December 2014, tens of demonstrators were arrested by security forces for participating in a long march protesting the visit of Indonesian President Joko Widodo to Papua. According to a testimony from one witness, the demonstrators were dressed in indigenous dress and intended to march from Sosial Street in Sentani to Sentani Airport. On the march, they were stopped by Military Infantry Batallion 751 and were reportedly arrested by both military and police officers. They were then detained in Jayapura Regional police station. It is not yet clear exactly how many demonstrators were arrested and if they currently remain in detention.

Dozens arrested and tortured by security forces in Puncak Illaga

Information received by independent local human rights workers reported the arrests of at least 26 Papuans in Illaga in Puncak Jaya, Mimika regency following the fatal shootings of two Mobile Brigade (Brigades Mobil, Brimob) officers by the pro-independence armed movement the West Papua National Liberation Army (Tentera Pembebasan Nasional Papua Barat, TPNPB).

On 3 December 2014, two Brimob officers were shot in front of the offices of the Papuan Legislative Council (DPRD, Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat Papua) in Kago district, Mimika. TPNPB members also took their assault rifles. TPNPB has released a statement claiming responsibility for the attack. Shortly afterwards, a joint military and police task force responded by conducting a search operation in the area, burning down 15 homes belonging to local villagers, who were reportedly not involved in the attack. The homes that were burned down include 13 traditional honai houses and the home of Kwarnus Murib, the local district head. 24 people were arrested and allegedly faced ill-treatment and torture on arrest. One of the detainees, Pai Murib, was released in a critical condition following heavy beatings to his stomach. Murib was sent to the public hospital in Puncak Jaya following his release, and was only able to speak and eat after two days. According to Murib’s testimony, on 3 December he was out collecting wood in the forest to use at home when police, without questioning him, proceeded to severely beat and then detain him.

The 23 other people who were arrested are Baitem Murib, Rekules Murib, Patung Kulua, Munius Tabuni, Pliton Murib, Wisisi Murib, Elison Murib, Yomis Murib, Ketamius Telenggen, Daud Murib, Penggeri Murib, Tipen Tabuni, Kitenius Murib, Matius Murib, Malukni Murib, Delpi Kulua, Agus Magai, Isak Tabuni, Manus Waker, Yonar Telenggen, Donar Telenggen and Yuh Mom. According to human rights investigators, the 23 men were not involved in the attack against the two Brimob officers. They are currently detained in Puncak Ilaga Regional police station.

On 5 December, Mernus Murib and Tomas Tabuni (a member of the Regional People’s Representative Council (Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat Daerah, DPRD) of Puncak Ilaga) were arrested outside Bank Papua in Puncak Ilaga and detained in Puncak Ilaga Regional police station. They were reportedly arrested in relation to the attack on the two Brimob officers. It is unclear what involvement, if any, the two men have in the attack.

Human rights investigators reported concerns for the welfare of the 25 detainees, stating that they may be at risk of torture. The detainees are currently without legal representation.

Releases

KNPB Nabire and Dogiyai activists released

On 23 December, ten KNPB activists from Nabire and Dogiyai who were arrested on 19 November, were released. Sadrak Kudiai, the head of KNPB Nabire, Agus Tebay, Derius Goo, Yafet Keiya, Hans Edoway and Aleks Pigai from Nabire, and David Pigai, the head of KNPB Dogiyai, Enesa Anouw, Marsel Saul Edowai and Agus Waine from Dogiyai, were previously charged with incitement and treason under Articles 160, 106 and 55 of the Indonesian Criminal code. They were arrested for taking part in commemorative activities celebrating the 6th anniversary of the formation of the KNPB. Majalah Selangkah reported that the Head of Nabire Regional Police, H.R. Situmeang stated that the ten members were ‘gifted’ a Chrismas release following appeals from the local tribal leader and villagers. One of the detainees, Sadrak Kudiai, challenged Situmeang’s statement, asserting instead that they were released because police could not find evidence to detain them further.

Political trials and cases overview

Yosep Siep hospitalised; hearings postponed amid no-show of witnesses in Pisugi Elections Boycott case

One of the detainees of the Pisugi Elections Boycott case, Yosep Siep, has been hospitalised for chest and ear pains endured as a result of torture he faced on arrest. According to defence lawyers, Siep also seemed to be unable to concentrate when answering questions and is under tremendous stress. He is also reportedly suffering from typhoid. Siep previously received medical treatment but was still made to attend hearings despite his poor condition. However, defence lawyers appealed for Siep to receive intensive treatment in hospital until he is fully recovered. His court hearing has since been postponed until he is fully recovered.

Court hearings have also been postponed for the four other detainees – Ibrahim Marian, Marsel Marian, Yance Walilo and Yosasam Serabut – as witnesses did not show to testify. Court hearings scheduled for 3 and 10 December were postponed when witnesses who were called forward to present their testimonies failed to attend the hearings. Witnesses who were called forward included members of the public and police officers. According the Public Prosecutor, the members of the public were no longer living in the area and thus not able to attend, and the police witnesses were too preoccupied with policing activities to be able to attend.

Case of concern

Six dead, 22 injured in Paniai military and police shootings

On 8 December 2014, five Papuans were fatally shot by military and police officers and at least 22 others suffered injuries in Enarotali district in Paniai regency. A sixth victim died in hospital the following day. Security forces began indiscriminately shooting into a crowd of Papuans who were performing a traditional indigenous dance in protest of the torture and ill-treatment of three boys by military officers the previous day.

According to reports from local human rights investigators and Papuan media, on the evening of 7 December, at around 20:20 Papua time, three boys aged 12 to 13 stopped a vehicle in Enarotali and urged its occupants to turn on their headlights for safety reasons as it was dark. At 21:00, the same vehicle accompanied by a military vehicle belonging to Special Military Team Unit Batallion 753 (Oknum Tim Khusus Batalyon 753, Timsus 753) arrived back to the same spot to seek out the three boys. Timsus 753 military officers severely beat Yulianus Yeimo, one of the three boys, with rifle butts and slashed him on the head and body, as documented in a report by the Peace and Justice Department of the Papuan Gospel Tabernacle Church (Departemen Keadilan dan Perdamaian Sinode Gereja Kemah Injil (KINGMI) di Tanah Papua). Yeimo eventually managed to escape and ran away with the two other boys. The military officers chased the three boys and fired shots in their direction. As a result, one of the boys, Jeri Gobai, reportedly suffered a gunshot wound on his right shoulder.

The following day, on 8 December, at around 07:00, the Head of Paniai Regional police arrived to the location where Yeimo was tortured. Local villagers assumed they were responsible for the torture and ill-treatment of the three boys, as the vehicle they used was similar to the one used the previous night, and started throwing stones at the police. After an intervention from the local regent, tension eased and the crowd stopped their actions.

At around 09:00, a crowd of around 800 Papuans gathered at Karel Bonay field in front of Enarotali district police station and the Military Command (Komando Rayon Militer, Koramil) to demand an explanation for the events of the previous night. The demonstrators performed a traditional Papuan waita dance, in expression of their grievance. Military and police officers responded by indiscriminately shooting live ammunition into the crowd. Paniai-based human rights investigators and news reports stated that five people died on the spot; Alpius Youw, Yulian Yeimo and Alpius Gobai (all 17-year-old high school students) and Simon Degei (an 18-year-old high school student). Abia Gobay (a 17-year-old high school student) also died from gunshot wounds, but his body was found 400 metres from Karel Bonay field. Reports indicate that his family brought his body back to the family home. The following day, on 9 December, Yulian Tobai, a 40-year-old security guard died of his injuries in hospital, making him the sixth victim of the police and military shootings. A report by Jayapura-based church organisation the Fellowship of Baptist Churches of Papua (Persekutuan Gereja-Gereja Baptis Papua) stated that at least 22 other people suffered gunshot-related injuries. The youngest amongst those that suffered injuries was 8-year-old Benny Yogi, an elementary-school student who was shot in his hand.

On 11 December, Major General Fuad Basya, the Head of the Information Centre for the Indonesian National Army (Tentera Nasional Indonesia, TNI) told Indonesian media of the possibility of separatist involvement in the 8 December shootings. General Gatot Nurmantyo, the Army Chief of Staff, claimed that the shootings were initiated by the Free Papua Movement (Organisasi Papua Merdeka, OPM) from the surrounding mountains. Dr. Otto Nur Abdullah, who heads the National Human Rights Commission (Komisi Nasional Hak Asasi Manusia, Komnas HAM) team investigating the 8 December shootings, stated that this was impossible given that the mountains were far away. He asserted instead that military officers from Timsus 753 were responsible for the shootings.

On 15 December, Tedjo Edhy Purdijatno, the Coordinating Minister for Politics, Law and Security (Menteri Koordinator Politik, Hukum dan Keamanan, Menko Polhukam) told Indonesian media outlets that while investigations into the incident are ongoing, the local Papuan community had come to a deal with the military and police in line with customary ways (secara adat), by performing a customary ritual of bakar batu. Local church and community leaders condemned the announcement stating that no such agreement had been made and that it only served to further anger the families of the victims. The Head of the Papuan Customary Council (Dewan Adat Papua, DAP) in Paniai, Jhon Gobay, told Majalah Selangkah that such a statement represented a systematic effort by the Indonesian State to conceal the situation and to abscond responsibility for the 8 December shootings.

Komnas HAM has called on the Indonesian government to conduct a joint fact-finding inquiry consisting of the army, police, Komnas HAM and traditional Papuan leaders. Human Rights Watch Indonesia and Imparsial have similarly implored the Indonesian government to conduct a joint inquiry, to ensure that investigators can question military personnel who were present during the incident. Human Rights Watch have also called on the Indonesian government to protect witnesses present during the 8 December shootings, noting that a preliminary report by Komnas HAM showed that witnesses were “unwilling to testify” due to concerns of reprisals. A Suara Papua article reported that the local community were severely traumatised by the shootings and that a heavy presence of armed members from the security forces could still be found in Enarotali almost a week after the shootings.

In response to the 8 December shootings, that has now come to be known as ‘Bloody Paniai’, Papuan civil society groups including the Ecumenical Forum of Papuan Churches (Forum Oikumenis Gereja-Gereja Papua) and student group Gempar-R voiced their disagreement against President Jokowi’s planned Christmas visit to Jayapura on 27 December. On 27 December, in a speech addressing a crowd of hundreds in Mandala Stadium in Jayapura city, Jokowi broke his silence on the 8 December shootings, stating that he wanted “the case to be solved immediately” and that “by forming a fact-finding team” he hoped to “obtain valid information [about what actually happened], as well as find the root of the problems.”

News

Komnas HAM to monitor treason cases in Papua; Theys Eluay murder case may be reopened

An article on the Democracy Alliance for Papua (Aliansi Demokrasi untuk Papua, AlDP) website reported that Komnas HAM will begin to pay more attention to monitoring treason cases in Papua. Dr. Otto Nur Abdullah, who leads the Komnas HAM team investigating Bloody Paniai, noted that they plan to monitor the full trial process of cases involving treason charges. Komnas HAM also plans to conduct plenary sessions examining past cases, including the murder of Papuan leader Theys Eluay, the disappearance of Eluay’s personal driver, Aristoteles Masoka, and the disappearance of 17 speedboat passengers in Serui in March 2009. Dr. Abdullah also stated the possibility of reopening the Theys Eluay case to reach a verdict regarding his abduction.

December 2014 Papuan political prisoners

  Prisoner Arrested Charges Sentence Case Accused of violence? Concerns reported re legal process? Prison / Place of detention
1 Areki Wanimbo 6 August 2014 Articles 106 and 110 Awaiting trial French journalists arrests in Wamena Uncertain Uncertain Papuan Police Headquarters
2 Pastor Ruten Wakerkwa 1 August 2014 Unknown Police investigation pending Lanny Jaya 2014 military raid arrests Uncertain Uncertain Lanny Jaya Regional police station
3 Sudi Wetipo 14 July 2014 Unknown Police investigation pending Boycott Pilpres 2014 in Wamena Uncertain Uncertain Jayawijaya Regional police station
4 Elius Elosak 14 July 2014 Unknown Police investigation pending Boycott Pilpres 2014 in Wamena Uncertain Uncertain Jayawijaya Regional police station
5 Domi Wetipo 14 July 2014 Unknown Police investigation pending Boycott Pilpres 2014 in Wamena Uncertain Uncertain Jayawijaya Regional police station
6 Agus Doga 14 July 2014 Unknown Police investigation pending Boycott Pilpres 2014 in Wamena Uncertain Uncertain Jayawijaya Regional police station
7 Yosep Siep 9 July 2014 Articles 187, 164 Awaiting trial Pisugi Election Boycott Yes Uncertain Jayawijaya Regional police station
8 Ibrahim Marian 9 July 2014 Articles 187, 164 Awaiting trial Pisugi Election Boycott Yes Uncertain Jayawijaya Regional police station
9 Marsel Marian 9 July 2014 Articles 187, 164 Awaiting trial Pisugi Election Boycott Yes Uncertain Jayawijaya Regional police station
10 Yance Walilo 9 July 2014 Articles 187, 164 Awaiting trial Pisugi Election Boycott Yes Uncertain Jayawijaya Regional police station
11 Yosasam Serabut 9 July 2014 Articles 187, 164 Awaiting trial Pisugi Election Boycott Yes Uncertain Jayawijaya Regional police station
12 Alapia Yalak 4 June 2014 Unknown Police investigation pending Yahukimo arrests Yes Yes Papua Police Headquarters
13 Ferdinandus Blagaize 24 May 2014 Unknown Police investigation pending Merauke KNPB arrests No Uncertain Okaba District police station
14 Selestinus Blagaize 24 May 2014 Unknown Police investigation pending Merauke KNPB arrests No Uncertain Okaba District police station
15 Lendeng Omu 21 May 2014 Unknown Police investigation pending Yahukimo arrests Uncertain Yes Yahukimo Regional police station
16 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
17 Septinus Wonawoai 1 February 2014 Articles 106, 108, 110 and Emergency Law 12/1951 3.5 years Sasawa military raid arrests Yes Yes Sorong
18 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
19 Kornelius Woniana 1 February 2014 Articles 106, 108, 110 and Emergency Law 12/1951 3.5 years Sasawa military raid arrests Yes Yes Sorong
20 Peneas Reri 1 February 2014 Articles 106, 108, 110 and Emergency Law 12/1951 3.5 years Sasawa military raid arrests Yes Yes Sorong
21 Salmon Windesi 1 February 2014 Articles 106, 108, 110 and Emergency Law 12/1951 3.5 years Sasawa military raid arrests Yes Yes Sorong
22 Obeth Kayoi 1 February 2014 Articles 106, 108, 110 and Emergency Law 12/1951 3.5 years Sasawa military raid arrests Yes Yes Sorong
23 Yenite Morib 26 January 2014 Unknown Police investigation pending Dondobaga church arrests Yes Yes Puncak Jaya regional police station
24 Tiragud Enumby 26 January 2014 Unknown Police investigation pending Dondobaga church arrests Yes Yes Puncak Jaya regional police station
25 Deber Enumby 4 January 2014 Emergency Law 12/1951 Police investigation pending Kurilik firearms arrests Yes Yes Papua Police Headquarters
26 Soleman Fonataba 17 December 2013 106, 110)1, 53, 55 Trial beginning on 6 August Sarmi 2013 Morning Star flag arrests No / not yet clear No On bail, cannot leave Sarmi
27 Edison Werimon 13 December 2013 106, 110)1, 53, 55 Trial beginning on 6 August Sarmi 2013 Morning Star flag arrests No / not yet clear No On bail, cannot leave Sarmi
28 Piethein Manggaprouw 19 October 2013 106, 110 2 years Third Papuan Congress demo in Biak No Yes Biak
29 Oktovianus Warnares 1 May 2013 106, 110, Emergency Law 12/1951 7 years Biak flag-raising, 1 May commemoration Yes Yes Biak
30 Yoseph Arwakon 1 May 2013 106, 110, Emergency Law 12/1951 2 years and 6 months Biak flag-raising, 1 May commemoration Yes Yes Biak
31 Markus Sawias 1 May 2013 106, 110, Emergency Law 12/1951 2 years Biak flag-raising, 1 May commemoration Yes Yes Biak
32 George Syors Simyapen 1 May 2013 106, 110, Emergency Law 12/1951 4.5 years Biak flag-raising, 1 May commemoration Yes Yes Biak
33 Jantje Wamaer 1 May 2013 106, 110, Emergency Law 12/1951 2 years and 6 months Biak flag-raising, 1 May commemoration Yes Yes Biak
34 Hengky Mangamis 30 April 2013 106, 107, 108, 110, 160 and 164 1 year and 6 months Aimas 1 May commemoration No Yes Sorong
35 Yordan Magablo 30 April

2013

106, 107, 108, 110, 160 and 164 1 year and 6 months Aimas 1 May commemoration No Yes Sorong
36 Obaja Kamesrar 30 April

2013

106, 107, 108, 110, 160 and 164 1 year and 6 months Aimas 1 May commemoration No Yes Sorong
37 Antonius Saruf 30 April

2013

106, 107, 108, 110, 160 and 164 1 year and 6 months Aimas 1 May commemoration No Yes Sorong
38 Obeth Kamesrar 30 April

2013

106, 107, 108, 110, 160 and 164 1 year and 6 months Aimas 1 May commemoration No Yes Sorong
39 Klemens Kodimko 30 April

2013

106, 107, 108, 110, 160 and 164 1 year and 6 months Aimas 1 May commemoration No Yes Sorong
40 Isak Klaibin 30 April

2013

106, 107, 108, 110, 160 and 164 3 years and 6 months Aimas 1 May commemoration No Yes Sorong
41 Isak Demetouw (alias Alex Makabori) 3 March 2013 110; Article 2, Emergency Law 12/1951 2 years 2 months Sarmi treason No Yes Sarmi
42 Niko Sasomar 3 March 2013 110; Article 2, Emergency Law 12/1951 2 years 2 months Sarmi treason No Yes Sarmi
43 Sileman Teno 3 March 2013 110; Article 2, Emergency Law 12/1951 2 years 2 months Sarmi treason No Yes Sarmi
44 Jefri Wandikbo 7 June 2012 340, 56, Law 8/1981 8 years KNPB activist tortured in Jayapura Yes Yes Abepura
45 Timur Wakerkwa 1 May 2012 106 2 years and 6 months 1 May demo and flag-raising No No Abepura
46 Darius Kogoya 1 May 2012 106 3 years 1 May demo and flag-raising No No Abepura
47 Wiki Meaga 20 November 2010 106 8 years Yalengga flag-raising No Yes Wamena
48 Meki Elosak 20 November 2010 106 8 years Yalengga flag-raising No Yes Wamena
49 Filep Karma 1 December 2004 106 15 years Abepura flag-raising 2004 No Yes Abepura
50 Yusanur Wenda 30 April 2004 106 17 years Wunin arrests Yes No Wamena
51 Linus Hiel Hiluka 27 May 2003 106 19 years and 10 months Wamena ammunition store raid Yes Yes Nabire
52 Kimanus Wenda 12 April 2003 106 19 years and 10 months Wamena ammunition store raid Yes Yes Nabire
53 Jefrai Murib 12 April 2003 106 Life Wamena ammunition store raid Yes Yes Abepura
54 Numbungga Telenggen 11 April 2003 106 Life Wamena ammunition store raid Yes Yes Biak
55 Apotnalogolik Lokobal 10 April 2003 106 20 years Wamena ammunition store raid Yes Yes Biak

Papuans Behind Bars aims to provide accurate and transparent data, published in English and Indonesian, to facilitate direct support for prisoners and promote wider debate and campaigning in support of free expression in West Papua.

Papuans Behind Bars is a collective effort initiated by Papuan civil society groups working together as the Civil Society Coalition to Uphold Law and Human Rights in Papua. It is a grassroots initiative and represents a broad collaboration between lawyers, human rights groups, adat groups, activists, journalists and individuals in West Papua, as well as Jakarta-based NGOs and international solidarity groups.

Questions, comments and corrections are welcomed, and you can write to us at info@papuansbehindbars.org.

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Buchtar Tabuni

Update:
He was arrested without arrest warrant on the afternoon of 9 September 2019 while he was gardening behind his home. The arrest was conducted with excessive use of force involving a helicopter, electricity was cut off then troops storming in and breaking doors while shooting. He is one of the most prominent pro-independence leaders in West Papua and is currently the head of National Parliament of West Papua. This is the third time he is being imprisoned for his political activity. Police accuse him as the intellectual actor behind the uprising and charge with Articles 106, 110, and 160 of the Criminal Code. Tabuni told his lawyer that on 15 August he met another pro-independence activist on 15 August 2019 and later made a public statement on his Facebook account he would not be involved in any anti-racism protests because he did not believe it could lead to an independence.

On 4 October 2019, Buchtar Tabuni 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 in Balikpapan Prison Class IIB, Balikpapan, East Kalimantan Province until August 2020.

——-
Buchtar Tabuni is a well-known political activist for West Papuan independence. He was formerly the leader of the West Papua National Committee (Komisi Nasional Papua Barat, KNPB), a group that has organised mass demonstrations in cities across West Papua with the central demand of a referendum on independence for West Papua. His activism has made him a repeated target for the Indonesian regime and he has been sentenced to prison twice.

Mr Tabuni was arrested for the first time on 3 December 2008 by the police Criminal Investigation Department, without a warrant. The arrest was related to a peaceful demonstration he had organised on 16 October earlier that year in support of the launch of the International Parliamentarians for West Papua in London on the same day. The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) reported that Mr Tabuni was charged with treason under Articles 106 and 110 of the Indonesian Penal Code, together with Article 160 (incitement) and Articles 212 and 216 (resistance to authority) as subsidiary charges.

Both before and after the verdict Mr Tabuni was subjected to physical violence on several occasions. For example, while still in police detention, no water was available for washing or drinking. When Mr Tabuni complained he was struck by a policeman, and afterwards his lawyer was refused access to visit him at the police station. This incident was reported by the Alliance of Democracy for Papua (ALDP) and the Free West Papua Campaign.

Another incident, documented by the AHRC, occurred when Mr Tabuni was transferred from the police station to Abepura Prison. On arrival at the prison he was beaten by an official causing severe injuries to his eye. Six other political prisoners reacted to this by filing a complaint with the Prison Governor, after which they were also beaten. All seven men were held in a cramped isolation cell (trapsel) with no access to food or water for four days. Human Rights Watch documented another incident in November 2009 where Mr Tabuni was attacked by three soldiers, one policeman and one prison guard, causing him to bleed profusely from his head. The Prison Governor refused to allow him to be treated in a hospital.

When the panel of judges finally handed down their judgement on 3 July 2009, Mr Tabuni was found not guilty of the primary charge of treason. However, just as the defence team were raising their fists in celebration, the judge continued, finding Buchtar guilty of the subsidiary charge of incitement and sentencing him to three years in prison. In ALDP’s report of the sentencing, Iwan Niode, an ALDP lawyer and part of Mr Tabuni’s legal team, wondered if the judges gave this strange and unexpected verdict because they lacked the courage to release Tabuni directly. He also pointed out that to find someone guilty of incitement, it should be clear which crime they were alleged to be inciting people to commit, which remained unspecified.

On 3 December 2010, while Mr Tabuni was still in prison, a former prisoner called Miron Wetipo was shot dead. Reports of this incident are conflicting; some sources report that the shooting occurred as he was escaping from prison, others that it occurred during a sweeping operation in Abepura. The police and prison officials have never given their version of events. Nevertheless, when news of the shooting spread through the prison a riot broke out and angry inmates damaged the prison. Mr Tabuni was blamed for inciting the riot, along with fellow political prisoner Filep Karma and three other prisoners charged with criminal offences. Mr Tabuni has always maintained that he was instead trying to mediate and keep the situation calm, by conveying to the authorities the prisoners’ demand to bring Miron Wetipo’s body to the prison and find his killer.

The five men accused of inciting the riot were transferred from the prison to the Papuan police headquarters, where according to a report published by West Papua Media Alerts, they were denied food and water for several days, and families and friends were denied access. Mr Tabuni was held in the police station for several weeks, unsure of whether he was being held as a convicted prisoner or awaiting trial for new charges from the riot. In a letter from prison, he explained that he was suffering from gastric problems and other health issues as a result of the inadequate food. Amnesty International issued an Urgent Alert at this time, concerned that Mr Tabuni was at serious risk of being tortured while in solitary confinement in the police headquarters.

Mr Tabuni was offered remission on 17 August 2011, Indonesia’s Independence day. He chose to accept this offer of release but continued his role as leader of the KNPB.

Almost one year later on 6 June 2012, Mr Tabuni was arrested again together with two other KNPB activists, after leaving a meeting at the Papuan Provincial Parliament (DPRP) building. Assa Alua, one of the other two men arrested, told news website Suarapapua.com that the three men were beaten and tortured from the moment of their arrest, that they were not allowed to telephone a lawyer and that police tried to force them to confess that they were involved in recent shooting incidents. The following day, Detiknews reported that according to the Vice-Head of Provincial Police, Paulus Waterpauw, Tabuni was suspected of various violent actions, including the fatal stabbing of two people.

When lawyers were finally allowed to contact the three men it became clear that Mr Tabuni was in fact being charged in connection with the prison riot eighteen months previously. The police have offered no explanation for the lengthy delay in following up this case, and why the charges brought differed so widely from those printed in the press at the time, in which police suggested that Tabuni was a murder suspect.

The context of Mr Tabuni’s second arrest may be connected to the fact that the KNPB had organised several powerful demonstrations during previous weeks. Reports in local newspaper Bintang Papua chronicled how over recent weeks police had issued several summons to Mr Tabuni to impose controls on the demonstrations, and threatened his arrest if he refused to attend.

In addition to this, a chain of mysterious shootings had been occurring on an almost daily basis in Jayapura at the time, causing fear and tension across the city. The statement of Paulus Waterpauw appeared to implicate Mr Tabuni in these shootings, and some media outlets (eg VivaNews) reported him as being under suspicion. One week later, when plain clothes police assassinated another KNPB leader, Mako Tabuni, many press reports cited police sources blaming Mako and the KNPB for the shootings. However, Buchtar Tabuni’s second trial focused only on the prison riot; no charges have so far been brought regarding either KNPB demonstrations or the shooting incidents.

Mr Tabuni was tried for the second time and convicted under article 170 of the Indonesian Penal Code which relates to violence against persons or property. He was sentenced to eight months in prison. Dominggus Pulalo was also tried for this offence; he had been imprisoned on non-political charges in 2010 and was also accused of rioting in the prison. One of his lawyers, Gustaf Kawer was reported in Bintang Papua highlighting the lack of evidence for this conviction, as key witnesses including former Prison Governor Liberty Sitinjak did not appear to give evidence in the trial. In an article published by ALDP, Gustaf Kawer also notes that the evidence of one of the five witnesses who did testify was used despite the fact that it had been revoked. He also questioned the use of article 170, which refers to violence to people or property conducted by “united forces” (ie a number of people). The requirement that the crime be proven to be a joint action was ignored by the court, he said.

A number of reports have been published describing repression of activists during the trial. Tabloid Jubi reported that KNPB members had received threatening phonecalls and text messages, warning them to stay away from the trial. Then on 23 July 2012, Bintang Papua reported that former political prisoner Yusak Pakage was arrested while attending a trial hearing as an observer. Frustrated by the proceedings, he kicked over a waste bin, spilling some chewed Betel nut on the clothing of a court official. While this was the incident which seemed to trigger arrest, he was later held under emergency laws for possession of a weapon (a penknife). Amnesty International issued an urgent appeal in support of Mr Pakage after learning that he had been threatened with torture, and interrogated about his political activities and efforts to raise money to support sick political prisoners. The KNPB has also claimed that at the hearing on 6 August 2012, police tried to arrest another of their leaders Victor Yeimo for unknown reasons, however Yeimo managed to escape on a motorbike.

Buchtar Tabuni was reportedly released from prison on 19 January 2013 after completing his sentence.

Sources

Aliansi Demokrasi untuk Papua, “Buchtar Tabuni Divonis Delapan Bulan Penjara,” 25 September 2012, http://www.aldp-papua.com/?p=6127

Aliansi Demokrasi Untuk Papua, “Vonis 3 Tahun Penjara, Keputusan Musyawarah yang Menggelisahkan,” 10 July 2009, http://andawat-papua.blogspot.com/2009/07/vonis-3-tahun-penjara-keputusan.html  (text colour same as background colour: to read the article select the text)

Aliansi Demokrasi Untuk Papua, “Pemukulan Buchtar Tabuni, Bukti Buruknya Penegakan Hukum di Indonesia”, 24 January 2009, http://andawat-papua.blogspot.com/2009/01/pemukulan-buchtar-tabuni-bukti-buruknya.html   (text colour same as background colour: to read the article select the text)

Amnesty International, “Urgent Action ASA 21/032/2012,” 24 August 2012, https://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/ASA21/032/2012/en/1506e780-3c71-46f0-9057-94f41d8016ba/asa210322012en.html

Amnesty International, Urgent Action ASA21/001/2011, 12 January 2011, https://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/ASA21/001/2011/en/25845977-cc75-4098-846a-0ec8018fbd0a/asa210012011en.html

Asian Human Rights Commission, “Torture and maltreatment of political prisoners in Papua,” 16 February 2009, http://www.humanrights.asia/news/urgent-appeals/AHRC-UAC-014-2009/

Asian Human Rights Commission, “Rights activist Buktar Tabuni arrested after peaceful protests,” 10 December 2008, http://www.humanrights.asia/news/urgent-appeals/AHRC-UAC-262-2008

Bintang Papua, “Lawyer calls on judges to release Buchtar after all witnesses fail to appear,” 11 September 2012, (posted on West Papua Media Alerts) http://westpapuamedia.info/2012/09/12/lawyer-calls-on-judges-to-release-buchtar-after-all-witnesses-fail-to-appear/

Bintang Papua, “Yusak Pakage Dejerat UU Darurat,” 28 July 2012, http://bintangpapua.com/headline/25316-yusak-pakage-dijerat-uu-darurat

Bintang Papua, KNPB Tetap Berkeras, 10 April 2012, http://bintangpapua.com/headline/21587-knpb-tetap-berkeras-

Detiknews, “Pimpinan organisasi di Papuaditangkap usai audiensi di DPRP,” 7 June 2012, http://news.detik.com/read/2012/06/07/151958/1935457/10/pimpinan-organisasi-di-papua-ditangkap-usai-audiensi-di-dprd

Free West Papua Campaign, “News from the prison Sebby Sambom and Buchtar Tabuni were isolated from their lawyers,” [undated], http://www.freewestpapua.org/index.php/news/866–news-from-the-prison-sebby-sambom-and-buchtar-tabuni-were-isolated-from-their-lawyers-

Human Rights Watch, “Prosecuting Political Aspiration,” June 23 2010, http://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/reports/indonesia0610webwcover_0.pdf

KNPB News, “Victor Yeimo Nyaris Ditangkap, 2 Aktivis Ditangkap dan Diintrogasi Polisi,” 6 August 2012, http://knpbnews.com/blog/archives/594

Kontras Papua, “Buchtar Tabuni Bebas,” 18 August 2011, http://www.trunity.net/kontraspapua/news/view/169204/?topic=56138

Suarapapua.com, “Alua: Kami Dipaksa Mengaku Sebagai Pelaku Penembakan,” 9 June 2012, http://www.suarapapua.com/index.php/en/2012-01-08-11-46-42/277-alua-kami-dipaksa-mengaku-sebagai-pelaku-penembakan

Suara Pembaruan, “Polisi Ungkap Mako Tabuni Pelaku Penembakan Misterius,” 25 June 2012, http://www.suarapembaruan.com/home/polisi-ungkap-mako-tabuni-pelaku-penembakan-misterius/21650

Tabloid Jubi, “Insiden Pengrusakan LP Abepura Versi Buchtar Tabuni,” 17 September 2012, http://tabloidjubi.com/index.php/interviews-indepth-stories/20688-insiden-pengrusakan-lp-abepura-versi-buchtar-tabuni

Tabloid Jubi, “KNPB Members unable to Attend Trial of Buchtar Tabuni,” 18 July 2012, (posted by West Papua Media Alerts), http://westpapuamedia.info/2012/07/20/knpb-members-unable-to-attend-trial-of-buchtar-tabuni/

Viva News, “Kekerasan di Papua, Buchtar Tabuni Ditangkap,” 7 June 2012, http://us.nasional.news.viva.co.id/news/read/322183-kekerasan-di-papua–buchtar-tabuni-ditangkap

West Papua Media Alerts, “Buchtar Tabuni released from Abepura prison after completing sentence,” 19 January 2013, http://westpapuamedia.info/2013/01/19/buchtar-tabuni-released-from-abepura-prison-after-completing-sentence/

West Papua Media Alerts, “Police Issues Ultimatum to Buchtar Tabuni,” 6 April 2012, http://westpapuamedia.info/2012/04/10/police-issues-ultimatum-to-buchtar-tabuni/

West Papua Media Alerts, “Buchtar Tabuni complains to police chief about his treatment,” 18 January 2011, http://westpapuamedia.info/2011/01/27/buchtar-tabuni-complains-to-police-chief-about-his-tratment/

West Papua Media Alerts, “West Papuan political prisoners denied food for 2 days,” 9 December 2010, http://westpapuamedia.info/2010/12/09/west-papuan-political-prisoners-denied-food-for-2-days/

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August 2014: Widespread crackdown on civil society intensifies

In brief

At the end of August 2014, there were at least 74 political prisoners in Papuan jails.

The situation in Papua deteriorated this month, as Indonesian security forces intensified their crackdown on Papuan civil society. Lawyers, activists, human rights defenders, priests, tribal leaders and journalists were targeted for arrests, intimidation, beatings and murder. The arrest and continued detention of two French journalists in Papua and a Papuan tribal leader highlighted the ongoing restrictions on access to Papua.

While the West Papua National Committee (Komite Nasional Papua Barat, KNPB) has consistently been targeted since their formation in November 2008, there has been an observably increased crackdown on them since April 2014. In the past five months, a total of 81 KNPB members were arrested. Data collected by Papuans Behind Bars shows that in April, there were six KNPB-affiliated arrests and in May, there were three further arrests. The number of KNPB arrests in June rose to 24 as Indonesian authorities aimed to prevent peaceful events commemorating 1 July, a date Papuans consider to be their national day. In July, there were 36 KNPB arrests in relation to a planned boycott of the Indonesian Presidential elections, the highest recorded number of KNPB arrests in 2014. This pattern continues in August with the arrests of 12 further KNPB members. One of the 12 arrested was a 16-year-old boy, who faced ill-treatment by Navy officers in Manokwari. Martinus Yohame, leader of the KNPB Sorong branchs, was kidnapped, tortured and murdered. Human rights NGO Amnesty International issued a statement condemning the murder and called on Indonesian authorities to carry out a prompt, thorough, competent, and impartial investigation into the killing.

In June and July 2014, mass arrests were recorded in Boven Digoel, Wamena and Timika. The pattern of mass arrests continued this month with the arrests of 20 people including women and children, in Nimbokrang district on the basis of alleged affiliations with the Papuan National Army/Free Papua Organisation (Tentera Papua Nasional/Organisasi Papua Merdeka, TPN/OPM). They were detained without arrest warrants and were beaten on arrest. Human rights lawyers were continuously obstructed in their attempts to gain access to the detainees in this case who remain in detention.

The humanitarian situation in Lanny Jaya is of particular concern following the reported burning down of traditional honai houses by the Indonesian military and police forces. Information received from the Advocacy Network for Upholding Law and Human Rights (Jaringan Advokasi Penegakan Hukum dan HAM Pegunungan Tengah Papua, JAPH&HAM) and the Fellowship of Baptist Churches of Papua (Persekutuan Gereja-Gereja Baptis Papua), among others, described reprisal attacks on civilians in Pirime district in Lanny Jaya regency. An unconfirmed number of people remain internally displaced, as they are unable to return to their villages due to destabilising military activity in Pirime district.

Arrests

Five Papuans and two international journalists arrested in Wamena

On 6 August, five Papuans – Areki Wanimbo, Deni Douw, Enius Wanimbo, Jornus Wenda and Ahky Logo – and two French journalists; Thomas Charles Dandois and Valentine Bourrat, were arrested by Jayawijaya Regional police. Areki Wanimbo, Dandois and Bourrat remain in detention while the rest of those arrested have been released without charge.

On the day of their arrest, Dandois and Bourrat met with Areki Wanimbo, a tribal leader from Lanny Jaya, at his home in Wamena. Reports from human rights activists in Wamena stated that the two journalists intended to ask the tribal chief about the humanitarian situation following fighting which had broken out in Lanny Jaya between security forces and an armed movement headed by resistance leader Enden Wanimbo (See item below). After the meeting, the two journalists left to return to their hotel. Dandois travelled by motorcycle with Ahky Logo. The two men were followed by three intelligence officers from Jayapura Regional police, who moved to arrest them on their journey. Human rights activist Theo Hesegem, who drove Bourrat back to her hotel, was briefly stopped by intelligence officers who told them they would be in touch shortly. Hesegem returned home after sending Bourrat back to the hotel. Shortly afterwards, Bourrat was arrested at the hotel by Jayawijaya Regional police.

After the arrests of Dandois, Bourrat and Logo, police returned to the home of tribal chief Areki Wanimbo and searched his home. Police then arrested Areki Wanimbo, Deni Douw and Jornus Wenda who were also at his home. It is believed that another Papuan, Enius Wanimbo, was also arrested and later released without charge, but it is unclear exactly when and where. Information from lawyers with the Alliance for Democracy for Papua (Aliansi Demokrasi untuk Papua, ALDP), who are currently representing Areki Wanimbo, reported that the three men were verbally abused and received death threats from police officers on arrest.

According to information from Wamena-based human rights workers, the following day, Enius Wanimbo, Deni Douw, Jornus Wenda and Ahky Logo, the Head of the Foundation of Community Teaching, Education and Development (Yayasan Pendidikan Pengajaran dan Pembangunan Rakyat, Yayasan YP3R) were released without charge after being interrogated overnight without any legal accompaniment.

While initial accusations against Areki Wanimbo and the four other Papuan men were in relation to the breaching of immigration rules, given that the two journalists were working on tourist visas, the interrogation reportedly shifted to the situation in Lanny Jaya. Areki Wanimbo was then also accused of buying ammunition to give to the pro-independence armed movement the West Papua Nasional Liberation Army (Tentera Pembebasan Nasional Papua Barat, TPNPB). While he initially faced charges of possession of ammunition under Emergency Law 12/1951 and breaching immigration rules under Article 122 of Law 6/2011 on Immigration, he now faces charges of conspiracy to commit treason under Articles 106 and 110 of the Indonesian Penal Code. ALDP lawyers have criticised the unprofessional way Areki Wanimbo’s case had been handled, with the changing of charges and unsuitable evidence.

On 9 August, Dandois and Bourrat were transferred to Papua Provincial Police Headquarters (Kepolisian Daerah Papua, Polda Papua) for further interrogation. They are currently facing charges of breaching immigration rules under Article 122 of Law 6/2011 on Immigration, which carries a maximum sentence of five years’ imprisonment and a maximum fine of IDR. 500 million (around USD42,700). Police have also stated that the two are suspected of espionage and attempting to destabilise Papua, and that further investigations will continue. Reporters Without Borders have issued a statement appealing to the Indonesian authorities to release them without delay.

On 12 August, Wanimbo was transferred to Polda Papua, without the knowledge of his lawyers, to undergo further interrogation while awaiting trial. The four Papuan men who were released without charge, along with human rights activist Theo Hesegem, have now been called to act as witnesses during the trial of Wanimbo, Dandois and Bourrat. 

Pastor arrested during fighting between security forces and armed group in Lanny Jaya

Reports received from civil society organisations based in Papua, including ALDP, Advocacy Network for Upholding Law and Human Rights (Jaringan Advokasi Penegakan Hukum dan HAM Pegunungan Tengah Papua, JAPH&HAM) and the Fellowship of Baptist Churches of Papua (Persekutuan Gereja-Gereja Baptis Papua), among others, described events from 28 July to 5 August, highlighting serious human rights concerns including the arrest of Pastor Ruten Wakerkwa.

Information from JAPH&HAM and the Fellowship of Baptist Churches described a meeting on 28 July between a pro-independence armed movement led by Enden Wanimbo and Lanny Jaya police, reportedly so that an arms transaction could take place. However, fighting broke out between them, allegedly due to the unwanted presence of a separate police brigade who were not involved in the deal. Reports suggested that at least one police officer died and several others were injured. The armed group reportedly seized four weapons and thousands of bullets before escaping into the forest. Several Indonesian news sites however reported a different version of events, stating instead only that security forces were attacked by the armed movement. The following day, military and police forces reportedly burned down traditional honai houses in Yugumeya and Wenam villages in Pirime in retribution. On 30 and 31 July, the burning of honai houses reportedly continued in Indawa village in Awinayu district and Ekanom village in Pirime district. Abednego Wakerkwa, a 10-year-old boy, was reportedly found dead in a burned down honai. Two pigs were also reportedly shot by security forces in Indawa village.

On 1 August, fighting between security forces and the armed group led by Enden Wanimbo resumed in Ekanom village, resulting in injuries on both sides. Pastor Ruten Wakerkwa of the Baptist Church of Jerusalam in Tekun village, Pirime district, was arrested at this time. Wakerkwa is believed to be in detention in Lanny Jaya Regional police station. It is unclear what charges he faces but he was reportedly arrested when police found a photo of the Morning Star flag on his phone. Early reports indicate that he is likely to have faced torture in detention.

Local sources reported that villagers are still unable to return to their villages due to military activity in Lanny Jaya. An unconfirmed number of people are believed to have been displaced due to the violence.

KNPB activists arrested and ill-treated for graffiti act in Manokwari

On 8 August 2014, two KNPB members, 16-year-old Robert Yelemaken and 21-year-old Onni Weya were arrested in Manokwari by three military officers from the Navy (Tentera Nasional Indonesia Angkatan Laut, TNI Angkatan Laut) and one plainclothes police officer. Reports received from various independent local human rights activists stated that they were arrested because they were painting graffiti stating anti-Indonesian Independence Day messages.

According to video testimony from Yelemaken, who has since been released, they were forced to lie down on the ground upon arrest and then kicked and severely beaten by the security forces with rifle butts and rattan sticks. They were then forced into a police truck where they continued to be kicked and beaten until they arrived at Manokwari Regional police station. Police poured the paint on them that they had used for the grafiti, and reportedly forced them to drink the paint. The two activists suffered various injuries from the beatings. Yelemaken received a swollen eye and Weya suffered cuts to the chin.

Majalah Selangkah reported that on 18 August, student activists from the State University of Papua (Universitas Negeri Papua, UNIPA) and various members of the public held a demonstration in Manokwari demanding the release of the two KNPB activists. Yelemaken was released on the same day, reportedly without the knowledge of his lawyers from the Institute of Research, Analysis and Development for Legal Aid (Lembaga Penelitian, Pengkajian dan Pengembangan Bantuan Hukum, LP3BH). On 2 September, lawyers received information that Weya was similarly released without their knowledge. He previously faced charges of incitement under Article 160 of the Indonesian Penal Code.

12 detained and charged with treason in Nimbokrang district clampdown

As reported in the previous update, in July police Mobile Brigades (Brigade Mobil, Brimob) and Papua regional police (Kepolisian Daerah Papua, Polda Papua) conducted raids in Kampung Berab in Nimbokrang district, reportedly after receiving information about alleged armed pro-independence camps in the village. An updated report received from Jayapura-based human rights investigators confirmed further arrests and continued police surveillance in Nimbokrang district. 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 TPN/OPM.

Information received from local lawyers stated that during arrest, at least some of those arrested were beaten by Nimbokrang District police and Jayapura Regional police. The 20 people were brought to Doyo District police station. Eight people were released without charge the following day, 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 face charges of treason under Article 106 of the Indonesian Penal Code. On 26 August, lawyers submitted a letter of complaint to the Head of Papua Provincial police outlining the barriers they faced to attaining free access to the 12 detainees and the ill-treatment faced by the detainees on arrest and in detention.

UNCEN authorities continue working with police to disperse demonstrations; journalist attacked

On 15 August, nine student activists belonging to the Papuan Student Youth Movement (Gerakan Mahasiswa Pemuda Rakyat Papua, GempaR) were arrested during a demonstration against the New York Agreement of 1962 at the Cenderawasih University (Universitas Cenderawasih, UNCEN) campus. Jubi reported the arrests of two of the nine students – Regina Wenda and Ribka Komba. It is believed they were released early on. The seven remaining students – Benny Hisage, Yason Ngelia, Klaos Pepuho, Gerson Rumrapuk, Bram Demetouw, Markus Dumupa and Yulianus Dumupa – were arrested by Abepura District police under the instruction of the Assistant Rector of UNCEN, Frederik Sokoy, echoing arrests made in July at the request of Paulina Watofa, the ex-Dean of the Medical School.

Papuan media sources Jubi and Suara Papua reported the intimidation and physical attack on Jubi journalist Aprila Wayar. While photographing the event, Wayar was approached by five police officers who attempted to seize her iPad. The Head of Regional police was reported to have told her that as the demonstration was illegal, journalists were not allowed to take photos of the event. She was then strangled by a police officer and dragged towards a police truck. Her protestations were ignored, even when she told police that she was a journalist. She was released only after several other people negotiated with the police.

On arrest, Ngelia, Rumrapuk and Hisage were beaten with rifle butts. Police seized IDR. 200,000 from Benny Hisage and handphones belonging to Dumupa and Pepuho. On 16 August, five of the seven students – Benny Hisage, Gerson Rumrapuk, Bram Demetouw, Markus Dumupa and Yulianus Dumupa – were released without charge. On 20August, Klaos Pepuho and Yason Ngelia were released upon the request of Assistant Rector Sokoy. The charges for Pepuho and Ngelia were suspended, putting them at risk of being rearrested and for charges against them to be resumed should they hold further demonstrations in the UNCEN campus.

KNPB activists detained over opening of KNPB office in Asmat

On 11 August, ten KNPB activists were arrested in Asmat by Asmat Regional police, reportedly under the instructions of the local regent. They were arrested and interrogated for four hours in relation to the opening of a KNPB office in Asmat. A human rights activist reported that around 300 people demonstrated for the release of the KNPB activists. All ten activists have since been released.

Head of Papuan cultural group arrested in Raja Ampat

On 22 August, at around 23:00, Abner Bastian Wanma, the Head of Sanggar Budaya SARAK-Sorong, a Papuan cultural group, was arrested in Waisai, Raja Ampat by 11 fully armed plainclothes officers from a joint task force composed of the Papuan National Police (Polisi Daerah Papua, Polda Papua) and Raja Ampat Regional police investigators (Reserse Polres Raja Ampat). LP3BH have issued a statement protesting the unprocedural manner of his arrest and calling for his unconditional release. It is uncertain whether Wanma faces any charges, and under what basis he was arrested.

Releases

Victor Yeimo released

On 5 August, Victor Yeimo, the General Secretary of KNPB, was released on parole from Abepura prison. Yeimo was first arrested on 21 October 2009 and initially sentenced to three years in jail for conspiracy to commit treason. His sentence was later decreased to one year’s imprisonment. He was then arrested for a second time on 13 May 2013 while leading a demonstration and was ordered to finish the rest of his three-year sentence given in 2009. This is despite the fact that the sentence had been decreased to a year.

Five detainees in Timika 1 May case released

Credible information received from a local source in Timika confirmed the release of the five detainees in the Timika 1 May case – Domi Mom, Alfisu Wamang, Musa Elas, Eminus Waker and Yacob Onawame. The five men being tried for a peaceful flag-raising ceremony in Timika in May 2013 were given eight month prison sentences on 25 November 2013. The men were convicted of conspiracy to commit treason for their role in the ceremony, were reportedly tortured on arrest and have suffered various health problems while in prison, for which they did not receive medical attention.

Kristianus Madai released

Human rights lawyers from KontraS Papua reported the release of Kristianus Delgion Madai from Abepura prison on 3 August 2014 following the end of his six-month prison sentence. He was charged for possession of ammunition under Emergency Law 12/1951 after being arrested for allegedly smuggling eight 8.4mm calibre bullets while in transit at Sentani Aiport. Lawyers reported that it is possible that Madai was sentenced due to his previous activity in peaceful student demonstrations in Jakarta, during the visit of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG).

Political trials and cases overview

Sasawa detainees charged with rebellion

Information from defence lawyers from the Alliance for Democracy for Papua (Aliansi Demokrasi untuk Papua, ALDP) reported that the seven detainees in the Sasawa arrests case are charged with rebellion under Article 108 of the Indonesian Penal Code for allegedly being involved the armed pro-independence movement, the West Papua National Army (Tentara Nasional Papua Barat, TNPB). This charge is on top of their charges of treason under Article 106 and possession of sharp weapons under the Emergency Law 12/1951. The next court session on 1 September will hear the testimonies of the witnesses.

According to information from local human rights defenders, the defendants Salmon Windesi, Peneas Reri, Kornelius Woniana, Obeth Kayoi, Rudi Otis Barangkea, Jemi Yermias Kapanai and Septinus Wonawoai were arrested during a military raid on Sasawa village targeting TPN/OPM members. Information published on ALDP’s website reported that the seven men faced torture on arrest by police and military forces. Defence lawyers from ALDP have stated that the seven men are not members of any armed movements but are instead ordinary civilians of Sasawa village with regular professions.

Five detained in 9 July Boycott arrests face charges of conspiracy to endanger security of persons or property

ALDP lawyers reported that Yosep Siep, Ibrahim Marian, Marsel Marian, Yance Walilo and Yosasam Serabut, who were arrested on 9 July, are currently facing charges under Articles 187 and 164 for conspiracy to endanger security of persons or property, for reportedly making and using explosives. The five men were arrested alongside 13 others, who have since been released, for their involvement in the distribution of flyers calling for an election boycott. ALDP lawyers were informed by the five men and their family members that they faced torture on arrest.

Two in Yalengga flag-raising case no longer in detention

Reports received from ALDP lawyers stated that Obed Kosay and Oskar Hilago in the Yalengga flag-raising case are no longer in detention. It is believed that they have escaped from Wamena prison. Clemency for the case is currently being considered at the Indonesian State Secretariat (Sekretariat Negara Republik Indonesia, Setneg). Meki Elosak and Wiki Meaga remain behind bars in Wamena prison.

Report reveals new details in Pirime shootings 2012 case

Newly received reports from Jayapura-based human rights sources reveal more information regarding the case of Yogor Telenggen. Information regarding this case has been difficult to obtain, and early reports received indicated that Telenggen was likely to be a political prisoner, as according to Papuans Behind Bars guidelines. More detailed reports however suggest otherwise and he has therefore been taken off the list of political prisoners. However, these reports have revealed concerning details on the case, including the arrests of three other people.

On 10 March 2013, Yogor Telenggen was arrested by Jayapura police and brought to Papuan Provincial Police Headquarters under accusations of an attack on Pirime District police station on 27 November 2012. On the way to the police station, he was hit on the face and beaten six times on the back with a rifle butt. His family was reportedly not told of his arrest. On 5 July 2013, Usmin Telenggen, a student, was arrested by Jayapura police in connection with the same case. During their detention in Papuan Provinicial police station, both detainees were not allowed legal representation. On 2 October 2013, they were transferred to Wamena Regional police station while awaiting trial. They did not have any legal representation throughout the length of their trial. On 15 June 2014, they were both sentenced to 10 years imprisonment. Two days later, they were re-sentenced to life imprisonment after being found guilty of murder and violence against persons or property under Articles 340, 338, 170 and 251 of the Indonesian Penal Code and possession of weapons under the Emergency Law 1/1951. Upon sentencing, they were transferred to Abepura prison to serve their sentences.

Reports also described the arrests of two other men in Puncak Jaya. In connection with this case on 4 April 2014, Gision Wonda was arrested, while Dimion Telenggen was arrested two days later. They were initially detained in Papua Provincial Police Headquarters but were later transferred to Wamena Regional police station. They have both reportedly faced torture and intimidation in detention. Human rights workers reported that they were electrocuted, beaten with rifle butts and severely beaten in detention. Under torture, they have reportedly confessed to their involvement in the attack on Pirime District police station on 27 November 2012. They currently do not have legal representation.

Cases of concern

KNPB Sorong leader kidnapped and murdered

Reports received from KNPB activists described the kidnapping and murder of Martinus Yohame, the Head of KNPB Sorong. On 19 August, Yohame alongside other KNPB and People’s Local Parliament (Parlemen Rakyat Daerah, PRD) members held a press conference in Sorong addressing the visit of Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono aimed at promoting tourism to Raja Ampat. Yohame criticised the move as being harmful to the ecosystem and environment in Papua. After the press conference, he reportedly received a phone call from a woman who claimed to be from the National Committee on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) in Jakarta. The caller requested a meeting with Yohame, who obliged. They met in front of the Mayor’s office where the woman then offered to have a meal with Yohame. A man was also present, who was reportedly filming their actions. Before leaving, the woman told Yohame that they would stay in touch with him. Activists alleged that Yohame went missing on 20 August after leaving his home at around 12:00 to answer a phone call from the woman. He was allegedly told by the caller to cross the road from his home.

As reported in Tabloid Jubi, on 26 August, Martinus Yohame’s body was found by a fisherman close to the shore of Nana Island, in the Doom island area of Sorong. He was found in a sack, with his hands and feet tied. According to the hospital autopsy report, Yohame was shot in the left chest area and his face was smashed in due to heavy beatings.  A 1×1 cm hole was found in his left chest and a 2x3cm hole was found in the right side of his stomach, suggesting bullet wounds. The body’s height was 1.79 metres and had dreadlocks, fitting Yohame’s description. The KNPB have stated that they believe that Yohame was kidnapped and murdered by Special Forces Command (Komando Pasukan Khusus, Kopassus) officers.

Yohame had previously been arrested following his involvement in peaceful political activity. On 26 November 2013, Yohame and two other KNPB activists were arrested and detained for several hours because of their involvement in the demonstrations supporting the Sorong to Samarai campaign, which aimed to gather signatories from across Papua New Guinea in support of West Papua’s membership application to the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG).

Human rights lawyer summoned twice by Jayapura police

Prominent human rights lawyer Gustaf Kawer has received two summonses under accusations of coercion and rebelliousness under Articles 211 and 212 of the Indonesian Penal Code. On 22 August, a first summons was issued stating that Kawer had been called as a witness to a case against himself. On 25 August, he was sent a second summons that explained that he had been reported by an administrative court judge. It concerned a protest Kawer had made against Jayapura court judges during a hearing on an indigenous land dispute with the government held on 12 June 2014. He protested the judge’s decision to dismiss his request for adjournment and hold the hearing without his presence. In 2012, Kawer was threatened with prosecution when he represented the Jayapura Five who were accused of treason.

News 

Filep Karma rejects Indonesian Independence Day remission

On 17 August, Filep Karma rejected a six month remission offered to him as part of remissions given to prisoners annually on Indonesia’s Independence Day. Karma stated that accepting a remission was akin to admitting to being guilty of wrongdoing, which he rejects. Karma is serving 15 years in prison for organising a flag-raising ceremony in Abepura in 2004. This December will see the 10th anniversary of his imprisonment.

August 2014 Papuan political prisoners 

  Prisoner Arrested Charges Sentence Case Accused of violence? Concerns reported re legal process? Prison / Place of detention
1 Abner Bastian Wanma 22 August 2014 Unknown Police investigation pending Raja Ampat cultural group leader arrest Uncertain Uncertain Raja Ampat
2 Philemon Yarem 10 August 2014 Articles 106, 87, 53 Awaiting trial Nimbokran arrests Uncertain Yes Doyo Regional police station
3 Loserek Loho 10 August 2014 Articles 106, 87, 53 Awaiting trial Nimbokran arrests Uncertain Yes Doyo Regional police station
4 Sahayu Loho 10 August 2014 Articles 106, 87, 53 Awaiting trial Nimbokran arrests Uncertain Yes Doyo Regional police station
5 Enos Hisage 10 August 2014 Articles 106, 87, 53 Awaiting trial Nimbokran arrests Uncertain Yes Doyo Regional police station
6 Herman Siep 10 August 2014 Articles 106, 87, 53 Awaiting trial Nimbokran arrests Uncertain Yes Doyo Regional police station
7 Nius Alom 10 August 2014 Articles 106, 87, 53 Awaiting trial Nimbokran arrests Uncertain Yes Doyo Regional police station
8 Jhon Lakopa Pigai 10 August 2014 Articles 106, 87, 53 Awaiting trial Nimbokran arrests Uncertain Yes Doyo Regional police station
9 Gad Mabel 10 August 2014 Articles 106, 87, 53 Awaiting trial Nimbokran arrests Uncertain Yes Doyo Regional police station
10 Anton Gobay 10 August 2014 Articles 106, 87, 53 Awaiting trial Nimbokran arrests Uncertain Yes Doyo Regional police station
11 Yos Watei 10 August 2014 Articles 106, 87, 53 Awaiting trial Nimbokran arrests Uncertain Yes Doyo Regional police station
12 Matius Yaung 10 August 2014 Articles 106, 87, 53 Awaiting trial Nimbokran arrests Uncertain Yes Doyo Regional police station
13 Alpi Pahabol 10 August 2014 Articles 106, 87, 53 Awaiting trial Nimbokran arrests Uncertain Uncertain Doyo Regional police station
14 Areki Wanimbo 6 August 2014 Articles 106 and 110 Awaiting trial French journalists arrests in Wamena Uncertain Uncertain Papuan Police Headquarters
15 Pastor Ruten Wakerkwa 1 August 2014 Unknown Police investigation pending Lanny Jaya 2014 military raid arrests Uncertain Uncertain Lanny Jaya Regional police station
16 Sudi Wetipo 14 July 2014 Unknown Police investigation pending Boycott Pilpres 2014 in Wamena Uncertain Uncertain Jayawijaya Regional police station
17 Elius Elosak 14 July 2014 Unknown Police investigation pending Boycott Pilpres 2014 in Wamena Uncertain Uncertain Jayawijaya Regional police station
18 Domi Wetipo 14 July 2014 Unknown Police investigation pending Boycott Pilpres 2014 in Wamena Uncertain Uncertain Jayawijaya Regional police station
19 Agus Doga 14 July 2014 Unknown Police investigation pending Boycott Pilpres 2014 in Wamena Uncertain Uncertain Jayawijaya Regional police station
20 Yosep Siep 9 July 2014 Articles 187, 164 Awaiting trial Boycott Pilpres 2014 in Wamena Yes Uncertain Jayawijaya Regional police station
21 Ibrahim Marian 9 July 2014 Articles 187, 164 Awaiting trial Boycott Pilpres 2014 in Wamena Yes Uncertain Jayawijaya Regional police station
22 Marsel Marian 9 July 2014 Articles 187, 164 Awaiting trial Boycott Pilpres 2014 in Wamena Yes Uncertain Jayawijaya Regional police station
23 Yance Walilo 9 July 2014 Articles 187, 164 Awaiting trial Boycott Pilpres 2014 in Wamena Yes Uncertain Jayawijaya Regional police station
24 Yosasam Serabut 9 July 2014 Articles 187, 164 Awaiting trial Boycott Pilpres 2014 in Wamena Yes Uncertain Jayawijaya Regional police station
25 Alapia Yalak 4 June 2014 Unknown Police investigation pending Yahukimo arrests Yes Yes Papua Police Headquarters
26 Ferdinandus Blagaize 24 May 2014 Unknown Police investigation pending Merauke KNPB arrests No Uncertain Okaba District police station
27 Selestinus Blagaize 24 May 2014 Unknown Police investigation pending Merauke KNPB arrests No Uncertain Okaba District police station
28 Lendeng Omu 21 May 2014 Unknown Police investigation pending Yahukimo arrests Uncertain Yes Yahukimo Regional police station
29 Jemi Yermias Kapanai 1 February 2014 Articles 106, 108, 110 and Emergency Law 12/1951 On trial Sasawa military raid arrests Yes Yes Sorong
30 Septinus Wonawoai 1 February 2014 Articles 106, 108, 110 and Emergency Law 12/1951 On trial Sasawa military raid arrests Yes Yes Sorong
31 Rudi Otis Barangkea 1 February 2014 Articles 106, 108, 110 and Emergency Law 12/1951 On trial Sasawa military raid arrests Yes Yes Sorong
32 Kornelius Woniana 1 February 2014 Articles 106, 108, 110 and Emergency Law 12/1951 On trial Sasawa military raid arrests Yes Yes Sorong
33 Peneas Reri 1 February 2014 Articles 106, 108, 110 and Emergency Law 12/1951 On trial Sasawa military raid arrests Yes Yes Sorong
34 Salmon Windesi 1 February 2014 Articles 106, 108, 110 and Emergency Law 12/1951 On trial Sasawa military raid arrests Yes Yes Sorong
35 Obeth Kayoi 1 February 2014 Articles 106, 108, 110 and Emergency Law 12/1951 On trial Sasawa military raid arrests Yes Yes Sorong
36 Yenite Morib 26 January 2014 Unknown Police investigation pending Dondobaga church arrests Yes Yes Puncak Jaya regional police station
37 Tiragud Enumby 26 January 2014 Unknown Police investigation pending Dondobaga church arrests Yes Yes Puncak Jaya regional police station
38 Deber Enumby 4 January 2014 Emergency Law 12/1951 Police investigation pending Kurilik firearms arrests Yes Yes Papua Police Headquarters
39 Soleman Fonataba 17 December 2013 106, 110)1, 53, 55 Trial beginning on 6 August Sarmi 2013 Morning Star flag arrests No / not yet clear No On bail, cannot leave Sarmi
40 Edison Werimon 13 December 2013 106, 110)1, 53, 55 Trial beginning on 6 August Sarmi 2013 Morning Star flag arrests No / not yet clear No On bail, cannot leave Sarmi
41 Piethein Manggaprouw 19 October 2013 106, 110 2 years Third Papuan Congress demo in Biak No Yes Biak
42 Apolos Sewa* 28 August 2013 106, 110 Under investigation Freedom Flotilla arrests in Sorong No Yes On bail
43 Yohanis Goram Gaman* 28 August 2013 106, 110 Under investigation Freedom Flotilla arrests in Sorong No Yes On bail
44 Amandus Mirino* 28 August 2013 106, 110 Under investigation Freedom Flotilla arrests in Sorong No Yes On bail
45 Samuel Klasjok* 28 August 2013 106, 110 Under investigation Freedom Flotilla arrests in Sorong No Yes On bail
46 Stefanus Banal 19 May 2013 170 )1 1 year and 7 months Pegunungan Bintang police raid 2013 Yes Yes Abepura
47 Oktovianus Warnares 1 May 2013 106, 110, Emergency Law 12/1951 5 years Biak flag-raising, 1 May commemoration Yes Yes Biak
48 Yoseph Arwakon 1 May 2013 106, 110, Emergency Law 12/1951 2 years and 6 months Biak flag-raising, 1 May commemoration Yes Yes Biak
49 Markus Sawias 1 May 2013 106, 110, Emergency Law 12/1951 On trial Biak flag-raising, 1 May commemoration Yes Yes Biak
50 George Syors Simyapen 1 May 2013 106, 110, Emergency Law 12/1951 4.5 years Biak flag-raising, 1 May commemoration Yes Yes Biak
51 Jantje Wamaer 1 May 2013 106, 110, Emergency Law 12/1951 2.5 years Biak flag-raising, 1 May commemoration Yes Yes Biak
52 Hengky Mangamis 30 April 2013 106, 107, 108, 110, 160 and 164 1 year and 6 months Aimas 1 May commemoration No Yes Sorong
53 Yordan Magablo 30 April

2013

106, 107, 108, 110, 160 and 164 1 year and 6 months Aimas 1 May commemoration No Yes Sorong
54 Obaja Kamesrar 30 April

2013

106, 107, 108, 110, 160 and 164 1 year and 6 months Aimas 1 May commemoration No Yes Sorong
55 Antonius Saruf 30 April

2013

106, 107, 108, 110, 160 and 164 1 year and 6 months Aimas 1 May commemoration No Yes Sorong
56 Obeth Kamesrar 30 April

2013

106, 107, 108, 110, 160 and 164 1 year and 6 months Aimas 1 May commemoration No Yes Sorong
57 Klemens Kodimko 30 April

2013

106, 107, 108, 110, 160 and 164 1 year and 6 months Aimas 1 May commemoration No Yes Sorong
58 Isak Klaibin 30 April

2013

106, 107, 108, 110, 160 and 164 3 years and 6 months Aimas 1 May commemoration No Yes Sorong
59 Isak Demetouw (alias Alex Makabori) 3 March 2013 110; Article 2, Emergency Law 12/1951 2 years 2 months Sarmi treason No Yes Sarmi
60 Niko Sasomar 3 March 2013 110; Article 2, Emergency Law 12/1951 2 years 2 months Sarmi treason No Yes Sarmi
61 Sileman Teno 3 March 2013 110; Article 2, Emergency Law 12/1951 2 years 2 months Sarmi treason No Yes Sarmi
62 Jefri Wandikbo 7 June 2012 340, 56, Law 8/1981 8 years KNPB activist tortured in Jayapura Yes Yes Abepura
63 Timur Wakerkwa 1 May 2012 106 2.5 years 1 May demo and flag-raising No No Abepura
64 Darius Kogoya 1 May 2012 106 3 years 1 May demo and flag-raising No No Abepura
65 Wiki Meaga 20 November 2010 106 8 years Yalengga flag-raising No Yes Wamena
66 Meki Elosak 20 November 2010 106 8 years Yalengga flag-raising No Yes Wamena
67 George Ariks 13 March 2009 106 5 years Unknown Unknown No Manokwari
68 Filep Karma 1 December 2004 106 15 years Abepura flag-raising 2004 No Yes Abepura
69 Yusanur Wenda 30 April 2004 106 17 years Wunin arrests Yes No Wamena
70 Linus Hiel Hiluka 27 May 2003 106 19 years and 10 months Wamena ammunition store raid Yes Yes Nabire
71 Kimanus Wenda 12 April 2003 106 19 years and 10 months Wamena ammunition store raid Yes Yes Nabire
72 Jefrai Murib 12 April 2003 106 Life Wamena ammunition store raid Yes Yes Abepura
73 Numbungga Telenggen 11 April 2003 106 Life Wamena ammunition store raid Yes Yes Biak
74 Apotnalogolik Lokobal 10 April 2003 106 20 years Wamena ammunition store raid Yes Yes Biak

* Apolos Sewa, Yohanis Goram Gaman, Amandus Mirino and Samuel Klasjok are currently facing charges of conspiracy to commit treason. Even though they were bailed a day after their arrest, they are currently undergoing investigation and are vulnerable to re-arrest. They are currently obliged to report to the police twice a week.

Papuans Behind Bars aims to provide accurate and transparent data, published in English and Indonesian, to facilitate direct support for prisoners and promote wider debate and campaigning in support of free expression in West Papua.

Papuans Behind Bars is a collective effort initiated by Papuan civil society groups working together as the Civil Society Coalition to Uphold Law and Human Rights in Papua. It is a grassroots initiative and represents a broad collaboration between lawyers, human rights groups, adat groups, activists, journalists and individuals in West Papua, as well as Jakarta-based NGOs and international solidarity groups.

Questions, comments and corrections are welcomed, and you can write to us at info@papuansbehindbars.org

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September 2014: Culture of impunity in Papua threatens human rights and democracy

In brief

At the end of September 2014, there were at least 74 political prisoners in Papuan jails.

New reports of attacks against lawyers in Papua indicate that the situation is becoming worse for those involved in human rights work. A public attack on Latifah Anum Siregar, a lawyer with the Democracy Alliance for Papua (Aliansi Demokrasi untuk Papua, ALDP) and the failure of Indonesian authorities to end legal intimidation towards Gustaf Kawer, as reported in our previous update, demonstrates the dangers faced by lawyers involved in politically sensitive cases.

Reports from the Advocacy Network for Upholding Law and Human Rights (Jaringan Advokasi Penegakan Hukum dan HAM Pegunungan Tengah Papua, JAPH&HAM), based in Wamena, described police complicity in allowing violence to continue during a fight that broke out between two groups in Lanny Jaya. Two traditional honai houses belonging to tribal leader and political detainee Areki Wanimbo were burned down by an opposing group during the violence, whilst Jayawijaya Regional police reportedly watched and failed to stop the incident from occuring.  Another incident involving police complicity in allowing violence reportedly took place in Youtefa Market in Abepura. David Boleba, an indigenous Papuan, was publically tortured, mutilated and murdered by a group of non-Papuan youths, reportedly in the presence of an Abepura District police officer. Again, the police officer took no action against the perpetrators.

There were several reports of random acts of police brutality against indigenous Papuans. A 15-year-old boy was shot in the leg three times by members of the police Mobile Brigades (Brigades Mobil, Brimob) for simply blocking their vehicle. In another case, a student of Cenderawasih University (Universitas Cenderawasih, UNCEN) and activist with the West Papua National Committee (Komite Nasional Papua Barat, KNPB) Rigo Wenda was publically tortured in Waena by Indonesian army officers with bayonet blades in a random act of violence.

Information received by ALDP detailed the torture and cruel and degrading treatment faced by 18 men arrested in Wamena in the Boycott Presidential Elections case. Despite the fact that they were initially arrested for peacefully calling for an election boycott, they were instead charged for reportedly making and using explosives. The criminalisation of the freedom to not participate in a democratic process is an undemocratic step backwards for Indonesia.

Indigenous Papuans from the highlands, such as areas like Wamena, are often automatically deemed to be separatists by Indonesian authorities. Because of this stigmatisation, security forces often take a heavy handed approach with highlanders and single them out for arrests, intimidation and torture. Reports received this month described continued violent reprisals against indigenous communities in Wamena. Security forces continued to burn down houses as they hunt for members of armed pro-independence movements.

Indonesian authorities have so far failed to investigate into the murder of KNPB Sorong leader Martinus Yohame. It remains to be seen if steps will be taken towards accountability and justice, or if like previous cases of murder of Papuan activists, it will go uninvestigated and unpunished. The entrenched culture of impunity that currently runs throughout police and military units in Papua poses a serious threat to human rights and democracy in Indonesia.

Arrests

There were no reported political arrests in September 2014.

Releases

There were no reported releases in September 2014.

Political trials and cases overview

Human rights lawyer in Areki Wanimbo case attacked; arrest ruled as procedural

On 16 September, prominent human rights lawyer with ALDP, Latifah Anum Siregar, was attacked in Wamena on the way back to her hotel after a court hearing. At around 7.30pm, Siregar was attacked by an unidentified person armed with a knife who stole her bag and injured her hand before fleeing the scene. She received two stitches for her wound. It is believed that she may have been targeted for her involvement in the trial of Areki Wanimbo. Despite not having conducted any investigations into the incident, on 25 September Papuan police issued a statement published in Papuan newspaper Cenderawasih Pos that denied that the attack was in any way related to the trial. Papuan and Indonesian human rights groups such as LP3BH, KontraS, Napas and AMP have called on Indonesian authorities to conduct investigations into the attack.

Since 10 September, pretrial hearings were held examining the legality of the arrest of Areki Wanimbo. Defence lawyers from ALDP argued that the formal requirements of an arrest were not met by Jayawijaya Regional police at the time of arrest. Lawyers also stated that the arrests were unprocedural as Wanimbo was arrested without an arrest warrant and that he was detained in Jayawijaya Regional police station in Wamena for more than 24 hours without a detention warrant. Lawyers also criticised police for arresting Wanimbo based on charges which were then dropped and replaced by different charges. While he was initially charged under Emergency Law 12/1951 and Article 122 of Law 6/2011 on Immigration, he is now facing charges of conspiracy to commit treason under Article 106 and 110 of the Indonesian Criminal Code. On 29 September, Wamena District Court ruled in favour of Jayawijaya Regional police, stating that the arrest was conducted in compliance with regulations.

The case of the French journalists Thomas Charles Dandois and Valentine Bourrat, who were arrested after visiting Areki Wanimbo, has been transferred to Jayapura District prosecutors. They are currently facing charges of breaching immigration rules under Article 122 of Law 6/2011 on Immigration, which carries a maximum sentence of five years’ imprisonment and a maximum fine of IDR. 500 million (around USD 42,700).

Boycott Election detainees tortured

Information published on the ALDP website revealed details of torture and cruel and degrading treatment in the arrests of 18 people on 12 July in Wamena, in relation to the 9 July Presidential Elections boycott (as reported in our July update). 13 of those arrested have been released, while Yosep Siep, Ibrahim Marian, Marsel Marian, Yance Walilo and Yosasam Serabut remain in detention.

ALDP stated that on 12 July, a joint military and police task force raided Wara village in Pisugi district, Jayawijaya regency. Those arrested were tied together with rope and dragged along a ditch towards a vehicle parked on a main road. The men were chained together with their necks and hands tied with nylon twine, which meant that if one person fell down, the rest too would be dragged down. They were also reportedly beaten with rifle butts. Ibrahim Marians was beaten until he fainted and was then thrown into a ditch by security forces. Yance Walilo was severely beaten with a rifle butt and as a result has lost hearing in one ear.

Another man, Novi Alua, was repeatedly kicked in the chest and suffered difficulty breathing. Other villagers received threats that they would be bayonneted. The wife of Yosep Siep, one of the men who remains in detention, was hit on the ear and suffered temporary hearing loss. Another woman, Ape Wetipo, was punched in the chin and had difficulty eating for some time. Security forces also ransacked and ruined homes, reportedly destroyed their food supplies, slashed livestock with machetes and threatened to burn down the houses of Yosep Siep and Yance Walilo. Other items were also allegedly destroyed including noken bags from Yosep Siep’s family that had been made for sale.

The 18 men who were arrested were brought to Jayawijaya Regional police station for interrogation where they continued to face torture.  While being questioned they were allegedly kicked, beaten and electrocuted. Jayawijaya police reportedly used a hammer to hit their spines, heads and toes. ALDP lawyers reported that some of the detainees who have already been released suffered broken bones as a result of being beaten with hammers and are receiving traditional medication in their village. There have also been reports of the detainees being denied access to visits from their families.

The five men who remain in detention are currently facing charges under Articles 187 and 164 for conspiracy to endanger security of persons or property, for reportedly making and using explosives.

ALDP lawyers stated that police have so far failed to clearly explain what explosives the five men allegedly possess or a clarification on why they are being charged under these articles.

Lawyers submit letter of complaint in Nimbokran case

On 26 August, human rights lawyers representing the 12 detainees in the Nimbokran arrests case submitted a letter of complaint to the Head of Papua National Police province, criticising the barriers they faced while attempting to gain access to their clients while they were detained in Jayapura Regional police station, and the ill-treatment the detainees faced on arrest.

The letter stated that police officers forced Sahayu Loho, one of the 12 men that remain in detention, to wear military fatigues and pose with several objects that had been found during one of their searches, including arrows and a baton, and then photographed him. Paulus Logo, who has since been released, 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.

The 12 men face charges of treason under Article 106 of the Indonesian Penal Code.

Supreme Court increases prison sentence of Biak 1 May detainee

Information received from defence lawyers in the Biak 1 May case reported that one of the six detainees, Oktovianus Warnares, has been sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment by the Indonesian Supreme Court. This is an increase from the prison sentence handed down by the Biak High Court of five years.

Cases of concern

UNCEN student and activist publically tortured in Waena

On 2 September, KNPB member and UNCEN student Rigo Wenda was allegedly beaten and stabbed by Indonesian army officers in Waena, Jayapura. A report received from an independent human rights worker stated that military officers who were guarding a security post approached Wenda and his brother as they were on their way home and reportedly started beating them without any reason. The two men reacted in self-defence and attempted to fight off the military officers. Military officers then slashed Rigo Wenda with a bayonet blade on his thigh, knee, chest, ear and stabbed him in the stomach. Wenda was reported to be in a critical condition and unable to breathe without the help of respiratory equipment. Later on the same day, UNCEN students demonstrated against the incident and called for the perpetrators to be brought to justice. It is unclear whether police are conducting any investigations into this incident.

Papuan man publically mutilated and murdered close to Youtefa market, Abepura

On 7 August, David Boleba, an indigenous Papuan, was publically tortured, mutilated and murdered by a group of immigrant youth close to Youtefa market in Abepura. His relative Daniel Boleba suffered beatings and gunshot wounds. The incident reportedly took place in the presence of an Abepura District police officer who took no measures to stop the violence from occurring.

Testimony from Daniel Boleba recorded in a report from the Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Desk (Keadilan, Perdamaian dan Keutuhan Ciptaan, KPKC) of the Evangelical Christian Church (Gereja Kristen Injili, GKI) stated that at around midnight, a fight broke out between a group of immigrant youth and Daniel Boleba. One of the youths hit Daniel Boleba with a glass bottle on his head while another threatened him with a pistol. Once the fight subsided, he then left to inform his relative David Boleba of the incident. David and Daniel Boleba then both headed to the place of the incident to confront the group of youths. The two men were then attacked by the group and both suffered gunshot wounds. While Daniel managed to escape, David Boleba was beaten to death by the group. According to testimony from Daniel Boleba, an Abepura District police officer named Robby Fingkrew was present at the time of the incident, who reportedly did nothing to stop the youths.

Upon escaping, Daniel Boleba sought treatment in Bhayangkara hospital for his gunshot and other wounds. According to testimony from the victims’ family, David Boleba’s body was found mutilated; his head had been sliced with a sharp weapon and two of his legs were amputated. The family stated that only one man had been arrested by police so far.

Police fail to stop burning of two houses belonging to Areki Wanimbo

A report received by the Advocacy Network for Upholding Law and Human Rights (Jaringan Advokasi Penegakan Hukum dan HAM Pegunungan Tengah Papua, JAPH&HAM) reported a fight that broke out between two groups in Lanny Jaya on 18 September, which led to the burning down of two traditional honai houses of Areki Wanimbo. The report alleged that at the time of the incident, Jayawijaya Regional police were present at the scene and made no efforts to stop the violence and arson. Police did however fire gunshots, injuring 18-year-old Kukes Wandikbo, who suffered wounds on the neck and back. According to the report received, while it does not seem that the burning down of the houses was in any way related to the trial Wanimbo is currently facing, police may have allowed the incident to happen due to the fact that Wanimbo is currently standing trial for charges of conspiracy to commit treason.

Military and police continue to terrorise villagers in Pirime district

As reported in our last update, the humanitarian situation in Lanny Jaya was of particular concern following fighting that broke out between Indonesian police and military forces and a pro-independence armed movement led by Enden Wanimbo. Information published on the KNPB website reported similar concerns, stating that on 26 and 27 September, security forces continued to burn down houses in Indawa village in Pirime district. Security forces also allegedly shot and killed the villagers’ livestock. KNPBNews reported that the situation in Lanny Jaya remains unstable with villagers being forced to flee their homes. On 1 August, during a similar raid on Ekanom village in Pirime district, Pastor Ruten Wakerkwa was arrested when police found a photo of the Morning Star flag on his phone. Early reports indicate that he is likely to have faced torture in detention. It remains unclear what charges Wakerkwa faces if any. It is believed that he remains in detention in Lanny Jaya Regional police station.

15-year-old boy shot by Brimob officers

A report from JAPH&HAM described the shooting of Weak Wantik, a 15-year-old boy, on 6 September in Kosiape village in Musatfak district, Jayawijaya regency. Wantik was reportedly drunk when he stopped a car containing four Mobile Brigades (Brigades Mobil, Brimob) officers with the intention of asking for a cigarette. The four fully armed Brimob officers exited the vehicle which then caused Wantik to panic and run away. The Brimob officers then fired in his direction, hitting him three times on his left leg. He received seven stitches as a result of his bullet wounds. He was reportedly tightly guarded by police officers while seeking medical treatment at Wamena Hospital. As a result, he felt intimidated and left the hospital after two days without seeking further advice from doctors. While intelligence officers had visited him in hospital to reportedly interview him regarding the incident, there have been no further investigations into the incident.

Memorial service interrupted because of Morning Star decoration

Papuan news site Majalah Selangkah reported that on 5 September, Timika District police interrupted a church memorial service for Dr John Otto Ondawame in Timika and demanded that banners with the images of the Morning Star flag to be taken down. Police forbade people from taking photographs of the incident. Following this, police monitored the memorial service from outside the church. Dr Ondawame hailed from Timika and was the vice-chairman of the West Papua National Coalition for Liberation (WPNCL).

Calls for investigations into murder of Martinus Yohame remain unheeded by Indonesian authorities

Demands from the Papuan branch of the National Human Rights Comission (Komisi Hak Asasi Manusia, Komnas HAM) and Amnesty International calling on Indonesian authorities to seek justice for the murder of KNPB Sorong leader Martinus Yohame have so far gone unheeded. Indonesian police stated that the absence of an autopsy has made investigations into Yohame’s death difficult. However, an initial hospital report found that Yohame suffered from heavy beatings on his face, stab wounds and gunshot wounds, clearly indicating foul play.

Yohame’s family had rejected a request for an autopsy to be performed. KNPB Chairman Agus Kossay told Jubi that this was because Yohame’s family did not trust that police investigations would be effective. Kossay cited past cases of murders of Papuan activists such as Mako Tabuni, Hubertus Mabel, Yesa Mirin and Terijoli Weya, where police investigations yielded no results and no one was held to account. Papuan human rights network Solidarity for Victims of Human Rights Violations in Papua (Solidaritas Korban Pelanggaran Hak Asasi Manusia, SKP-HAM Papua) has called on the UN Special Rapporteurs on Torture and Extrajudicial Executions to visit Papua to conduct thorough investigations into the murder of Martinus Yohame.

News

KNPB leader and ex-political prisoner Victor Yeimo calls on Papuan police to stop criminalising activists

Ex-political prisoner and KNPB leader Victor Yeimo has called on the Head of the Papua National police (Kepala Kepolisian Daerah, Kapolda) to stop criminalising human rights activists by removing them from the list of people wanted  by the police (Daftar Pencarian Orang, DPO). Yeimo cites Simeon Dabi, a KNPB leader in Wamena, as an example of an activist listed in the DPO despite him not being involved in any criminal cases.

September 2014 Papuan political prisoners

  Prisoner Arrested Charges Sentence Case Accused of violence? Concerns reported re legal process? Prison / Place of detention
 

 

 

 

 

1

 

 

 

 

Abner Bastian Wanma

22 August 2014 Unknown Police investigation pending Raja Ampat cultural group leader arrest Uncertain Uncertain Raja Ampat
 

 

 

2

 

 

 

Philemon Yarem

10 August 2014 Articles 106, 87, 53 Awaiting trial Nimbokran arrests Uncertain Yes Doyo Regional police station
 

 

 

3

 

 

 

Loserek Loho

10 August 2014 Articles 106, 87, 53 Awaiting trial Nimbokran arrests Uncertain Yes Doyo Regional police station
 

 

 

4

 

 

 

Sahayu Loho

10 August 2014 Articles 106, 87, 53 Awaiting trial Nimbokran arrests Uncertain Yes Doyo Regional police station
 

 

 

5

 

 

 

Enos Hisage

10 August 2014 Articles 106, 87, 53 Awaiting trial Nimbokran arrests Uncertain Yes Doyo Regional police station
 

 

 

 

6

 

 

 

 

Herman Siep

10 August 2014 Articles 106, 87, 53 Awaiting trial Nimbokran arrests Uncertain Yes Doyo Regional police station
 

 

 

 

7

 

 

 

 

Nius Alom

10 August 2014 Articles 106, 87, 53 Awaiting trial Nimbokran arrests Uncertain Yes Doyo Regional police station
 

 

 

 

8

 

 

 

 

Jhon Lakopa Pigai

10 August 2014 Articles 106, 87, 53 Awaiting trial Nimbokran arrests Uncertain Yes Doyo Regional police station
 

 

 

 

9

 

 

 

 

Gad Mabel

10 August 2014 Articles 106, 87, 53 Awaiting trial Nimbokran arrests Uncertain Yes Doyo Regional police station
 

 

 

 

10

 

 

 

 

Anton Gobay

10 August 2014 Articles 106, 87, 53 Awaiting trial Nimbokran arrests Uncertain Yes Doyo Regional police station
 

 

 

11

 

 

 

Yos Watei

10 August 2014 Articles 106, 87, 53 Awaiting trial Nimbokran arrests Uncertain Yes Doyo Regional police station
 

 

 

12

 

 

 

Matius Yaung

10 August 2014 Articles 106, 87, 53 Awaiting trial Nimbokran arrests Uncertain Yes Doyo Regional police station
 

 

 

13

 

 

 

Alpi Pahabol

10 August 2014 Articles 106, 87, 53 Awaiting trial Nimbokran arrests Uncertain Uncertain Doyo Regional police station
 

 

 

14

 

 

 

Areki Wanimbo

6 August 2014 Articles 106 and 110 Awaiting trial French journalists arrests in Wamena Uncertain Uncertain Papuan Police Headquarters
 

 

 

 

15

 

 

 

Pastor Ruten Wakerkwa

1 August 2014 Unknown Police investigation pending Lanny Jaya 2014 military raid arrests Uncertain Uncertain Lanny Jaya Regional police station
 

 

 

16

 

 

 

Sudi Wetipo

14 July 2014 Unknown Police investigation pending Boycott Pilpres 2014 in Wamena Uncertain Uncertain Jayawijaya Regional police station
 

 

 

17

 

 

 

Elius Elosak

14 July 2014 Unknown Police investigation pending Boycott Pilpres 2014 in Wamena Uncertain Uncertain Jayawijaya Regional police station
 

 

 

18

 

 

 

Domi Wetipo

14 July 2014 Unknown Police investigation pending Boycott Pilpres 2014 in Wamena Uncertain Uncertain Jayawijaya Regional police station
 

 

 

19

 

 

 

Agus Doga

14 July 2014 Unknown Police investigation pending Boycott Pilpres 2014 in Wamena Uncertain Uncertain Jayawijaya Regional police station
 

 

 

20

 

 

 

Yosep Siep

9 July 2014 Articles 187, 164 Awaiting trial Boycott Pilpres 2014 in Wamena Yes Uncertain Jayawijaya Regional police station
 

 

 

21

 

 

 

Ibrahim Marian

9 July 2014 Articles 187, 164 Awaiting trial Boycott Pilpres 2014 in Wamena Yes Uncertain Jayawijaya Regional police station
 

 

 

22

 

 

 

Marsel Marian

9 July 2014 Articles 187, 164 Awaiting trial Boycott Pilpres 2014 in Wamena Yes Uncertain Jayawijaya Regional police station
 

 

 

23

 

 

 

Yance Walilo

9 July 2014 Articles 187, 164 Awaiting trial Boycott Pilpres 2014 in Wamena Yes Uncertain Jayawijaya Regional police station
 

 

 

24

 

 

 

Yosasam Serabut

9 July 2014 Articles 187, 164 Awaiting trial Boycott Pilpres 2014 in Wamena Yes Uncertain Jayawijaya Regional police station
 

 

 

25

 

 

 

Alapia Yalak

4 June 2014 Unknown Police investigation pending Yahukimo arrests Yes Yes Papua Police Headquarters
 

 

 

26

Ferdinandus Blagaize 24 May 2014 Unknown Police investigation pending Merauke KNPB arrests No Uncertain Okaba District police station
 

 

 

27

Selestinus Blagaize 24 May 2014 Unknown Police investigation pending Merauke KNPB arrests No Uncertain Okaba District police station
 

 

 

28

 

Lendeng Omu

21 May 2014 Unknown Police investigation pending Yahukimo arrests Uncertain Yes Yahukimo Regional police station
 

 

 

 

 

29

 

 

 

 

Jemi Yermias Kapanai

1 February 2014 Articles 106, 108, 110 and Emergency Law 12/1951 On trial Sasawa military raid arrests Yes Yes Sorong
 

 

 

 

 

30

Septinus Wonawoai 1 February 2014 Articles 106, 108, 110 and Emergency Law 12/1951 On trial Sasawa military raid arrests Yes Yes Sorong
 

 

 

 

 

31

Rudi Otis Barangkea 1 February 2014 Articles 106, 108, 110 and Emergency Law 12/1951 On trial Sasawa military raid arrests Yes Yes Sorong
 

 

 

 

 

32

Kornelius Woniana 1 February 2014 Articles 106, 108, 110 and Emergency Law 12/1951 On trial Sasawa military raid arrests Yes Yes Sorong
 

 

 

 

 

33

Peneas Reri 1 February 2014 Articles 106, 108, 110 and Emergency Law 12/1951 On trial Sasawa military raid arrests Yes Yes Sorong
 

 

 

 

 

34

Salmon Windesi 1 February 2014 Articles 106, 108, 110 and Emergency Law 12/1951 On trial Sasawa military raid arrests Yes Yes Sorong
 

 

 

 

 

35

Obeth Kayoi 1 February 2014 Articles 106, 108, 110 and Emergency Law 12/1951 On trial Sasawa military raid arrests Yes Yes Sorong
 

 

 

 

36

 

 

 

Yenite Morib

26 January 2014 Unknown Police investigation pending Dondobaga church arrests Yes Yes Puncak Jaya regional police station
 

 

 

37

 

 

Tiragud Enumby

26 January 2014 Unknown Police investigation pending Dondobaga church arrests Yes Yes Puncak Jaya regional police station
 

 

 

38

Deber Enumby 4 January 2014 Emergency Law 12/1951 Police investigation pending Kurilik firearms arrests Yes Yes Papua Police Headquarters
 

 

 

39

Soleman Fonataba 17 December 2013 106, 110)1, 53, 55 Trial beginning on 6 August Sarmi 2013 Morning Star flag arrests No / not yet clear No On bail, cannot leave Sarmi
 

 

 

40

Edison Werimon 13 December 2013 106, 110)1, 53, 55 Trial beginning on 6 August Sarmi 2013 Morning Star flag arrests No / not yet clear No On bail, cannot leave Sarmi
 

 

 

41

Piethein Manggaprouw 19 October 2013 106, 110 2 years Third Papuan Congress demo in Biak No Yes Biak
 

 

42

Apolos Sewa* 28 August 2013 106, 110 Under investigation Freedom Flotilla arrests in Sorong No Yes On bail
 

 

43

Yohanis Goram Gaman* 28 August 2013 106, 110 Under investigation Freedom Flotilla arrests in Sorong No Yes On bail
 

 

44

Amandus Mirino* 28 August 2013 106, 110 Under investigation Freedom Flotilla arrests in Sorong No Yes On bail
 

 

45

Samuel Klasjok* 28 August 2013 106, 110 Under investigation Freedom Flotilla arrests in Sorong No Yes On bail
 

 

 

46

Stefanus Banal 19 May 2013 170 )1 1 year and 7 months Pegunungan Bintang police raid 2013 Yes Yes Abepura
 

 

 

47

Oktovianus Warnares 1 May 2013 106, 110, Emergency Law 12/1951 7 years Biak flag-raising, 1 May commemoration Yes Yes Biak
 

 

 

48

Yoseph Arwakon 1 May 2013 106, 110, Emergency Law 12/1951 2 years and 6 months Biak flag-raising, 1 May commemoration Yes Yes Biak
 

 

 

49

Markus Sawias 1 May 2013 106, 110, Emergency Law 12/1951 2 years Biak flag-raising, 1 May commemoration Yes Yes Biak
 

 

 

50

George Syors Simyapen 1 May 2013 106, 110, Emergency Law 12/1951 4.5 years Biak flag-raising, 1 May commemoration Yes Yes Biak
 

 

 

51

Jantje Wamaer 1 May 2013 106, 110, Emergency Law 12/1951 2 years and 6 months Biak flag-raising, 1 May commemoration Yes Yes Biak
 

 

52

Hengky Mangamis 30 April 2013 106, 107, 108, 110, 160 and 164 1 year and 6 months Aimas 1 May commemoration No Yes Sorong
 

 

53

Yordan Magablo 30 April

2013

106, 107, 108, 110, 160 and 164 1 year and 6 months Aimas 1 May commemoration No Yes Sorong
 

 

54

 

 

Obaja Kamesrar

30 April

2013

106, 107, 108, 110, 160 and 164 1 year and 6 months Aimas 1 May commemoration No Yes Sorong
 

 

55

Antonius Saruf 30 April

2013

106, 107, 108, 110, 160 and 164 1 year and 6 months Aimas 1 May commemoration No Yes Sorong
 

 

56

Obeth Kamesrar 30 April

2013

106, 107, 108, 110, 160 and 164 1 year and 6 months Aimas 1 May commemoration No Yes Sorong
 

 

 

57

Klemens Kodimko 30 April

2013

106, 107, 108, 110, 160 and 164 1 year and 6 months Aimas 1 May commemoration No Yes Sorong
 

 

58

Isak Klaibin 30 April

2013

106, 107, 108, 110, 160 and 164 3 years and 6 months Aimas 1 May commemoration No Yes Sorong
 

 

 

 

59

Isak Demetouw (alias Alex Makabori) 3 March 2013 110; Article 2, Emergency Law 12/1951 2 years 2 months Sarmi treason No Yes Sarmi
 

 

 

 

60

 

 

 

 

Niko Sasomar

3 March 2013 110; Article 2, Emergency Law 12/1951 2 years 2 months Sarmi treason No Yes Sarmi
 

 

 

 

61

Sileman Teno 3 March 2013 110; Article 2, Emergency Law 12/1951 2 years 2 months Sarmi treason No Yes Sarmi
 

 

 

62

Jefri Wandikbo 7 June 2012 340, 56, Law 8/1981 8 years KNPB activist tortured in Jayapura Yes Yes Abepura
 

 

63

Timur Wakerkwa 1 May 2012 106 2 years and 6 months 1 May demo and flag-raising No No Abepura
 

 

64

Darius Kogoya 1 May 2012 106 3 years 1 May demo and flag-raising No No Abepura
 

 

65

Wiki Meaga 20 November 2010 106 8 years Yalengga flag-raising No Yes Wamena
 

 

66

Meki Elosak 20 November 2010 106 8 years Yalengga flag-raising No Yes Wamena
 

 

67

George Ariks 13 March 2009 106 5 years Unknown Unknown No Manokwari
 

 

 

68

Filep Karma 1 December 2004 106 15 years Abepura flag-raising 2004 No Yes Abepura
 

 

69

Yusanur Wenda 30 April 2004 106 17 years Wunin arrests Yes No Wamena
 

 

 

70

Linus Hiel Hiluka 27 May 2003 106 19 years and 10 months Wamena ammunition store raid Yes Yes Nabire
 

 

71

Kimanus Wenda 12 April 2003 106 19 years and 10 months Wamena ammunition store raid Yes Yes Nabire
 

 

 

 

72

Jefrai Murib 12 April 2003 106 Life Wamena ammunition store raid Yes Yes Abepura
 

 

73

Numbungga Telenggen 11 April 2003 106 Life Wamena ammunition store raid Yes Yes Biak
 

 

74

Apotnalogolik Lokobal 10 April 2003 106 20 years Wamena ammunition store raid Yes Yes Biak

* Apolos Sewa, Yohanis Goram Gaman, Amandus Mirino and Samuel Klasjok are currently facing charges of conspiracy to commit treason. Even though they were bailed a day after their arrest, they are currently undergoing investigation and are vulnerable to re-arrest. They are currently obliged to report to the police twice a week.

Papuans Behind Bars aims to provide accurate and transparent data, published in English and Indonesian, to facilitate direct support for prisoners and promote wider debate and campaigning in support of free expression in West Papua.

Papuans Behind Bars is a collective effort initiated by Papuan civil society groups working together as the Civil Society Coalition to Uphold Law and Human Rights in Papua. It is a grassroots initiative and represents a broad collaboration between lawyers, human rights groups, adat groups, activists, journalists and individuals in West Papua, as well as Jakarta-based NGOs and international solidarity groups.

Questions, comments and corrections are welcomed, and you can write to us at info@papuansbehindbars.org

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Papuans Behind Bars: August 2013

In brief

At the end of August 2013, there were at least 55 political prisoners in Papuan jails. There were scores of arrests this month that reflected police attempts to hinder peaceful demonstrations across Papua. All those arrested during the month of August werereleased from detention, most of them without charge. However in Sorong, four community leaders have been conditionally released from detention and charged with treason and incitement. In Wamena, two witnesses to a police murder were detained and released.

Daniel Gobay and Matan Klembiap of the Depapre case, as well as the six activists in the Abepura ammunitions case have been released. There have been reported concerns regarding the investigations into the Biak 1 May case and the Aimas 1 May trial. Indonesian security forces raided a Papuan Indigenous Council office and a church in Paniai. Filep Karma’s health condition worsened as he was once again denied adequate medical treatment.

Arrests

Four community leaders arrested following press statement in support of Freedom Flotilla

On 28 August 2013, at around 18:00 Papuan time, Sorong Regional police arrested four community leaders in the Old Maranatha Church, Sorong City. Apolos Sewa, Head of the Regional Indigenous Council (Dewan Adat Daerah, DAD), Yohanis Goram Gaman, Coordinator of DAD, Amandus Mirino and Samuel Klasjok were arrested after a prayer session and statement to the press in solidarity with a ‘Freedom Flotilla’ that is sailing from Australia to West Papua to highlight the human rights situation in West Papua.

According to reports from a local activist as stated in Tabloid Jubi, the prayer session and press statement were received enthusiastically by the local people who were in attendance. In support of the press statement – which welcomed the Freedom Flotilla – the Morning Star flag along with other aboriginal flags were unfurled. Shortly after, the four leaders were arrested and taken to Sorong Regional police station for questioning.

Information received from another local source stated that the four were conditionally released from detention after being interrogated overnight. The four activists were required to submit a statement to the police agreeing to cooperate with police investigators, to attend court proceedings and to report to the police twice a week. The Alliance for Democracy for Papua (Aliansi Demokrasi untuk Papua, ALDP) stated that on 2 September, the four men reported to Sorong Regional police station for the first time since their release on 29 August. ALDP also reported that human rights lawyers will coordinate with Sorong police to organise access for the four men to legal accompaniment. Reports in the Papuan press state they have been charged with treason and incitement under Articles 106 and 110 of the Indonesian Criminal Code.

Arrests and intimidation of civilians and activists participating in Papuan Cultural Parade

According to reports from local human rights sources, Indonesian security forces attempted to hinder demonstrations taking place as part of a Papuan Cultural Parade on 15 August 2013 in numerous cities in Papua. The Cultural Parade was held to commemorate the New York Agreement of 1962, which resulted in West Papua being handed over to Indonesia, and in support of the opening a Free West Papua Campaign office in the Netherlands.

Waena

A report received by email from a local activist in Jayapura, stated that four KNPB (Komite Nasional Papua Barat) activists Agus Kosai, Toni Kobak, Wim Rocky Medlama and 13 other unnamed KNPB members were arrested on 14 August while preparing for the Cultural Parade. The activists had planned to parade from the Jayapura suburb of Waena to the grave of Papuan leader Theys Hiyo Eluay in the suburb of Sentani on 15 August but were arrested by Jayapura Regional police. After being interrogated for several hours, they were released but police seized items to be used at the Cultural Parade, including banners, a generator, microphones and megaphones. An article by Papuan news site Warta Papua Barat reported that in Jayapura, approximately 800 security personnel were deployed to contain a Cultural Parade march from Jayapura to Waena. In the article, a local human rights activist has criticised this action, stating that the heavy police presence was excessive for a peaceful demonstration.

In Waena, hundreds of civilians were reportedly ‘kettled’ by armed police at Terminal Abe-Sentani. According to an activist interviewed in the abovementioned report, four police trucks, one armoured tear gas vehicle and one tank were deployed to contain the Cultural Parade.

Wamena

The same report received from local activists stated that in the highland town of Wamena, airport police confiscated five banners sent from Jayapura for the Cultural Parade on 15 August. When KNPB activists asked the authorities for an explanation, they were allegedly told that the banners carried illegal messages of separatism and that this would ‘interrupt’ Indonesian Independence Day on 17 August. An Indonesian military unit, a district military command personnel and a Brimob police special forces unit allegedly occupied the space where the activists intended to parade, hindering their ability to assemble.

Fak-Fak

Another report received from the Papuan Indigenous Council (Dewan Adat Papua, DAP) illustrated heavy police tactics in Fak-Fak leading up to the Cultural Parade celebrations on 15 August. On 8 August, Fak-Fak Regional police brought a convoy of vehicles to Sakartemin village and issued a statement banning the public from carrying out the Parade. On 10 August, police confiscated a bag belonging to civilian Firmansyah Iribaram at Fak-Fak port, as it had the Morning Star flag printed on it. When asked for an explanation, police allegedly stated that they had the right to confiscate the bag. On 12 August, the Head of Fak-Fak Regional police Dr. M. Yusuh led a convoy of police vehicles to Kramonggea district where they issued a similar statement banning any actions celebrating the Cultural Parade.

On 13 August, nine KNPB members were arrested by Fak-Fak Regional police in Brongkendik village in Central Fak-Fak district. Local activists reported that the nine activists – Arnoldus Kocu, Lahamis Weripang (the Head of KNPB Fak-Fak), Daniel Kaninggal, Susana Kramandodon, Tobias Hegemur, Salimin Renwarin, Alex Hindon, Matias Bahamba and Yahya Bahamba – were arrested by fully armed police. Human rights organisation Elsham Papua reported that the nine men were released a few hours later after being interrogated.

The same report by DAP also stated that on 13 August, Fak-Fak Regional police claimed that they were not able to provide Indigenous Solidarity Action for Human Rights and Democracy (Solidaritas Aksi Kaum Pribumi untuk HAM dan Demokrasi, SKPHD) with an official receipt of the group’s notice of intention to carry out the Cultural Parade on 15 August. On 14 August at around 13:30 Papuan time, a joint military and National police task force conducted mass arrests in several villages in the central region of Fak-Fak. Approximately 150 civilians were arrested, including the elderly, women and children, and taken to Fak-Fak Regional Police station. Upon hearing of the mass arrests, three of the coordinators of the Cultural Parade, Roy Mury, Samuel Rohrohmana and Dany Hegumur headed to the police station to secure their release. The three activists were detained and interrogated for several hours before being released. The three activists negotiated the release of the 150 civilians, who were then released after spending three hours in detention.

The report also highlights an incident at Fak-Fak Regional police station in which the women detained were allegedly forced to remove their clothing down to their underwear in a strip search. This was reportedly conducted by two female police officers in the female restrooms. A 16-year old girl who gave a testimony of the account to the Institute for Research, Investigation and Development of Legal Aid in Manokwari (LP3BH) said that she was instructed to enter the restroom where one of the policewomen undressed her while interrogating her on her reasons for going into the town centre. A press statement from LP3BH strongly condemned the actions of the two policewomen, arguing that they were in violation of Article 5 and Article 32 of Law 8/1981 of the Criminal Procedural Code  and violated the principle of the presumption of innocence. Fak-Fak Regional police later issued an apology to the women.

On 15 August, demonstrators joining the Cultural Parade from Teluk Patipi district were stopped by police at around 09:30 Papuan time and brought to the Fak-Fak Regional police station. One of the coordinators of the Cultural Parade secured a guarantee from the police of their quick release after interrogation. During the Parade, Indonesian security forces intercepted and searched different groups headed towards Thumburuni Market carpark in Fak-Fak, the gathering place for the Parade. The report also stated that there were allegedly instances of civilians being threatened that they would be shot if they took part in the Parade. A man named Yosua was allegedly severely beaten and as a result suffered rectal bleeding. Motorists and pedestrians alike were stopped and searched throughout the day, reportedly without the use of search warrants.

Timika and Nabire

Local activists report that there were also police attempts to disperse the Cultural Parade in Timika, but the Parade proceeded peacefully. There were similar reports of peaceful activity at the Cultural Parade in Nabire.

Journalist severely beaten in Paniai

According to sources from Aliansi Jurnalis Independen (AJI) Jayapura as reported by ALDP, on 15 August 2013 at around 16:20 Papuan time, Andreas Badii, a journalist with Papuan news site Bintang Papua was stopped on his motorbike and severely beaten by three Paniai Regional police officers. According to the Asian Human Rights Commission, Badii suffered from a torn lip and bloody nose as a result of the beatings and was taken to the East Paniai Sub-District Police Station some 500 metres from the scene. He was released after 30 minutes.

It is unclear whether the ill-treatment and arbitrary detention were inflicted due to Badii’s work as a journalist, or as part of general indiscriminate arrests and harassment of civilians in Paniai, which are not uncommon. Papuans Behind Bars has recorded 13 arbitrary arrests of civilians in Paniai this year, all of whom were later released without charge.

Witnesses to police murder detained in Wamena

A report received from a local human rights activist stated that on 8 August 2013, at around 10:30 Papuan time, two eyewitnesses to a police murder – ‘AW’ and ‘BK’ –  were arrested by Jayawijaya Regional police in Wamena. Brigadier Police officer Lusman Lua had allegedly fired two warning shots when an argument broke out between himself and Irwan Wenda, a civilian. AW and BK appealed to Lua not to shoot Wenda as he suffered from a mental illness. The report alleged that Lua reacted by shooting Wenda in the leg, stomach, head and left arm, killing him on the spot. The fatal shooting took place in the presence of four other Jayawijaya Regional police officers and the two eyewitnesses.

The five police officers then reportedly beat the two eyewitnesses without cause and brought them to the Jayawijaya Regional police station for interrogation. AHRC reported that the two were subjected to ill-treatment. With appeals from their family, they were released from detention several hours later. It is not known whether Lua has been charged or if any action has been taken against him.

Releases

Daniel Gobay and Matan Klembiap released

According to local sources, two activists detained since 15 February 2013 initially in connection with inquiries into the wherabouts of two pro-independence activists have been released. In August, Daniel Gobay and Matan Klembiap were sentenced to 6 months 15 days and 6 months 10 days respectively minus time already spent in detention for incitement and possession of weapons. Klembiap was released on 25 August 2013 while Gobay was released five days later on 30 August. Both men were tortured on arrest and in detention. The family of Matan Klembiap has also been the target of an alleged assassination attempt.

Six activists in Abepura ammunitions case released

Information received from a local source has reported the release of Denny Immanuel Hisage, Anike Kogoyo (female), Jhon Pekey, Rendy Wetapo, Jimmy Wea and Oliken Giay from Abepura prison in August 2013. The six activists were sentenced to ten months imprisonment under Emergency Law 12/1951 and Article 55 of the Indonesian Criminal Code. As reported in the July Update, in an interview with a local source, Hisage claimed that bullets were planted in his accommodation in order to fabricate evidence against them.

Political trials and cases overview

Prosecution of six 1 May Biak detainees

Newly received information from local human rights workers has clarified the identities of the six men detained in the Biak flag-raising case. They are known to be Oktovianus Warnares, Yoseph Arwakon, Yohanes Boseren, Markus Sawias, George Syors Simyapen and Jantje Wamaer.

On 1 May 2013, the six activists were arrested after police opened fire into a crowd of 50 people gathered for a flag-raising ceremony to commemorate the 1 May anniversary marking of the administrative transfer of West Papua to Indonesia. The six faced charges of treason and possession of weapons under Article 106, 53, 55 and 56 of the Indonesian Criminal Code and Article 1 of the Emergency Law 12/1951.

Local activists alleged that during the investigation, police attempted to plant incriminating evidence consisting of 49 bullets and three cartons of home-made bombs on the accused. On 2 July, the case was transferred to the Public Prosecutor only to be returned to police investigation on 10 July, reportedly due to the investigation report being incomplete and not yet receiving the status of ‘P.21’ , which indicates the completion of an investigation. Information received from local human rights lawyers states that on 29 August, the case was successfully transferred to the Prosecutor. Lawyers from the Legal Aid Institute (Lembaga Bantuan Hukum, LBH)in Jayapura have expressed willingness to represent the six  after their families submitted an appeal for legal aid. However, financial difficulties hinder their ability to provide legal accompaniment to the six activists, most of whom are farmers and cannot pay costs.

Unreliable witnesses presented in Aimas 1 May case

A report from online Papuan news site Tabloid Jubi stated that the trial for the Aimas 1 May case (see May Update) has begun. On 26 August 2013, witness examinations were conducted at the Sorong District Court. Three witnesses were presented by the Public Prosecutor. The report stated that only one out of the three witnesses, Mesak Takoy, had some knowledge of the incident that took place on 30 April commemorating 1 May, where seven people – Isak Klaibin, Klemens Kodimko, Obeth Kamesrar, Antonius Safuf, Obaja Kamesrar, Yordan Magabloi and Hengky Mangamis – were arrested and charged with treason under Articles 106, 108 and 110 of the Indonesian Criminal Code. According to LP3BH sources quoted in the report, Takoy had been Isak Klaibin’s neighbour for some time, but that he had no awareness of Klaibin’s alleged political activities and had no knowledge of nor had ever met the six other defendants.

Defence lawyers have objected to the Public Prosecutor’s submission of the two other witnesses – the head of Aimas District government and the head of the government National Unity office (Kesbang) in Manokwari – as they argued that the two individuals had not been present at the time of the incident on 30 April 2013. Defence lawyers also questioned the issue of a flag-raising pole, mentioned in the Investigation Report and Prosecution Letter, used as evidence against the seven activists. They argued that there was no such object present during the incident. Witness testimony is expected to continue in September.

Timika 1 May case transferred to Prosecutor

A local human rights lawyer has reported that the Timika 1 May flag raising case (see May Update) has been transferred to the Public Prosecutor. Another human rights source has stated that the five men – Domi Mom, Alfisu Wamang, Musa Elas, Eminus Waker and Yacob Onawame – are currently detained in Timika prison and that they are still without legal representation. The same source has also reported that the five men have been severely tortured and intimidated by police in detention.  As reported in our July Update, three of the men – Musa Elas, Yacob Onawame and Alfisu Wamang – have been suffering from deteriorating health. Their families have requested Mimika Regional police officials to provide them with adequate medical treatment at a hospital but no progress has been reported as yet.

Appeal to be submitted for Yapen Indigenous Day Celebrations case

Human rights lawyers have reported that they will be submitting an appeal against the sentencing of Edison Kendi and Yan Piet Maniamboi to two years’ and 18-months’ imprisonment respectively. The two men are no longer detained due to having already spent the maximum amount of time allowed in detention prior to the post-appeal verdict.

Yogor Telenggen accused of being involved in Pirime 2012 shootings

Information received via email from a local human rights source has revealed that Yogor Telenggen, who was previously reported as being involved in the 2012 shootings in Puncak Jaya against the Indonesian military, has now been accused of involvement in the Pirime, Jayawijaya case of 2012 and in the shooting of a motorist in Mulia Airport. It is thought that Telenggen is without legal representation, but this has not been confirmed. He has been in detention in Papua Provincial police station since 10 March 2013.

Verdict delivered for Atis Rambo Wenda

Recently received information from local sources reported that Atis Rambo Wenda, who was arrested on 4 April 2013 in Waena and was charged with violent crime under Article 170 of the Indonesian Criminal Code, was sentenced on 20 July to 10 months’ imprisonment. In the June Update, Papuans Behind Bars reported on the fears Wenda has of potential abuse he may suffer at the hands of Abepura authorities, leading him to decline much-needed medical treatment.

Appeal submitted for Bastian Mansoben

On 29 August 2013, human rights lawyers for Bastian Mansoben submitted an appeal against his sentence of 3 years and 6 months’ imprisonment, previously erroneously reported as 3 years’ imprisonment in the June Update. Mansoben was tortured on arrest by Biak police and beaten severely in detention.

Sarmi arrests trial continues to be postponed

A witness hearing on 28 August at the trial of Alex Makabori (alias Isak Demetouw), Daniel Norotouw, Niko Sasomar and Sileman Teno was postponed. Human rights lawyers have stated that the witness hearings have been postponed several times. This is reportedly due to the Public Prosecutor not being able to obtain witnesses. The Prosecutor has allegedly stated that military personnel who were witnesses have been transferred to Merauke, while civilian witnesses were not able to attend because they lived far away.

Cases of concern

Indigenous council members intimidated and threatened in large police operation in West Sentani

Information received from two local human rights sources report that on 12 August 2013, the office of the Papuan Indigenous Council (Dewan Adat Papua, DAP), which is also the residence of political prisoner Forkorus Yaboisembut, was raided in a police operation supported by the military. Reports received state that the DAP office, based in Sabron Yaru village in West Sentani district, was encircled by around 100 armed security officers arriving on 20 patrol motorcycles, two trucks from the Jayapura Regional police and one truck from the Batallion 751 Sentani division of the military. A report received from one of the local sources stated that at the time, the office was occupied only by one member of the organisation’s security outfit, National Papuan police and two DAP members, who were threatened with being shot if they did not remain seated and quiet.

The head of the Jayapura Regional Police, Roicke Harry Langi, who led the operation reportedly stated that their intention was to demand that DAP’s security organisationNational Papuan police no longer wear their custom-made uniforms. The security forces allegedly also stated that they were instructed by the head of Police and Commander of the Indonesian military to take immediate action against those who do not comply with the new rule. The National Papuan police are not considered to be an officially sanctioned institution by the Indonesian authorities.

Filep Karma’s health condition worsens, denied medical treatment again

A report received from the Jayapura branch of the Office for Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation of Franciscans of Papua (SKPKC Jayapura) has revealed new concerns for  the health of Filep Karma, who has been diagnosed with heart disease by the medical team in Abepura prison. The medical team has advised special treatment at a public government hospital in Jayapura. Despite this the Head of Abepura prison has reportedly ignored three referral letters made by the Abepura prison medical team requesting Karma be given the treatment he requires.

Security forces raid Paniai church in search for weapons

Papuan news site Majalah Selangkah reported a joint police and military task force raid on the St Maria Magdalena Catholic Church in Pugodide region in Paniai regency on 4 August 2013. According to information Majalah Selangkah received from a local activist based in Paniai, the raid was conducted in the search for weapons allegedly owned by a group of suspected militants in Pugodide region.

A chronology of events as described by the local Paniai source stated that on 1 August, the Pugodide community received news regarding a distribution of livestock for 10 clans from three villages. Jonatan Bunai Gedeutopaa, a military official in Jayapura had requested that the Pugodide community gather in the compound of the St Maria Magdalena Church on 4 August for the livestock to be divided amongst them before the start of Sunday mass. While the distribution was being carried out, 15 Indonesian military officers arrived in three vehicles and proceeded to conduct searches on the community members, including women, children and the elderly, reportedly in search of weapons they say they believed were owned by suspected militants.

The security forces also reportedly forcibly entered the church, damaging the front door. The military officers ransacked the church, searched the area around the church and climbed onto the roof in their search for weapons.  The report also stated that Jonatan Bunai, and another military official Matias Bunai, who helped facilitate the livestock distribution, were not involved in the raid. No weapons were found. Security forces seized a total of IDR 16 million from the church and several handphones belonging to the community and brought the seized items to Paniai Regional police station in Madi. As reported in previous updates, the Indonesian military has often  harassed and intimidated civilians in Paniai in sweeping operations where personal items are seized without warrants. 

News

Governor Enembe visits political prisoners in Abepura

Political prisoner Selpius Bobii has issued a statement in reply to a recent visit by Lukas Enembe, the Governor of Papua, to Abepura Prison on 17 August 2013. The statement reiterates the rejection of offers of clemency on the part of the political prisoners in Abepura (which would require an admission of guilt), and highlights some of the conversations between Enembe and Filep Karma, Victor Yeimo and Selpius Bobii. In response to the Governor’s visit to his cell block, Bobii told the Governor that as political prisoners they reject clemency, and that the Papuan nation was ready to negotiate with Indonesia and reject Special Autonomy Plus. Enembe had reportedly told the prisoners to leave the pro-independence movement and work towards achieving freedom through prosperity.

August 2013 Papuan political prisoners

  Prisoner Arrested Charges Sentence Case Accused of violence? Concerns reported re legal process? Prison
1 Victor Yeimo 13 May 2013 160 3 years  (handed down in 2009) 2009 demo; 13 May Jayapura demo No Yes Abepura
2 Astro Kaaba 3 May 2013 Treason Unknown Yapen police death Yes Trial pending Serui police station
3 Hans Arrongear Unknown Treason Unknown Yapen police death Yes Trial pending Serui police station
4 Oktovianus Warnares 1 May 2013 106, Emergency Law 12/1951 Unknown Biak flag-raising, 1 May commemoration No Yes Biak police custody
5 Yoseph Arwakon 1 May 2013 106, Emergency Law 12/1951 Unknown Biak flag-raising, 1 May commemoration No Yes Biak police custody
6 Yohanes Boseren 1 May 2013 106, Emergency Law 12/1951 Unknown Biak flag-raising, 1 May commemoration No Yes Biak police custody
7 Markus Sawias 1 May 2013 106, Emergency Law 12/1951 Unknown Biak flag-raising, 1 May commemoration No Yes Biak police custody
8 George Syors Simyapen 1 May 2013 106, Emergency Law 12/1951 Unknown Biak flag-raising, 1 May commemoration No Yes Biak police custody
9 Jantje Wamaer 1 May 2013 106, Emergency Law 12/1951 Unknown Biak flag-raising, 1 May commemoration No Yes Biak police custody
10 Domi Mom 1 May 2013 Treason Unknown Timika flag-raising, 1 May commemoration No Trial pending Timika
11 Alfisu Wamang 1 May 2013 Treason Unknown Timika flag-raising, 1 May commemoration No Trial pending Timika
12 Musa Elas 1 May 2013 Treason Unknown Timika flag-raising, 1 May commemoration No Trial pending Timika
13 Eminus Waker 1 May 2013 Treason Unknown Timika flag-raising, 1 May commemoration No Trial pending Timika
14 Yacob Onawame 1 May 2013 Treason Unknown Timika flag-raising, 1 May commemoration No Trial pending Timika
15 Hengky Mangamis 30 April 2013 106, 107, 108, 110, 160 and 164 Trial ongoing Aimas shootings, 1 May commemoration No Yes Sorong police station
16 Yordan Magablo 30 April

2013

106, 107, 108, 110, 160 and 164 Trial ongoing Aimas shootings, 1 May commemoration No Yes Sorong police station
17 Obaja Kamesrar 30 April

2013

106, 107, 108, 110, 160 and 164 Trial ongoing Aimas shootings, 1 May commemoration No Yes Sorong police station
18 Antonius Safuf 30 April

2013

106, 107, 108, 110, 160 and 164 Trial ongoing Aimas shootings, 1 May commemoration No Yes Sorong police station
19 Obeth Kamesrar 30 April

2013

106, 107, 108, 110, 160 and 164 Trial ongoing Aimas shootings, 1 May commemoration No Yes Sorong police station
20 Klemens Kodimko 30 April

2013

106, 107, 108, 110, 160 and 164 Trial ongoing Aimas shootings, 1 May commemoration No Yes Sorong police station
21 Isak Klaibin 30 April

2013

106, 107, 108, 110, 160 and 164 Trial ongoing Aimas shootings, 1 May commemoration; accused of being TPN/OPM No Yes Sorong police station
22 Yahya Bonay 27 April 2013 Unknown Unknown Yapen police

death

Yes Trial pending Serui police custody
23 Atis Rambo Wenda 4 April 2013 170 10 months Accused of violent crime Yes Yes Abepura
24 Yogor Telenggen 10 March 2013 340, 338, 170, 251, Emergency Law 12/1951 Awaiting trial Pirime shootings 2012 Yes Yes Papua Provincial police station
25 Isak Demetouw(alias Alex Makabori) 3 March 2013 110; Article 2, Emergency Law 12/1951 Trial ongoing Sarmi arrests No Trial pending Sarmi
26 Daniel Norotouw 3 March 2013 110; Article 2, Emergency Law 12/1951 Trial ongoing Sarmi arrests No Trial pending Sarmi
27 Niko Sasomar 3 March 2013 110; Article 2, Emergency Law 12/1951 Trial ongoing Sarmi arrests No Trial pending Sarmi
28 Sileman Teno 3 March 2013 110; Article 2, Emergency Law 12/1951 Trial ongoing Sarmi arrests No Trial pending Sarmi
29 Boas Gombo 28 February 2013 Articles 24 and 66 of Law 24/2009 9 months Indonesian flag at PNG border No Yes Abepura
30 Andinus Karoba 10 October 2012 365(2), Law 8/1981 1 year 10 months Demak activist accused of theft Yes Yes Abepura
31 Yan Piet Maniamboy 9 August 2012 106 Trial ongoing Indigenous people’s day celebrations, Yapen No Yes Serui
32 Edison Kendi 9 August 2012 106 Trial ongoing Indigenous people’s day celebrations, Yapen No Yes Serui
33 Jefri Wandikbo 7 June 2012 340, 56, Law 8/1981 8 years Accused of violent crime in Wamena Yes Yes Abepura
34 Timur Wakerkwa 1 May 2012 106 2.5 years 1 May demo and flag-raising No No Abepura
35 Darius Kogoya 1 May 2012 106 3 years 1 May demo and flag-raising No No Abepura
36 Bastian Mansoben 21 October 2012 Emergency Law 12/1951 Trial ongoing Biak explosives case Possession of explosives No Biak
37 Forkorus Yaboisembut 19 October 2011 106 3 years Third Papua Congress No Yes Abepura
38 Edison Waromi 19 October 2011 106 3 years Third Papua Congress No Yes Abepura
39 Dominikus Surabut 19 October 2011 106 3 years Third Papua Congress No Yes Abepura
40 August Kraar 19 October 2011 106 3 years Third Papua Congress No Yes Abepura
41 Selphius Bobii 20 October 2011 106 3 years Third Papua Congress No Yes Abepura
42 Wiki Meaga 20 November 2010 106 8 years Yalengga flag-raising No Yes Wamena
43 Oskar Hilago 20 November 2010 106 8 years Yalengga flag-raising No Yes Wamena
44 Meki Elosak 20 November 2010 106 8 years Yalengga flag-raising No Yes Wamena
45 Obed Kosay 20 November 2010 106 8 years Yalengga flag-raising No Yes Wamena
46 Yusanur Wenda 30 April 2004 106 17 years Wunin arrests Yes No Wamena
47 Dipenus Wenda 28 March 2004 106 14 years Bokondini election boycott Unclear No Wamena
48 George Ariks 13 March 2009 106 5 years Unknown Unknown No Manokwari
49 Filep Karma 1 December 2004 106 15 years Abepura flag-raising 2004 No Yes Abepura
50 Ferdinand Pakage 16 March 2006 214 15 years Abepura case 2006 Yes Yes Abepura
51 Jefrai Murib 12 April 2003 106 Life Wamena ammunition store raid Yes Yes Abepura
52 Linus Hiel Hiluka 27 May 2003 106 20 years Wamena ammunition store raid Yes Yes Nabire
53 Kimanus Wenda 12 April 2003 106 20 years Wamena ammunition store raid Yes Yes Nabire
54 Numbungga Telenggen 11 April 2003 106 Life Wamena ammunition store raid Yes Yes Biak
55 Apotnalogolik Lokobal 10 April 2003 106 20 years Wamena ammunition store raid Yes Yes Biak

Papuans Behind Bars aims to provide accurate and transparent data, published in English and Indonesian, to facilitate direct support for prisoners and promote wider debate and campaigning in support of free expression in West Papua.

Papuans Behind Bars is a collective project initiated by Papuan civil society groups working together as the Civil Society Coalition to Uphold Law and Human Rights in Papua. It is a grassroots initiative and represents a broad collaboration between lawyers, human rights groups, adat groups, activists, journalists and individuals in West Papua, as well as Jakarta-based NGOs and international solidarity groups.

Questions, comments and corrections are welcomed, and you can write to us at info@papuansbehindbars.org

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July 2014: Election arrests signal lack of democratic rights in Papua

In brief

At the end of July 2014, there were at least 69 political prisoners in Papuan jails.

The number of political prisoners decreased this month following the release of 17 prisoners in three separate cases: the Third Papua Congress case, 26 November arrests and Nabire civilian accused as OPM case. 16 of these 17 releases were due to a completion of prison sentences. Meanwhile, there were at least 70 political arrests this month, the highest recorded number so far this year. These arrests included the mass arrest of 25 people in Timika at a peaceful demonstration, including at least five women and four children aged one to two years. Most people arrested this month faced ill-treatment on arrest or in detention. Bilim Wenda, one of the 25 demonstrators in Timika, faced torture and cruel and degrading treatment in detention.

Many of the arrests related to the recent Presidential Elections on 9 July 2014. At least 36 political arrests were related to peaceful calls for an election boycott by Papuan activists, following peaceful demonstrations and distributing of flyers. The freedom to not participate in a democratic process, or to campaign for a boycott, is an undeniable element of democratic freedoms. The criminalisation of these actions in Papua has also been documented by Papuans Behind Bars in relation to elections in 2004 and 2009.

The arrest and subsequent release of six people in relation to internal disagreements between students and authorities at Cenderawasih University (Universitas Cenderawasih, UNCEN) were the latest development in a deteriorating situation which began in mid-2012. There has been a move towards greater involvement of police and other security forces in response to student organising and demonstrations relating to human rights, democratic freedoms and internal campus issues. This has been accompanied by a decrease in the university’s role in effectively protecting students and their rights to free expression and assembly.

An incident at Youtefa market in Jayapura on 2 July triggered by the murder of a police officer who demanded bribes resulted in the killing of three men by security forces and a number of arrests. The reported involvement of non-Papuan immigrants in the arbitrary arrest, public torture and beatings of indigenous highlanders – at the invitation of police – is an alarming development. This incident, involving excessive use of force, unprocedural use of firearms and extrajudicial killings as collective punishment of indigenous Papuans represents a serious indictment of police conduct in Papua. It also demonstrates that at the local level, Indonesia’s ongoing climate of impunity is being extended by security forces to further groups whom they view as allies.

Arrests

Scores of activists arrested for peaceful boycott of 9 July Presidential elections

At least 36 people were arrested in Jayapura, Timika, Fak-Fak and Wamena during July 2014 for their peaceful involvement in calling for a boycott of the Indonesian Presidential Elections on 9 July. Local human rights activists reported that Papuans in these areas faced intimidation from police who attempted to force them to vote in the elections. 

Jayapura

On 3 July, six activists from the West Papua National Committee (Komite Nasional Papua Barat, KNPB) were arrested in front of the campus of Cenderawasih University (Universitas Cenderawasih, UNCEN) for giving out flyers calling for an election boycott. The six men – Ono Balingga, Hakul Kobak, Yandri Heselo, Gesman Tabuni, Ronal Wenda and another unnamed man – were beaten on arrest and interrogated at Jayapura Regional police station. They have since been released without charge.

Timika

On 4 July, seven KNPB members were arrested for distributing flyers calling for an election boycott. The seven men – Ruben Kayun, Deky Akum, Kaitanus Siminak, Apollos Simare, Yanuarius Enakat, Gerson Banam and Anthon Damkokor – were arrested by military officers before being handed over to Timika Regional police. With the exception of Kayun, all were released without charge after a few hours in detention. The KNPB reported that Kayun was initially charged with Article 160 for incitement but was later released on 16 July. It is not clear whether the charges have been dropped or not. Testimony from Kayun about his time in detention states that he faced ill-treatment from Timika police. Upon release police also followed him back to his house where they took pictures of his home in a bid to intimidate him.

Fak-Fak

On 5 July, Mama Umi Safisa was arrested by police for distributing flyers calling for a boycott of the 9 July elections. KNPB members gathered outside Kaimana Regional police station where Mama Safisa was detained and attempted to negotiate for her release, however they were forcibly dispersed by police. KNPB Kaimana leader Ruben Furay, who was amongst those protesting against her detention, was reportedly beaten by police.

Wamena

A report received via email from local activists reported a total number of 22 boycott related arrests, with nine people remaining in detention. On 9 July, 18 people were arrested in Wamena for their involvement in the distribution of flyers calling for an election boycott. Out of the 18 people arrested, 13 have already been released from Jayawijaya Regional police station. The five still detained are reported to be Yosep Siep, Ibrahim Marian, Marsel Marian, Yance Walilo and Yosasam Serabut. On 14 July, a further four people were arrested by security forces, reportedly because they chose not to vote in the Presidential Elections. The four men – Sudi Wetipo, Elius Elosak, Domi Wetipo and Agus Doga – are reportedly still in detention at Jayawijaya Regional police station.

Yahukimo

A report received from a human rights investigator described harassment and threats against village leaders in villages Tomon I and Tomon II in Yahukimo to submit votes on behalf of their communities, despite the decision taken by both communities to boycott the elections.

Three arrested following Kampung Berab raid in Jayapura

A report received from a local human rights investigator reported the arbitrary arrest of three men following a raid in Kampung Berab in Jayapura. On 20 July at around 13:00 Papua time, Mobile Brigades (Brigade Mobil, Brimob) and Papua regional police (Kepolisian Daerah Papua, Polda Papua) raided two houses in Kampung Berab belonging to two men, Z Tarko and Elim Berab. According to an interview with the aforementioned human rights investigator, Berab stated that Jayapura police had conducted the raid in response to information they received about alleged armed pro-independence camps belonging to David Tarko and Terianus Satto in the village, and a forthcoming inauguration ceremony there on 22 July.

During the raid on the home of Z Tarko, security forces ransacked the house, destroying much of the furniture. Three motorcycles parked outside the house were destroyed using stones and long wooden planks. A cash total of IDR 7 million as well as rice and sago were also seized from the house. While this took place, security forces also conducted a raid on the home of Elim Barab, a former principle of the local primary school. At around 17:00, Brimob officers returned to the home of Z Tarko, surrounding it and firing three warning shots.

After the raid, police then conducted a sweeping on the Demta-Sarmi road, stopping a local bus and arbitrarily arresting three indigenous Papuans – Jekeer Kalaka, Jhon Abolka and Yosepus Taplo. Kalaka and Abolka are workers at a local palm oil plantation owned by Sinar Mas. The men were detained for four days at Jayapura Regional police station and released on 24 July. The three men were reportedly targeted because they come from the Papuan highlands, where pro-independence sentiment is strong according to security forces. Following the arrests and raid, security forces continued to keep a tight watch on the village, inspecting the movements of the local community and conducting stop-and-searches on local villagers.

25 people, including women and children, arrested in Timika during referendum demo

According to various news sources as well as reports received from local activists, on 17 July 2014, a joint police and military force conducted mass arrests of at least 24 people in Timika. While earlier reports indicate that 24 people were arrested, a detailed report published by local news site Umagi News stated that 25 people were arrested, including five women and four young children. They were arrested during a peaceful demonstration demanding a referendum for West Papua. All those detained were released several hours later with the exception of the Head of KNPB Timika Sector SP 13, Leson Tabuni, who was released several days later on 23 July.

The 16 men arbitrarily arrested were Neles Tabuni, Ismael Wenda, Bilim Wenda, Lasarus Kogoya, Yandoa Tabuni, Efri Tabuni, Sem Tabuni, Nius Tabuni, Ev. Mirius Wenda, Kendi Keoway, Sole Tabuni, Linto Kossay,  Stevanus Koga, Leson Tabuni, Lerius Wenda and Wenemuk Kogoya. The five women arbitrarily arrested were Eliana Tabuni, Lepina Wenda, Diana Wenda, Amerina Tabuni and Merlin Wenda. The four children arbitrarily arrested, aged one-and-a-half to two-years-old were Alfa Tabuni, Jekson Tabuni, Rani Wenda and Tinggris Tabuni.

According to the reports, at around 09:00 Papua time, security forces began to forcibly disperse the demonstration and seized demonstrators’ banners, megaphones and personal items such as handphones and wallets. Upon arresting the 25 people, not all of whom were directly involved in the demonstration, the crowd were brought to Timika Regional police station 32.

According to the testimony of those arrested, as published on Umagi News, several people were severely beaten on arrest using rifle butts as well as being punched and kicked. 23-year-old Amerina Tabuni stated that she had reacted angrily during the arrests and threw a stone at a police officer, prompting police to drag her across the ground, hit her three times in the back with a rifle butt and beat her across the face before arresting her. On arrest, Bilim Wenda was hit in the testicles with a rifle butt while Yandoa Tabuni was stomped on by several officers wearing jackboots. Linto Kossay was hit in the head with a rifle butt, suffered a bloody head wound, and was also hit in the testicles. In detention at least one person, Bilim Wenda, was reportedly tortured and subjected to cruel and degrading treatment. Police cut off his dreadlocks and threatened to cut off his genitals. He was also forced to strip naked and alcohol was poured down his nose. At least two other people also faced cruel and degrading treatment in detention. Amerina Tabuni stated that in detention a police officer wearing jackboots kicked her. The personal items of the detainees, including handphones and wallets were seized and not returned upon release.

The Head of KNPB Timika Sector SP 13, Leson Tabuni, continued to be detained until 23 July while the other 24 detainees were released. Tabuni described receiving threats and being severely beaten by Timika Regional police while in detention. He is believed to have been charged with incitement under Article 160 of the Indonesian Criminal Code, although it is unclear whether he is still facing the charge after his release.

Six arrested at UNCEN

On 22 July, six people were arbitrarily arrested by Jayapura District police at the request of the ex-Dean of the Medical School at UNCEN, Paulina Watofa. According to information from human rights lawyers at KontraS Papua, one of those arrested was a secondary school student and was therefore released shortly after his arrest. The five other detainees were students from Cenderawasih University.

Information provided by lawyers indicated that the arrests followed student involvement in demonstrations held on 8, 10, 11 and 19 July, calling for the Dean of the Medical School to be replaced. The Dean was subsequently replaced, and Watofa, the previous Dean, reported the students to the police.  Only one of the five arrested were among the students named in Watofa’s complaint to the police. There is reportedly no evidence linking the other four students to the demonstrations. Two days prior to these arrests, one of the students was beaten with a helmet by an unidentified person on campus.

While in detention in Jayapura District police station, the five UNCEN students were not interrogated but were instead immediately determined as suspects and forced to sign both an arrest letter and another letter, the contents of which were unknown to them. Human rights lawyers accompanying the five students state that the letter may contain provisions promising not to hold any further demonstrations on campus, as happened during the arrest of UNCEN students last November.

The following day an internal agreement was reached between the police and Aloysius Giyai, the Head of the Health Department of Papua Province (Kepala Dinas Kesehatan Provinsi Papua), and the five students were released. According to their lawyers, the students are still at risk of being charged or re-arrested, particularly if they attempt to demonstrate again.

Jayapura-based human rights lawyer Gustaf Kawer has stated the intention of lawyers to submit a request for a pretrial hearing against the Head of Abepura District Police Officer, Kompol Decky Hursepuny examining the arrests of the five students. He criticised the arrests as unprocedural.

Releases

Jayapura five released

On 21 July, the Jayapura five – Forkorus Yaboisembut, August Kraar, Dominikus Surabut, Selpius Bobii and Edison Waromi – were released from Abepura prison after two years and nine months in prison. August Kraar, erroneously reported in our last update to have been released on 21 June 2014, was instead released on 21 July. According to a human rights worker, while Kraar had received an additional remission to his sentence, he chose to be released at the same time as the other four men.

The five men were arrested on 19 October 2011 for their involvement in the Third Papuan Peoples’ Congress, where a political declaration about the self-determination of the Papuan people was read out by Yaboisembut and Waromi. The Congress had elected the two men as political leaders of what was declared to be the West Papuan Federal State (Negara Federal Republik Papua Barat). Following the closing of the Congress, security forces guarding the event fired shots, used tear gas and beat and arrested hundreds of participants.

The Jayapura Five were sentenced to three years imprisonment but were given a remission of three months. Thousands of Papuans reportedly joined a procession welcoming the release of the five Papuan leaders. Upon release, Yaboisembut stated to local Papuan press that the five men would continue to work towards recognition of Papuan independence. Father Neles Tebay, Rector of Fajar Timur School of Philosophy and Theology in Abepura, told ucanews.com that the five men are at risk of re-arrest, but that in his opinion, political arrests “won’t solve the problem … the government of Indonesia and representatives of Papuans must sit together in a dialogue.

Remaining ten detainees in 26 November case released

Information from local human rights lawyers reported that the ten remaining detainees arrested in relation to demonstrations on 26 November 2013 were released on 25 July 2014. Pendius Tabuni, Muli Hisage, Karmil Murib, Tomius Mul, Nius Lepi, Tinus Meage, Mathius Habel, Agus Togoti, Natan Kogoya and Nikolai Waisal were released on concluding their eight month prison sentences. They were sentenced for violence against persons or property under Articles 170 and 351 of the Indonesian Criminal Code. Previously, on 11 February, 16-year-old Nikson Mul was released. In April 2014, Penius Tabuni was released after receiving a sentence of five months’ imprisonment.

All 12 detainees in this case were arbitrarily arrested in connection to a demonstration on 26 November 2013 in Jayapura which led to clashes between police and demonstrators. All 12 men were engaged in other activities at the time and were not involved in the demonstration. Reports from local human rights workers state that they were tortured while in detention at Jayapura Regional police station. The men say that their police investigation reports were fabricated.

Two in Sarmi treason case released on bail

On 25 July, Edison Werimon and Soleman Fonataba were released on bail. The two men are still facing trial for conspiracy to commit treason under Articles 106 and 110 of the Indonesian Criminal Code. The next hearing is expected to be held on 6 August.

Otis Waropen released

Information received from local researchers reported the release of Otis Waropen from Nabire Regional police station. It is unclear exactly when he was released, however information received indicates that his release was secured by a local tribe leader. Waropen was arrested on 2 March in Sima village under accusations of being a member of the Free Papua Movement (Organisasi Papua Merdeka, OPM), a pro-independence movement. He has since been released without charge.

Release of the three detainees in Yapen police death case

In our last update, we reported on the removal of three detainees – Yahya Bonay, Astro Kaaba and Hans Arrongear – from the list of political prisoners due to not having received any information regarding the men for more than a year. New information received from individuals in Yapen confirmed that the three men have already been released. The three men were arrested and believed to have been tortured in connection with the murder of Brimob officer Jefri Sesa.

Political trials and cases overview

Clemency for Yalengga flag-raising prisoners under final consideration at State Secretariat

The Alliance for Democracy for Papua (Aliansi Demokrasi untuk Papua, ALDP) reported that the Yalengga flag-raising case is currently being considered at the Indonesian State Secretariat (Sekretariat Negara Republik Indonesia, Setneg) and must be monitored. The four detainees in this case – Meki Elosak, Wiki Meaga, Oskar Hilago and Obed Kosay – were tortured on arrest. They were on their way to the funeral of a relative and were charged on the basis of carrying a Morning Star flag with them on their journey. The flag was intended to be put next to the deceased’s grave. All four men are currently serving eight-year prison sentences for treason under Article 106 of the Indonesian Criminal Code.

Sasawa trial started end of July

The trial for seven detainees in the Sasawa arrests case started at the end of July. As reported on the ALDP website, Ida Kelasin, one of the defence lawyers for the seven detainees, stated they were in good health and that she hoped the trial process would be carried out fairly without any political intervention. Peneas Reri, one of the seven detainees, told ALDP that their detention period had been extended to 15 August 2014. The seven men were tortured on arrest during a military raid on Sasawa village targeting members of the armed pro-independence movement, the West Papua National Army (Tentara Nasional Papua Barat, TNPB).

Cases of concern

Three killed and several arrested following murder of police in Youtefa gambling den

On 2 July, three people were killed and several arrested following a clash between gamblers and two Jayapura police officers at an illegal gambling den in Youtefa market in Jayapura. According to information received from a local human rights investigator, the gambling den was reportedly tolerated by police who received bribes in exchange. An argument broke out between the gamblers and two Jayapura police officers when they were refused their usual bribe, which then quickly accelerated into a physical fight. During the commotion, a gun was stolen from one of the police officers by a gambler who then escaped. The group of gamblers reportedly beat one of the police officers to death and then ran away. The remaining police officer shouted for help, prompting other police officers and plainclothes Special Forces Command (Komando Pasukan Khusus, Kopassus) officers to arrive at the scene some time later. The report described the situation after to be chaotic, with people running for cover as security forces started firing shots.

Three people who were not involved in the incident at the gambling den are believed to have been killed in this incident. The report from the aforementioned human rights investigator stated the deaths of Sabuse Kabak and Yenias Wendibo, who were allegedly killed by plainclothes officers.

Reports from Majalah Selangkah and Tabloid Jubi confirmed the death of Demi Kepno who was reportedly forced into a car with plainclothes officers. He was allegedly taken to Yanmor police post in Tanah Hitam, Abepura district, where he was interrogated. Wendikbo attempted to escape, but was shot and then tortured to death.

The bodies of the three victims are believed to have been brought by security forces to Bhayangkara Hospital where they were kept overnight before being returned to their families. The family of Kabak have called on the Jayapura police for accountability and for the perpetrator to be taken to court.

The number of people arrested in this incident remains unclear, however early reports and interviews indicate that the total number could be in the dozens. Some of those arrested are believed to still be under investigation in detention at Jayapura Regional police station. Papuans Behind Bars will continue to report on this case when we receive more information.

July 2014 Papuan political prisoners

  Prisoner Arrested Charges Sentence Case Accused of violence? Concerns reported re legal process? Prison / Place of detention
1 Sudi Wetipo 14 July 2014 Unknown Police investigation pending Boycott Pilpres 2014 in Wamena Uncertain Uncertain Jayawijaya Regional police station
2 Elius Elosak 14 July 2014 Unknown Police investigation pending Boycott Pilpres 2014 in Wamena Uncertain Uncertain Jayawijaya Regional police station
3 Domi Wetipo 14 July 2014 Unknown Police investigation pending Boycott Pilpres 2014 in Wamena Uncertain Uncertain Jayawijaya Regional police station
4 Agus Doga 14 July 2014 Unknown Police investigation pending Boycott Pilpres 2014 in Wamena Uncertain Uncertain Jayawijaya Regional police station
5 Yosep Siep 9 July 2014 Unknown Police investigation pending Boycott Pilpres 2014 in Wamena Uncertain Uncertain Jayawijaya Regional police station
6 Ibrahim Marian 9 July 2014 Unknown Police investigation pending Boycott Pilpres 2014 in Wamena Uncertain Uncertain Jayawijaya Regional police station
7 Marsel Marian 9 July 2014 Unknown Police investigation pending Boycott Pilpres 2014 in Wamena Uncertain Uncertain Jayawijaya Regional police station
8 Yance Walilo 9 July 2014 Unknown Police investigation pending Boycott Pilpres 2014 in Wamena Uncertain Uncertain Jayawijaya Regional police station
9 Yosasam Serabut 9 July 2014 Unknown Police investigation pending Boycott Pilpres 2014 in Wamena Uncertain Uncertain Jayawijaya Regional police station
10 Alapia Yalak 4 June 2014 Unknown Police investigation pending Yahukimo arrests Yes Yes Papua Police Headquarters
11 Ferdinandus Blagaize 24 May 2014 Unknown Police investigation pending Merauke KNPB arrests No Uncertain Okaba District police station
12 Selestinus Blagaize 24 May 2014 Unknown Police investigation pending Merauke KNPB arrests No Uncertain Okaba District police station
13 Lendeng Omu 21 May 2014 Unknown Police investigation pending Yahukimo arrests Uncertain Yes Yahukimo Regional police station
14 Kristianus Delgion Madai 3 February 2014 Emergency Law 12/1951 On trial Sentani weapons smuggling arrests Yes No Jayapura police detention
15 Jemi Yermias Kapanai 1 February 2014 Articles 106, 108, 110 and Emergency Law 12/1951 On trial Sasawa military raid arrests Yes Yes Sorong
16 Septinus Wonawoai 1 February 2014 Articles 106, 108, 110 and Emergency Law 12/1951 On trial Sasawa military raid arrests Yes Yes Sorong
17 Rudi Otis Barangkea 1 February 2014 Articles 106, 108, 110 and Emergency Law 12/1951 On trial Sasawa military raid arrests Yes Yes Sorong
18 Kornelius Woniana 1 February 2014 Articles 106, 108, 110 and Emergency Law 12/1951 On trial Sasawa military raid arrests Yes Yes Sorong
19 Peneas Reri 1 February 2014 Articles 106, 108, 110 and Emergency Law 12/1951 On trial Sasawa military raid arrests Yes Yes Sorong
20 Salmon Windesi 1 February 2014 Articles 106, 108, 110 and Emergency Law 12/1951 On trial Sasawa military raid arrests Yes Yes Sorong
21 Obeth Kayoi 1 February 2014 Articles 106, 108, 110 and Emergency Law 12/1951 On trial Sasawa military raid arrests Yes Yes Sorong
22 Yenite Morib 26 January 2014 Unknown Police investigation pending Dondobaga church arrests Yes Yes Puncak Jaya regional police station
23 Tiragud Enumby 26 January 2014 Unknown Police investigation pending Dondobaga church arrests Yes Yes Puncak Jaya regional police station
24 Deber Enumby 4 January 2014 Emergency Law 12/1951 Police investigation pending Kurilik firearms arrests Yes Yes Papua Police Headquarters
25 Soleman Fonataba 17 December 2013 106, 110)1, 53, 55 Trial beginning on 6 August Sarmi 2013 Morning Star flag arrests No / not yet clear No On bail, cannot leave Sarmi
26 Edison Werimon 13 December 2013 106, 110)1, 53, 55 Trial beginning on 6 August Sarmi 2013 Morning Star flag arrests No / not yet clear No On bail, cannot leave Sarmi
27 Piethein Manggaprouw 19 October 2013 106, 110 2 years Third Papuan Congress demo in Biak No Yes Biak
28 Apolos Sewa* 28 August 2013 106, 110 Under investigation Freedom Flotilla arrests in Sorong No Yes On bail
29 Yohanis Goram Gaman* 28 August 2013 106, 110 Under investigation Freedom Flotilla arrests in Sorong No Yes On bail
30 Amandus Mirino* 28 August 2013 106, 110 Under investigation Freedom Flotilla arrests in Sorong No Yes On bail
31 Samuel Klasjok* 28 August 2013 106, 110 Under investigation Freedom Flotilla arrests in Sorong No Yes On bail
32 Stefanus Banal 19 May 2013 170 )1 1 year and 7 months Pegunungan Bintang police raid 2013 Yes Yes Abepura
33 Victor Yeimo 13 May 2013 160 3 years  (handed down in 2009) 2009 demo; 13 May Jayapura demo No Yes Abepura
34 Oktovianus Warnares 1 May 2013 106, 110, Emergency Law 12/1951 5 years Biak flag-raising, 1 May commemoration Yes Yes Biak
35 Yoseph Arwakon 1 May 2013 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 106, 110, Emergency Law 12/1951 On trial Biak flag-raising, 1 May commemoration Yes Yes Biak
37 George Syors Simyapen 1 May 2013 106, 110, Emergency Law 12/1951 4.5 years Biak flag-raising, 1 May commemoration Yes Yes Biak
38 Jantje Wamaer 1 May 2013 106, 110, Emergency Law 12/1951 2.5 years Biak flag-raising, 1 May commemoration Yes Yes Biak
39 Domi Mom 1 May 2013 106, 110 8 months Timika flag-raising, 1 May commemoration No Yes Timika
40 Alfisu Wamang 1 May 2013 106, 110 8 months Timika flag-raising, 1 May commemoration No Yes Timika
41 Musa Elas 1 May 2013 106, 110 8 months Timika flag-raising, 1 May commemoration No Yes Timika
42 Eminus Waker 1 May 2013 106, 110 8 months Timika flag-raising, 1 May commemoration No Yes Timika
43 Yacob Onawame 1 May 2013 106, 110 8 months Timika flag-raising, 1 May commemoration No Yes Timika
44 Hengky Mangamis 30 April 2013 106, 107, 108, 110, 160 and 164 1 year and 6 months Aimas 1 May commemoration No Yes Sorong
45 Yordan Magablo 30 April

2013

106, 107, 108, 110, 160 and 164 1 year and 6 months Aimas 1 May commemoration No Yes Sorong
46 Obaja Kamesrar 30 April

2013

106, 107, 108, 110, 160 and 164 1 year and 6 months Aimas 1 May commemoration No Yes Sorong
47 Antonius Saruf 30 April

2013

106, 107, 108, 110, 160 and 164 1 year and 6 months Aimas 1 May commemoration No Yes Sorong
48 Obeth Kamesrar 30 April

2013

106, 107, 108, 110, 160 and 164 1 year and 6 months Aimas 1 May commemoration No Yes Sorong
49 Klemens Kodimko 30 April

2013

106, 107, 108, 110, 160 and 164 1 year and 6 months Aimas 1 May commemoration No Yes Sorong
50 Isak Klaibin 30 April

2013

106, 107, 108, 110, 160 and 164 3 years and 6 months Aimas 1 May commemoration No Yes Sorong
51 Yogor Telenggen 10 March 2013 340, 338, 170, 251, Emergency Law 12/1951 Awaiting trial Pirime shootings 2012 Yes Yes Wamena
52 Isak Demetouw (alias Alex Makabori) 3 March 2013 110; Article 2, Emergency Law 12/1951 2 years 2 months Sarmi treason No Yes Sarmi
53 Niko Sasomar 3 March 2013 110; Article 2, Emergency Law 12/1951 2 years 2 months Sarmi treason No Yes Sarmi
54 Sileman Teno 3 March 2013 110; Article 2, Emergency Law 12/1951 2 years 2 months Sarmi treason No Yes Sarmi
55 Jefri Wandikbo 7 June 2012 340, 56, Law 8/1981 8 years KNPB activist tortured in Jayapura Yes Yes Abepura
56 Timur Wakerkwa 1 May 2012 106 2.5 years 1 May demo and flag-raising No No Abepura
57 Darius Kogoya 1 May 2012 106 3 years 1 May demo and flag-raising No No Abepura
58 Wiki Meaga 20 November 2010 106 8 years Yalengga flag-raising No Yes Wamena
59 Oskar Hilago 20 November 2010 106 8 years Yalengga flag-raising No Yes Wamena
60 Meki Elosak 20 November 2010 106 8 years Yalengga flag-raising No Yes Wamena
61 Obed Kosay 20 November 2010 106 8 years Yalengga flag-raising No Yes Wamena
62 George Ariks 13 March 2009 106 5 years Unknown Unknown No Manokwari
63 Filep Karma 1 December 2004 106 15 years Abepura flag-raising 2004 No Yes Abepura
64 Yusanur Wenda 30 April 2004 106 17 years Wunin arrests Yes No Wamena
65 Linus Hiel Hiluka 27 May 2003 106 19 years and 10 months Wamena ammunition store raid Yes Yes Nabire
66 Kimanus Wenda 12 April 2003 106 19 years and 10 months Wamena ammunition store raid Yes Yes Nabire
67 Jefrai Murib 12 April 2003 106 Life Wamena ammunition store raid Yes Yes Abepura
68 Numbungga Telenggen 11 April 2003 106 Life Wamena ammunition store raid Yes Yes Biak
69 Apotnalogolik Lokobal 10 April 2003 106 20 years Wamena ammunition store raid Yes Yes Biak

* Apolos Sewa, Yohanis Goram Gaman, Amandus Mirino and Samuel Klasjok are currently facing charges of conspiracy to commit treason. Even though they were bailed a day after their arrest, they are currently undergoing investigation and are vulnerable to re-arrest. They are currently obliged to report to the police twice a week.

Papuans Behind Bars aims to provide accurate and transparent data, published in English and Indonesian, to facilitate direct support for prisoners and promote wider debate and campaigning in support of free expression in West Papua.

Papuans Behind Bars is a collective effort initiated by Papuan civil society groups working together as the Civil Society Coalition to Uphold Law and Human Rights in Papua. It is a grassroots initiative and represents a broad collaboration between lawyers, human rights groups, adat groups, activists, journalists and individuals in West Papua, as well as Jakarta-based NGOs and international solidarity groups.

Questions, comments and corrections are welcomed, and you can write to us at info@papuansbehindbars.org

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