Human Rights defender Olga Hamadi dies at 34

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olga-hamadi-jubi-smallPapuan human rights lawyer Olga Helena Hamadi died in a hospital in Jayapura on July 28th 2016 after a long period of illness. The exact cause of death is not yet clear.

Olga Hamadi worked for the legal aid organisation LBH Papua and the Commission for the disappeared and victims of violence (KontraS Papua). She took on politically sensitive cases, mainly of indigenous Papuans who were charged with high treason for voicing their opinions and taking part in demonstrations.

Many of her clients were unlawfully arrested and tortured in custody. Security forces frequently obstructed meetings of Hamadi with her clients.

 

Because of her commitment to the rights of indigenous Papuans, Olga Hamadi was repeatedly spied upon and intimidated. She frequently received death threats. In 2011, the brakes of her car were cut shortly before she was to depart to Australia for a campaign trip on the human rights situation in West Papua. 

In 2012, during the trial on the alleged torture and ill-treatment of five men in police detention, Hamadi received treats via text message and was blocked from entering the courthouse by a crowd of people who threatened to beat her if she did not withdraw her application for a pre-trial hearing of the alleged perpetrators.

The funeral took place on Friday, July 29th in Abepura.