Human Rights Update West Papua – 2nd Quarter 2017

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In the second quarter of 2017, the number of torture and ill-treatment cases has significantly increased while the cases of extra-judicial killings have dropped in comparison to the previous quarter of 2017. While the months January to April 2017 were comparatively quiet in terms of political arrests, activists and human rights defenders reported at least 321 political arrests during the second quarter of 2017, which mainly occurred in May. One can observe a greater variety of violations during the reporting period covering also violations against human rights defenders, political arrests and violations of the right to health. The strategy to criminalize peaceful political activists with treason charges continues to be commonly applied by law enforcement agencies in West Papua. The violations during this reporting period were equally committed by members of police and military units. At least four cases with the involvement of police officers were brought to the attention of police-internal investigation body PROPAM between April and June.

Download Second Quarterly Report as PDF File: Q2 2017

In April, a group of Mobile Police Brigade (Brimob) officers burned down the village hall in Waghete and arbitrarily arrested six young villagers. Officers from the Manokwari District Police arbitrarily arrested and subsequently tortured Mansar Rumayom in Manokwari. In Timika, police forces opened fire at protesters who had gathered in support of the head of PT Freeport Indonesia. Three members of the Police Mobile Brigade (Brimob) heavily beat down and subsequently shot a drunken villager in Ayawasi Village of Maybrat Regency. A particular incident of concern occurred in Lanny Jaya Regency, where 37 villagers died between January and April due to an epidemic outbreak. Responsible health agencies responded late to the epidemic because they had not taken notice of the outbreak. In May, two military members attacked Yus Degei and Piet Degei with their knifes in Uwibutu village of Paniai regency because a shop owner had accused the men of stealing. In Jayapura Regency, police officers arbitrarily arrested and tortured a local journalist while he was taking pictures of a political demonstration in Sentani. The event was one of several recent attempts to prevent journalists from taking media coverage. A police officer reportedly beat a staff member of the national human rights commission during a police operation in Waena area of Jayapura municipality. By the end of May, a violent clash between a large number of protesters and military members in Jayapura lead to serious injuries among three protesters after the military members had opened fire at the crowd. In Manokwari, Ronal Auparay passed away after being tortured at the Manokwari District Police Station. Police officers had denied medical attention during the 20 days of detention. May also marked the peak of political arrests in the first half of 2017 with at least 320 arrests during peaceful assemblies in various cities of West Papua. In June, a minor became a victim of violence. Four police officer tortured 15-year-old Alberth Nawipa inside a police post at Potikelek Market in Wamena, Jayawijaya Regency, resulting in severe injuries which had to be treated at the general hospital for several days. In Yogyakarta, public prosecutors have demanded a sentence of six months imprisonment and one year probation for Obby Kogoya, a Papuan student who had been arrested and tortured during a peaceful assembly of Papuan students in support of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) at the Papuan student dormitory in Yogyakarta on 15 July 2016.

Download Second Quarterly Report PDF File: Q2 2017

Download First Quarterly Report PDF File: Q1 2017

Read what UN mechanisms observe and recommend regarding human rights in West Papua on our website.