Series of arrests in Papuan central highlands – Police takes Polish citizen into custody

Human rights defenders in the Jayawijaya Regency have reported a series of arrests between 25 and 26 August 2018. According to the received informantion, members of the Jayawijaya District Police arrested eight people, one of them a Polish citizen named Jakub Fabian Skrzypski (39). Mr Skrzypski and three Papuan men were arrested on 25 August 2018 around 12.20 pm at the Napua Military Post in Wamena. Subsequently, they were interrogated at the Jayawijaya District Police Station and later released at 02.00 pm.

On 26 August 2018 at 09.10 am, police officers again arrested Naftali Wasahe and Edward Wandik together with two Papuan senior high school students at the Potikelek Market in Wamena. Jakub Fabian Skrzypski was arrested in his Hotel in Wamena. On the same day, members of the Jayawijaya District Police conducted two further arrests in the nearby city of Elelim, in the Yalimo Regency. Alex Wasahe and Yohanis Wandik were arrested at 08.20 pm and brought to the Jayawijaya district police station in Wamena for further interrogation. According to local informants, the police had allegedly found amunition in possesion of some of the arrestees.

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Police officers arbitrarily arrest UNCEN and STIKOM student representatives in Jayapura

Student activists have reported that Police officers arrested the chairman of the Cenderawasih University Executive Student Body (BEM UNCEN), Ferry Kombo. The arrest took place on 16 August 2018 at 04.00 pm in front of Dian Harapan hospital in Waena, Jayapura. Ferry Kombo was taken into custody at the Jayapura district police station and released on the following day. It is unknown whether the police will press charges against him. The arrest occurred after Ferry Kombo  had organized an orientation activity for first semester students (OSPEK) on 14 August 2018. Senior students distributed bracelets with the morning star symbol and asked the new students to wear them. The morning star is a symbol of cultural identity in West Papua, but is also the emblem of the Papuan independence movement. During the orientation, the students sang Papuan songs and collectively shouted “Papua Merdeka” (‘Free Papua’) inside and outside the university premises.

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Ongoing restrictions on freedom of opinion in West Papua - political activists subjected to arbitrary arrest and unfair trial

Law enforcement institutions in West Papua continue to strictly limit the freedom of opinion and freedom of assembly in Indonesia’s easternmost provinces, in an attempt to counteract aspirations for political independence. The independent news outlet ‘Suara Papua’ published an article according to which members of the Merauke District Police arbitrarily arrested 14 activists of the Papuan student movement GemapaR (Gerakan Mahasiswa Pemuda dan Rakyat) in the early morning hours of 9 August 2018 in the city of Merauke.

Yason Ngelia, the secretary of GempaR stated that the arrests took place in two different locations where the students intended to commemorate the ‘International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples’. Three male activists named Andi Kahol, Beatus and Ruben as well as one female activist named Ronelly were arrested at Libra at 9.17 am. The arrest of ten other activists was reported at Mangga Dua. The local head of police confirmed that four activists were arrested because they conducted a public oration without having a ‘permit’.

 

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Police officers beat up two drivers in Sentani

Three members of the Jayapura District police have beaten up Raimond Penggu (33) and Viki Yikwanak (33) in Sentani near the old market, known as the ‘Pasar Lama’. On 30 July 2018 in the early morning hours, Raimond Penggu and Viki Yikwanak (image on the left) had driven to ‘Pasar Lama’ to meet some of their friends and eat together at a nearby restaurant. On the way back to the car, three police officers approached Raimond and Viki and began to punch and beat them with their rifle butts. According to the online media outlet ‘Suara Papua’, the police members had allegedly suspected the two drivers as the perpetrators in a theft case.

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Nationalist mass organisations attack Papuan student dormitory in Surabaya to force raising of Indonesian flag

The Papuan Student Alliance AMP has reported a further attack on the Papuan student dormitory in Surabaya, East Java Province. On 15 August 2018 at 11.30 am, approximately 30 members from multiple nationalist mass organisations (ORMAS) came to the Papuan student dormitory in Tampaksari District of Surabaya. At 12.30, a group of students asked a representative of the mass organisations to enter the dormitory and discuss the purpose of the visit. According to the head of the ORMAS groups, Basuki Rahmad, the group intended to raise the Indonesian flag in the dormitory front yard in preparation for the commemoration of the Indonesian Independence Day on 17 August. Subsequently, at least ten ORMAS members forced their way into the dormitory yard while the students were still talking with Mr. Rahmad.

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Lack of Facts and low standard of justice during military trial against perpetrators of extra-judicial killing – AHRC launches urgent appeal

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has launched an urgent appeal in relation to the prosecution of first Sergeant La Dili Wance, Abiatar Harri Katoar and Fredrik Pattiasina at the Military Court III-19 in Jayapura. The three military officers had unlawfully arrested and tortured Mr. Isak Dewayekua (23) on 18 November 2017 in Kimaam Village of Merauke Regency. The following day, Mr Dewayekua passed away due to the severe injuries which he sustained as a result of the torture. According to updated information from the Commission for the Disappeared and Victims of Violence (KontraS), the military trial failed to accumulate important facts and there are concerns regarding the low standards of justice applied by the military investigators and prosecutors.

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Five military members injured during accompaniment of electricity survey

A team of the national electricity company PLN (Perusahan Listrik Negara) consisting of eleven students, three technical engineers, three volunteers and 16 military members was attacked by members of the Papuan Liberation Army (TPN OPM) on 6 August 2018, as they wanted to survey the area around Kinou Village, in Wagemuka District of Paniai Regency, Papua Province. Around 10 am, a group of villagers and TPN members asked the team to cancel the survey activities, arguing that they had not coordinated the survey with the head of district and the village leaders. A subsequent discussion between military members, the resistance members and the villagers escalated into a brawl.

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Military operation in Nduga Regency - Indonesian human rights organisations concerned about attacks against civilians

Joint security forces have conducted a large scale military operation against an armed group of the Papuan Liberation Army (TPN) in the Papuan highland regency Nduga. The security forces allegedly fired automatic firearms and grenades from two helicopters. The attack occurred on 11 July 2018 in the afternoon and focused on the village Alguru, which the Indonesian military suspects as a stronghold of the local TPN. Media sources reported that the attack did not cause civilian victims. However, local human rights defenders shared information according to which villagers have fled into the surrounding forests and neighboring regencies. On 19 July, a group of 33 refugees from Nduga regency arrived in the city of Merauke. At least ten further refugees have reportedly fled to Timika city.

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Indigenous community in North Biak protests against aerospace project

The Indonesian aeronautics and space agency (LAPAN) has been planning the establishment of a space port in Northern Biak since 1980. During the ‘New Order’ era under the dictatorship of military General Suharto, the military forced the indigenous community in Saukobye to release their customary land to LAPAN. The ‘Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Desk of the Evangelical Church in Papua’ (JPIC-GKI) reported that the community now demanded the return of their ancestral land. A former military member tried to attack a GKI pastors and customary land rights holder who criticized LAPAN for lack of transparency and disrespecting FPIC principles during past negotiations over their ancestral land.

 

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Human Rights Update West Papua - covering April - June 2018

The second quarter of 2018 was characterized by a slight increase in the number of reported extra-judicial killings. Throughout the past quarters, this number varied between one and three cases. Local human rights defenders have now reported five such cases between April and June 2018. During this reporting period, there is a significantly high percentage of extra-judicial killings and torture cases which were related to the unnecessary and excessive use of firearms by the police and the military. This pattern indicates that security forces often fail to settle conflicts in a non-violent professional manner. Contrary to previous quarters, no cases of epidemic outbreaks or other health rights violations have been reported.

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More Articles...

  1. Intimidation of Papuan students in Surabaya – female student activist sexually assaulted by police officer
  2. Joint Statement: 20th Anniversary of the ‘Biak Massacre’, West Papua
  3. UN High commissioner questions invitation from Indonesian Government
  4. Brawl between Papuan students and nationalist mass organisation in Malang - Police fails to protect Papuan students' freedom of assembly
  5. Death threats against Papuan Human Rights Defender
  6. Amnesty International publishes new report on extra-judicial killings and impunity in West Papua
  7. Local elections in highland regencies Puncak Jaya and Nduga accompanied by violent clashes leaving 6 people dead
  8. Joint security forces allegedly kill indigenous Papuan during crowd control operation in Jayawijaya Regency
  9. Papuan pastor and villager ill-treated in Kaimana Regency
  10. Police and military collectively torture Papuan fisherman in Sorong
  11. Unlawful arrests reported from Timika – three Papuans prosecuted and ill-treated
  12. Right to Health in West Papua – report on UN Special Rapporteur mission to Indonesia published
  13. ALRC concerned about extra-judicial executions and ongoing impunity
  14. Australian Green Party underlines commitment for human rights situation in West Papua
  15. Military member kills indigenous Papuan in Yapen Island
  16. Conflict over customary land in Tambrauw Regency - Indigenous Mpur communities reject corn plantation company
  17. 14 indigenous Papuans arbitrarily arrest in Nimbontong District
  18. Greenpeace investigation reveals involvement of international companies in massive destruction of Papuan rainforest
  19. Yulianus Yeimo passed away – number of dead victims in the ‘Bloody Paniai Case' rises from four to five
  20. Police officers collectively ill-treat man and journalist during political debate in Nabire Regency
  21. Update on shooting in Mauwa - Gerry Goo succumbs to his injuries
  22. Indonesia and EU negotiate on free trade agreement - NGOs demand Palm oil to be excluded from trade
  23. Allegations regarding excessive use of force during military operation in Opitawak Village – at least one dead and two injured
  24. Solomon Islands Government delegation visits West Papua - Civil society groups concerned
  25. UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food closes Indonesia visit with end of mission statement – Situation in West Papua needs the Government’s serious attention
  26. Unprofessional behavior of security forces lead to shooting in Mauwa Village – two villagers sustain bullet injuries
  27. Human Rights Update West Papua - April 2018 (covering Jan-Mar 2018)
  28. UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food visits Indonesia
  29. Security forces unlawfully arrest 45 university students in Jayapura
  30. Police officer beats Papuan man at public hospital in Karubaga, Tolikara Regency

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