REPORT ON THE UNLAWFUL ARRESTS OF 648 WEST PAPUANS BETWEEN 28 - 31 MAY 2016

A. INTRODUCTION

This report is based on testimony collected on location by members of the West Papua National Committee (KNPB). The information has been verified by Jakarta Legal Aid Institute (LBH Jakarta) to be consistent with its own telephone witness interviews. The number of people arrested is consistent with local media reports. Some of the identities of the arrestees could not be obtained.

SUMMARY

On 31 May 2016, thousands of West Papuans conducted peaceful demonstrations simultaneously in Jayapura, Sentani, Wamena, Manokwari, Boven Digoel, Yalimo, Paniai, Yahukimo and Manado. The demonstrations were held in support of the ULMWP to be recognized as a full member of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG), to demand the release of all West Papua political prisoners and to ask the support of Africa Carribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries in West Papua struggle to freedom.

In total, 574 West Papuans were unlawfully arrested in just one day which is on 31 May 2016. The details are as follows: 455 people in Sentani, 112 people in Wamena, and 7 people in Manado. Children also got arrested in Sentani. Three people were beaten in Yahukimo. Protestors were tear-gassed and one person got shot with rubber bullet in Manado.

All were released which shows that the unlawful arrest was done to prevent West Papuans to express their opinions.

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MSG as possible peace platform for conflict resolution between West Papua and Indonesia

The people of West Papua have repeatedly voiced the demand for peace talks between West Papua and the Indonesian Central government since the beginning of the Indonesian reformation period. Various peace building initiatives, such as the road map created by the Papuan Peace Network JDP and the Indonesian Institute of Sciences LIPI, have so far failed to get both conflict parties on one table. A recent MSG meeting on 16 June brings new hope for peace in the long lasting conflict between both parties. The Melanesian Spearhead Group had invited a senior delegation from Indonesia and representatives of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua.

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REBUILDING AFTER COMMUNAL VIOLENCE: LESSONS FROM TOLIKARA, PAPUA

The first anniversary of an outbreak of communal violence in Tolikara, Papua is approaching, with a fragile reconciliation in place and many issues left unresolved. The “Tolikara Incident” on 17 July 2015 has been variously portrayed as an issue of religious intolerance (Christians toward Muslims), the product of indigenous-migrant tensions, and miscommunication. But to reduce it to one or two causes is to miss the point of the complexity of violence in Papua. It is all of the above and much more: poor governance, poor policing, corruption, isolation, and the residue of previous conflicts that have accumulated under the surface into a toxic mix. A campaign is now beginning to heat up for the election of district head in 2017 that could ignite old grievances. Among Tolikara’s many urgent needs is for the best police chief the country can offer but the likelihood of turning a remote post in Papua into a prize for the best and brightest is slim.

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Papua: Pricking our national conscience

Jakarta, Wed, May 18 2016

When outsiders think of Papua, it may be to puzzle over why protests there seem never-ending. They may assume the main frustrations of Papuans stem from poverty and lack of development.

That is true to some degree. However, the main reason is simpler and neatly illustrated by comparing two figures: In early May, 2,109 Papuan independence protesters were arrested by police – and that number is more than double the 1,025 who were press-ganged into legitimizing Indonesia’s rule of Papua through the 1969 “Act of Free Choice”.

Despite our embassy in the UK denying in The Guardian that the arrests took place, the Jakarta Legal Aid Institute documented them all, and holds the names of every one of the 2,109 demonstrators. Compare the figure with the 1,025 who cast ballots in what Papuans refer to as the “Act of No Choice”, out of an estimated population of 800,000 at that time.

This is the historical reality that underpins today’s grievances about state violence, environmental degradation and suppression of free speech in Papua. Until it is addressed, the protests will continue and the numbers will continue to add up. As of May the figure stands at 2,282 peaceful demonstrators detained by police, according to the institute’s records.

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Unlawful Mass Arrests of 326 West Papuans between May 28 and May 31, 2016

To the attention of:
Mr. Maina Kiai,
UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association

Mr. David Kaye
UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression

 

This urgent appeal provides updated information on growing tensions in West Papua, which have resulted in an increase of cases of arbitrary arrest and torture, as described in a previous urgent appeal on Unlawful Mass Arrests of at least 1,783 West Papuans in April and early May 2016, submitted by the International Coalition of Papua (ICP), Jakarta Legal Aid Institute (LBH Jakarta), Franciscans International (FI)1 on May 17, 2016. The record high of mass arrests including the use of torture and ill-treatment of peaceful political protesters is related to growing political tensions in West Papua2 due to increasing popularity for the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP – a political organisation of West Papua outside Indonesia) amongst many Papuans.

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Urgent Appeal - Unlawful Mass Arrests of at least 1,783 West Papuans in April and May 2016

To the attention of:
Mr. Maina Kiai,
UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association

Mr. David Kaye
UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression

 

Introduction

A record high of mass arrests including the use of torture and ill-treatment of peaceful political protesters related to political aspirations for West Papua1 took place in early May in different parts of Indonesia, mostly in West Papua. This urgent appeal provides updated information on growing tensions in West Papua, which have resulted in an increase of cases of arbitrary arrest and torture, as described in a previous urgent appeal on the torture and extrajudicial execution of Arnold Alua in Wamena on April 24/25, 2016, submitted by Franciscans International on May 3, 2016. We are writing to you on behalf of the International Coalition of Papua (ICP), Jakarta Legal Aid Institute (LBH Jakarta), Franciscans International (FI), Westpapua-Netzwerk (WPN), VIVAT International-Indonesia, Geneva For Human Rights (GHR) – Global Training, Jubi Association, Sekretariat Keadilan, Perdamaian dan Keutuhan Ciptaan Fransiskan Papua (SKPKC Papua), Aliansi Demokrasi Untuk Papua (ALDP), Jaringan Kerja Rakyat Papua (JERAT Papua), Jaringan HAM Perempuan Papua (TIKI), Papua Customary Council (DAP), Indonesia’s NGO Coalition for International Human Rights Advocacy (HRWG – Indonesia) in relation to the unlawful arrests of at least 1,783 persons, mostly indigenous West Papuans, between 25 April and 2 May 2016.

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Aftermath of the IPWP meeting in the United Kingdom

On May 2 and 3, 2016, parliamentarians, lawyers and activists from different European countries and several Pacific states, including Australia and New Zealand, participated in an international West Papua advocacy meeting in the United Kingdom. The International Parliamentarians for West Papua (IPWP) held the event to discuss common steps for future advocacy on West Papua. Among the participants were the Prime Minister of Tonga and a governor from Papua New Guinea as well as Vanuatu Minister for Land and Resources, Ralph Regenvanu. The meeting drew attention of the national media, because some high-ranking British politicians, including opposition leader and head of the Labor party Jeremy Corbyn, had attended the meeting. The most important outcome of the two-days event was the so-called "Westminster Declaration", in which the IPWP members collectively rejected the "Act of Free Choice" from 1969 as clear violation of the right to self-determination.

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Delegation of 20 Bishops from the Pacific Region visit West Papua

Bishops from Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands have participated in the 57th Annual General Meeting (AGM) between April 4 and 15, 2016, in Vanimo. During the two weeks conference a delegation of 20 bishops also visited Jayapura, where they met with bishops from West Papua to discuss ways and means of future cooperation between the dioceses in West Papua, PNG and Solomon Islands. The bishops crossed the PNG-Indonesian border under military escort in a vehicle convoy across.

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Press Release - The Poorness of Indonesia's Forest Management

May 19th, 2016

At the end of April 2015, Ministry of Forestry and Environment (LHK Ministry) issued: (1) letter no. 5/1/PP-LKH/K/2015 on Principal Agreement of Forest Area Concession that can be converted into oil palm plantation to PT. Mega Mustika Plantation in Sorong District, West Papua province for an area of 9.168 hectares; and (2) letter No. 6/1/PP-LKH/K/2015 on Principal Agreement of Forest Area Concession that can be converted into oil palm plantation to PT. Cipta Papua Plantation in Sorong district, West Papua for an area of 15.310 hectares.

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Report From LBH Jakarta On The Unlawful Arrests Of 1,783 West Papuans Between 25 April - 2 May 2016

A. INTRODUCTION

This report is based on testimony collected on location by members of the West Papua National Committee (KNPB), Papuan Students Alliance (AMP) and United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP). The information has been verified by Jakarta Legal Aid Institute (LBH Jakarta) to be consistent with its own telephone witness interviews. The number of people arrested on 2 May 2016 has little difference with local media reports due to the high number of arrestees. The rest is consistent with local media reports. Until the report is made, some names have not been obtained yet due to the high number of arrestees.

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More Articles...

  1. Police Officers try to Stop Papuan Journalist from Taking Pictures of Demonstration
  2. Police Officers try to Stop Papuan Journalist from Taking Pictures of Demonstration (2)
  3. Ceremony and pomp in Papua
  4. Punks for West Papua documentary released
  5. Indonesia's Forgotten Political Prisoners
  6. Indonesian House of Representatives Criticizes Government for Lacking Initiative Towards Separatism in West Papua
  7. Solomon Islands' Statement on Human Rights Situation in West papua during 31st Session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva
  8. Is the Pacific’s solidarity for Papua on the rise?
  9. Urgent Appeal - Health Crisis in Nduga Regency
  10. Update Papua Roadmap - New LIPI Press Release
  11. US Ambassador Robert Blake Visits West Papua
  12. German Human Rights Commissioner Visits West Papua
  13. Indonesian Government Plans Ambitious Road and Railroad Project in West Papua
  14. HRW releases Report on Media Freedom in Papua
  15. 54 Children Have Died of Infectious Disease in Nduga Regency During Past Months
  16. Indonesian Military Members Shoot Palm Oil Laborer in Keerom Regency
  17. Killings, Arrests and Torture Overshadow the 54th Commemoration of 1st December in West Papua
  18. Urgent Appeal - Indonesia: Killings, torture, mass arrests and excessive use of force against Papuans commemorating 1 December
  19. Filep Karma released from jail
  20. ICP Releases New Human Rights Report 2015
  21. Food estate project may turn Papua into forest fire hotbed
  22. The young Papuans risking life and limb in the name of resistance
  23. Tell Obama to Support Human Rights in West Papua
  24. Haze crisis spreads with hot spots found in Papua
  25. Pacific Island Forum To Seek Fact-Finding Mission to West Papua
  26. France urged to comply with UN decolonisation process
  27. Papua now on Pacific radar
  28. Papuan church leaders respond to Tolikara incident
  29. West Papua MSG Observer - Indonesia's status elevated
  30. AI Urgent Action: Papuan activists detained and charged

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