ULMWP Chairman hands independence petition to UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

The chairman of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP), Beni Wenda, has delivered a petition on self-determination to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet. On 25 January 2019, Beni Wenda met the high commissioner in Geneva, Switzerland, as part of a delegation representing the Pacific island state of Vanuatu. According to the ULMWP, the petition was signed by more than 1.8 million West Papuans and expresses their wish for decolonization of the Indonesian Provinces of Papua and Papua Barat.

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Three KNPB activists charged with treason – Human rights lawyers file pre-trial

A coalition of Papuan human rights organisations and human rights lawyers have filed a pre-trial to the District court in Timika in response to the unlawful arrest and subsequent criminalisation of three  activists of the West Papua National Committee (KNPB). On 31 December 2018, joint security forces raided the KNPB office in Timika and arrested the six KNPB activists who had organised a worship ceremony (see image on the left). On 7 January 2019, three KNPB activists: Mr. Yanto Awerkion, Mr. Sem Asso, and Mr. Edo Dogopia were called for further questioning. The three activists were then arrested and transferred to the city of Jayapura on 8 January 2019, where they were charged with treason. They remain in detention awaiting trial.

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Human Rights Update West Papua – January 2019, covering October - December 2018

The last quarter of 2018 was characterized by a significant increase in reported political arrests and cases of torture and illtreatment. Police forces conducted mass arrests during various peaceful assemblies. Commemorations were organised in different areas of Indonesia, including Sulawesi Island, Java, Bali and the Moluccans. This indicates that peaceful political activity among civil society not only in West Papua but also in other parts of Indonesia was on the rise by the end of 2018, while police forces continued to severely limit freedom of assembly and freedom of expression for groups that challenge Indonesia’s unitary state doctrine. The increase in cases of torture and ill-treatment should be observed in direct correlation to the growing number of reported political arrests. Police forces continue to use excessive force against protesters and people documenting the abuses. The ICP is so far not aware of any of these cases being further investigated.

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