Papuan Youth Church Leaders condemn actions of military regarding the killing of Pastor Zanambani

The West Papua Christian Youth Forum has publicly condemned the actions of the army and the police who carried out the shooting of Pastor Yerimia Zanambani in Intan Jaya. "The shooting of this Pastor is the third time this has happened. Pastor Elisa Tabuni was shot dead in Puncak Jaya on 16 August, 2004, Pastor Geyimin Nirigi was shot dead on 19 December 2018 in Mapenduma district, and Pastor Yerimias Zanambani, S.Th was also shot dead by the Army on Saturday 19 September 2020. So, up to now, when the Army has carried out the shooting, it is never resolved. We hope for justice on this land", said the Head of the Youth of the GKI Church in West Papua, Pastor Edison Sekenyap.

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Students launch petition against prolongation of Papuan special autonomy in Manado – Police reacts with road blocks and tear gas

Police officers have prevented Papuan students from conducting a peaceful assembly in the city of Manado, North Sulawesi Province, on 21 September 2020. The students wanted to launch a petition against the prolongation of the Papuan Special Autonomy and for the right to self-determination of the Papuan people. The officers set up roadblocks (see intro image, source: Suara Papua) in three different locations around the Papuan student dormitory in Manado, preventing students from other cities in North Sulawesi to enter the dormitory. The Manado Legal Aid Institute (LBH Manado) and the students tried in vain to convince the police officers to allow the peaceful assembly. The officers dispersed the crowd with teargas as some of the protesters attempted to overcome the police barriers.


Police officer in Manokwari prevents lawyers from meeting with defendants

The obstruction of lawyers visiting suspects and defendants during detention continues to be among the most common offenses against human rights defenders in West Papua. The Manokwari Institute for Research Study and Development of Legal Aid (LP3BH Manokwari) has recently reported an incident in which a police officer named Andi Sudirman prevented three LP3BH Manokwari lawyers from meeting with two of their clients. On 16 September 2020, Thresje Julianty Gasperzs, Karel Sineri and Bruce Labobar came to the Papua Barat Regional Police (Polda Papua Barat) headquarters in Manokwari to discuss the further trial process with the two defendants.


Verdict in treason trial in Sorong - Ten months imprisonment for eleven Papuan activists

On 17 September 2020, the panel of judges at the Sorong District Court found eleven Papuan activists guilty of criminal conspiracy as stipulated under the article 110 of the Indonesian Criminal Code (KUHP) (see intro image). The public prosecutor sought a sentence of 16 months for Daniel Jitmau, Paulus Syama, Lukas Nauw, Simon Aifat, Berto Tomow, Frengky Nauw, Lukas Smass, Marlinda Mangko, Silvester Nauw, Wilson Kofias and Jhosua Kingho. All defendants were arrested on 27 November 2019, after planning a public event through which they allegedly supported the establishment of the separate state ‘West Papua New Guinea’. The police found banners, flags and stickers with the Morning Star during the arrest.


Indonesia must inform on allegations of extra-judicial killings in West Papua #PapuanLivesMatter

The UN Human Rights Committee is requesting the Indonesian government to provide information about the alleged extra-judicial killings by security force members in the provinces of Papua and West Papua. The Human Rights Committee (CCPR), the body that monitors implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), has adopted the List of Issues prior to Reporting (LOIPR) of Indonesia at its 129th session (29 June to 24 July). More specifically, the Committee is asking for the number of victims of extra-judicial executions disaggregated by ethnicity, in particular indigenous Papuans, and the reparations provided to the victims' families. 

The International Coalition for Papua (ICP) has documented the extra-judicial killings of 33 civilian victims by security force members throughout the year 2019. All the victims, except one, were ethnic Papuans. The list of 33 documented victims does not include victims of extra-judicial killings during the forceful dispersal of a protest against racism and the subsequent outbreak of ethnic violence in the town of Wamena, Jayawijaya regency, on 23 September 2019. Investigations into the case are still ongoing. According to data published by the police, 33 persons were killed (25 non-Papuans and 8 Papuans) during the riots. However, non-government sources allege that the riots have cost the lives of 41 people, from which sixteen were ethnic Papuans. Data show that the majority of them died as a result of bullet injuries indicating a high possibility of extra-judicial killings by security force members during the crackdown.


Papuan activists reimburse Veronica Koman's scholarship funds to the Indo govt

The Ebamukai Solidarity Movement/Team has collected donations to reimburse the scholarship funds which the Indonesian Education Fund Management Institution (LPDP) provided for Veronica Koman’s law study in Australia. The movement has managed to collect donations for an amount of IDR 773,876,918 (about € 44.144) after the LPDP urged Koman to repay the funds. The Executive Director of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP), Markus Haluk, explained in an interview with the media outlet Jubi that the funds were raised within days and the donations came from Papuan government representatives, politicians, activists, entrepreneurs and Veronika Koman’s relatives. On 16 September 2020, the former political prisoners Ambrosius Mulait and Dano Tabuni, together with the human rights lawyer, Michael Himan, went to the office of the LPDP in Jakarta (see intro image, source: Suara Papua) to return the funds together with an Indonesian flag. They also symbolically returned the Papua Special Autonomy Fund in the form of one million rupiahs (about € 57).


Indigenous Papuan allegedly tortured during police custody in Merauke – Suspect shortly after dies in health centre

Relatives demand justice for the death of Michael Ipnun (see intro image). Michael was involved in a traffic accident near the village of Sarmayam in the Tanah Miring District on 21 September 2020. According to information received, he was sitting on the back of a motorcycle as the crash occurred. Around 7.30 pm, police officers took Michael Ipnun into custody shortly after regaining consciousness after the crash. Subsequently, the officers detained him at the Sarmayam Police post and later brought him to the Tanah Miring Sub-district police station where Michael was interrogated.

The relatives stated that they found bruises all over his body which appeared not to be related to the traffic accident. Moreover, Michael Ipnun’s wrists, feet and neck showed marks indicating that Michael’s extremities had been tied up. According to the director of the Justice and Peace Department (JPIC) of the Arch-Diocese Merauke, Father Anselmus Amo, three villages witnessed how Michael Ipnun’s arms, legs and neck were tied to a chair at the Sarmayam Police post.


Joint security forces kill three indigenous Papuans near Freeport Mine in Mimika

The ICP has received credible information regarding the killing of Mrs Demiana Wanmang, 25, Mr Demu Kiwak, 28, and Mr Uterus Newegalen, 18. This happened at Mile 69, an illegal gold panning site near the Grasberg Mine which is operated by PT Freeport Indonesia in the Tembagapura district of the Mimika regency. On 16 August 2020, joint security force members of the Tindak Nemangkawi Task Force opened fire at the group of four gold panners. Three of them died instantly as a result of the fatal bullet wounds. The task force members likely mistook the group for members of the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPN PB). A similar incident already occurred on 13 April 2020, as military members shot dead Eden Armando Bebari and Ronny Wandik at Mile 34, where the two men were fishing.


Papuan Pastor Yerimia Zanambani killed in Intan Jaya

Another extra-judicial execution has reportedly occurred in the highland regency of Intan Jaya, Papua Province, on 19 September 2020. According to the Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Desk of the Papuan Tabernacle Church (Kingmi Papua), members of the Yonif 711/RKS/Brigif 22/OTA, DAM XIII/MDK Military Unit killed the 68-year-old Pastor Yerimia Zanambani (see intro image). The killing happened near Bomba, a small village in the Hitadipa District. Rev Zanambani was a pastor and bible translator working for the Protestant Evangelical Church in Indonesia (GKII).

However, the military representative Captain Kogabwihan Suriastawa declared in an interview with the national news outlet Kompas, that members of the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPN PB) allegedly killed the pastor.  He explained that the TPN PB aimed to draw attention to the armed conflict in West Papua shortly before the annual United Nations General Assembly in late September 2020. Human rights defenders claim that this inaccurate information. They explained that the Indonesian military (TNI) is distributing false information about the incident to seek the support of the public and protect their members from being prosecuted. They stated that the scenario described by the TNI representative is highly unlikely because Rev Zanambani was an indigenous Papuan and well-respected pastor in his congregation. His pastoral activities were an enrichment for the entire congregation, including for those community members affiliated with the TPN PB.


Conflict tension increases in Intan Jaya Regency

The conflict situation in the remote highland regency Intan Jaya has become significantly more tense during the past days. Human rights defenders have observed military (TNI) members repeatedly approaching primary and middle schools in Intan Jaya’s major town Sugapa to monitor Papuan pupils who appeared to support the right to political self-determination in West Papua. Moreover, the ICP received credible information according to which military members documented the identities of these pupils and interrogated them after school. The human rights defenders claim that the monitoring activities have been ongoing since early August 2020. The most recent monitoring activity was reported from a middle school in Sugapa on 5 September 2020 (see into image and image on the right).


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