Labour Union files lawsuit against Freeport Indonesia and Department of Manpower and Transmigration

The Federation of Chemical, Energy and Mining Workers of the Indonesian Labour Union (PC FSP KEP SPSI) in Mimika regency has filed a lawsuit against Freeport Indonesia (PT FI) and the Indonesian Department of Manpower and Transmigration (Disnakertrans) in the administrative court in Jayapura. The workers union will be represented in court by the Papuan Legal Aid Institute (LBH Papua). The lawsuit is one of multiple initiatives of former Freeport workers who were dismissed by PT FI after the company introduced a “furlough program” in February 2017. According to a report by the Indonesian NGO Lokataru, approximately 12,000 permanent workers and 20,000 contract workers were laid off. A few months later, PT FI reportedly fired around 4,200 workers participating in a strike against the furlough program.


Police officers arbitrarily arrest and torture suspect in Keerom Regency

On 4 July 2020, members of the Keerom District Police reportedly arrested and tortured Yudi Kwimi in the Arso district. His relatives claim that the arrest rather resembled a kidnapping than a lawful arrest. Three civil vehicles allegedly approached Yudi Kwimi in the Kwimi Village around 4.00 pm, and four plainclothes police officers jumped out of the cars and immediately handcuffed Yudi. One officer covered Yudi Kwimi’s mouth to prevent him from shouting. The officers then lifted Yudi into the back of a pick-up truck. As one of the relatives tried to help Yudi Kwimi, an officer reportedly kicked him and told him at gunpoint to back off. According to the relatives, the officers did not show a warrant and failed to provide any reason for the arrest.


Students in Malang, Makassar and Bali demand the investigation of human rights violations in WP – two demonstrations dispersed

Members of the Papuan Student Alliance (AMP) and the Indonesian Peoples’ Front for West Papua (FRI-WP) organised peaceful protests in the Indonesian cities Denpasar (Bali), Makassar (South Sulawesi) and Malang (East Java). The demonstrations in Bali and Makassar were dispersed by local police forces. The protests were launched in commemoration of West Papua’s independence proclamation by the Free West Papua Organisation (OPM) on 1 July 1971 and the Biak massacre on 6 July 1998. The latter is one of many past gross human rights violations in West Papua, whose processing by a human rights court is still pending.


Merdeka Secretariat's Solidarity Month for West Papua

On July 1, the Merdeka Secretariat launched the solidarity month for West Papua which aims to intensify the online and offline information drive on the issues in West Papua. At the same time, according to the Merdeka Secretariat, the solidarity month will be used to explain the political as well as economic agenda behind the consistent criminalisation and repression of the Papuan people and their supporters. There are different educational activities lined up for the month, such as a webinar series and short video clips on current events in West Papua.


KNPB Chairman and minor arbitrarily arrested in Maybrat

The Papuan news outlet Suara Papua reported that members of the Sorong Selatan District Police arbitrarily arrested the Chairman of the West Papua National Committee (KNPB) branch office in Maybrat regency, Adam Sorry (see intro image, source: Suara Papua). Other KNPB members who witnessed the arrest claimed that the police officers tortured many KNPB members and released warning shots during the arrest. The police officers did not show a warrant or provided information regarding the reason for the arrest. The KNPB suspects that the police are attempting to criminalise the KNPB Chairman for the murder of a mobile brigade police officer in the regency of Bintuni. Previously, police officers targeted other KNPB branch offices during widespread raids in the Maybrat regency.


Human Rights Update West Papua - 2nd Quarter 2020

The most significant events in the second quarter of 2020 were the outcomes in multiple trials against Papuan activists who had been prosecuted for the participation or the organisation of protests against racism in August and September 2019. Notably, the trial against the 'Balikpapan 7' drew the attention of Papuan civil society and international human rights observers as the public prosecutor demanded sentences of 5 to 17 years for the defendants. Religious leaders and other civil society actors in West Papua feared further outbreaks of riots if the seven activists had been sentenced with such high penalties. In comparison to other trials in Jayapura, Jakarta, Manokwari and Sorong, the demanded sentences for the defendants were disproportionately high. The lawyers representing the protesters at court stated that many of the hearings did not meet the standards of a fair and impartial trial. Fabricated evidence, prioritisation of police reports over court testimonies and deliberate changes in the established agenda were only a few shortcomings. Moreover, the lawyers claimed that the decision to conduct the trials via video conference turned out to affect the exercise of their mandate negatively. The public was excluded from trials.


At least 33 victims of extra-judicial killings in West Papua throughout 2019

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 victims were reportedly unarmed and – except for a single case – ethnic Papuans. This finding is an indication of the continuing pattern of state violence, violations of the right to life and the persistent racial discrimination which indigenous Papuans face in Indonesia. The list 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 on 23 September 2019. Investigations into the case are still ongoing. We demand Indonesian authorities to immediately conduct independent, impartial and effective investigations into these cases. All perpetrators should be brought to justice at civilian courts through fair and transparent trials, as stipulated in international human rights treaties.

Download and share the 2-page PDF! #PapuansLivesMatter



NTB Regional Police allegedly forced a student to make false video statement about West Papua

A video published on YouTube has revealed a further case of media manipulation in the context of West Papua. The video was published on 25 June 2020 and shows the statement of a boy introducing himself as Bertus from Wamena, who studies in the city of Mataram, Lombok, Nusa Tenggara Barat province. In the video message, Bertus encourages all Papuans to love the Unitary State of Indonesia (Negara Kesatuan Republik Indonesia, NKRI). The video was shared by the Public Relations Department of the Nusa Tenggara Barat Regional Police (Polda NTB) on Instagram to promote the Indonesian unitary state doctrine and counter media information in support of political self-determination for West Papua.


Papuan Council of Churches: the heart of the Papuan problem is racism and injustice

On 5 July 2020, the Papuan Council Of Churches (WPCC) released the following statement titled:  "Indonesian Special Autonomy Development for the Welfare of the Papuan People is Dead". The press release reads as follows:

Observing Jakarta's recent activities, unilaterally designing Special Autonomy Papua Volume II in order to avoid public pressure related to the racism in the Surabaya Student Dormitory and the consequent reverberations in Papua which have begun to cause movements at the grassroots, we need to remember that the direction and framework of the development of the Indonesian State in Papua have been imbued with ethnic superiority from the beginning. Since 1963, the existence of the Indonesian State has been stimulated by racial discrimination and therefore the fall of the authoritarian regime of Suharto as president of the Republic of Indonesia in 1998 provided a good opportunity and a breath of fresh air for the awakening of all Papuans, the demanding of political rights to independence and to leave the Republic of Indonesia.


#MakeWestPapuaSafe aims to stop foreign government support for Indonesian police

The Make West Papua Safe (MWPS) Campaign was launched in December 2018 with the aim to stop, or at least review, foreign government support to the Indonesian police and military, which the activists supporting the campaign believe to be creating more effective human rights abusers. Successive reports by the International Coalition for Papua, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Tapol, and their Papuan partners, all establish that the Indonesian security forces have become an obstacle to peace with justice in West Papua. Instead of protecting West Papuans – who ostensibly are Indonesian citizens with the same constitutional rights to freedom of speech as people in Java – the Indonesian police and military kill, jail, torture and beat ordinary Papuans, often for no other reason than being black and identifying as Papuan (Amnesty International Indonesia 2018).


More Articles...

  1. Sign ETAN's Petition: Free West Papua Political Prisoners
  2. Ninth update on trials and detentions after anti-racism riots in West Papua
  3. Press Release - #PapuanLivesMatter: West Papua Network and United Evangelical Mission urge the Indonesian government to end racism against indigenous Papuans
  4. #MakeWestPapuaSafe Campaign organizes webinar about Balikpapan 7 with Sarah Thompson
  5. Pusaka Press Release: Urging the State and Corporations to Protect and Respect Environmental Human Rights Defenders in Papua
  6. Update on trial against 23 defendants in Fakfak arrested during 1st December Commemorations and accused of treason and criminal conspiracy
  7. TAPOL regrets Court sentencing of ‘Balikpapan Seven’ political prisoners
  8. Update on trial against ‘Balikpapan 7’ – Judges sentence Papuan activists to ten and eleven months imprisonment
  9. Corona prevention policies increase violence – Security force members leave three indigenous Papuans injured in Paniai
  10. Police officers arrest four students during peaceful assembly in support of Balikpapan 7
  11. Papuan Parliament, MRP and religious leaders criticise injustice and demand release of ‘Balikpapan 7’
  12. Series of attacks against human rights defenders advocating for human rights in West Papua
  13. Theo Hesegem's views on the #BlackLivesMatter #PapuanLivesMatter Campaign
  14. Statement by Papua's religious leaders on the trial against 7 Papuan defendants at the Balikpapan District Court
  15. Yones Douw talks about the #BlackLivesMatter Campaign in West Papua
  16. Update: Trial on internet blockage in West Papua – Administrative Court rules President and Minister acted unlawfully
  17. Eighth update on trials and detentions after anti-racism riots in West Papua
  18. Attorney General rejects the Paniai Case files again for further processing
  19. Papua Police Chief presses charges against KNPB member in Mimika – suspect injured during arrest
  20. Police officers disperse residents with water cannon in Jayapura - one person dead
  21. CC TV records police officers torturing suspect in Mimika Regency
  22. Allegations of enforced disappearance in Intan Jaya - Two indigenous Papuans reported missing
  23. Papuan student arrested for Facebook post – Police press charges
  24. Freeport operating with reduced workforce due to increase of COVID-19 cases
  25. Korindo palm oil plantation calls police to settle land dispute – One indigenous Papuan dies as a result of torture
  26. Update, The Jakarta Six: Cancellation of release
  27. Police investigator in Sorong Selatan prevents lawyers from meeting with detainees
  28. Update: Number of Covid-19 cases in Papua rise to 301
  29. Residents reject construction of a military base in Tambrauw
  30. Human Rights Update West Papua - 1st Quarter 2020