Fourth Update on trials and detentions after Anti-Racism Riots in West Papua

This article provides an overview on trials related to Papua-wide anti-racism protests between late August and late September 2019 as well as the subsequent wave of criminalisation against human rights defenders and political activists. The International Coalition for Papua summarised earlier stages of the legal proceedings and detentions in previous articles (first update, second update; third update). The following article covers recent developments in relation to the anti-racism riots between mid-January 2020 and early February.

 

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Trial update on killing of Govt contractors in Nduga Regency – Lawyers request forensic examination of defendant’s teeth

A trial against a first suspect in the killing of road workers in the Regency of Nduga  has been ongoing at the Central Jakarta District Court since 6 January 2020. The Government contractors were killed by members of the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPN PB) in early December 2018. The defendant, Mispo Gwijangge is an indigenous farmer from the regency of Nduga. He has been charged with article 340 of the Indonesian Criminal Code (KUHP) in conjunction with article 55 (1) KUHP on involvement in premeditated murder. His lawyers again raised concerns about multiple shortcomings in the police investigation during trial. Mispo Gwijangge, who hardly understands the Indonesian language, was arbitrarily arrested and subsequently interrogated without the presence of lawyers or translators. He denies any involvement in the killings.

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Freedom of speech in West Papua under threat – police presses charges against student for Facebook post on Sugapa Shooting

Members of the Cybercrime Unit of the Papua Regional Police (Polda Papua) arrested a twenty-eight-year-old Papuan student in the town of Nabire. Melianus Duwitau had allegedly uploaded a post on his Facebook account (account name: Mel PKN), in which he questioned the veracity of a public statement by the Polda Papua Chief, Paulus Waterpauw, regarding the recent shooting in the town of Sugapa, Intan Jaya Regency. Duwitau’s lawyers claim that the police officers failed to show a warrant at the time of arrest, as required under provisions of the Indonesian Criminal Procedure Code (KUHAP). The police pressed criminal charges against Duwitau for alleged violation of article 45A (2) in conjunction with article 28 (2) of Law No 19/2016 regarding changes of Law 11/2011 on Electronic Information and Transaction (ITE Law). The articles regulate the criminal offense of hate speech and carry a maximum penalty of six years imprisonment.

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Update on killing of Govt contractors in Nduga Regency - Trial against defendant launched in Jakarta

More than one year has passed since West Papua National Liberation Army (TPN-PB) members killed a group of road workers in the Papuan highland regency of Nduga. On 6 January 2019, a trial against Mispo Gwijangge was launched at the Central Jakarta District Court. The defendant originates from Suwenem Village in the Yigi District, Nduga Regency, where he helped his parents by working in the garden. Police officers arrested Mispo Gwijangge and two other suspects at the Sinakma Market in the regency of Jayawijaya on 10 May 2019, after he fled from his village to the highland town of Wamena. He was detained and charged with article 340 of the Indonesian Criminal Code (KUHP) in conjunction with article 55 (1) KUHP on involvement in premeditated murder, punishable with a maximum sentence of 20 years imprisonment or capital punishment. The public prosecution also charged him with a number of other criminal charges, among them articles 338 KUHP on homicide, 351 on ill-treatment and 333 on deprivation of someone's liberty. The other two suspects were released without charges. Mispo Gwijangge denies any involvement in the killing of PT Istaka employees on 4 December 2018.

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One indigenous civilian killed and two injured in Sugapa – 15 villages in Intan Jaya Regency reportedly affected by internal displacement

A military operation has been taking place in the regency of Intan Jaya after two military members were killed by members of the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPN PB) on 17 December 2019. The Office for Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation of the Papuan Tabernacle Church (JPIC Kingmi Papua) reported further armed clashes between Indonesian Military Forces (TNI) and the TPN PB on 26 January 2020 in the district of Sugapa, Intan Jaya Regency. TNI members allegedly shot dead a motorcycle taxi driver named Bugalebega Kobogau (27 years). According to information received, Mr Kobogau ran outside after he heard nearby shots and was shot in his front yard. He died as a result of a head shot. It is believed that the assault was conducted with a sniper rifle – the projectile smashed large parts of the victim’s head (see Intro Image).

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Constitutional Court rejects request to review law on formation of Irian Barat Province

On 12 April 2019, a group of Papuan civil society representatives, the Papuan Tabernacle Church (KINGMI Papua) and the Papuan Women Solidarity (SPP) officially registered an application for the annulment of certain sections in No. 12 of the year 1969 on the formation of the autonomy province Irian Barat (nowadays consisting of the provinces Papua and Papua Barat) to the Indonesian Constitutional Court. The applicants argued that those parts of the law referring to the implementation of the Act of Free Choice (PEPERA) contradict the human rights principles as stipulated in the 1945 Constitution of the Republic of Indonesia. The annulment of these sections would have a significant meaning for the people of Papua to rectify the history of Papua integration into the Republic of Indonesia.

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Third Update on trials and detentions after anti-racism riots in West Papua

This article provides an overview on trials related to Papua-wide anti-racism protests between late August and late September 2019 as well as the subsequent wave of criminalisation against human rights defenders and political activists. The International Coalition for Papua summarised earlier stages of the legal proceedings and detentions in previous articles (first update, second update). The following article covers recent developments in relation to the anti-racism riots between mid-December 2019 and 22 January 2020.

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