New IPAC Report available: COVID-19 and Conflict in West Papua

The Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict has published a new short briefing report with the title “COVID-19 and Conflict in West Papua”. The report was released on 13 April 2020 and describes the dispute over COVID-19 policies between local Governments in West Papua and the central Government against the background of the aggravating armed conflict in Indonesia’s eastern-most provinces.

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Trade Minister revokes timber licensing for wood export – Papuan Forest under threat

In February 2020, the Indonesian Trade Minister, Agus Suparmanto, signed ministerial regulation No. 15/2020 regarding provisions on the export of industrial forestry products. The new regulation revokes former ministerial regulation No. 84/2016, and with it the legal requirement to verify any timber for export through a verification certificate (V-legal) which proves that the wood was not logged illegally. It will enter into force on 27 May 2020. The trade ministry intends to simplify the verification process for small-scale and middle-size timber producers in order to increase the timber export. This change in policy will have a strong impact on regions that are home to the last primary rain forests in Indonesia, like West Papua. Environmental groups fear that the regulation will accelerate illegal logging and timber trade.

 

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TAPOL denounces sentences handed to Jakarta Six

(London, 24 April 2020) TAPOL denounces the sentencing by the district court of Central Jakarta which found six political prisoners guilty of treason today and demands their immediate release. Paulus Suryanta Ginting, Ambrosius Mulait, Ariana Elopere, Dano Tabuni, and Charles Kossay were sentenced to nine months imprisonment, whereas Isay Wenda was sentenced to eight months imprisonment.

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Amnesty Indonesia: Urge the Government to Immediately Protect the Rights of Health Workers!

Finally the Indonesian government is planning to distribute 105.000 protection materials to a number of hospitals and health services. However, these protection materials are prioritized in a way that gives focus on Java and Bali, Please help us to pressurize this distribution plan in a just and even manner through the whole country.

Medical staff, health workers and other people servicing the healthcare are in the frontline against COVID-19, but it is precisely their health and welfare that are being neglected.

24 doctors and 6 nurses have already died because they were infected during their duty with COVID-19 of exhaustion and long working hours. Who knows how many more will have the same fate.

Two health workers from the Dr Soekardjo Hospital in Tasikmalaya were forced to use a plastic raincoat when transferring people suspected of having the virus.

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Seventh update on trials and detentions after anti-racism riots in West Papua

This article provides an overview of 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, fourth update, fifth update, sixth update). The following article covers recent developments in relation to the riots throughout April 2020.

Update on the situation of seven Papuan political detainees in Kalimantan
The trial against the seven defendants Fery Kombo, Alexander Gobay, Hengki Hilapok, Buchtar Tabuni, Irwanus Uropmabin, Stevanus Itlay and Agus Kossay at the Balikpapan District Court is still ongoing. The trial was temporarily interrupted due to the growing number of Corona infections in Indonesia and re-launched on 13 April 2020. The judges decided that the trial process should continue through teleconference sessions. An online court session on 20 April 2020 was stopped because of technical difficulties and rescheduled on 22 April 2020 with the examination of witnesses and experts.

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Update on Corona Pandemic in West Papua – Number of infections rise to 137

The number of confirmed Coronavirus infections in West Papua has risen to 137, as of 22 April 2020. Thirteen cases have been reported from the Province of Papua Barat, in the cities Sorong and Manokwari as well as from the Teluk Bintui Regency. The virus has already spread to at least ten regencies in the Province of Papua and its largest city, Jayapura. So far, 33 patients in the province of Papua have recovered while seven have died of the virus. The majority of Covid-19 cases were found in Jayapura and the Mimika Regency, both located in the Papua Province (see table below). The provincial government in Papua reacted to the rising number of infections and extended large-scale social restrictions until 6 May 2020. According to Papuan Vice Governor, Klemen Tinal, Papua was ranked sixth in terms of the number of Corona cases in Indonesia as of 23 April 2020.

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Police operation in Maybrat Regency accompanied by arrests and torture

Police forces conducted a large-scale operation between 15 and 23 April 2020 in the regency of Maybrat, Papua Barat Province. According to news outlet Suarapapua.com, mobile brigade police officers (Brimob) searched houses and carried out arrests in multiple villages. They particularly targeted members and facilities of the West Papua National Committee (KNPB). A local lawmaker in Maybrat regency stated that the raid was carried out in response to the killing of a police officer of the Papua Barat Regional Police (Polda Papua Barat). The perpetrator allegedly seized the officer’s firearm and ammunition. After the raid, military members reportedly collected information from residents in Maybrat’s largest town Kumerkek. The police raid resulted the internal displacement of indigneous villagers. The internally displaced persons originate from eight villages, namely, Aisa, Aikrer, Sawim, Aitrem, Sahbuku, Wakom, Sasior Frabuku and Sasior Nafe. 

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Two Papuans shot dead in Mimika - Military members allegedly mistook victims for resistance fighters

The circle of violence in West Papua continues as the aggravating armed conflict in the regency of Mimika resulted in the displacement of over 1,500 civilians, the killing of a Freeport worker and the arrest of a human rights defender and her relatives. Now, human rights defenders and media outlets reported the killing of two Papuan young men by members of the Indonesian military on 13 April 2020. According to relatives, Eden Armando Bebari (20 years) and Ronny Wandik (23 years) left around 8.00 am and went to a river at Mile 34 inside the Freeport concession area to catch fish. In the evening, relatives looked for Eden and Ronny because they had not returned to their homes. Their relatives only found the motorcycles at Mile 34. Around 11.30 pm, rumors spread in the town of Timika that soldiers of the military mobile border security unit Gab YR 712 and YR 900 had shot dead two members of the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPN PB). The following day, the relatives were informed that the bodies of Eden and Ronny had been brought to the public hospital in Mimika.

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Three policemen died due to clashes with military members

Three police officers reportedly died as a consequence of disputes with military personnel in Kasonaweja, Mamberamo Raya regency on Sunday 12 April 2020 in the morning. Two died and three were injured during the clashes, one died later due to his injuries. Papua Police Chief Paulus Waterpauw stated that the incident was caused by a misunderstanding between both parties, which took place on Saturday. The Military Command and the Papua Police have reportedly formed a joint team to investigate the incident.

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Urgent appeals filed with UN by 63 political prisoners in Indonesia amid the COVID-19 Pandemic

By: Jennifer Robinson and Veronica Koman with the Support of TAPOL

(London, Sydney, 15 April 2020) Sixty-three political prisoners detained on treason charges in Indonesia have made a joint urgent appeal to the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention and UN Special Rapporteurs.

The 63 political prisoners instructed Jennifer Robinson and Indonesian human rights lawyer Veronica Koman, with the support of human rights organisation TAPOL, to bring their cases to the UN. The urgent appeal demonstrates that all 63 prisoners are being arbitrarily and unlawfully detained, in violation of Indonesia’s international human rights obligations.

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More Articles...

  1. Police officers arrest Papuan human rights activist and relatives in Mimika Regency – five allegedly beaten during custody
  2. Trial update on killing of Govt contractors in Nduga Regency – Mispo Gwijangge released
  3. One employee killed and six injured during TPN PB attack on Freeport office
  4. Sixth update on trials and detentions after anti-racism riots in West Papua
  5. Jokowi’s Omnibus Bill for job creation – Observers fear far-reaching consequences for West Papua
  6. Coronavirus has reached West Papua
  7. Papuan student arrested in Ambon for wearing a net bag with Morning Star symbol
  8. CSO demands access for Indonesian Red Cross to West Papua
  9. Armed conflict in West Papua aggravates throughout past weeks – over 1,500 IDPs flee to Timika
  10. Public worship in Nduga overshadowed by armed clash – Security forces kill one indigenous woman, at least three others injured
  11. Police officers fail to protect truck driver during mob attack in Dogiyai Regency
  12. Fifth Update on trials and detentions after anti-racism riots in West Papua
  13. Unrest throughout August and September 2019 results in 59 fatalities
  14. Joint security forces kill indigenous community leader and minor during raid in Intan Jaya
  15. Wamena after the September-Riots – Freedom of assembly still subjected to limitations
  16. Komnas HAM categorises Paniai incident as serious human rights violation – Case submitted to Attorney General
  17. Laporan Baru ICP tentang Papua Barat: hak asasi manusia, konflik dan situasi pembangunan
  18. Press release: New Report on the West Papua Human Rights and Conflict Situation published by the ICP
  19. Fourth Update on trials and detentions after Anti-Racism Riots in West Papua
  20. Trial update on killing of Govt contractors in Nduga Regency – Lawyers request forensic examination of defendant’s teeth
  21. Freedom of speech in West Papua under threat – police presses charges against student for Facebook post on Sugapa Shooting
  22. One indigenous civilian killed and two injured in Sugapa – 15 villages in Intan Jaya Regency reportedly affected by internal displacement
  23. Third Update on trials and detentions after anti-racism riots in West Papua
  24. Update on killing of Govt contractors in Nduga Regency - Trial against defendant launched in Jakarta
  25. Constitutional Court rejects request to review law on formation of Irian Barat Province
  26. West Papua Human Rights Update January 2020
  27. Four students in Ternate expelled from university for participating in peaceful demonstration for West Papua
  28. Security force operation in Intan Jaya Regency during Christmas – indigenous villagers flee their homes
  29. Police officers open fire at house in Yahukimo Regency – Two residents sustain bullet injuries
  30. Military members alleged of executing Papuan driver in Nduga Regency

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