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

Three months after Papua-wide anti-racism protests and riots, a series of arrests and trials occurred in various Indonesian cities. This article provides an overview on trials related to the protests and the subsequent wave of criminalisation against human rights defenders and political activists. ICP summarised earlier stages of the legal proceedings and detentions in a previous article. The following article covers recent developments regarding the anti-racism riots between late November and mid-December 2019.

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Update on Treason Trial against Polish citizen – Supreme court raises sentence to 7 years

On 14 January 2019, the District Court in Wamena launched the trial against Polish citizen Jakub Fabian Skrzypsk. Skrzypski was charged with the articles 106 and 110 of the Indonesian Criminal Code (KUHP) on treason because he had met with members of the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPN-PB). The police claimed that he intended to sell weapons to the TPN-PB.  The panel of judges found Skrzypski guilty and sentenced him to five years imprisonment. Jakub Skrzypski’s team of lawyers and the public prosecutor had both filed an appeal against the verdict to the Supreme Court in May 2019. The Supreme Court has now ruled that Skrzypski’s imprisonment sentence shall be raised to seven years.

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Police officer ill-treats journalist in Dekai, Yahukimo Regency

The local media outlet JUBI has reported that one of their journalists named Piter Lokon was allegedly ill-treated by members of the police in the town of Dekai on 18 December 2019. Piter Lokon was covering a protest as a police officer approached him and reportedly hit him with his rifle butt on the hand and the waist. The bruises which Piter Lokon sustained during the attack had to be treated at the Dekai General hospital. The journalist stated that he had shown his press card to the police officer. Nevertheless, the officer attacked Mr. Lokon and subsequently seized his camera, a notebook and a mobile phone which he had brought in a traditional net bag.

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Recent cyber-attacks aimed to prevent publication of new report on Papuan political prisoners

The EU based web host ‘GreenNet’, which is hosting websites of human rights and other civil society organisations, was subjected to two cyber-attacks on 22 and 23 November 2019. The attacks were categorised as Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS). Such attacks aim to overwhelm the servers with millions of requests until they run out of capacity and become unavailable. According to GreenNet the attacks lasted for exactly one hour, indicating that it was likely to have been a "DDoS for hire". A forensic examination found strong circumstantial evidence that the cyber-attacks aimed to prevent the publication of a new report on Papuan political prisoners and detainees throughout 2018 and 2019 by ‘Papuans Behind Bars’. GreenNet called on private users and civil society organisations to disseminate the report widely.

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KOMNAS HAM observes deterioration of human rights situation throughout 2019 as Govt institutions block the settlement of human rights violations

The human rights situation in West Papua throughout 2019 has significantly deteriorated. This assessment is based on statistics by the Papuan Representative Office of the National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM Perwakilan Papua). Komnas HAM Perwakilan Papua Chairperson, Frits Ramandey, stated on 10 December 2019 (see intro image, source: Jubi) that his office documented 154 cases of alleged human rights violations throughout 2019. This number has significantly increased in comparison to previous years, with 68 of such alleged cases in 2018 and 89 cases in 2017. Fifty-nine of the cases were directly filed to the representative office while the remaining 95 cases were documented after the office had taken note of the incident through other information channels.

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Commemoration of ‘Papuan Independence Day’ - 115 Papuans reportedly arrested, at least 31 charged with treason

Reports by human rights defenders and media articles mention a total of 115 arrests in multiple locations across West Papua. The arrests occurred in relation to commemorations of 1st December, which many indigenous Papuans regard as the ‘Papuan Independence Day’. This year marks the 58th anniversary of the first official Morning Star flag raising under the Dutch colonial government. In Jayapura, the police summoned two leaders of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP), Markus Haluk and Edison Waromi. At least 31 arrestees were reportedly charged with treason.

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Special force members intimidate human rights defender in Nabire

The head of the Justice, Peace and Integrity Office of the Papuan Taberncale Church (JPIC Kingmi Papua), Mr. Yones Douw, has been subjected to acts of intimidation. Two members of the military special force division ‘Kopassus’ belonging to the Maleo regiment came to his house in the Papuan town of Nabire on 7 December 2019 asking questions about his work and plans to commemorate the global Human Rights Day. Yones Douw understood the unannounced visit as an attempt of intimidation. The military members also asked questions about his children.

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Lawyers express concern regarding health condition of political detainees

Lawyers are concerned about the deteriorating health condition of several Papuan political detainees in Jakarta and Jayapura. A group of lawyers in Jakarta stated in a public interview with Papuan media outlet Suara Papua that the health condition of pro-independence activist Surya Anta Ginting and five Papuan students have been deteriorating since last week. The six political detainees are in custody at the Rutan Salemba Detention facility in Jakarta (Rutan Salemba Jakarta). According to the lawyers, some of the detainees suffer from a sore throat and typhus.

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Military operation in Lanny Jaya claims lives of two indigenous villagers and causes internal displacement

Local human rights organisations have documented a further military raid in the Balingga District of Lanny Jaya Regency, Papua Province. According to the Papuan Institute of Human Rights Studies and Advocacy (ELSHAM Papua), the Indonesian military infantry (TNI-AD) launched several attacks against the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPN-PB) in the area around the Timonikime Village on 2 and 4 December 2019. The military members allegedly searched multiple houses in the village of Timonikime. According to information on ELSHAM Papua’s website, seven houses were burnt to the ground and two indigenous villagers named Abokman Tabuni and Diron Tabuni were killed during the raid. Indigenous Papuans from the villages Timonikime and Manggalome reportedly fled to the surrounding forests because they feared repressive acts by the military members. The total number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in relation to the incident is currently unkown.

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Update on trials and detentions after racist assaults on Papuan students and subsequent anti-racism riots in West Papua

Three months have passed since a large number of demonstrations were held across West Papua and other parts of Indonesia to protest against multiple acts of racism against Papuan students in the Javanese cities of Malang and Surabaya. Some of the rallies turned violent and resulted in the destruction of Government offices, public facilities and stores. The riots were followed by a wave of criminalisation and legal prosecutions against Papuans who participated in the protests, but also against human rights defenders and political activists. While most of the protesters and activists are still detained for further police investigation, the first trials have been initiated in early November. Hereinafter is a brief update on the first court trials and detentions.

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More Articles...

  1. Human Rights Watch is calling for Indonesia to release peaceful Papua activists
  2. New discourse on settlement of past human rights violations in Indonesia – Papuans hope for Justice
  3. Military members kill indigenous Papuan and injure three others in Tolikara Regency
  4. 'Papuans Behind Bars' publishes new report on political prisoners, treason charges and lack of judicial transparency in political prisoner cases
  5. IPAC publishes new report - Numbers matter, The 2020 census and conflict in Papua
  6. 1,200 Papuan students return to Meepago area - Police arrests 19 protesters during peaceful assembly in Nabire
  7. 2019 Press Freedom Index in Papua Province: lowest in Indonesia
  8. Human rights defenders find grave in Nduga Regency – Evidence points to involvement of Indonesian military members
  9. Anti-racism riot in Wamena affects education and medical services in the regencies Jayawijaya and Yahukimo
  10. Update on Biak police detention suicide case – Victim’s family demand transparency and justice
  11. Update: Crackdown on student protest in Jayapura – four killed victims confirmed
  12. Mysterious death of student in Enarotali – Police excludes murder as cause of death
  13. Amnesty International - Papua visit shows President Widodo still neglecting human rights
  14. Update: Riot in Wamena – Chronology of events and consequences of the riot
  15. Appointment of Prabowo as Defense Minister met with criticism by human rights activists
  16. Update Anti-Racism Protests: 93 protestors and activists charged within the past two months
  17. Update Nduga Regency: Security force operation still ongoing – death toll estimated at 189
  18. West Papua conflict exacerbates after racist assaults against Papuan students - An analysis
  19. Human Rights Update West Papua - 3rd Quarter 2019
  20. President Jokowi willing to meet with representatives of independence movement
  21. Amnesty International deeply concerned about increasing use of “makar” against Papuans - Open Letter to President Joko Widodo
  22. Ecumenical Forum of Papuan Churches further appeal to President Joko Widodo
  23. Papua Church Leaders urge the Indonesian Government to withdraw army and police from Papua
  24. Police officers obstruct Papuan journalists covering student rally in Jayapura
  25. Series of arrests continues after Papua-wide rallies against racism
  26. More extra-judicial killings reported during security force operation in Puncak Regency
  27. Update on situation in Wamena and Jayapura after the riots
  28. Violence escalates in West Papua - ULMWP Chairman calls for urgent UN visit to West Papua
  29. NGOs call on CGF members to take immediate action against deforestation
  30. Outbreaks of violence in Wamena and Jayapura – first counts estimate 31 civilian fatalities, 87 persons injured

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