ICP News: Escalation of violence in Nduga | Mass arrests & Torture at 1st December commemorations | Failed crowd control operation in Merauke Afdrukken
maandag 10 december 2018 12:13

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News on West Papua's human rights and conflict situation:

  • Violence escalates in the highland regency of Nduga - at least 24 people killed in armed conflict
  • Brimob officers collectively torture three bystanders witnessing mass arrests in Jayapura
  • Police officers obstruct Papuan journalist in Tomohon, North Sulawesi
  • Commemoration of 'Papuan Independence Day' - Police responds with mass arrests and ill-treatment
  • Failed crowd control operation in Merauke - three residents ill-treated, 27 arrested
  • Dispersal of peaceful assembly in Jayapura - Police arrests 107 KNPB supporters and ill-treats four activists
  • Security force operation in Lanny Jaya regency

Violence escalates in the highland regency of Nduga - at least 24 people killed in armed conflict

altAn armed attack against construction workers on 2 December 2018 in the remote highland regency of Nduga have allegedly resulted in the deaths of at least 15 civilians and one Indonesian army member, while leaving three further civilians injured. Subsequent clashes between the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPNPB), which is the armed wing of the independence movement, and the Indonesian military forces (TNI) allegedly caused the deaths of five military members and at least four civilians. The TPNPB has claimed responsibility for the attack against the construction workers. The number of fatalities reported varies between Indonesian authorities and various media sources. Hundreds of indigenous Papuans from the villages Mbua, Yall and Yigi fled into the surrounding forests because they feared repressive acts by Indonesian security forces
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Brimob officers collectively torture three bystanders witnessing mass arrests in Jayapura

altMembers of the police mobile brigade (Brimob) tortured Benyamin Lagowan (27), Hendrikus Madai (27) and Laorens Kerebea (24) after they witnessed mass arrests and the ill-treatment of protesters during 1st December commemorations in Jayapura city. On the 1 December 2018, Benyamin Lagowan witnessed how police officers detained a group of arrested protesters at the Abepura sub-district police station (Polsek Abepura). As Benyamin Lagowan took out his cellphone to record the incident, a mobile brigade officer approached him from behind and tore the phone from his hands and beat him. Several officers tortured Hendrikus Madai and Laorens Kerebea after the men allegedly tried to document the mass arrests and subsequent beatings.
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Police officers obstruct Papuan journalist in Tomohon, North Sulawesi

altOn 1 December 2018, members of the local police and the military obstructed Papuan journalist Piter Lokon in the city of Tomohon, North Sulawesi Province as he covered a prayer session in commemoration of the 1st December at the Papuan student dormitory. Piter Lokon, who has been working for the independent news outlet Tabloid Jubi since 2016, received an official invitation to cover the prayer session. Around 4.40 pm, joint security forces entered the dormitory building and seized net bags, bracelets and clothes with the morning star, a symbol of cultural identity in West Papua. As Piter Lokon informed the officer that he is a journalist covering the commemoration, security force members collectively questioned him and seized his bag with the camera, a lens and his mobile phone. The Tabloid Jubi chief editor Angela Flassy confirmed the incident. She stated that Tabloid Jubi considers to take legal steps against the police.
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Commemoration of 'Papuan Independence Day' - Police responds with mass arrests and ill-treatment

altThe national police forcefully dispersed peaceful assemblies in commemoration of the 1st December and arrested 547 protesters in multiple cities of Indonesia. Many indigenous Papuans consider the date as the ‘Papuan Independence Day’. Human rights defenders reported that police officers applied excessive use of force against protesters and bystanders during the arrests in Jayapura. In various cities outside of West Papua, nationalist mass organisations carried out counter protests and backed up police forces during raids. In Surabaya, members of nationalist mass organisations joining a counter rally threw stones at the Papuan protesters, injuring 16 people. In Tomohon City of Sulawasi Utara Province, joint security forces raided the Papuan student dormitory, where the residents had organised a prayer session in commemoration of the 1st December. Police forces in Jakarta surrounded 140 protesters in front of the Jakarta Legal Aid Institute (YLBHI Jakarta) in Menteng and prevented them from marching towards the Dutch Embassy.
See table with arrests



Failed crowd control operation in Merauke - three residents ill-treated, 27 arrested

altA failed crowd control operation in the City of Merauke resulted in the arrest of 27 community members. According to local human rights defenders, members of the Merauke District Police (Polres Merauke) severely beat Bonivasius Buyopu, Anselmus Erro and Melkior Jebe. Melkior Jebe was additionally injured by a bullet as the police dispersed the crowd with fire arms. The incident was confirmed by the independent media outlet Tabloid Jubi. Three police officers were injured during the incident, which occurred in the Karang Indah district of Merauke Town, Papua Province on the 24 November 2018. Prior to the incident, a group of local residents armed with machetes, sticks and axes had searched the alleged perpetrator of an attempted child abduction. As eight police officers came to the Karang Indah district around 6.00 pm to investigate the case, an argument between the residents and the police officers ended in a clash between both sides.
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Dispersal of peaceful assembly in Jayapura - Police arrests 107 KNPB supporters and ill-treats four activists

altMembers of the Jayapura municipality police dispersed a peaceful assembly on 19 November 2018 which was organised by the West Papua National Committee (KNPB) at the Pegunungan Bintang Student Dormitory in Perumnas III residential area in Waena. According to online media outlet Suara Papua, 150 officers of the crowd control unit DALMAS backed up by military members forcefully dispersed the peaceful assembly. The police arrested 107 KNPB activists and temporarily detained them at the Jayapura Municipality Police Station (Mapolresta Jayapura). According to KNPB Spokesman Ones Suhuniap, the officers forced their way into the dormitory premises without showing a warrant and arrested all present activists. Several hours prior to the incident, the police came to the local KNPB branch office, broke parts of the equipment and ill-treated two KNPB activists who were preparing food as the police searched the KNPB office. Two KNPB supporters were subjected to beatings during the arrest at the student dormitory.
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Security force operation in Lanny Jaya regency
Local human rights defenders reported that the police has launched an operation in the highland regency of Lanny Jaya in order to arrest the local armed resistance (TPN PB) leaders Enden Wanimbo and Purom Wenda. According to the information, joint security forces were deployed in Popome Village of Balingga District on 7 November 2018. The operation was confirmed by various local news outlets and is related to the killing of a motorcycle taxi driver on 2 November 2018 by members of the armed resistance (TPN PB). Exchange of fire between security forces and the TPN PB on 3 November 2018 lead to the death of two TPN PB fighters. Local sources reported that many villagers in the Balingga District feared repressive acts by security forces and fled to Tiom, the main town and administrative center of Lanny Jaya Regency.