ICP News: ULMWP hands Petition to UN High Commissioner | Snake torture video goes viral | UN Special Procedure Mandates comment on West Papua PDF Afdrukken E-mailadres
woensdag 20 maart 2019 10:19

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

  • Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food presents report on Indonesia Mission to the Human Rights Council
  • Heavy police presence during pre-trial against the Mimika district police chief - two KNPB activists allegedly ill-treated
  • Police officers kill suspected Drug dealer in Sorong
  • Treason trial against Polish citizen and Papuan defendant launched in Wamena
  • Video of Papuan suspect being tortured with snake goes viral
  • Half Hearted Recognition - A Study on Customary Forest Concession in Papua
  • ULMWP Chairman hands petition to UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
  • Three KNPB activists charged with treason - Human rights lawyers file pre-trial
  • Papuan Regional Police investigates acts of vandalism - Radical Islamic leader summoned
  • Dubious website alleges human rights defenders of disseminating false information
  • Nine KNPB activists unlawfully arrested - one activist subjected to physical ill-treatment

Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food presents report on Indonesia Mission to the Human Rights Council

altThe UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, Ms Hilal Elver visited Indonesia between 9 and 18 April 2018. During her visit, she travelled to various provinces of the island state and met with government representatives, agencies and civil society actors. On 18 April 2018, Ms Hilal Elver gave a press conference in which she shared preliminary observation and seven recommendations. The special rapporteur has presented her report on the official visit to Indonesia to the Human Rights Council during its 40th session. Several observations refer to the right to food situation in West Papua or have a strong relevance in the context of West Papua.



Heavy police presence during pre-trial against the Mimika district police chief - two KNPB activists allegedly ill-treated

altThe West Papua National Committee (KNPB) has initiated pre-trial against the Mimika Resort Police Chiefs to examine the legality of a police operation at the KNPB Branch office in Timika on the 31 December 2018. Since the first court session on 11 February 2019, the pre-trial has been secured by a disproportionate large number of fully armed police officers and armored vehicles. The lawyers of KNPB understood this as an act of intimidation against them, the judges and KNPB supporters who want to attend the pre-trial. Police officers have allegedly ill-treated two KNPB supporters who came to court for the pre-trial hearings.


Police officers kill suspected Drug dealer in Sorong

altMembers of the Sorong District Police Anti Drug Unit have shot  Indra Wijaya Taran dead, a student of Unikom University in Yogyakarta (see intro image). The incident occurred on 21 January 2019 at 10.00 pm in Pramuka Road, Sorong City. According to the police, Indra Wijaya Taran was dealing drugs and attacked police officers trying to arrest him. Indra allegedly pulled out a knife. The officers claim they used their fire arms in an act of self defense. This statement is not consistent with the bullet wounds that Indra Taran sustained during the police operation. The bullet pierced Indra’s chest from back to front. Indra’s family members and their lawyer have requested an internal police investigation against the law enforcement officers.


Treason trial against Polish citizen and Papuan defendant launched in Wamena

altThe treason trial against Polish citizen Jakub Fabian Skrzypski and the Papuan defendant Simon Magal has been launched on 14 January 2019 at the District Court in Wamena, Jayawijaya Regency of Papua Province. The trial was postponed twice because Jakub Skrzypski refused to attend the court hearing. His lawyers stated that he had gone into a hunger strike, criticizing the bad conditions during detention at the Jayawijaya District police station. Jakup Skrzypski was allegedly punched and spat on by a police officer during detention at the police station. Jayawijaya district police chief Tonny Ananda denied the allegations, claiming that Skrzypski was attempting to discredit the professionalism of the Indonesian police.


Video of Papuan suspect being tortured with snake goes viral

altA video showing two police officers torturing a Papuan man with snake during detention has gone viral after being published on the online platform YouTube. Indonesian human rights lawyer Veronica Koman shared the video on her Twitter account. The video shows a handcuffed Papuan man sitting on the floor in front of a wall while two police officers try to force a confession from him. The officers threaten the man to put the reptile in the suspect's mouth and trousers if he does not confess the alleged theft of a mobile phone. Multiple international media outlets published articles about the abuse. The police torture allegedly occurred in the highland city of Wamena, Jayawijaya Regency, Papua Province.The spokesman of the Papuan Regional Police, Ahmad Musthofa Kamal announced that the internal police investigation body PROPAM had investigated the case and initiated a code of conduct trial.


Half Hearted Recognition - A Study on Customary Forest Concession in Papua

altA The Indonesian NGOs Auriga, Jerat Papua (Papuan Peoples' Network) and ELSAM (Institute for Policy Research and Advocacy) have published a new report on Customary Forest Concession License (IUPHHK-MHA) and its implementation in the Indonesian Provinces of Papua and Papua Barat. The report describes the latest condition of forest management policy faced by the Papuan indigenous peoples and the competition between the central government and Papua regional administrations resulting from the regulation over forest management. This competition is found in the implementation of forest and indigenous peoples-related laws and regulations. On the ground, such competition is counterproductive to forest and indigenous peoples. Illegal loggers can claim that the timber they harvest is from indigenous peoples’ forest in order to cover up their unlawful activities.

ULMWP Chairman hands petition to UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
altThe chairman of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP), Beni Wenda, has delivered a petition on self-determination to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet. On 25 January 2019, Benny Wenda met the high commissioner in Geneva, Switzerland, as part of a delegation representing the Pacific island state of Vanuatu. According to the ULMWP, the petition was signed by more than 1.8 million West Papuans and expresses their wish for decolonization of the Indonesian Provinces of Papua and Papua Barat. Six days later, the representatives of the Free Papua Movement (OPM) and its armed wing, the West Papua Liberation Army (TPN-PB), held a press conference in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. The OPM representatives reaffirmed that they will continue to fight Indonesian security forces through armed combat but also expressed their willingness to seek a sustainable peaceful conflict solution with the Indonesian Government under third party mediated negotiation.

Three KNPB activists charged with treason - Human rights lawyers file pre-trial
altA coalition of Papuan human rights organisations and human rights lawyers have filed a pre-trial to the District court in Timika in response to the unlawful arrest and detention of three activists of the West Papua National Committee (KNPB). On 31 December 2018, joint security forces raided the KNPB office in Timika and arrested the six KNPB activists who had organised a worship ceremony. On 7 January 2019, three KNPB activists were arrested and charged with treason. The lawyers claim that police officers failed to present either arrest warrants or search warrants as they raided the KNPB office. TAPOL, Franciscans International, International Coalition for Papua, Watch Indonesia!, Westpapua-Netzwerk and Geneva for Human Rights Global Training have launched an Urgent Action Appeal in response to the unlawful police raid.
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Papuan Regional Police investigates acts of vandalism - Radical Islamic leader summoned
altThe leader of the Islamic militant group Laskar Jihat, Jafar Umar Thalib (JUT), and seven of his followers are under criminal investigation by the Papuan Regional Police. According to police chief  Martuani Sormin, the investigation was launched in relation to acts of vandalism on the 27 February 2019. JUT and his men had allegedly damaged several houses in the Muara Tami District of Jayapura Municipality. Local residents reacted angrily, burning tires and blocking roads in response to the incident. The police and the inter-religious forum in Jayapura reacted promptly to calm down the protesters in order to avoid an escalations of the conflict.

Dubious website alleges human rights defenders of disseminating false information
altThe head of the Foundation for Justice and Integrity of the Papuan People (YKKMP), Theo Hesegem, has been subjected to intimidation by security force members. The intimidation occurred after the dubious website “Kitorangpapuanews.com” discredited the human rights defenders Theo Hesegem and Pastor John Jongga, publishing an article with the title “Theo Hesegem spreads false news to cover-up OPM brutality”. The article accuses both human rights defenders of having disseminated false information on the killing of civilians during the ongoing security force operation in the regency of Nduga. After the article was published, members of the 1702 Jayawijaya military command filed a complaint to the local police, alleging Theo Hesegem of spreading false information.

Nine KNPB activists unlawfully arrested - one activist subjected to physical ill-treatment
altThree members of the Indonesian special forces (KOPASSUS) intercepted nine activists of the West Papua National Committee (KNPB) and a five-year-old girl on 24 February 2019 around at 4.30 pm in Kelapa Lima, an area in the Papuan town of Merauke. The soldiers started to argue with the KNPB members because they wore shirts with emblems of the morning start flag – a symbol of Papuan cultural identity which is also used by the separatist movement. Police officers forced the nine men to take off the shirts with morning star symbols. The shirts were seized and not being returned to the KNPB activists. Yukianus Tanden was allegedly subjected to physical ill-treatment in a backroom at the police station.