ICP News: Covid-19 in West Papua | Police Raid in Maybrat | Updates on Anti-Racism Trials | Human Rights Update April 2020 PDF Afdrukken E-mailadres
dinsdag 12 mei 2020 06:39

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News on West Papua's human rights and conflict situation
  • Police investigator in Sorong Selatan prevents lawyers from meeting with defendants
  • Residents reject construction of a military base
  • Update: Number of Covid-19 cases in Papua rise to 301
  • Human Rights Update West Papua: 1st Quarter 2020
  • Govt fails to respect freedom of expression in West Papua - Police arrest students and summon church leader
  • Human Rights Watch Indonesia: New Arrests for Peaceful Political Expression
  • New IPAC report available - Covid-19 and Conflict in West Papua
  • Trade Minister revokes timber licensing for wood export - Papuan forest under threat
  • TAPOL denounces sentences handed to Jakarta six
  • Seventh update on trials and detentions after anti-racism riots in West Papua
  • Police operation in Maybrat regency accompanied by arrests and torture
  • Three policemen died due to clashes with military members
  • Amnesty Indonesia: Urge the Government to Immediately Protect the Rights of Health Workers!

Police investigator in Sorong Selatan prevents lawyers from meeting with defendants

altThe Manokwari Institute for Research Study and Development of Legal Aid (LP3BH Manokwari) reported another case of obstruction against three lawyers in the regency of Sorong Selatan. According to LP3BH Director, Yan Christian Warinussy, the lawyers of the Legal Aid Institute (LBH) Kaki Abu wanted to visit the four suspects who were arrested in multiple locations during a police raid in the regency of Maybrat between 15 and 23 April 2020. The police suspect them of being involved in the killing of a police officer in the regency of Bintuni.



Residents reject construction of a military base

altThe Indonesian military is building a military base in the regency of Tambrauw, Papua Barat Province. Local residents claim that military members have pressured them to release 5 hectares of customary land for the construction of a Military District Command and a Military Sub-District Command in the Kwoor District.  The residents fear that the presence of the military in the regency will lead to military violence against locals. Especially the elder generation of indigenous Papuans in Tambrauw has already experienced the violent military operations under Indonesia’s former president Suharto, which were accompanied by gross human rights violations against the indigenous population of West Papua.



Update: Number of Covid-19 cases in Papua rise to 301

The number of confirmed coronavirus infections in West Papua has risen from 137, as reported on 23 April, to 301 cases as of 6 May 2020. In Papua province a total of 248 cases had been reported. So far, 63 patients have recovered while 178 are been treated. Although the death toll has remained the same, seven have died from COVID-19 in Papua province, the number of cases is increasing fast. The majority of Covid-19 cases were found in Jayapura and Mimika Regency. In Papua Barat 53 persons have tested positive as of 7 May 2020, most of these COVID-19 cases are concentrated in the Regencies of Sorong (12), Raja Ampat (14), Teluk Bintuni (11), and Manokwari (6), and the city of Sorong (9). A total of ten have died due to the virus, most of them in Sorong city.


Human Rights Update West Papua: 1st Quarter 2020

altThe first quarter of 2020 was marked by the outbreaks of armed clashes in multiple regencies of West Papua and trials in relation to the Papua-wide anti-racism riots throughout August and September 2019, which resulted in imprisonment sentences for protesters. Lawyers deplored that the trials failed to meet the principles of a fair trial. Many defendants were found guilty and sentenced to imprisonment, although witness testimonies and evidence presented in court did not prove the involvement of the defendants in any criminal acts. Hence, many of the sentenced defendants appealed against the verdicts. Moreover, human rights observers raised the concern that judges applied double standards.



Govt fails to respect freedom of expression in West Papua - Police arrest students and summon church leader

altThe Government continues to subject the freedom of expression in West Papua to heavy restrictions. The Papuan police severely limit the democratic space and political rights since late August 2019, when people all over Papua went to the streets to protest against racial discrimination against indigenous Papuans. Human rights defenders reported two recent incidents in which the police took action against pupils and a church leader for peacefully expressing their opinion or views.




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Human Rights Watch Indonesia: New Arrests for Peaceful Political Expression

The Indonesian government should immediately release at least 70 Papuan and Moluccan activists imprisoned for peacefully voicing their political views, Human Rights Watch said. The government should adopt measures to ensure that police and prosecutors, especially in the eastern provinces, protect free expression rights in accordance with a 2018 constitutional court ruling.


New IPAC report available - Covid-19 and Conflict in West Papua

alt 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.



Trade Minister revokes timber licensing for wood export - Papuan forest under threat

alt In February 2020, the Indonesian Trade Minister signed a new ministerial regulation which 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. 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.



TAPOL denounces sentences handed to Jakarta six

altTAPOL denounces the sentencing by the district court of Central Jakarta which found six political prisoners guilty of treason 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. The six were arrested over their participation in a peaceful protest outside the State Palace in Jakarta on 28 August 2019, during which they flew Morning Star flags and chanted 'Free West Papua .
Seventh update on trials and detentions after anti-racism riots in West Papua
altThis 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.




Police operation in Maybrat regency accompanied by arrests and torture
altPolice 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 searched houses and carried out arrests in multiple villages. Villagers fled into the forests in fear of repressive acts. They particularly targeted members and facilities of the West Papua National Committee. 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. The perpetrator allegedly seized the officer’s firearm and ammunition.


Three policemen died due to clashes with military members
altThree 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. The Military Command and the Papua Police have reportedly formed a joint team to investigate the incident.


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

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61111731-e8c5-4fc9-bc75-02fde37fc18aCopyright © 2019 International Coalition for Papua, content from the ICP may be reproduced under the Creative Commons 3.0 Licence. This does not include content originating from third parties.

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About the ICP

Human Rights and Peace for Papua is an international coalition of faith-based and civil society organisations (the Coalition) addressing the serious human rights condition in West Papua and supporting a peaceful solution to the conflict there. West Papua (Papua) refers to the western half of the New Guinea island in the Pacific and comprises the eastern most provinces of Indonesia. Indigenous Papuans are suffering from a long and ongoing history of human rights violations and security forces subject them to violence including killings, torture and arbitrary arrests. Impunity prevails. A lack of adequate access to health care and education as well as demographical and economical marginalisation and discrimination mark the living condition for Papuans. A heavy presence of Indonesian security forces, lack of access for international observers such as journalists, corruption and transmigration from other parts of Indonesia aggravate the situation. Political prisoners and the persecution of political activists shows the extent of repression with which freedom of expression and indigenous peoples’ rights are being violated. Papua’s wealth in natural resources attracts businesses and security forces resulting in exploitation through mining, logging, harmful agricultural projects, and environmental degradation. This dynamic challenges traditional indigenous culture while Papuans demand their right to self-determination.  visit our website at www.humanrightspapua.org