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News on West Papua's human rights and conflict situation
  • Parliament passes revised Papuan Special Autonomy Law
  • Leading Indonesian human rights defender Carmel Budiardjo passed away
  • Human Rights Update West Papua - 2nd Quarter 2021
  • Protest against revision of Papuan Otsus Law in Jakarta, Jayapura and Kaimana – 84 protesters reportedly arrested
  • Prosecution of Victor Yeimo – Lawyers demand immediate release
  • WPCC deplores appointment of Prov. Secretary Dance Flassy as Acting Governor of Papua
  • Disagreement over temporary replacement of Governor between Papua and Jakarta
  • Update on extra-judicial execution of four Papuans in Puncak Regency – Relatives demand prompt prosecution of perpetrators
  • Papuan students commemorate 1st July and Biak Massacre in Surabaya, Bandung and Makassar
  • Police in Biak alleged to have tortured suspect with boiling water
  • Update on situation of IDPs from Puncak and Nduga
  • Government says MIFEE should become food estate
  • Police officers forcefully disperse peaceful protest at Freeport Mine – at least one worker tortured
  • Prosecution of Victor Yeimo – Lawyers report police to Ombudsman for disregarding his rights during detention
  • MRP challenges legality of unilateral revision of Papuan special autonomy law
  • Thirty-two KNPB members arbitrarily arrested in Jayawijaya Regency
  • Military member kills Papuan man during shooting at Jibama Market, Jayawijaya Regency
  • Two indigenous Papuans disappeared in Pegunungan Bintang

Parliament passes revised Papuan Special Autonomy Law
Indonesia's parliament ratified on Thursday 15 July a new autonomy law for Papua aimed at boosting development sparking protests from activists. The chairman of the committee for the revision of the Papuan Special Autonomy Law (UU Otsus), Komarudin Watubun, declared on 12 July 2021 in Jakarta that the revised Special Autonomy Bill (RUU Otsus) was ready to be debated during a plenary meeting at the Indonesian parliament. The draft bill suggests 19 amendments to the current special autonomy law. The Indonesian government proposed the amendments to Articles 1, 34 and 75. Particularly, the revision of articles related to the allocation of special autonomy funds and the formation of new autonomy regions had caused heated discussions and public outrage in West Papua.

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Leading Indonesian human rights defender Carmel Budiardjo passed away
alt Prominent Indonesian human rights defender, Carmel Budiardjo, passed away peacefully on 10 July 2021. She was the founder of London-based NGO TAPOL, which has campaigned to release political prisoners in Indonesia since 1973. Tapol is the abbreviation for 'tahanan politik' in Bahasa Indonesia, which means 'political prisoners'. Carmel Budiardjo was imprisoned for three years in Indonesia during the persecution of communists under former President Suharto. Later she helped to establish several environmental groups, such as the NGO ‘Down to Earth’ in 1988 and the ‘London Mining Network’ in 2007. In 1995, Carmel Budiardjo received the Right Livelihood Award after being nominated by the International Federation for East Timor.

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Human Rights Update West Papua - 2nd Quarter 2021
alt Similar to previous reporting periods, human rights statistics between April and June 2021 continue to mirror the effects of the armed conflict and political tensions for Papuan civil society. The number of arbitrary arrests, political and non-political, continue to be high as the police firmly restrict the freedom of peaceful assembly and other civil-political rights. Nevertheless, Papuans voiced their discontent over the Papuan special autonomy and aspirations for self-determination in peaceful demonstrations. Papuan activist and human rights advocate, Victor Yeimo, was arrested in early May 2021 and charged with multiple criminal charges, among them treason. The police accused him of masterminding West Papua-wide protests against racism and civil unrest between August and September 2019. Three out of six reported victims of extra-judicial executions died in the context of security force raids in the Puncak Regency. All were indigenous Papuans.

Protest against revision of Papuan Otsus Law in Jakarta, Jayapura and Kaimana – 84 protesters reportedly arrested
altPapuan students and solidarity groups launched peaceful protests against the revision of the Papuan Special Autonomy (Otsus) Law in the cities Jayapura, Papua Province, Kaimana (Papuan Barat Province) and Indonesia’s capital, Jakarta. The protesters argued that the revisions were forced by the Indonesian parliament and the Government without considering the aspirations of the Papuan people. The police forcefully dispersed the protests and carried out mass arrests. The Jayapura police forcefully dispersed a peaceful demonstration at the Cenderawasih University campus on 14 July 2021 and arrested 24 protesters (see table below). At least five protesters were injured by security forces as a result of excessive force during the arrest (see photo below, source: independent human rights defenders).
Prosecution of Victor Yeimo – Lawyers demand immediate release
alt Lawyers representing Papuan activist Victor Yeimo have called upon the police to release their client immediately. Mr Yeimo has been detained at the Police Mobile Brigade headquarters for more than 60 days. According to Article 29 (1) b, of Law No. 8/1981 on the Criminal Procedure Code, suspects can only be detained longer than 60 days if their criminal charges carry a maximum penalty of nine years imprisonment. Victor Yeimo was charged with multiple criminal charges, including Article 106 of the Indonesian Criminal Code (KUHP) on treason. While Article 106 on treason authorises the courts to sentence a person to life imprisonment or a maximum of twenty years imprisonment, most charges against Victor Yeimo carry maximum penalties of less than nine years. The police recently extended the period of detention for another 30 days.

WPCC deplores appointment of Prov. Secretary Dance Flassy as Acting Governor of Papua
In early May this year, the West Papuan Council of Churches reached out to President Jokowi, the governor of the Papua province and to the head of the provincial police via three open letters. Since then, the situation in West Papua has kept spiralling and the conflict aggravating. The latest unrest is the response to the controversial appointment of Papua's Provincial Government Secretary, Dance Yulian Flassy, as Acting Governor of Papua province by Indonesia's Home Affairs Minister Tito Karnavian. The reason given is that Papua Governor Lukas Enembe is currently undergoing treatment in Singapore and, in his absence, government and public services need to continue running smoothly. According to news outlet Asia Pacific Report, this sudden appointment shocked Governor Enembe, who said that he had not been informed nor made aware of the appointment.
Disagreement over temporary replacement of Governor between Papua and Jakarta
On 9 May 2021, the Papuan Governor, Lukas Enembe left Jayapura and underwent medical treatment in Singapore. As of 30 June 2021, Lukas Enembe was still recovering from a sickness and has not returned to West Papua yet. Meanwhile, Papua’s vice-Governor, Klemen Tinal, passed away on 21 May 2021. The absence of Klemen Tinal and Lukas Enembe from their position as governor and vice-governor has caused a new conflict of interest between Jakarta and Papua.
Update on extra-judicial execution of four Papuans in Puncak Regency – Relatives demand prompt prosecution of perpetrators
More than eight months have passed since joint security forces killed four indigenous Papuans at the Limbaga Mountain in the Puncak Regency. The incident caused the death of two minors, while seventeen-year-old Manus Murib sustained multiple bullet injuries as he escaped the execution. Neither the police nor the military has published any investigation results about the case, although the victim’s relatives raised their voices demanding the prompt prosecution of the perpetrators.

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Papuan students commemorate 1st July and Biak Massacre in Surabaya, Bandung and Makassar
alt Papuan student movements in the Javanese cities Bandung and Surabaya organised peaceful assemblies in commemoration of the 1st July, which marks the day of the West Papuan independence proclamation in 1971, and the Biak Massacre, where security forces killed scores of people in the Papuan island of Biak on 6 July 1998. A discussion among students in a Papuan dormitory in Makassar, Sulawesi Selatan Province, was forcefully dispersed by a nationalist-militant group. Police officers failed to protect the students from the mob.

Police in Biak alleged to have tortured suspect with boiling water
The Biak-based legal aid organisation LBH Kyadawun has raised allegations of torture against the Biak police. Imanuel Rumayom, lawyer and LBH Kyuduwun coordinator, explained that police officers had used physical force against Mr Yohan Ronsumbre, 20, during the police interrogation at the Biak-Numfor district police headquarters. On 21 June 2021, Mr Ronsumbre and two other suspects were arrested concerning the theft of a mobile phone.
Update on situation of IDPs from Puncak and Nduga
The ICP has compiled the latest information from human rights observers and media sources regarding internally displaced persons (IDPs) from the regencies Puncak and Nduga. All information received indicates a lack of commitment from the local governments in Puncak and Nduga. The IDPs from Nduga already have to live under these uncertain conditions for more than two years without adequate healthcare, education, and humanitarian government services.
Government says MIFEE should become food estate
altThe Indonesian environmental NGO Walhi has expressed concerns over the government’s plan to change the Merauke Integrated Food and Energy Estate (MIFEE) to a pure food estate. President Joko Widodo considers the food estate as crucial for the improvement of Indonesia’s food security. Walhi argues that megaprojects on national food security like MIFEE go to the detriment of the indigenous peoples and natural forests living in the vicinity of the project area. According to Walhi, the government only changes the project's name. In contrast, the project's negative impact for the indigenous population and the forests in the project area remains the same. Instead of changing the name of the project, Walhi urged the Jokowi Government to change its concept on national food security.
Police officers forcefully disperse peaceful protest at Freeport Mine – at least one worker torturedalt
Police officers forcefully dispersed a peaceful protest by Freeport workers at the Freeport mine in the Tembaggapura District of Mimika Regency on 27 June 2021. According to information received by the ‘Reconciliation and Prayer Network for the Recovery of Papua’ (JDRP2), Freeport employees had set up a roadblock at Mile 72. They voiced their rejection against a forced vaccination with the Chinese Covid-19 vaccine Sinovac. Previously, rumours had spread that the Freeport management was considering introducing a mandatory vaccination policy. Police officers allegedly dispersed the crowd using excessive force. At least one protester sustained bruises and injuries as a result of police violence. According to JDRP2, officers arrested twenty other protesters and temporarily detained them at the Mimika District Police headquarters in the town of Timika.
Prosecution of Victor Yeimo – Lawyers report police to Ombudsman for disregarding his rights during detention
Victor Yalteimo’s lawyers have reported the Papuan police for alleged maladministration to the Ombudsman’s office. According to the lawyers, the police disregarded their client's right to communicate with legal counsel and his family and the right to meet clergy during detention at the mobile police headquarters in Kotaraja, Jayapura (see photo, source: Jubi). Human rights observers had already expressed concerns over various criminal procedure violations in mid-May 2021. The lawyers called upon the Ombudsman’s office to ensure that the police will adhere to human rights standards during detention.
MRP challenges legality of unilateral revision of Papuan special autonomy law
The Papuan Peoples’ Assemblies (MRP) of the provinces Papua and Papua Barat are challenging the legality of Jakarta’s effort to revise Law No. 21/2001 on Special Autonomy for the Papua Province. On 17 June 2021, a team of lawyers submitted an application to the constitutional court in Jakarta in response to a draft law on the amendment of the law, which the Indonesian parliament had discussed and drafted throughout the past month without prior consultation with political institutions in West Papua.

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Thirty-two KNPB members arbitrarily arrested in Jayawijaya Regency
alt Members of the Jayawijaya district police reportedly arrested 32 members of the West Papua National Committee (KNPB) in the Ilekma Village of Napua District, Jayawijaya Regency, on 18 June 2021. The KNPB is a movement organisation that promotes the right to self-determination through non-violent means. The officers brought the activists to the Jayawijaya district police headquarters in Wamena and interrogated them there.

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Military member kills Papuan man during shooting at Jibama Market, Jayawijaya Regency
A military member has reportedly killed indigenous Papuan, Mr Durias Tabuni, during a brawl at the Jibama Market in the highland town of Wamena, Jayawijaya Regency, on 4 June 2021. Mr Eliur Kogoya sustained a bullet injury in the left knee during the incident. Following the shooting, all traders and sellers fled to Wamena town because they feared retaliation from the victims’ relatives. The police found clear evidence that a military member committed the shooting. On 6 June 2021, the Jayawijaya District Police submitted the first results of the criminal investigation to the military police, as the institution responsible for the law enforcement against perpetrators affiliated with the military.

Two indigenous Papuans disappeared in Pegunungan Bintang
Two Papuan men have mysteriously disappeared in the Serambakon District of Pegunungan Bintang Regency (see photos below, source: Suara Papua). Mr Jekson Sitokmabin, 20, and Mr Asven Kasipmaben, 17, both originating from the Seramkatop Village, were walking home from work at the construction site of a military post in Serambakon. Both men have been missing since they walked back home on the evening of 18 May 2021. Neither the police nor the military, nor the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPN PB) has commented on the incident. While the TPN PB publicly declared that its combatants do not attack civilians, the armed group has repeatedly killed civilians suspected of working or cooperating with Indonesian security forces. Observers fear that Mr Sitokmabin and Mr Kasipmabin have been forcefully disappeared by either conflict party.

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