International Coalition on West Papua 2018 Third Quarter report.

October 9, 2018

The third quarter of 2018 was characterized by a considerable increase in political arrests resulting from police action during the dispersal of various peaceful demonstrations. The majority of political demonstrations were organised in relation to the 73rd General Assembly Session of the United Nations, during which Vanuatu and other Pacific countries had raised the West Papua issue. Political activities within the Papuan civil society appear to have significantly risen in September 2018 in correspondence with international political events outside Indonesia.

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Besides these quantitative observations, this reporting period is characterized by a series of harassments against Papuan students which indicate patterns in the strategy of law enforcement institutions. The ‘Papuan Student Alliance’ (AMP) reported four such cases in the Province of East Java. The cases show a similar pattern, where police closely cooperates with nationalist mass organisations (ORMAS) and local government officials to prevent Papuan students from engaging in peaceful political activity. The strategy seems to have the purpose of intimidating the Papuan students and to make these operations appear to be legal law enforcement operations. In all four cases, police officers did not present a warrant or other document as a legal justification for police officers entering and searching the dormitory premises. The arrest of Polish citizen Jakub Skrzypski has drawn the attention of international news outlets and human rights organisations. Skryzipski could be the first foreigner to be prosecuted with charges of treason, carrying a maximum sentence of 20 years imprisonment. Sources indicate that Indonesian police used mobile phone images of him holding guns as evidence of being an arms dealer. The police claims that they found ammunition as well.

Read what UN mechanisms observe and recommend regarding human rights in West Papua.

The information in this report is collected by local human rights defenders. As human rights defenders face hostile working conditions and legal aid services are lacking in remote areas, this compilation of cases cannot be regarded as complete.

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Reports included in the ICP third quarter.

*All dates are when reports were published to ICP.

7th October  Eleven university students arrested for peacefully expressing their opionion in public

25th September. 67 ULMWP supporters arrested during peaceful demonstration in Jayapura

23rd. Joint security forces raid the KNPB office in Timika – two activists shot down

18th September. Kimam sub-district police again involved in case of extra-judicial killing

10th September.  Six air force members collectively torture Papuan man in Sentani

8th September. 35 protesters arrested during peaceful demonstration in Bintuni, Papua Barat Province

6th September. Police disperses two peaceful demonstrations in Jayapura – 93 protesters arrested

Police officers intimidate female Papuan students in Malang, East. Java Province

5th September. Violation of law enforcement procedures still common in West Papua

3rd September. Update on Freeport’s mass lay offs – dismissed laborers report Employment Minister to Ombudsman

1st September. Police officers shoot down Fery Korwa in Manokwari

1st September. Australian academic blacklisted and deported

29th August. Police officers open fire at Papuan students in Waena, Jayapura – two students injured

Series of arrests in Papuan central highlands – Police takes Polish citizen into custody. 

Papuan human rights defender under police surveillance

29th August. Police officers arbitrarily arrest UNCEN and STIKOM student representatives in Jayapura

25th August. Ongoing restrictions on freedom of opinion in West Papua – political activists subjected to arbitrary arrest and unfair trial

17th August. Nationalist mass organisations attack Papuan student dormitory in Surabaya to force raising of Indonesian flag

17th August Five military members injured during accompaniment of electricity survey team

2nd August. Indigenous community in North Biak protests against aerospace project

31st July.  Police officers beat up two drivers in Sentani

23rd July. Lack of Facts and low standard of justice during military trial against perpetrators of extra-judicial killing – AHRC launches urgent appeal

22nd July. Military operation in Nduga Regency – Indonesian human rights organisations concerned about attacks against civilians

9th July. Intimidation of Papuan students in Surabaya – female student activist sexually assaulted by police officer

4th July. Brawl between Papuan students and nationalist mass organisation in Malang – Police fails to protect Papuan students’ freedom of assembly