December 31, 2018

Please be advised that Timika police have arrested six Komite Nasional Papua Barat (KNPB) members, including KNPB Timika chapter’s Deputy Chairman Yanto Awerkion, Many may be familiar with Awerkion from his previous arrest that resulted in the highly publicised #FreeYanto campaign.

We ask that all human rights advocates please call Victor Dean Mackbon, Head of police in Timika +62081217705813 Birawa Jaksa Prosecutor, +62 085234348458 and Timika Prison officer Adam LP +62 08124049900 to demand the immediate release of:

1. Yanto Awerkion
2. Finsen Gobay
3. Eman Dogopia
4. Yohana Kobogau
5. Ruben Kogouya
6. Epesus Usage

According to initial reports, on December 31st, 2018, Timika police raided the KNPB office, vandalised property, and arrested the groups’ members who were peacefully gathered to celebrate the anniversary of the opening of their Timika office.

Indonesian police vandalised the offices by destroying the groups’ sign with a sledge hammer, spray painting the words Indonesia and NKRI on the building, and affixing the flag of Indonesia. See videos and photos below:

Indonesian police officer vandalising the KNPB’s sign with a sledgehammer
Police graffiti on the building of the KNPB Timika office
An officer putting up the flag of Indonesia on the KNPB building

About Yanto Awerkion

In May 2017, the Indonesian military raided a peaceful prayer gathering and arrested Yanto Awerkion for collecting signatures for the West Papuan People’s Petition. Banned by the Indonesian government, the petition was signed by over 1.8 million West Papuans calling for the United Nations to give them an internationally supervised vote on self-determination.

Awerkion was held without any formal charges for more than six months. During Awerkion’s detainment his rights to due process were denied many times over. Indonesian police and the courts used a series of no shows and delay tactics to keep his case from moving forward. At one scheduled court appearance the judge himself didn’t show up for the hearing. After making 17 court appearances, over one year after his arrest, Awerkion was finally charged and convicted for treason. He received a 10 month jail sentence and was released in April 2018.

Story regarding the police raid and arrests in Timika are still developing. More details and updates to come when available.