West Papuans attacked by Indonesian military and police at hospital
June 11, 2020
URGENT: We have just received urgent reports from West Papua that on 10th June 2020, the Indonesian military and police shot at and beat up West Papuan people returning home to their village. This was done in the name of enforcing Covid-19 restrictions.
Currently it is believed that at two West Papuan people were injured and three arrested. In the video footage below, a West Papuan man describes how people were beaten up in front of hospital staff “like pigs”.
WARNING: This video contains graphic imagery which some viewers may find distressing.
The Indonesian government is continuing to use Covid-19 as a means to increasingly repress human rights and freedom of expression in West Papua. There are many examples of this throughout West Papua as West Papuan Independence Leader, Benny Wenda writes:
- In Timika, two activists, Gerson Son Tabuni and Kalep Kilungga, part of the mass non-violent organisation, KNPB, were arrested by police without explanation on May 26.
- On May 16, a West Papuan land defender, Marius Betera, was beaten to death by police in Merauke. He sought to protect his land from the palm oil companies that ravage our natural environment and ancestral domains;
- On May 25, a 25-year-old West Papuan man, Silas Dimara, was killed in Jayapura after being struck down by an Indonesian police water cannon for allegedly violating social distancing rules.
- In Intan Jaya, where Indonesian military operations have been going on for months, two Covid-19 health workers, Heniko Somou and Almalek Bagau, were shot dead by the Indonesian military on May 22. The Indonesian State has attempted to discredit the victims as part of the West Papuan military wing, with no evidence.
Under colonial occupation, the West Papuan people are in desperate need of international solidarity during this time of escalated Indonesian state sponsored violence. To find out more about what you can do to help, please click on Take Action below.