Papuans Behind Bars – Annual Report
October 10, 2021
418 new political prisoners were recorded in the period October 2020 to September 2021. Most new political prisoners have been released after being arrested or detained with as many as 106 still being held in detention, most of whom have been charged with treason. Some of these 106 prisoners are alleged to have been in possession of firearms or ammunition with intent to supply West Papuan armed pro-independence groups and also charged under the Emergency Law (Undang-undang nomor 12 tahun 1951).
There are also those who were suspected of being members of West Papuan armed pro-independence groups, Tentara Nasional Pembebasan Papua Barat (TPNPB), for example, especially after the Indonesian Government declared such groups as a terrorist organisation after March 2021. Of those detainees who were released between October 2020 and September 2021 there are at least 16 people who have been charged with either the repressive treason (makar) articles in the Criminal Code, or articles relating to incitement of racial hatred in the Information and Electronic Transaction Law (Undang-Undang Nomor 11 tahun 2008 tentang Informasi dan Transaksi Elektronik, commonly known as UU ITE).