Violent crackdown against peaceful protestors in West Papua

May 11, 2022

Demonstrations took place in West Papua and across Indonesia on 10th May against the expansion of the proposed new autonomous regions. Protestors gathered in cities including Jayapura, Wamena, Yogyakarta, and Denpasar. The demonstrations were marked by the excessive use of force by the Indonesian security forces, with several protesters injured by water cannon fire and rubber bullets.

Video report from SBS News Australia:

On the same day, seven activists were arrested by the police at the Kontras Papua office in Jayapura, West Papua and taken to the Jayapura Police Station for interrogation. The seven people were gathered at the Kontras Papua office before taking part in the action. Four of them have been released, while the remaining three activists are still being detained on suspicion of violating the ITE Law.

This is not the first time that demonstrations related to Papua have been met with excessive violence from the authorities. Peaceful protests against the renewal and revision of the Special Autonomy Law for Papua Province, which was passed by the Indonesian Parliament on July 15, 2021, were met with disproportionate force including beatings, water cannons, and rubber bullets.

The United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT) prohibits all forms of torture and inhuman treatment. All forms of torture have been expressly prohibited in various human rights protection instruments, for example in Article 7 of the ICCPR.

The United Nations Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcers (BPUFF) and the Code of Ethics for Law Enforcement Officials (CCLEO) also set out the principles that law enforcement officers need to follow in the use of force: the principles of legality, necessity, proportionality, and accountability.

Read full report from Amnesty International Indonesia