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Amnesty -Indonesia: Immediately release Papuan students charged with treason

December 3, 2021

AI . Desember 3, 2021 5:06 am

Indonesia: Immediately release Papuan students charged with treason

Eight Papuan students who have been detained and charged with treason by police for peacefully expressing their political opinions on 1 December must be immediately released, Amnesty International Indonesia and Amnesty International Australia said today.

Police often arrest Papuans for peaceful political expression on 1 December, as it is a date that many Papuans consider their Independence Day. This year, 34 people were arrested, 19 protesters were injured, and protests in two cities were forcibly dispersed.

“No one should be detained simply for peacefully expressing their political opinions,” Amnesty International Indonesia executive director Usman Hamid. “Papuans in particular are often detained and charged by law enforcement for this reason. Moreover, Papuan protesters are frequently attacked by counter-protesters under the police’s watch. Repressive actions such as these will only create further distrust among Papuans and make improving the human rights situation in the region even more difficult.”

“We call on Indonesian authorities to release all Papuans detained simply for exercising their right to freedom of expression,” Amnesty International Australia National Director Sam Klintworth said. “The Australian government must exercise due diligence on its assistance to Indonesian security forces to ensure that it is in compliance with human rights standards.”


At least eight people were detained in the city of Jayapura, Papua on 1 December for displaying the Morning Star flag, a symbol of Papuan independence. They remain in police custody and have been charged for treason under Articles 106 and 110 of the Indonesian criminal code.

Meanwhile, at least 19 people were detained in Merauke regency, Papua on 30 November in relation to a video of spiritual and indigenous community leader “Mama” Paulina Imbumar, in which she declared her intention of raising the Morning Star flag in Merauke on 1 December.

Paulina and her 16 followers were released without charge on 1 December. However, two members of video advocacy initiative Papuan Voices, who recorded and uploaded the video, remain in custody and have not been charged.

Merauke police chief Sr. Adj. Comr. Untung Sangaji was trained by Australian Federal Police and has been scrutinized for alleged human rights abuses in Aceh and Papua provinces.

In Dekai district, Papua seven people were arrested on the morning of 1 December. They were falsely accused of attending a Morning Star flag raising ceremony. The three children were released in the afternoon, while the four adults were released the following day.

Also on 1 December, protesters in Ambon, Maluku were forcibly dispersed by Indonesian police, during which 19 of them were injured from beatings. In Bali, protesters were forcibly dispersed and physically attacked by counter-protesters who used racist language, injuring 13 people.

As of November 2021, there are still at least six Papuan prisoners of conscience behind bars solely for peacefully exercising their right to express political views.

Amnesty International does not take on any position regarding political status within Indonesia, including calls for independence. However, the organization believes that the right to freedom of expression includes the right to peacefully advocate for referendums, independence, or other political positions.

Flag Raising Day in SF Bay Area, Ohlone Territory

November 29, 2021

Please join the flag raising day on Dec 1st in recognition of Independence Day for West Papua.

24 groups sign open letter asking Jokowi to withdraw non-organic troops from Papua

November 27, 2021

24 groups sign open letter asking Jokowi to withdraw non-organic troops

from Papua

Suara Papua – November 24, 2021

Arnold Belau, Jayapura — On November 15 the Papua Institute for Human
Rights Studies and Advocacy (ELSHAM Papua) sent an open letter to
President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo expressing concerns about the current
situation in the land of Papua.

The armed conflict between the West Papua National Liberation Army
(TPNPB) and the TNI (Indonesian military) and Indonesian police (Polri)
has yet to show any signs of ending.

ELSHAM Papua notes that the presence of non-organic troops in Papua and
West Papua providences has resulted in many civilian victims as well as
members of the TNI, Polri and the TPNPB.

Each time an armed conflict occurs the first casualties are mothers and
children along with the elderly who are forced to seek shelter and are

What is happening at the moment, once again shows that the state has
been negligent in protecting its citizens. It should be the
responsibility of the state to protect its citizens as mandated by the
preamble to the 1945 Constitution, namely that the state is obliged to
protect everyone regardless of their birthplace in Indonesia.

In the open letter sent to President Widodo, ELSHAM asked the government
to withdraw all non-organic troops from Papua, for the TNI, Polri and
TPNPB troops to restrain themselves and for both warring parties to
prioritise respect for humanity.

Likewise with regard to allegations of the involvement of security
forces in the security business. It was conveyed that the security
forces should not become the accomplices of businesspeople and companies
in Indonesia, just because of the political and economic interests of a
handful of people in this country, but instead be the protectors of the
ordinary people and good law enforcement officials.

The open letter by ELSHAM Papua, which is supported by 24 civil society
organisations who work in the field of human rights, justice and the
environment, conveyed that the accusations and labeling by the
government, TNI and Polri, as well as any other parties, will no not
diminish our struggle to call for justice, truth and human rights in
Papua and Indonesia.

The full text of the open letter to President Widodo in PDF format can
be read here:

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was
"Surat Terbuka: Meminta Presiden Jokowi Menarik Pasukan Non Organik dari



November 23, 2021


News Desk November 22, 2021 4:15 pm


llustration refugee children Nduga Regency Jayawijaya some time ago – Jubi. Doc

Jayapura, Jubi – On November 20 every year, the world community celebrates World Children’s Day. The theme for this year’s World Children’s Day is “A Better Future for Every Child”. Sadly, such a beautiful theme is far from what Papuan children are experiencing today. Papuan children living in conflict zones have been denied the right to security, food, shelter, health, and education, as well as the right to worship and other constitutional rights.

“The Papuan children in Nduga Regency have been living in fear in refugee camps since 2018. The same goes for children in Intan Jaya Regency since 2019, while children in Puncak Regency, Maybrat Regency, and Bintang Mountains Regency experienced the same terror in 2021,” said the Papua Legal Aid Institute (LBH Papua) in a written statement received by Jubi on Saturday, Nov. 20, 2021.

Even the more gruesome, two children were shot in a crossfire between the Indonesian Military (TNI) and police and the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPNPB) in Intan Jaya on Oct. 26, one of them died. Such a fact clearly shows both parties’ failure to comply with their obligations under international humanitarian law to protect the civilians in armed conflict.

Commissioner of the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) Beka Ulung Hapsara said his party had met directly with refugees in Aitinyo and Aiwasi districts, gathering information about their conditions and hopes. The commission has also received on Nov. 8 a report on the alleged violation of human rights in the shooting of the two Papuan children, Nopelius Sondegau and Yoakim Mazau.

Director of LBH Papua Emanuel Gobay hoped that the state, through the Papua and West Papua Women Empowerment and Child Protection Agencies, could protect and respect Papuan children’s rights as stipulated in Article 21 Paragraph 2 of Law No. 35/2014 on Child Protection.

Gobay also hoped that the Indonesian Commission for Child Protection (KPAI) could carry out its duties in supervising the implementation of the protection and fulfillment of children’s rights, as well as reporting to the authorities about alleged violations of the law, as stipulated in Article 76 Letters A and G of the same law.

In encouraging the creation of a better future for every child, just as the theme of the 2021 World Children’s Day, the LBH Papua calls on (1) the Indonesian President and Vice President to immediately enforce “protection for children in armed conflict zones in Papua”, (2) the Papua Provincial Government to form a special team to protect children in Papua, (3) the Komnas HAM chair to investigate the alleged murder of two-year-old Nopelinus Sondegau, and (4) the KPAI chair to carry out its duties in supervising and reporting on the protection and fulfillment of children’s rights in Papua. (*)

Editor: Syam Terrajana

Police, TNI Discuss New Approach to Papua Conflict Resolution

November 23, 2021

Police, TNI Discuss New Approach to Papua Conflict Resolution

Translator: Dewi Elvia Muthiariny

Editor: Laila Afifa

23 November 2021 17:23 WIB

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta – Indonesian Military (TNI) Commander General Andika Perkasa and National Police Chief General Listyo Sigit Prabowo met at the Police Headquarters on Tuesday, November 23.

One of the subjects they discussed was the security approach in Papua.

“That’s one of the things we talked about,” said Andika at the National Police Headquarters in Jakarta, Tuesday, November 23.

Andika said it is necessary to discuss the plan on the security approach with the National Police Chief since the police also have a duty to maintain security in the country’s easternmost province.

He also claimed to have a detailed discussion on the plan with the National Police Chief. However, the TNI Commander stopped short of revealing the details to reporters.

Andika planned to visit Papua next week to explain the new security concept. “As I have promised during the fit and proper test,” he added.

Andika Perkasa’s plan to change the security approach in Papua was conveyed when he underwent a fit and proper test at Commission I of the House of Representatives (DPR) on November 6, 2021. At that time, he pledged to apply a new approach in dealing with security issues in Papua.

Read: Papua: Police Release Youths in KKB Attack Case


194 church leaders in Papua call for end to military operations, peace talks

November 14, 2021

194 church leaders in Papua call for end to military operations, peace


Suara Papua – November 12, 2021

Atamus Kepno, Jayapura — One hundred and ninety-four Catholic leaders
from across Papua have explicitly called for an end to military
operations in Papua. The Pastors hope that dialogue and reconciliation
will be the solution to resolve the prolonged conflict in Papua.

Pastor Alberto John Bunai, Pr, said that the government was ecstatic
about the success of the 20th National Games in Papua, but the people
were deeply saddened by what was being suffered by God’s communities in
Nduga, Intan Jaya, Puncak, Kiwirok and Maybrat.

"In order to solve the roots of the problem what is needed is dialogue
and reconciliation in a dignified manner for the sake of resolving the
prolonged conflict in the land of Papua", said Bunai durng a press
conference titled a Moral Call by 194 Catholic Pastors on Thursday
November 11 at the Bright World of Christ Parish in Waena, Jayapura
city, Papua.

It is the church’s duty to articulate the cries of God’s communities who
have no voice, continued Bunai. The government must halt the ongoing
military operations which have resulted in the killing of civilians,
violence and people being displace in several parts of Papua.

"Stop the military operations. Release the civilians who were wrongly
arrested in Maybrat. In Kiwirok hundreds of resident’s homes have been
bombed by security forces. Rocket fired from the air using helicopters.
But several failed to explode. Hundreds of civilians are reported to
have fled to Papua New Guinea. There are no estimates yet on the number
of deaths and destroyed homes. Many people are sick and have died of
hunger in the forests. Right now the people need humanitarian
assistance", he said.

"The government should create peace for the sake of humanity, justice,
truth and the safety of the indigenous Papuan people", he said.

Pastor Bunai revealed that there have been around 58 ideological and
political conflicts between indigenous Papuans and the Indonesian
government, conflicts which have triggered armed violence in Papua to
this day.

"So the principle role of the Church is as the bearer of peace and
upholder of justice, it cannot be silent in the face of these realities,
we must speak out for those who have no voice", he said.

According to the church leaders, they are speaking out for the sake of
security and peace, not in the political interests of individuals or
groups or the like.

"We are speaking out because we long for an atmosphere of security, so
that there is peace, justice and harmony in the land of Papua".

They further said that because of the interests of a group of elite
involved in gold mining in Papua, indigenous Papuans have become victims
of violence and lost their communal land rights.

"Papuans just become victims or become victims in regions because of the
exploitation of natural resources without justice or transparency. As we
know from the results of research by the YLBHI [Indonesian Legal Aid
Foundation], the JATAM [Mining Advocacy Network], ICW [Indonesian
Corruption Watch], the Kontras [Commission for Missing Persons and
Victims of Violence], the Walhi [Indonesian Forum for the Environment],
the Indonesian People’s Fraction, Greenpeace Indonesia and the Sajogja
Institute", he explained.

Pastor Agustinus Yerwuan, OFM, took the opportunity to remind people
that everyone is created by God in his image and were placed on
different parts of the earth including Papua.

"Because of this all those who live in the land of Papua and all related
parties must remember this well as religious people and also as people
who are concerned about peace and love", said Yerwuan.

The Franciscan pastor hopes that all parties will pray and cooperate to
bring an end to the armed conflict in the land of Papua.

"Our hope is for prayers and cooperation between all parties, social
elements, including those with interests which often disturb security
and peace, the TNI [Indonesian military] and Polri [Indonesian police]
as well as the TPNPB [West Papua National Liberation Army] must end the
war or reach a ceasefire, then maintain a humanity which is just and
civilised in this land of Papua", he said.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was
"Ratusan Imam Katolik di Tanah Papua Serukan Perdamaian".]


wp ABC Religion: Catholic Priests call for urgent ceasefire

November 12, 2021

West Papua’s Catholic Priests call for urgent ceasefire

Almost 6,000 people fleeing violence in Indonesia’s West Papua region have taken shelter in local churches. Rebels from the West Papua National Liberation Army and the Free Papua Movement have clashed with government forces for much of 2021, leading to a surge in internal refugees. Now 30 local Catholic priests have signed an urgent appeal for a ceasefire.

Peter Arndt is executive officer at the Catholic Justice and Peace Commission in Brisbane, and he’s been involved with human rights work in West Papua over the past decade.

Duration: 8min 29sec Broadcast:

Wed 10 Nov 2021, 5:30pm

More Information

Presenter: Andrew West

Producer: Hong Jiang

Sound Engineer: Hamish Camilleri

Editors: Muditha Dias and David Rutledge

Basque Parliament passes resolution in support of West Papua

October 27, 2021

Basque Parliament passes resolution in support of West Papua

October 25, 2021 in News

On October 8, 2021, the Basque Parliament passed a motion of support with the West Papuan struggle. The resolution notes that, ‘over 500,000 people have died in a genocide against the indigenous population,’ denounces human rights violations against West Papuans, and calls for a UN visit to the territory.

The motion was proposed by member of the Basque Parliament, Oihana Etxebarrieta, and Senator Gorka Elejabarrieta. The resolution was passed with unanimous support from EH Bildu and the Spanish Socialist Party, the major party in Spain’s ruling coalition.

The resolution follows a motion passed by the Spanish Senate earlier in the year calling for an urgent visit by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Benny Wenda, Interim President of the ULMWP Provisional Government, said: ‘This is an example of true solidarity with those who are made voiceless by geopolitical interests. The people of West Papua have been suffering for so long under Indonesian colonial rule, but this motion gives my people a lot of confidence. The people of the Basque understand democracy and human rights, and we appreciate their support and solidarity.’

The full text of the agreement reads as follows:

Over 500,000 people have died in a genocide against the indigenous population. Thousands have suffered rape, torture, prison or have been “disappeared” after being detained. Basic human rights, such as freedom of expression, are denied, and West Papuans live in a constant state of fear and intimidation. The IPWP was created, with the involvement of exiled West Papua independence leader Benny Wenda, to defend the rights of West Papua. A network of parliamentarians from around the world who support self-determination for the people of West Papua through a free and fair referendum, and to denounce the illegality of the 1969 Act. EH Bildu is part of the network through our Senator Gorka Elejabarrieta, and based on our commitment to this cause, we brought this motion to the Committee and we have reached this unanimous agreement in which, amongst other points we:

– underline the demand for the State of Indonesia to allow the UN OHCHR
to visit west Papua and produce an independent report

– encourage the involved parties to seek a space for talks and dialogue,
which we believe is the best way to overcome conflict

– also denounce the serious violations of human rights taking place in
West Papua, leading the population into a situation of fear and
isolation that must end


2) Customary land rights recognised in West Papua district
5:53 pm on 26 October 2021

An environmental NGO has hailed a West Papua district head’s decision to recognise customary land rights.
The head of Sorong Regency, Johnny Kamuru, has issued a decree on recognising rights of the Indigenous Peoples of Gelek Malak Kalawilis Pasa over land and forest in Sayosa sub district.
The 3,47-hectare land was being targetted by oil palm producers, who Greenpeace Indonesia’s Kiki Taufik, said have been empowered by recent law changes that undermine customary rights.

Greenpeace said the Indonesian government is generally unwilling to enforce laws to stop deforestation on public lands or follow through on its climate commitments.
"The recent enactment of Indonesia’s Omnibus Bill will jeopardise and put the republic’s environment and social protections at risk," according to Greenpeace Indonesia.
It said standards of laws and regulations for the protection will be weakened and will bring Indonesian environmental and social safeguards even further than the generally accepted global standards in financing sustainable development.
In a new report, Greenpeace said Indonesia’s national forest estate is riddled with illegal palm oil plantations, according to an analysis by Greenpeace Indonesia and Treemap.
Despite the designated area being off-limits to plantations, the analysis has found at least 600 plantation companies have illegal operations set up inside the forest estate, which includes National Parks, Ramsar Convention wetlands and UNESCO World Heritage sites.
These land areas represent some of the highest levels of biodiversity and are critical in tackling the climate crisis.

Government’s 2021 Performance Report neglects to mention ongoing conflict in Papua

October 26, 2021

Government’s 2021 Performance Report neglects to mention ongoing
conflict in Papua

CNN Indonesia – October 23, 2021

Jakarta — The government has released its 2021 Performance Report. The
report however, does not contain an evaluation of the handling of
conflicts which have occurred in Papua.

Yet, of late, there have been frequent armed conflicts between armed
criminal groups (KKB) and the Indonesian military resulting in not a few
lives being lost on both sides.

An Amnesty International report for example says that the human rights
situation in Indonesia worsened in 2020. Amnesty also highlighted the
problem of impunity which continues to haunt Papua and West Papua

According to Amnesty’s records, there were at least 19 cases of alleged
extrajudicial killings by security forces in Papua and West Papua
resulting in the death of 30 people.

In September 2021 meanwhile, armed groups attacked and set fire to
public facilities in Okhika, Star Highlands regency. A number of
facilities such as the Okhika community healthcare centre (puskesmas),
the house of the puskesmas head, healthcare workers’ houses, a primary
school building, a junior high school building, a teacher’s house and
the local village hall in Okhika district were burnt down.

Then in Kiwirok, an armed groups allegedly set fire to a district
office, the Kiwirok Papua Bank offices, the Kiwirok puskesmas, a
doctor’s house, a healthcare workers’ barracks, an Inpres primary
school, a teacher’s home and a market.

During the incident several healthcare workers disappeared and were
allegedly taken hostage by the separatist group. One of them, Gabriella
Meilan was found dead.

In addition to this, as a consequence of the conflict in Papua, many
people have been displaced. Such as the firefight between the TNI
(Indonesian military) and police with an armed group in February in
Intan Jaya which forced local residents to seek shelter at the St Misael
Bilogal Catholic Church.

On the other hand, the government report titled "Powerful Indonesia,
Growing Indonesia", which was released to coincide with two years of the
President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo and Vice President Ma’ruf Amin’s
administration, includes a report on the government’s commitment to
development in Papua, ranging from human resources to bureaucratic

The report also boasts about the 20th National Games (PON XX) in the
Land of the Cenderawasih as Papua is known. The government states that
the holding of the National Games in Papua are a signs of a revival in
Papua. (sfr)

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was
"Laporan Kinerja, Pemerintah Tak Cantumkan Konflik Papua".]


University students call for release of Papua activists Victor Yeimo and Frans Wasini

October 12, 2021

  • From: APSN <apsn>
  • To: Indoleft News List <indoleft>, West Papua List <reg.westpapua>
  • Subject: [indoleft] University students call for release of Papua activists Victor Yeimo and Frans Wasini
  • Date: Tue, 12 Oct 2021 09:17:34 +0000
  • Organization: APSN

University students call for release of Papua activists Victor Yeimo and Frans Wasini

Suara Papua – October 12, 2021

Atamus Kepno, Jayapura — Cenderawasih University (Uncen) students are urging the government through the Papua police to immediately release West Papua National Committee (KNPB) international spokesperson Victor F. Yeimo and student activist Frans Wasini.

The pair were arrested in relation to the anti-racist demonstrations and riots in 2019. Yeimo was arrested on May 9, 2021 at Tanah Hitam in Jayapura and is currently being treated at the Dok II Jayapura public hospital. Prior to this he was detained at the Mobile Brigade (Brimob) Command Headquarters in Raja City, Jayapura.

Wasini was arrested in Sentani, Jayapura, on May 20, 2021, and is currently being held at the Papua regional police headquarters in Jayapura city.

"The pro-democracy activists being detained are not perpetrators of racism, but they are the victims of this racism. But the reality is the state has arrested and criminalised them as the perpetrators who have been indicted under the makar articles", Uncen Student Executive Council (BEM) Justice and Human Rights Coordinator Ayus Hiluka told Suara Papua on Monday October 11 at the Uncen Student Community Waena III state housing company in Jayapura.

In addition to this, the Uncen Student Deliberative Council (MPM) is also urging the public prosecutor to immediately and unconditionally release Yeimo and Wasini.

The students said that in accordance with Law Number 29/1999 on the Ratification of the 1965 International Convention on the Abolition of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, seven other Papuan activists who were imprisoned on charges of makar (treason, rebellion, subversion) in Balikpapan, East Kalimantan, in June 2020, in a case which was seen as racist, have already served their sentences,

"So we think that this has already been resolved in accordance with the law which applies in this republic. But the racist perpetrators continue to be looked after well, they have even been given private homes and now the victims of racism are arrested are in detention. The perpetrators of racism were not arrested in accordance with the law, but what has happened now is that the victims of racism are detained", the students said.

Uncen Solidarity Concern (SPU) Chairperson Venus Kabak called on the Jayapura district court to conduct advocacy in accordance with the constitutional rights of the suspects.

"The arrest of students and also pro-democracy activists in Jayapura, who were then charged under the makar laws. So Victor and Frans should be immediately and unconditionally released", he said.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was
"Mahasiswa Desak Segera Bebaskan Victor Yeimo dan Frans Wasini Tanpa