July 2015: Threats to human rights defenders in Papua on the rise
At the end of July 2015, there were at least 51 political prisoners in Papua.
Information received from the Central Papuan Highlands Coalition for
Peace, Law and Human Rights (Koalisi untuk Kedamaian, Hukum dan HAM
Pegunungan Tengah Papua) reported an increasing climate of intimidation
and harassment against human rights defenders and lawyers in Wamena.
Coalition members providing accompaniment to Roby Erik Pekey, a victim of
arbitrary police violence in Wamena, have been subject to harassment due
to their role in addressing impunity. An increased number of reports of
intimidation faced by human rights defenders underscores the need for the
state to take urgent measures to ensure their protection.
Reports from the Coalition describing how Jayawijaya police were able to
freely mistreat Roby Pekey while he sought medical treatment in Wamena
Hospital is yet another example of open police brutality in public spaces.
In our April 2015 update, we recorded two other cases of victims who were
arbitrarily detained, tortured and cruelly treated in hospitals.
In Tolikara on 17 July, a 16-year-old teenager was shot dead and at least
11 others injured when security forces shot into a crowd that were
protesting the use of loudspeakers during an Eid al-Fitr prayer session.
The shootings provoked the burning of several kiosks, which spread quickly
to amusholla (a prayer room) where the prayers were taking place. While
police were quick to secure the arrests of two men who were allegedly
involved in the arson, perpetrators of the shootings from the security
forces have so far not yet been identified or brought to account.
Investigations into the incident are currently ongoing.
At least 40 members of the United Liberation Movement of West Papua
(ULMWP) were arrested for participating in a prayer session giving thanks
to the outcome of the June summit of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG).
Since May this year, 264 people have been arrested for expressing their
support or being involved with the ULMWP. The targeting of ULMWP members
and its supporters for arbitrary arrest demonstrates Indonesia’s
zero-tolerance policy towards peaceful aspirations of West Papuan
You can read the full update here:
The full Update is also attached – we hope you find this information useful.
With best wishes,
Papuans Behind Bars team