Nduga Investigation Team calls for Jokowi to end enforced disappearances and human rights abuses

Press Release – Nduga Human Rights Investigation Team

December 15, 202

(WPM TRANSLATION and edited for clarity – apologies for delay in publication)


Civilians are always the victims of the barrel of the gun, the fate of the Internally Displaced People (IDPs) who continue to die in the IDP camps are often ignored, and are considered of no value. They were often seen as sub-humans abandoned to suffer and die with no government assistance in the jungles and IDP camps.  After the massacre of PT Istaka Karya employees, on December 2nd, 2018, on Mount Kabo, it is now more than 2 years, the war between TPNPB led by Egianus Kogoya and Indonesian Military and Police (TNI / POLRI) continue to this day which continues to claim lives from both sides TNI / POLRI and OPM / TPNPB. The victims referred to are not only defending parties, but unarmed civilians have also fallen casualty as victims of torture, victims of arrest, victims of sweeping, and burning of people’s houses, and these civilian victims who were tortured by the TNI apparatus or died of illnesses.

Victims continue to fall, because neither party has expressed their willingness to either carry out peace negotiations, or listen to the plea for peace talks by the general public, both; TNI / POLRI and OPM / TPNPB still maintain their respective ideologies to this day, armed conflict still continues to this day. Both parties do not realize that civilians are experiencing casualties and material losses. In our view this war will not stop, but will have the impact of taking a lot of casualties down with it. Due to the uncompromising positions of the two groups TNI / POLRI and OPM / TPNPB there has been no agreement on peace negotiations or a ceasefire.

We already knew that the war between TNI / POLRI and TPNPB has been initiated by various groups / institutions, and the Regional Government of Papua Province (through the Governor) has conveyed an official position at the Papua Provincial Assembly (DPRP) session, to immediately withdraw Non-Organic troops from Nduga Regency. However, there has been no serious response from the Central Government (in Jakarta), instead they (Regional Government) were considered to be defending OPM, and accused of being Separatists by the Central government in Jakarta. The Church, NGOs and the international community have also appealed to the central government to immediately withdraw non-organic troops, and stop military operations, but there was no response from the Government of Republic of Indonesia. Meanwhile, the Nduga report has been submitted to State Officials in Jakarta, and responsible state institutions including the National Commission of Representatives from Papua (DPD) and the National Commission for Human Rights.

Up to this day we do not yet know the realization of the development of the case in question, from the party that is the policy maker.

CIVILIANS HAVE BEEN THE VICTIMS OF THE ARMED CONFLICT EVER SINCE. Since 2018 the civilian population has fallen victims, who were shot during the operation from 4-15 December 2018, some died in the forest on the way because of hunger, some died of heavy bombardment from air, water sources and food gardens were destroyed due to heavy bombardment from air, some died in the forest in refugee camps, some mothers died while giving birth in the forest because there was no medical assistance, some were burned in their homes alive, some were shot and buried after being caught. Some people died at the refugee camp because they were sick and hungry. The Papua Justice and Human Integrity Foundation, a foundation based in Jayawijaya Regency, has record a number of victims of around 243 Nduga Indigenous people and 20 Non-Papuans. Non-Papuans were (PT Istaka Karya employees) approximately 17 people. 16 people were evacuated to Timika and 1 of them was evacuated to Wamena, 4 of whom are suspected of missing. The number of victims of violence in Nduga Regency continues to increase, but we have not yet collected data on the number of physical victims and also the number of victims who died in displacement, since 2019-2020, but the number of victims who died in refugee camps is still increasing. Refugees are still living in several districts including (the Regencies of) Jayawijaya, Lani Jaya, Timika, Jayapura, Yahukimo, Nduga, and the capital city of Kenyam, while others are still scattered in the jungles.


On September 28, 2020 there was an arrest incident accompanied by torture and murder of Tapania Wasiangge and Anle Gwijangge, both of them were village officers of Kiyabikma Village, Mbulmu Yalma District in Nduga Regency. The two victims in question were arrested, tortured, killed and then subject to enforced disappearances by TNI members from Pos Mbua and Dal. The incident in question occurred while they were in one of the honai traditional houses, in Grukwarak village, Kiyakbima village, Mbulmu Yalma district. The reasons for the arrest, torture and murder of forced disappearance against Tepania Wasiangge and Anle Gwijangge, were (they were) suspected and accused (by TNI) of being members of the OPM / TPNPB ( Armed Separatist Group). Prior to the incident on September 28, 2020, on September 26, 2020, members of the TNI under the leadership of Lt. Inf Anggis and Lt. Inf Andreas Siregar Serda Heru Handoko built guard posts using tarpaulin tents at several points in the Mbulmu Yalma district. Then on September 28, 2020, the two residents, Tepania Wasiangge and Anle Gwijangge were arrested in Grukwarak village while they were in their house.

After the Nduga Regency Government received information on the arrest, torture and attempts of enforced disappearances against the two village officials, on October 5, 2020, the Nduga Regency Government together with the Regional Representative Council of the District of Nduga Regency formed a joint team, the team in question consisting of the Regional Government, DPRD Nduga Regency , Religious leaders, NGOs (defenders of human rights) and youth leaders. On October 9, 2020, the investigation team travelled to the Place of incident to investigate cases of forced arrests and disappearances by TNI officers.

Around 19:15 pm West Papua time, the investigation team arrived in Mbua District and reported the 756 Wim Anesili Army Battalion post in Mbua, on the 10th October 2020, at around 7:59 am, the team had a short meeting with Danrem 172 Papua. After the meeting, Investigation team continued the journey to Mbulmu yalma District, at around 09:30 am the team arrived at the district in question. The Investigation Team had met several eye witnesses and had bagged some of the evidence (BB) used by members of the Indonesian National Army, and including the remains of the victim’s bones, the bones in question (that) were found in honai that had been burned by members of the Indonesian National Army. Some of the evidences found at the scene of the case include:

1.      the remains of small bones in the honai that has been burned.

2.      Some burnt zinc (roofing iron)

3.      Charcoal from the walls of the house

4.      a small rattan rope

5.      Place for the Army Apparatus Camp and cans and plastic used for food from the military apparatus

6.      1 pair of gloves

7.      Syringe 1.50 cm in size

8.      1 piece of plastic spoil

9.      Kasa Sterile 6 Plastic Mx16 cm, filled in black plastic

During the investigation process, the investigation team strongly suspected that the perpetrators of the enforced disappearance against Tepania Wasiangge and Anle Gwijangge were members of the TNI. According to witness testimony submitted to the Investigation team on October 10th, 2020, the two victims were arrested in Grukwarak village, still alive, and were directed straight up into the forest to the Bigam mountain, Bulmu yalma district. The two victims did not carry weapons (Pistol) for that matter. TNI members also never showed an arrest warrant for the two victims who were suspected as suspects. In the process of arrest, there was actually no form of resistance by the two victims against the Indonesian National Army (TNI).


The people from the three districts, Mbua District, Dal District, and Mbulmu Yalma District have lost their courage and freedom to do all their daily activities such as gardening, looking for firewood, and so on, they are full of fear of members of the Indonesian National Army. Community activities in the three districts of Mbua, Dal and Mbulmu Yalma have not been like before; they do not feel free to carry out their daily activities, because the area is controlled by the TNI / Polri apparatus. People who want to do activities always experience fear and trauma. They have also felt that they have lost their right to freedom of work in their own villages. People who felt that they had lost their right to freedom expressed openly that, we were limited by soldiers from the army not to work in the garden, not turning on the lights, and not going out of the house in the afternoon and at night.

The TNI members took the lighting equipment belonging to civilians in the houses during the search. So that lighting cannot be used, people in the three districts until now, only use fire as a means of lighting. The community also told us that if they start a fire in their house they always covered the fire with pieces of iron roofing, because if the TNI members see the fires they could shoot at them, so they always cover the fire with iron roofing or something. We hope that the Government and members of the TNI / POLRI who are assigned to these areas will give freedom to local people in the three districts of Mbua, Dal and Mbulmu yalma, so that people can also carry out activities freely in their own villages.


1. We ask the President Ir. Joko Widodo, as the Commander-in-Chief, as immediately responsible for the efforts of enforced disappearances done by the TNI apparatus against Tepania Wasiangge and Anle Gwijangge, who are village officials in Mbulmu Yalma District, Nduga Regency.

2 We ask the President of Republic Indonesia, Ir. Joko Widodo to immediately withdraw non-organic troops from Papua, especially in Nduga Regency

3. We ask the President of Republic of Indonesia, Ir. Joko Widodo immediately try the perpetrators of the attempted enforced disappearance namely Lt. Inf. Anggis, Letda Inf Andreas Siregar, Serka Heru Handoko, in accordance with the applicable law.

4. The families of victims ask the President to allow the UN Special Rapporteur, United Nations, to monitor the situation of human rights in Nduga and Papua.

5. The family asks the President of the Republic of Indonesia to immediately allow international journalists to cover the human rights situation in Nduga and Papua.

6. If some of the points above are not fulfilled, then we, the people of Nduga ask for protection of humanitarian asylum {by UN peacekeepers- WPM Eds}.

7. We urge the Human Rights Commission to monitor and investigate cases of suspected human rights violations in Nduga Regency.

15 December 2020

Nduga Investigation Team, namely,

1. Nduga Regency Government

2. Regional Representative Council of the District of Nduga Regency

3. Papua Justice and Human Integrity Foundation (Human Rights Defender)

4. Representative of Religious Leaders

5. Representatives of Youth leaders

6. Representatives of Women Leaders

Breaking: Oktovianus Pogau, West Papuan Journalist, dies.


by West Papua Media Editors

February 1, 2016

Rest In Peace Oktovianus Pogau.


West Papua has lost a dearly loved comrade journalist, Oktovianus Pogau, to complications from lung disease, at the Dian Harapan Hospital in Jayapura, West Papua, at around 9.30pm, on Sunday January 31.

West Papua Media expresses the deepest condolences to his family and close friends for the loss of our great friend, a hero of Papua and a crusading journalist.  Many friends of West Papua Media will also be friends of Okto and be familiar with his amazing work.  As a member of the Mee Pago from Intan Jaya district, Okto was a pioneering voice for West Papuan youth, a dedicated and brave journalist who fearlessly covered the aspirations and demonstrations of Papuan desire for liberation.

We counted on Okto as a founding source and undercover journalist, and a key plank of our verification program for fast and accurate international coverage of events in West Papua.

Okto went onto found and become the Editor of www.SuaraPapua.com (Voice of Papua) and http://pogauokto.blogspot.co.id/ , where he daily wrote of Papuan aspirations for liberation, despite a heavy cost, including several arrests and severe beatings by the Indonesian security forces for his tireless advocacy.  One such event caused Okto Pogau to become internationally recognised as a journalist at risk, after he was severely beaten and choked by Indonesian Police at a demonstration in Manokwari on October 23, 2012. Coverage and advocacy of this outrage caused the head of Police to be forced to apologise to Pogau and offer a degree of compensation.  However Okto simply continued on with his work without fanfare.

West Papua Media is also proud to have collaborated with Okto closely for several groundbreaking stories, including his gathering of torture footage in 2010 that changed the international dialogue around West Papua and shone a bright light on the impunity of the Indonesian security forces and their treatment of West Papuan civilians.

Okto had just returned from a journalism fellowship in the United States prior to his sudden severe illness, brought on by respiratory issues that plagued him for most of his life and shared with many of his countrymen.

His body has been interred overnight in the intan Jaya hostel for transport and burial in his home village, and a memorial service will be soon announced.

More to come
West Papua Media

Okto, dear young brother,
you were a friend, a comrade journalist, and unbelievably brave man.  Your dedication for the truth was an inspiration to so many young Papuans who have followed you into the new journalism that tells the truth of Papuan experience and aspirations.  Your words gave voice to the suppressed voice of youth, and you resisted constantly the threats from the Indonesian state to alert the world to both the dreams of freedom and the cries of suffering in West Papua.
Okto, you were a pioneer in so many ways, and were responsible for shining a light on some of the darkest secrets of West Papua’s suffering under Indonesia.  You copped so much suffering yourself from the State, but still managed to tell the story about others.
As a founding source, stringer and adviser to the internationally focused West Papua Media network, you created a new level awareness of the situation in Papua and around the world.
As a child of the Mee Pago, you have made your people very proud.  My deepest sympathies go to your family and friends, and your tribe.  Papua has lost overnight a bright star, but the star will keep shining for many others to follow.
I am deeply sorry brother that your last days were in such pain, but you achieved so much in your young life.  This is a great shock to us all.  Only the good die young.
Farewell young brother, comrade journalist.  You are going to be very sorely missed.
with love and respect for a life full of achievement cut too short.
go well into the light.
Nick Chesterfield
West Papua Media

The Release of Filep Karma Upholds the Principle of Human Rights in Papua, yet others remain behind bars

Statement by Yan Christian Warinussy, Executive Director of the LP3BH

20 November 2015

On behalf of the Institute of Research, Analysis and Development of Legal Aid – Manokwari [LP3BH], I welcome the release of one of the pro-Papua Merdeka political prisoners, Filep Karma on 19 November 2015.

Bapak [Father] Filep Karma is now a former political prisoner. He was arrested on 1 December 2004 and was sentenced to fifteen years at his trial at the District Court of Jayapura on 26 May, 2005.  Karma was charged for an action under Article 106 and Article 110 of the Criminal Code [KUHP].

He has spent more than ten years in prison for activities that he was involved in in accordance with the principles of the freedom of
expression and the freedom of assembly.  On that occasion, he made a speech and raised the Morning Star Flag on 1 December 2004.  He refrained from any actions of violence nor was he armed with any weapons.

Despite all that, he was one of a number of people who were arrested, imprisoned and charged in a Court of Law by a State that simply ignored his basic rights as a free citizen, entitled to protection under Article 28 of the 1945 Constitution of Indonesia.

During his imprisonment, he was treated in ways that are in violation of humanitarianism and basic human rights that are universally recognised.

The only thing he was doing was to give expression to his opinions that are in conflict with the views of the State.  His actions on that
occasion did not in any way destabilise anything politically or disrupt law and order.

The LP3BH calls on the Government of Indonesia and the Head of State, President Ir H. Joko Widodo to take the opportunity of release
of Filip Karma to launching a series of actions to release all the political prisoners, including those who have been tried (napol), who
are serving sentences in a number of prisons in towns and cities throughout the Land of West Papua.

Take for example the cases of three activists of the KNPB [National Committee of West Papua], Alexander Nekenem, Maikel Aso aka
Yoram Magai and Narko Murib aka Nopinus Humawak who were tried in the District Court in Manokwari.  They too, like Filep Karma, were accused of inciting other people to get involved in activities violating the law and charged under Article 160 of the KUHP, together with Article 55 of the Criminal Code.

At a subsequent hearing in their trial, on 19 November, the Prosecutor called for the three men to be sentenced to two years each, with deduction for the time already spent in prison.

These charges were extremely severe for the three accused who had refrained from perpetrating any acts of violence nor did they incite others to engage in any unlawful activities.  Nothing that they did resulted in anyone else being killed or injured or cause any material
damage on that day, 20 May, 2015 in Amban-Manokwari, Province of West Papua.


[Translated by Carmel Budiardjo, Recipent of the Right Livelihod Award, 1995]

The West Papua solidarity movement rejects Reclaim Australia: Public Statement

Public Statement by the West Papua movement in Australia

27 July 2015

We the undersigned are part of a national solidarity network supporting a free West Papua. We publicly disassociate ourselves from the anti-Muslim and anti-refugee views of Reclaim Australia, the United Patriotic Front, Rise Up Australia and others who associate with these groups. We extend a warm welcome to Muslims and refugees, many who are also West Papuan.

As a national solidarity network with regional and international links, our practice in the past has been to confine our public advocacy solely to West Papua and not get drawn into other issues. We are speaking out now because recently Paul Madden, a non-Papuan leader of the Free West Papua Party spoke at the Reclaim Australia rally in Perth. According to posts on Facebook, West Papua solidarity activists also attended a Reclaim Australia rally in Cairns. Mr Madden and some of his associates used Reclaim Australia rallies and their social media network to recruit members for the Free West Papua Political Party that he helps lead. The decision to associate with Reclaim Australia, Rise Up Australia, the United Patriotic Front and the other groups that make up the Far Right is a mistake. It is divisive and counterproductive: it misrepresents the free West Papua solidarity movement in Australia; it undermines the free West Papua movement inside West Papua; and, it employs the very methods of religious and racial vilification we oppose.

West Papuan leaders and the Australian solidarity movement do not support Reclaim Australia’s anti-Muslim and anti-refugee agenda. We are a movement for freedom in West Papua. We are against a racist and colonial system. We are not against any particular religion or ethnic group. We align ourselves politically with Indigenous people, pro-democracy forces in Indonesia, people from the Pacific and others striving for the common good. We respect people’s right to free speech and reject any association with Reclaim Australia.

West Papua supporters in Australia are a diverse group. We are from both sides of the political fence. We come from a range of religious traditions. Some of us are avowedly secular and some of us are people of faith. Some of us were born here. Some of us came to Australia as migrants or refugees. We are for freedom, peace and justice in West Papua, and better relationships between the people of West Papua, Indonesia, Australia and the region. As a group we stand against slow motion genocide in West Papua that is aided by the Australian Government that continues to arm and train the Indonesian military. We also campaign against Australian corporations who continue to exploit West Papua’s resources. Associating with Reclaim Australia is undermining the unity of purpose of the West Papua solidarity movement.

The conflict in West Papua is not a Muslim-Christian conflict. It is a conflict between the occupier and the occupied, between those who seek to deny West Papuans their rights and West Papuans defending and claiming those rights. The movement for freedom in West Papua includes many Indigenous Muslim leaders, people like Thaha Al-Hamid as well as senior journalists and NGO activists. The free West Papua movement inside West Papua also includes Muslim communities in places like Fak Fak, Sorong and Kaimana. Many of these Muslim leaders have been jailed, even killed, for the cause of freedom. For more than one hundred years Muslims and Christians in West Papua have co-existed in peace. West Papua activists living in West Papua and Indonesia are also working with pro-democracy forces in Indonesia who are Muslim, who understand the political roots of the conflict and support West Papuans’ right to freedom.

Much of the violence by the Indonesian military and police in West Papua is reinforced by racism: a belief that an entire ethnic group is fundamentally inferior. Militia groups like Laskar Jihad, Barisan Merah Putih, LMRRI and the Islamic Defenders Front use the cover of religion to vilify and physically attack West Papuans, even those with no association with the independence movement. The Indonesian security forces are often behind these attacks. Freedom of expression and association is denied. The persecution of West Papuans as an ethnic group and pro-independence West Papuans on the basis of their ethnicity, religious or political beliefs is one of the roots of violence in West Papua.

The Indonesian and West Papuan people are weary of race and religion being used to stir up conflict. For decades religious and political leaders in West Papua – both Muslim and Christian – have been combating religious and nationalist extremism. They have been working to create West Papua as a land of peace and for the most part they have been successful. When the neighbouring Malukan Islands was engulfed in sectarian violence West Papua stayed calm.

Tension between some elements of Islam and Christianity is a fact in West Papua, as it is elsewhere in the world. To date West Papua has been largely free of the inter-religious violence due to the excellent leadership of both communities; however, there are shadowy forces ready to foment trouble in West Papua and this danger is increasing. As Australian advocates for peace in West Papua we support the many Papuan and Indonesian people of both the Christian and Muslim faith that are engaged in trying to resolve or mitigate the conflict. We expressly reject religion being used as a tool to extend or redefine the nature of the West Papuan conflict which boils down to the survival of the Papuan people in the face of overwhelming non-Papuan migration and dispossession of their land and resources via military occupation.

So when a small group of Australian leaders of the Free West Papua Party align themselves with a group that is perceived as being anti-Muslim they play into elements in Indonesia and West Papua that would like to incite sectarian violence in West Papua. They play into the hands of those who would like to give a free reign to the Indonesian police and military to arm and organise nationalist militias in order to crack down on pro-independence activists just like they did in East Timor.

The free West Papua movement rejects spreading fear and hate against any group on the basis of their beliefs or identity. Vilification of Muslims as a social group, Islam as a religion or the use of racism in any guise has no place in our movement. This position is supported by West Papuan leaders inside and outside the country.

Although Mr Madden apologised via Facebook last week, that apology made no mention of the FWPP’s willingness to disassociate from Reclaim Australia. Therefore, we – the undersigned – ask Mr Madden to discontinue the formation of the FWPP and to step down as its spokesperson. Once that has occurred we are happy to continue working with Mr Madden and his associates for the benefit of the West Papuan people.


Name Affiliation
Jason MacLeod West Papua Solidarity Group Brisbane and West Papua Project, Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, The University of Sydney
Camellia Webb-Gannon West Papua Project, Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, The University of Sydney and Australia West Papua Association – Sydney
Peter King West Papua Project, Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, The University of Sydney
Jim Elmslie West Papua Project, Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, The University of Sydney
Dave Arkins Australian West Papua Association – South Australia
Peter Arndt West Papua Solidarity Group Brisbane and the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace
Jacob Rumbiak United Liberation Movement for West Papua
Anne Noonan Australian West Papua Association – Sydney
Joe Collins Australian West Papua Association – Sydney
Matthew Jamieson Institution for Papuan Advocacy and Human Rights
Nick Chesterfield – Editor, and our researchers, translators, and journalists West Papua Media
Stephen Rangihuna Free West Papua Campaign – Sydney
Ronny Kareni and Airileke Ingram Rize of The Morning Star
Melkias Okoka, Erwin Bleskadit and Joe Wally 3CR Voice of West Papua
Alfonsius Adadikam and Sixta Kareni Victoria West Papuan Community
Ricard Rumbiak and Adolf Mora Morning Starz Football Club
Amos Wainggai, Peter Elaby and Anselmus Pisakai Black Orchid Stringband
Natalie Adadikam and Babuan Mirino DFAIT West Papua Women’s Office
Lea and Petra Rumwaropen Black Sistaz (singers)
Izzy Brown West Papua Freedom Flotilla
Dan Field Surfers for West Papua
Uncle Kevin Buzzacott Elder from Arabunna Nation in South Australia
Wiwince Pigome Aliansi Mahasiswa Papua (International representative based in Perth)
David Bridie Wantok Music
Don Stewart Australia West Papua Association – South West Victoria
Mary Lancaster Australia West Papua Association – South West Victoria
Peter D Jones War Resisters International (Australia), Hobart, Tasmania
Cindy Watson Australians for a Free West Papua’, Darwin
Lola Forester Koori Radio
Dominik Kanak Cr. Waverley Council
Anthony Ash Brennan Yatte Yattah films
Marilyn Woodward Australia West Papua Association – South West Victoria

West Papua Media downtime

Statement/ Reader Information

June 17, 2014

West Papua Media.

Due to a remote area vehicle accident with a kangaroo on June 7 in which the Editor of West Papua Media, Nick Chesterfield, sustained mild head and arm injuries, WPM has been unable to publish original investigations or content.

We apologise for this, and Chesterfield will be working through the backlog during his recovery.  Urgent breaking news will still be covered on our twitter and facebook feeds, and our partner Tabloid Jubi will continue to publish major breaking stories within Papua, with their feed available in the right hand sidebar on WPM.

From July, sweeping changes are being made at WPM to allow more dynamic reporting to occur across a variety of platforms.  Please stay tuned.

Thank you for your patience.


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