Tag Archives: criminalization of peaceful dissent

FakFak raids hold 45 activists, schoolkids incommunicado

originally alerted via WestPapuaMedia #LiveUpdatesPapua, with additional reporting from Satu Juli

April 3, 2016

Update: 45 people have been confirmed detained without release since 8pm last night in Fakfak, mostly are primary and secondary school students.

On 2 May 2016, almost 2000 activists were arrested throughout West Papua, as they were engaging in peaceful activities to support the ULMWP’s full membership to the Melanesian Spearhead Group. Today, most of the activists have been released, after many were tortured and mistreated.

45 people have been confirmed detained without release since 8pm last night in Fakfak, mostly are primary and secondary school students. That region was to hold a peaceful march the next day, on 3 March, coinciding with the Meeting that is to be held today in London, regarding the Right to self-determination of the Papuan People.

This is a video of last night, when the Papuan activists were arrested and taken away from the ULMWP Secretariat/Fakfak Region, to the police station. More than 16 people were arrested at the time, at around 5.30 pm. That evening, others were arrested at around 8 pm. The names of the 16 arrested whom we know of, are: 

1. Apnel Hegemur
2. Siswanto Tigtigweria.
3. Ambram Remetwa.
4. Modes Komber.
5. Dany Hegemur.
6. Baron Tanggarery.
7. Yakobus Hindom.
8. Semuel Komber.
9. Simon Hindom.
10. Limce Iba.
11. Yonas Hindom.
12. Pasko Hindom.
13. Hiriet Hegemur.
14. Aron hegemur.
15. Yusub Hegemur.
16. War Hegemur.

The names of the remainder of the arrestees will be provided as soon as they are know.  More to come

#LiveUpdatesPapua Cultural March by Paniai & highland students defies police blockade in Jayapura


May 2, 2016 1025 West Papua time

KnpbNews is reporting that despite early arrests this morning, no more arrests have followed the detention by police of the mass gathering in outside the students hostel in Waena, Jayapura.

However, students from Paniai and Yahukimo regencies living at the dormitories have launched a surprise distributed but coordinated cultural action, and taken over the demonstration with a vibrant display of Papuan cultural identity whilst speeches were being conducted.

THis mass has now reached the gates of the Cenderawasih university where students were earlier arrested, and are now facing a blockade of police, while the speeches continue at Abepura in a distributed action.

More to come – photos below (courtesy of KNPB)

#LiveUpdatesPapua Arrests begin in West Papua mobilisations, after night of Armed police terror raids across Papua

by WestPapuaMedia

May 2, 2016

Breaking News:

Arrests by Indonesian security forces of West Papuan demonstrators have just begun minutes ago in Jayapura,  as West Papuan people begin planned mass mobilisations to demand self-determination and referendum on the occupied colony’s future.


Blockade of police officers in the Old Market, sentani

Less than twenty minutes ago, at 0831AM local time, police officers led by the Jayapura region Chief of Police AKBP YERMIAS RUNTINI, have arrested approximately 10 students Cenderawasih University (UNCEN) students, at the gate of the UNCEN Waena student housing dormitory (Perumnas 3). 

Police are currently barricading the road with barbed wire to the hostel UNCEN Waena hostel where the KNPB headquarters are located. Currently the police are also pursuing activists and patrolling around the Waena taxi roundabout.

Indonesian Police have also just surrounded and arrested (0845) the gathered  masses who were preparing to rally, filling 3 trucks with students, 1 truck of KNPB members, and two  trucks of civilians.

This comes after Reports from students in Papua have come in overnight of an attempted raid overnight at a  that failed due to student security preparations.

A platoon of heavily armed Dalmas Public Order riot police, allegedly containing members of the elite Australian-funded Densus 88 anti-terrorism unit, attacked the Cenderawasih University (UnCen) student dormitory in Waena, Abepura, at 0220 (AM) local time,  according to confirmed reports from West Papua National Committee (Komite Nasional Papua Barat or KNPB) officials.

However, students maintaining watch ahead of expected security sweeps overnight escaped into the night, thanks to an effective early warning system, according to sources, and the Dalmas platoon gave up the chase.

Raids have been occurring across Papua overnight by Indonesian security forces in a bid to terrorise Papuans into abandoning mass mobilisations across the country today, due to start at the time of publication.  Reports have come in from Wamena, Merauke and Manokwari of preemptive security sweeps overnight.  More information as it comes to hand.

The demonstrations are demanding for a referendum as an act of self-determination on Papuan aspirations, seen as treason by the Indonesian colonial government. Indonesian police in Papua have vowed to crackdown on all displays of “separatism” and have banned all gatherings.

The rallies form part of a global day of action under the social media hashtag #LetWestPapuaVote, and coincide with a historic gathering of the International Parliamentarians for West Papua network in the UK Parliament on May 3.

This is a developing story.  More information as it comes to hand.  Please follow the twitter hashtag #LiveUpdatesPapua for up to the minute coverage.


Oil Palm companies in Nabire using Brimob to terrorise local villagers


August 25, 2015

By Santon Tekege for West Papua Media

Nabire based human rights activist Gunawan Inggeruhi has stated that an oil palm company managed by PT New Nabire and PT SAD, has caused uneasiness amongst citizens of Wami and Sima, Yaur district, in Nabire region.

Citizens in this area have been falsely and maliciously stigmatised by the companies as being suspected OPM (Free Papua Movement) members or activists, with the result that they are constantly made frightened and anxious by security forces.

Joint Brimob/TNI sweep team in Nabire oil Palm plantations. Photo:FIle
Joint Brimob/TNI sweep team in Nabire oil Palm plantations. Photo:FIle

On 4 January 2015, paramilitary BRIMOB police forces arrested a villager who is the traditional landowner of the location, by the name of Otis Waropen (aged 34 years). He was arrested at the PT New Nabire oil palm company plantation in the village of Wami in Yaur District, Nabire. In a  direct telephone interview on 22 August 2015, Waropen revealed that he was arrested by BRIMOB police on “suspicion resulting from stigmatisation of being an OPM member,”  and “on suspicion of making a movement of troublemakers in the vicinity of the PT New Nabire Oil Palm plantation.”

“It is not only (waropen) who has experienced such stigmatisation from BRIMOB who are acting as the protectors of that oil palm company,” Gunawan Inggeruhi told me.

“Many citizens who claim their traditional customary land rights, asking for the company to be closed and its license to operate be revoked, have been accused of being OPM members and ‘part of a movement of troublemakers’.  When in fact the reality is that those who make trouble and terrify the village community in Wami and Sima are the Papuan BRIMOB forces.”

Inggeruhi explained, “Citizens previously lived in this area in a peaceful and calm atmosphere.  These people are not OPM and they are not making some sort of opposition or troublemaker movement against the oil palm companies (PT New Nabire or PT SAD Perkasa).”

He described how most observers perceive that the actions of the Police and the Companies “are themselves making anarchy and intentionally killing the freedom of the people,” and creating fear amongst the people, even arresting and imprisoning them.

Inggeruhi went on to say that “All entrances into the plantation are guarded strictly and protected by Papuan BRIMOB Police. There’s around 50 BRIMOB armed forces there and they are assisted by intelligence personnel, all the way along the road from Wanggar until the village of Sima.”

“If we go to that location BRIMOB chase us and spy on us all the way along that road.”  Inggeruhi said that even himself had been chased and spied on in that area.

The community feels most oppressed by the presence of PT Nabire Baru and PT SAD Perkasa in the area with BRIMOB forces supporting them. He added that “the local government is indifferent over the closure of the space experienced by local residents and their inability  to move freely around in their own local area.”

He is urging the Papuan Police to immediately withdraw their BRIMOB forces from the area of the oil palm companies, and called that the oil palm plantations of PT Nabire Baru in Wami, and PT SAD Perkasa in Sima in the Yaur District of Nabire should cease immediately.

The Writer is a pastoral worker in the diocese of Timika, Papua.

YCW: Will Nekenem and his colleagues be given clemency?

From Yan Christian Warinussy, Executive-Director of LP3BH

12 July 2015

On May 20th this year, a group young people, students and activists from the National Committee of West Papua (KNPB) took part in a peaceful action during which several people delivered speeches. However, the group was dispersed by the local security forces, the Manokwari police.

Following this action, about one hundred activists were taken away by members of the police force and Brimob who had arrived there in several trucks and who drove them to the headquarters of Brimob.

Four days later, four of those who had taken part in the action
were arrested, Alexander Nekenem, Yoram Magai, Mikael Aso and Narko Murib, for allegedly committing a crime as well as being accused of incitement, as provided for in Articles 160 and 55 of the Criminal Code.

The article reads as follows: ‘Whosoever, in public or in writing
is involved in incitement, or is involved in an act of violence
against the authorities … shall be taken into custody and sentenced to up to six years or ordered to pay a fine of up to one thousand, five hundred rupiahs.’

It would appear that these four people had been taken into custody because of their involvement in a peaceful action on May 20th and for being connected with the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP).

It should be noted that during the meeting of the MSG (Melanesian
Spearhead Group) which took place on 25th and 26th June, the ULMWP was accepted by the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) as an observer.

Indonesia was also accepted as an observer. The Papuans were accepted as associate members from five provinces, Papua, West Papua, Maluku, North Maluku and East Nusa Tenggara.

From now on, the ULMWP will always be invited to attend meetings
convened by the MSG.

So surely we should ask, who is it who has acted in violation of
the law? Was it Alexander and his colleagues who responded to the move to recognise the ULMWP as an organisation which has unified the indigenous people of West Papua and will become a permanent member of the MSG?

As a lawyer and Defender of Basic Human Rights, I would like to point out that the ULMWP has been officially accepted as a member of the MSG, an organisation that was set up to unify the struggle of three initiating organisations, namely the National Parliament of West Papua, the Federal Republic of West Papua and the West Papua Coalition for Liberation in December 2014 in Vanuatu.

On 3 July 2015, Abnel Hegemur and his colleagues were organising a joint service at the Secretariat of the ULMWP to celebrate the fact that they had been accepted as observer members of the MSG at a meeting in Honiara, the Republic of the Solomon Island States held from 18-26 June 2015 in Honiara.

They were subsequently arrested and taken to the headquarters of
the police command in Fak Fak and questioned, after which they were accused of having committed an act of subversion as stipulated in Articles 108 and 110 of the Criminal Code. This was subsequently changed to Article 510, according to which anyone who organises an event to march together in a public area may be charged.

Does this mean that any Christian or Indigenous Papuan who wishes
to hold a service must first obtain a permit from the police? If so, what about the guarantee regarding joint ventures stipulated in the 1945 Constitution.

This would suggest that all judges in the Land of Papua should pay close attention to such matters as this, when anything is organised by Indigenous Papuan People. And what about the decision of the President of the Republic of Indonesia, Ir. H. Joko Widido who recently granted clemency to five political prisoners who were being held at the prison in Abepura-Jayapura. as well as the intention to free almost one hundred political prisoners being held in various prisons in the provinces of West Papua, Papua and Maluku?

Surely this would mean that Alexander Nekemen, Michael Aso, Yoram Magai and Narko Murib should also be granted clemency by President Jokowi.  Or they should be granted abolition in accordance with the commitment of President Jokowi, as a move to resolve once and for all the problems in the Land of Papua and turn it into a Land of Peace.


Yan Christian Warrinusy is the Executive Director of the LP3BH – Institute for Research, Analysis and Development for Legal Aid, and recipient of the John Humphrey Freedom Award in Canada in 2005.

Translated by Carmel Budiardjo