ICP News: Papuan Pastor killed | 500 soldiers deployed | Youth Leaders speak up | 3 Papuans killed & 3 tortured | P-Supporters on trial in East Timor PDF Afdrukken E-mailadres
woensdag 23 september 2020 09:00

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News on West Papua's human rights and conflict situation
  • Papuan Pastor Yerimia Zanambani killed in Intan Jaya
  • Youth Church Leaders condemn actions of the military regarding the killing of Pastor Zanambani
  • Indonesia must inform on allegations of extra-judicial killings in West Papua
  • Verdict in treason trial in Sorong - Ten months imprisonment for eleven Papuan activists
  • Papuan activists reimburse Veronica Koman's scholarship funds to the Indo govt
  • Joint security forces kill three indigenous Papuans near Freeport Mine in Mimika
  • Conflict tension increases in Intan Jaya Regency
  • Government deploys 500 soldiers to the central highlands in West Papua
  • East Timor - 16 people on trial for peacefully protesting in solidarity with West Papua
  • Joint security force members torture three indigenous Papuans in Boven Digoel for not using face masks
  • Papuan Youth Church Leaders raise their voices regarding racism, injustice and Special Autonomy
  • Police officers obstruct journalists at the district police station in Yahukimo
  • Raids, mass arrests and torture by security forces in Yahukimo
Papuan Pastor Yerimia Zanambani killed in Intan Jaya
altAccording to the Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Desk of the Papuan Tabernacle Church (Kingmi Papua), members of the Yonif 711/RKS/Brigif 22/OTA, DAM XIII/MDK Military Unit have killed 68-year-old Pastor Yerimia Zanambani on 19 September 2020. The alleged killing happened near Bomba, a small village in the Hitadipa District. Rev Zanambani was a pastor and Bible translator working for the Protestant Evangelical Church in Indonesia (GKII). However, the military representative Captain Kogabwihan Suriastawa declared in an interview with the national news outlet Kompas, that members of the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPN PB) allegedly killed the pastor.
Youth Church Leaders condemn actions of the military regarding the killing of Pastor Zanambani
The West Papua Christian Youth Forum has publicly condemned the actions of the army and the police who carried out the shooting of Pastor Yeimias Zanambani in Intan Jaya. "The shooting of this Pastor is the third time this has happened. Pastor Elisa Tabuni was shot dead in Puncak Jaya on 16 August, 2004, Pastor Geyimin Nirigi was shot dead on 19 December 2018 in Mapenduma district, and Pastor Yerimias Zanambani, S.Th was also shot dead by the Army on Saturday 19 September 2020. So, up to now, when the Army has carried out the shooting, it is never resolved. We hope for justice on this land", said the Head of the Youth of the GKI Church in West Papua, Pastor Edison Sekenyap.
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Indonesia must inform on allegations of extra-judicial killings in West Papua
The UN Human Rights Committee is requesting the Indonesian government altto provide information about the alleged extra-judicial killings by security force members in the provinces of Papua and West Papua. The Human Rights Committee (CCPR) has adopted the List of Issues prior to Reporting (LOIPR) of Indonesia at its 129th session (29 June to 24 July). More specifically, the Committee is asking for the number of victims of extra-judicial executions disaggregated by ethnicity, in particular indigenous Papuans, and the reparations provided to the victims' families.
Verdict in treason trial in Sorong - Ten months imprisonment for eleven Papuan activists
altOn 17 September 2020, the panel of judges at the Sorong District Court found eleven Papuan activists guilty of criminal conspiracy as stipulated under the article 110 of the Indonesian Criminal Code (KUHP). The public prosecutor sought a sentence of 16 months for Daniel Jitmau, Paulus Syama, Lukas Nauw, Simon Aifat, Berto Tomow, Frengky Nauw, Lukas Smass, Marlinda Mangko, Silvester Nauw, Wilson Kofias and Jhosua Kingho. They were arrested on 27 November 2019, after planning a public event through which they allegedly supported the establishment of the separate state ‘West Papua New Guinea’.

Papuan activists reimburse Veronica Koman's scholarship funds to the Indo govt
alt The Ebamukai Solidarity Movement has collected donations to reimburse the scholarship funds which the Indonesian Education Fund Management Institution (LPDP) provided for Veronica Koman’s law study in Australia. The movement has managed to collect donations for an amount of IDR 773,876,918 (about € 44.144) after the LPDP urged Koman to repay the funds. The Executive Director of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP), Markus Haluk, explained in an interview with the media outlet 'Jubi' that the donations came from Papuan government representatives, politicians, activists, entrepreneurs and Veronika Koman’s relatives.

Joint security forces kill three indigenous Papuans near Freeport Mine in Mimika
alt The ICP has received credible information regarding the killing of Mrs Demiana Wanmang, 25, Mr Demu Kiwak, 28, and Mr Uterus Newegalen, 18. The incident happened at Mile 69, an illegal gold panning site near the Grasberg Mine which is operated by PT Freeport Indonesia in the Tembagapura district. On 16 August 2020, joint security force members of the Tindak Nemangkawi Task Force opened fire at the group of four gold panners. Three of them died instantly as a result of the fatal bullet wounds. The task force members likely mistook the group for members of the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPN PB). A similar incident already occurred on 13 April 2020, as military members shot dead Eden Armando Bebari and Ronny Wandik at Mile 34, where the two men were fishing.

Conflict tension increases in Intan Jaya Regency
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The conflict situation in the remote highland regency Intan Jaya has become significantly more tense during the past days. Human rights defenders have observed military (TNI) members repeatedly approaching primary and middle schools in Intan Jaya’s major town Sugapa to monitor Papuan pupils who appeared to support the right to political self-determination in West Papua. Moreover, the ICP received credible information according to which military members documented the identities of these pupils and interrogated them after school. The human rights defenders claim that the monitoring activities have been ongoing since early August 2020. The most recent monitoring activity was reported from a middle school in Sugapa on 5 September 2020.

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Government deploys 500 soldiers to the central highlands in West Papua
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The Indonesian government has deployed 500 additional soldiers of the Yonif Raider 432 Waspada Setiajaya Unit to West Papua. According to the national media, the non-organic troops should help the local governments to stabilize the situation and secure infrastructure as well as other development projects in West Papua’s central highlands, which are known as the stronghold of the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPN PB). Meanwhile, the troops have arrived in Jayapura (see intro image) from where they will be flown to 20 military outposts in the regencies Yalimo, Yahukimo, Nduga, Mamberamo, Lanny Jaya and Tolikara. The non-organic troops are supposed to stay in West Papua between nine and twelve months.

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East Timor - 16 people on trial for peacefully protesting in solidarity with West Papua
alt Sixteen protesters had to stand trial because they conducted a peaceful protest in solidarity with the people of West Papua in front of the Indonesian embassy in Dili, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, commonly referred to as East Timor. The group of protesters, all members of the Maubere Peoples’ Front for West Papua (FRMWP), had participated in a seminar on the humanitarian crisis in West Papua on 3 September 2020. The peaceful demonstration on 4 September 2020 was a follow-up activity of the seminar. According to the media outlet ‘Suara Papua’, police officers dispersed the demonstration and arrested 16 protesters.

Joint security force members torture three indigenous Papuans in Boven Digoel for not using face masks

alt Independent human rights defenders have documented a case of torture in the regency of Boven Digoel, Papua Province. The incident was confirmed by multiple media outlets. Joint police-military forces allegedly tortured three Papuans from the indigenous Kombai Tribe – among them one female – during a routine COVID-19 control in Boven Digoel’s largest town Tanah Merah. The security members had reportedly stopped them because they were not wearing a face mask while riding their motorcycles. The Boven Digoel Government, the local customary council and the victims’ family agreed to settle the case outside the law through a compensation payment of 50 million rupiahs (about € 2,840) and three pigs.

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Papuan Youth Church Leaders raise their voices regarding racism, injustice and Special Autonomy
Following repeated calls by Church Leaders, like the open letter from the WPCC released in July 2020, calling for an end of racism and injustice in the land of Papua and rejecting the Special Autonomy "version 2" or "volume II", the West Papua Christian Youth Forum has issued an open letter (for download below) to President Joko Widodo supporting the Papuan Church Councils position on Special Autonomy and Dialogue as well as the Papuan Peoples Petition rejecting Special Autonomy. They share that "the problem of Papua has become increasingly complex and severe because the root of the problem is racism and injustice, not separatism and treason.
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Police officers obstruct journalists at the district police station in Yahukimo
alt The Papuan branch office of the Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI Papua) has condemned the obstruction of two Papuan journalists in the town of Dekai, in the Yahukimo regency, where joint security forces have conducted widespread raids in response to the murder of three civilians. Ruland Kabak and Atamus Kepno wanted to obtain information about the murders and the ongoing investigation. Several police officers intimidated the journalists, refused to provide information on the case and prevented them from meeting with suspects.
Raids, mass arrests and torture by security forces in Yahukimo
altJoint security forces have launched raids in the town of Dekai, the largest city in the Yahukimo regency, Papua Province. The raids took place as part of the investigation into three murder cases, which occurred in the second half of August 2020 and in which all victims were migrants. The West Papua National Liberation Army (TPN PB) has claimed responsibility for two of the murders. According to an official TPN PB statement, two of the victims, one a lumberjack and the other a construction worker, were allegedly affiliated with the Indonesian state intelligence. The third victim was a staff of the local election commission (KPU).

About the ICP

Human Rights and Peace for Papua is an international coalition of faith-based and civil society organisations (the Coalition) addressing the serious human rights condition in West Papua and supporting a peaceful solution to the conflict there. West Papua (Papua) refers to the western half of the New Guinea island in the Pacific and comprises the eastern most provinces of Indonesia. Indigenous Papuans are suffering from a long and ongoing history of human rights violations and security forces subject them to violence including killings, torture and arbitrary arrests. Impunity prevails. A lack of adequate access to health care and education as well as demographical and economical marginalisation and discrimination mark the living condition for Papuans. A heavy presence of Indonesian security forces, lack of access for international observers such as journalists, corruption and transmigration from other parts of Indonesia aggravate the situation. Political prisoners and the persecution of political activists shows the extent of repression with which freedom of expression and indigenous peoples’ rights are being violated. Papua’s wealth in natural resources attracts businesses and security forces resulting in exploitation through mining, logging, harmful agricultural projects, and environmental degradation. This dynamic challenges traditional indigenous culture while Papuans demand their right to self-determination.
visit our website at www.humanrightspapua.org