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Exposing Violation of Law and Human Rights During and After Anti-Racism demonstrations in Papua

Civil Society Coalition - Papua For All (Ko Masi Papua)

Press Conference

Jayapura, 17 September 2019


Exposing Violation of Law and Human Rights During and After Anti-Racism demonstrations in Papua and West Papua Provinces


One month after the waves of demonstrations that took place in various regions throughout Papua, the public still questioned as to why there is no clarification related to those who were injured and or lost their lives. On the 2nd of September 2019, Papua Regional Police released a number of damages after the August 29th demonstration in Jayapura. It was stated that at least 15 banking units and 7 police posts along the main road were damaged and burned. There were 24 units of kiosks and shops damaged and burned. There were 33 motorcycles and 36 vehicles that were damaged and burned.


The police were quick in releasing data on material losses yet could not release the information on the number of people who were injured or killed during the demonstrations. The people of Papua do not know how many injuries and deaths there are, especially after some sweeping activities carried out by certain community groups. This confirms the existence of deliberate efforts to limit information which in itself is a form of discrimination that results in the non-fulfillment of the rights of victims and their families to obtain justice.


The Civil Society Coalition- Papua for All (hereinafter referred to as the Coalition) has conducted an independent investigation as a check and balance mechanism for the monopoly of information by state institutions. Based on the Coalition's findings, in Jayapura, on August 29th, 3 civilians were shot of whom 2 residents were hit by stray bullets during a mass demonstration at Waena Expo, another citizen was shot in Abepura, after the demonstration by the Pro-Indonesian vigilante community groups.


In addition, the Coalition found a sweeping action carried out by certain community groups on 30 August led to at least one person dead and 9 people suffered serious and minor injuries attacked using sharp weapons. On 1st September, 2019, there was also an attack by a group of people against the residents of Nayak I Dormitory, Abepura, Jayapura. As many as 19 people were victims of this incident (17 people suffered injuries due to stone throwing and sharp weapons, 1 person died due to being shot and 1 other person injured by a shot.


The Coalition also found that at least 8 civilians and 1 TNI member died during a demonstration in Deiyai on 28 August. Subsequently, 17 people suffered physical violence and 2 people were injured due to gunfire.


Until now, the authorities continue to conduct searches and the public is still experiencing intimidation and terror. Those who were shot wounded and other physical violence victims were also found in Timika and Fakfak. Based on the Coalition’s investigation, 2 people were shot and at least 18 people experienced physical violence in Timika on 21 August. While in Fakfak, on the same day, 1 person had stab wound, 1 person was hit by a stone throw and 1 person was hit by a stray bullet.


Unfortunately, efforts to disclose criminal liability for the perpetrators were concealed from the public. Though the police are aggressively continuing to make arrests of those suspected of being provocateurs of demonstrations no attempts were made into investigate the perpetrators especially against the Indonesian military and the nationalist groups. In addition to conducting investigations related to various post-demonstration events against racism, the Coalition also established the Civil Society-Papua Complaints Command Post for All (hereinafter abbreviated as the Ko Masi Papua Command Post) on 9 September 2019.


This initiative was established to obtain strong and valid data related to various community reports with rampant intimidation and terror. A week after its establishment; the Ko Masi Papua Command Post continues to receive complaints from the public. As of September 14, the team had received 26 reports, relating to arrests outside legal procedures, intimidation and terror to reports of the disappearance of a community member after the demonstration.


Incoming complaints came from several cities in Papua and West Papua. The coalition estimates that complaints will continue to increase along with the intense sweeping and arrest actions that continue to be carried out by the authorities. Therefore the Coalition appealed to the victims and their families to be able to report, both those who were intimidated, terrorized, wrongfully arrested to the extent of physical violence. This community report is very important in developing alternative narratives for the expression of truth and justice for victims.


The Coalition is also paying attention to the arbitrary arrests that are being carried out in Papua and West Papua. According to the Coalition’s data, 99 people were named as suspects. In Jayapura there were 39 people, Timika Regency: 8 people, Deiyai Regency: 16 people, Manokwari Regency: 19 people, Fakfak 3 people and Sorong City: 14 people.


In just a period of one month, there were 99 suspects in Papua and West Papua. However, this large number of arrests is not procedural and impartial. The Coalition found a disproportionate pattern of law enforcement, in the absence of an arrest warrant and a copy to the family, torture, violations of the right to legal assistance to alleged wrongful arrests.


Acts of sweeping, intimidation, terror and arrests that continue to be carried out by the authorities seem to contradict the term 'conducive' a narrative that continues to be conveyed by the state and its instruments. Another failure of the state in providing a sense of security is evidenced by the return of thousands of Papuan students from various study cities across Indonesia to Papua. Many reports received by the Coalition regarding racism, intimidation and terror treatment that they (the government) denied after the anti-racism demonstration including fear experienced by their families in Papua.


The exodus of these students shows that the perception of 'safe' and 'conducive' as narrated by the state, is not a collective experience. The government must ensure the student’s right to continue their education but also guarantee their security. The Coalition urges the central government, the provincial governments of Papua and West Papua, as well as the district and city governments to take full responsibility for the fate of thousands of students. They are victims and should not be burdened let alone ignored their right to get access to education. The return of students in itself reflects the failure of the state and its instruments in ensuring the safety of every citizen without exception.


Therefore, the Coalition submits the following demands:

  1. Request the government and the police to issue valid data related to the number of injured and death after the demonstration in Papua and West Papua Provinces

  2. Ensuring lawsuits against perpetrators of crime

  3. Ensure victims and their families can get comprehensive and effective reparations

  4. Ensuring the fulfillment of the rights of demonstration suspects during the examination.

  5. The government stops intimidation and criminalization of advocates, activists, journalists and human rights defenders

  6. Stop the criminalization of treason article against Papuan civil society

  7. Conduct in-depth review related to tactics used by the police and army in handling the crowd

  8. Immediately withdraw all BKO troops from all regions in Tanah Papua and strengthen the role of civil administration in Tanah Papua

  9. Carry out legal and social recovery due to post-riot social conflicts that occurred in the provinces of Papua and West Papua.

  10. Broadest possible access for journalists and humanitarian workers to the Land of Papua

  11. Request full responsibility for national, provincial, and city and district governments in Papua and West Papua to fulfill the rights of thousands of students to access education after returning to Papua

  12. The central government immediately resolves the Papua conflict in a comprehensive and dignified manner


Contact person:

Sem Awom, +6282198052223

Latifah Anum Siregar, +6285244060000

Yuliana Langowuyo, +682199668664

Emanuel Gobay, +6282199507613

Yulius Lala’ar, +6282398660005

Haryanto, +6285244988734


Civil Society Coalition-Papua for All (Ko Masi Papua)

1. Bersatu Untuk Kebenaran/ United for Truth (BUK)

2. KontraS Papua

3. Aliansi Demokrasi Untuk Papua (AlDP)

4. Keadilan Perdamaian dan Keutuhan Ciptaan GKI di Tanah Papua

5. KPKC Sinode Papua Franciscan SKPKC

6. KPKC Kingmi di Tanah Papua

7. LBH Papua

8. PBH Cenderawasih

9. LP3BH Manokwari

10. PAHAM Papua

11.LBH Kaki Abu

12. Cedaw Papua Work Team

13. Elsham Papua

14. Dewan Adat Papua

15. Solidarity for Indigenous Papuan (SIP)

16. Yayasan Anak Dusun Papua (YADUPA)

17. JERAT of Papua

18. Ilalang Papua

19. Papuan Tiki

20. YaLi Papua

21. Walhi Papua

22. Badan Koordinasi HMI Papua dan Papua Barat

23. HMI Cabang Jayapura

24. PMKRI

25. GMKI

26. Pemuda Katolik

27. GEMPAR Papua

28. SEPAHAM Papua

29. Papuan Voices