Press conference on Human Rights Situation in West Papua as of 17th September 2019

One month after waves of demonstrations that swept across various regions throughout Papua and Indonesia in general, the Papuan people still questioned the Indonesian government as to why there is no clarification related to those people who were injured and or lost their lives during the demonstrations. On the 2nd of September 2019, Papua Regional Police released a number of damages done to the shops and buildings after the August 29th demonstration in Jayapura. They stated that at least 15 banking units, 7 police posts, 33 motorcycles and 36 vehicles were damaged and or burned by the demonstrators.

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 nationalist militia 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 Papua Community Coalition for all established on September to address the issue 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, on August 29th, three civilians were shot of whom two  were hit by stray bullets during a mass demonstration at Waena Jayapura, another citizen was shot in Abepura, after the demonstration by the Pro-Indonesian militia groups.

In addition, the Coalition found sweeping action organized by certain militia groups known as ‘Nusantara’ on 30th of August 2019 led to at least one person dead and nine people suffered serious and minor injuries attacked using sharp weapons. On the 1st of September, 2019, there was also an attack by a group of people against the Students at Kamaya Nayak I Dormitory, Abepura. As many as 19 people were victims of this incident (17 people suffered injuries due to stone throwing and sharp weapons, one person died due to being shot and another person was injured by a gunshot. The Coalition also found that at least eight civilians and an Indonesian military (TNI) member died during a demonstration in Deiyai on 28th August, 2019. There were a total of seventeen people suffered physical violence, two people were injured due to gunfire.

Until now, the authorities continue to conduct searches which the Papuan 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, twow people were shot and at least 18 people experienced physical violence in Timika on 21 August. While in Fakfak, on the same day, one person sustained stab wound, another person was hit by a stone throw and a 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 investigating 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  on 9th September 2019.

This initiative was established to obtain 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 14th, the team had received 26 reports, relating to arrests outside of 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, 96 people were named as suspects. In Jayapura there were 39 people, Timika Regency: 8 people, Deiyai Regency: 16 people, Manokwari Regency: 19 people and Sorong City: 14 people.

In just one month, there were 96 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 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 presence 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.

The Coalition submited 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
  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 for further inquiries:

Sem Awom, +6282198052223

Latifah Anum Siregar, +6285244060000

Yuliana Langowuyo, +6282199668664

Emanuel Gobay, +6282199507613

Yulius Lala’ar, +6282398660005

Haryanto, +6285244988734


Coalition Partners

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

United for Truth (BOOK)

KontraS Papua

Alianisi Democracy for Papua (AlDP)

Peace Justice and Integrity of GKI Creation in the Land of Papua

Papua Franciscan SKPKC

Kingmi JPIC in the Land of Papua

LBH Papua

PBH Cenderawasih

LP3BH Manokwari


LBH Kaki Abu

Cedaw Papua Work Team

Elsham Papua

Solidarity for Indigenous Papuans (SIP)

Papua Hamlet Children’s Foundation (YADUPA)

JERAT of Papua

Ilalang Papua

Papuan Tiki

YaLi Papua

Walhi Papua

Papua and West Papua HMI Coordination Agencies

HMI Jayapura Branch



Catholic youth



Papuan Voices



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