This report asks several questions about the spread of conflict in West Papua. The report also identifies the drivers of militarisation including increasing numbers of security force posts and bases allowing access to business opportunities, a deepening military role in ‘counter-terror’ operations, and looks at recent initiatives to stop conflict.
A firefight took place between the National Liberation Army of West Papua (Tentara Pembebasan Nasional Papua Barat - TPNPB) and members of the Indonesian military and police force (Tentara Nasional Indonesia dan Kepolisian RI - TNI-POLRI) in Intan Jaya Regency, Central Papua Province, between 19th to 23rd January 2024. According to reports we received, the Indonesian security forces shot two civilians.
Despite commitments made internationally, Indonesia fails to ensure the full enjoyment of human rights for Indigenous West Papuans. Security forces’ blatant disrespect for rights continue with impunity, including extrajudicial killings, intimidation of human rights defenders; and attacks on freedoms of expression, association, peaceful assembly.
Despite putting the West Papua issue back in the international spotlight, the hostage-taking of civilians is regrettable and unjustified based on international human rights and humanitarian norms.
Melkias Ky (23), a civilian who lives in Insum Village, Maybrat District, West Papua, has become the victim of a wrongful arrest by the police, during the trial surrounding the events that took place in Kisor, Maybrat, on 2nd September 2021.
Testimony from two witnesses for the defence, presented by lawyers during the 5 April 2022 trial at the Makassar District Court and online, have strengthened suspicions that defendants MS and AY are the victims of wrongful arrest and were not involved in the murder of four Indonesian Army soldiers at the Kisor military post in South Aifat district, Maybrat regency on 2 September 2021.
The Advocacy Team for Human Rights in Papua (Tim Advokasi HAM untuk Papua) strongly condemns acts of persecution and torture of seven minors, causing one of them to die. Based on a timeline of events that we have verified, it is suspected that the deceased child was heavily persecuted and tortured by the military (TNI).
TAPOL and Kaki Abu Legal Aid released a video entitled "LK dan Pusaran Kerasan di Papua (LK and Systemic State Violence in Papua)". This campaign video calls for the release of LK, a child accused of having broken the law (ABH) in Maybrat, #WestPapua, who was subjected to torture and forced to undergo an unfair trial.
TAPOL is extremely concerned by reports that the Indonesian military’s operations in Nduga Regency, West Papua, cost the lives of 243 people, 45 percent of whom were children, between 4th December 2018 and 8thFebruary 2019. Several hundred civilians fled their homes on 4thDecember 2018 when a joint police and military operation launched an attack on villages in Mbuwa district, Nduga Regency, in apparent ‘retaliation’ for the killing of 18 road construction workers two days earlier by West Papuan freedom fighters, the National Liberation Army of West Papua (TPNPB) led by Egianus Kogeya.