London & Sydney, 14 May 2021
Pelagio Doutel of TAPOL says "UN Rapporteurs should call for the immediate and unconditional release of Mr Victor Yeimo of West Papua"
An urgent appeal on behalf of West Papuan pro-independence leader Victor Yeimo has been submitted by human rights organization TAPOL and lawyer Veronica Koman to the United Nations Special Procedures mechanisms of the Human Rights Council.
Victor Yeimo (37) was arrested on 9 May 2021 in Jayapura. He faces eleven charges including treason over his peaceful role in the 2019 West Papua Uprising. He had been living in exile in PNG since the crackdown against the Uprising and recently returned to his homeland.
Victor Yeimo is the international spokesperson of West Papua National Committee (Komite Nasional Papua Barat/KNPB) and Papuan People’s Petition (Petisi Rakyat Papua/PRP). According to the public statement of the Police, one of the reasons for his arrest was his participation at the 40th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in March 2019, which appears to have rendered him a victim of state reprisal.
“Lawyers have been prevented from accompanying Mr Yeimo during interrogations. No family member or anyone else has been able to pay him a visit. He is practically in solitary confinement and currently arbitrarily detained at the Police’s Mobile Brigade Headquarters (Mako Brimob) in Abepura. He was moved there without prior notice to his lawyers.” states Mr Pelagio Doutel in presenting the APPEAL.
Veronica Koman reports that “Papua’s police chief Mathius Fakhiri has publicly indicated that extra charges will likely be put against Victor Yeimo until he ‘gets old’ in prison. Victor Yeimo has history of being subjected to torture. Therefore we will be in close communication with UN officials to update them on developments including additional interrogation and maltreatment,”
To support his lawyers on the ground, Victor Yeimo has appointed Veronica Koman as his international lawyer. Veronica Koman is the international advocacy coordinator of the Jayapura-based Association of Human Rights Lawyers for Papua (PAHAM Papua).
Emanuel Gobay (Director of LBH Papua, counsel for Victor Yeimo in Jayapura): 082199507613
Veronica Koman (PAHAM Papua, international counsel for Victor Yeimo): email@example.com
Pelagio Doutel (TAPOL): firstname.lastname@example.org