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justice and trials

TAPOL regrets Court sentencing of ‘Balikpapan Seven’ political prisoners

(London, 17 June 2020) TAPOL regrets the sentencing of seven West Papuan political prisoners today in Balikpapan, East Kalimantan province. The Seven were arrested in early September 2019 and accused of being the masterminds behind the ‘West Papua Uprising’, mass anti-racism protests in August and September last year. Prosecutors demanded that harsh prison sentences should be handed to the Seven, which has caused a rise in tensions in recent weeks in West Papua. However, judges took a different view and displayed more leniency:

Briefing Paper: Political arrests in West Papua from 2012-2014

This briefing paper provides an analytical overview of data on political arrests in West Papua from 2012 to 2014. It includes analysis of emerging trends in human rights violations associated with these political arrests.

Our analysis shows that during the three-year period of this report, the majority of those detained were arrested because of their participation in demonstrations or other types of peaceful political activity. 2013 was a particularly bad year, with a record high of 548 arrests. The data also showed that most of those detained were male (95%).

Areki Wanimbo is first Papuan treason suspect to be acquitted in 14 years

Today, Papuan political detainee Areki Wanimbo was acquitted of conspiracy to commit treason and released from prison, after spending over nine months in detention in West Papua, Indonesia. Mr Wanimbo, an indigenous tribal leader and local teacher was arrested in Wamena in the Central Highlands of West Papua, alongside two French journalists who had travelled to the resource-rich region to investigate one of the world’s longest-running conflicts.

Preface to Filep Karma's 'As if We're Half Animals'

Filep Karma, born in 1959, lived his entire adult life under the shadow of the Indonesian military. In one of the darkest chapters of West Papua’s dark history since 1962– the Biak Massacre of 6 July 1998 – Karma was the key player in peacefully confronting the Indonesian state and demanding independence. His philosophy and practice of non-violence protest were met with extreme violence by the Indonesian military.

Jayapura Five walk free - but what lies ahead?

Today five men were released from Abepura prison in Papua, after each spending two years and nine months in detention. Imprisoned for a peaceful political event which declared Papua’s ‘independence’ from Indonesia, authorities and the Indonesian justice system have branded the men as treacherous criminals. International human rights groups such as Amnesty International instead label the men as prisoners of conscience, imprisoned for their political and ideological beliefs.