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Freedom of Expression & Association

Arrests continue in West Papua with police charging three peaceful independence activists with treason

The Indonesian government continues to tread on the right to peaceful free expression in West Papua. This can be seen from arrests and treason charges against three members of the peaceful independence campaign group, the National Committee for West Papua (Komite Nasional Papua Barat, KNPB), in Tambrauw Regency, Southwest Papua province.

TAPOL's Latest Report - West Papua 2022: Laws, arrests and harassment worsens, despite Jakarta’s sweet words

With the ink now drying on the laws creating the new provinces in West Papua, claimed by Jakarta to have support from Papuans, TAPOL’s new report, 'West Papua 2022: Freedom Of Expression And Freedom Of Assembly', shows a picture of increasing incidents, including  arrests, dispersals, intimidation and killings for expressing dissent.

West Papua 2021 Freedom of Expression and Freedom of Assembly Full Report

Criminalisation, collusion and broken promises have been the main issues in regard to the state of freedom of expression and assembly in and related to West Papua in 2021. After an unusual year affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdowns across the world, there has been renewed pressure from the Indonesian government which has criminalised, imprisoned and intimidated activists who have spoken out on West Papua-related issues, with increasing numbers of arrests and increasing incidents of police and militias acting together.

TAPOL's Latest Report - West Papua 2021: criminalisation, collusion and broken promises

“Reports of intensified violence… (have) result(ed) in unknown numbers of civilian casualties and fatalities and internal displacement” and shock at “reports of the dismembered bodies of four indigenous Papuan civilians found outside Timika in West Papua Province (sic) on 22 August”. These are the words of the UN Acting High Commissioner For Human Rights, Nada Al-Nashif, at the opening of the 51st Human Rights Council at the UN in Geneva last month. Al-Nashif’s inclusion of West Papua highlights further recognition of the worsening human rights situation on the ground by the UN.