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Found guilty by judges, Yanwaris Sewa sentenced to 18 years in prison

22 June, 2023

The Continuation of the hearing for the verdict for case number: PDM-18/R.2.11/Eoh.2/02/2023, against Yanwaris Sewa, on Thursday 22nd June 2023 at Sorong State Court, at a court led by the Chief Judge, Bernadus Papendang, along with Rivai Rasyid Takuboya and Lutfi Tomu serving as other judges, attended by the Public Prosecutor along with the accused and his legal team.During the reading of the verdict, Yanwaris Sewa was found guilty by the court and was sentenced to 18 years of prison. On the 14th October 2022, Yanwaris Sewa was arrested by members of Sorong South area police in Sanbika...

Webinar: Status and Trends of Freedom of Expression, Assembly, and Digital Rights in West Papua

19 June, 2023

“It's getting worse in 2019, when we have the Uprising related to racism. There's a phobia, I think, from the state for us to express our opinion.” (Esther Haluk, West Papuan Woman Activist) “In terms of the degrading situation we have seen, certainly across a whole number of different categories, the police, and groups they have worked alongside, such as militia groups… the atmosphere they have created has led to a chilling effect on the civil society and the feeling to be able to freely express opinions and demonstrate in West Papua” (Ian Moore, TAPOL Campaigner) SAFEnet and...

Three West Papuans charged with treason for holding religious service to mark pro-independence organisation's anniversary

5 June, 2023

Three West Papuans have been charged with treason and face up to 4 years in prison for holding a peaceful  religious service. The judges must be fair and objective and acquit Karlos Bonay, Andreas Sanggenafa and Soleman Waropen, because expressing opinions and peaceful assembly are human rights protected by national and international law!       

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

10 May, 2023

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. This belies a declining situation of Freedom of Assembly and Expression in West Papua. The report highlights that: “...the continued worsening trend, despite new initiatives, promises and approaches by the government, shows that it is not working to actively...

Update on Viktor Yeimo's trial - delayed yet again

18 April, 2023

The agenda for the reading of the prosecution’s case in the trial of Viktor Yeimo on treason charges at Jayapura District Court on 17th April 2023 has been postponed for a second time. The reason given was the same as on the first occasion: the prosecution file from the public prosecutor is not ready because it still has to be coordinated with the Office of the Attorney-General.This move has displeased the chairman of the panel of judges, the defendant's lawyer, the defendant and even the public who were present to watch the trial leading to a turbulent atmosphere in the courtroom.As a...

Joint Oral Statement - 52nd Session of the Human Rights Council Agenda Item 6: UPR Adoption – Indonesia

27 March, 2023

Franciscans International, Amnesty International, World Council of Churches, CIVICUS, Human Rights Monitoring, TAPOLFranciscans International, Amnesty International, World Council of Churches, CIVICUS, Human Rights Monitoring and TAPOL appreciate the Government of Indonesia’s support for five recommendations on the human rights situation in West Papua. We regret that five other recommendations on West Papua including on the visit of the High Commissioner for Human Rights are only noted, despite an invitation to the previous High Commissioner.Read the full statement here

TAPOL statement on the hostage-taking in Nduga, West Papua

8 March, 2023

It has been a month since Susi Air pilot Philip Mark Mehrtens was taken hostage by the National Liberation Army of West Papua (TPNPB) in Nduga, in the highlands of Papua Pegunungan Province. 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.The incident began after Mehrtens landed a Pilatus Porter PC-6 Susi Air plane at Paro Airport, Paro District, in Nduga Regency, to deliver five Papuans from Timika, 7th February 2023. Troops from the TPNPB’s War...

Melkias Ky Trial Verdict Due

31 January, 2023

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. For more information on the background of this event and the broader situation in Maybrat, please take a look at our video series and our briefing.He has already gone through four months of the trial session at Sorong District Court from October 2022 to January, and this happened after his arrest and detention, which has been since 31st January 2022....

Indonesian military’s hands on food estates highlights global land grab trends

20 January, 2023

TAPOL and awasMIFEE’s latest reports explore the increasing prominence of food estates in West Papua and Indonesia, diving into its history, purported reasoning and who stands to benefit from their creation. The increasing involvement of the Indonesian military is indicative of a worrying trend of the role of the armed forces in land grabs that finds echoes, not only in Indonesia, but across the world. TAPOL and GRAIN’s webinar on Tuesday 24th January explored the context of food estates and land grabs in the West Papuan and Indonesian context, before comparing them to global trends.'Food...

Webinar: A Look at the State of Food Estates - 24 January

17 January, 2023

Webinar: A Look at the State of Food Estates: Food Estates and Food System Power Grabs24th January 20239:00-10:30 (GMT); 16:00 - 17:30 (WIB); 18:00 - 19:30 (WIT) The event recording can be found on Youtube.The event explores why these estates are being set-up, who stands to gain from their rollout and compare how it is implemented across the world. How coercive power is used to clear land, the military's own direct role in running the estate and the effect on indigenous populations, will also be discussed.Based on TAPOL & awasMIFEE's two reports: Pandemic Power-Grabs:...

The Paniai Trial- A Parody of Justice set up to fail?

9 December, 2022

The trial of Isak Sattu, a retired soldier who was a liaison officer present during the Paniai killings in 2014, came to a close on 8 December, with him being found not guilty of the crimes against humanity that he had been charged with.  The trial has taken place in Makassar State Court since the 21st September and has been the first case tried at a Human Rights Court for 18 years. Take a look at our pre-trial briefing for more information on the events and the court background.Despite the National Human Rights Commission recommending that 41 people be tried for responsibility for the...

Paniai Trial Update

7 December, 2022

StatementOn 14th November 2022, the public prosecutor in the Isak Sattu case demanded he be given a ten years sentence for his actions during the Paniai Shootings in December 2014. At this stage, it is important to analyse some of the revelations that have come out of the trial, what light that has shed on the events, including within the framework of national and international law obligations and also to analyse the effectiveness of this process so far and advocate to ensure justice is found here and in future similar situations. This joint update is prepared by The Coalition of Civil...

8 Countries Call out Indonesia's Actions in West Papua at UPR

15 November, 2022

On 9th November 2022, Indonesia’s 4th cycle of Indonesia's Universal Periodic Review (UPR) began at the UN in Geneva. A total of 108 Member States offered oral statements and recommendations on how Indonesia may be able to improve their human rights situation. The UPR is a mechanism by which the UN bodies, member states and civil society to scrutinise human rights in a country and hold it to account. For instance, our joint submission with BUK Papua expressed our concern at freedom of expression and freedom of association and the use of the Treason Law, militarisation and the Government of...

Another West Papuan Political Prisoner Dies

4 November, 2022

After news of the deaths of Zode Hilapok and Filep Karma, we have received more sad news. This time, it is news of the death of Abraham Mate (29), one of the West Papuan youths accused of involvement in attacking a military post in Kisor, Maybrat, Papua Barat Province. He died in Sorong Prison on the night of Wednesday 2nd November.During the afternoon of the same day, Abraham appeared healthy. He had taken part in court proceedings at the Sorong District Court with Abraham Fatemte, who was also accused as part of the same case. However, at around 10pm he suddenly began to feel sick and fell...

TAPOL’s Condolences upon the Death of Zode Hilapok

25 October, 2022

TAPOL expresses its sadness at the passing of Zode Hilapok, a West Papuan political prisoner, on 22nd October 2022. Zode was one of eight people accused of treason for raising the Morning Star flag above Cenderawasih Sports Centre in Jayapura on 1st December 2021.Whilst the other defendants finished their 10 month prison sentences at the end of  September, Zode was yet to stand trial due to ill health. He was receiving treatment, as his health condition began to deteriorate.Zode’s symptoms began to appear when he was detained by Papua’s Regional Police. At the time, he admitted feeling weak...

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

21 October, 2022

Press ReleaseLondon, 21st October 2022“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...

TAPOL Releases 2021 West Papua Freedom of Expression and Freedom of Assembly Report

21 October, 2022

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. Our report, released today, shows the erosion of free expression and assembly in West Papua and on West Papua-related issues, with activists subject to criminalisation and security forces engaged in collusion with non-state actors.Read the Press Release, Executive Summary & Full Report.

Human Rights Court Mechanism and The 2014 Paniai Papua Case

31 August, 2022

On 16 April 2022, Indonesia’s Attorney General announced that they were preparing prosecution of a suspect allegedly responsible for unlawful killings in Paniai, Papua in 2014, under the ‘Human Rights Court’ mechanism (under Law No. 26/2000).  This mechanism is the country’s special criminal tribunal dealing with cases of gross violations of human rights. If the case is brought before a special court under Law No. 26/2000, which is planned to be held in Makassar, South Sulawesi, the Paniai Case would be the first case tried at a Human Rights Court for 18 years. In this briefing, AJAR (Asia...

TAPOL statement on the execution of political prisoners in Myanmar

3 August, 2022

We condemn the execution of four political prisoners in Myanmar, Kyaw Min Yu, Phyo Zeya Thaw, Hla Myo Aung and Aung Thura Zaw. The four were convicted in a secret military court.  Member states of the United Nations and multilateral blocs from within the international community have denounced the executions. But international reactions have been basically in line with a position since the military's coup d'etat in February 2021. There has been criticism, followed by inaction and in some cases, indifference. More must be done to end the Myanmar military's illegal power grab. There are 100...

TAPOL statement on the latest events in Paniai and Nduga, West Papua

20 July, 2022

TAPOL expresses its concern and deep sorrow at the numerous events that have occured recently in West Papua, which have led to the deaths of several people. Firstly, the destruction and repressive actions of the security forces at the Paniai Regent’s Office (Kantor Bupati Paniai) that caused the death of one person and the injury of others on Tuesday 5th July 2022; and secondly, shootings and unlawful killings of at least 11 civilians, carried out by armed groups in Nduga on Saturday 16th July 2022.Acts of violence against civilians, when they lead to deaths whoever is responsible, should be...