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According to a previous report by the Central Papuan Highlands Coalition for Peace Law and Human Rights (Koalisi untuk Kedamaian, Hukum dan HAM Pegunungan Tengah Papua), in the Eastern Indonesian region of Papua there has been a rise in cases of intimidation and harassment against Human Rights Defenders and lawyers during the year of 2015.

 

This concerning data has been confirmed by Papuans Behind Bars, an online resource about political prisoners in West Papua launched in April 2013, who estimated that at the end of July 2015, there were at least 51 political prisoners in the region.

 

 

 

For more info, please read the following update by Papuans Behind Bars

 

 

Information received from the Central Papuan Highlands Coalition for Peace, Law and Human Rights (Koalisi untuk Kedamaian, Hukum dan HAM Pegunungan Tengah Papua) reported an increasing climate of intimidation and harassment against human rights defenders and lawyers in Wamena.

Coalition members providing accompaniment to Roby Erik Pekey, a victim of arbitrary police violence in Wamena, have been subject to harassment due to their role in addressing impunity. An increased number of reports of intimidation faced by human rights defenders underscores the need for the state to take urgent measures to ensure their protection.

 

Reports from the Coalition describing how Jayawijaya police were able to freely mistreat Roby Pekey while he sought medical treatment in Wamena Hospital is yet another example of open police brutality in public spaces.

In our April 2015 update, we recorded two other cases of victims who were arbitrarily detained, tortured and cruelly treated in hospitals.

In Tolikara on 17 July, a 16-year-old teenager was shot dead and at least 11 others injured when security forces shot into a crowd that were protesting the use of loudspeakers during an Eid al-Fitr prayer session. The shootings provoked the burning of several kiosks, which spread quickly to amusholla (a prayer room) where the prayers were taking place.

 

While police were quick to secure the arrests of two men who were allegedly involved in the arson, perpetrators of the shootings from the security forces have so far not yet been identified or brought to account. Investigations into the incident are currently ongoing.

 

At least 40 members of the United Liberation Movement of West Papua (ULMWP) were arrested for participating in a prayer session giving thanks to the outcome of the June summit of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG).Since May this year, 264 people have been arrested for expressing their support or being involved with the ULMWP. The targeting of ULMWP members and its supporters for arbitrary arrest demonstrates Indonesia’s zero-tolerance policy towards peaceful aspirations of West Papuan independence.

 

To read the extended version of the update, please click here