West Papua: Peaceful protesters, arrested, tortured

July 15, 2017

The report below was compiled by the Free West Papua Campaign on July 8.


We have received urgent reports from West Papua that between June 30 and July 6, about 150 West Papuan people were arrested, and many of them tortured, by the Indonesian police for peaceful actions in the Papuan province of Nabire.

The West Papua National Committee (KNPB) said that on June 30, West Papuan activist Yanto Waine went missing for three days. It emerged that he had been arrested on Mulia Road in Nabire.

On July 4, West Papuan people peacefully demonstrated for his release and at least 31 were themselves arrested. The police promised that three of the activists would be released the next day. However, in the end, only Waine was released two days later.

After Waine’s release, about 150 West Papuan people peacefully marched to the Indonesian police station in Nabire to call for the release of the remaining detainees. All participants were reportedly arrested. Nine youths and children were also among those arrested.

They were told that they were not allowed to shout for freedom while being taken on the police trucks. When the demonstrators continued to do so, they were tortured by police.

The KNPB said that people were punched, kicked and beaten with guns.

We fully condemn such unlawful mass arrests and detentions of peaceful West Papuan protesters, especially children. We also fully condemn the brutal torture of those who continue to suffer under an illegal Indonesian occupation, in which state torture is widespread and systematic.

We call upon Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and all relevant groups to join us in condemning such human rights abuses. We call for a full and impartial investigation, demanding justice for the victims and assurance that such abuses will never happen again.

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