West Papuan protesters killed by Indonesian police: Witnesses

But national police deny a deadly shooting incident took place in an interview with Al Jazeera.

By  Febriana Firdaus, Aljazeera

Jakarta, Indonesia – At least six protesters and one military officer have been killed and several others including children wounded in West Papua after authorities clashed with demonstrators demanding independence, witnesses have said.

A source at one of the demonstrations on Wednesday in Papua province’s Deiyai regency said at least six Papuans were killed.

The witness, who requested anonymity for security reasons, also saw several people wounded by gunfire and demonstrators fleeing to the jungle for fear of being pursued by police and soldiers.

Suara Papua, the most widely read publication in the region, also reported the six protester deaths.

However, in an interview with Al Jazeera, Indonesian national police spokesman Dedi Prasetyo denied that demonstrators were killed in Deiyai.

News website Kompas quoted Papua’s regional police chief, General Rudolf Rodja, as saying one military officer was killed and two police officers were injured during clashes with protesters.

Demonstrations have raged throughout West Papua for more than a week. The region is divided into two provinces, West Papua and Papua.

Because of an internet shutdown, Al Jazeera and other media organisations face difficulty in gathering and verifying news from the area.

Demonstrator demands

Pastor Santon Tekege from Papua province’s Catholic Church attended the rally in Deiyai, alongside children, women, and elders.

He told Al Jazeera he witnessed Wednesday’s shooting in Deiyai, where the protesters earlier raised the banned pro-independence Morning Star flag.

He said he saw bodies lying in front of the Deiyai regent’s office. It was unclear if the individuals were injured or dead.Santon said the crowd of Papuan demonstrators first gathered on Wednesday morning at the Wagete district of Tigi, the capital city of Deiyai regency.

One of the protesters then handed over a statement to Deiyai’s regent, Ateng Edowai, stating their grievances against the government.

During the rally, Santon reported seeing a drone hovering over the crowd. Then the police and military started dispersing the protesters by firing tear gas.

As the crowd became agitated, the authorities then started shooting protesters, said Santon.

“I ran to the jungle to save myself,” he said. “Wagete is now empty. Everyone fled to the jungle including the wounded. The situation is very intense now.”

‘Unlawful deaths’

Protests have raged throughout the West Papua region for more than a week [File: Dita Alangkara/AP]Yones Douw, a pastor from Kingmi Church in the neighbouring regency of Nabire, told Al Jazeera villagers from Deiyai reported to him they witnessed two children being shot and one died. It was unclear if the fatality was included in the six people reported killed.

Arnold Belau, chief editor of Suara Papua publication, also reported hearing gunshots while calling his source.

Meanwhile, human rights lawyer Veronica Koman said the military blocked the road to Deiyai from neighbouring Paniai regency, where thousands of demonstrators also marched on Wednesday.

Veronica told Al Jazeera mobile phone signals were disrupted in the area where the shooting took place.

Another source told Al Jazeera at least five soldiers and two civilians were being treated at the Paniai hospital after sustaining injuries during clashes in Deiyai.

In a statement to Al Jazeera, Usman Hamid, executive director of Amnesty International Indonesia, confirmed the shooting in Deiyai.

He called on the government and police to investigate “unlawful deaths”.

Low-level rebellion

The ongoing protests in West Papua region first erupted last week after Papuan students in Surabaya, East Java, reportedly faced mistreatment by police and were subjected to racial abuse.

Last week, the large demonstrations turned violent as thousands of protesters burned public facilities and blocked roads.

West Papua was a Dutch colony until the early 1960s when Indonesia took control, cementing its rule with a controversial referendum.

The government in Jakarta maintains the West Papua region, which occupies the western half of the island of Papua New Guinea, is Indonesia’s because it was part of the Dutch East Indies that forms the basis of the country’s modern-day borders.

A low-level armed rebellion by indigenous Papuans, who now make up about half the population after years of migration by people from other parts of Indonesia, has been rumbling ever since.

West Papua is the poorest region in the country and there have been allegations of human rights violations.

In December, violence also erupted in the province killing at least 17 people and triggering a military crackdown.

Some 35,000 civilians have been forced from their homes as security forces attempt to flush out the rebels from the forested mountains.



The second person shot by TNI Indonesian racist soldiers from Satgas Nemangkawi in Intan Jaya yesterday was a SIX YEAR OLD CHILD. Meinus was shot as specialist combat troops raided his village and set it on fire. Rupinus Tigau, a 34 year old man, was shot dead during the same raid. These photos show Meinus being carried to an ambulance by Brimob.

#MakeWestPapuaSafe stands with the people of Intan Jaya to say #TNIout of West Papua!

WEST PAPUA: ULMWP accuses Jakarta over ‘martial law’ after police fire on students
PMW ID 10795

JAYAPURA (Asia Pacific Report/Pacific Media Watch): The United Liberation Movement if West Papua (ULMWP) has accused the Indonesian government of imposing martial law on the Melanesian region of West Papua and brutally supressing protests in a crackdown.

“Students have been shot with live rounds, tear gassed and beaten with bamboo sticks by police in Jayapura – just for staging a peaceful sit-in. How can people be shot and beaten for sitting in a public space?” said ULMWP chair Benny Wenda.

RNZ Pacific reports that the university students were forced to flee from the gunshots as the police dispersed the protesters yesterday.

The students were demonstrating against the government’s plans for a new Special Autonomy law in Papua region when members of both police and military forces came to disperse them.

Footage from Jayapura shows armed security forces personnel pursuing students through their dormitory precinct in Waena sub-district, accompanied by the sound of gunfire.

At least one student was wounded and has reportedly been taken to hospital.

A police spokesman has denied that the students were isolated in their dormitories, saying the demonstrators were disrupting public order.

Public gatherings not allowed

He said that during the covid-19 pandemic mass public gatherings were not allowed.

According to the Papua Legal Aid Institute, 13 people involved in the demonstration were arrested.

Over the past two months, two religious workers, pastor Yeremia Zanambani and Catholic preacher Rafinus Tigau, have been killed by the Indonesian military, says the ULMWP.

Preacher Rafinus Tigau
Catholic preacher Rafinus Tigau … killed by the Indonesian military. Image: Jubi

Another has been shot, and one more has mysteriously died.

Armed police were “stalking every corner of West Papua”, and troops awere forcing thousands of people from their homes across huge swathes of our land, the ULMWP’s website said today.

Forty-five thousand people have been displaced from Nduga Regency alone, and more are fleeing Intan Jaya every day.

“This is martial law in all but name,” said Wenda.

Urban military checkoints

“You cannot walk through an urban centre in West Papua today without being stopped by police, without meeting a military checkpoint.

“Every demonstration, no matter how peaceful, is met with mass arrests and police brutality – in Nabire on September 24, in Cenderawasih University on September 28, in Jayapura today.”

Wenda said Indonesia was “panicking” because Tuvalu Prome Minister Kausea Natano, chair of the Pacific Islands Forum, had raised concerns over West Papua this month.

Indonesia was “haunted” by the words of Vanuatu, issued at the UN General Assembly in September.

“Indonesia is terrified of our Black resistance, our fight against racism and our struggle for self-determination.

“A normal democratic country does not deploy thousands of military troops against peaceful resistance – martial law dictatorship does that.”

“My people are screaming for the world’s help. There is a double pandemic in West Papua: a pandemic of covid-19 and a pandemic of racism.”


BREAKING NEWS: Evidence of Shooting by the Indonesian Military which resulted in the Death of a Catholic Catechist in Intan Jaya
Another Melanesian Pastor in West Papua Killed in TImika, West Papua
Another Melanesian Pastor in West Papua Killed in TImika, West Papua

Since 5:00 am, (26/10) yesterday it was reported that the Indonesian National Army (TNI) had shot dead a Catholic catechist on behalf of Rupinus Tigau in Jalae Village, Sugapa District, Intan Jaya Regency, West Papua.

Rupinus Tigau suffered gunshot wounds to the right ribs, waist, and back of the victim’s body. In addition, the Indonesian military also shot the victim’s ear until the ear was torn as a result of being shot with a gun after being hit by hot lead.

Therefore we appeal to the international human rights community to immediately investigate human rights violations of the shooting of a Catholic catechist at Intan Jaya which resulted in the victim dying on the spot after being shot by a gun belonging to a TNI member carrying out military operations in Jalae Village, Sugapa District. , Intan Jaya Regency, West Papua.

This picture is a victim of a shooting that was carried out by the Indonesian military against Rupinus Tigau as the pastor of the Catholic church, Sugapa, Intan Jaya Regency.
WEST PAPUA Tuesday, October 27, 2020

📷Photo: Rupinus Tigau, Victim of Indonesian Military Shooting

Source FB

Breaking News West Papua: One Student Shot, 13 Others Peacefully Refusing Indonesian Autonomy Law were Arbitrarily Arrest by Indonesian Police
Mathias Soo, Shot by Indonesian Security Force in Jayapura
Mathias Soo, Shot by Indonesian Security Force in Jayapura

Peaceful demonstration against special autonomy law being processed in Jakarta by Melanesian students in West Papua was dispersed brutally by Indonesian colonial police today, Tuesday 27 October, 2020. Indonesian military were carrying shot machine guns as well on the spot.

13 students were arested 1 was shot:
1. Apniel Doo
2. Jhon F Tebai
3. Doni Pekei
4. Yabet Likas Degei
5. Meriko Kabak
6. Orgis Kabak
7. Carles Siep
8. Ones Sama
9. Yanias Mirin
10. Arkilaus Lokon
11. Kristianbus Degei
12. Laban Helukan
13. Ausilius Magai

One student by the name of MATGIAS SOO was shot by the Indonesian security forces using shot machine gun.

We request media and advocacy locally and globally.

#Mahasiswa #WestPapua #TolakUUOtonomiKhusus #Referendum #PapuaMerdeka #FreeWestPapua

Video of the incident, provided by the The ULMWP Department of Political Affairs 

This morning, at 10:29 West Papua time, a student by the name of Mathias Soo or Mathias Suu was shot by Indonesian police, tortured many others.

The students refusing the Special Autonomy offer by Indonesia and demanding independence referendum. Demonstrations were held at the Cenderawasih University Campus campus, the first and largest campus in Western New Guinea.

Many others were arrested, tear gas was shot into the students.

There spots were announced for the peaceful demonstration today: Waena Expo centre, Auditorium of the Cenderawasih University and Perumnas 3, in front of the Yahukumo Student dormitory

ULMWP Establishes Provisional Constitution for West Papua

By Adorina Massing, Vanuatu Daily Post

The United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) has upgraded its Bylaws to Provisional Constitutional status, on the path to achieving a referendum and independence from colonial rule.

ULMWP Chairman Benny Wenda has written a statement which reports the decisions made from the third annual session of the Legislative Council’s congress on October 14th-17th in West Papua, and the Legislative Council’s decision on establishing a binding Provisional Constitution for West Papua.

“The Provisional Constitution ensures that the ULMWP is governed by rules and norms of democracy, human rights and self determination. Every element of this Provisional Constitution is democratic,” he wrote.

“Every element is designed to protect our culture, our identity and way of life.

“It points the way to our dream of creating the World’s first Green State, where every religion and every living being is protected under the law.

“We have learnt from the world the need to protect and build education, healthcare and renewable energy, to defend the rights of Indonesian migrants and Indigenous Papuans, customary land ownership and gender equality.”

Official Caretaker of the West Papua Office in Port Vila, Freddy Waromi said the Provisional Constitution is to guide and keep all parties (3 major organisations with 29 Resistance Groups from each organisation) united under one Movement.

“It is now our time, we are fed up of the Indonesian Government, they are killing us and now we are united more than ever.”

Mr Waromi would like to thank the Vanuatu Government, the Opposition, the VCC and the people for their support and their stand to liberate the West Papua from Colonial rule.

The Congress adopted a resolution that, ‘fully accepts and supports the political positions taken by the people of West Papua in their rejection of the Law No.21, 2001 on Special Autonomy for Papua.’

Mr Wenda stated, “we are not going to bow down to Jakarta’s renewal of so-called Special Autonomy. We are claiming back our Sovereignty from Indonesia. We are working to establish a Government in West Papua, a Government that can lead us to our goal of a referendum and beyond.

Thank you to the Legislative Council and every single person who is dedicating their life to the cause of West Papuan liberation.”

Racism against West Papua raised in British parliament

A British parliamentarian has told lawmakers in the UK parliament about racism faced by West Papuans in Indonesia.

Alex Sobel

Alex Sobel Photo: UK Parliament

Alex Sobel, who is the Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on West Papua, was speaking during a discussion on Black History.

Sobel said the plight of West Papuans under Indonesian rule was rarely taught in British academic institutions or schools.

He said the Black Lives Matter movement in the US resonated with West Papuans, who co-opted it under the slogan “Papuan Lives Matter”

“The campaigners shed light on Indonesia’s institutional racism against West Papuans.

“For instance, in August 2019 Papuan students were attacked in Indonesia’s second largest city (Surabaya) and called monkeys. The police then rounded up the students firing tear gas into their dormitory. These and many other incidents of racism will chime with many of my colleagues in the Chamber, and they reflect how many black communities in the UK were treated in the past.”

Protesters march against racism in Jayapura, August 2019. Photo: Whens Tebay
 Protesters march against racism in Jayapura, August 2019. Photo: Whens Tebay

Protesters march against racism in Jayapura, August 2019. Photo: Whens Tebay

However an Indonesian foreign ministry spokesman described racism against West Papuans as isolated.

Sade Bimantara recently said at least one of the perpetrators of racist abuse in the Surabaya incident had been convicted and jailed.

But Sobel told fellow MPs that Papuans who live, study and work in Indonesian regions outside of Papua often face discrimination.

“The Jakarta Post last year discussed Papuans living in Yogyakarta and said that it was not unusual for landlords to express approval of rent applications by phone only to reject them once they find out where they are from.”

Bimantara underlined that such cases were isolated and in no way reflected government policy.

According to him, the government put in place a very robust and strong policy of affirmative action in Papua and nationally.

Sobel said the All-Party Parliamentary Group on West Papua would continue to raise UK parliamentary support for and pressure for West Papuan self-determination.

Alex Sobel MP Speaking on the floor of the House of Commons

On Tuesday 20th October 2020, Alex Sobel MP the Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on West Papua (APPG) in the UK spoke up in support of the people of West Papua, during a discussion on Black History.

Speaking on the floor of the House of Commons, Hon. Alex Sobel said:

“I would also like to talk about an episode of Black history that, sadly, is rarely taught in our academic institutions or schools: that is the oppression and genocide of the West Papuans under Indonesian occupation. As Chair of the APPG on West Papua, it is incumbent on me to add their struggle to those of so many black and indigenous ones around the world.

“This year, following the death of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement, the West Papuans found inspiration to link their struggle with those struggles under the slogan “Papuan Lives Matter.” The campaigners shed light on Indonesia’s institutional racism against West Papuans. For instance, in August 2019 Papuan students were attacked in Indonesia’s second largest city and called monkeys. The police then rounded up the students firing tear gas into their dormitory. In 2006 in Jayapura everyone who had dreadlocks was arrested and their hair was cut. This continued for a fortnight. The Jakarta Post last year discussed Papuans living in Yogyakarta and said that it was not unusual for landlords to express approval of rent applications by phone only to reject them once they find out where they are from. These and many other incidents of racism will chime with many of my colleagues in the Chamber, and they reflect how many black communities in the UK were treated in the past.

“West Papuan leaders, including Benny Wenda, chair of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua, have sought political asylum around the world. Benny Wenda is a brilliant exponent for his people and needs to be platformed much more here in the UK where he lives so that light can be shone on what is happening to the West Papuan people.

“Finally, I again thank my hon. Friend the Member for Erith and Thamesmead for securing this opportunity that has enabled me to add my voice to those of my many black colleagues in the Chamber whom I am honoured to serve alongside.”

The All-Party Parliamentary Group on West Papua continues to raise UK parliamentary support for and pressure for West Papuan self-determination.

To find out more about International Parliamentarians for West Papua (IPWP) including how you can join, please visit: www.ipwp.org

Indonesian investigators attacked while probing Papuan pastor’s death
Yeremia Zanambani Photo: Suara Papua
Yeremia Zanambani Photo: Suara Papua

An Indonesian fact-finding team probing the recent death of a West Papuan pastor has been attacked while conducting investigations.

The government-sanctioned team has concluded the field investigation into the shooting of Pastor Yeremia Zanambani, which his community in Intan Jaya regency blames on Indonesia’s military.

Back in Jakarta, the National Police Commission head Benny Mamoto said his team was able to complete its investigation, despite security threats they encountered.

The West Papua National Liberation Army confirmed that its gunmen were behind an attack on the team in Mamba village.

Two members of the investigative team were injured: a university lecturer and a soldier.

Police are yet to name suspects in the pastor’s death, and the team is expected to announce its findings later this week.

Meanwhile, UCA News reports a senior police official saying an autopsy will be carried out on the body of the pastor to try and determine whether pro-independence fighters or security forces killed him.

According to the Indonesian Communion of Churches, Indonesian Evangelical Christian Church and local media in Papua, Yeremia was allegedly shot by Indonesian Army personnel on his way to his pig pen on 19 September, while a military operation reportedly took place.

The Jakarta Post reports that the military denied the allegation, instead saying that Yeremia was shot by an armed group.

Source: RNZI