Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Group calls for protection of rights defenders in Papua



Group calls for protection of rights defenders in Papua

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Papuan students protest against the Indonesian government's plan to develop new administrative areas in the country's easternmost Papua province, in Malang, East Java on March 21. AFP

Group calls for protection of rights defenders in Papua

Activists have condemned alleged terror and intimidation against Papuan human rights activists and called the police to thoroughly investigate an alleged arson attack at Papua Legal Aid Institute (LBH Papua) on May 9.

The Foundation of the Indonesian Legal Aid Institute (YLBHI) and Papua Humanitarian Coalition condemned the alleged attack of burning a motorcycle in the garage of the LBH Papua office on Monday morning in Abepura district, Jayapura, Papua, Indonesia.

The Papua Humanitarian Coalition, which comprises a number of human rights organisations and activists, including Amnesty International Indonesia, Kontras and Public Virtue Research Institute, called on the police to thoroughly investigate the incidents and prevent similar attacks from recurring.

YLBHI is also calling on the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) to carry out investigations and provide protection to human rights defenders.

“The incident should be seen as an attack on human rights defenders,” YLBHI said in a statement on Monday, adding that LBH Papua recently advocated civil liberties to indigenous Papuans, victims of violence committed by the state and victims of land grabbing.

“This is part of terror against the democratic movement. It’s very dangerous for democracy,” YLBHI chairman Muhamad Isnur told the Jakarta Post on Tuesday.

LBH Papua director Emanuel Gobay suspected someone deliberately set the motorbike on fire. The institute had reported the incidents to the Papua Police on Monday.

Early on Monday morning, a motorbike parked at the institute’s office garage was found burned.

According to the LBH Papua statement, a wick smelling of kerosene and a plastic bag with remains of gasoline were found near the office. LBH Papua members also gathered information from two local residents, who saw someone wearing a black sweater, hat and mask had run out of the LBH Papua office before the incident.

Papua Police said they had visited the alleged crime scene and were carrying out an investigation into the alleged attack.

“The Abepura Police have visited the crime scene for an initial investigation, but the crime scene had been cleared,” Papua Police spokesperson Sr. Comr. Ahmad Musthofa Kamal said on Monday night as quoted by Kompas.

It is the latest incident in a series of attacks against Papuans or those voicing human rights in the easternmost provinces of the country.

In November last year, the family of human rights lawyer Veronica Koman, who has long been vocal in speaking up against alleged human rights abuses in Papua, became a target of intimidation.

In March 2021, at least two protesters were killed and several others were wounded during protests against the plan to form new provinces that turned into a clash between protesters and security forces in Yahukimo.

In August-October 2019 in Malang and Surabaya, Papuans were subjected to repression, violence and racial discrimination during a series of rallies.

THE JAKARTA POST/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

MOST VIEWED

  • Angkor lifetime pass, special Siem Reap travel offers planned

    The Ministry of Tourism plans to introduce a convenient, single lifetime pass for foreign travellers to visit Angkor Archaeological Park and potentially other areas. The move is designed to stimulate tourism to the culturally rich province of Siem Reap as the start of the “Visit

  • Bosba: The first Khmer woman composer from UK’s Cambridge

    Bosba Panh is just 25 years old, but she’s already accomplished some impressive milestones for herself and the Kingdom. On July 24, she graduated with a Master’s degree from the University of Cambridge as the first Khmer woman composer and Khmer music graduate ever at

  • Pailin longan winery tries to break through to the big time

    Longan aren’t quite as glamorous as some fruits. They don’t have the star-power of mangos or generate the excitement of a pricey seasonal niche fruit like the pungent durian. Unlike bananas or oranges, which are known and loved everywhere, longan remains a decidedly

  • Debt restructuring over, time to tackle rising NPL ratio

    The Cambodian banking system has just completed a 26-month debt restructuring exercise where scores of loan accounts were revised, classified and provisioned as the rate of non-performing loans inched up, sparking a slight credit risk unease Implemented in April 2020, the Covid-19 debt restructuring measures came

  • Recap of this year’s ASEAN FM meet and look ahead

    This year’s edition of the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) hosted by Cambodia comes against the backdrop of heightened global tensions and increasing rivalry between major powers that have been compared to the animosity of the Cold War era. The following is The Post’

  • ‘Golden’ Angkor Wat likely due to natural phenomenon: ANA

    Pictures and video clips of the Angkor Wat temple, its spires seemingly coated in gold, have been shared tens of thousands of times on social media, prompting a sense of wonder among those who have seen them. Hong Sam Ath, who took the pictures and