MEDIA STATEMENT: Allow UN Human Rights Mission to West Papua: Indonesia Impunity Must Stop

West Papua man tortured - illustration


The Pacific Network on Globalisation stands in solidarity with Civil Society groups and student protesters, demonstrating against the torture of a Papuan Man, Defianus Kogoya, by Indonesian  troops in West Papua in early February this year.

The peaceful demonstrations came after a video was circulated showing Defianus Kogoya bound in a water-filled barrel, being beaten and cut with knives by Indonesian soldiers. In the same incident, 2 other Papuan men, Warinus Murib and Alianus Murib were also arrested and tortured. Warinus Murib died of his injuries after having been tied to and dragged behind a moving vehicle.

Reports state that 62 students were arrested and interrogated before they were released, while two people were seriously injured. In an earlier protest, 15 people were arrested for giving out pamphlets. Protestors demand all military operations must cease in West Papua.

We condemn the excessive military presence in West Papua and the associated human rights violation against Papuans. We also condemn the use of heavy-handed tactics by the Indonesian police to violently assault and detain students who should have the right and freedom to express their views. This demonstrates yet again the ongoing oppression by Indonesian Authorities in West Papua despite decades of official denial and media censorship.

United Nations experts have expressed serious concerns about the deteriorating human rights  situation in the Indonesian provinces of Papua and West Papua, citing shocking abuses against   indigenous Papuans, including child killings, disappearances, torture and mass displacement of people.

In its concluding observations of Indonesia’s 2nd periodic report under the International

Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, adopted on 26 March, 2024, the Human Rights Committee expressed deep concern over patterns of extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, torture and other forms of cruel and degrading treatment, particularly of or against indigenous Papuans and the failure to hold perpetrators accountable for their actions.

The Committee also highlighted continuing reports of media censorship and suppression of the freedom of expression.

We call on the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG), the Pacific Island Forum (PIF) and the people and the governments of all Pacific Island countries to demand that Indonesia allow for the implementation of the decision of the PIF Leaders in August 2019 for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to conduct a mission to West Papua.

We call on the special envoys of the PIF on West Papua to expedite their mandate to facilitate dialogue with Indonesia, and particularly to pave the way for an urgent UN visit.

We echo the calls made from the 62 students that were arrested for the Indonesian government

to cease all Military operations in West Papua and allow the United Nations to do its job.

Our Pacific Governments should expect nothing less from Indonesia, particularly given its privileged position as an Associate member of the MSG and as a PIF Dialogue Partner.


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