Indonesia: security forces respond with gunshot, water cannon to Papuan protestersEvent
- Initial Date
- Aug 16, 2021
- Event Description
Indonesian security forces have used discriminatory excessive force and racially abused protesters peacefully opposing the renewal of the Papuan Special Autonomy Law, new research by Amnesty International has revealed.
Papuan protesters told how they were targeted with water cannons, kicked and punched, and beaten with guns and rubber batons in peaceful protests during the last month. At least one person was injured after security forces opened fire on protesters on 16 August. Three protesters reported being called “monkey” while being arrested during protests in July.
Amnesty International has analysed videos and photos which show police using unlawful force on peaceful protesters, and verified injuries suffered by protesters.
“The reports of assault – both physical and verbal – that we have gathered reveals the true contempt the security forces have for the rights of Papuans.
“The Indonesian authorities must immediately investigate the reports of use of discriminatory excessive force and racial abuse against protesters, and also ensure the right to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly is respected.”
To date, protests against the controversial renewal of the Papua Special Autonomy Law have taken place in several cities, from July 14 to August 16. Amnesty International interviewed 17 people who participated in protests in the cities of Jakarta, Jayapura, Sorong and Yahukimo, and verified their accounts using open source video footage.
The protests have also called for the release of Victor Yeimo, a pro-independence activist from Papua facing life imprisonment for his political views.
On August 16, security forces opened fire on protesters in Yahukimo, injuring one person. One protestor told Amnesty International he heard multiple gunshots, and that several bullets were also found close to where the protest took place.
In a protest in Jayapura on the same day, protesters confirmed the use of water cannons, and beatings with rubber batons and guns by security forces. Amnesty International has verified video showing the use of water cannons against peaceful protesters and security forces beating them with rubber batons.
- Impact of Event
- Gender of HRD
- Other (e.g. undefined, organisation, community)
- Violence (physical)
- Wounds and Injuries
- Rights Concerned
- Freedom of assembly
- Minority Rights
- Right to healthy and safe environment
- Right to Protest
- Right to self-determination
- Minority rights defender
- Monitoring Status
- Event Location
- Event Location
- Summary for Publications
On 16 August 2021, Papuan minority rights defender were met with gunshots, water cannons and beatings by the security forces while staging a peaceful demonstration in West Papua Province, Indonesia.