Indonesia: Papuan demonstrator beaten, arrestedEvent
- Initial Date
- Jul 19, 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.
A protestor who participated in the demonstration in Sorong on July 19 told Amnesty International that police officers beat him as he was arrested. He said: “I was kicked in the stomach and on my head. I was arrested because I only asked the National Police Chief for help to free the protesters who were arrested by the police.” The arrest and beating were corroborated by another protestor and video footage.
A protestor in Sorong criticized the excessive use of force by security forces. He said: “They just want us Papuans not to speak out about our rights. That’s why every time we take action, it’s always forced to disband like that.”
- Impact of Event
- Gender of HRD
- Other (e.g. undefined, organisation, community)
- (Arbitrary) Arrest and Detention
- Violence (physical)
- Rights Concerned
- Freedom of assembly
- Minority Rights
- Right to healthy and safe environment
- Right to liberty and security
- Right to Protest
- Minority rights defender
- Monitoring Status
- Event Location
- Event Location
- Summary for Publications
On 19 July 2021, a Papuan minority rights defender was beaten adn arrested by the police while staging a peaceful demonstration in Sorong, Indonesia.