2019-12-01 Violence Monitoring on West Papuan National Day

While we acknowledge the complexities of the situation in Papua, we are troubled by the crackdown over peaceful demonstrations and increasing reports of excessive use of force by security forces, harassment, arbitrary arrests and detentions in Papua, including harassment and threats to lawyers working on these cases. ” OHCHR Press briefing notes on Papua violences on 1st and 2nd december 2018 – Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, 7 December 2018 https://www.ohchr.org/en/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=23990&LangID=E

Geneva for Human Rights and its Working Group on West Papua (GHR WG WP) monitor closely the current situation in the territories of Papua and West Papua on this 1st of December, commemoration day of the Papuan People.

It commemorates 1 December 1961 when the New Guinea Council – West Papuan parliament under Dutch colonial rule – raised the Morning Star flag for the first time, signalling the recognition by the Dutch of West Papua’s national symbols and statehood.

We are concerned about the large number of arrests during peaceful demonstrations held to commemorate West Papuan National Day in various locations across Indonesia on 1st December in the past years.

We also closely monitor the systematic disruption of prayer services organised by indigenous Papuan students as well as search operations by the security forces at student dormitories.

We have received worrying reports of excessive use of force and violence by security forces during peaceful demonstrations . Fighting also erupted between demonstrators and ‘indonesian nationalists support groups’.

updated 2019-12-01 01.26