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REPUBLIC OF INDONESIA:
FOUR PAPUAN ACTIVISTS RELEASED BUT STILL CHARGED

Update info:
14 Feb 2017
Country:
REPUBLIC OF INDONESIA
Subject:
Hiskia Meage, Emanuel Ukago, Panus Hesegem and William Wim
Gender m/f: all m
Period:
22 Mar 2017
Distribution date:
14 Feb 2017
UA No:
035/2017

Hiskia Meage, Emanuel Ukago, Panus Hesegem and William Wim, detained for peaceful political demonstrations on 19 December 2016 in Manado, North Sulawesi, have been released by the police. They are still being charged with rebellion (makar) and could face life imprisonment.

Hiskia Meage, Emanuel Ukago, Panus Hesegem and William Wim, members of a pro-Papuan independence organization, the West Papuan National Committee (KNPB), were released on 28 January 2017 by the North Sulawesi Regional Police Force (Polda) according to their new legal advisor. While they were detained, there was miscommunication between them and their previous lawyer, therefore their release was not made known to Amnesty International. They are unable to travel and have been ordered by police to remain in Manado, North Sulawesi. They are still being charged with “rebellion” (makar) and could face life imprisonment.

The four men were among at least 528 people, including children, arrested on 19 December 2016 following simultaneous peaceful political activities in many cities across Indonesia. Most people were released the following day without charge.

Legislation in Indonesia continues to be used to criminalize peaceful political activities and to imprison people solely for the peaceful exercise of their rights to freedom of expression and opinion and peaceful assembly. Many of those arrested are charged with “rebellion” (makar) under Articles 106 and 110 of Indonesia’s Criminal Code (crimes against the security of the state).

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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Indonesia enshrines guarantees to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly in its Constitution and national legislation.

Dozens of peaceful political activists are currently imprisoned in the Papuan region (provinces of Papua and West Papua), some sentenced to as long as 20 years’ imprisonment, for attending, organizing or participating in peaceful political activities or protests, or possessing, raising or waving the prohibited pro-independence ‘Morning Star’ flag of Papua.

Many of those arrested are charged with “rebellion” (makar) under Articles 106 and 110 (crimes against the security of the state) of Indonesia’s Criminal Code. Amnesty International has also documented the use of excessive force and firearms as well as torture and other ill-treatment against political activists and others accused of links to pro-independence groups. Accountability for such acts is rare and, at most, security personnel only receive disciplinary, as opposed to criminal, sanctions. See other Amnesty International’s document for these issues: https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/asa21/5480/2017/en/, https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/asa21/5409/2016/en/, https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/asa21/3010/2015/en/, https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/asa21/1932/2015/en/ and https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/asa21/3797/2016/en/.

The United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) is an umbrella organization established in December 2014 and formed of different factions of the Papuan independence movement.

The Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) is an intergovernmental organization, founded as a political gathering in 1983, composed of the four Melanesian states of Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, and the Kanak and Socialist National Liberation Front (FLNKS) of New Caledonia. Indonesia is an associate member, while ULMWP is an observing member.

Amnesty International takes no position whatsoever on the political status of any province of Indonesia, including calls for independence. However, the organization believes that the right to freedom of expression includes the right to peacefully advocate referendums, independence or other political solutions.

Further information on UA: 35/17 Index: ASA 21/5642/2017 Issue Date: 9 February 2017

Take action

Please write immediately in English, Indonesian or your own language urging the authorities to:

  • Drop the charges against Hiskia Meage, Emanuel Ukago, Panus Hesegem and William Wim as they have been criminalised solely for the peaceful exercise of their human right to freedom of expression;
  • Stop evoking vague and overbroad legislation to arrest, prosecute and punish persons for peacefully exercising their human rights.

PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 22 MARCH 2017 TO:
North Sulawesi Regional Head of Police
Irjen Bambang Waskito
North Sulawesi Regional Police Headquarters
Jl. Bethesda No. 62
Manado,
North Sulawesi Province
Indonesia
Fax: +62 (0)431 841998
Salutation: Dear Inspector General

Head of Presidential Staff Office (KSP)
Mr Teten Masduki
Gedung Bina Graha
Jl. Veteran No. 16
Jakarta Pusat, 10110
Indonesia
Fax: +62 21 345 0009
Email: webmaster@ksp.go.id
Twitter: @KSPgoid
Salutation: Dear Mr

And copies to:
Chairperson National Human Rights
Commission (Komnas HAM)
Mr. Imdadun Rahmat
Jl. Latuharhary No. 4
Menteng, Jakarta Pusat 10310
Indonesia
Fax: +62 21 392 5227
Email: pengaduan@komnasham.go.id

Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country.

Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date. This is the first update of UA 35/17. Further information: https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/asa21/5616/2017/en/