Wednesday, September 28, 2016


UA: 218/16 Index: ASA 21/4893/2016 Indonesia Date: 27 September 2016


On 24 September, men in plain clothes attempted to abduct Papuan political activist Agustinus Aud at his home in Sorong, West Papua Province. He has been very active organising peaceful demonstrations to criticise Indonesian policies in Papua.

On 24 September at around 3am, the house of Agustinus Aud, the spokesperson of KNPB’s (the West Papuan National Committee) Sorong branch, was surrounded by at least 10 plain clothed men whose faces were covered with scarves and claimed to be police officers. They banged on his door and windows, shouting orders for him to come out. After some of the men had smashed some parts of his window, Agustinus Aud saw that two of the men were armed with rifles. He refused to come out and managed to make a phone call to his friends asking them to immediately come to his house. Agustinus Aud thought that he would be abducted and later be killed as happened to Martinus Yohame, another KNPB Sorong member, in August 2014.

At 4am, six of Agustinus Aud’s friends arrived at his house and saw that there were at least 10 men with guns and rifles near his house with a minibus and three motorcycles. As soon as they arrived, the men left. In the last few months, Agustinus Aud had organised many press conferences and peaceful demonstrations to support a peaceful Papuan pro-independence umbrella group, the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) to be accepted as a full member of Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG), a sub-Pacific intergovernmental organization. He has also raised concern about many human rights violations committed by the security forces in Papua.

The attempt to abduct Agustinus Aud highlights the unsafe environment faced by political activists in the Indonesian province of Papua and the ongoing impunity for human rights violations by security forces.

Please write immediately in English, Indonesian or your own language:
 Urging the Indonesian and local authorities in Papua to implement immediate and effective measures to ensure the safety, personal security and wellbeing of Agustinus Aud, in accordance with his wishes; Calling on the authorities to order a full and impartial investigation into the attempted abduction and other threats against Agustinus Aud, publish the results and bring those responsible to justice in fair trials;
 Urging the Indonesian authorities to ensure people in the country’s Papuan region are able to freely express their ideas and opinions without fear of punishment, reprisal or intimidation.

Head of National Police
General Tito Karnavian
National Police Headquarters
Jl. Trunojoyo No. 3, Kebayoran Baru Jakarta Selatan 12110

Fax: +62 (0)21 7200 669/721 8741 Email: 
Salutation: Dear General

Chief of Presidential Staff Office (KSP) Teten Masduki
Gedung Bina Graha
Jl. Veteran No. 16

Jakart Pusat 10110 Indonesia
Fax: +62 (0)21 345 0009 Email:

And copies to:
Chairperson National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM) Imdadun Rahmat
Jl. Latuharhary No. 4B, Menteng Jakarta Pusat 10310
Fax: +62 (0)21 392 9227
Email: Twitter: @komnasham
Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country. HIS EXCELLENCY DR RIZAL SUKMA, Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia, 38 Grosvenor Square W1K 2HW, 02074997661, Fax 02074914993,,, Salutation: Your Excellency
Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date.
The rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly are enshrined in the International Covenant for Civil and Political Rights, to which Indonesia is a state party, as well as in Indonesian Constitution and national legislation. However, the authorities continue to use criminal law against peaceful political activities and to detain people solely for the peaceful exercise of their rights to freedom of expression and opinion, peaceful assembly, conscience and religion.

Dozens of peaceful political activists, including members of KNPB, are currently detained 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.
In April 2016, Steven Itlay, head of KNPB’s Timika branch, was charged with “rebellion” and could face up to life imprisonment (see: In July 2016, two Papuan political activists in Timika, Yanto Awerkion and Sem Ukago, were also charged with rebellion” and could face up to life imprisonment.

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 receive disciplinary sanctions. See other Amnesty International’s documents on this issue: and

On 26 August 2014, Martinus Yohame, Head of the KNPB’s Sorong branch, was found dead, in a sack, floating near the Nana islands in Sorong, West Papua province, with injuries reportedly including a gunshot wound to his chest (see: He had gone missing on 20 August and his disappearance occurred at the same time as another political activist was arbitrarily detained ahead of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s planned visit to West Papua province for a sailing event on 23 August. The KNPB had reportedly planned to organize protests in Sorong around the President’s visit and raise the pro-independence “Morning Star” flag of Papua.

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.
UA: 218/16 Index: ASA 21/4893/2016 Issue Date: 27 September 2016 

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