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Joint communication sent to the Government of Indonesia

A response by the Government to the communication has been received

On 26 June 2020, along with the Special Rapporteurs on freedom of expression and freedom of assembly and association, as well as the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, I sent a communication to the Government of Indonesia concerning the criminalisation of human rights defenders in the Papua and West Papua. This communication can now be made public.

The information received and communicated to the Government was related to the peaceful protests that took place in the provinces of Papua and West Papua in August and September 2019.

Some of the human rights defenders concerned were:

- Ambrosius Mulait
- Charles Kossay
- Dano Tabuni
- Isay Wenda
- Agus Kossay
- Paulus Ginting

Eleven other human rights defenders, who had encouraged the public to participate in the peaceful protests that took place in 2019, were also mentioned in the communication. They were:

- Daniel Jitmau
- Paulus Syama
- Simon Aifat
- Lukus Nauw
- Frengky Nauw
- Melfin Wefete
- Silvester Nauw
- Lukus Smas
- Wilson Kofias
- Joshua Kingho
- Yanpiter Yewen

The situation of Wensislaus Fatubun, a human rights defender who had participated in capacity trainings and workshops organised by UN human rights mechanisms, was also raised. As was that of Yones Douw, a human rights defender and member of the indigenous Me tribe.

Also concerned were the students:

- Alexander Goboi
- Ferry Gombo
- Stevanus Itlay
- Hengki Hilapok
- Rianto Ruruk
- Yoseph Syufi
- Manase Babo
- Etus Kareth
- Erik Aliknoe
- Yunus Aliknoe
- Pende Mirin

According to the information received:

At least 29 defenders were among 56 individuals on trial or awaiting trial in relation to their involvement in the peaceful protests of August and September 2019.

All 29 defenders had been charged with various forms of treason and intent to cause revolution or armed rebellion under Articles 106 and 110 of the Criminal Code of Indonesia.

Many of the defenders were being held in the overcrowded Balikpapan prison in Manokwari, Fakfak. None of the defenders had been included in the mass release of prisoners ordered by the Indonesian Government in response to the Covid-19 pandemic despite the heightened risk of the virus spreading in overcrowded prisons.

The complete communication can be accessed here: https://spcommreports.ohchr.org/TMResultsBase/DownLoadPublicCommunicationFile?gId=25387

A response by the Government was received on 9 July 2020, rejecting our assessment of the information received. It can be accessed here: https://spcommreports.ohchr.org/TMResultsBase/DownLoadFile?gId=35417.

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