Political Prisoners in Papua
This 42-page report documents how the Indonesian government continues to use the criminal law to punish individuals who peacefully advocate for independence in the eastern Indonesian provinces of Papua and West Irian Jaya (hereafter referred to as Papua). All the prisoners have been convicted for treason or spreading hatred against the government, for nonviolent activities such as flag-raising, or attendance at peaceful meetings on self-determination options for Papua.
Papua, at the far eastern end of the Indonesian archipelago, is one of the most remote places in the country. This isolation, compounded by government imposed restrictions on access to the two provinces which make up Papua (“Papua” and “West Irian Jaya”), has contributed to a dearth of information on the human rights situation there. With international attention focused on the peace process and post- tsunami reconstruction in the province in Aceh, relatively little is known about recent human rights developments in Papua.