Indonesia: Historic People’s Tribunal findings signal an alarming situation in Papua

Responding to the final statement of Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal on Papua in London, Amnesty International Indonesia’s executive director Usman Hamid said:

“The final statement truly mirrors the deteriorating developments in Papua. Their historic findings signal the depth of the human rights violations and environmental destruction in the region.

“The tribunal is a great start to paving the way to justice in Papua and we hope that it serves as an opportunity for the international community to stand in solidarity with the people of Papua, to acknowledge their suffering and to support their fight for human rights.

“The Indonesian authorities have continuously failed to end the conflict that keeps claiming more civilian lives in the region. It is therefore essential for authorities to evaluate its military operations and business activities by corporate actors to ensure the recovery and the protection of human rights in Papua.

“This arduous path of justice for Papuans must end. It is high time for the international community to call on the Indonesian authorities to end the long-established violence.”


The “Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal on State and Environmental Violence in West Papua” took place from 27 June to 29 June 2024 at Queen Mary University of London, United Kingdom.

A panel of tribunal experts heard evidence from numerous international NGOs and local civil society organisations as well as testimonies from individuals who have witnessed human rights violations and environmental destruction.

The Tribunal stated that the Indonesian state has forcibly taken Indigenous Papuan lands through racial discrimination, leading to cultural loss and violent repression, including unlawful detention, extrajudicial killings, displacement, and environmental degradation. It urged the international community, particularly the UN, to respond urgently to the situation in Papua.

The panel of experts comprises: Teresa Almeida Cravo (Portugal), Donna Andrews (South Africa), Daniel Feierstein (Argentina), Marina Forti (Italy), Larry Lohmann (UK), Nello Rossi (Italy), and Solomon Yeo (Solomon Islands), according to the website of Queen Mary University of London, which hosted the tribunal.

The hearings were held by the Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal, an independent international institution dedicated to addressing critical issues of human rights and environmental justice. Since its establishment in 1979, the Tribunal has been instrumental in investigating and bringing to light cases of state and corporate abuses, providing a voice for marginalized communities worldwide.

Amnesty International recognizes that initiatives aimed at bringing together and recording – in a systematic way – information from a range of sources about human rights violations and placing them on the public record will raise public awareness about alleged human rights violations. However, such initiatives are no substitute for a proper process of investigation and due process of accountability. Amnesty International there maintains its calls that Indonesia complies with its obligation to ensure that there are independent, impartial, thorough and effective investigations into human rights abuses with a view to bringing suspected perpetrators to justice.

Indigenous Peoples of Papua have been long-suffering through heavy military operations which have resulted in unlawful killings by both state and non-state armed groups, torture and other ill-treatment, internally displaced persons and other human rights violations. Between January 2018 and June 2024, Amnesty International Indonesia has recorded 128 unlawful killings and a death toll of at least 236 civilians. The killings were conducted by the security forces (81 cases with 131 victims) and pro-independence armed groups (47 cases with 105 victims). From February 2023 to April 2024, the government had deployed 6,773 military and police personnels to Papua.

According to a statement by an internally displaced Papuan in the 56th session of the UN Human Rights Council on 21 June 2024, more than 70,000 Papuans have left their home due to escalated conflict.