Elsham (organisation)

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ELSHAM is a human rights non-governmental organization based in Jayapura, Papua, Indonesia. The name is an abbreviation of Lembaga Studi dan Advokasi Hak Asasi Manusia, meaning Institute of Human Rights Studies and Advocacy. ELSHAM is the leading Papuan human rights organization.[1] It was established in 1996 by the Roman Catholic Church, the Jayapura diocese of the Evangelical Christian Church in West Papua (GKI), and the Gospel Tabernacle Church of Indonesia (GKII).[2]

ELSHAM leader John Rumbiak fled to the United States in 2002 following threats by the Indonesian police.[3]

In June 2003 the Indonesian Military Commander, Maj. Gen. Nurdin Zainal, issued orders for the arrest of:[citation needed]

  1. John Rumbiak, Supervisor of ELSHAM
  2. Yohanis G. Bonay, Director of ELSHAM
  3. Koran Tempo, a Jakarta-based daily
  4. the editor of Koran Tempo
  5. Suara Karya, a Jakarta-based daily
  6. the editor of Suara Karya

upon charges of publishing a story about TNI (Indonesian military) troops ambushing a bus. The incident in question occurred August 31, 2002 when a bus carrying employees and family from the Freeport International school was attacked. Three teachers (including two Americans) were killed, 14 others were injured. Local statements and FBI investigations in 2003 attempted to tie the shooting to Papuan rebels, but the connection was unsupported by evidence.[4]


  1. ^ Peter King (2004). West Papua & Indonesia Since Suharto: Independence, Autonomy Or Chaos?. ISBN 0868406767.
  2. ^ Jan Sihar Aritonang, Karel Adriaan Steenbrink (2008). A History of Christianity in Indonesia. p. 377. ISBN 900417026X.CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)
  3. ^ "The exile who fights for the rights of all Papuans". The Age. 2003-02-27.
  4. ^ Eben Kirksey (2012). Freedom in Entangled Worlds: West Papua and the Architecture of Global Power.

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