Monika Zonggonau was a 45-year-old mother of five at the time of her arrest in 2009. She was accused of incitement to violence under article 160 of the Indonesian Criminal Code in relation to a demonstration on 6 April 2009. 15 people had been arrested earlier that morning in Taman Gizi park, Nabire, for involvement in planning the demonstration. The arrests took place while people were were sleeping at a shack erected by the West Papua National Committee (KNPB), as a base from which to organise a protest calling for an election boycott.

KontraS Papua have made available thorough documentation of Ms Zongonnau’s case, with reports from each court session available online. They report that the police accused her of participating in a demonstration, and at some point shouting “Attack…Attack…Attack the officials who are holding our people without reason,” at which point the crowds directly attacked the police with stones and arrows, injuring one policeman in the stomach with an arrow.

However, an interview with Ms Zonggonau by one of her legal team, also published by KontraS Papua, tells her version of the story. According to Ms Zonggonau, she had gone to meet with tribal elders to discuss how to resolve the situation following the arrest of 15 people. She went to the market, where she heard a policeman say “Arrest her! She’s the one who made the speech at the Election Office.” She was arrested and hit around the back of he head and hands by police, and then brought to Nabire Police headquarters where policewomen continued to torture her. She was struck by a shoe which split her eyebrow. In addition, she was forced to give an explanation of events, was not accompanied by a lawyer and was not allowed to read her own investigation report (Berita Acara Pemeriksaan, BAP).

The same interview also alleges that after 60 days, the investigating officer in Ms Zonggonau’s case issued a letter for her release, but this was not acted upon by the police who instead passed her case on to the state prosecutors. A report by the Faith-Based Network on West Papua further states that Ms Zonggonau did not have access to medical care during the first three months of her detention.

Ms Zonggonau was sentenced to ten months in prison on 7 September 2009, according to the Faith-Based Network report.


Kontras Papua, Laporan Monitoring Kasus Makar Dengan Terdakwa Monika Zonggonau, 31st March 2011,

KontraS Papua, Kronologis Penangkapan dan Panahanan Sewenang-wenang terhadap Ibu Monika Zonggonau, 30th March 2011,

Further reports from the litigation team can be found at:

Faith Based Network on West Papua, Human Rights Report 2009,