Yogyakarta, Jubi – The head of the Follow-up Team for the Investigation of Gross Human Rights Violations of the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM), Amiruddin, has called on the Attorney General's Office (AGO) to investigate the Paniai incident in a transparent manner, in order to foster public trust.
He appreciated the AGO's recent move to announce the formation of its investigative team for the Paniai incident on Friday, December 3, 2021, especially since the AGO had repeatedly returned the case file for the Paniai incident made by the Komnas HAM. Amiruddin said the team should be given time to work.
"[The establishment of the investigative team] is a good step. The team consisting of 22 prosecutors must work transparently to gain the trust and support of the people. Because the investigative team has not included community element as mandated by law," said Amiruddin when contacted by Jubi via Whatsapp message on Saturday, December 4.
The Paniai incident occurred on December 7 and 8, 2014. According to NGO Amnesty International Indonesia's report titled "Suda, Kasih Tinggal Dia Mati (Just Leave Them Die) – Murder and Impunity in Papua" published in 2018, the Paniai incident occurred when hundreds of Papuans protested near the local military and police headquarters in Enarotali, the capital of Paniai Regency, Papua Province, on December 8, 2014.
The protest was a response to the alleged beating of 11 Papuan children by military personnel on December 7, 2014. When protesters started throwing stones and wood at buildings, security forces shot at the crowd of protesters using live ammunition, killing four people. At least 11 other people were injured by gunfire or bayonets. Amnesty International's report states that a number of residents have testified to the Komnas HAM that they saw police officers shoot a protester at close range, even after the victim fell to the ground.
Amiruddin said his party had submitted the results of its investigation on alleged human rights violations in the Paniai incident four times. "The last was in September 2021," said Amiruddin.
He said that the commission was ready to assist the AGO's investigative team for the Paniai incident if needed. "But we want to see how they work first. We will support things that are within our reach," Amiruddin said.
The Antara News Agency on Friday reported that the Attorney General's Office formed a Team to Investigate Allegations of Gross Human Rights Violations in Paniai, Papua Province in 2014. The team was formed based on the Attorney General's Decree No. 267/2021 dated December 3, 2021, which was signed by the Attorney General, Sanitiar Burhanuddin.