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Concerns grow over delayed investigation into alleged shootings in Papua amid escalating conflict

Tabloid Jubi - September 14, 2023

Jayapura, Jubi – Director of the Democracy Alliance for Papua (AIDP) Latifah Anum Siregar has criticized the National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM) for the slow progress in investigating the alleged shootings of civilians in Dogiyai Regency, Central Papua Province. Siregar expressed concern that this delayed investigation was contributing to the escalating conflict in the region.

"We had hoped that Komnas HAM would swiftly initiate their investigation after the incident, as it is crucial to conduct a prompt and thorough examination," Siregar said on Monday, September 11, 2023.

On July 13, 2023, a civilian named Yosua Keiya (20) allegedly died from gunshot wounds, reportedly fired by Mobile Brigade personnel in Idakebo Village, North Kamu District, Dogiyai Regency. The Legal Aid Institute Talenta Keadilan Papua (LBH-TKP) and the Human Rights Advocacy Network claimed that Yosua Keiya's shooting was followed by another incident on the evening of July 13 in Dogiyai's Moanemani, resulting in the deaths of Yakobus Pekey (20) and Stepanus Pigome (19).

However, on July 19, 2023, Papua Police spokesperson Sr. Comr. Ignatius Benny Ady Prabowo, denied information regarding the alleged shootings that led to the deaths of three Dogiyai civilians. According to him, investigations conducted by various police units did not find any fatalities or injuries during the handling of mass riots in Dogiyai on July 13-14, 2023.

The conflicting data has prompted several human rights organizations to call on Komnas HAM to dispatch a team to Dogiyai to verify the casualties or injured victims during the incident.

Siregar emphasized that a delay in addressing the alleged shootings could further intensify the conflict. Additionally, the ripple effects of the conflict could include the displacement of people, disruption of local governance, economic stagnation, interrupted education services, the reinforcement of stigmas against Indigenous Papuans (OAP), and heightened tensions between OAP and non-OAP communities.

Siregar also urged Komnas HAM to prioritize cases of violence in Papua, despite their limited authority, and pay closer attention to the overall conflict situation in the region.

"Komnas HAM, despite its limited authority, should prioritize handling cases in Papua. If their procedural approach remains slow, they may become overwhelmed as one case is not yet resolved before another is reported," she explained.

Siregar insisted that Komnas HAM should provide the public with preliminary findings of the Dogiyai shooting case to help dispel confusion stemming from conflicting information.

"Even if it's preliminary data, it should be clarified and confirmed. This way, other confusing information can be minimized with Komnas HAM's data," Siregar emphasized.

Furthermore, Siregar emphasized the need for professionalism within local governments to prevent the spread of unverified information. He stated that unclear information could create fear, trauma, and severe stigmatization within the community. (*)

Source: https://en.jubi.id/concerns-grow-over-delayed-investigation-into-alleged-shootings-in-papua-amid-escalating-conflict