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Police urged to pursue justice in Yahukimo murder and rape case

Tabloid Jubi - March 21, 2024

Jayapura, Jubi – The Papua Office of the National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM Papua) has urged the Papua Police and Yahukimo Police to uncover the perpetrators of murder and rape against two female refugees in Yahukimo, IS and AK, on October 11, 2023. Police must ensure the complete enforcement of the law and hold the perpetrators accountable.

Melky Weruin, Komnas HAM Papua's Chairman of the Enforcement and Promotion Team for Human Rights, stated there was no excuse for not uncovering this case. "It is the police's responsibility. They must find ways to uncover the perpetrators," Weruin told Jubi on Tuesday (19/3/2024).

Weruin explained that there are indeed formal requirements that must be met to continue investigations, such as conducting autopsies to determine the weapons used in the murder, whether they were sharp or blunt objects; whether they were knives or machetes, and whether the victims were slashed or stabbed, among other details. The purpose is to understand the nature of the wounds to conclude whether an autopsy is necessary. However, this was not done for the two female victims in Yahukimo.

He added that the Komnas HAM Papua would soon request information on the progress of handling the sexual violence case from the Papua Police and the Yahukimo Police.

On October 26, 2023, Komnas HAM Papua sent a letter to the Papua Police chief regarding the alleged sexual violence, suspected to have been perpetrated by security forces. "We sent a letter with attached complaint documents to the police, asking for clarification on the extent of the handling of this case," Melky said.

On November 27, 2023, Komnas HAM Papua received a response from the Papua Police chief stating that the investigation conducted by the Criminal Investigation Unit of the Yahukimo Police had been optimal. However, as of now, the unit has not made any arrests or detentions due to the lack of two valid pieces of evidence.

According to Weruin, based on the response letter from the Papua Police Chief, the obstacles encountered in the investigation include the absence of witnesses who saw the assaults on IS and the murder of AK.

"Witness Welson Payage, the son of IS, does not know the perpetrators of the assault on his mother, and autopsies were not conducted on the victims due to the lack of autopsy equipment at the hospital. These are the efforts they have made in terms of law enforcement," Weruin said. (*)

Source: https://en.jubi.id/police-urged-to-pursue-justice-in-yahukimo-murder-and-rape-case