APSN Banner

Call for investigation into police shooting of protesters in Yahukimo

Suara Papua - March 17, 2022

Elisa Sekenyap, Jayapura – Papua Human Rights Solidarity Concern has reported the shooting of 10 Papuan civilians in Yahukimo regency – which occurred during a rally opposing the creation of new autonomous regions (DOB) in Papua – to the National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM).

Speaking in Jakarta after filing the report on Wednesday March 16, former political prisoner (tapol) Ambrosius Mulait explained that the report had been accepted by the Komnas HAM complaints division.

Mulait said that the report includes a chronology of the police shooting of protesters and the number of victims.

It is because of this that they are urging Komnas HAM to immediately form an independent team to investigate the death of two protesters and eight others who suffered both serious and minor injuries because of the shooting.

"We are also pushing for the perpetrators be punished, because the actions committed by police against the 10 civilians in Yahukimo were illegal. We are also urging Komnas HAM to immediately write to President Jokowi [Joko Widodo] asking him to halt the discussions on carving up Papua and West Papua [provinces], because the consequence of this has been to claim many victims in Yahukimo", he asserted.

According to the group, the creation of new provinces in Papua is not urgent, especially since for the Papuan people, upholding their dignity should be done through dialogue.

In addition to this, the group said it deplored the arbitrary actions by the authorities in Papua because following the shooting and clash in Dekai, the regional capital of Yahukimo, internet and cell phone access was suddenly cut off.

"This had the consequence of making it difficult to obtain information on the situation in Dekai, yet the public has the right to obtain information from the region. So once against we urge Komnas HAM to immediately write to President Jokowi asking to allow access for national as well as international journalists to report on events in Yahukimo and Papua in general", said Mulait.

Also in the report, he said, was a call for Komnas HAM to write to the TNI (Indonesian military) commander and the Kapolri (Indonesian police chief) asking them to withdraw the excessive number of organic and non-organic troops from Yahukimo regency and Papua in general.

This is because the military approach has never resovled the problems in Papua.

They also called for the Papua regional police chief (Kapolda) and the Yahukimo district police chief (Kapolres) to be removed from their posts because they were negligent in carrying out the mandate of Law Number 9/1998 on the right to freedom of expression which is interpreted in Indonesian Police Chief Regulation Number 9/2008 on implementing standards and human rights principles in police duties.

"The death of civilians in Yahukimo represents negligence on the part of the Forkompimda [Regional Leadership Communication Forum], so the Papua Kapolda, the Yahukimo Kapolres and the Yahukimo regent must be held accountable", the group said.

After submitted the report with Komnas HAM, the group handed over a coffin as a symbol of the grief felt over the shooting of the 10 protesters in Dekai.

Similar calls were also made by the families of the victims in Dekai who urged the Yahukimo regency government, law enforcement agencies and Komnas HAM to fully investigate the incident. They also asked that the perpetrators be held responsible and tried in a court of law.

[Translated by James Balowski. Slightly abridged due to repetition. The original title of the article was "Komnas HAM Diminta Selidiki Sepuluh Korban Demo Tolak Pemekaran di Yahukimo".]

Source: https://suarapapua.com/2022/03/17/komnas-ham-diminta-selidiki-sepuluh-korban-demo-tolak-pemekaran-di-yahukimo