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AGO unfair in investigating Bloody Paniai case: ELSHAM Papua

Tabloid JUBI - April 19, 2022

Jayapura, Jubi – Director of Institute of Human rights Study and Advocacy Papua (ELSHAM Papua) Rev. M Adadikam said the results of the investigation into the Bloody Paniai alleged human rights violation announced by the Attorney General's Office (AGO) did not give a sense of justice for the victims and their families.

Adadikam said the AGO was unfair in investigating the case as it was influenced by the Indonesian government's political interests, which were under international pressure to solve human rights cases.

"The results issued by the Attorney General's Office do not give a sense of justice for the victims and their families who have been waiting patiently for the state to reveal the perpetrators," Adadikam said in a written statement on Thursday, April 14, 2022.

The Bloody Paniai occurred in Enarotali, the capital of Paniai Regency, Papua Province, on December 8, 2014, when the people protested against the alleged abuse of seven children by the security forces.

According to Amnesty International Indonesia's report titled "Suda, Kasih Tinggal Dia Mati – Murder and Impunity in Papua" published in 2018, the security forces opened fire on a crowd of protesters using live ammunition, killing four people. At least 11 other people were injured by gunfire or bayonets. A number of residents have testified to the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) that they saw a police officer shoot a protester at close range, even after the victim fell to the ground.

The investigation into the Bloody Paniai case was carried out by the Komnas HAM but the results were rejected several times by the AGO and returned to the Komnas HAM. Finally, on April 1, 2022, the AGO announced that an Indonesian Military (TNI) soldier with the initial IS was named a suspect in the case.

Adadikam said his party regretted the AGO's decision to name a retired TNI as the only suspect in the case. "We conclude that the Indonesian government has absolutely no good intentions to resolve cases of gross human rights violations in Indonesia, particularly cases that occurred in Papua," he said.

Adadikam said the legal process carried out by the AGO in the Bloody Paniai case was similar to the Bloody Abepura's. The Bloody Abepura case was heard at the Ad Hoc Court of Serious Human Rights Violations of Abepura in Makassar in 2007, and the defendants were acquitted.

"The judge acquitted the two main defendants, and granted them the restoration of good names, even the State granted them a promotion. The victims were labeled as separatists. Every citizen has the right to justice and legal certainty, especially in cases of murder using weapons, but the State has failed to fulfill their rights," he said.

Adadikam said that the handling of the Bloody Paniai case by the AGO showed that the legal process in Indonesia is highly biased by the Indonesian government's political interests. As a result, political considerations became dominant in the legal process of the case.

"We were [initially] optimistic, there was great hope that the legal process of the Paniai case would be the opening door for many resolutions to cases of past serious human rights violations in Indonesia. But again, we see that politics dominates law, justice and truth in this country," said Adadikam.

Adadikam assessed that the naming of suspects in the Paniai case was rushed due to pressure from the international community on the Indonesian government to solve various cases of violence by security forces in Papua. "The Indonesian government has been keeping its hands clean and trying to free itself from the responsibility to bring in perpetrators of serious human rights violations in Indonesia," he said.

On April 1, Head of the Attorney General's Legal Information Center Ketut Sumedana stated that IS was named a suspect in the Bloody Paniai case. "The team of Investigating Prosecutors at the Directorate of Serious Human Rights Violations at the Deputy Attorney General for Special Crimes at the Attorney General's Office have named one suspect, namely IS," said Ketut Sumedana, as quoted by Jubitv.id.

Source: https://en.jubi.id/ago-unfair-in-investigating-bloody-paniai-case-elsham-papua