Monday, December 8, 2014

1) Five Papuans shot dead for dancing and protesting

2) 4 killed in violence in Indonesia's Papua
3) Police, Soldiers Accused of Opening Fire on Papua Demonstrators: Six Killed
4) United West Papua movement 'significant', says Wenda


1) Five Papuans shot dead  for dancing and protesting

Nethy Dharma Somba, The Jakarta Post, Jayapura | Headlines | Tue, December 09 2014, 9:10 AM 

Five civilians were shot and killed and 21 others were injured on Monday when security personnel dispersed a crowd that was gathering and dancing at the Karel Gobai Field in Madi district, Paniai regency, Papua. 

Paniai Customary Council head John Gobay said the shooting took place at 10 a.m. local time as residents from Togokotu village were gathering at the field, also known as Soeharto field, in protest over an incident from the previous night.

Gobay said the residents were performing the waita tribal dance in Paniai after setting fire to a black SUV that was believed to have been used by perpetrators who assaulted residents gathering at a Christmas event in Ipakiye village in East Paniai. 

Police from a nearby station arrived at the field to disperse the crowd. The crowd continued dancing and did not disperse. The police then fired into the crowed. Four people were killed on the spot and 22 others suffered injuries.

“The four deceased have been identified as Habakuk Degei, Neles Gobai, Bertus Gobai and Apinus Gobai. Four people have died while 22 suffered slight wounds,” said Gobay in Jayapura on Monday.

Saday Yeimo, one of the injured who was being treated at the Madi Hospital for a shot to the stomach, died later on Monday evening.

Gobay said the initial provocation, which took place on Sunday evening, began when the black SUV, which did not turn on its headlights as it traveled through the hilly Togokotu area, reached the peak of a hill where children from a local church had built a Christmas hut. The local children scolded the driver for not turning on his lights while driving at night.

A quarrel ensued and the car then sped off to the Uwibutu 753 Special Team military command post. Not long after, the car, filled with recruits, returned to the Christmas hut and assaulted the children who were about 12 years old. 

“Residents then gathered at Soeharto field, just wishing to ask about the driver of the car and the assault, but the soldiers reacted excessively. They thought they would be attacked, so they came to the field. The crowd did not attack the local police station,” said Gobay. 

Papua Peace Network coordinator and Fajar Timur Theology and Philosophy Academy head Neles Tebay said the police should offer an explanation for their actions against the civilians and church youths who were not members of any armed groups or separatists.

“Civilians have been shot and killed without reason. The Papua Police and Paniai Police chiefs should be held responsible. These actions show that security personnel have treated residents not as citizens but as enemies who must be eliminated,” said Neles.

When reached by phone in Jayapura, Papua Police chief Insp. Gen. Yotje Mende acknowledged he had learned about the incident in Paniai but had yet to receive a complete report from the local police chief.

“I have yet to receive information on the number of people who died and the chronology of events. I have not been able to contact the Paniai Police chief yet,” confirmed Yotje.

Last week two police officers were shot dead by an unidentified group in a church in Puncak Jaya regency, Papua.

In August, two police officers were shot dead in Lanny Jaya regency, Papua. The shooting triggered the arrest of 21 civilians suspected of affiliation with the separatist Free Papua Movement (OPM).


2) 4 killed in violence in Indonesia's Papua

Security forces killed four teenagers after clashes in Indonesia's Papua province, where a low-level insurgency has been ongoing for decades. 

JAKARTA: At least four teenagers were shot dead in eastern Indonesia's restive Papua province in clashes with security forces, authorities said Tuesday (Dec 9) , although rights campaigners accused police of opening fire on protesters.
Monday's incident was the latest flare-up in violence in the eastern region, where poorly armed fighters have been waging a low-level insurgency against Jakarta for decades on behalf the mostly ethnic Melanesian population. There were conflicting reports about what happened. Police said that four people died when several hundred protesters attacked military and police posts in the remote Madi area, in mountainous Paniai district, and it was not clear who fired the shots.
But Andreas Harsono, a Human Rights Watch campaigner in Indonesia, said five high-school students aged 17 and 18 were shot dead by security forces who fired live rounds into a crowd of protesters. It is difficult to independently verify information from Papua, as Jakarta keeps a tight grip on the resource-rich region with a heavy police and military presence and there are restrictions on foreigners reporting from the area.
Police and rights activists both said tensions rose when local teenagers confronted the driver of a vehicle late Sunday. The driver was from a local military unit, according to Harsono, and returned later with a group of people who beat up the teens. 
Overnight Sunday to Monday, a local election office was set on fire and then police and military posts were attacked, Papua police spokesman Sulistyo Pudjo said. "Suddenly there were victims, and we did not know who shot them," he said. "Four died, and 10 others were injured."
Harsono said that as well as those killed, 21 people were injured, and they included women and children. He said that he interviewed six people in Papua. The police said two senior police officials as well as a forensic team were on the way to Paniai district to conduct an investigation.

3) Police, Soldiers Accused of Opening Fire on Papua Demonstrators: Six Killed

[This story was updated at 5:13 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 8, 2014, to add higher reported death toll]
Jakarta. Six people were reportedly killed while several others remained in a critical condition after a group of police officers and soldiers allegedly opened fire on demonstrators in restive Papua province on Monday morning.
John N.R. Gobai, a local community leader, said the security forces in the capital of Paniai district, Enarotali, opened fire at 10 a.m. on Monday to disperse a group of people angered by the alleged abuse of a child.
“There are four people who died, four others are in critical condition and 22 more suffered [other] injuries after being shot by the police and soldiers,” John said. “Those who were injured are currently being treated at Madi hospital in Enarotali, while those who died are still at the field with people surrounding them.”
The death toll was later reported to have risen to six.
The chief of Papua Police, Insp. Gen. Yotje Mende, confirmed that there had been a shooting, but declined to provide details.
“The shootings were triggered by an attempt to attack the Ebarotali Police office and our officers were only trying to secure the perimeter,” Yotje said.
He added that information was still being gathered about the incident. “I am communicating with Paniai Police headquarters to establish the chronology of the events,” he said.
‘Child beaten’
According to John, the incident started when a Toyota Fortuner SUV was passing Togokotu hill in Ipakiye village, East Paniai, on Sunday night with its lights off.
Some teenagers guarding the local security post stopped the car and asked the driver to turn the car’s lights on.
An argument ensued and the SUV left the location and headed to a military post in Uwibutu.
The SUV driver later came back to the security post with some other men and assaulted a 12-year-old boy at the post.
“This is what triggered the anger of Ipakiye villagers and made them walk for five kilometers to Enarotali to seek an explanation from law enforcement officers,” John said.
SUV torched
After arriving in Enarotoli, the angry mob torched a Fortuner SUV suspected to be the one that passed the village the previous night, and started to dance and sing.
Then suddenly, John said, police and soldiers started to shoot into the crowd.
“The team opened fire at the crowd to disperse them,” he said.
The four people who died were identified as Habakuk Degei, Neles Gobai, Bertus Gobai and Apinus Gobai.
“The situation in Ebarotali is still very tense because more and more people started to arrive,” John said.

4) United West Papua movement 'significant', says Wenda

Updated at 5:42 pm today

A spokesperson for the newly-formed United Liberation Movement for West Papua, Benny Wenda, says its creation is one of the West Papua independence movement's most significant steps in dealing with Indonesia.

 The group is made up of the KNPB, the West Papua National Coalition for Liberation and the Federal Republic of West Papua and is intended to create a unified voice for West Papua on political fronts.
It was set up in Vanuatu, which backs the West Papuans' self-determination drive.
Mr Wenda says the group is working on re-applying for membership of the Melanesian Spearhead Group, which was knocked back earlier this year because its bid was deemed not representative.
Mr Wenda says now a unified bid has been created, he is confident West Papua will be admitted to the MSG.
"Through this unification we are the ultimate because we are Melanesian, geographically and racially - we are Melanesia. So that's why I'm really confident that we will be a full member next year."

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