Wednesday, December 10, 2014

1) UN Human Rights office concerned about Papua shooting

4) Police Chief Denies Officers Fired Fatal Shots at Papuan Demonstrators
5) Papua Police investigate  Paniai shooting

1) UN Human Rights office concerned about Papua 


Updated at 4:31 pm today
The United Nations' High Commissioner for Human Rights has expressed alarm at the reported killing of five Papuan teenagers by a joint-force of Indonesian police and military.
A spokesperson for the office, Rupert Colville, says that while the exact circumstances are unclear, it appears police opened fire on a group protesting outside the police station in Paniai against the beating of a local boy.
The statement says the office is concerned about regular reports of violence in Papua and is urging authorities to facilitate an independent and thorough investigation into the incident.
It says the office will continue to engage with Indonesia's new government on the Papua issue.
2) Indonesia: Security Forces Kill Five in Papua
Investigate Deadly Shooting of Peaceful Protesters
DECEMBER 10, 2014

The Indonesian government needs to investigate why security forces found it necessary to fire into a crowd of peaceful protesters.
Phelim Kine, deputy Asia director
(Jakarta) – Indonesian authorities should promptly and impartially investigate the apparent use of unnecessary lethal force by security forces against peaceful protesters in Papua on December 8, 2014, Human Rights Watch said today.

Police and military personnel fired live ammunition at about 800 peaceful demonstrators, including women and children, in the town of Enarotali in Panai regency. Five protesters – Simon Degei, 18; Otianus Gobai, 18; Alfius Youw, 17; Yulian Yeimo, 17; and Abia Gobay (age unknown) – died from gunshot wounds. At least 17 others, including five primary school children, were wounded and required hospitalization. Human Rights Watch interviewed two witnesses to the incident, as well as journalists and a human rights activist in towns closest to this remote area.

“The Indonesian government needs to investigate why security forces found it necessary to fire into a crowd of peaceful protesters,” said Phelim Kine, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “Ordinary Papuans are too often victims of security force abuse for which no one is ever punished.” 

The protest was sparked by a brawl several hours earlier, on the evening of December 7, when members of Tim Khusus 753 (Special Team 753), a unit attached to the Nabire-based Army Battalion 753, assaulted 12-year-old Yulianus Yeimo. The attack was apparent retaliation after a group of children and young people, including Yeimo, shouted at a Tim Khusus 753 vehicle to turn on its headlights as it passed the group, whose members were decorating a Christmas tree and nativity scene in Enarotali’s Ipakiye neighborhood.

The Tim Khusus 753 vehicle soon returned with another truck filled with Indonesian soldiers, who chased the group and caught and beat Yeimo with their rifle butts. Yeimo’s condition is unknown. The others alerted nearby adults, who began throwing stones at the military personnel, prompting them to flee.

Witnesses told Human Rights Watch that on the morning of December 8, about 800 Papuan young men, women, and primary school children gathered on Enarotali’s Karel Bonay football field in front of the local police station (Polsek) and military command (Koramil) to demand an explanation for the attack on Yeimo. The protesters, some carrying ceremonial Papuan hunting bows that have a purely ritual function, expressed their grievance through a traditional Papuan waita dance, which involves shouting, running in circles and mimicking birdsong.

The police ordered the protesters to disperse and then struck them with batons and sticks when they refused to comply, witnesses said. The Papua police chief Inspector General, Yotje Mende, told the media that his officers were only “securing” their station because it was under attack. A witness told Human Rights Watch that he saw six or seven Indonesian officers chasing protesters, who ran to a nearby airfield. Between 9:30 and 9:40 a.m., the witnesses heard gunshots and saw security force personnel, including police Mobile Brigade (Brimob) officers, bearing rifles. Some of the shots were fired from the nearby police and military posts, about 50 meters from the field, witnesses said. It was only around seven minutes, according to a witness in the field. It is unclear if the police fired any warning shots before firing into the crowd.

Indonesian government officials offered conflicting accounts of the violence. Security Affairs Minister Tedjo Edhy Purdijatno said that the security forces had warned the protesters to disperse and that security forces had fired into the crowd “to defend themselves” from “a bunch of people fighting the authorities.” The Papua police spokesman, Sulistyo Pudjo, indicated that the violence was the security forces’ response to an attack on local police and military posts, but said he was unaware of the circumstances of the protesters’ deaths. "Suddenly there were victims, and we did not know who shot them,” Pudjo told Agence France Press.

Witnesses said that when the shooting stopped, women and children on the scene immediately called for emergency medical assistance. They helped bring the wounded to the public hospital in the town of Madi, about 6 kilometers from Enarotali. The witnesses said they did not see any police or military personnel provide medical assistance to the wounded or help them to get to the hospital. There are no reports of injuries to security forces on the scene.

The United Nations Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials, which set out international law on the use of force in law enforcement situations, provide that security forces shall as far as possible apply nonviolent means before resorting to the use of force. Whenever the lawful use of force is unavoidable the authorities should use restraint and act in proportion to the seriousness of the offense. Lethal force may only be used when strictly unavoidable to protect life. Governments shall ensure that arbitrary or abusive use of force and firearms by law enforcement officials is punished as a criminal offense.

Human rights abuses remain rife in Papua, located in the extreme eastern of the Indonesian archipelago. Over the last 15 years, Human Rights Watch has documented hundreds of cases in which police, military, intelligence officers, and prison guards have used unnecessary or excessive force when dealing with Papuans taking part in protests. While a handful of military tribunals have been held in Papua to try security force personnel implicated in abuses, the charges have been inadequate and soldiers who committed abuses continue to serve in the military.

The Indonesian government has deployed military forces in Papua since 1963 to counter a long-simmering independence movement and restricts access to international media, diplomats, and nongovernmental groups by requiring them to obtain special access permits, which are rarely granted. Tensions heightened in Papua following the February 21, 2013 attack on Indonesian military forces by suspected elements of the armed separatist Free Papua Movement. The attack resulted in the deaths of eight soldiers, the most in the area in more than 15 years.

President Joko Widodo, who succeeded President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on October 20, 2014, pledged to lift the punitive restrictions on international access to Papua. On June 5, during the election campaign, when asked by local residents if, as president, he would open access to Papua for foreign journalists and international organizations, Widodo replied, “Why not? It’s safe here in Papua. There’s nothing to hide.” Widodo has yet to lift those access restrictions.

“The killing of five teenagers in Enarotali is just the latest atrocity by Indonesian security forces in Papua,” Kine said. “President Widodo should recognize that Papua is anything but ‘safe’ for its residents until the government puts an end to the routine and often-deadly abuses by the Indonesian forces stationed there.”

3) Indonesian army kills five as West Papua independence campaign unifies

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By Scott Mitchell
Indonesian troops have opened fire in West Papua and killed five civilians during protests, as Indonesia faces growing pressure over its occupation of the Melanesian region.
The exact events that led to the deaths on Monday are difficult to trace, especially given media censorship and inconsistent reporting inside West Papua.
It has been established that the shootings occurred in Paniai regency, where locals gathered to demonstrate at Karel Gobay Square. At least five people were reported dead, with at least 12 wounded.
Local media quoted community leaders claiming that the unrest was provoked by the beating of a 12-year-old boy on Sunday night, while military spokesperson Rikas Hidayatullah claimed it was a political demonstration against the Electoral Commission.
The crowd “ran amok,” according to Hidayatullah, who added that the incident happened after the “police asked the military to help them”.
Activists for West Papuan independence began circulating a number of horrific pictures, that they claimed were taken at the scene of the shootings, on blogsand Twitter.
Indonesia occupied West Papua by force in 1963, following a colonial Dutch government.
Banned flag
Ever since, the national Morning Star flag of West Papua has been banned and independence supporters have been suppressed.
An estimated 100,000 West Papuans have died as a result of the occupation.
West Papua is a valuable strategic asset for Indonesia. It is home to the world’s largest known deposit of gold at Grasberg Mine, and is also a major palm oil producer.
Indonesia argues it secured the province fairly after a vacuum of internal leadership left the country completely ungoverned with no central authority.
The UN did grant Indonesia control of West Papua in 1963, on the condition that a plebiscite on self-determination was held within six years.
In 1969, Indonesia organised a vote that surveyed 1026 handpicked West Papuans. They voted to join Indonesia, and the other 800,000 West Papuans — who were considered “too primitive” and not consulted — were forced to go along with it.
Unified negotiations
News broke of Monday’s tragic shooting in Paniai just as West Papuan independence activist organisations announced they had unified after negotiations in Vanuatu.
The new body, called the United Liberation Movement for West Papua, has been set up with the ambition of being recognised by the Melanesian Spearhead Group, an intergovernmental organisation that advances the interests of the Melanesian peoples of the Pacific.
Scott Mitchell is a contributor to Vice News.

4) Police Chief Denies Officers Fired Fatal Shots at Papuan Demonstrators

Jakarta. Indonesia’s National Police chief on Wednesday denied police were behind a fatal shooting in Papua which killed at least four people and injured more than 20.
Police dispatched a special team to the mountainous Paniai district on Tuesday to investigate the incident, which they say left four people dead, but a human rights monitor says killed five.
Speaking in Jakarta on Wednesday, Gen. Sutarman said police were not responsible for the deadly shooting by security forces.
“Everything is still being processed, but they [the shooters] were not from the police corps,” he said.
Gen. Moeldoko, chief of the Indonesian Armed Forces (TNI), said the investigation would be left to police, but declined to confirm whether soldiers had opened fire on the demonstrators.
“We are still waiting for the National Police investigation,” he said. “Let’s wait, we want the information to come out from one source to make everything clear.”

There are conflicting reports about what happened on Monday. Police said the shooting was provoked after about 200 protesters — possibly aligned to the Free Papua Movement (OPM) — attacked a police and military outpost in Ebarotali.
Locals and Human Rights Watch, however, have said security forces opened fire on a group of protesters angered by the alleged abuse of a teen.
Tedjo Edhy Purdijatno, coordinating minister for political, legal and security affairs, said the public should not draw premature conclusions or blame security forces.
“The army chief said there had been shootings not only from the ground, but also from above,” Tedjo said.
‘We have to check everything first, do not blame the law enforcers.”
At least four teenagers were killed during the demonstration in Enarotali, the capital of the mountainous Paniai district on Monday.

The incident started when local teenagers confronted the driver of a vehicle late on Sunday. The driver was from a local military unit and he returned later with a group of people who beat up a teen.
The beating enraged residents of Ipakiye village who headed to a security outpost in Enarotali to protest.
According to local reports the demonstrators torched vehicle and started singing and dancing. A group of police officers and soldiers then opened fire on the demonstrators.
Police, however, say a “mob” first attacked the military base and then a nearby police post with rocks and arrows.
The incident has sparked fears that the increasing military presence in Indonesia’s easternmost region could led to an era of renewed violence.
5) Papua Police investigate  Paniai shooting
Nethy Dharma Somba, The Jakarta Post, Jayapura | Headlines | Wed, December 10 2014, 9:38 AM

The Papua Police deployed on Tuesday a team led by the headquarters’ crime unit director Sr. Comr. Dwi Irianto to Enarotali, Paniai, to investigate an incident that killed five civilians and injured a number of people on Monday. 

“The investigators have departed to Enarotali, Paniai to investigate the shootings that killed some civilians,” Papua police chief Insp. Gen. Yotje Mende said in Jayapura on Tuesday. 

He also said three other teams from the National Police Headquarters, Indonesian Automatic Fingerprints Identification System (Inafis) and a forensic laboratory in Semarang were going to the regency to join the investigation team.

“If police officers are found guilty, they will be punished,” he said.

Yotje said he had not confirmed the causes of death of the victims and whether they were shot by the police, the Indonesian Military (TNI) or other groups. 

He said before the incident occurred, residents blocked roads and disrupted traffic in Enarotali city. When the police were trying to negotiate with them to open the blockage, they heard gunshots from the nearby mountain. 

At the same time, around 200 residents marched to the subdistrict military command (Koramil) office and ran amok. During the chaos, four cars were damaged and two military personnel sustained wounds on their heads. Yotje said after vandalizing the Koramil office, the mob headed to a subprecinct police office and hurled rocks through the windows, injuring three members of the police. 

“The police only fired warning shots into the air, but after the situation was under control, a number of residents were found dead and injured,” he said. 

Yotje said four people died and 10 people were injured during the incident. The deceased were identified as Yulian Yeimo, Simon Degei, Alpius Gobay and Alpius Youw. 

The police’s version of story was different to the testimony of Paniai Customary Council head John Gobay. 

Gobay said the shooting took place at 10 a.m. local time as residents from Togokotu village were gathering at the field in protest over an incident from the previous night. 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. Gobay said the police then fired into the crowed. Four people were killed on the spot and another one, identified as Saday Yeimo, died at the Madi Hospital from a shot to the stomach later on Monday evening. Meanwhile, 21 others suffered injuries. 

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. 

Separately, Natalis Pigai, a member of the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM), said the incident was a serious crime against humanity. 

He said he had reported the incident to President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo. He said some members of Komnas HAM would also go to Paniai to investigate the incident. 

He added that based on the report filed with his group, five people died and 17 others were injured in the incident.

No comments:

Post a Comment