Police accused of killing Papuan fugitive
Nethy Dharma Somba
The Jakarta Post
The Papua Police have denied allegations that they are responsible for the death of a Papuan fugitive who died shortly after his arrest.
Yudas Gebze, a resident of Wanam village in Merauke, had been charged with attacking Egenius Blamo Gebze on May 10 and had been on the run for three months before his arrest last Thursday.
A day later, Yudas was pronounced dead. His family alleged that the police had tortured him and were responsible for his death.
Papua Police spokesman Sr. Comr. A. M. Kamal told The Jakarta Post that the police had followed procedure when arresting Yudas.
“The fugitive resisted arrest by pulling out a knife,” he claimed.
He added that the officers then fired a warning shot but Yudas allegedly resisted and fell on broken glass before trying to flee.
Yudas was already injured when the officers arrested him, Kamal claimed, adding that he was then transferred to the Merauke Hospital, where he died hours later.
Nelson Yustus Gebze, a local figure in Wanam village, doubted the police’s account, saying that it was impossible that Yudas had died because he had fallen on broken glass.
“That does not make any sense,” he said as quoted by Jayapura-based news outlet tabloidjubi.com.
He confirmed that Yudas had been accused of a crime but added that the police should have arrested him without incident. (sau/ahw)
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