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Jakarta Post

Police investigate Paniai shooting

  • Nethy Dharma Somba

    The Jakarta Post

Jayapura   /   Tue, December 9, 2014   /  04:50 pm

The Papuan Provincial Police deployed an investigating team to Enarotali, Paniai, Papua, on Monday to carry out an investigation into the deaths of five Papuans who died when police opened fire on protesters.

Provincial Police Chief Insp. Gen. Yotje Mende said on Tuesday that the investigating team led by chief detective Sr. Comr. Dwi Irianto, departed to Enarotali to investigate the incident that took place at the Karel Gobay Field.

Five people were killed and 21 others were injured in the incident.

Yotje explained that he did not know the cause of the deaths or whether they were shot or not and if they were shot whether the bullets were from the guns belonging to soldiers, police or others.

'€œThe investigation is needed to identify the causes of the civilian people'€™s deaths, whether they were shot or not, if they were shot, what type of guns were used or whether the bullets belonged to TNI, police or others,'€ he said.

He said further that before the victims were found dead, a group of residents conducted a blockade of a road, disturbing the traffic in the town and then the police tried to negotiate with the protesters to end the protest. When the negotiation was going on, a series of shootings coming from the red mountain was heard and around 200 people were on their way to the military district office and committed anarchism, leaving two soldiers injured and four cars damaged.

After that, the angry mob moved to the Police Station and threw stones at the building. The police office'€™s glass-made windows were damaged and three police officers were injured on their heads.

'€œA police officer fired a warning shot into the air, but after the situation was under control, a number of people were found dead and a number of others were wounded,'€ said Yotje.

He said that based on an official report from the hospital, there were four deaths, identified as, Yulian Yeimo, Simon Degei, Alpius

Gobay and Alpius Youw. Ten were injured and their names are Jerry Gobay, Octavianus Gobay, Noak Gobay, Yulian Mote, Andrias Dagopia, Yulian Tebay, Neles Gobay, Jermias Kayame, Italia Edoway and Albernadus.

For now, he said, the four deceased were at the East Paniai District office for funeral preparations. '€œThe [Paniai] regent, the deputy regent and the victims'€™ relatives are at the East Paniai District office to discuss the funerals,'€ he said.

Yotje also said that besides, three other teams from the National Police Headquaters, Indonesian Automatic Fingerprints Identification System (Inafis) and forensic laboratory in Semarang respectively were going to the regency to join the investigating team.

'€œIf police officers are found guilty, they will be punished,'€ he said.

Separately, Natalis Pigai, a commissioner of the National Commission of Human Rights (Komnas HAM), said the death of four civilian people in the incident was deemed as a human rights violation and was leading to gross human rights abuses.

'€œAccording to our monitoring, the incident is not linked with politics but is a serious crime to humanity. The right commission condemns the incident,'€ he told The Jakarta Post.

He added that the human rights commission has already reported on the incident to President Joko '€œJokowi'€ Widodo.

'€œWe have already reported the case to the President in Yogyakarta this morning and we are waiting for the President'€™s action,'€ he said.

He also said the human rights group would deploy its own team to Paniai to investigate the incident to determine whether the incident was a human rights violation or gross human rights abuse.

He added that based on the report filed to his group, five people died and 17 others were injured in the incident. (rms)(+++)

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