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Jakarta Post

Relatives of Paniai victims need govt attention

  • Nethy Dharma Somba

    The Jakarta Post

Jayapura   /   Fri, December 12, 2014   /  06:37 pm

The relatives of those who were shot at in the city of Enarotali, Paniai regency, Papua, are not only awaiting a lawful solution to the incident, but are also in need of counseling, especially the women whose children and husbands were killed, say activists.

At least five people died and 21 others were injured after a group of residents blockaded a road, disrupting traffic in the town on Monday.

The Papuan Women Solidarity for Human Rights Defenders said the government had never provided counseling for the relatives of victims of violence each time it occurred in the country'€™s easternmost province.

'€œWomen losing their children and husbands in acts of violence should receive attention from the government by deploying a psychiatric team to help them recover. We have women whose children went to school. They expected a better future, but instead they found death and violence,'€ Sandra Mambrasar, an activist of the Papuan Women Solidarity for Human Rights Defenders, said on Friday.

She added that the women affected continued to mourn for the victims when the bodies were laid out at Karel Gobay Field prior to their funeral. They women had even dug the graves themselves, she added.

'€œThe women are mourning. They went home in sorrow, without any attention from the government to help them recover,'€ she went on.

'€œAt a minimum, the presence of government officials during the funeral would'€™ve consoled the women,'€ she said.

Activist Erna Mahuse said only church ministers and activists had accompanied the women after the incident while the government was being pressed to seek a lawful solution to the incident.

'€œThe victims'€™ relatives aren'€™t looking for money. What they need is the presence of the government to accompany them in enduring their sorrow and to express its solidarity with them,'€ she stressed.

Meanwhile, another activist Frederika Korain said President Joko '€œJokowi'€ Widodo did not care about the victims and their families because he had made a statement on the incident.

'€œIt'€™s different with the Batam and Makassar incidents, the bloody conflicts between the TNI [the Indonesian Military] and the police. Upon hearing of these two conflicts, the President directly called the Riau Islands and South Sulawesi governors to seek a permanent solution to the incidents. But in the face of the Paniai shooting, the President has made no comment, not a single word,'€ she said.

She explained that her NGO would go to Enarotali to help the women.

The police have questioned 24 people as witnesses in their investigation into the incident.

Papua Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Pudjo Sulistyo said the 24 were questioned.

'€œThey were questioned as witnesses, including government officers, civilians and medical team personnel handling the injured victims,'€ he said.

He said the investigation team had already conducted a field investigation looking for evidence to reveal the perpetrators of the bloody incident.

'€œThe investigation is still underway and no-one has been made a suspect yet,'€ he said.

Local residents view the TNI and police as the culprits in the incident, accusations that both institutions deny. (rms)(+++)

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