Jakarta – The Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) has noted discrepancies in the chronology presented by the public prosecutor (JPU) and the results of the National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM) investigation into the 2014 Paniai massacre.
"Quite striking differences can be found in the chronology and actions of the perpetrators and victims in the JPU's indictment and the executive summary of the Komnas HAM pro-justitia investigation", said Kontras impunity monitoring division head Jane Rosalina in Makassar, South Sulawesi, on Saturday November 5.
Rosalina said that there were points in the prosecution's indictment which were very different from the Komnas HAM's executive summary, including with regard to what took place on December 7 and 8 in 2014.
"Where the prosecutor's indictment states that on December 7 the victims who were at a Christmas hut asked for a donation. The Komnas HAM meanwhile said that the victims at the Christmas hut were singing spiritual songs while lighting a campfire", she said.
Then in the JPU's indictment, Rosalina noted that there was an interaction between the victims and the TNI (Indonesian military) officers because the victims almost crashed into the perpetrator's motorcycle.
"In the Komnas HAM executive summery it says that it began when the victims appealed [to the TNI officers] to turn on their motorcycle lights so that the perpetrators could safely navigate the potholed road", she added.
Then, in the incident which occurred on December 8 in the prosecutor's indictment, explained Rosalina, the JPU does not provide any details on the firearms used by the perpetrators, but describes how the Papuan protesters brought sharp weapons like axes, machetes, bows and arrows along with stones and sticks.
"Komnas HAM [meanwhile] described in detail the firearms used by the police, namely AK 47 [assault rifles], SS1 [assault rifles] and SS V2 Sabhara [7.62mm carbines], [while] the BKO [Under Operational Control] Brimob [Mobile Brigade paramilitary police] used AK 101 assault rifles, 5.56mm caliber SS1s. The TNI personnel (Timsus 753 military unit) used rifles, 5.56mm M16 assault rifles, 7.62 mm [assault rifles], SS1 V3 and Stand firearms. The Enarotali Koramil [sub-district military command] used FN handguns, Stand firearms, M16s, SS V1s and S.O. Daewoo [K2 assault rifles]. Meanwhile it did not say that the protesters carried sharp weapons", she explained.
Then in the JPU's indictment, said Rosalina, the prosecutor did not mention that the four of victims who died were children. "This is different from the Komnas HAM executive summary which says that the four victims who died were underage", she said.
According to Rosalina, the difference in the details between the prosecution's indictment and the Komnas HAM report will cause the trial not to proceed optimally.
"These differences show the indicators of the [different] position and partiality of the two legal institutions toward both the perpetrators as well as the victims", she said.
The Kontras believes that these differences occurred because of the minimal involvement of the survivors and families of the victims in the investigation process. Meanwhile the chronology and the details of the indictment are very much dominated by the narratives from the TNI and the police.
"It is obvious that the judges should dig into the information and testimonies from civilians in order to balance out the minimal involvement of civilians and survivors along with the victims' families since the start of the investigation", she concluded. (mir/fea)
On December 8, 2014, barely two months after President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo was sworn in as president, five people including four high-school students were killed and 21 others seriously injured when police and military opened fire on a group of protesters and local residents in the town of Enarotali, Paniai regency. The survivors and victims of the Paniai massacre have refused to attend the hearings in Makassar in protest over only one defendant being tried in the case.
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Kontras Catat Beda Dakwaan dan Penyelidikan Komnas HAM di Kasus Paniai".]