Jokowi’s Christmas gift for Papua – 5 civilians shot dead by military and police

Suara Papua – December 8, 2014
Victims of shooting by security forces in Paniai - December 8, 2014 (Jubi)
Victims of shooting by security forces in Paniai - December 8, 2014 (Jubi)

Oktovianus Pogau, Jayapura – The most saddening Christmas gift for the Papuan people this December was the death of five civilians in Paniai regency, Papua, who were shot dead by a joint unit made up of the municipal police (Polresta) and the Indonesian military (TNI) on Monday December 8 at around 10am.

Paniai Traditional Council (DAP) chairperson, John Gobay, said that the shooting shows President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s commitment to the continued use of a security approach to resolving the Papuan problem.

“I can say that this is a most saddening gift for the Papuan people, specifically the residents of Paniai this December. We are questioning Jokowi’s commitment to resolve the Papua problem”, said Gobay at a press conference at the office of the Democratic Alliance for Papua (ALDP) earlier this afternoon.

Gobay is calling on the Papua police chief and the XVII/Cenderawasih regional military commander to question the commanders of the Enarotali Timsus 753 [military unit based at Paniai sub-district military command (Koramil) – JB], the district police chief (Kapolres), the post commander (Danpos) and the Mobile Brigade (Brimob) to ensure that their personnel that were involved in the shooting are prosecuted.

“The security personnel that committed the crime must be punished as severely as possible, the experience has been that impunity continues, perpetrators from the TNI/Polri [police] are never punished”, asserted Gobay.

Gobay also called the TNI and police not to distort the facts by accusing the National Liberation Army/Free Papua Movement (TPN/OPM) of being the perpetrators of the shooting, never mind being involved in the shooting of police or TNI personnel.

“We are also calling on the Kapolri [national police chief] and Panglima TNI [Indonesian military commander] to withdraw all troops, be they Polres, Koramil, Timsus 753, Brimob, Kopassus [army Special Forces] and BIN [National Intelligence Agency] from Paniai”, said Gobay.

“The security forces are not carrying out their function of protecting and safeguarding society, but creating unrest and taking the lives of civilians, because of this they must be withdrawn from Paniai”, he insisted.

In relation to a statement by the Paniai district police chief who said that the shooting occurred because of intervention by the TPN/OPM, Gobay said that this is a systematic effort to deceive the public.

“This is untrue, we have received reports that there is no TPN/OPM headquarters in Paniai, security personnel committed a brutal shooting without cause at the square, because of this we cannot accept such behaviour”, he said.

“We are also demanding that the Kapolri and Panglima TNI pay a traditional fine (Denda Adat) of 4 billion [rupiah], meaning 1 billion per victim, for the innocent civilian victims”.

“This is because up until now security forces have been shooting people without feeling they are in the wrong and [government] institutions have never been transparent in dealing with the perpetrators in the various shooting incidents in Paniai”, asserted Gobay.

Meanwhile the head of the Papua regional police public relations section, Senior Commissioner Pudjo Sulistiyo, when contacted by Suara Papua this afternoon via his cell phone said that he is currently monitoring the situation. “We in the process of checking it Mr”, replied Sulistiyo briefly.

 [Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the report was Kado Natal Jokowi-JK untuk Papua, 5 Warga Paniai Tewas Ditembak TNI/Polri.]