Students march in Papua to mark 3 years since bloody Paniai shootings

Tabloid JUBI – December 8, 2017
Students hand out leaflets in Abepura - December 8, 2017 (Jubi)
Students hand out leaflets in Abepura - December 8, 2017 (Jubi)

David Sobolim, Jayapura – Scores of students from Solidarity Against Forgetting the Student Shootings Case in Paniai Regency have held a march from the Waena hosing estate to the Imbi Park in Jayapura, West Papua.

During the action they handed out leaflets containing demands for a full investigation in the bloody Paniai shootings which occurred three years ago on December 8, 2014.

“Our action today is to remember the student shooting case in Paniai on December 8, 2014”, action coordinator Nelius Wenda told Tabloid JUBI on Friday.

Nelius said that President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo had promised to resolve the shooting which resulted in the death of four students in Paniai. “But to this day who the perpetrators are has not been revealed nor has there been any legal process”, added Nelius.

According to Nelius, the Paniai shootings were a gross human rights violation that must be resolved. Unfortunately President Widodo’s promise to the Papuan people was a false one and has never been followed up.

“The Paniai case has not been able to be resolved by the state even though it has already been three years”, he said.

Solidarity Against Forgetting the Student Shootings Case in Paniai Regency is pushing for the formation of an ad hoc team to investigate the case.

This demand was conveyed to the Papuan Regional House of Representatives (DPRP) and the Papuan representative office of the National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM). They also held a public discussion on the incident.

Ogai Mumiyau, the chairperson of the Independent Student Forum (FIM) which also supported the march, said that the FIM has been handing out leaflets to remind the public about the shootings.

“The government has been incapable of solving the Paniai case. We are calling on the state to open access to foreign journalists [to West Papua] so that they are free to cover the news so the world will know”, said Ogai.

In addition to the Paniai case, Ogai said that there still sill several other important cases that have yet to be resolved. These include, among others, the Biak, Wasior and Wamena cases. “All of them have resulted in the loss of life”, he said (*)


On December 8, 2014 five students were killed and 17 others seriously injured when police and military attacked and shot at local residents in Paniai regency. Only July 6, 1998 scores of people in Biak Island’s main town were wounded, arrested or killed while staging a peaceful demonstration calling for independence. Some were shot on the spot while many others were taken onto naval boats and dumped at sea. On June 13, 2001 a number of civilians from dozens of villages were killed and tortured in Wasior during a joint police and military operation following a break-in at a military arsenal in which five police officers were killed by unknown attackers. On April 4, 2003 at least nine people were killed and scores tortured and arrested during military sweeps on villages in Wamena after a raid on a military armoury which was blamed on Free Papua Movement rebels.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was Mahasiswa gelar aksi melawan lupa pelanggaran HAM.]