Insufficient evidence to declare Paniai killings gross rights violation: AGO

CNN Indonesia – March 4, 2020
Protest calling on government to investigate Bloody Paniai killings – Undated (CNN)

Jakarta – The Attorney General’s Office (AGO) has declared that an investigation dossier into the Bloody Paniai case submitted by the National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM) has failed to meet the requirements to be declared a gross human rights violation.

“It does not yet meet the formal and material requirements”, said Deputy Attorney General for Special Crimes Ali Mukartono at the AGO’s office in Jakarta on Tuesday March 3.

Although Mukartono said that it has failed to meet the requirements as a gross human rights violation, the investigation dossier has yet to be returned to Komnas HAM. The results of the AGO’s study will first be reported to Attorney General ST Burhanuddin.

“We’ll report to the Attorney General first, later we’ll provide the guidelines to the [Komnas HAM] team”, he explained.

Earlier on February 16, Komnas HAM declared the Paniai shootings in Papua a gross human rights violation. The declaration was based on the results of an investigation by an ad hoc team which has been working since 2015.

Some 60 people were questioned as witnesses along with soliciting view from experts and monitoring at the location of the incident in Enarotali, Paniai.

Komnas HAM stated that the Paniai incident, which took place on December 7-8 2014, met the criteria of a humanitarian crime in the form of systematic abuse against civilians.

Four people were killed and 21 others injured as a results of being shot and stabbed. Members of the Indonesian military’s (TNI) Cenderawasih XVII Regional Military Command (Kodam) are alleged to be responsible for the violence.

Komnas HAM Commissioner Munafrizal Manan said the TNI and the Indonesian police attempted to block the investigation process.

“Only on this occasion has Komnas HAM explicitly said that in the Paniai incident there were indications of obstruction of justice. What caused there to be indications of this? First the Papua Polda [Regional Police] halted the investigation process not long after the incident occurred”, said Manan at the Komnas HAM offices in Jakarta on Monday February 17.

In response to Komnas HAM’s statement, the Papua Regional Police Chief Inspector General Paulus Waterpauw denied Komnas HAM’s accusations and claimed that the investigation was transparent.

“In fact, the former Kapolda [Regional Police Chief] Pak [Mr] Yotje and I were invited by Komnas HAM to testify. We were transparent, that’s the way it was”, Waterpauw told CNN Indonesia when contacted on Wednesday February 19. (mjo/bmw)

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “Kejagung Sebut Berkas Paniai Berdarah Belum Penuhi Syarat”.]