Families of victims reject government investigation into 2004 Paniai massacre

Suara Papua – December 14, 2021
Burial of victims of Paniai mass shooting in Papua – December 2014 (Jubi)

Yance Agapa, Jayapura – The Papuan people reject the investigation team formed by the state through the Attorney General's Office (AGO) to investigate alleged gross human rights violations in Paniai on December 8, 2004.

"To this day Indonesia has never solved any cases of gross human rights violations in the land of Papua, especially not the bloody Paniai case. So, we the people of Paniai and the families of the victims are [instead] hoping for a visit by the United Nations High Commissioner [on Human Rights] to see for themselves the evidence and facts on the ground in Karel Gobai, the location of the shootings", said Papua activist Andi Yeimo in Abepura, Jayapura city, on Tuesday December 14.

Yeimo even believes that the Indonesian government is incapable of resolving cases of gross human rights violations and because of this, the Papuan people are asking for the United Nations to visit Papua.

"We already know that the government talks nonsense. Indonesia once offered four billion [rupiah] in money as compensation. But we, the families of the victims, rejected this evil attempt outright", he said.

In relation to a UN visit to Papua, Yeimo explained that 85 countries have already urged the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to visit Papua. But Indonesia has used the Covid-19 pandemic situation as grounds to prevent the visit.

"Domestically, Indonesia [tries] to distract the Papuan people's focus with the agenda of Otsus (the extension of special autonomy), the creation of new autonomous regions, the National Sports Week and military operations in West Papua", said Yeimo.

"All students, youth, religious figures, state civil servants and all OAP (indigenous Papuans) unite now, take part in rejecting the [investigation] team formed by the state. We Papuans all know that Indonesia has never taken responsibility for its actions", said Yeimo.

Earlier, Amiruddin, the head of the investigation team into gross human rights violations, said he hoped that the newly formed team of investigators will be able to work transparently.

"The Attorney General's move to form the Paniai incident investigation team is a good move", said Amiruddin in a press release.


On December 8, 2014, barely two months after President Joko Widodo was sworn in as president, five high-school students were killed and 17 others seriously injured when police and military opened fire on a group of protesters and local residents in the town of Enarotali, Paniai regency. Shortly after the incident, while attending Christmas celebrations in Jayapura on December 28, Widodo personally pledged to resolve the case but seven years into his presidency no one has been held accountable for the shootings.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Kasus Paniai Berdarah, Rakyat Tolak Tim Investigasi Buatan Negara".]

Source: https://suarapapua.com/2021/12/14/kasus-paniai-berdarah-rakyat-tolak-tim-investigasi-buatan-negara/