Human Rights Committee Readies Papua Investigation of Paniai Shooting

The relationship between the military and local communities in Papua has long been strained. (Antara Photo/Ari Bowo Sucipto)

By : Yustinus Paat | on 11:32 AM January 09, 2015
Category : News, Human Rights

Jakarta. Indonesia’s Human Rights Committee announced  on Thursday that it had formed a team to investigate possible human rights abuses committed in the fatal shootings of at least five young civilians by security forces in Papua early last month.

Komnas HAM commissioner Natalius Pigai said in a statement that the team — which includes the committee’s other leaders Manager Nasution, Hafid Abbas and Siti Nurlaila — would take three months to complete their report into the shootings in Paniai district on Dec. 8.

“The team’s task is to investigate and gather evidence — information, data and facts," Natalius said. "They will also have to conduct an extensive investigation on everyone suspected to have been involved in the case."

Indonesian security forces are accused of having opened fire on a crowd of 800 peaceful demonstrators, including women and children on Dec. 8. Five protesters were killed and at least 17 others — including elementary school students — were injured, according to a report by Human Rights Watch.

President Joko Widodo visited Indonesia's restive easternmost province over Christmas and committed to a thorough inquiry in a speech at the Mandala stadium in Japayapura, the capital.

“I want this case to be solved immediately so it won’t ever happen again in the future,” the president said on Dec. 28. “By forming a fact-finding team, we hope to obtain valid information [about what actually happened], as well as find the root of the problems.”

The team will disclose its report during a plenary meeting held by Komnas HAM in April.

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