Bomb planted outside Law and Human Rights office, no suspects

Local media and witnesses in Abepura, near Jayapura West Papua, have reported the discovery of an explosive device planted on Wednesday evening (local time) outside the offices of the Department of Law and Human Rights (KumHAM) office in Kotaraja.

Armed officers from Brimob Gegana, a specialised motorbike based paramilitary bomb squad, reportedly defused and secured the bomb and made it safe.  No injuries were reported.

The bomb had been lying at the front of the office all day, but no-one had thought to report the suspicious package.  Finally in the evening, the Brimob were called by KumHAM staff members.

According to a report by Bintang Papua, two men were seen leaving the sports bag earlier in the day, and then getting on a motorbike and speeding away.

The Department has frequently come under threat for its mandated work in occasional prosecutions of human rights abuses, and most recently was subject to a series of threatening letters and homemade bombs.

According to an SMS sent to West Papua Media by the Serui Regional Police Chief who was in Jayapura at the time (At police HQ), the bomb “was from the Dutch era”.  He did not elaborate on how a Dutch Era bomb came to be planted outside the KumHAM  building.

Bomb threats are frequently the subject of much speculation in Papua, with incidents usually occuring during times of political upheaval by nonviolence forces.  It is usually believed they are the work of Special Forces or Intelligence agencies keen to discredit the anti-violence movement, despite the fact that the independence movement has publicly disavowed itself of such tactics for many years.

During the 2010 Presidential Elections in Indonesia, many bombs exploded in remote areas of Papua, or at police stations or polling booths, and were never sufficiently investigated by Police.

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