TNI/Polri accused of still using militaristic approach in Papua

JUBI, 2 December 2011The shooting that occurred while a Morning Star Flag was being lowered in Timika resulted in a civilian being shot and wounded would  not have occurred if the security forces had adopted the ‘persuasive’ approach. Unfortunately such an approach is not being used, especially when an incident involves the Morning Star Flag. [This event was in commemoration of 1 December 1961.]

These views were expressed by the chairman of the Justice and Peace Secretariat (SKP) of the Timika Diocese, Saul Waminbo. ‘In the interests of justice and peace, such actions should never be taken by the police or the army against anyone, nor should violence have been used to disperse crowds of people, which could result in people getting being injured.’

He went on to say that the police, as the force which had granted permission for the commemoration of the 50th  anniversary of the Morning Star Flag, ought to have engaged in talks with the people there and asked them to lower the flag.’But something quite different happened. As soon as the flag was unfurled, Barakuda vehicles used by  Brimob which  had been parked round the edge of the field drove onto the field towards the flag pole. As they were nearing the flag pole, they started shooting in the direction of the flag pole and whoever happened to be nearby. This was then followed by many rounds of firing which resulted in several people being injured’  He said that this was not the persuasive approach but a militaristic approach.

In the opinion of the bishopric of Timika, the police and Brimob also used sharp weapons and live bullets.’I am certain that  that they did not use rubber bullets. Had they done so, why was it that after the shooting, the men crawled along the path of the bullets they had used.’ He said that after the random shooting, the men rushed  forward to collect the bullet shells on the ground, making sure that the local people would not be able to collect them as evidence of what happened.’ Why were the police afraid of the people gathering the bullets.’  This is proof that TNI/Polri were indeed using sharp weapons and bullets, in an attempt to end the lives of people who were simply exercising their right?’

According to SKP Tuimika, injustice in still widespread in Timika, especially as a result of the actions of the security forces in Tanah Amungsa, Bumi  Kamoro Papua.’ ‘This also includes cases where the police arrest people  at events attended by thousands of people. What should happen,’ he said, ‘is that the police should summon people and find out who was responsible for these activities, instead of just arresting anyone who happens to be walking along the road, or people who are involved in activities for which permission had already been granted.’

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