Human Rights Commission urges police chief to withdraw his troops from Paniai

JUBI, 17 December 2011The National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM) has urged the chief of police  to immediately withdraw his Brimob troops  from the district of Paniai and not to send any more troops there.

This request is made in a letter signed by the deputy head of Komnas HAM, M. Ridha Saleh, which is a follow-up of the complaint made by   the chairman f the Regional Traditional Council (DAD)  in Paniai several days ago. He said that the complaint  was made  because of two recent incidents involving members of the police force. One was shooting in the vicinity of the copper-and-gold mine in Degheuwo which led to the death of a civilian and the other relates to the situation following the dispatch of 150 additional Brimob troops who arrived in Enarotali  on 11-14 November 2011

In the second place, the Brimob post which was set up in the midst of several kampungs. should be removed.

Thirdly, to immediately conduct an investigation into what caused the death of Mateus Tenouye. Fourthly, to restore a conducive situation so as to enable the people in the district of Paniai to go about their daily activities.

And fifthly, to speedily hold dialogue with all parties involved in conflicts and to help the community to resolve problems that have occurred in the district of Paniai.

‘This request is in accordance with the authority rested in Komnas HAM according to Article 89, para (3) of Law on Human Rights 39/1999,’ the letter said. Copies of the letter have been sent to the chairman of Komnas HAM, the chief of police in Papua based in Jayapura and to the Paniai chief of police in Madi.

Komnas HAM very much hopes that the situation of the people in Paniai will be more conducive, bearing in mind that all people have the right to live in peace and tranquillity and to be protected against threats of fear, in accordance with article 15, para (30) of Law 39/1999.

Komnas HAM also calls upon all people to do everything possible to safeguard a conducive situation for people living in Paniai.

‘The chief of police needs to re-evaluate  the policy of sending additional  Brimob troops to Papua, particularly to Paniai. His troops must be withdrawn  because the people there are very upset, especially because of the attack on Eduda several days ago which has only intensified these fears and are having a significant impact   because people are unable to organise activities  in preparation for Christmas Day which is fast approaching.’

At the present time, there are hundreds of Brimob troops and police in Eduda, which is the headquarters of TPN/OPM, after managing to occupy the area.

Calls for the withdrawal of these troops  have also be made by others, especially since, in the past couple of days, operations in the area have intensified  in an attempt to hunt down the group of John Magai Yogi, who recently moved into the forest.

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