Civil Society Coalition raises questions about the Shooting of five Degeuwo citizens

JUBI, 29 May 2012
The Civil Society Coalition – KMS – for the Degeuwo case  has once again raised questions about the shooting of five citizens in the illegal mining complex in Degeuwe, Nabire District on 15 May this year.. It has urged the police in Papua to investigate this incident. It added that three members of Brimob had clearly been the ones who had carried out the shooting.

Natalia Magia, a relative of one of the victims, said that the police must investigate the shooting as well as clarify statements published  in various media outlets which said  that  the five people were shot because they had offered armed resistance. Magai said: ‘They had not seized any weapons  which is why we call on the police to clarify what happened.’

The coalition provided a chronology of the events. The five men, Melianus Kegepe, Amos Abaa, Selpius Kegepe, Yulianus Kegepe and Lukas Abaa had gone to a billiard hall  but no one there was playing billiards, so they asked if they could play. However they were told that this was not permitted by someone called Yona because, he said, the lighting was not working properly and it was rather dark. Then  one of the five wnent into the house to get hold of a billiard cue because he regarded Yona as close relative but suddenly Yoga called the Brimob (an elite unit of the police). They arrived very quickly and immediately  started accusing the five men. Harsh words were exchanged and very soon after, some of the Brimob started shooting the five men.One of the five men, Melianus Kegepe was shot dead while Amos Abaa was shot in both legs. and the other three were also hit.

Amos Abaa, Yulianus Kegepe and the other two are now being treated in hospital.

The chairman of BUK – United for Justice – Peneas Lokbere said that this shooting in Degeuwe is nothing new as similar incidents have occurred but nothing has ever been done. His conclusion was that the police are simply not capable  of dealing with those people who are behind these incidents. ‘The only way that the police win the confidence of the people is by having the courage to investigate these incidents.

Yusman Conoras, deputy director of the ALDP in Abepura said what needs our attention is not the shooting of the five men but to find out who it is who is behind these incidents.

The KMS has also called on the Majelis Rakyat Papua and the Papuan Provincial Legislative Assembly to draft a proposal  about the rights of the Degeuwe people who are close to their land which includes land where mining is taking place.The government was also urged to cancel the licences that have already been issued in connection with the mining areas in Degeuwe.

[Abridged translation by TAPOL]

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