The incident when shots were fired by the police at KNPB demonstrators who were calling for a referendum has provoked many responses.
Forum Anti-Kekerasan – the Anti Violence Forum – (FAK) has initiated an investigation into this incident.which resulted in KNPB activists being wounded as well as some members of the police.
‘We will collect data to determined what injuries were inflicted on KNPB activists, who were the victims, what kind of injuries they suffered. Everything needs to be clear,’ said the chairman of FAK, Frans JP Kareth.
He went on to say that FAK along with legal organisations in West Papua intend to investigate this use of violence during scuffles between demonstrators and members of the police force, so as to draw together the facts. FAK said that it does not take sides between KNPB activists and the police but intends to establish the facts of what happened. ‘The police claim that that their actions to disperse the KNPB demonstration were in accordance with procedures but FAK intends to establish whether legal violations occurred. Our aim is to investigate the facts in order to reveal the case to the public.’
‘If any of the victims wish to take the matter to court, they are perfectly entitled to do so,’ he said.
Images from the demonstration, including live round Pindad MU11-TJ cartridges (not MU11-H blanks as claimed by Indonesian Police) (Images Supplied from KNPB).
West Papua National Authority condemns the use of violence against peaceful demonstration
‘The use of excessive force used by the police in Manokwari is a violation of basic human rights’, said the governor of Doberai, according to Markus Yenu in a press release.
‘The police should never use force to disperse a peaceful action. This only leads to feelings of hatred towards the police. ‘ The spokesperson of the WPNA. Elimelek Kaiway said that the police had acted in violation of Law 9/1998 on freedom of expression. He went on to say that the scuffles between the police and members of the KNPB had occurred in order to destroy the reputation of the Papuan pro-independence movement and force the demonstators to use anarchic methods. He said that the the WPNA will collaborate with the KNPB to investigate the use of force which led to a number of injuries suffered by KNPB activists and members of the police force.
Meanwhile, the chief of police in Manokwari, Agustus Suprianto said that the actions taken by the police were in accordance with established procedures. ‘The police were forced to take firm action,’ he said, ‘because the demonstrators had acted anarchically by throwing things at the police.’
[Translated by TAPOL]