Indonesian Police arrest 4, beat & shoot rubber bullets to disperse Mako Tabuni’s assassination commemoration in Jayapura

15 June 2022

by WestPapuaMedia Eds

West Papuan activists peacefully marking the 10th anniversary of the assassination of West Papua National Committee (KNPB) Chairman Mako Tabuni, were violently dispersed using rubber bullets and beatings by Indonesian police in Jayapura on Tuesday June 14.

2 protestors sustained penetration injuries from rubber bullets fired point-blank, and a further 8 sustained injuries from severe beatings. 4 protestors, Vara Iyaba, Ferry Molama, Emani Pahabol & Wene Beni Hiluka, were arrested by Police. The four were released on 15 June.

The KNPB commemoration was held at the Waena roundabout, the site of the 14 June 2012 assassination of Tabuni by a death squad from the Australian-trained Detachment 88 counter terror unit, was a small and peaceful gathering, but at approximately 1pm Jayapura time, 5 truckloads of heavily armed Dalmas Police attacked the gathering of students sitting on the ground singing with guitars.

KNPB spokesperson Ones Suhuniap told WestPapuaMedia, “At 1pm, 5 Dalmas trucks of joint TNI POLRI arrived at the P3 Waena taxi round, then (the protest was) forcibly dispersed by the TNI-Polri without negotiating with the masses, beating with rubber, tear gas,and shooting rubber bullets.”

Jayapura Police disband Mako Tabuni assassination memorial gathering, June 14, 2022.

8 people were injured from beatings. They were :
1. Jhon S Kadepa, on the head of the forehead.
2. Kikibi Pigai, on the soles of the feet
3. Manu Tinal, on the legs and eyebrows
4. Benediktus Tebai, hit in the palms
5. Nopen Tulama, in the palm of the hand
6. Jendri Wanimbo, hit in the cheek
7. Natan Pigai, hit with a weapon on the head, and in the hand
8. Fransiskus Petege, hit in the spine with a weapon

Coswin Tabyor was shot in the right buttocks by point blank rubber bullets, and Yuber Kalakmabin was shot in the waist. Both suffered deep penetration wounds.

The arrests follow a significant upsurge in Police violence against peaceful protestors, after the Jayapura Police Chief Gustav R. Urbinas began to issue aggressive orders criminalising all West Papuan dissent ahead of the Papuan People’s Petition (PRP) mobilisations in May, resisting the creation of new provinces and reimposition of the failed Special Autonomy package.
On both May 10 and June 3, PRP demonstrations were brutally attacked with live fire and rubber bullets, resulting in scores of injuries and arrests.

Witnesses to the latest police violence have called for international condemnation of Indonesia’s criminalisation of peaceful dissent and repeated acts of excessive and disproportionate violence against unarmed and peaceful Papuan protestors .


JG: Officers Involved in Deadly Crackdown On Papuan Congress Slapped on Wrist

Banjir Ambarita | November 23, 2011

Jayapura. The former Jayapura Police chief and seven of his subordinates were handed a token written warning on Tuesday for their role in a brutal crackdown on a peaceful gathering that led to the deaths of at least three civilians.

At a disciplinary hearing at the Papua Police headquarters, Adj. Sr. Comr. Imam Setiawan was ruled to have committed a disciplinary infraction by not prioritizing the protection of civilians.

A parallel hearing at the Jayapura Police headquarters found the seven others guilty of a similar breach. All were issued a warning letter, despite earlier findings by the National Commission for Human Rights (Komnas HAM) that the crackdown on the pro-independence Papuan People’s Congress violated a raft of basic rights.

A day after the incident on Oct. 19, six congress participants were found dead in a field near the scene and just outside the local military headquarters.

Komnas HAM had ruled that at least three of the deaths could be attributed to excessive use of force by the security forces, although it stopped short of specifically fingering the police or the military.

In his defense, Imam said his men had acted out of fear of a repeat of the clash that occurred in March 2006 between protesters and security forces at Jayapura’s Cendrawasih University that left five police officers dead.

Sr. Comr. Deddy Woeryantono, the provincial police’s head of internal affairs, said the punishment meted out to the eight officers was the “heaviest in the police force.”

“If in the next six months after receiving a warning they commit another disciplinary breach, it’s possible that their punishment could be increased,” said Deddy, who presided over the disciplinary hearings.

He declined to say how the heaviest punishment available could be made any heavier.

The other officers disciplined included Comr. Junoto, the Jayapura Police’s operations head; Adj. Comr. Laurens, the head of intelligence; Adj. Comr. Frans, the head of riot personnel; and Adj. Comr. Ridho Purba, the chief of detectives. Adj. Comr. K.R. Sawaki and First Insp. I. Simanjuntak, the North Jayapura Police chief and deputy chief, and Comr. Arie Sirait, the Abepura Police chief, completed the list.

Tuesday’s decision echoes similar cursory punishment handed down to soldiers accused of gross rights abuses. In August, three soldiers accused of killing a Papuan man were given 15 months in jail for insubordination by a military tribunal.

In January, the military was criticized internationally for handing out sentences of between eight and 10 months to three soldiers who had tortured two Papuan men, in an act caught on video and posted to YouTube.

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