Papua church leaders want inquiry into deaths

A joint forum of Papuan church leaders and the Indonesian Communion of Churches [PGI] have urged Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo to set up a commission of inquiry to investigate alleged rights abuses in the Paniai shooting in Papua province.

Five protestors were killed and at least 17 injured in the December incident in which security forces allegedly opened fire on 800 protestors.

Church leaders united under the Oikoumene partnership forum in Papua say it would be best for President Jokowi to establish an inquiry so the Paniai case can be resolved completely.

Police have reportedly been investigating the killings with the Papua Human Rights Regional Commission secretariat. However the head of the Papua Baptist Church Rev Socratez Yoman says it lacked details.

“In the report, there is a sense that the police want to protect their officers. It seems that the police want to break the incident into separate cases that are not related to each other so that it will be difficult for us to find the perpetrators of the shooting,” said Socratez.

Responding to the statement, Papua Police spokesperson Sr. Comr. Rudolf Patrige said all elements of society should support and communicate with each other to find a resolution to the Paniai incident.

“The main obstacle investigators are facing during investigation is that people still have not come forward to provide statements on what they heard and saw or experienced,” he said.


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News category: Asia Pacific.

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