MAC: Mines and Communities

West Papua: Police shooting over New Year, major concern for upcoming Indonesian general election

Published by MAC on 2009-01-19
Source: Institute for Papuan Advocacy & Human Rights, Aust

Reports of police violence in Timika, Wamena and Sorong have marked a resurgence in Human Rights abuses by the Indonesian security forces in West Papua in the latter part of 2008. Also reports of mysterious deaths in Manokwari, before the massive earthquake, suggest ‘black killings' have occurred there over the Christmas/New Year period.

The reports of killings and ‘accidental' deaths together with renewed activity by the notorious Red & White (Merah Putih) Militia in Wamena, the arrest of two West Papuan rights activists[1], Buchtar Tabuni and Seblom Sambon in December 08 and the suppression of the indigenous Papuan Kingmi Church[2] are signs of the relentless pattern of Indonesian repressive control and arbitrary violence in West Papua.

In Wamena a youth was reportedly ‘accidentally' shot dead by Police in a dispute in a market involving another Papuan man, who had been accused of stealing. Later in the same day it is reported that the man accused of stealing, was then murdered in the street by a group of un-identified non-Papuans. In a separate incident the unmarked body of another Papuan man had been found in the river at Wamena on the previous day. Further information is detailed below for each case.

In Teminbuan, South Sorong Indonesian Police fired on a group of Papuans who were celebrating the New Year with firecrackers and sparklers. This caused one local man to die a horrific death. Local people responded to his murder by attacking and killing an Indonesian intelligence officer. Police then attacked again and fired at local people killing an 8 year-old boy and injuring others and then reportedly destroying houses and property.

While in Timika the special Para-military police, Brimob, are reported to have shot a local man at a gold mining camp on 30 December 2008. The dead body of another local man was taken to the Timika hospital on 1 January 2009 but was not identified.

In Manokwari, the site of recent massive earthquake, there are reports of two mysterious deaths during the Christmas period. The body of a Papuan man with serious wounds to his head was found on 25 December next to his undamaged motorcycle. The body of 75 year-old priest, was found in a ditch also with head injuries on 1 January 2009. Both deaths were suspected to be ‘black killings‘ used by Indonesian security forces.

Details of agitation by the notorious Red & White Militia in the highlands of West Papua were reported in December 2008. Local Militia leaders are reported to have traveled to Jakarta to attend a meeting at Indonesian Military headquarters in December and then went onto hold meetings in Golkar offices in Wamena. The Militia leaders are said to be planning a public launch of the Militia in Mulima, which is the site for staging traditional tribal warfare in the old days. Mulima is an area where some of the grossest human rights abuse in West Papua occurred during the Soeharto era.

Paua Makabory representing the Institute for Papuan Advocacy & Human Rights said today, "The recent shootings and reemergence of the Red & White Militia has heightened our concerns that Indonesian politicians and security forces are seeking to further destabilization the situation and promote conflict in West Papua. "

"This Christmas in West Papua has been a shooting season for Indonesian police. The security forces are trying to encourage conflict: Even a small child of 8 years has been a political target." Paula Makabory went onto say.

"By shooting people in West Papua the security forces encourage community based conflict and maintain the community opposition and distrust of Indonesia. The cycle of conflict with Indonesian authority, leading to state control and the poverty, disease epidemic and dispossession of the indigenous people is ongoing. Powerful people in Indonesia get political benefits from the conflict, the resource exploitation continues and the West Papuan people gain very little from Indonesian politics."

"After the assassination of Opinus Tabuni[3][4] occurred in Wamena (10 August 2008) at the Dewan Adat Papua sponsored Indigenous Peoples Day celebration there was notably less police opposition to resultant demonstrations that occurred in Wamena and Jayapura. Though during this time a member of the Papuan Customary Council (Dewan Adat Papua) Yosias Syet was murdered by unidentified person on 17 October 2008 near village of Waibron close to Jayapura[5]."

"Pro-West Papuan Independence supporters then went onto undertake a series of demonstration in Jayapura around the assassination of Theys Eluay, the West Papua Pro-Independence leader who was killed by members of Kopassus Indonesia's elite military force in 2001. Further demonstrations were held supporting the formation of the International Parliamentarian for West Papua in London which appear been the reason for the arrest of Buchtar Tabuni and Seblom Sambon."

"Papuans in many centers then went onto raise the Nationalist ‘Morning Star' flag on 1 December 2008 against a police ban and the real threat of arrest and imprisonment."

For further information contact:

Paula Makabory, Institute for Papuan Advocacy & Human Rights, Tel +61(0) 402547517
Matthew Jamieson, Institute for Papuan Advocacy & Human Rights, Tel +61 (0) 418291998

Source: Human Rights Report Additional Information 5 January 2008

Institute for Papuan Advocacy & Human Rights, Australia


After a dispute over a Papuan man accused of stealing in a local market in Wamena Police shot and kill a 13 year old boy while shooting above heads of a local crowd (28 December 2008). The man who was accused of stealing is then stabbed by a group of non Papuan on his way home.

In an unrelated incident the body of un-indentified & decomposing Papuan man is found in the river on 27 December 2008.


1. Melinus Kogoya (13yo) from Gamelia District, Jayawijaya - Lani tribe and resident of Wamena. He was hit by a gun bullet from the local police;
2. Anus Paragaye (23yo) from Asologaima District, Jayawijaya (Hubula Palika tribe) and resident of Wamena. He was stabbed by unknown assailants;
3. An unidentified dead body was found at Uwe River, he was predicted to be around 26/27 years old.


Melinus Kogoya (13yo) died immediately after a police bullet hit him, at local Jibama market, at around 5pm, on Sunday, 28 December 2008, in Wamena.

He was among others who were at the local market when the local police shot their gun into the crowd.

Melinus Kogoya was at the local market among others who were watching the local Police have a fight against Anus Paragaye (local /23yo).

A non-Papuan shopkeeper at the Jibama market alleged Anus Paragaye and his friend had stolen property. A non-Papuan at the market had previously asked the police to arrest Anus Paragaye.

Anus Paragaye had tried to defend himself against the police because he was innocent of the claim of theft. This dispute attracted the attention of the locals and who demanded that Anus Paragaye to be released.

The Cenderawasih Pos (CEPOS) 29/12/08 reported that when the police arrested Anus Paragaye as he struggled and fought against the police. The CEPOS reported that the attending crowd threw stones at the police post. The police then started to fire their guns in the air to stop the crowd. Malinus Kogoya appears to have died in this shooting. The head of police precinct, Wamena, AKBP Drs. Abd Azis Dj, SH, is reported to have said Malinus Kogoya was killed with a stray bullet.

According to local witnesses that police pointed their guns at the local people. Malianus Kogoya was taken to the hospital for autopsy and the result showed that a the bullet caused his death. Malinus Kogoya dead body was handed back to his family to be burial.

Anus Paragaye (23yo) was stabbed by unknown persons on his way back home from Pike to Hom-Hom, at around 5.45pm, on 28 December 2008. He was stabbed on the Trans Irian road in front of the Yali Hom-Hom Dormitory in Wamena. During the incident Anus Paragaye was stopped by 10 non-Papuan people and was stabbed by a sharp weapon in the stomach. The local people (who did not want his named for security reasons) saw the incident at the crime scene & tried to get Anus Paragaye to the local hospital. But Anus Paragaye lost lots of his blood from critical wound and died in the hospital at around 22.30 at the same day.

Unidentified dead body (predicted to be 26/27yo) was also found at Uwe/ Wouma River on Saturday, 27 December 2008 at 6pm. According to the local newspaper, CEPOS, that this man had been died for 3-4 days before he was found. CEPOS reported that it was assumed the man suffer from chronic epilepsy disease because there is no violent mark on the body.

2.0 Deaths on New Year Eve 31 December 2008, in Teminabuan, South Sorong, West Papua

1. Ishak Lemauk (29 yo) was shot dead by the local police;
2. Supriyono (40yo) was killed by the locals;
3. Michael Kocu (8yo) was shot dead by the police.
It is customary in West Papua that people celebrate the New Year by letting off firecrackers at midnight. Many of the people in the Papuan town of Teminabuan, South Sorong, including children, were playing with sparklers and firecrackers during the celebration of the New Year 2009.

During the celebration people in Teminabuan had lit the firecrackers and sparklers for New Year, when a police truck carrying a detachment of the local police came. Reportedly these police then fired their guns on the people who were celebrating the New Year.

One man Ishak Lemauk was hit in the the stomach which caused an open wound and his belly come out from his stomach and he died horrifically at the scene.

After 40 minutes, other local people heard the news of the death of Ishak Lemauk and went to the scene and confronted the police. The local people chased and killed an Indonesian police intelligence officer, Supriono (40yo).

The local Police then acting against the local people and shot and killed a small boy, Michael Kocu (8yo). The local people were then chased with the shots of machine guns and some of their houses and properties were destroyed. Beside the 3 deaths, Human Rights workers report that there are more wounded victims that require further attention.

All dead victims were buried on 02 January 2009, at 9am Papua local time. The events have caused serious trauma in Teminabuan.

3.0 Timika: Brimob Shot Local Man Timika 30 December 2008.

Local sources report that the special police unit Brimob shot Teau Dang, a Damal Beaga man, on 30 December 2008 at a gold panning camp at Mile 50 in the Freeport Rio Mining Concession. These local reports say that Brimob had demanded that a group of gold panners vacate the campsite at about 6 pm on that day. After being told to leave one man Teau Dang returned to the camp to pick up a ‘nokem' traditional bag, containing gold and other belongings. The Brimob officers were said to be upset by Teau Dang's action and had shot Dang seriously wounding his shoulder. Dang colleagues heard the shot and returned to the campsite and found him lying on the ground. They then took him to hospital. Information about Dangs current condition is was not available.

Cenderawasih Pos 5/1/08 report a mysterious dead body taken to Timika Hospital on 1 January 2009. The person name was Pianus, aged 28 years. This man was buried by social department, on 4 January 2009, as no family members claimed his body.


A man, Anis Asmuruf (16yo) was found dead in a bad physical condition in Bakaro, District of East Manokwari on 25 December 2008. He was found by the local people who were on their way home after attended the local church Christmas service, at around 10am (Papua local time). The body was sent to the Manokwari General Hospital for an autopsy.

It was reported by the CEPOS on 27 December 2008 that the victim went out from his house by his motorcycle on the Christmas Eve, 24 December 2008 and did not return home.

Local people who found the man report that the body was lying on the ground with some serious wounds in the face, his motor was near him without any damage.

The dead body of priest Daud Garyono 75 years also seems suspicious according to the local police after investigating the scene. His body partly was in a ditch and had some injuries on his forehead. His vehicle not found around him, police were doing an investigation on his death to find out the reason on what cause his death. (1 January 2009)

5.0 Red & White Militia in Wamena

During December a group of ‘Red and White' militia under the leadership of a local man, Salogo Walilo, traveled to Jakarta meet with the Indonesian
National Military Commander in Jakarta. The group reportedly were told to ‘Defend Indonesian until the last drop of blood' and were given a very large Indonesian National flag.

The name of those local men who attended this meeting were:
1. Salogo Walilo
2. Kuluwit Huby
3.Herman Doga
4. Yokoye Logo.

The group returned to Wamena and held a meeting in the office of the Indonesian Political party Golkar (Golongan Karya) in Wamena on 2 January 2009 at 09.00 pm. The meeting was to decide the time for the public declaration of the ‘Red and White' Militia's in the Highlands.

This meeting was attending by the Tribal leaders ‘Kepala suku' from the region around Wamena and middle mountains. The names of eleven of those who attended were:

1. Salogo Walilo ( kordinator Milisi Merah Putih)
2. Dauke Mabel
3. Marius Marian
4. Yakoye Logo
5. Amandus Mabel
7. Kuluwit Huby
8. Nikilik Huby
9. Herman Doga
10. Naligi Kurisi
11. Lukas Itlay
12. others

The place chosen for the launch was the site of traditional site for tribal war (Markas Menara Perang Suku ( Libarek) Desa Mulima, Kurulu Kabupatan Jayawijaya). The planned declaration of the Militia was reported to be February 2009.

The selection of Mulima as a site has major connotations for local people. During the period 1972 - 1977 that area Mulima was the site of gross Human Rights violation from the Military Operation in Jayawijaya. Cases of extra judicial killing, rapes, large numbers of local people were forced into long periods of refuge in jungle & while the military burned down their houses. The Human Rights organisation Els-ham reported that four periods of military offensives led to massacre of 12,397 Papuans (Team Els-ham Papua in 2003 p 125. Potrat HAM Jayapura: Els-ham, 2003, pp. 125).

Mysterious killings disappearances, rape, torture and sexual violence, including incidences where women were pierced through the vagina with bayonets, were reported. Some of these abused women were sliced through their bodies cutting unborn babies in half. Woman and married women were also raped and their husband and families were forced to watch.

Members of the community who were witness to these events are still traumatized by these events.


[1] Buchtar Tabuni was arrested on 03/12/09 for organizing a demonstration on 16 October 2008 relating to the formation of the International Parliamentarians for West Papua. Seblom Sambon was arrested on 17 December 2008 also apparently over the formation International Parliamentarians for West Papua.

[2] Indonesian police including Brimob attacked Papuan members of the GKIP (Kingmi) church (Gereja Kemah Injil Papua) in Nabire West Papua. 12 members were injured including 5 students who were shot with rubber bullets on the 3 & 4 December 2008.


[4] Papua shooting :In Indonesia's Papua province, a tribal leader was killed at a rally two months ago. Human rights groups suspect he was murdered by a gunman working for the military or intelligence services. Jeff Waters reports. 15/10/2008

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