Another pro-independence activist killed in custody -- police fabricate a story to justify the killing

AHRC

 

The AHRC has received information from a local activist that Simeon Daby, Chairman of West Papua National Committee’s (Komite Nasional Papua Barat, KNPB) branch in Wamena, Meki Kogoya and Wene Helakombo were arrested by the police on 15 December 2012. Simeon, Meki and Wene are members of the KNPB listed as suspects in the bombing of the Jayawijaya District Legislative Office and the attack on the Pirime sub-district police station.

The police threatened the three activists at gun point and forced them to give information on the whereabouts of the other suspects. Meki had to call Hubertus Mabel, another suspect also attached to the KNPB, asking him to have a meeting.

The next day, 16 December 2012 at 11.30am, the police came to Milima in Kurulu District where Meki and Hubertus agreed to meet. Hubertus, who was accompanied by Natalis Alua, approached a car in which he thought Meki was travelling only to find that it was full of police officers allegedly from the counter-terrorism unit, the 88 Detachment (Densus 88). As Hubertus opened the door, the police officers wearing civilian clothes pointed their guns at him. Hubertus and Natalis were told to lie on the ground and the police started shooting them in their legs. What happened afterwards is still not known but Hubertus and Natalis were later found at the Jayawijaya Public Hospital.
Hubertus had died from bullet wounds to his body and a deep stab wound on his chest. Natalis had severe injuries in his legs.

Adj. Sr. Comr, I Gede Sumerta Jaya, spokesman of the Papua Regional Police, told the press that after talking on the phone with a suspect arrested by the police for possession of ammunition, ‘MJ’, Hubertus came to meet with him with four other people carrying machetes. As reported by the Jakarta Globe, the spokesman of the police said: ‘He angrily tried to attack and rob the firearm carried by the personnel so that a scuffle developed and the firearm almost got taken. One of the special team members then shot him in the foot in order to immobilize him’. The police failed to mention anything about the wound found on Hubertus’s chest but only claimed that Hubertus' death was due to the fact that he ‘Lost a lot of blood’.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

Under international human rights law, the lethal use of force by law enforcement officials may be justified provided the tests of ‘necessity’ and ‘proportionality’ are fulfilled. The test of necessity requires law enforcement officials to only exercise lethal measures for the purpose of protecting life, whereas the test of proportionality deals with the question of how much force might be permissible to reach such purpose. To ensure law enforcement officials who abuse the use of lethal measures do not enjoy impunity, an effective review procedure examining whether the aforementioned tests are met shall be established. It is not for the authority of the police to determine whether a use of lethal measure was proportionate and necessary, but independent administrative or prosecutorial authorities.

Such effective and independent review mechanism does not exist in Indonesia as of today, despite the fact that police officers often use lethal measures against individuals who do not pose any imminent threat to anybody’s life. Previously in June this year, the Secretary General of KNPB Mako Tabuni was shot to death by police officers. Shortly after the shooting, the Chief of the Indonesian National Police claimed that Mako was trying to grab the officer's weapon as they were arresting him. Although many witnesses testified that Mako did not pose any harm but was just going to get his breakfast when the police shot him, there was no independent mechanism available for Mako’s family or anybody else to challenge the Chief’s statement. The only legal mechanism can be pursued in the shooting cases of Mako Tabuni, Hubertus Mabel or other similar cases is to lodge a complaint with the police. This virtually denies the complainants of the possibility of having of having the case investigated impartially.

As a result, not only those who are responsible for the disproportionate and unnecessary shootings remain unpunished but also the systematic arbitrary use of lethal measures by law enforcement officials. Law enforcement officials in Indonesia can easily get rid of anybody as they wish -- all they need to do is coming up with a false story to make it appears justifiable for them to shoot one to death.

SUGGESTED ACTION:

Please write to the listed authorities below, urging them to conduct an effective and independent investigation on the death of Hubertus Mabel and the shooting of Natalis Alua. Please also highlight that in this case the police had used threats in order to obtain information from Meki Kogoya, Simeon Daby and Wene Helakombo.

The AHRC is writing a separate letter to the UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, asking for his intervention in this matter.

To support this appeal please click here:

SAMPLE LETTER:

Dear ___________,

INDONESIA: Another pro-independence activist killed in custody -- police fabricate a story to justify the killing

Names of shot victims: Hubertus Mabel, Natalis Alua Name of threatened
victims: Simeon Daby, Meki Kogoya, Wene Helakombo Alleged
perpetrators: Police officers of Papua Regional Police Station, allegedly from the counter-terrorism unit, the 88 Detachment (Densus
88) Date of incident: 15-16 December 2012 Place of incident: Milima, Kurulu District, Papua

I am writing to voice my deep concern regarding the shooting by the Indonesian National Police of two pro-independence activists, Hubertus Mabel and Natalis Alua, in Milima, Kurulu District, Papua. I have been informed that the shooting had killed Hubertus and injured Natalis.

The report I received reveals that the police arrested three members of West Papua National Committee (Komite Nasional Papua Barat, KNPB) named Simeon Daby, Meki Kogoya and Wene Helakombo on 15 December 2012.
Hubertus and Natalis were listed by the police as suspects allegedly involved in the bombing of Jayawijaya District Legislative Office and the attack of a police station in Pirime sub-district. They were forced to provide more information on the whereabouts of Hubertus Mabel, another suspect. As they were threatened and the police were pointing guns at them, Meki Kogoya later made a phone call to Hubertus who agreed to meet him at Milima in Kurulu District.

Accompanied by another KNPB member named Natalis Alua, Hubertus came to the agreed meeting point at around 11.30am on the next day, 16 December 2012. He opened the door of a car he thought to be Meki’s and was welcomed by armed police officers --allegedly from the counter-terrorism unit, Densus 88- wearing civilian clothes. The police asked him and Natalis to lie down on the ground and started shooting at their legs once they confirmed that one of them was Hubertus whom they had been looking for. It remains unclear on what had happened afterwards, but Hubertus was later found dead at Jayawijaya Public Hospital whereas Natalis was injured due to the shootings on his legs. A deep stab wound was found on Hubertus’s chest in addition to bullet wounds on his body.

The police admitted that they had shot Hubertus but claimed the shooting was necessary as Hubertus was involved in the bombing and attack that had taken place previously. Completely different to witnesses’ testimonies stating that Hubertus did not pose any harm and was shot as the police met him, the spokesperson of Papua Regional Police, Adj. Sr. Comr, I Gede Sumerta Jaya stated a false story to justify the killing of the victim by claiming that Hubertus came to them with other four people who were all carrying machetes.

I am disturbed not only by the fact that this shooting resulted in the death of Hubertus and wounding of Natalis but also there is no legal mechanism where the victims could pursue to obtain remedy. In addition to that, I am concerned with the fact that the information regarding the whereabouts of Hubertus Mabel was obtained by the police officers with using threats against Meki Kogoya, Simeon Daby and Wene Helakombo.

I urged you to establish an independent and effective review mechanism in line with the human rights principles to ensure that the use of lethal force by law enforcement officials is investigated. It is necessary to ensure that the tests of necessity and proportionality have been met. The establishment of such mechanism is not merely for the sake of compliance with international human rights law but, much more than that, to ensure those who use excessive and abusive act are held to account.

I look forward for your positive and adequate action in this matter.

Yours sincerely,

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PLEASE SEND YOUR LETTERS TO:

1. Mr. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono President of Republic of Indonesia Jl.
Veteran No. 16 Jakarta Pusat INDONESIA Tel: +62 21 345 8595 Fax: +62
21 3483 4759 E-mail: presiden@ri.go.id

2. Ms. Harkristuti Harkrisnowo General Director of Human Rights Ministry of Law and Human Rights Jl. HR Rasuna Said Kav.
6-7 Kuningan, Jakarta 12940 INDONESIA Tel: +62 21 525 3006, 525
3889 Fax: +62 21 525 3095

3. Gen. Timur Pradopo Chief of the Indonesian National Police Jl.
Trunojoyo No. 3 Kebayoran Baru, Jakarta Selatan 12110 INDONESIA Tel:
+62 21 384 8537, 726 0306 Fax: +62 21 7220 669 E-mail:
info@polri.go.id

4. Irjen Tito Karnavian Chief of Papua Regional Police Jl. Dr.
Samratulangi No. 8 Jayapura INDONESIA Tel: +62 967 531 014, 533
396 Fax: +62 967 533 763

5. Drs. Herman Effendi Head of Professionalism and Security Affairs, Indonesian National Police Jl. Trunojoyo No. 3 Kebayoran Baru, Jakarta Selatan 12110 INDONESIA Tel: +62 21 384 8537, 726 0306 Fax: +62 21 7220 669 E-mail: info@propam.polri.go.id

6. Mr. Otto Nur Abdullah Chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission Jl. Latuharhary No. 4-B Jakarta 10310 INDONESIA Tel: +62 21
392 5227 Fax: +62 21 392 5227 E-mail: info@komnasham.go.id