Council demands independent probe into shooting incident

Council demands independent probe into shooting incident
, 19 October 2010

The Papua Customary Council (DAP) has called for an independent team to investigate the most recent fatal shooting incident in Wamena.

The call was put forth by DAP speaker Forkorus Yoboisembut during a rally at the Papua Legislative Council (DPRP) building on Monday. Forkorus lamented the many violent incidents in the region, which he said frequently ended in civilian deaths that were rarely followed up with thorough investigations.

Mimika Police chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Muh Sagi confirmed the death of a local resident, who was allegedly shot by a member of the military. The police had examined the crime scene and were conducting analysis, Mimika Police operation division chief Comr. Mada Aksanta said.

The victim, Frans Yeuyanan, 40, died from a gunshot to the chest. According to the preliminary police investigation, Frans allegedly instigated an argument with a woman and was shot by her husband when he was about to release an arrow from his bow.

The suspected shooter was reported to have been detained by the military police on Monday. Mimika regency authorities have asked for a thorough investigation of the civilian death.

“The police and military police are still investigating the incident,” Sagi said in Timika Monday, adding that he hoped the media would help provide accurate information about the case to help maintain security in the region.

The incident incited protests from some local residents who temporarily blocked roads.

“A meeting between local public figures and the commander of the cavalry detachment has already been facilitated,” Mada said.

But the DAP remains skeptical.

“The state has failed to guarantee the Papuans’ rights to live,” Forkorus said, mentioning the deaths of Papuan figures such as the chairman of the Papua Council Presidium Theys Hiyo Eluay in November 2001, Kelly Kwalik, and more recently Ismail Lokobal.

The police have been blamed for an incident that killed Ismail Lokobal following a dispute between Papuan advocates and Jayawijaya Police personnel on Oct. 4.

A clash involving officers from the airport police precinct and members of Papua Land Guardian (Petapa) broke out after Petapa members refused to allow police to check their luggage. Jayawijaya Police Chief Adj. Sr. Comr. I Gede Sumerta reportedly had his teeth broken in the altercation.

Ismail was later found dead in front of the Jayawijaya DAP office in Wamena.

Eight police personnel were given a 21-day jail sanction after the clash for breech of discipline, Papua Police public relations chief Sr. Comr. Wachyono said.