KNPB leader Mako Tabuni shot dead

West Papua Media Alerts - According to credible independent church human rights sources in Jayapura that spoke to witnesses in Waena, Mako Tabuni was shot and wounded by heavily armed Indonesian police as they stormed the area outside the student dormitories at the Cenderawasih University Abepura.

Senior members of KNPB have told West Papua Media that Tabuni had been walking with friends to buy and eat Betel Nut from a kiosk near the university. After he separated from his friends, they heard gunshots. and they saw a white Avanza car drive up and ambush Tabuni, according to his friends. Tabuni was shot at least six times, according to both witnesses and journalists in Jayapura.

Police took Tabuni to the police hospital in Jayapura, where he reportedly died from his wounds soon after arrival. The Kapolres (police chief) has told media outlets including West Papua Media via SMS that Tabuni was killed because he resisted arrest and attempted to seize the weapons from the Detachment 88 troops. According to the It has been confirmed independently that the Australian-funded and trained Detachment 88 troops were in command of the arrest operation. Tabuni was unarmed at the time of his arrest, which is a violation of the United Nations Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials.

KNPB contacts report that a combined team of military and POLRI, BRIMOB, Detachment 88, and Intelligence officers are raiding dormitories of Papuan students in Abepura, chiefly those of highland origin students who are the traditional support base of the KNPB. In this sweep, security forces have confiscated books, bags, clothing, computers, phones, and cameras. Security forces are also conducting searches across Abepura, Jayapura, Kotaraja, Waena, Sentani and several other places. Many students have been severely beaten and arrested in dormitories in Waena and Asrama by over six companies of Indonesian army (TNI) and Police. KNPB sources have expressed fear that the students, already beaten severely and taken to Rusunawa police centre, will be tortured and possibly killed by occupation forces.

Supporters of Tabuni have reacted angrily and have taken to the streets and are allegedly burning houses belonging to military and police in the Ruko, Waena and Abepura areas, in an eerie reversal of the June 4 rampage by Indonesian soldiers in Wamena.

Security forces are reportedly on the streets with orders to shoot rioters dead on sight, and the situation is described as extremely tense. It is not clear if those who have caused property damage are in fact members of the pro-independence movement, or are undercover Indonesian intelligence officers.

A senior highland human rights activist in Jayapura, whom West Papua Media cannot identify for safety reasons, told West Papua Media that the entire Papuan population is living in a state of constant trauma and fear due to the escalation of Indonesian repression.

“Pro-Independence activists and Papua human rights workers have become the operating target of the (ongoing)shootings, not to mention all the KNPB activists the security apparatus are seeking,” said the source.

“Finally, I spoke with three of our members hiding in the suburbs. If the Indonesian security forces are still after us, then they would not want or like it if we had entered the woods and hid,” he said.

” To step into the forest is for avoiding premature death.”

Papuan activists are calling for urgent international attention to the rapidly deteriorating humans rights crisis in West Papua. A senior KNPB activist has begged: “In this case our nation is pleading for UN Intervention to be done now, because Indonesia is planning to kill all us Papuans.”