Papuan Indigenous Council confirms house and church burning in Puncak Jaya

Papuan Indigenous Council confirms house and church burning in Puncak Jaya
, 21 October 2010


The Papuan Indigenous Council on Thursday confirmed the burning incidents of a number of houses and churches in Puncak Jaya regency, Papua, between June and October 2010.

“It's true. We have evidence. Before this there was also a series of violent attacks by security officers against local residents there,” council chief Forkorus Yoboisembut said as quoted by tempointeraktif.com.

Residents whose houses were gutted by fires were forced to flee or take refuge in relatives' homes. “Such incidents happened over and over again. We want the government and police to be take responsibility for this, Forkorus said.

Forkorus said he could not accept a denial by Puncak Jaya Police chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Alex Korwa, who said the information on the house and church burning by security officers in Puncak Jaya was a baseless rumor.

“[The police] cannot deny this as we have evidence. Such a denial is no longer suitable in the current era,” Forkorus said.

According to the council data, one of the house and church burning incidents took place in Bigiragi in Tingginambut district, Puncak Jaya, on Oct. 11, 2010.

“There was an eyewitness, so it cannot be denied,” Forkorus said.

The council reported that 17 residents lost their homes and belongings during the incident. At least 250 bibles were also burned allegedly by one of the security officers, he said.

Alex, however, denied that the incident took place. “No, there wasn't... there was no house burning. Who gave you this information?” he said on Thursday.

Alex also denied that any Mobile Brigade officers were involved in any of the attacks. “This is a mistake. Nothing happened,” he said.