Police shoot an unarmed civilian and spread a false report on the incident in Nabire, Papua

AHRC - The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information regarding the shooting of a civilian on 24 September, 2012 by the police in Nabire, Papua. The police shot the unarmed civilian in the right thigh after the latter blocked the road connecting Nabire and Pedalaman. The police later brought the victim to the hospital before taking him to the Nabire Police Station for questioning. The police have now spread false news that was crossfire taking place and that the shooting was unavoidable.


CASE NARRATIVE:
According to a local activist, on 24 September 2012 at around 6am, a group of drunken young men were blocking the road which connects Nabire to Pedalaman, in front of a school located at Gerbang Sadu Village, Nabire. A group of police in a car wanted to pass the road but the drunken youth asked them for some money. The police later fired warning shots which scared the men off and they instantly went home. Three of them, however, rode a bicycle and went to Wadio Atas to hide. The police reported this to their office, Nabire District Police Station.

At around 8am on the same day, Nabire Police Station deployed a truck of its police officers to Wadio Atas to find the three young men in hiding. The police wanted to arrest the men for blocking the road and attempting to ask money from the police. The police found them yet two of them successfully escaped for the second time. Kristian Belau, however, was drunk and he approached the police instead of running away. As he was doing so, the police shot him in his right thigh even though he was unarmed and did not pose any threat. There was no imminent danger whatsoever posed by Kristian that might justify the shooting. The police later took him to Siriwini Hospital in Nabire for his wound to be treated and then to the police station for questioning. It is reported that Kristian was also being beaten by the police on his way to the hospital.

The number of police officers involved in the shooting is still unclear. The spokesperson for Papua Regional Police, AKBP I Gede Sumerta, told the media that crossfire between the police and a group of civilians was taking place and they managed to shoot Kristian Zonggenau, one of the three up to five men involved in the group. According to him, the group was armed and the shooting took place in Urumusu, which is 45 kilometres away from where the shooting actually happened.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
The use of force by the police and other security officers in exercising their duties should be performed only in the circumstances when it is strictly necessary. The Chief of the Indonesian National Police’s Regulation No. 1 Year 2009 on the Use of Force reaffirms this in one of its articles, Article 3 letter b, which emphasises the importance of ‘necessity’ principle, meaning use of force should only be performed when it is needed and unavoidable for the police in exercising their duties. In addition to the necessity principle, the police should also pay extra care on the proportionality of measures they take. The force used should not be excessive – it should not be greater than the danger caused by the threat. Given this, and coupled with the fact that Kristian was unarmed, the police should have not shot him.

Kristian Belau’s action to block the road connecting Nabire and Pedalaman can perhaps be categorised as a ‘passive action’ which, according to the similar Police Regulation, means actions that do not aimed to attack an individual or group of individuals but may cause disturbance to public order. Yet even in such case, the police was only supposed to use bare hands to deal with Kristian in accordance with Article 7 (2) letter a of the Regulation.

SUGGESTED ACTION:
Please write to the listed authorities below urging them to properly conduct criminal investigation on this case. Police officers who are responsible for the injury of Kristian Belau shall receive adequate punishment in accordance with law and the shot victim should be compensated.

SAMPLE LETTER:

Dear ___________,

INDONESIA: Police shoot an unarmed civilian and spread a false report on the incident in Nabire, Papua

Name of victim: Kristian Belau
Names of alleged perpetrators: Police officers of Nabire District Police Station
Date of incident: 24 September 2012
Place of incident: Nabire, Papua

I am writing to voice my deep concern regarding the shooting against a civilian on the 24 September 2012 in Nabire, Papua. According to the information I received, the police officers of Nabire District Police Station had shot Kristian Belau on his thigh and spread false information on the shooting. I am aware that AKBP I Gede Sumerta who is the spokesperson for Papua Regional Police has named Kristian as a part of an armed civilians group who engaged in crossfire against the police in Urumusu.

I have been told by the family of the victim, however, that Kristian Belau is not part of an armed civilian group and he did not pose any harm towards the police or the public that it was necessary for him to be shot. What actually happened is that Kristian and some of his friends were drunk and blocking the road which connects Nabire and Pedalaman that several police officers riding in a civilian car could not get through. The police later fired warning shots which successfully scared the young men off that some of them went home. Kristian and his two other friends, however, escaped and went to Wadio Atas to hide.

On the same day at around 8am, Nabire District Police Station deployed sent a truck of officers to Wadio Atas to find Kristian and his friends. The police wish to Kristian and the other men for blocking the road as well as for attempting to extort the police. The police managed to find them but Kristian’s friends successfully ran away for the second time. Kristian, however, was drunk that he approached the police instead of running away. As he was doing so, the police shot him on his right thigh that he was wounded then took him to Siriwini hospital. I have been told that Kristian was also being beaten on his way by the police on his way to the hospital.

Given the fact that Kristian Belau was unarmed and did not pose any imminent danger or threat to the police, I am of the view that the shooting against him in this case is an excessive use of force. I am aware that, under Indonesian law, the police should only use force in situations where it is strictly necessary. The force performed should also meet the ‘proportionality test’ - it should not be greater than the danger caused by the threat.

I am calling you to ensure a criminal investigation on this matter is taking place. The shooting shall be adequately and effectively investigated and the police officers who found to be responsible for it should be proportionately punished in accordance with the law. Kristian Belau should also be given proper compensation and the expenses of his medical treatment should be covered by the government.

I look forward for your swift and proper response 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. Insp. General Pol. Tito Karnavian
Chief of the Papua Regional Police
Jl. Dr. Samratulangi No. 8 Jayapura
INDONESIA
Tel: +62 967 531 014, 533 396
Fax: +62 967 533 763

5. AKBP Mohammad Rois
Chief of the Nabire District Police
Jl. Jend. Sudirman No. 1 Nabire
INDONESIA

6. Mr. Ifdhal Kasim
Chairman 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

 

Thank You!