Police shot civilians in a petty fight in Papua resulted in one person died and four others injured

AHRC

 

According to KontraS and local activists in Papua, on 15 May 2012 at around 6.30pm, Lukas Abaa, Yulianus Kegepe and Amos Abaa came to a billiard parlour located in the Degeuwo gold mining area, at location No. 45. They came to the parlour to play some games but, due to misunderstandings between them and the owner of the parlour, ended up having an argument with the non-Papuan owner, Mrs. Yona. She was upset because Lukas and his friends insisted to play there despite her refusal to their visit.

(Photos: Yulianus Kegepe after the shooting. Source: local activist)

 

Due to the argument, Mrs. Yona decided to call the Mobile Brigadier (Brimob) Post Commander at location No. 99. Soon after she made the phone call, three police officers came and asked the four Papuans to leave. Lukas and his friends disregarded the police request and the police respoinded by shooting Amos Abaa in his left leg. Right after the shooting, Melianus Kegepe who lives nearby came because he could hear the shooting. Seeing Amos was injured by the police, Lukas, Melianus, and Yulianus wanted to fight back. One of the officers opened fire against them and it resulted in the death of Melianus who was shot in his stomach. Yulianus and Lukas attempted to escape but the police officers shot them as they were running away. Yulianus was shot in his waist and Lukas was shot in the back. Selpius Kegepe, who was around the location at that time, heard the shooting and attempted to attack the officers to stop them. He, however, was also shot in his right arm. He and the other gunshot victims were later brought to Jayapura and Nabire hospitals. The last information that AHRC received in relation to the officers who committed the shooting is that they were under investigation by the Profession and Security Division, an internal disciplinary mechanism, of Papua Regional Police.

 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
The Chief of the Indonesian National Police Regulation No. 1 Year 2009 on The Use of Force establishes that live ammunition should be used only to stop activities which threat the safety of public or the police. The Regulation also establishes that the use of lethal weapons including live ammunitions should be used as a last resort, in accordance with international human rights law which upholds that law enforcement officials may use force and firearms only in a situation where it is strictly necessary. In addition to the ‘necessity’ principle, the police is also obliged to adhere to the ‘proportionality’ principle in using force and firearms, as stipulated in Principle No. 5 of the UN Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials. The Basic Principles also set out that the arbitrary or abusive use of force and firearms by law enforcement officials should be punished as a criminal offence.

Indonesia is a state party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), article 6 of which guarantees the right to life of everyone. The right to life as stipulated in the ICCPR does not merely mandate the state parties to refrain from any unlawful or arbitrary deprivation of life, but also to conduct effective investigations into situations where state officials have been responsible for the taking of life. The failure of the relevant authorities to conduct investigation in this case, therefore, is a further violation of the right to life.

SUGGESTED ACTION:
Please urge the authorities listed below to ensure an independent and effective investigation in this case to take place. The officers who conducted the shooting should be tried by an open and independent court which applies criminal law. Please also call the Indonesian government to provide remedies for the victims and their families.

The AHRC is writing separately to the UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions as well as the Special Rapporteur on Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment to ask for their intervention in this matter.

 

 

SAMPLE LETTER:

Dear ___________,

INDONESIA: Police shot civilians in a petty fight in Papua resulted in one person died and four others injured

Name of dead victim: Melianus Kegepe
Name of injured victims: Lukas Abaa, Yulianus Kegepe, Amos Abaa, Selpius Kegepe
Names of alleged perpetrators: Police officers who are under the Papua Regional Police and in charge for Post 99 at Degeuwo gold mining area
Date of incident: 15 May 2012
Place of incident: Degeuwo, Paniai, Papua

I am writing to voice my deep concern regarding the shooting against civilians committed by the police officers of Papua Regional Police who are in charge for Post 99 at Degeuwo gold mining area on 15 May 2012. The shooting has resulted in the death of Melianus Kegepe and the injury of four others: Lukas Abaa, Yulianus Kegepe, Amos Abaa and Selpius Kegepe.

I was informed that all this started with an argument between Lukas, Amos and Yulianus who came to a billiard parlour owned by Mrs. Yona in Location No. 45 of the Degeuwo gold mining area. They were arguing because Lukas, Amos and Yulianus insisted to play a game in the parlour although the owner has told them to leave. Mrs. Yona later called the Mobile Brigadier (Brimob) Post Commander at location No. 99 which was followed up quickly with a visit of three police officers to the parlour. They asked Lukas and his friends to leave but their request was disregarded. As a response, one of the officers shot Amos Abaa’s left leg. Melianus Kegepe, who lives around, heard the shooting so he decided to come to the location. With Lukas and Yulianus, he tried to fight back but the officers started shooting them again. One of the bullets hit Melianus in his stomach and he died instantly.

Yulianus and Lukas tried to escape but the police shot them as they were running away. Yulianus was shot in the waist while Lukas was shot in the back. A passer-by, Selpius Kegepe, heard the shooting and attempted to stop the police officers. He was also got shot in his right arm.

According to the Chief of the Indonesian National Police Regulation No. 1 Year 2009 concerning the Use of Force, live ammunition should be used by officers only in situation when the safety of the public or the police is at stake. I am of the view that there had been no threat posed neither to public or police safety in this case as Lukas, Selpius, Yulianus, Amos and Melianus were unarmed. The use of lethal force by the police officers was not necessary and proportionate. The shooting, therefore, amounts to the arbitrary or abusive use of firearms which according to UN Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials, should be punished as a criminal offence.

I, however, have been informed that three officers who conducted the shooting are currently being investigated by the Profession and Security Division (Propam) of Papua Regional Police. I regret the way the police are dealing with this case as I am aware that the Propam is merely an internal disciplinary mechanism within the police. I am calling you to ensure that the police officers engaged in the shooting to be tried by an independent and open court that applies criminal law, in accordance with international human rights standards and principles. I am also urging you to provide remedies to the victims as well as their families.

I look forward to your adequate, effective and swift response in this case.


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 7220669
E-mail: info@polri.go.id

4. Irjenpol. Bigman Lumban Tobing
Chief of Papua Regional Police
Jl. Samratulangi No. 8
Jayapura
INDONESIA
Tel: +62 967 531 1014

5. Mr. Ifdhal Kasim
Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM)
Jl. Latuharhary No. 4-B
Jakarta 10310
INDONESIA
Tel: +62 21 392 5227
Fax: +62 21 392 5227
E-mail: info@komnasham.go.id