95 Civilians in Papua Become Victims of Unlawful Killings

According to the Director of Amnesty International Indonesia, Usman Hamid, the perpetrators of these extrajudicial killings are generally suspected to be security forces. “The majority of the people killed by state officials were Papuan natives. This total represents 94 extrajudicial killings by security forces against indigenous Papuans. Meanwhile, non-Papuans have one civilian victim,” said Usman in an online press conference, Monday (21/3).

Usman explained, in 2018 there were 12 cases with 18 victims, while in 2019 there were 16 cases with 32 victims.

Still according to Usman, in 2020 there will be 19 cases with 30 victims and in 2021 there will be 11 cases with 15 victims. “This is all done by the state security apparatus,” he said.

Usman explained that the operation of the military security forces caused the most victims, namely 37 people, followed by the Police operation with 17 victims, and the joint TNI-Polri operation with 39 victims. The actions of prison officials reportedly resulted in the death of two civilians.

Director of Amnesty International Indonesia, Usman Hamid, giving a press statement, Monday 21 March 2022. (VOA)

Director of Amnesty International Indonesia, Usman Hamid, giving a press statement, Monday 21 March 2022. (VOA)

“If we look at each year compared to who the perpetrators are. So we see that in the cases that are divided annually for 2020, many are carried out by military officers. In 2019 many were carried out by the police, so will in 2018. Meanwhile in 2021 still dominated by the military apparatus,” he said.

According to Amnesty International Indonesia’s records, these unlawful killings occurred in Papua and West Papua, with Intan Jaya being the worst district, with eight cases with 12 victims. “So Papua and West Papua are not free from extrajudicial killings,” said Usman.

It is not only the Indonesian security forces who are the perpetrators of extrajudicial killings in Papua. According to Usman, non-state actors, such as the West Papua National Liberation Army-Free Papua Organization (TPNPB-OPM), are also involved.

“In this case, it is strongly suspected that TPNPB-OPM there were six cases with 29 victims in 2018 to 2020. As for the perpetrators who were difficult to identify, but we call them unknown people (OTK), there were six cases with 26 victims,” ​​he said.

Amnesty International Indonesia also explained that due to the armed conflict with the TPNPB-OPM, a number of members of the security forces were also killed. “Similarly, in terms of victims from the military, there were 11 cases and 14 people were victims. Then, there were three police officers cases with a total of four people,” said Usman.

According to Usman, looking at the number of cases, the security approach will only lead to many victims. The government, he said, needed to find the root of the problem in Papua in the best way, and resolve cases of human rights violations in the fairest way possible.

“Provide justice to the victims. Stop plans to exploit natural resources that are carried out without consultation with indigenous peoples. Then, reduce troop deployments unless there are reasons that are justified by international human rights law,” concluded Usman.

Member of the Papuan People's Assembly, Ciska Abogau, Monday 21 March 2022. (VOA)

Member of the Papuan People’s Assembly, Ciska Abogau, Monday 21 March 2022. (VOA)

A member of the Papuan People’s Council, Ciska Abogau, said that many alleged acts of violence and human rights violations that resulted in death were carried out by security forces. However, he said, until now they still have not acknowledged these acts.

“Maybe the state should be honest and speak up. The state is also a human being, not an angel. There must be mistakes. We want (the state) to come and sit down and talk. That’s a message from the people of Intan Jaya,” he said.

Papuan human rights defender, Yones Douw, Monday 21 March 2022. (VOA)

Papuan human rights defender, Yones Douw, Monday 21 March 2022. (VOA)

Papuan human rights defender, Yones Douw, said that the Indonesian government could not resolve the conflict by simply offering welfare. According to him, the government must negotiate with the TPNPB-OPM to resolve the conflict in Papua.

“The Papuan people have lost confidence in this country. To solve the problem completely, the government sits with the TPNPB-OPM. It’s the same as solving the problem in Aceh. Aceh can do it, why not in Papua?” he said.

Currently, the Papuan Police and Kodam XVII/Cenderawasih have not yet provided an official response to the report submitted by Amnesty International Indonesia. [aa/ab]