JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – The Amnesty International Indonesia NGO has suspected Indonesian security forces to be behind adozens of extrajudicial killings in the provinces of Papua and West Papua in 2020.
The cases occurred as the ongoing insurgency in the provinces gradually went from units organized by the Free Papua Organization [OPM] separatist movement, to a more sporadic form labeled as Armed Criminal Groups [KKB] by the Indonesian authorities.
“[Amnesty International Indonesia] has estimated that Indonesian military and police in Papua and West Papua are complicit in at least 19 extrajudicial killings in 2020 that killed at least 30 people,” said Amnesty International Indonesia researcher Ari Pramuditya on Wednesday.
“Military personnel are responsible for 10 murders, while the police are responsible for four killings. The remaining five incidents involved military and police personnel.”
Ari noted that the authorities are half-hearted in prosecuting the cases. “Three cases that involved military personnel are still investigated by military prosecutors, while one incident [involving the police] is being investigated by prosecutors,” he added.
“No one has been found guilty or sentenced [for their crimes]. This showed that there is still a culture of impunity by the military and police towards [Papuan and West Papuan] civilians where they can commit human rights violations without repercussions.”
Ari deplored the government for “turning a blind eye to the violence committed by Indonesian security forces in Papua and West Papua, as it focused on developing infrastructure in both provinces without consulting or involving the Papuan people,” he lamented.
Meanwhile, the Papua Regional Police announced that they cornered at least one KKB.
“We have managed to squeeze a group of insurgents under their leader Joni Botak away from their area of operations at Mimika regency,” said Papua Regional Police chief Inspector General Mathius D. Fakhiri.
“The insurgents used to operate near the area of the Tembagapura district, which is the base of operations by US mining giant Freeport. Now they are retreating north towards the mountains bordering the Puncak Jaya regency.”
Mathius added that the insurgents’ move towards unfamiliar territory will deprive them of their support from towns or local people.
The Indonesian military maintained that the cleric was killed in the crossfire, while the insurgents insisted that Indonesian forces executed Yeremia. The controversy prompted his family to request an autopsy to determine the cause of death.
(Writers: Achmad Nasrudin Yahya, Dhias Suwandi, Jayapura Contributor | Editors: Bayu Galih, Dheri Agriesta)