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By Yance Agapa in Jayapura

The Papuan people have rejected the investigation team formed by the Indonesian state through the Attorney-General’s Office (AGO) to investigate alleged gross human rights violations in Paniai on 8 December 2014.

“To this day Indonesia has never solved any cases of gross human rights violations in the land of Papua, especially not the bloody Paniai case,” said Papuan activist Andi Yeimo about the massacre when Indonesian troops killed five teenagers and wounded 17.

“So, we the people of Paniai and the families of the victims are [instead] hoping for a visit by the United Nations High Commissioner [on Human Rights] to see for themselves the evidence and facts on the ground in Karel Gobai, the location of the shootings.”

Yeimo believes that the Indonesian government is incapable of resolving cases of gross human rights violations and the Papuan people are asking for the United Nations to visit Papua.

“We already know that the government talks nonsense. Indonesia once offered four billion [rupiah] (NZ$419,000) in money as compensation. But we, the families of the victims, rejected this evil attempt outright,” he said.

In relation to a UN visit to Papua, Yeimo said that 85 countries had already urged the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to visit Papua.

But Indonesia had used the covid-19 pandemic situation as grounds to prevent the visit.

Indonesian ‘distractions’
“Domestically, Indonesia [tries] to distract the Papuan people’s focus with the agenda of Otsus (the extension of special autonomy), the creation of new autonomous regions, the National Sports Week and military operations in West Papua,” said Yeimo.

“All students, youth, religious figures, state civil servants and all OAP (indigenous Papuans) unite now, take part in rejecting the [investigation] team formed by the state. We Papuans all know that Indonesia has never taken responsibility for its actions.”

Earlier, Amiruddin, the head of the investigation team into gross human rights violations, said he hoped that the newly formed team of investigators would be able to work transparently.

“The Attorney-General’s move to form the Paniai incident investigation team is a good move”, said Amiruddin in a press release.

  • Notes from Indo Left News: On 8 December 2014, barely two months after President Joko Widodo was sworn in as president, five high-school students were killed and 17 others seriously wounded when police and military opened fire on a group of protesters and local residents in the town of Enarotali, Paniai regency. Shortly after the incident, while attending Christmas celebrations in Jayapura on December 28, Widodo personally pledged to resolve the case but seven years into his presidency no one has been held accountable for the shootings.

Translated by James Balowski of IndoLeft News. The original title of the article was “Kasus Paniai Berdarah, Rakyat Tolak Tim Investigasi Buatan Negara”.

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