Civil unrest in Dogiyai Regency – Police resort to violence against residents

On 12 November 2022, members of the police cracked down on civil unrest in the Dogiyai Regency, Papua Province (see videos below, source: independent HRDs). At least one person named Mr Felek Pigai was shot dead by police officers, while six others – all indigenous Papuans – were reportedly injured by bullets during the incident (see table below). The civil unrest was accompanied by outbreaks of horizontal violence between indigenous Papuans and non-Papuans, mainly against houses and stores owned by non-Papuans. At least one non-Papuan named Iqbal was killed in a mob attack, while another migrant was injured.

The civil unrest was triggered by a traffic accident. A truck bringing heavy construction materials hit four-year-old Noldy Goo (see photo below, source: independent HRDs) on the roadside in the Kamuu District, Dogiyai Regency. Noldy Goo died on the spot. The drivers reportedly fled the site of the crime and sought shelter at the Dogiyai Police Station. After the incident, angry Papuans set construction vehicles, houses and stores on fire. Police forces responded by dispersing the protesters with firearms.

According to the Papuan representative office of the National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM), Mr Frits Ramadey, a 29-year-old truck driver named Iqbal, was killed in a mob attack (see photos below, source: independent HRDs) by Papuan residents shortly after the attack. Another non-Papuan, Mr Lukman, reportedly sustained a fractured arm and a stab wound after being attacked by an unknown Papuan perpetrator. 

Twenty-seven houses, 51 stores, nine boarding houses, nine trucks, 20 motorbikes, and one excavator were allegedly damaged or burned during the unrest. In addition, the local population and civil registry office, the regency finance department, the local education department, the agency for village community empowerment, the environment office, the local financial and asset management agency, and the regency government inspectorate were set on fire.

On 16 November 2022, members of the local police carried out raids in the four villages Bukapa, Pustaka, Busana and Pouwouda in the districts Kamuu and Kamu Selatan. The police officers reportedly released warning shots during the raids. The villagers fled to neighbouring villages in fear of reprisals.

On 22 November 2022, police officers arrested the local chairman of the West Papua National Committee (KNPB), Mr Saugas Goo, in the Mauwa Village. The KNPB is a civil resistance movement that promotes the right to self-determination through peaceful means by organising demonstrations and public discussions. The police allege him of masterminding the arson of public facilities and houses. The KNPB understands the allegation as an attempt to criminalise its members for their political views.

Following the incidents, non-Papuans living in the Kamuu District came to the local police headquarters and called upon the police to provide special security services for members of the non-Papuan community (see photos below, source: independent HRDs).

Table of victims of police violence during the unrest

NoNameAdditional information
1Felek Pigai46 years, died as a result of a bullet wound on the upper back, which he sustained as police officers opened fire on residents using life ammunition
2Delpina Pigai14 years, sustained slash wounds after being attacked with a sharp weapon  
3Pius YobeeSustained bullet wound near the pubic area
4Obaja TebaiSustained bullet wound on the wrist
5Agus GooSustained bullet wound in the buttocks
6Jendi Tabai18 years, sustained a bullet wound in the leg
7Damian AnouwSustained a bullet wound on the hand due to a ricochet

Mr Felek Pigai’s body

Noldy Goo’s (left, centre) and Mr Iqbal’s (right) bodies

Police officers crackdown on residents in Dogiyai

Police raid in the villages Bukapa, Pustaka, Busana and Pouwouda in the districts Kamuu and Kamu Selatan

Non-Papuans living in the Kamuu District coming to the local police headquarters

Buildings and trucks destroyed during the civil unrest

Detailed Case Data
name of the location: Kamuu District (-4.003101102004363, 136.04562649599774)
administrative region: Indonesia, Papua Province, Dogiyai Regency, Kamuu District
total number of victims: 7
period of incident: 12.11.2002
perpetrator: police
perpetrator details: unknown
Issues: torture, extra-judicial killings, indigenous peoples
Sources:
Further HRM News:

NumberName, DetailsGenderAgeGroup AffiliationViolation
 1Felek Pigai male unknown  indigenous execution
 1Delpina Pigai female  14  indigenous ill-treatment
 1Pius Yobee male  unknown   indigenous  ill-treatment
 1Obaja Tebai male  unknown   indigenous  ill-treatment
 1Agus Goo male  unknown   indigenous  ill-treatment
 1Jendi Tabai male 18  indigenous  ill-treatment
 1Damian Anouw male  unknown   indigenous  ill-treatment