Papuan pupil reportedly injured by land mine in Intan Jaya

Eleven-year-old Misalena Hagismajau, a student of SD YPPK Titigi, was reportedly injured by a land mine on her way home from school in the Suagapa District, Intan Jaya Regency, on 9 November 2023. She sustained severe injuries to her left leg, thighs, and right toes, as well as on her arm and face (see photo on top, source: Kingmi Papua). Following the incident, Misalena had to be flown to the town of Timika, Mimika Regency, where she received inpatient treatment in the general hospital from 9 to 17 November 2023.

According to information received from the Justice, Peace, and Integrity of Creation Desk of the Papuan Tabernacle Church (JPIC Kingmi Papua), Misalena and several friends found the land mine about forty meters away from the school while chasing after a bird. The children found the mine under a tuft of dried grass. The mine exploded as Misalena examined the land mine because she had never seen the object before.

Following the incident, indigenous peoples in Intan Jaya peacefully protested in front of the Regent’s office in Sugapa, Intan Jaya, on 14 November 2023 (see photo below, source: Kingmi Papua). The protesters voiced their rejection of the planned formation of new police and military posts in the Titigi Village, Intan Jaya.

The Intan Jaya District Police is investigating the case. The head of the public relations department of the Papua Regional Police (Polda Papua), Commissioner Ignatius Benny Ady Prabowo, stated in an interview with media platform Jubi, “The victim likely caused the explosion by throwing a stone that eventually hit the mine. It is possible that the explosives were planted by security forces, given that Titigi Village is considered the base of the West Papua National Liberation Army [or TPNPB] in the Intan Jaya Region.”

The Misalena Hagismajau’s relatives firmly rejected the statement that Titigi village is a TPNPB base, emphasizing that the Titigi village is an indigenous village inhabited by civilians. They also voiced their rejection regarding investment plans in Intan Jaya and all central government policies facilitated by the military that do not benefit the general public. Moreover, the relatives called upon the Indonesian authorities to immediately:

1. withdraw the TNI post in Titigi village and other conflict areas;

2. take responsibility for the bomb explosion incident that befell a student of SD YPPK Titigi;

3. withdraw military forces from conflict areas in West Papua, including the Intan Jaya Regency.

Students and local residents from Titigi protest against the formation of new security posts in their village, 14 November 2023

Detailed Case Data
name of the location: a text string, if possible coordinates in brackets (-4.29, 138.18)
administrative region: Indonesia, Papua Tengah Province, Intan Jaya Regency, Sugapa District
total number of victims: one
period of incident: 09.11.2023
perpetrator: other security forces
perpetrator details: unknown
Issues: torture, ill-treatment, indigenous peoples
Further HRM News:

NumberName, DetailsGenderAgeGroup AffiliationViolations
1Misalena Hagismajau, student female11indigenousill-treatment