Police officer opens fire from truck in Dogiyai Regency – two persons dead, at least two injured

A police officer shot dead Mr Yulianus Tebai, 28, and Mr Vinsen Dogomo, 25, near Tugomani, a village near the border between the regencies Nabire and Dogiyai, Papua Tengah Province, on 21 January 2023. Mr Dogomo passed away several days after the incident as a result of his injuries. At least two other Papuan men , Mr Thomas Dogomo, 22, and Mr Amandus Dogomo, 22, were injured during the incident. According to a witness, the shots came from a truck loading wood. The police officer who shot was in the truck accompanying the truck driver.

Before the incident, a group stopped the truck and asked the driver for cigarettes. The police officer reportedly released warning shots into the air as they asked the truck driver for cigarettes. Being angry with the officer’s over-response, the angry mob chased after the truck.

According to witnesses, the group stopped the truck in Tugomani and attacked it with stones. The officer released shots. One projectile hit Mr Vinsen Dogomo on the thigh. He was admitted to the general hospital in Nabire Town. By chance, Mr Yulianus Tebai and his wife were passing the location on a motorcycle. It is not clear whether the officer deliberately opened fire at Mr Tebai. A witness testified that the officer told his wife to get off the bike before shooting at Mr Tebai. He died shortly after due to a bullet injury on the right side of his upper back (see photos and video below, source: JPIC Kingmi Papua).

About two hours later, the incident triggered horizontal violence in the nearby town of Bobomani, Mapia District, which caused nearly 150 residents to flee to Nabire the following day. An angry mob burnt a truck and stores to the ground (photos below) and demanded justice for the death of Mr Yulianus Tebai. Local government officials have confirmed that Mr Tebai was a member of the Civil Service Police Unit ‘Pamong Praja’ (Satpol PP). The victims’ relatives and human rights groups have called upon the police authorities to conduct a thorough investigation into the incident and hold the perpetrator responsible for the killing.

The police chief of the Dogiyai Regency, Commissioner Samuel Tatiratu, declared that three police officers are currently being investigated by the Profession and Security Division (Propam) of the Nabire District Police.

Photos of the victims

Video taken at the site of crime shortly after the shooting

Civil unrest in Bobomani, 21 January 2021

Detailed Case Data
name of the location: not exact, around Mapia (-3.9290022802476967, 135.9498511553643)
administrative region: Indonesia, Papua Province, Dogiyai Regency, Mapia District
total number of victims: four
period of incident: 21.01.2023
perpetrator: police
perpetrator details: police officer
Issues: ill-treatment, torture, extra-judicial killings, indigenous peoples
Further HRM News:

NumberName, DetailsGenderAgeGroup AffiliationViolations
1Yulianus Tebaimale28indigenousexecution, ill-treatment
1Vinsen Dogomomale25indigenousexecution, ill-treatment
1Thomas Dogomomale22indigenousill-treatment
1Armandus Dogomomale22indigenousill-treatment