Police officers kill Papuan man in Paniai Regency – Relatives demand an independent investigation

Police officers dispersed civil unrest in the town of Enarotali, Panaiai Regency, using tear gas and live ammunition on 5 July 2022. The police justified the forceful intervention by claiming that protesters were damaging buildings at the Paniai Regent’s Office. A Papuan man named Donatus Nawipa (see photo, source: Suara Papua) was killed during the crowd control operation. At least one person was injured. Discontent regarding the budget for the upcoming election of village leaders in Paniai reportedly triggered the protest. The victims’ relatives demand an independent investigation into the killing of Mr Nawipa.

Local observers reported that the police officers released several warning shots before shooting with live ammunition and tear gas into the crowd. They also reported that Mr Donatus Nawipa died as a result of a bullet injury in the stomach, while Mr Alpius Giay sustained a bullet wound in the right thigh.

The reports contradict the first findings of an ongoing police investigation. According to the director of the criminal investigation division of the Papuan Regional Police (Polda Papua), Commissioner Faizal Rahmadani, a post-mortem examination concluded that Mr Nawipa was killed with a sharp weapon. Faizal explained that the results of the examination found a 4 x 2 cm wound causing a hole in the abdominal cavity which eventually caused Donatus Nawipa`s death.

Some of the victims‘ relatives demand a thorough and independent investigation into the killing of Mr Nawipa and called upon the regent of Paniai to engage actively in the clarification of the case. They urged the police to hold the perpetrator accountable in a public trial. Papuan lawmaker, Mr Laurenzus Kadepa, publicly supported the idea of an independent investigation into the case during an interview with media outlet Jubi. The independent team should investigate allegations regarding the non-procedural use of firearms.

Human rights defenders keep documenting human rights violations in West Papua in which protesters have been injured with firearms during crowd control operations. On 14 June 2022, members of the Jayapura police dispersed a peaceful assembly in Jayapura City with teargas, wooden batons and rubber bullets. Eleven protesters were injured as police officers indiscriminately fired with rubber ammunition into the crowd. The director of the Papuan Legal Aid Institute (LBH Papua), Mr Emanuel Gobay, declared that the facts surrounding the case indicate violations regarding the procedural use of firearms by law enforcement officials.

Detailed Case Data
name of the location: Enarotali, Papua, Indonesia
administrative region: Indonesia, Papua Province, Paniai Regency, Enarotali town
total number of victims: 2
period of incident: 05.07.2022
perpetrator: police, other security forces
perpetrator details:
Issues: freedom of expression, torture, extra-judicial killings, freedom of peaceful assembly, indigenous peoples
Sources: https://suarapapua.com/2022/07/07/pasca-penembakan-bupati-paniai-diminta-atasi-persoalan-pilkades/
Further HRM News:

NumberName, DetailsGenderAgeGroup AffiliationViolations
1Donatus Nawipamaleunknownindigenousexecution, freedom of assembly
1Alpius Giaymaleunknownindigenoustorture, freedom of assembly