A security operation to liberate the New Zealand pilot, Captain Phillip Mark Mehrtens, has raised serious concerns regarding human rights violations committed by the Indonesian National Army (TNI) and the police. Captain Mehrtens has been held hostage by a group of the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPNPB) under the leadership of Egianus Kogoya for eight months. Shootings and arbitrary arrests of villagers reportedly accompanied raids in the Krepkuri District in Nduga. Fifteen-year-old Arigoba Kogoya was allegedly shot by security force members in the Village of Alguru, Krepkuri District, Nduga Regency, on 1 September 2023. The bullet hit Arigoba on the left side of the back.
The relatives brought Arigoba Kogoya from Alguru Village to the town of Timika, where they arrived on 25 September 2023. They had to carry Arigoba by foot to the Agimuga District, Mimika Regency, from where they continued with a motorboat to the Pomako Port in Timika. It took the relatives and Arigoba three weeks to get from Alguru Timika. On 29 September 2023, Arigoba was admitted to the Karitas Hospital, where he received medical treatment for several days. As the relatives saw that medics at the hospital did not pay serious attention to Arigoba Kogoya’s health condition, they sought help from a private health worker who continued to treat Arigoba outside the hospital.
While international humanitarian law recognizes the use of force between armed parties engaging in combat, it is essential to emphasize the importance of distinguishing between combatants and non-combatants. Using lethal force against an unarmed individual clearly violates human rights. International law mandates that negotiation efforts should be prioritized in such situations, along with proper summons and information gathering. Furthermore, the inadequate medical treatment Arigoba received during his three-week journey to reach Timika and his continued struggle for adequate care exemplify the lack of accessibility, availability, and adequacy of healthcare services in West Papua.
Fotos of the bullet injury on Arigoba Kogoya’s back
Detailed Case Data
name of the location: Nduga (-4.334880697286126, 138.20280779848852)
administrative region: Indonesia, Papua Pegunungan Province, Nduga Regency, Krepkuri District, Alguru Village
total number of victims: one
period of incident: 01.09.2023
perpetrator: other security forces
Issues: torture, ill-treatment, indigenous peoples
Further HRM News:
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