Six soldiers and three civilians arrested for the alleged killing and mutilation of four Papuans in Timika

Representatives of the Papuan Regional Police (Polda Papua) and the XVII/Cenderawasih Military Command have confirmed the arrest of six military officers and three civilian suspects in relation to the killing of four Papuans in the Mimika Regency, Papua Province (see photos below). The military police are investigating allegations regarding the involvement of two more military members in the killings. The arrested military members belong to the Raider 20/IMA Jaya Kermo Timika infantry unit. The police have identified one additional civilian suspect. One of the victims, Mr Irian Nirigi, is the village leader of the Yunat Village, Nduga Regency.

Photos of the ten perpetrators accused of killing Mr Irian Nirigi, Mr Arnold Lokbere, Mr Atis Tini, and Mr Kelemanus Nirigi. A suspect named Roy Marten Howai is currently a fugitive.

The military police and the Timika regional police have launched separate investigations into the killing. As of 30 August 2022, the police have discovered body parts of the four victims, which the perpetrators had packed in bags and dumped into the river (see photo on top). However, the victims’ heads and extremeties have not been found, yet.

According to the police investigators, the perpetrators lured Mr Irian Nirigi, Mr Arnold Lokbere, Mr Atis Tini, and Mr Limaniol Nirigi into an ambush, pretending to sell two AK 47 automatic machine guns for a price of 250 million rupiahs (about € 16,800) to them. They claim that the two victims were supporters of the armed resistance movement, the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPNPB).

The perpetrators met with the victims in the Mimika Baru District, on 22 August 2022, around 8:00 pm. After receiving the money, they shot dead the four men and subsequently removed the heads and feet from the bodies.

They packed the bodies in four bags. The heads and the legs were stored separately in bags. All bags were filled with stones to prevent them from floating up. The bags with the body parts were dumped into the Lopong River near the Pigapu Village in the Iwaka District. Subsequently, the perpetrators burnt the car (see photo below) the victims had rented for the alleged weapon transaction.

Police members of the Kuala Kencana Sub-district police reportedly found and evacuated the first body parts on 26 August 2022. The family members had been searching for the missing relatives since 24 August 2022 without filing a report to the police. Moreover, it is unclear how the police and military police were able to link the bodies to the identities of the ten suspects, including six military members.

Another fact creating suspicion among independent observers is the involvement of high-ranking military members in the case. One of the suspects holds the rank of a captain, another one that of a major. This finding and the number of military members involved in the case support the assumption that the execution might have been part of a secret military mission.

The car which the victims had rented was burnt to destroy traces and evidence of the killing and enforced disappearance of the victims (source: independent HRDs)

On 29 August 2022, the relatives carried out a peaceful protest which police officials in Timika attended (see video below). They demanded justice for the killing and enforced disappearance of Mr Irian Nirigi, Mr Arnold Lokbere, Mr Atis Tini, and Mr Limaniol Nirigi. All perpetrators, including their superiors, should be investigated and held accountable in a public and independent trial.

The relatives emphasized that the victims were not affiliated with the TPNPB and called upon the National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM), The Papuan Legal Aid Institute (LBH Papua), the Commission of the Disappeared and Victims of Violence (KontraS), and the United Nations Human Rights Mechanisms to form an independent investigation team to reveal the killings. The relatives rejected the police version of the case narrative, according to which the victims wanted to buy illegal firearms. They called upon the authorities to re-conduct a transparent autopsy and publish the results as soon as possible.

The police, in cooperation with the military police, conducted a reconstruction of the killing on 3 September 2022. Human rights observers and relatives expressed concerncs regarding the accuracy of the reconstruction. The suspects have been charged with Article 340 of the Indonesian Criminal Code (KUHP) on premeditated murder and Article 365 KUHP on theft, accompanied by violence.

Video of the public meeting between police officials and relatives in Timika on 29 August 2022

After relatives shared their demands, the chief of the Mimika Regional police made a short oration. He asked the relatives to trust the police in setting the case and promised that all facts around the case will be made public once the investigation will be finalized. (source: independent HRDs)

Evacuation of body parts

Detailed Case Data
name of the location: Budi Otomo Street, Timika (-4.554158829973386, 136.88288275097796)
administrative region: Indonesia, Papua Province, Mimika Regency, Mimika Baru District, Timika town
total number of victims: four
period of incident: 22.08.2022
perpetrator: military, other security forces
perpetrator details: Major Helmanto Fransiskus Dahki, Captain Dominggus Kainama, Private Pargo Rumbouw, Private Rahmat Amin Sese, Private Robertus Putra Clinsman, Private Riski, Mr Ander Pudjianto Lee, Mr Dul Uman, Mr Rafles, and Mr Roy Marthen Howay 
Issues: extra-judicial killings, indigenous peoples, enforced disappearance
Further HRM News:

Number Name, DetailsAge Gender Group Affiliation Violations
1Irian Nirigi,
Village chief of the Yugut Village, Nduga Regency
38male indigenousexecution, enforced disappearance
1Arnold Lokbere 29 male indigenousexecution, enforced disappearance
1Limaniol Nirigi 29 male indigenousexecution, enforced disappearance
1Mr Atis Tini 23  male indigenous execution, enforced disappearance