The West Papua National Committee (KNPB) of the West Balim Region has vehemently denied accusations made by the Papuan police regarding the murder of Michelle Kurisi Doga in Wamena. The KNPB argues that it has never promoted or endorsed criminal activities against indigenous Papuans or migrants from outside Papua. Since its establishment in Lanny Jaya on 5 November 2011, the West Balim KNPB claims to have solely engaged in peaceful demonstrations within its jurisdiction.
The Chairman of the West Balim KNPB, Pendinus Wanimbo, clarified that the suspects, including Person Murib and six others, were not part of the KNPB organisational structure he leads. Instead, they were described as KNPB sympathisers or ordinary members not officially affiliated with the West Balim KNPB.
In response to these developments, the West Balim KNPB issued a formal statement:
- They denied and strongly rejected the allegations made by Ceposonline.com regarding the involvement of West Balim KNPB militants in the murder of Michelle Kurisi Doga.
- The KNPB, both nationally and within the West Balim Region, asserted that they had never organized meetings or issued orders to commit violence or killings in Lanny Jaya or Wamena, including the murder of Michelle Kurisi Doga.
- The West Balim KNPB emphasised that the seven suspects were not active members of their organization but rather ordinary individuals not officially affiliated with the KNPB.
The KNPB has called for an end to the continuous accusations and slander against their organization by the police. They argue that, before labelling individuals as KNPB members, the police should confirm their membership status. They also emphasise that the KNPB’s primary role is to ensure the security of KNPB activities and not to engage in violence or harm to individuals.
The KNPB highlighted their commitment to democratic values, human rights, tolerance, and a dialogical approach in their peaceful struggle. They referenced instances where they managed to maintain control during protests despite police provocations, demonstrating their commitment to non-violence.
The KNPB firmly stated that their organisation does not endorse or teach violence, emphasising their long-standing mission to bring about a peaceful resolution to conflicts and end human rights violations in Papua. They called on the police to conduct a thorough investigation before accusing KNPB members and to clarify the membership status of the seven suspects.
In closing, the KNPB expressed appreciation for the investigation into the murder of Michele Kurisi and called on the media, including Cendrawasih journalists and others, to cover news in Papua professionally and impartially. They urged journalists to uphold journalistic laws and ethics and not become tools of oppression. Finally, the KNPB reiterated their stance that they are not a criminal organisation and should not be treated as such.