Komnas HAM investigates series of human rights cases in Dogiyai

The National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM) is actively monitoring a series of cases that have unfolded in Idakebo Village, North Kamuu District, Dogiyai Regency, Central Papua Province, on 13-14 July 2023. The Komnas HAM team held a special meeting with the Dogiyai Regional Government on 11 October 2023 (see photo, credit Jubi/Abeth You).

Mr Nason Pigai, from the Dogiyai Government, during the meeting, disclosed that the series of incidents in Dogiyai seemed to have begun with alcohol-related issues. He pointed out that accidents and other problems emerged due to the presence of liquor. Pigai mentioned that sellers of alcohol in the area included military personnel, police officers, civil servants working in Dogiyai, and members of the community. Moreover, he expressed concerns about the prolonged absence of government officials and civil servants from their offices, which had led to a sense of neglect among the local population.

Nason Pigai acknowledged a lack of mutual trust and support among government officials, security forces, and the community, contributing to the prevailing issues in Dogiyai. Yorgen Numberi, responsible for monitoring human rights emphasised the need for leadership and direction in the community.

In light of these issues, Komnas HAM stressed the importance of local governments conducting human rights awareness counselling to promote an understanding of human rights among the community and relevant parties.

The investigation into the shooting of civilians in Dogiyai Regency, Central Papua, on 13 July 2023 also extends to a similar incident that occurred on 21 January 21. Melchior Weruin, Sub-Coordinator of the Complaint Service Section at the Komnas HAM Office revealed that the team investigating the January incident sought information from the victims’ families, as the previous investigation had been somewhat secretive.

On 21 January 2023, a civilian named Yulianus Tebai, who was a member of the Dogiyai Regency Civil Service Police Unit, died from a gunshot wound to the back, and another resident named Vincen Dogomo was also shot in the thigh and subsequently died. This case, along with the July 2023 incident, where Yosua Keiya died from alleged shots fired by Brimob personnel, and another incident in Moanemani where Yakobus Pekei and Stepanus Pigome died, has raised significant concerns.

The discrepancies in data and information provided by the Papua Regional Police prompted human rights advocacy organizations to urge Komnas HAM to investigate these incidents thoroughly. Komnas HAM subsequently dispatched a team to Dogiyai on 8 October 2023, with investigations scheduled to continue until 14 October 2023. The team is reviewing the incident locations and gathering information from witnesses, victims, and security officials.

The consistent pattern of violent events in Dogiyai Regency underscores the need for a more proactive role from the local government in resolving these cases. Komnas HAM expects the Dogiyai Regency Government to actively participate in solving the shooting incidents and ensuring that justice is served.

In conclusion, Komnas HAM is closely monitoring and investigating a series of cases in Dogiyai Regency, highlighting the need for human rights awareness and improved governance in the region. The investigations into the shooting incidents aim to uncover the truth and ensure justice for the victims and their families.