Komnas HAM seeks clarity regarding Michelle Kurisi’s killing

The murder of Michelle Kurisi Doga in Papua on 28 August 2023, has sparked investigations and discussions concerning human rights violations, alleged involvement of military personnel, and potential political connections. The National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM) has been actively involved in seeking justice for the victim.

Initially, Latifah Anum Siregar, the Director of the Democratic Alliance for Papua (ALDP), called upon Komnas HAM Papua to investigate the murder and ensure an impartial inquiry. Three suspects, AW, PM, and RK, were arrested in early October, but questions remained regarding their affiliations and motives.

Komnas HAM Papua appreciated the efforts of the Regional Police in apprehending the suspects, emphasising the importance of a thorough investigation. They also sought clarification from the Indonesian military (TNI) regarding the alleged involvement of TNI members in the case.

Chairman of the Regional Leadership Council of the Papua Gerindra Party, Yanni, was called upon by Komnas HAM to provide information about her meeting with Michelle Kurisi before the victim’s murder, as it was believed to be relevant to the investigation.

The police concluded that the motive for Michelle Kurisi’s murder was suspicion of espionage, although investigations were still ongoing to apprehend the remaining suspects.

The West Papua National Committee (KNPB) denied any involvement in the murder and expressed concern about being scapegoated by the police in such cases. KNPB emphasised its commitment to peaceful means of achieving its goals.

The Damai Cartenz Law Enforcement task force arrested three suspects in connection with the murder. The police alleged that these suspects were members or sympathisers of the KNPB. The investigations into the case continue, with the police aiming to hold all perpetrators accountable.

The case highlights the complex social and political dynamics in Papua, including tensions between indigenous Papuans and the authorities. Komnas HAM’s involvement underscores the importance of a thorough and impartial investigation to ensure justice for the victim and clarity for the public.