Friday, April 13, 2012

Police told to investigate fatal shootings in Papua

Several unexplained cases of violence involving mysterious snipers are heightening insecurity in Papua, the national rights body has said.

Chairman of the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM), Ifdhal Kasim, said Friday police should thoroughly investigate the incidents. The latest incident was the shooting at a Twin Otter aircraft operated by Trigana Air Services, which killed one passenger and injured four others at Mulia Airport in Puncak Jaya regency on Sunday.

“The distance of the shooter to the aircraft was around 50 meters. Imagine the potential danger to other aircraft and people,” commissioner Yoseph Adi Prasetya said.

Komnas HAM commissioners returning from Papua could only establish that the shooters were highly trained, and were suspected not to be regular police or military personnel. They could not establish, however, whether the Free Papua Movement (OPM) was involved.

“Various forms of violence constitute an increasing number of records piling up from year to year, without clarity on the identity of perpetrators or the masterminds behind these attacks, which have robbed many people of their lives and injured scores of others,” Ifdhal told a press conference.

Ifdahl and Yoseph recently visited Papua’s provincial capital, Jayapura.

The commissioners said they suspected the latest incident targeting the Trigana aircraft was related to the local election, in which many people had voiced their rejection of the appointment of an acting regional leader.

However, they said this was just one of several unresolved incidents.

“Also, many security personnel have not been reporting to their units and this should immediately be looked into,” another commissioner, Ridha Saleh, said.

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