Probe into officers’ actions after one person dies in West Papua shooting

11:57 am on 17 January 2023

Papua province's Governor Lukas Enembe at Indonesia's Pacific Expo event in Auckland, July 2019

Papua province’s Governor Lukas Enembe at Indonesia’s Pacific Expo event in Auckland, July 2019 Photo: RNZ / Johnny Blades

Police officers in West Papua are to be investigated over shootings during a governor’s arrest

One person died after the struggle that followed the arrest of Papua Governor Lukas Enembe over allegations of bribery.

As many as 19 people were detained by the police for attacking security forces.

Papua Police chief Mathias Fakhiri has ordered the head of the Internal Affair Division and director of Criminal Investigation of the Papua Police to immediately investigate the actions taken by police officers.

He asked his staff to approach families and religious, community and traditional leaders, so that the arrest of Governor Lukas Enembe would not create unrest.

“I ask for the report today. If there is indeed a wrong handling, I ensure there will be law enforcement against members who do not comply with the standard operating procedures,” he said.

“I urge all parties not to spread hoaxes or information that does not match the facts,” he said.

“Let us provide moral support so that the legal process runs as it is.”

Wenda calls for governor’s immediate release

A West Papua Independence leader, Benny Wenda, has called for the immediate and unconditional release of Lukas Enembe.

Wenda said the arrest follows the governor’s criminalisation in September 2022, when he was accused of corruption and banned from travelling abroad for essential medical treatment.

The United Liberation Movement for West Papua leader said Enembe’s treatment cannot be separated from his increasingly vocal stance against Indonesia’s colonial policies in West Papua.

Wenda said Enembe opposed Indonesia’s division of West Papua into new provinces, which the exiled figurehead describes as a divide and rule tactic designed to steal the region’s natural resources and allow further militarisation of villages.

The West Papuan independence campaigner Benny Wenda at the Pacific Islands Forum summit in Tuvalu, 2019.

The West Papuan independence campaigner Benny Wenda at the Pacific Islands Forum summit in Tuvalu, 2019. Photo: RNZ / Jamie Tahana

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