There were at least 2 reports this morning of violence against indigenous Papuan people carried out by the Indonesian military. These actions were intended to stifle the spirit of freedom and independence as West Papuans celebrated West Papuan Independence Day.
The first report is from West Papua Media Alerts.
News Flash: 2 Papuan civilians shot dead in military raid on village in highlands
Two West Papuan civilians were shot dead during an independence day raid on their village by the Indonesian military. The raid, at 1:30am this morning was on the village of Bolakme, Wamena. The same village was the target of burnings last year by the military.
The 2 civilians confirmed dead so far are Asli Wenda and Elius Tabuni. We understand some others have suffered life threatening injuries. All villagers from the surrounding areas have now fled to forests and remain in hiding.
More news on the situation as we get it.
There was a separate report about a Papuan farmer who was murdered by Indonesian soldiers in The Jakarta Globe this morning as well.
Jakarta. At least one person has been reportedly killed in raids in Papua as the military steps up its search for members of the separatist Free Papua Movement (OPM), which marked its 45th anniversary on Wednesday.
Markus Haluk, a member of the Papuan Customary Council (DAP), the largest nongovernmental organization in Papua and West Papua, told the Jakarta Globe on Thursday that Wendiman Wenda, a 55-year-old farmer, was killed outside his house.
He said that Wendiman was shot while working in his garden in Yambi village, Puncak Jaya district, on Sunday, shortly after returning from church.
“The military was patrolling the area and assumed he was an OPM member,” he said. “Wendiman was not a separatist. He was just a farmer.”
A neighbor, Piron Moribnak, said the soldiers had shot Wendiman from a distance.
“They called out to him, but he was hard of hearing and they were a ways off, so of course he didn’t hear them and he didn’t respond,” he said. “That’s when they opened fire.”
Neither the Puncak Jaya Police nor military officials in Papua could be reached for comment.