Fearing Police Attacks, Residents flee into the Jungles of West Papua

Fearing Police Attacks, Residents flee into the Jungles of West Papua

Fearing Police Attacks, Residents flee into the Jungles of West Papua Indonesia, News, Pacific, West Papua
December 4, 2011

Source: West Papua Barat – Takut Diserang Polisi, Warga Papua Mengungsi ke Hutan
By: Yason Sambom
Translated by AKR staff

About 110 residents of Berap-Genyem, Papua were forced to flee into the forest after the Police terrorized the village (30/11) causing residents to gang up on two members of the Police. They were seeking protection from the threat of indiscriminate retaliation by Indonesian police forces.

West Papua News correspondent, Jason managed to meet the refugees and document the sequence of events reported in the village of Berab-Genyem, Nembukrang District. According to them, 2 plainclothes officers on a Suzuki motorcycle (Police No. F6611BT) attacked and robbed a young man who was trying to call his wife. Both police suddenly became violent, saying “Who are you calling? Anything happening in Kampung? Will they raise the Morning Star in Berab?”. The victim replied, “I don’t know”. The victim was then brought to the village.

After arriving in the village of Berap-Genyem, the two officers, who had been drinking alcohol and nearly crashed their vehicle, immediately started pushing and attacking several young men on night patrol duty. The men on patrol pursued the two officers and caught up with them them near the ‘Times Blue Berab’ tourist attraction.

The two officers were cornered by the youths and residents of the village and panicked, one them firing a shot that narrowly missed one of the youths. Then the officers plunged into the river which flows past the ‘Times Blue Berab’, but were eventually caught and beaten up by their pursuers. They were then brought to the front of Mr. Bamuskam’s house for further clarification.

Then on December 1, 2011 at noon, feeling nervous about the attack, one of the officers falsely reported to his superiors that the villagers attacked them because they wanted to steal their weapons.

As a result, six citizens were caught and arrested by the Jayapura Police Force. The names of those arrested:

1. Ruben Manggo (Berab Village Head)
2. Thomas Tarko (Member of KNPB Tabi)
3. Zet Manggo (Member of KNPB Tabi)
4. Yonathan Tarko (Member of KNPB Tabi)
5. Joseph Manggo (Member of KNPB Tabi)
6. Kalfin Tarko (Member of KNPB Tabi)

The six people are still being detained at the Jayapura police station, and the chief of police is conducting interrogations. One of the six victims, Ruben Manggo, was released by police officers on Friday at 13:00 WP in badly battered condition. He is now being cared for at his family’s house in the village of Berab.

These conditions keep citizens living under a constant threat of arbitrary and brutal action by the authorities. The causes long term psychological trauma, and leads to entire villages uprooting themselves in an instant, their leaving possessions and livelihood behind to save themselves from torture and death.

AK Rockefeller

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AK Rockefeller

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