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wp SMH: Two West Papuan Activists Shot Dead.

December 17, 2012

SMH: Two West Papuan Activists Shot Dead.
December 17, 2012
The Sydney Morning Herald

Michael Bachelard, Indonesia Correspondent for Fairfax Media

This year so far, 22 West Papua National Committee members have been
killed; three are missing; seven have been charged with various
offences, as tensions linger.

Indonesian police have shot dead two West Papuan activists and burned
down a house in the provincial city of Wamena which was used as the
"Tribal Council" office for community meetings.

Hubertus Mabel, 30, and Natalis Alua, both members of the West Papua
National Committee (KNBP) were shot outside a house in the village of
Kurulu at about 11am on Sunday, and later died.

Activists said the house belonged to Hubertus’s family and he was
there to celebrate Christmas.

The shootings mean that, this year so far, 22 KNPB members have been
killed; three are missing; seven have been charged with various
offences and more than 200 arrested but released within three
months. Advertisement

After the shootings, three men burned down a small wooden police post
in a Wamena marketplace, an act which apparently prompted police to go
to the city’s Tribal Office which is used for community meetings and
also burn it to the ground.

Police spokesman, Senior Commissioner Gede Sumerta Jaya, denied the
police had deliberately killed the two men.

"It wasn’t a shooting, it was an effort to arrest someone who broke
the law," commissioner Gede said.

He said two police had gone to the house in the village about 30
minutes from Wamena because they had received information that one of
the people responsible for planning an attack on Pirime police
station, which killed three policemen in late November, was there.

Commissioner Gede said that, at the house, the police were outnumbered
by Mr Mabel and four of his friends, who were armed with machetes.

"Our officers ordered them to lay down their weapons but they didn’t
listen. In fact they came to the two officers and attempted to grab
the officers’ weapons from their hands," Commissioner Gede said.

"They almost made it but then the officers shot Hubertus on both his
legs to paralyse him. Two ran away and the other two were arrested
along with Hubertus."

Catholic priest John Djonga told Fairfax he had tried to see
Hubertus’s body yesterday afternoon, "but couldn’t because a lot of
police officers were guarding the hospital".

KNPB leader Victor Yeimo dismissed the police version as a "propaganda
report to justify police".

"Indonesian police through chief of Papua Police, Tito Karnavian and
its soldiers, Densus 88, have made a scenario through labelling the
KNPB’s activists in Wamena as terrorists," Mr Yeimo said.

He confirmed that Mr Mabel was "one of the freedom fighter who [was]
militant and radical," and had helped "strengthen the resistance" of
KNPB.

"He has inspired so many young West Papuan to stand strong in fight
for the right of freedom," Mr Yeimo said.

Mr Djonga said the later fire at the Tribal Office had been lit at the
command of the deputy Wamena police chief himself.

The office’s guards said the a group of police had gone to the
building, fired their guns repeatedly into the air, and then started
the fire.

A low level insurgency has been raging in the resource-rich province
since Indonesia arranged for it to become part of the country in 1969.

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