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wp AHRC Urgent Appeal: Another Papuan Pro-independence Activist Killed in Custody; Police Fabricate Story

December 28, 2012

AHRC Urgent Appeal: Another Papuan Pro-independence Activist Killed in Custody; Police Fabricate Story

December 21, 2012

ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION
Urgent Appeal Case: AHRC-UAC-203-2012
21 December 2012
ISSUES: Extrajudicial killings; impunity;
police violence; right to life

Dear friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) wishes to inform you that the
Indonesian National Police has killed and injured pro-independence
activists in a shooting in Papua. Witnesses reported the activists
were instantly shot by the police despite the fact that they did not
pose a threat. The police admitted shooting the victims but justified
it as necessary. They claimed they were suspects in previous bombing
of Jayawijaya District Legislative Office and the attack on the Pirime
sub-district police station.

CASE NARRATIVE:

The AHRC has received information from a local activist that Simeon
Daby, Chairman of West Papua National Committee’s (Komite Nasional
Papua Barat, KNPB) branch in Wamena, Meki Kogoya and Wene Helakombo
were arrested by the police on 15 December 2012. Simeon, Meki and Wene
are members of the KNPB listed as suspects in the bombing of the
Jayawijaya District Legislative Office and the attack on the Pirime
sub-district police station.

The police threatened the three activists at gun point and forced them
to give information on the whereabouts of the other suspects. Meki had
to call Hubertus Mabel, another suspect also attached to the KNPB,
asking him to have a meeting.

The next day, 16 December 2012 at 11.30am, the police came to Milima
in Kurulu District where Meki and Hubertus agreed to meet. Hubertus,
who was accompanied by Natalis Alua, approached a car in which he
thought Meki was travelling only to find that it was full of police
officers allegedly from the counter-terrorism unit, the 88 Detachment
(Densus 88). As Hubertus opened the door, the police officers wearing
civilian clothes pointed their guns at him. Hubertus and Natalis were
told to lie on the ground and the police started shooting them in
their legs. What happened afterwards is still not known but Hubertus
and Natalis were later found at the Jayawijaya Public Hospital.
Hubertus had died from bullet wounds to his body and a deep stab wound
on his chest. Natalis had severe injuries in his legs.

Adj. Sr. Comr, I Gede Sumerta Jaya, spokesman of the Papua Regional
Police, told the press that after talking on the phone with a suspect
arrested by the police for possession of ammunition, ‘MJ’,
Hubertus came to meet with him with four other people carrying
machetes. As reported by the Jakarta Globe, the spokesman of the
police said: ‘He angrily tried to attack and rob the firearm carried
by the personnel so that a scuffle developed and the firearm almost
got taken. One of the special team members then shot him in the foot
in order to immobilize him’. The police failed to mention anything
about the wound found on Hubertus’s chest but only claimed that
Hubertus’ death was due to the fact that he ‘Lost a lot of blood’.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

Under international human rights law, the lethal use of force by law
enforcement officials may be justified provided the tests of
‘necessity’ and ‘proportionality’ are fulfilled. The test of
necessity requires law enforcement officials to only exercise lethal
measures for the purpose of protecting life, whereas the test of
proportionality deals with the question of how much force might be
permissible to reach such purpose. To ensure law enforcement officials
who abuse the use of lethal measures do not enjoy impunity, an
effective review procedure examining whether the aforementioned tests
are met shall be established. It is not for the authority of the
police to determine whether a use of lethal measure was proportionate
and necessary, but independent administrative or prosecutorial
authorities.

Such effective and independent review mechanism does not exist in
Indonesia as of today, despite the fact that police officers often use
lethal measures against individuals who do not pose any imminent
threat to anybody’s life. Previously in June this year, the
Secretary General of KNPB Mako Tabuni was shot to death by police
officers. Shortly after the shooting, the Chief of the Indonesian
National Police claimed that Mako was trying to grab the officer’s
weapon as they were arresting him. Although many witnesses testified
that Mako did not pose any harm but was just going to get his
breakfast when the police shot him, there was no independent mechanism
available for Mako’s family or anybody else to challenge the
Chief’s statement. The only legal mechanism can be pursued in the
shooting cases of Mako Tabuni, Hubertus Mabel or other similar cases
is to lodge a complaint with the police. This virtually denies the
complainants of the possibility of having of having the case
investigated impartially.

As a result, not only those who are responsible for the
disproportionate and unnecessary shootings remain unpunished but also
the systematic arbitrary use of lethal measures by law enforcement
officials. Law enforcement officials in Indonesia can easily get rid
of anybody as they wish — all they need to do is coming up with a
false story to make it appears justifiable for them to shoot one to
death.

SUGGESTED ACTION:

Please write to the listed authorities below, urging them to conduct
an effective and independent investigation on the death of Hubertus
Mabel and the shooting of Natalis Alua. Please also highlight that in
this case the police had used threats in order to obtain information
from Meki Kogoya, Simeon Daby and Wene Helakombo.

The AHRC is writing a separate letter to the UN Special Rapporteur on
extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, asking for his
intervention in this matter.

To support this appeal please click here:

SAMPLE LETTER:

Dear ___________,

INDONESIA: Another pro-independence activist killed in custody —
police fabricate a story to justify the killing

Names of shot victims: Hubertus Mabel, Natalis Alua Name of threatened
victims: Simeon Daby, Meki Kogoya, Wene Helakombo Alleged
perpetrators: Police officers of Papua Regional Police Station,
allegedly from the counter-terrorism unit, the 88 Detachment (Densus
88) Date of incident: 15-16 December 2012 Place of incident: Milima,
Kurulu District, Papua

I am writing to voice my deep concern regarding the shooting by the
Indonesian National Police of two pro-independence activists, Hubertus
Mabel and Natalis Alua, in Milima, Kurulu District, Papua. I have been
informed that the shooting had killed Hubertus and injured Natalis.

The report I received reveals that the police arrested three members
of West Papua National Committee (Komite Nasional Papua Barat, KNPB)
named Simeon Daby, Meki Kogoya and Wene Helakombo on 15 December 2012.
Hubertus and Natalis were listed by the police as suspects allegedly
involved in the bombing of Jayawijaya District Legislative Office and
the attack of a police station in Pirime sub-district. They were
forced to provide more information on the whereabouts of Hubertus
Mabel, another suspect. As they were threatened and the police were
pointing guns at them, Meki Kogoya later made a phone call to Hubertus
who agreed to meet him at Milima in Kurulu District.

Accompanied by another KNPB member named Natalis Alua, Hubertus came
to the agreed meeting point at around 11.30am on the next day, 16
December 2012. He opened the door of a car he thought to be Meki’s
and was welcomed by armed police officers –allegedly from the
counter-terrorism unit, Densus 88- wearing civilian clothes. The
police asked him and Natalis to lie down on the ground and started
shooting at their legs once they confirmed that one of them was
Hubertus whom they had been looking for. It remains unclear on what
had happened afterwards, but Hubertus was later found dead at
Jayawijaya Public Hospital whereas Natalis was injured due to the
shootings on his legs. A deep stab wound was found on Hubertus’s
chest in addition to bullet wounds on his body.

The police admitted that they had shot Hubertus but claimed the
shooting was necessary as Hubertus was involved in the bombing and
attack that had taken place previously. Completely different to
witnesses’ testimonies stating that Hubertus did not pose any harm
and was shot as the police met him, the spokesperson of Papua Regional
Police, Adj. Sr. Comr, I Gede Sumerta Jaya stated a false story to
justify the killing of the victim by claiming that Hubertus came to
them with other four people who were all carrying machetes.

I am disturbed not only by the fact that this shooting resulted in the
death of Hubertus and wounding of Natalis but also there is no legal
mechanism where the victims could pursue to obtain remedy. In addition
to that, I am concerned with the fact that the information regarding
the whereabouts of Hubertus Mabel was obtained by the police officers
with using threats against Meki Kogoya, Simeon Daby and Wene
Helakombo.

I urged you to establish an independent and effective review mechanism
in line with the human rights principles to ensure that the use of
lethal force by law enforcement officials is investigated. It is
necessary to ensure that the tests of necessity and proportionality
have been met. The establishment of such mechanism is not merely for
the sake of compliance with international human rights law but, much
more than that, to ensure those who use excessive and abusive act are
held to account.

I look forward for your positive and adequate action in this matter.

Yours sincerely,

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