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wp Seven Papuan fisherman shot by the TNI

December 28, 2012

Bintang Papua, 28 December 2012

Seven Papuan fisherman were shot by members of the TNI (Indonesian army) near Pulau Papan district, Misol Perairan Raja Apat, West Papua. It is not clear why they were shot, but one TNI soldier is now being questioned by POM, the military police in Puncak Rafidin.

The commander of 1704/Sorong, Lieut-Col. Rachman Zulkarnain refused to make any comment about the incident but he did not deny that a TNI solider was being interrogated by the military police. They were still trying to find out more about those responsible for the shooting. ‘I want the process to continue , until we can decide who should be charged for the incident,’ said Zulkarnain.

A spokesman for the Cenderawasih XVII military command also said that a member of the army is being interrogated intensively by POM. The matter must be handled through legal channels, he said. He said that the commander would ensure that the person responsible would be firmly dealt with.

The spokesman also said that the person who did the shooting was thought to be a member of Babinsa Koramil (low level military command personnel ) and one of those responsible has been identified as Praka BJ.

Head of public relations of the military command, I Gede Sumerta Jaja told the press that the case was still being investigated, while attention was at present concentrated on finding one of the victims.

One of the victims is at present being treated at Sorong Hospital but he is not yet fit enough to be asked to make a statement. ‘We must respect his rights and not try to force him to make a statement,’ he said.

The bodies of four of the victims were discovered in a state of decomposition on Wednesday, La Nuni, 55, La Jaka, 30, La Edi, 20 and La Diri, 20. A fifth victim , La Ful, 13 is still being sought by a TNI/Police unit. The bodies were under water for almost a week but officials were able to identify them when they were found.

Two other fisherman have also been found alive and are now being treated in hospital.

A representative of the military police met the families of the victims and members of South Sulawesi Families Association to continue with the process of identifying all the victims to finalise the process of identification and then moving them away from the area. The Association has called on the military command to make a statement, following information that indicated that the military and police were responsible for the shooting but the military have as yet failed to clarify the case. A spokesman of the Association said that they were still trying find other victims of the shooting.

Translated by TAPOL

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