Three Papuan youths killed in torture reprisal by Indonesian military

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Three Bagau youths
The three youths killed by the TNI military at Bilogai Health Centre, Sugapa, on February 15 - Janius Bagau (1), Justinus Bagau (2) and Soni Bagau (3). Image: Suara Papua

By a special Asia Pacific Report correspondent

Intan Jaya has started Lent with bitter sorrow after losing three young Papuan men alleged to have been shot and brutally tortured to death by the Indonesian military in a local health centre.

Sources said that the armed conflict has caused more than 1000 indigenous West Papuans in Intan Jaya evacuate to the church complex of the Catholic Church of Santo Mikael Bilogai.

Suara Papua reports that the TNI (Indonesia National Army) beat and tortured three youths to death at the Bilogai Health Center, Intan Jaya.

Last Monday morning (February 15), there was a shooting by the TPNPB (West Papua National Liberation Army) in Intan Jaya in which a TNI soldier was killed.

The TNI conducted sweeps around the village of Mamba and a young man, civilian Janius Bagau, was shot in the left arm.

At noon, Bagau was evacuated to the Puskesmas (health centre) in a car belonging to the regent from the crime scene in Amaesiga, reports said.

Two other young men, Justinus Bagau and Soni Bagau, from the victim’s family were in the car to look after the victim at the Puskesmas while he received medical treatment.

Tortured, beaten to death
At the health centre, the TNI came during the night and interrogated the three men while torturing and beating them to death, the reports said.

“Janius is the victim who was previously shot from Amaesiga. The two people [Soni and Justinus] were healthy. They were at the Puskesmas to look after Janius. But they were examined and interrogated, then beaten until all three died at the Puskesmas last night,” said a source who did not want to be named.

They were beaten to death at the Bilogai Health Centre in Yokatapa, Sugapa.

“Soni Bagau and Justinus Bagau, both of them joined the Regent’s car, which brought Janius Bagau from Amaesiga to the Bilogai Health Center so that the victim would receive treatment,” the source explained.

The three victims were reportedly buried in Tambabuga, Bilogai Village. The location of these three burials is not far from the official residence of the Intan Jaya regent.

There is widespread opposition to the central government plan for extending the special autonomy status over two Indonesian-ruled Melanesian provinces, Papua and West Papua provinces (collectively known as West Papua).

Meanwhile, the fate of 45,000 refugees from Nduga still remains unclear.

A source said there had been a further displacement of about 1000 people in Intan Jaya from the districts heavily occupied by police and military forces.

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