Probe into officers’ actions after one person killed in West Papua shooting

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Arrested Papuan Governor Lukas Enembe
Arrested Papuan Governor Lukas Enembe . . . he had been increasingly critical of Indonesian "colonial" policies. Image: Johnny Blades/RNZ Pacific

RNZ Pacific

Police officers in West Papua will be investigated over shootings during a provincial governor’s controversial arrest.

One person died after the struggle that followed the arrest of Papua Governor Lukas Enembe over allegations of bribery.

As many as 19 people were detained by the police for allegedly attacking security forces.

Papua police chief Mathias Fakhiri has ordered the head of the Internal Affair Division and director of Criminal Investigation of the Papua Police to immediately investigate the actions taken by police officers.

He asked his staff to approach families and religious, community and traditional leaders, so that the arrest of Governor Lukas Enembe would not create unrest.

“I ask for the report today. If there is indeed a wrong handling, I ensure there will be law enforcement against members who do not comply with the standard operating procedures,” he said.

“I urge all parties not to spread hoaxes or information that does not match the facts,” he said.

“Let us provide moral support so that the legal process runs as it is.”

Wenda calls for governor’s release
A West Papuan independence leader, Benny Wenda, has called for the immediate and unconditional release of Governor Enembe.

Wenda said the arrest follows the governor’s “criminalisation” in September 2022, when he was accused of corruption and banned from travelling abroad for essential medical treatment.

The United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) leader said Enembe’s treatment could not be separated from his increasingly vocal stance against Indonesia’s colonial policies in West Papua.

Wenda said Enembe opposed Indonesia’s division of West Papua into new provinces, which the exiled leader described as a “divide and rule” tactic designed to steal the region’s natural resources and allow further militarisation of villages.

This article is republished under a community partnership agreement with RNZ. 

West Papuan independence campaigner Benny Wenda
West Papuan independence campaigner Benny Wenda at the Pacific Islands Forum summit in Tuvalu, 2019. Image: Jamie Tahana/RNZ Pacific
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