Oneibo Case submitted to UN Special Procedures

ICP has submitted an Urgent Appeal on the Oneibo Case to the Special Procedures of the United Nations Human Rights Council. The Shooting was brought to the attention of the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, as well as the Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples and the Special Rapporteur on minority issues.

 

To the  attention of:

Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions
Ms. Agnes Callamard

Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
Prof. Nils Melzer,

CC:

Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples
Ms. Victoria Tauli Corpuz

Special Rapporteur on minority issues
Dr Fernand de Varennes RP, Doyen

Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights – Palais Wilson
United Nations Office at Geneva
CH 1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland

15 August 2017

Urgent Appeal

Indonesia: Police special force members kill one and seriously injure ten indigenous villagers during crowd control operation in Deiyai Regency, West Papua

Dear Ms. Agnes Callamard
Dear Prof. Nils Melzer,

We are writing to you on behalf of the International Coalition of Papua (ICP), to submit information regarding the extra-judicial killing of one indigenous Papuan villager in Oneibo Village, Deiyai Regency of Papua Province, on 1 August 2017. During the incident ten other indigenous Papuans were seriously injured by bullets, among them five minors. We commend the action of the UN Special Rapporteur to send a communication to the Government of Indonesia to process the case in line with international human rights standards, and ensure that all perpetrators are held accountable.    

Case Narrative

On 1 August 2017, a villager named Kasianus Douw had almost drown in the Oneibo river as he was catching fish in the early morning hours. When three other villagers asked a construction worker of the PT. Dewa Krisna company to bring the unconscious man with his car to the general hospital in the regency town of Madi, the construction worker refused to help. Thereupon, the villagers had to drive 10 km to the bus terminal of Waghete town to get a car which brought Kasianus Douw to Madi Town. However, Kasianus died on the way to the hospital. The villagers believed that the victim’s life could have been saved, if the company worker had immediately agreed to help them.

The construction worker's behavior caused anger among many villagers, so a group of mostly young villagers walked to the workers' camp and tore down their tents.  Around 4.30 pm a truck with fully armed mobile brigade police officers arrived in Oneibo Village. The mobile brigade officers arrived together with a crowd control police unit after officials of PT Dewa Krisna had reported the acts of vandalism in their worker's camp to the police. When the villagers saw the fully armed police officers, they began to throw rocks and sticks at them. According to the villagers, the mobile brigade officers did not attempt to calm down the situation or disperse the crowd with warning shots, but immediately opened fire, releasing indiscriminate shots at them. The police officers did not care that there were many children among the group of villagers. Yulianus Pigai (27 years) was shot dead and ten other indigenous Papuans were seriously injured by bullets. Five of the injured victims were minors. 51-year-old Martinus Pekey died in his house due to shock as he witnessed the shooting.

The Oneibo villagers believe that the police brigade immediately applied excessive use of force due to the stigma among security forces that most indigenous Papuans are members or supporters of the Papuan armed independence movement. According to witnesses several mobile brigade officers questioned the villagers about the whereabouts of their weapons.

Background Information

During the past four years more than 10 pupils, most of them minors, have been killed by Indonesian police and military members, e.g. during incidents in Timika, Paniai and Sugapa. Promises by state agencies and law enforcement bodies to handle such cases and hold perpetrators accountable have not been fulfilled. In all reported cases of extra-judicial executions throughout the reporting period, the victims were indigenous Papuans. Considering the low number of prosecutions during previous years, Indonesia still fails to implement an effective legal framework, holding perpetrators of torture and extra-judicial killings in West Papua accountable. The majority of extra-judicial and arbitrary executions in 2015 and 2016 were not investigated by the national human rights commission KOMNAS HAM RI or legally processed by the national human rights court (Pengadilan HAM). This is related to its mandate, stating that only cases which have been part of a systematic, structured and widespread attack against civilians may be processed.

The majority of cases of extra-judicial executions in West Papua reveals that most victims are indigenous Papuans. This indicates that the indigenous population is more likely at risk of  becoming  victims of state violence due to racial discriminative prejudices amongst Indonesian security forces in West Papua. There is a strong stigmatization of indigenous Papuans as supporters of the Papuan Independence Movement (OPM). Hence, security force members often try to resolve disputes by using exaggerated authoritarian behavior and excessive use of force instead of following a de-escalating approach. Local human rights defenders documented numerous cases throughout the past years, in which this behavior has led to conflict escalation and resulted in the unnecessary use of fire arms.

Conclusion

As a coalition of faith-based and non-governmental organisations with a strong human rights focus, we are seriously concerned that the Oneibo Case will not be processed in accordance with international human rights standards, as it has happened in the past. We therefore urge you to raise this case with the Indonesian government, stressing the right to live, and the obligation of ICESCR member states to respect, protect and fulfill all rights and freedoms stipulated in the treaty.

We firmly believe that it is the duty of any democratic government to uphold justice, human rights and the rule of law. These duties include the prosecution of human rights perpetrators in a fair and public trial. We, further ask you to enter into dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples and the Special Rapporteur on minority issues on the matter.

Recommendations

We ask you to raise the case with the Indonesian Government, urging them to:

1. Ensure that the Oneibo Case will be processed in accordance with national and international human rights standards, including the prosecution of all perpetrators in a fair and public trial as well as the restoration of all victims or their families.

2. Review and improve the effectiveness of its present national human rights mechanisms. This review should include the Reappraisal of past human rights violations which have been investigated by KOMNAS HAM RI since 2000 and have not yet been processed by the Attorney General.   

3. Strengthen KOMNAS HAM RI with regard to personnel, structural and financial resources.

4. Open West Papua for international human rights organizations, journalists and international observers  

5. Invite the Special Rapporteurs on Extra-judicial and Summary Execution, Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment to visit Indonesia, particularly West Papua, as a matter of priority.

6. Encourage and support visits to Papua by parliamentary delegations.

 

Annex to the online submission available here

More information on the case available here