Unprofessional behavior of police officers leads to shooting in Mauwa Village – two villagers sustain bullet injuries

Human rights defenders from the Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Desk of the Papuan Tabernacle Church (JPIC KINGMI Papua) have reported a further shooting by police officers in Mauwa Village, Kamu District of Dogiyai Regency. On 6 April 2018, at 8.00 pm police officers came to Mauwa Village to investigate a theft which had been reported by a villager named Arifin. Several young men were protesting against the presence of the police officers at the village. The young men were allegedly acting under the influence of alcohol. An argument between the villagers and the officers arouse, which upon the police officers released three warning shots.

The shots draw the attention of other villagers who gathered around the police officers to look for the cause of the shooting. As the villagers refused to disperse, the police officers returned to the Moanemani police station and informed the mobile police brigade (Brimob) special forces about the incident. At 9.30 pm (EIT), joint police forces returned to Mauwa Village. According to the villagers, a group of uniformed officers attacked the villagers with teargas. The police vehicles were followed by two civil cars with dark windows. Witnesses saw that plain cloth officers inside the car released several shots using life ammunition as they passed Mauwa village in direction to Enarotali town. Villagers followed the cars to Okeiya River, where they turned around and later met again with the police vehicles.

While most of the villagers were able to escape, Rudi Auwe (21 years) and Geri Goo (23 years) were injured by bullets. Geri Goo  was severely injured by bullets on the back, the chest and the thigh. In addition he sustained bruises on his back, arms and legs after police officers had dragged him over the asphalt. Rudi Auwe sustained a bullet wound on the the right leg. He was able to escape arrest. At 10.00 pm, Rudi Auwe and Geri Goo were brought to a health center in Moanemani town. At 12.00 pm, Geri Goo (see intro image on top) was transferred to Siriwini General Hospital in Nabire where a bullet had to be surgically removed from his chest.