Unprofessional behavior of security forces lead 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 case in which security forces applied  excessive use of force against a group of young villagers in Mauwa Village, Kamu District of Dogiyai Regency. On 6 April 2018, at 7.00 pm, joint security forces came to Mauwa Village using two pick up trucks. The villagers witnessed the officers stopping the cars at the bridge over the Mauwa River where they released six shots at an unknown target. Subsequently, the security forces went to Odedimika Mountain, where they fired three further shots. The villagers did not understand why the security forces had come to Mauwa village and what they were shooting at, so a group of villagers gathered at the bridge and blocked the road.

At 7.30 pm, the two pick up trucks returned from Odedimika mountain and stopped at the bridge. A group of young villagers had blocked the road to ask the security force officers why they had released shots and what they were looking for. Villagers stated that the security forces refused to answer them. Instead of entering into communication with the villagers, one of the military officers released a warning shot. As the villagers continued to prevent the vehicles from passing, the security forces requested back-up at the Moanemani sub-district police station. Around 7.45 pm, police forces from the mobile police brigade (Brimob) special forces and the crowd control unit (DALMAS) arrived in Mauwa Village. According to eyewitnesses, the police forces instantly attacked them with teargas and subsequently opened fire at the group.

Injuries Rudi AuweWhile most of the villagers remained unharmed during the dispersal, Rudi Auwe (16 years) and Gerry Goo (18 years) were injured by bullets. Rudi Auwe sustained bullet wounds on the right thigh and the right wrist (see image on the left). He was able to escape the arrest. Gerry Goo was severely injured by two bullets in the right shoulder and sustained bruises on his back, arms and legs as police officers dragged him over the asphalt into the police vehicle. He was brought to the Kamu sub-district police station where police officers severely tortured him. Gerry Goo sustained a head injury as a result of the torture (see image on top).

On 7 April 2018, Gerry Goo was admitted to the Siriwini General Hospital in Nabire, where he was closely guarded by police officers. Family members were not allowed to visit him at the hospital. On 21 April 2018,  Gerry Goo was transferred to the Dok II Hospital in Jayapura because the Siriwini Hospital was insufficiently equipped to conduct the surgery. The doctors at the Dok II hospital decided that the Gerry's condition was not stable enough to surgically remove the projectiles. The doctors further concluded that he will suffer a life-long disability from the bullet injuries because the projectile had damaged important nerves. On 7 May 2018, family members brought Gerry Goo back to Dogiyai Regency. The bullets remained in his body.