Police and military collectively torture Papuan fisherman in Sorong

Various Papuan media outlets have published articles about a shooting at the local fish market near the Puri Bridge in Klademak II, Sorong City. On 13 June 2018 at 6.00 am, a member of the police mobile brigade (BRIMOB) special forces named Syarifudin and a military officer reportedly tortured the local fisherman Frans Kbarek (21 years) and released multiple shots at him. Frans Kbarek sustained a bullet wound in the stomach, a cut in the lip, and bruises on his right cheek and left knee. He had to be hospitalized at the Naval Hospital in Sorong. The shooting was the result of a dispute between a group of five fisherman and the security force officers who had prevented them from leaving the port to go fishing with their canoes. According to Frans Kbarek, the officers asked him and his friends to pay Rp. 300 000 (approximately 21 US$) for each fishing canoe leaving the port. Frans Kbarek refused to pay the money, arguing that the officers are misusing their authority to make money.

Thereupon, the police officer pointed his gun at Frans Kbarek’s head while the military officer beat Frans’ head and leg with his rifle butt. As Frans tried to resist, the BRIMOB officer released several warning shots, so Frans Kbarek backed off and jumped into the water to run away from the bullets. One bullet hit Frans in the stomach as he attempted to escape. A spokesman of Papua Barat Regional Police, Hary Supriono, stated in a media interview that the incident occurred because Frans Kbarek had allegedly vandalized market facilities and attacked the police officers. According to the spokesman, the officer had only used rubber bullets instead of live ammunition.