Failed crowd control operation in Merauke – Three residents ill-treated, 27 arrested

A failed crowd control operation in the City of Merauke has resulted in the arrest of 27 community members. According to local human rights defenders, members of the Merauke District Police (Polres Merauke) severely beat Bonivasius Buyopu, Anselmus Erro and Melkior Jebe. Melkior Jebe was additionally injured by a bullet as the police dispersed the crowd with fire arms. The incident was confirmed by the independent media outlet Tabloid Jubi. Three police officers were injured during the incident, which occurred in the Karang Indah district of Merauke Town, Papua Province on the 24 November 2018. Prior to the incident, a group of local residents armed with machetes, sticks and axes had searched the alleged perpetrator of an attempted child abduction. As eight police officers came to the Karang Indah district around 6.00 pm to investigate the case, an argument between the residents and the police officers ended in a clash between both sides.

Melkior Jebe HospitalWitnesses stated that the police told the group of approximately 40 residents to stop the search, knee down and follow the police instructions. Representing the view that they had not done anything wrong, the residents refused to sit down. Some residents allegedly stated that the police attempted to cover the perpetrator and asked the officers to leave, causing the situation to become more tense. The heated argument escalated when a police officer allegedly hit a community member in response to this statement. Bonivasius Buyopu sustained bruises on his back and a bleeding head injury after an officer hit him five times with the rifle butt on the head and twice on the back. Police officers beat Anselmus Erro three times on the head and twice on the back. As the crowd attacked, the police officers fired multiple sots at the residents. Melkior Jebe was beaten on the head and the back and sustained one bullet injury below the left side of the chest. Local human rights defenders claimed that the bullet pierced his upper body from the back to front, indicating that Melkior Jebe was trying to escape from the officers. He had to undergo surgery at the General Hospital (RSUD) in Merauke (see top right image).

Suspects during custodyThe police arrested 27 residents during the crowd control operation. All suspects were detained and interrogated at the district police station in relation to the attack on the police officers and acts of vandalism against a police vehicle (see intro image). According to latest information dating 26 November 2018, the police released five suspects, while 22 arrestees remained in custody (see image on the left).

 

Table with names of released arrestees:

Nr

Name

Age (years)

1

Nor Jupyo

28

2

Dominikus Ero

18

3

Johanes Kaitok

15

4

Agustinus Jebo

25

5

Emer Pasim

21

 
Table with names of detained arrestees (as of 26 November 2018):

Nr

Name

Age (years)

1

Martinus Pasim

18

2

Ferdinandus Pasim

23

3

Frederikus Pasim

25

4

Jakobus Boy

21

5

Timotius Boy

20

6

Hendrikus Sirmi

21

7

Gervasius Sirmi

21

8

Emanuel Sopmai

18

9

Kamilius Kamagai

28

10

Maximus Kamagai

28

11

Sivester Kaitok

35

12

Yusuf Yebo

18

13

Karolus Tesagai

19

14

Benediktus Sedap

25

15

Frederikus Kamagai

15

16

Falentinus Pasim

26

17

Baltazar B'tuf

23

18

Aston Sirmi

21

19

Melianus Jupyo

28

20

Amenda

22

21

Damianus Pasim

20

22

Kansus Ero

22