A military court has sentenced first sergeant Fajar to one year and ten months imprisonment for his involvement in the death of four Papuans in 2019. Sergeant Fajar was actively involved in the forceful dispersal of political supporters during a protest in the village of Basim, district of Fayit in Asmath regency, on 27 May 2019. The violent dispersal resulted in the killing of four indigenous Papuans. A fifth victim, John Tatai, remained handicapped for life as a result of the bullet injuries sustained during the incident (see intro image). Human rights observers assessed the sentence as disproportionately low. The sentence fails to bring justice for the victims and is a further example of the lack of accountability for perpetrators among the police and military.
The Head of the Papuan Representative Office of the National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM), Frits Ramandey, declared in an interview with media outlet Wartaplus that Komnas HAM’s duty is not to comment on the sentence but to ensure that cases of human rights violations are being processed through national human rights mechanisms. He explained that Komnas HAM would ensure that the perpetrator serves his sentence. Komnas HAM considers the case as closed once the verdict has been shared with the victims’ relatives.