On 8 December 2014, joint security force members opened fire at a crowd of indigenous Papuans in the Paniai Regency. The security forces shot dead four high school students and injured at least 17 other persons with bullets. On 8 December 2020, the victim’s relatives gathered at the grave of the dead pupils at the Karel Gobai field in the town of Enarotali to commemorate the tragic incident (see photo on the left, source: JPIC Kingmi Papua). Six years of waiting for the law enforcement process against the perpetrators have left the relatives deeply disappointed. Nonetheless, they continue to demand justice for their lost ones. The relatives and local human rights organisations urged the Indonesian Government to immediately allow the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to visit West Papua and push for the settlement of past gross human rights violations in Indonesia.
Multiple human rights fact-finding missions and a tedious investigation by the National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM) concluded that the ‘Bloody Paniai Case’ met the legal criteria of gross human rights violations. President Joko Widodo personally urged the police and other law enforcement institutions to settle the case following existing procedures.
On 3 May 2017, the Indonesian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mrs Retno Marsudi, explained during Indonesia’s third cycle of its Universal Periodic Review (UPR) at the UN Human Rights Council, that the Indonesian Government would resolve all past gross human rights violations, among them the cases in Wasior, Wamena and Paniai, through its national human rights mechanisms.
In early 2020, Komnas HAM forwarded its investigation report to the General Attorney’s office, who will submit an ad-hoc human rights court. The Attorney General twice returned the case files. A reviewed version of the investigation dossier was returned to Komnas HAM on 14 April 2020. According to the Attorney General, Komnas HAM failed to follow instructions to meet all requirements for further processing the case.