Human rights defenders find grave in Nduga Regency – Evidence points to involvement of Indonesian military members

The Foundation for Justice and Integrity of the Papuan People (YKKMP) reported that a team of helpers have found a grave near Iniye Village, in the Regency of Nduga, where a security force operation has been taking place since early December 2018. On 9 October 2019, the team went to the Nduga regency in search for a group of five persons who had been missing since 20 September 2019. The grave was found at the Kanbobo mountain. According to YKKMP, the grave had been camouflaged with tree branches, moss, grass and leaves (see image below). The excavation team found outdoor stoves, socks and canned food as used by the Indonesian army in an abandoned camp near the grave. Furthermore, the team found two bullet casings next to the grave.

Excavation 3The grave was only partly excavated until one body was visible (see bottom image). Although, parts of the body had already decomposed, the victim’s relatives were able to identify the body as Hardius Bugi based on the clothes and the shape of the body. The team decided to close the grave. It is believed that the other four bodies were placed below the excavated body, as the team did not find traces of another burial site. The relatives intend to file a police case, which has the possibility to conduct a forensic investigation of the burial site and the bodies.

Excavation 2According to information received, the victims were part of a larger group led by the chairperson of Iniye presbytery. The group had brought food and commodities and were taking them from Wamena to Iniye Village on 19 September 2019. After the group arrived, they stored parts of the goods in a cave at the Kanbobo montain, from where they wanted to pick up the goods the following day. After staying one night in Iniye Village, Yuliana Dorongi, Yulince Bugi, Masen Kusumbrue, Tolop Bugi and Hardius Bugi went ahead of the group to pick up the goods. The rest of the group left Iniye later in direction to the cave but turned around when they heard shots. Other villagers stated that they had allegedly seen military members in the area shortly after the five persons went missing.

Table with persons who were allegedly shot dead by Indonesian military members







Yuliana Dorongi

35 years


Missing since 20 September 2019


Yulince Bugi

25 years


Missing since 20 September 2019


Masen Kusumburue

26 years


Missing since 20 September 2019


Tolop Bugi

13 years


Missing since 20 September 2019


Hardius Bugi

15 years


Missing since 20 September 2019, the body was found inside the grave and identified by relatives