Papua Police Chief presses charges against KNPB member in Mimika – suspect injured during arrest

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Police officers arrested two members of the West Papua National Committee (KNPB) on 26 May 2020 in the district of Kuala Kencana, Mimika Regency. One of the arrestees is the spokesperson of the KNPB branch in Mimika regency, with the initials ST. Police officers shot ST in the leg because he allegedly tried to escape the arrest. The police accused ST of posting content of hate speech against the Papuan Police Chief, Paulus Waterpauw on his Facebook account. They charged ST with article 28 (2) in conjunction with article 54A (2) of Law No. 19 /2016 about the amendment of Law No. 11/2008 on Electronic Information and Transaction on hate speech and article 36 in conjunction with 52 (2) of the same law on ‘deliberately causing disadvantage to other persons’.

ST is accused of posting false information on a social media account with the user name 'Wendanax Nggembu' on 24 May 2020. The post states that Waterpauw is responsible for the death of two medical workers who had been attacked with firearms in the regency of Intan Jaya on 22 May 2020 as well as the killing of two Papuan boys in Mimika on 13 April 2020. Yunus Wonda, Vice Chairman of the Provincial Parliament in Papua, criticised the police for the excessive use of firearms during arrest. According to Yunus, the unnecessary use of guns was an indicator of the lack of professionalism among Papuan police officers.