Man shot down as police disperse crowd in Timika – Relatives demand compensation

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Joint security forces have shot down twenty-year-old Andres Bewarmo as they dispersed a crowd of approximately 200 people in the Pomako Village in Mimika Regency on 7 March 2021. Before the incident, a group of drivers had attacked an intoxicated resident. Multiple residents in Pomako witnessed the beating. Shortly after the brawl, people gathered about 200 meters near the crime site and tried to chase down the attackers. They demanded the police to arrest and prosecute the perpetrators immediately. Joint security members forcefully dispersed the crowd with firearms after the people refused to leave.

Two security force members were reportedly injured as the protesters threw stones in response to the warning shots. The protesters lighted tires and reacted to a roadblock. Thereupon, the security forces released multiple shots at the crowd. One bullet pierced Andres Bewarmo’s chest from front to back, and he was admitted to the public hospital in Timika. The Mimika Police Chief, Era Adhinata, explained in a media interview that the Mimika Police and military had launched a joint internal investigation into the shooting. Andres Bewarmo’s relatives demanded a compensation of 5 billion rupiahs (about € 300 000) during a meeting with the Mimika Vice-regent, Johannes Rettob, and 1710 Mimika military commander, Colonel Yoga Cahya Prasetya, on 8 March 2021. The relatives argue that the security force members did not follow criminal procedure provisions but used excessive force to disperse the unrest.