Military member opens fire at villager in Mappi Regency

A Koramil 1707/Kepi military command member has tortured two indigenous Papuans in the Kanami Ville, Asgon District, during a dispute on 16.7.2021. The perpetrator named Syarifudin reportedly attacked Mr Anes Samogoi causing Mr Samagaoi to fall on the floor. As his brother, Mr Yosep Kamogou Samogoi, 26, stepped in to help, Mr Syarifudin drew his firearm and fired two shots at the brothers. One of the projectiles hit Mr Yosep Kamogou Samogoi in the leg, causing a bullet injury in the left thigh. He was brought to the Mappi general hospital, where he received medical treatment.

It is unclear what caused the argument between Syafudin and Mr Anes Samogoi. Mr Syrifudin is allegedly involved in the trade with eaglewood, a rare scented wood that can bring high revenues on the timber market. Both brothers are indigenous Papuans and seek additional income by searching the forest for valuable timber. Indonesian law prohibits military members from engaging in business activities unless the business is run by one of the military’s foundations or cooperatives.

The relatives demanded law enforcement officials to arrest and process the perpetrator following the law immediately. They called upon the military to pay compensation and cover all expenses for the victim's health recovery.  

Law No. 34/2004 on the TNI stipulates that all businesses owned by the military shall be transferred into civilian hands by 2009. The law's implementation was delayed until former president SBY issued presidential decree No. 43 of 2009 on the Takeover of Business Activities of the TNI. Many human rights organisations identified severe shortcomings in the decree, among other things, the possibility of retaining TNI businesses by shifting the ownership to one of its many foundations and cooperatives. Until today, the TNI in West Papua – as an institution or through individual members – still engages in a wide range of civilian matters, including the protection of private businesses, implementation of government development projects and law enforcement operations.