West Papua: High school student assassinated by Indonesian police

A protest by Papuans against Indonesian repression, September 29. Photo from ipahr.wordpress.com.

Indonesian police shot two senior high school students in Gorong Gorong, Timika, West Papua on September 28, the Institute for Papuan Advocacy and Human Rights (IPAHR) said the next day.

The IPAHR said 17-year-old Kaleb Bogau was shot in the chest and died on the scene. Efrando Sabarofek, also 17, was shot in the chest and leg and is in a critical condition in the Timika hospital.

The family of Bogau is treating the case as a political assassination. He was the son of National Committee for West Papua (KNPB) activist Reverend Obed Bogau.

Obed Bogau was reported to have received an apology via text message from the regional chief of police Paulus Waterpau. It was reported that Bogau refused the apology, saying Indonesia had killed too many Papuans and was treating them like animals.

He asked the police to properly investigate this case, as well as the recent killing of Kamoro students by the military at a traditional ceremony in the Catholic Church in Timika last month.

The KNPB is a non-violent movement seeking independence from Indonesia. It is made up of mostly youth and students who are active in all major centres across Papua. Indonesian military intelligence has identified the KNPB as the prime target for counterinsurgency operations.

Within the past year, there have been at least five cases of civilian shootings in Papua by soldiers or police force. Eight people have died as a result.

The IPAHR's Paula Makabory said: “This Indonesian police assassination is directed against Papuan youth and the KNPB in an attempt to quell political protest by a new generation of Papuans.

“This political assassination of a West Papuan youth should draw international condemnation.

“The Pacific Island Forum this month has talked about sending a human rights fact finding mission to West Papua. The Indonesian foreign minister had said it was wrong for the Pacific Island Forum to speak about the internal affairs of Indonesia.

“The Australian and New Zealand government appear to have sided with Indonesia to attempt to sideline attempts for international access and attention to the human rights situation.

“It is clearly time that our brothers and sisters in the Pacific and wider international community condemn Indonesia for its callous and vicious State control over the West Papuan people.”

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