Four protesters allegedly shot by rubber bullets when commemorating Mako Tabuni’s death

rubber bullets
One of the four demonstrators who were allegedly injured by being hit by rubber bullets at the dispersal of the commemoration of Mako Tabuni's death in Jayapura City on Tuesday (14/6/2022). - Doc. LBH Papua

Jayapura, Jubi – Four protesters who took part in the commemoration of Mako Tabuni’s death, which took place at Waena 3 Housing in Jayapura City on Tuesday, June 14, 2022, were injured when the police dispersed the protest. The four people were allegedly hit by rubber bullets.

Aris Nepsan, Jon Kadepa, Benedict Tebai, and Natan Pigai were injured on the forehead, head, hands, and buttocks respectively.

The head of the Freedom of Association and Expression Team for the Papua Legal Aid Institute (LBH Papua), Aristoteles Howay, said the ten years commemoration of the death of West Papua National Committee (KNPB) deputy chair Mako Tabuni was disbanded by the police at around 1 p.m. local time. At that time, the police released tear gas and allegedly fired rubber bullets. “Four people were hit by rubber bullets,” Howay told Jubi on Tuesday.

According to Howay, the police dispersed the mass after they raised the KNPB flag.

He said at least six protesters were arrested by the police and taken to the Jayapura Police Headquarters. “There were also four motorbikes and other attributes confiscated,” he added.

According to Howay, the disbandment of protest violated the National Police Chief Regulation No. 16/2006 on Guidelines for Crowd Control. “Everyone has the right to express their opinion,” said Howay.

Meanwhile, director of LBH Papua Emanuel Gobay asked the Papua Police chief to order its internal division to arrest the police who used rubber bullets to disperse the demonstration commemorating the death of Mako Tabuni. He considered that the Jayapura Police tended to prioritize repression in handling protests.

“The chief must also rebuke the Head of Operations and Head of Intelligence and Security Unit of the Jayapura Police for always going brutal and repressive in handling mass protests. The National Police actually regulates the provisions for the implementation of basic human rights standards in the duties of the police,” said Gobay. (*)

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