Independent team formed to investigate Wamena incident

Submission of the aspirations of the victims' families to the government during the settlement mediation at the Wamena Education Field, Tuesday (28/2/2023).-Jubi/Islami

Wamena, Jubi – A number of parties have formed an independent team to investigate the incident in Sinakma, Wamena, Jayawijaya Regency, on February 23, 2023, which resulted in the death of 11 people and injured dozens.

Executive Director of the Papuan Justice and Human Integrity Foundation Theo Hesegem was appointed as the coordinator of the team consisting of several humanitarian organizations including the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) and Papua Legislative Council (DPRP).

According to Hesegem, the security forces are also conducting an internal investigation but he said his team would work independently and transparently. “Whoever is guilty, whether it is the police or the TNI [military] will be revealed,” he said on Thursday, March 2, 2023.

Meanwhile, a member of the Papua Legislative Council, Namantus Gwijangge, acknowledged that the team formed was a combination of the DPRP, Komnas HAM, and other humanitarian organizations including advocates to oversee the legal process going forward.

Gwijangge also emphasized that the ongoing legal process applies to all eleven victims, both Indigenous Papuans and non Papuans.

He hopes that the legal process stays in Wamena, so that it can be followed by the families of the victims.

“All parties will be examined, especially those who were there at the time of the incident. If necessary, a forensic team will be brought in to testify. All of these processes must be in Wamena,” he said.

Gwijangge asked the people who were eyewitnesses to the incident to report to the police, or be cooperative when asked for information by the police as witnesses. He said witnesses would be guarded, therefore he asked all parties to be open and transparent in disclosing information about the incident.

“We hope that the victim’s family and eyewitnesses can be open. Anyone in the community who knows about this incident, please report to the police or to Mr. Theo Hesegem,” he said. (*)

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