Independent team needed to investigate chaos in Paniai: Lawmaker

Residents and their families, when they came to the house of the Paniai Regent, brought the victim who died during a riot at the Paniai Regent's Office, 5 July 2022-Jubi/Abeth You

Jayapura, Jubi – Member of the Commission for Government, Politics, Law, Human Rights, and Security at the Papuan Legislative Council, Laurenzus Kadepa, said an independent team was needed to investigate the recent chaos in Paniai Regency that resulted in one resident died and two others were injured.

Chaos and destruction of the Paniai Regent’s Office occurred on July 5, 2022. The incident occurred during a meeting of the Village Head Election Deliberative Body. According to the police, a number of committees who were dissatisfied vented their frustration by destroying facilities at the regent’s office. Police officers who were at the location fired warning shots to disperse the crowd.

In the event, one resident died and two others were injured. The victim is believed to have died from a gunshot wound. However, the police said, from the post-mortem at the Paniai Hospital, the victim died as a result of a sharp object cut in the abdomen, not because he was shot, as alleged by various parties.

“An independent investigation must be held to uncover the alleged shooting that occurred at the Paniai Regent’s office on July 5. The Paniai Administration and the Paniai Police must be open to the investigation,” said Laurenzus Kadepa when contacted by Jubi via phone call on Monday, July 11, 2022.

Laurenzus Kadepa, who is a lawmaker from the constituencies of Paniai, Deiyai, Dogiyai, Mimika, Intan Jaya, and Nabire, said that various parties in Papua were now focusing on resolving the Bloody Paniai case. The case that occurred on December 8, 2014, has been determined as an alleged gross human rights violation by the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM).

He regretted that a similar problem had occurred again in Paniai. He said that the security forces in Papua always prioritize the use of weapons whenever there is a problem, large or small. The regional head is also considered ignorant about the condition of the people.

On the other hand, Kadepa said, people sometimes vent their anger by destroying government facilities or other public facilities. “These things are wrong. My suggestion is for the authorities to investigate and make the case clear. And for all parties, please stop killing civilians as if their lives are worthless,” said Kadepa. (*)

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