Two TNI soldiers sent to jail for killing Timika residents

Illustration Hammer Session.

Jayapura, Jubi – The Manado Military Court III – 17 in North Sulawesi on Wednesday, July 6, 2022, has sentenced to prison two Indonesian Military (TNI) soldiers who killed two residents of Timika, Mimika Regency, Papua. The defendants, Second Lt. Inf. Gabriel Bowie Wijaya and Chief Pvt. Sugi Harnoto, were sentenced to seven and six years in prison respectively, and dismissed from military service.

Director of the Papuan Human Rights Advocates Association (PAHAM) Gustaf R Kawer appreciated the verdict. “This is important as it can be a lesson for organic and non-organic troops in Papua to be more careful in carrying out their duties, pay more attention to local custom, and always uphold a sense of humanity,” said Kawer to Jubi via WhatsApp message on Monday, July 11, 2022.

Kawer is the attorney for the families of the two shooting victims, Eden Bebari and Roni Wandik. He said Gabriel and Sugi were charged with murder as stipulated in Article 338 in conjunction with Article 55 paragraph (1) of the 1st Criminal Code, as well as the use of collective force to commit violence that took the lives of others as stipulated in Article 170 paragraph (2) of the 3rd Criminal Code. Kawer emphasized that these acts were crimes against humanity.

“We hope that in the future, strong allegations of violations like this will be resolved through the Human Rights Court so that the superiors who give orders and other perpetrators involved can also be prosecuted, not only the lower ranks,” he said.

Kawer further added that after various human rights violations that occurred in Papua, there had been no compensation, restitution, and rehabilitation for the families of the victims. “The state must be responsible in fulfilling the right of the victims and families of victims of human rights violations. They continue to live with the trauma even though the court has sentenced the perpetrators,” he said.

Eden Bebari and Roni Wandik were shot dead on April 13, 2020, while fishing in the PT Freeport Indonesia tailings disposal area in Mimika Regency, Papua. They got shot by four TNI soldiers, including Gabriel and Sugi, who were members of the XIII/Merdeka Regional Military Command being seconded in Papua. (*)

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