Justice for “Bloody Paniai”, 8 December 2014
Today, 8 December 2018, we commemorate the four year anniversary of the “Bloody Paniai” incident where the members of the Indonesian military from Special Battalion 753 Team shot live rounds into a crowd, killing four teenagers and wounding 17 others.
On 8 December 2014, people from the village of Eneratoli, Paniai Regency, Papua Province, were gathered together on a football field to protest against an incident from the previous night, where members of Special Battalion 753 had beaten and tortured Yulianus Yeimo (14 years of age in 2014) and several of his friends.
On the night of 7 December 2014, Yulianus Yeimo and three of his friends in Ipakiye Village openly criticised a military officer for driving his motorcycle through the village in the dark of night, without the using his headlights.The officer then went and gathered other military members and returned to the location to violently beat the youth.Yulianus Yeimo suffered severe head injuries and fell into a coma.The following day, a large number of people gathered at a football field in Paniai to peacefully protest the behaviour of the army personnel when the security forces opened fire at them killing four boys and injuring 17 others.
Various Human Rights groups have reported on this issue, advocating for justice and an end to military brutality in West Papua.The incumbent Indonesian President, Joko Widodo, who had just gained office in 2014 ordered the National Human Rights Commission (KOMNAS HAM) to investigate the matter. The findings from the KOMNAS HAM indicated that there were serious human rights violations.Under the supervision of the Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs, an ad-hoc investigative team was established in 2016 to conduct a detailed inquiry following the KOMNAS HAM findings, however, the investigation proceeded very slowly.The team was criticised as failing to meet general human rights standards: most of the members of the ad-hoc team were from the security forces.Families of victims including members of civil society organisations have expressed their lack of confidence in the investigation commission team.This case was raised as part of during the 3rdCycle Universal Periodic Review of Indonesia (May 2017), to which the Indonesian Foreign Minister stated that the case will be handled by Komnas HAM and the Attorney General of Indonesia. Four years on from Bloody Paniai, the case has not been processed by the General Attorney’s office nor have any perpetrators been prosecuted.
Justice is yet to be served. Yulianus Yeimo passed away in April 2018.He was 19 years of age. Human Rights defenders have produced this video to highlight the lack of justice for Bloody Paniai.
Today we join Human Rights Defenders in West Papua and worldwide, to mourn the victims of the Bloody Paniai incident, and calling for renewed efforts to bring justice to all perpetrators, the victims, and their families.
We call on the Government of Indonesia to:
- Take full responsibility for the Paniai massacre, and bring its perpetrators to justice;
- End the use of force in West Papua ;
- To withdraw the military personnel from West Papua;
- End the culture of impunity across Indonesia.
Many foreign governments are also accountablefor the ongoing human rights violations in West Papua, therefore we call on human rights defenders internationally to advocate for ending the military support and sale of arms to Indonesia.
To find out more about “Bloody Paniai” please visit the following resources: