10 December 2010
Press Release: Indonesian Human Rights Committee
News From Papua: Prisoner shot dead, Filep Karma and Buchtar Tabuni could be charged with rioting
In addition to having to serve their sentences, it now appears that Buchtar Tabuni and Filep Karma and others will be facing further charges as a result of events that have threatened security in Abepura Prison including that of organising prisoners in the prison.
[Filep Karma is serving a 15-year sentence for raising a flag in 2004, while Buchtar Tabuni is serving a three-year sentence after responding to the launching of International Parliamentarians for West Pappua in October 2008]
The prison director Liberti Sitinjak said that Buchtar Tabuni and Filep Karma and three other prisoners have been reported to the Papuan police in connection with this case.
‘Last Sunday (3/XII) the two men [Karma and Tabuni] approached me and asked to meet a member of the army who had shot one of their co-prisoners as he was running away.
He said that could not comply with their request and then, according to Bintang P apua, ‘they started issuing threats, saying that if their request was not met, they could not guarantee security in the prison.’ He went on to say that Tabuni and Karma, along with three other prisoners then caused anarchy in the prison.
The prison director said that as things in the prison became uncontrollable, he called on Brimob-Papua for help. ‘It was only after firing several shots into the air as a warning that we were able to regain control of the situation.’ He said that a Papuan representative of Komnas HAM (National Human Rights Commission) had also witnessed these events.
When the prison director was pressed by Peneas Lokbere of SKPHP (Solidarity for Papuan Victims of Human Rights Violations) to arrange for Filep Karma and Buchtar Tabuni to be returned to Abepura Prison, the prison director said that this was a matter for the police who are currently carrying out investigations, following reports about the incident received from them.He said the two men were being sent food from the prison.
The incident that led to Karma and Tabuni being transferred to police custody occurred after the killing of Miron Wetipo, who was shot by a joint patrol of the army and the police as they were carrying out a search at the home of Dhani Kogoya.in Tanah Hitam.
He said that five prisoners had been able to make their escape with ladders that were being used by workmen who were doing some repair work. ‘It seems that during mealtime, before we had locked the men back in their cells, they found the ladders and were able to escape.’
He said that a team was then formed to chase the escapees , and were able to re-capture two of them, John Wandik and Jack Mabel, somewhere near the Christian cemetery. ‘Soon after,’ he said, ‘I received a phone call to say that one of the men had been shot.’ He then went to the location of the incident and saw that there many soldiers and police there. ‘I have not been able to get the precise details about how the man was shot.’
Accordig to information from Iman Setiawan, chief of police in Jayapura, the shooting incident occurred while troops from the army and the police were searching the home of Dhani Kogoya where they found some ammunition, some documents and a TPN/OPM rubber stamp.
While the search was underway, Miron Wetipo and his colleagues appeared. When they were told to stop, they started resisting and began to run away, so the troops opened fire as a result of which one person died immediately, having been hit in the neck.