Medco Riot, People Deny Taking Police Hostage

VIVAnews – Andri Muhammad Sondeng, 25, had been under intensive care at Stella Maris Hospital, Makassar since last night. Despite being not well, he was still willing to give journalists interviews, before he was ushered to the hospital’s ICU room.

In his testimony, he denied all the statement conveyed by National Police (Polri) Chief Gen. Timur Pradopo that the shooting by the police against the protesters was caused the hostage-taking.

“Police spread misinformation. The residents never took any police officer as  hostage,” he said on Wednesday night.

Sondeng said they were about to go home from the rig area of PT Medco – a company owned by politician and businessman Arifin Panigoro – following the rally, some police officers including Morowali Municipal Police chief boarded the speedboats used by the residents.

As one speedboat ran out of fuel, some residents tried to find fuel by riding other boats to Lower Kolo. After a few minutes, the officers who were earlier pursuing residents saw the boat in waiting.

According to Andri, police officers of the Central Sulawesi Provincial Police who arrived at the location of the rally instantly fired at the protestors on board.

“Arriving at the location, the police shot within close range aiming at our bodies. Two of my colleagues were killed, and I was shot in the right arm, in which the bullet was through to the chest,” he said.

Therefore the residents viewed the shooting was not in line with the procedures, because it was carried out indiscriminately and without prior warning. “So we demand all the perpetrators of the attacks be investigated and charged. We also ask the National Human Rights Commission to handle this case,” said Andri.

The bloody incident that killed two people took place when some residents held protests at Medco’s oil drilling facilities in the Field Tiaka, Luwuk, Central Sulawesi. The police shot a resident and a student to death.
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