by West Papua Media team
September 25, 2013
West Papua Media (WPM) stringers have received credible disturbing reports of a major escalation in Indonesian police operations against civilians in the Waghete, outside Enarotali in Paniai, resulting in the shooting of three civilians and the death of one.
Three men were shot by Brimob paramilitary police on September 23 after refusing to cut their hair or beards, and another two were arrested. Alpius Mote (20) was shot dead by Brimob in the chest and died on the spot. Fransiskus Dogopia (30) is in a critical condition after being shot with automatic fire by Brimob in his stomach and in the right side of his neck. The third shooting victim, Alex Mote (29), has unknown gunshot injuries and his condition is also unknown at time of writing.
Police also arrested Frans Bukeja (21) and Yance Pekei (22), also for refusing to cut their hair, according to human rights workers. Bukeja has been since released by Police, however Pekei is still being detained at the Enarotali District Police Command Post, and his family is gravely concerned for his safety, according to WPM sources.
During Monday night’s raids, all Papuan men with long hair, long beards or dreadlocks were allegedly ordered at gunpoint by Brimob officers to cut their hair or beards on the spot or they would be shot dead. Long hair or beards are stigmatised by Indonesian occupation forces as an indicator of pro-independence activities, and “offenders” are summarily punished regularly in Paniai for their hairstyles, according to local human rights workers, and previous investigations by WPM.
These sweeps have been a weekly occurrence since Operation Matoa began in late 2011, putting the Paniai regency in a unofficial war zone in a bid to wipe out armed and then nonviolent civilian resistance to Indonesian occupation. West Papua Media reported in December 2011 on the ruthless Operation Matoa which was launched across the region to destroy the TPN forces of Jhon Yogi – resulting in the displacement of over 14,000 people, almost 150 villages burnt down and the failure of basic services that is still ongoing.
These latest sweeps, local human rights workers who visited Enarotali told WPM, are an extension of Operation Matoa, but Indonesian security forces have openly told sweep targets that nothing less than total loyalty to Indonesian security forces will be tolerated. Extreme state violence is justified by security forces, to make an example of anyone who questions Indonesian rule, according to the human rights sources.
Local sources have also reported to WPM that a large number of security forces have amassed around Enaratoli together with several companies of the notorious 753 Battalion of Indonesian army (TNI). Local residents are preparing to survive another arbitrary military offensive against civilians, according to thesources.
Several attempts to contact Police in Enaratoli or Paniai in the last 24 hours have been rebuffed.