31 Dec 2014

Doubts over investigation into Papua shooting

4:47 pm on 31 December 2014

Indonesia police say a total of 53 people are being questioned over the fatal shootings of at least five young civilians by security forces in Papua earlier this month but there are doubts about the credibility and impartiality of the investigation.

Papua Police spokesman Patridge Renwarin says witnesses include civilians, soldiers and police.

The Jakarta Globe reports that he told the Antara news agency the national police are questioning their officers and the TNI was conducting its own investigation into possible involvement of its soldiers.

The announcement comes just days after President Joko Widodo told a crowd in Papua that the civilian killings were deplorable and he wanted the case solved immediately.

Human Rights Watch Indonesia has called on Mr Widodo to form a joint fact-finding team to ensure a credible, impartial investigation into the deadly shootings.

It says the National Commission on Human Rights, or Komnas HAM, police and military should all be involved.

Komnas Ham is conducting its own inquiry into the incident, but the military has refused to cooperate and Human Righs Watch says Indonesia's military law prevents civilian investigators from speaking with military personnel at the scenes of crimes.