19 Feb 2020

Indonesia's military found responsible for Paniai deaths

11:49 am on 19 February 2020

Indonesia's Human Rights Commission has found the country's military shot dead four students in Papua province during 2014 protests and carried out "gross human rights violations".

Indonesian police at a demonstration in the Papuan region

Indonesian police at a demonstration in the Papuan region (file photo). Photo: Supplied / Whens Tebay

The teenagers were shot in Paniai regency in an incident known as the 'Bloody Paniai case'.

The commission, Komnas HAM, has just issued issued the findings of its investigation that it says was delayed by unnamed individuals hiding evidence.

The AFP reports the commission saying soldiers and their superiors should be blamed for the deaths, as well as the torture of 21 Papuans.

The Jakarta Post reported the protests were sparked by the alleged beatings of Papuan youths by the army.

It said security forces opened fire on a crowd after demonstrators threw stones at a military office.

However, the Presidential Chief of Staff, Moeldoko, who was the commander of the armed forces at the time of the shooting, said it was not premeditated and disagreed that it was a violation of human rights.

Komnas HAM said it had forwarded its findings to the Attorney General's Office for possible prosecution.

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