Make West Papua safe

6 years on: Remembering the Paniai massacre

11am 08 December 2020 

Australian Federal Police offices MELBOURNE and BRISBANE

383 La Trobe St, Melbourne   |   45 Commercial Rd, Newstead, Brisbane

West Papuan community rally / funeral rites  

Media contacts: Jasmine Pilbrow 0421715515 (Melbourne) Jason McLeod 0402 746 002 (Brisbane)

Make West Papua Safe is holding a funeral procession outside the Australian Federal Police headquarters in Melbourne and Brisbane today to honour and remember the lives lost at the hands of the Indonesian military and police. Riot police (BriMob) and counter-insurgency unit D88 are trained by the Australian Federal Police (AFP), together with former SAS officers, at the Jakarta Centre for Law Enforcement (JCLEC). Both BriMob and D88 have been implicated in numerous extra-judicial killings in West Papua.

 Carrying a child’s coffin, candles and flowers, West Papuan community members and supporters will rally at the AFP offices in both cities at 11am local time to mourn the five children killed at the Paniai massacre, and to call for transparency and accountability from the AFP regarding the perpetrators of these murders and other crimes committed by the security apparatus in West Papua.

On the 8th December 2014, the Indonesian police and military fired into a peaceful rally of about 800 people assembled in a field outside a police station in Enarotali, Paniai.

The follow five unarmed teenage boys were shot and killed by the Indonesian police and military:
Oktopia Apinus Gobay, 16;
Alpius (Pius) Youw, 18;
Simeon Degei, 18;
Yulian Yeimo, 17;
Yulianus Yeimo, 19.
17 others were injured, including young children.

Yones Douw, a human rights defender and chair of the Department of Peace and Justice of the Kingmi Church visited the families of these five boys in 2018. His visit is documented in the video Justice for Murdered Children.  Mr Douw states that:

“Those who encourage and assist the Indonesian police and military: let’s not cover this up. Australia is involved. The countries who are assisting the Indonesian police and military are also implicated in human rights violations in West Papua.”

Some of the alleged perpetrators’ names are now known: Police Commissioner Hanafi; Police officer Abner Windesi; Police Intelligence officer Manzur; Brimob (paramilitary police unit) Commander Kamodi; and Koramil Staff Sergeant (Indonesian military) Yunaid.

“We are here today to honour the lives of the five young boys who were murdered by the Indonesian military and police in Paniai on December 8 2014. We are calling on the AFP to investigate whether they have trained the officers who killed these five teenagers in Paniai in 2014,” said Jasmine Pilbrow, spokesperson for Make West Papua Safe. 

“We call on the AFP to release any information they have regarding the alleged perpetrators of the Paniai massacre and any training, education or material supplies that the AFP have provided to the alleged perpetrators named above” said Ms Pilbrow.

“Make West Papua Safe has recorded a further twenty-five murders by joint military and police forces in West Papua in 2020 alone, including clergy, farmers, students, young women and school children. 

“Make West Papua Safe has invited the AFP on two occasions to meet with West Papuan human rights defenders. The AFP rejected the first invitation and ignored the second. 

“Why won’t the AFP meet with West Papuans?” asked Ms Pilbrow. 

Media contacts: Jasmine Pilbrow 0421715515 (Melbourne) Jason McLeod 0402 746 002 (Brisbane)

See Facebook event here

Images and footage here