Thursday, April 9, 2015

Bloody aftermath of Paniai massacre in West Papua captured on video



The four-minute video, shot by citizen journalists and released publicly for the first time today, includes first-hand testimony from survivors of the Paniai massacre in West Papua and graphic footage taken in the immediate aftermath. Video: Minority Rights Group International


NEW VIDEO footage showing the bloody aftermath of the Paniai massacre in West Papua highlights the urgent need for Indonesia to hold an independent and transparent investigation into the tragedy, says Minority Rights Group International (MRG).

A still from the MRG video.
In December 2014 four unarmed Papuan teenagers were killed and 17 more Papuans were injured when the Indonesian army and police opened fire on a group of peaceful protesters in Paniai.

They had gathered to protest an earlier incident of violence by the Indonesian security forces.

The four-minute video, shot by citizen journalists and released publicly for the first time today, includes first-hand testimony from survivors of the massacre as well as graphic footage taken in the immediate aftermath.

"This film gives a disturbing insight into the Indonesian military’s casual disregard for the lives of Indigenous Papuans,’ said TAPOL's Esther Cann.


"The protesters had gathered peacefully to challenge the beating of a young boy the previous day by Indonesian security forces and they were greeted with bullets."

Both the national human rights commission and the Indonesian police have launched investigations into the incident, known as the Paniai massacre.

However, the police -- who initially blamed the shooting on armed ethnic Papuan rebels -- have been accused of stymying the investigation.

The massacre is one of the worst acts of state violence in Indonesia in years, casting doubt on President Joko Widodo’s commitment to human rights in the region.

More than six months after President Widodo was sworn into office pledging to ‘give special attention to West Papua,’ there has been little change on the ground. - TAPOL/Minority Rights Group International/Pacific Media Watch

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