INDONESIA: A Mama Shot in Intan Jaya, Proves that the Government Failed to Protect Womens’ Rights to Security in Papua

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) condemns the shooting incident allegedly carried out by members of the Indonesian National Army (TNI) against a woman in Mamba Village, Intan Jaya. The woman who was shot was named Agustina Ondou (21). She is currently receiving treatment from the medical staff at the Community Health Center (Puskesmas) from gunshot wounds. The shooting incident of a woman was certainly a further implication of the humanitarian crisis in Papua.

Based on the information we have received, the shooting occurred when the women of Kampung Mamba came home from shopping from Yokatapa. They arrived at Kampung Mamba, precisely between Kampung Amaesiga and the Tanah Putih Catholic Church (Mbai Bilitagipa). Ms. Agustina was shot in two places-the temple of the right eye and the right waist that penetrated the stomach. We also see that this incident is part of a series of illegal military operations in Intan Jaya that have put the safety of the people of Intan Jaya at risk.

The shooting incident of a woman adds to the array of evidence, that the illegal military operation in Intan Jaya in the context of a militaristic approach to dealing with conflict, is ineffective and only causes casualties. With the occurrence of shootings of civilians that often occur by members of the TNI, we see that there is no political will from the Government to withdraw security forces from Bumi Cendrawasih.
Refering data from, in the period from October 26 to November 9, 2021 alone, the conflict in Intan Jaya has caused 10 fatalities, with details of 2 peoples’ dying moments. Others are evacuating their homes. This further emphasizes that the State has failed to guarantee the right to a sense of security as regulated in Article 30 of Law No. 39 of 1999 concerning Human Rights.
The shooting of a woman should be enough for the Government to stop the militarization/securitization approach in resolving the conflict in Papua and West Papua provinces. This approach has not proven effective in touching the root of the problem. It will only lead to further civilian casualties.

We see that this shooting incident violates a number of human rights provisions both at the national and international levels, such as the United Nations Convention Against Torture (UNCAT) and the Human Rights Law. They recognize that everyone has the right to be free from torture, punishment or other cruel, inhuman, degrading and degrading treatment. Furthermore, this incident also reflects the lack of protection of women from all forms of violence. In the context of this case, even national officials are suspected of being perpetrators.

Furthermore, it is not only the right to a sense of security and freedom from torture that continues to be violated in the existence of the conflict in Papua. The right to justice also continues to be violated, because there has never been a transparent and accountable legal mechanism in solving similar problems in the past. Incidents of this kind will certainly keep repeating themselves, because impunity has been deeply rooted. As a result there is no deterrent effect for perpetrators of violence. It is obvious that the rights of victims to obtain proper and effective remedies are ignored.

The shooting of a woman was allegedly carried out by members of the TNI. It certainly prolongs the corrupt sequence of TNI involvement in resolving the conflict in Papua. These operations were carried out without being based on clear national political decisions within the framework of Military Operations other than War (OMSP) as stipulated by the TNI Law. This is counterproductive to General Andika’s commitment during the Fit and Proper Test at the DPR on November 6, 2021. The newly elected Commander is committed to using a soft approach, not a combat approach. Of note is that General Andika promised to prioritize communication in resolving the Papua situation. Less than a week after these remarks were made in front of Council Members, one of the TNI members is suspected of shooting an innocent civilian.

Based on the above mentioned facts, we urge:

First, the Police to thoroughly investigate the shooting case against the woman in Intan Jaya through a fair and accountable mechanism to punish the perpetrators;

Second, the Witness and Victims Protection Agency (LPSK) to restore the rights of the victim;

Third, the local Government to guarantee the right to a sense of security for civilians in Mamba Village, Intan Jaya, including refugees.

Fourth, the President and the Indonesian Parliament (DPR RI) stop and seriously evaluate the approach to resolving the conflict in Papua which is rife with violence. The securitization/militarization approach has proven to only add other victims, especially civilians;

Fifth, the Indonesian Military (TNI) to punish suspected perpetrators in accordance with applicable legal provisions, if they are proven to have shot civilians.