ETAN/WPAT: Statement on Killing of Papuan Leader Kelly Kwalik
Contact: Ed McWilliams, West Papua Advocacy Team (WPAT),
John M. Miller, East Timor and Indonesia Action Network (ETAN),
In the wake of this killing, will the
Indonesian Government finally respond to efforts
by Papuans to launch an internationally
facilitated dialogue to address critical issues,
including security force brutality and legal
impunity, marginalization of Papuans in their
own land and environmental destruction?
December 19 - The December 16 killing of pro-Papuan independence leader
Kelly Kwalik by Indonesian police
risks further alienation
of Papuans and is likely to seriously undermine Papuan
efforts to begin an internationally-mediated dialogue with
the Indonesian government. Simultaneous police allegations
that Kwalik was involved in lethal attacks in the Timika
area in this year and in 2002 are not credible. Making
Kwalik a scapegoat only serves to mask the failure of
Indonesian authorities to credibly resolve these cases.
The evidence clearly
points to Indonesian military involvement in the 2002 attacks, which
resulted in the deaths of three teachers, including two Americans, at
the Freeport mine.
Recently, Kwalik in a meeting with security officials categorically
denied that Papuan pro-independence fighters were behind this year's
attacks near the mine. His denial of responsibility was supported by
police officials, who countered initial claims by military officials
that the attacks were the work of the pro-independence fighters.
Kwalik has in recent years endorsed a Papua-wide effort to seek a
negotiated settlement with Jakarta by creating a Zone of Peace in the
Violent protests by Papuans angered over the killing of yet another
Papuan leader underscore how distrustful Papuans are of Indonesian
security authorities. The killing could lead to further hardening of
Papuan attitudes toward cooperation with Jakarta.
Beyond these consequences, there are immediate questions:
Pallbearers carry Kelly Kwalik's
coffin, commander in the Free Papua Movement (OPM), at the
parliament building in Timika, West Papua December 19, 2009.
REUTERS/ Muhammad Yamin
Was Kwalik's presence a result of police subterfuge? Was he
lured from his jungle stronghold by police offer of discussion along
the lines of a meeting with the chief of police several months
What is the fate of those arrested at the time of the shooting of
Kwalik, including that of the ten year old boy among those detained?
Was appropriate, timely, medical attention afforded to the wounded
Kwalik after he was shot?
In the wake of this killing, will the Indonesian Government finally
respond to efforts by Papuans to launch an internationally
facilitated dialogue to address critical issues, including security
force brutality and legal impunity, marginalization of Papuans in
their own land and environmental destruction?
see update in
2010 West Papua Report