17 Papuan activists stage hunger strike
8 September 2005
Seventeen activists grouped in the Papuan Solidarity for Abepura group continued their hunger strike on Wednesday as part of the efforts to seek justice for the victims of the Abepura incident.
The protesters, who have been on hunger strike for three consecutive days, have rolled out their mats in front of the Papua legislative council building and unfurled banners demanding that a human rights tribunal in Makassar, South Sulawesi, imposes the severest possible sentences on those responsible for the alleged rights violations in Abepura.
The Makassar tribunal is slated to hand down its verdict on Thursday and Friday on the two defendants in the case - the then commander of the Jayapura Police's Mobile Brigade unit, Brig. Gen. Johny Wainal Usman, and the then Jayapura Municipal Police chief, Adj. Sr. Comr. Daud Sihombing.
The two are charged with command responsibility for human rights violations in Abepura town, which is near Jayapura, on December 7, 2000. The rights violations were allegedly committed by their subordinates during searches in an Abepura neighborhood after local residents attacked and set fire to an Abepura police subprecinct headquarters. Three Papuans were killed as police officers rampaged through the area.