Military members attack two Papuan men with knifes in Uwibutu Village, Paniai Regency

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Local human rights defenders from the Paniai Regency have reported, that two military members allegedly attacked Yus Degei and Piet Degei in Uwibutu village in Madi District, Paniai regency. The incident occurred at 09.00 am on the 1st May 2017 after the owner of a small shop in Uwibutu had accused the Papuan men of theft and subsequently reported them to members of the nearby 753 military base by phone.

A few minutes later, two members of the 753 Paniai military unit arrived at the location and instantly attacked the Papuan men using their knifes. Piet and Yus Degiai sustained serious stabbing and slashing wounds. Yus Degei was stabbed in the face, causing a deep wound on his left cheek. Piet Degei was slashed on the back, leading to deep cuts near both shoulder blades on his upper back. Both men were brought to Paniai General Hospital, where they received intensive medical care.

The case was also confirmed by various local media sources such as Suara Papua and Tabloid Jubi. Laurenzus Kadepa, a member of the Papuan Provincial Parliament, stated in a public interview with Tabloid Jubi that he had contacted high ranking military officers from the military units Kodam XVII/Cenderawasih, Korem Biak, Sub Den Pom Nabire and Kodim Paniai, asking them to establish a team to investigate the case. However, in consideration of the widespread impunity in West Papua and past experience with simlar cases, he said that it is very unlikely that the perpetrators will be processed in a military trial. According to the local media platform Tabloid Jubi, Colonel Teguh Pudji Raharjo of the Kodam XVII / Cenderawasih military unit publicly confirmed the incident but claimed that his men did not attack Yus Degei and Piet Degei with knifes. Colonel Raharjo stated that the victims  accidentally sustained the slashing wounds due to the sharp edge of an iron metal plate during an attempt to escape.