Military members alleged of executing Papuan driver in Nduga Regency

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The armed conflict in Nduga has resulted in another civilian fatality. According to information received, military members shot dead a driver named Hendrik Lokbere, on 20 December 2019 around 7.15 pm, as he was driving his pick-up truck on Yosema Road towards the bordering area between the regencies of Nduga and Asmath, where Mr Lokbere wanted to pick up a group of indigenous Papuans who had been working in their gardens. Armed clashes between Indonesian military forces (TNI) and the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPN-PB) were happening ealier that day. The incident was witnessed by one of Mr Lokbere’s relatives, who was with him inside the car.

 

According to the witness, Hendrik Lokbere briefly switched on the high beams as several military vehicles approached the car from the opposite direction. Thereupon, TNI members released an aimed shot at the pick-up truck. The bullet reportedly hit Mr. Lokbere’s chest. Subsequently, the military convoy stopped the truck and gave the order to open the window. As Mr Lokbere followed the instructions, military members pulled him outside the vehicle. One of them releasing a shot from close range. Hendrik Lokbere died on the spot when the projectile hit him between the left lower jaw and the neck (see intro image). The witness managed to escape into the nearby forest. 

The following day, family members together with the Vice-Regent went to the site of crime and evacuated the body. The relatives placed the body in front of the Nduga Airport as a sign of public protest against the execution. They demand an independent investigation into the killing of Hendrik Lokbere and a criminal prosecution against the perpetrators.