13 Sep 2002

Papuan rights group doubts Indonesian military account of Freeport killings

5:17 pm on 13 September 2002

A human rights group in Papua says it has found inconsistencies in the Indonesian military's account of last month's attack near Freeport which left three people dead.

The military has blamed Papuan separatists for the fatal shooting of two Americans and an Indonesian.

But John Rumbiak of the Els-ham group says its investigation shows that questions remain about the veracity of some of the claims.

"The military claims that they found a body of a local, a Papuan, on the incident site which they claim to be a member of the Papua liberation movement, the OPM. However, the autopsy done by the doctor at Freeport at Tembagapura, which was then confirmed by the police in Papua, proved that this body had died two days before this incident happened."

John Rumbiak also says the army failed to adhere to proper procedures in guarding the crime site and soldiers at first fired shot at police wanting to investigate the incident.