30 Jun 2016

Conflicting reports over Papuan teen death

10:48 am on 30 June 2016

Reports from Indonesia's Papua province indicate conflicting explanations for the death of a West Papuan high school student in Nabire city on Monday.

Indonesian police and security forces gather the body of West Papuan teenager Owen Pekei.

Indonesian police and security forces gather the body of West Papuan teenager Owen Pekei. Photo: UMAGI News

Family of 18-year-old Owen Pekei say he died after being shot by security forces as he was riding a motorbike in the city.

Photos published by Suara Papua and West Papua Media Alerts appear to show the victim with a head injury from a bullet wound.

But police are saying that his death was the result of a traffic accident.

The reported scene of the incident which led to the death of West papuan teenager Owen Pekei in Nabire.

The reported scene of the incident which led to the death of West papuan teenager Owen Pekei in Nabire. Photo: UMAGI News

However Owen Pekei's relatives have asked how a traffic accident could leave the victim with a hole in the head.

Security forces were reportedly immediately on the scene and according to observer accounts in UmagiNews, the victim was still unconscious when taken to the mortuary instead of being taken to the emergency room of the local hospital.

One witness said that Pekei was seen riding on a motorbike carrying a noken bag with the outlawed Morning Star pro-independence symbol and that shortly before his death he was pursued by a police special forces patrol.