12 Dec 2014

Papua deaths spark inquiry call

12:56 pm on 12 December 2014

A human rights group wants an independent investigation into why Indonesian security forces fired at peaceful protestors in the Papua region, killing six.

Residents tending to victims after a shooting in Enarotali, Paniai Regency in Indonesia's Papua province. At least four teenagers were shot dead in clashes with security forces, authorities said, although rights campaigners accused police of opening fire on protesters.

A victim of the shootings. Photo: AFP Indonesian Human Rights Watch

Four teenagers were among the dead. At least 17 more people, including five primary school children, need hospitalisation for their injuries.

The 7 December protest, outside a police station in the central Panai regency, was sparked by a 12-year-old boy being assaulted by security officials.

Human Rights Watch Asia Division deputy director Phelim Kine said there was no sign any warning shots were fired.

"There was absolutely no indication that the protesters were violent in any way. This was, by all accounts, a peaceful, non-violent protest which the security forces responded to with unjustifiable, lethal force."

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