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Papua activist found dead

Publication Date : 28-08-2014

 

 Human rights activists called on police on Wednesday to investigate the death of the Sorong Raya West Papua National Committee (KNPB) chairman Marthinus Yohame.

“It’s very shocking that the body was found inside a gunny sack floating on the sea,” West Papua human rights lawyer Yan Christian Warinussy told The Jakarta Post.

The body of Marthinus Yohame, 27, was found on the sea inside a tied gunny sack in Nana waters by a fisherman who was fishing behind the Dom Port in Sorong, West Papua.

Yan Christian said that the death of Marthinus might have something to do with President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s visit to the region to officially open Sail Raja Ampat on Aug. 23.

He said that before Marthinus left his house on Aug. 20, a KNPB supporter, Abner Wanma--who was one of the dancers for Sail Raja Ampat’s main event--  was taken by police from his lodge in Waisai Raja Ampat after a dance rehearsal.

“Abner was returned home the following day and at the same time there was information saying that the KNPB Sorong Raya chairman had not yet come home,” Yan said.

There were rumours that the KNPB was to raise the Papua separatist group’s Bintang Kejora flag during SBY’s visit, Yan Christian said.

“It’s very extreme if someone was killed just to prevent the flag from being raised,” he said.

He also called on the KNPB and Marthinus’ family to provide police with as much information as possible to aid them with the investigation.

Yan Christian also asked the police to give wide access to the family to help reveal the truth of the case.

He urged the police to thoroughly investigate Marthinus’ death, the motive and the perpetrators.

Meanwhile, the police are still waiting for an autopsy to be performed on Marthinus’ body as part of the investigation.

“Without an autopsy it will be difficult for the police to uncover the facts around his death,” Papua Police’s spokesperson Sr. Comr. Pudjo Sulistyo told the Post in Jayapura on Wednesday.

Pudjo said Marthinus’ body was still in the state-run RSUD Sorong hospital awaiting the autopsy, pending his family’s approval.

He said the autopsy was sought because his death was considered unusual.

He said a wound that was one centimetre by one centimetre big was found on the left side of his chest and another wound that was two-by-three centimetre big was found on his right abdomen.

“If no autopsy is conducted we will never know the cause of the wounds in the chest and abdomen,” Pudjo said.

Before Marthinus’ body was found, his family had reported to police that he had left his house on Aug. 20 and never returned.


 

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