A pro-independence protest in Papua has been met with a violent response by the Indonesian security forces as four demonstrators were shot by the police, prompting Amnesty International to call on the authorities to halt the excessive use of force.
On 23 October 2012, police in Manokwari, Papua opened indiscriminate fire at a gathering of some 300 protesters outside the local university in response to stones thrown by a few of the protesters. At least 11 people were injured, four of whom suffered gunshot wounds. Some protesters reported being beaten by the police. At least five police officers also suffered injuries.
“It is unacceptable that people who have gathered for a protest should have to fear for their lives. The indiscriminate use of firearms and excessive force against protesters by the security forces has to stop – it is a violation of international law.” said Isabelle Arradon, Amnesty International’s Asia-Pacific Deputy Director. “This incident warrants an immediate investigation and a thorough review of police tactics during policing of demonstrations” .