11 October 2011

People's Liberation Party chronology of Freeport shooting

Tribunnews.com - October 10, 2011

Kronologi Bentrok PT Freeport versi Partai Pembebasan Rakyat - Tribunnews.com. Senin, 10 Oktober 2011 15:37 WIB

Jakarta -- The People's Liberation Party (PPR) reports that a person was shot dead by security forces during a clash with thousands of PT Freeport Indonesia employees at the Gorong-Gorong bus terminal in Timika, West Papua, on the morning of Monday October 10.

In addition to one fatality, nine other people had to be rushed to hospital suffering injuries inflicted by security forces. "The dead victim's name was Petrus Ayamsemba", said PPR national spokesperson Budi Wardoyo when contacted on Monday afternoon.

Budi explained that the incident began on Monday morning when around 8 thousand Freeport workers held a protest action against the company demanding a wage increase from US$1.50 per hour to US$12.50 per hour. Together with the workers' action, residents from seven local tribes also held a protest demanding land rights.

In addition to the wage increase, the Freeport workers were also forced to demonstrate because the company had dispatched new workers to replace the workers that have been on strike since September 15.

The clash however did not erupt when hundreds of police officers blocked and then fired shots to disburse the protesting workers who were attempting to enter PT Freeport.

"The action by 8 thousand workers from the SPSI (All Indonesia Workers Union) heading towards Gorong-Gorong was around 500 metres [away]. Police attempted to disburse the demonstrators but the action continued. And eventually the police fired a shot when one of the Papuan workers and traditional land owner was giving a speech. The shots were fired from a distance of 15 metres for some 20 minutes", said Budi.

It was only after this that it was discovered that Petrus Ayamsemba had collapsed as a result of being shot by security forces.

In addition to the shooting fatality, nine local people and workers are also reported to have suffered gunshot wounds. Of the nine, only the identities of seven are known, namely Leo Wandagau, Alius Komba, Melkias Rumbiak, Yunus Nguluduan, Philiton Kogoya and Ahamad Mustofa.

"Earlier there were four gun shot victims, but now this has increased to nine. I obtained this information from PT Freeport trade union comrades. I'm currently in Jakarta", said Budi.

[Translated by James Balowski.]

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