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Freeport Workers Want Replacement of Papuan Police Officials

Press Release – West Papua Media Alerts

The Freeport worker coalition has urged National Police Chief Gen. Timur Pradopo to replace top police officials in Papua. A spokesman for the Workers Coalition of Freeport Indonesia, Dorus Wakum, said that Papua Police Chief Insp. Gen. Bikman Tobing …October 12, 2011

Freeport Workers Demand Replacement of Papuan Police Officials

The Freeport worker coalition has urged National Police Chief Gen. Timur Pradopo to replace top police officials in Papua.

A spokesman for the Workers Coalition of Freeport Indonesia, Dorus Wakum, said that Papua Police Chief Insp. Gen. Bikman Tobing and Timika Police Chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Denny Siregar no longer deserve to remain in their respective positions, accusing them of abuse of power after a worker was shot dead during a demonstration on Monday.

“I have the evidence, both video footage and still photos of police officers involved in the shooting,” Dorus said after a meeting with the public relations division of the National Police in Jakarta on Tuesday night.

A worker named Petir Ayami Seba died from a gunshot while a Mobile Brigade (Brimob) officer was seriously injured after he was mobbed by protestors, workers and police.

The workers, on strike demanding better working conditions at Freeport McMoRan’s Grasberg gold and copper mine in Papua, were marching toward the mine in Tembagapura when Freeport forces, assisted by the police, tried to block their advance, according to a member of the All-Indonesian Workers Trade Union (SPSI) who declined to be identified.

Dorus said the National Police must consider installing Papuan-born officials to head their operation in the restive region.

“The present police officials don’t understand the Papuan culture and the rules, that’s the problem,” he said.

ENDS

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