Jayapura. December 3 2010 - Hundreds of inmates at the Abepura Penitentiary in Papua rioted on Friday to protest over the shooting of a fellow prisoner who escaped and was killed in a raid the same day.
The prisoners shattered windows and destroyed fixtures like chairs and tables after jail officials refused to identify the officer who shot Hiron Wetipo, who had fled with five other inmates early on Friday.
Dozens of officers from the National Police Mobile Brigade (Brimob) rushed to the scene to restore order, according to Nazaruddin Bunas, head of the Justice Ministry’s Papua office.
Additional help was sought from the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM), he said.
Nazaruddin said Buchtar Tabuni, a convicted separatist rebel and the riot leader, had demanded that authorities name Hiron’s shooter. “They didn’t give in to his demand, so the riot broke out,” he said.
Adj. Sr. Comr. Imam Setiawan, chief of the Jayapura Police, said Hiron and his group had gone into hiding in Tanah Hitam, Abepura subdistrict.
They were found by a joint police and military team looking for alleged separatists who launched a series of attacks along Jalan Raya Abepura on Sunday.