Investigate shooting of plane that killed journalist in Papua

The Southeast Asian Press Alliance (SEAPA) calls on Indonesia Authorities in Papua to thoroughly investigate the shooting of a commercial flight in Papua that led to the death of local journalist, Leiron Kogoya.

Kogoya, 35, was aboard a Tripura Air flight at the Mulia airport, Puncak Jaya district, Papua province when the plane was shot by unidentified assailants shortly after it had landed.

Kogoya was killed by a bullet that had hit his neck, while four others were injured, after the plane crashed into an airport building when the pilot lost control of the vehicle after the attack.

Kogoya, a journalist from Papua Pos Nabire, was in Puncak Jaya to cover the regional elections. Information from SEAPA member Alliansi Jurnalis Independen (AJI) indicate that Kogoya was not the apparent target of the attack.

SEAPA’s concern on this matter arises from the vulnerability of journalists working in conflict areas like Papua—both from potential violence from contending parties and the general lawlessness in such areas which accompanies conflict.

Based on news reports, the attack on civilians by unidentified armed men around the Puncak Jaya district was not an isolated incident, as the area is considered a separatist hotbed. However, the shooting of the Trigura Air plane may indicate a heightened brazenness of such attackers as those previous  similar incidents have remained unsolved.

Furthermore, prior to Kagoya’s death, SEAPA notes that two journalists have been killed in Papua in the course of their work since August 2010.

SEAPA calls on Indonesian authorities to pursue the attackers of the plane, and bring the perpetrators to justice. Effective measures must also be taken to protect civilians, including journalists, against such attacks.

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For more information, please contact:

Ms. Gayathry Venkiteswaran, SEAPA Executive Director, +66 880 174 810
Mr. Edgardo Legaspi, Alerts and Communication Officer, +66 811 165 137

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