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Eight suspects arrested over Grasberg killings

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (RNZI, August 17, 2009) - Indonesia’s Human Rights Watch group says eight Papuans detained by police in Timika in connection to last month’s deadly shootings near the massive Grasberg mine are unlikely to be involved.

This comes as police in Timika increase security in the area after continued shooting attacks along the main road to the mine operated by US mining giant Freeport.

Last month, three people were killed in a series of attacks along the road.

Human Rights Watch’s Andreas Harsono says the eight Papuans detained since last month are ordinary civilians who have no access to weapons.

He says while questioning has been ongoing, the detainees only had access to legal representation last week.

"They initially tried to get lawyers to help them, the police also tried to get lawyers for them. But there were no lawyers available in Timika. They had to be flown from Jayapura. It’s just illogical for these civilians to be involved in the shootings. They have no weapon training at all."

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