MIspo Papua
Mispo Gwijangge (left) when visited by Jubi at Napua Sub-district, Jayawijaya Regency on Monday afternoon (30/11/2020) - Jubi/Arjuna

A victim of criminalisation is sick, allegedly effect of being beaten in custody


Wamena, Jubi – Mispo Gwijangge, a victim of criminalisation of a murder case of the construction workers at Nduga Regency, Papua, is currently ill.

He felt pain at the chest, stomach, waist and his back. He suspected it is the effect of the beatings he often got when detained in Wamena, Jayawijaya Regency, before being transferred to Jakarta in last December 2019 to undergo his trial there.

Mispo Gwijangge was lying in his brother’s ‘honai’ (a traditional house for indigenous people of the central highland) at Napua Sub-district, Jayawijaya Regency when Jubi visited him on Monday (30/11/2020).

He looked faint. He began feeling unwell after returning from Jakarta in the early of August after the panel judges of the Jakarta District Court decided to conclude his legal case for some reasons.

“I started to feel the pain around two weeks after arriving in Wamena. Up to now, I can only rest at home, in the ‘honai,” he told Jubi.


Mispo Gwijangge does not speak Indonesian fluently. Therefore, when talking with him, a volunteer for Nduga refugees, Raga Kogeya, translated his responses to Jubi. Gwijangge said he never was beaten during his detention in Jakarta. He felt healthy at that time, and he even did exercise regularly.

“Only when I was under the Police’s custody in Wamena, I often got beaten. I only covered my face, while letting other parts of my body be beaten,” he said in a weak voice translated by Raga Kogeya.

His sister once was going to take him to a hospital in Wamena City, but he refused. His experience of being criminalised caused him trauma. He hopes what has been happening to him –being arrested and prosecuted, accused of doing a crime that he never committed—would never occur to other Papuans.

Raga Kogeya, a volunteer who translated the conversation between Mispo and Jubi, also suspected the pain that currently suffered by Mispo is the effect of being beaten during his detention at Jayawijaya Police.

“I’ve also been in the detention, so I know how it feels,” he said.

Furthermore, Raga said that Mispo was arrested in Wamena City on 12 May 2019, without a legal advisor or family to accompany him even though this young man cannot speak Indonesian at all.

“When being arrested, Mispo didn’t understand Indonesian at all, and no one was there to accompany him. That’s why when the investigators asked, he could only answer ‘yes’ and ‘yes’. He began to understand a little bit of Indonesian while he was detained and tried,” said Kogeya.

Mispo Gwijangge was a victim of criminalisation who arrested and tried on charges of involvement in the murder of dozens of the road construction workers at Nduga Regency on 2 December 2018.

The public prosecutor of the Jayawijaya District Attorney accused him violating five articles of the Criminal Code, namely Article 340, Article 338, Article 351 paragraph 3, Article 328 and Article 333, therefore charged him with a maximum sentence of the death penalty.

He was transferred to Jakarta in mid-December 2019 to continue his trial there. The panel judges of the Central Jakarta District Court declined the prosecutor’s indictment through an interim verdict on 8 April 2020.

The panel judges stated that any charges against Mispo Gwijangge must be terminated and he should be released due to a consideration that he was still a minor.

The result of the dental examination by the dentistry team of the Central Army Hospital (RSPAD) and Padjajaran University (Unpad) Bandung proved that Mispo’s age at the time of the trial ranged from 16 to 18.9 years old, or average 17.5 years old.

If throwing back at the time when the murder of PT Istaka Karya workers at Nduga Regency in December 2018 occurred, Mispo was around 15.5 years old.

Regarding the verdict, the public prosecutor submitted an appeal. However, the DKI Jakarta High Court upheld the conclusion of the Central Jakarta District Court to close the case against Mispo Gwijangge. (*)

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