Jayapura, Jubi – Some activists accused of the alleged mass-destruction in the late August 2019 resumed their trial at the Jayapura District Court on Monday (6/1/2020). They then posed for a picture in the court’s detention room by holding a carton with a caption read “I not Monkey, PSL 9 UU No. 40/2008” calling for resistance to the practice of racism against indigenous Papuans.
This violence and vandalism case was the first trial at the Jayapura District Court since the Christmas and New Year break. In a press release received by Jubi, the Coalition for Law and Human Rights Enforcement of Papua, as legal advisor team, stated that police officers have guarded around the court since early morning, but it did not affect the activists. They remained calm, and instead, did a campaign against all practice of racism against indigenous Papuans in their own way. In the detention room, they took a picture while holding a carton reads “I not Monkey, PSL 9 UU No 40/2008”.
By doing this, it seemed that they wanted to remind the public that Indonesia has Law No. 40/2008 on the Elimination of Racial and Ethnic Discrimination. The activists who are currently named suspects of violence and vandalism case wanted to remind the public that the protest led to mass-rampage in Jayapura City on 29 August 2019 was not a single non-causal incident. It was a reaction to counter a series of persecutions and racism taunts against Papuan students at Kamasan III Dormitory, Surabaya, on 16 and 17 August 2019 by some military culprits and local mobs. However, the protest then turned into a mass rampage in which some anti-racism activists then criminalised and accused to involve in the alleged violence and vandalism case.
Now, the suspects just wanted to remind us about the root that has grounded tens of thousands of Jayapura residents to protest on 29 August 2019. Article 9 of the Elimination of Racial and Ethnic Discrimination states that ‘Every citizen has right to receive equal treatment in obtaining civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights disregard to their race and ethnicity”.
As the activists’ legal councillor team, the Coalition for Law and Human Rights Enforcement of Papua hopes this message can be a notice for both attorney and panel of judges in the trial to objectively view the issue of anti-racism acts in Jayapura. “Hopefully, the message [of anti-racism] becomes a notice for the attorney and judges to see the anti-racism acts clearly, therefore [the Jayapura District Court] would not get into the scenario of criminalisation towards the activists,” stated the coalition in the press release.
The coalition further emphasised that racism is a common enemy of every human. “Let us stop racism because it is a common enemy of every human of diverse backgrounds on the Earth,” wrote the Coalition for Law and Human Rights Enforcement of Papua in the release. (*)
Reporter: Angela Flassy
Editor: Aryo Wisanggeni G.