Jayapura, Jubi – Papua Human Rights Lawyers Association (PAHAM), Papua Legal AID Institute (LBH) and GKI Synod who are members of the Coalition for Law Enforcement and Human Rights in Papua registered a pretrial lawsuit against the police in Timika District Court, Papua on Thursday afternoon (17/01/2019).
This charge, according to the Director of PAHAM Papua Gustaf Kawer, was addressed to Mimika Regional Police Chief in regards to the detention of three KNPB activists Sem Asso, Yanto Awerkion and Edo Dogopia who arrested since 31 December 2018.
“We file a pretrial lawsuit against Mimika Regional Police Chief in relations to the arrest and illegal detention as well as the illegal confiscation,” Kawer told Jubi on Thursday (17/01/2019).
Therefore, Kawer continued, the police are asked to pay Rp. 126,538,000 compensation to KNPB as they have illegally seized its secretariat. The coalition also asked the police to openly make an apology to KNPB in mass media in Mimika Regency and Papua Province for three consecutive days.
Some KNPB activists arrested by the police and military on 31 December 2018 during the worship services to commemorate the anniversary of their organisation without a warrant. The police then detained them and accused them of treason. After that, Mimika police removed them to Papua Police Custody, Jayapura since 8 January 2019. Besides them, police also arrested the other members, namely Ruben Kogoya, Yohana Kobogau, Elius Wenda and Vincent Gobay.
Not only prohibit the worship and arrest KNPB activists, the police and military TNI also took over the house that used as the secretariat of KNPB Timika. Until now, the security forces still guard this office which is known as the property of Sem Asso.
The police, according to the activists, told people around the secretariat that their intention to use this building as their security post and did not allow KNPB member to enter the building.
Furthermore, Kawer explained that the purpose of the pretrial lawsuit is to restore the status and dignity of KNPB that had been unconstitutionally violated by Mimika Regional Police.
Meanwhile, Mimika Regional Police Chief, Adjunct Senior Police Commissionaire Agung Marlianto when confirmed about the pretrial lawsuit, declared that he did not know about it. “We have not received the copy yet. Please ask directly to Mimika District Court,” said the chief.
Regarding the secretariat that taken over by the security forces, he said it temporarily seized for further legal process against the suspects. He also claimed that the police had a recommendation from PT Freeport Indonesia who has authority over the land where the building located.
Separately, the Public Affairs Chief of Papua Police Ahmad Kamal said the police determined the status of defendants of Yanto, Sem and Edo after undergoing an intensive examination by the police at Papua Police Headquarters since 8 January.
The three activists were charged against the state as stipulated in the chapter 106 in connection with the chapter 87 of the Criminal Code and the chapter 53 of the Criminal Code (primary) and the chapter 110 section (2) of the Criminal Code in connection with the Chapter 88 of the Criminal Code (subsidiary).
However, the Amnesty International Indonesia highlighted the arrest of KNPB activists by the police and military. The security forces are considered against the law to arrest people who express their opinions peacefully.
“That is a form of violation of human rights. It must be able to distinguish between those who express their views of independence peacefully and those who use violence, “said Usman Hamid, Director of Amnesty International Indonesia.
Moreover, he said Yanto, Sem and Edo were prosecuted and detained solely for using the right to freedom of assembly and peaceful expression. “The police arrested them in a repressive manner for planning a joint prayer event,” continued Usman.
According to him, under Indonesian and international law, organisations are allowed to conduct public demonstration without asking for permission. They only need to give a notification to the police.
“However, the security forces in Papua continue to ignore this regulation. They remain to illegally restrict students, political groups and human rights organizations to conduct demonstrations peacefully,” Usman said. (*)
Reporter: Victor Mambor
Editor: Pipit Maizier