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Papuan Political Prisoners in Jakarta charged one and half year sentence

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Racist taunts and persecution against Papuan students at Kamasan III Dormitory on Friday (16/8/2019) in Surabaya triggered the anti-racism demonstrations in many towns and cities, including the anti-racism protest in front of the State Palace in Jakarta on 28 August 2019. – the Courtesy AMP

Jayapura, Jubi – Six political prisoners attended a hearing to read the charges on Friday (3/4/2020) in the Central Jakarta District Courts. The public prosecutor charged them guilty of committing treason for carrying Morning Star flag and calling for a referendum for West Papua in a protest.

The six political prisoners conducted a rally in front of the State Palace on 28 August 2019 to protest racism against Papuans. The protest of “Anti-racism, anti-capitalism, anti-colonialism and anti-militarism’s Students” reacted the incident of racist taunts and persecution against Papuan students in “Kamasan III” student dormitory in Surabaya on 28 August 2019.

In the anti-racism demonstration that occurred in front of the State Palace, the protesters brought the Morning Star flag and called for a referendum for Papua. Although the demonstration took place peacefully, the six protesters, Paulus Suryanta Ginting, Charles Kossay, Dano Tabuni, Isay Wenda, Ambrosius Mulait and Arina Elopere, were arrested on 30 and 31 Agustus 2019. They later made treason suspects.

The trial on Friday set in teleconferencing mode. The six defendants stayed at their detention, while the panel of judges, prosecutor and lawyer attended the Courtroom. The public prosecutor read the first lawsuit against Arina Elopere a.k.a. Wenebita Gwijangge. The public prosecutor charged her guilty to commit treason against the State by intentionally abdicating the entire or a part of the State’s territory to the enemy or to separate a part of the State’s territory as referred in Article 106 in conjunction with Article 55 Paragraph (1) to 1 of

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the Criminal Code. For this reason, the public prosecutor asked the panel of judges to impose her one year and five-months sentence.

The second charge was for the defendant Anes Tabuni alias Dano Anes Tabuni. Similar to the first charge, the public prosecutor found him guilty according to Article 106 in conjunction with Article 55 Paragraph (1) to 1 of the Criminal Code. He also asked the panel of judges to impose the defendant one year and five-months sentence.

Then, the public prosecutor read the third accusation against three defendants Paulus Suryanta Ginting, Charles Kossay, Ambrosius Mulait alias Ambo and Isay Wenda. They also found guilty referring the same article of the Criminal Code, and the public prosecutor imposed them to get the same penalty as other defendants. Meanwhile, the last defendant Isay Wenda, although the public prosecutor accused him guilty of commit treason, he got the lighter charge of eight months sentence.

Concerning the hearing, the five defendants’ legal advisor (Arina Elopere, Anes Tabuni, Paulus Suryanta Ginting, Charles Kossay) Ambrosius Mulait had protested against the panel of judges for not allowing them to read the statement of expert witnesses. Previously, in the hearing on 27 March 2020, the panel of judges promised to hear the reading of written statements by expert witnesses proposed by the defendants’ legal advisors.

According to him, the experts’ statement must be read in the hearing because they were not able to come to the Courtroom due to COVID-19 pandemic. However, in Friday’s trial, the public prosecutor expressed his objection if the legal advisor read the statement. The panel of judges finally cancelled the statement reading in this trial. However, the panel of judges asked the legal advisor to read out the statement in a final hearing to counter the prosecutor’s charges.

Meanwhile, the attorney Nelson Nikodemes Simomora as a legal advisor of five defendants also protested the panel of judges for being discriminative to the legal advisor’s team. They allowed the public prosecutors to present witnesses or experts to seven times in six weeks, while the legal advisor’s team was only given three times in two weeks.

“This is obviously detrimental for the defendants. Their rights to obtain and present witnesses or experts in the hearing as referred to Article 65 of The Criminal Code has been violated,” asserted Simomora in the press conference by the legal advisors’ team.

The next trial is scheduled for 13 April 2020. In the hearing, the advocate team planned to read the plea/defence memorandum on behalf of the Papuan political prisoners and the statement from experts who testify for the defendants. (*)

 

Reporter: Aryo Wisanggeni G

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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A survivor of Biak Massacre: Don’t stop us commemorating the victims of the tragedy

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The National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) in Jakarta – Supplied

Makassar, Jubi – A survivor of the Biak Massacre Tineke Rumkabu warned security forces to not preventing people sprinkle flower petals at around the water tower in Biak, Papua, she told in an online forum organised by the Law School of UPNVJ on Monday (6/7/2020).

According to her, she and some friends and relatives came to the water tower to sprinkle flower petals and pray for the victims of the Biak Massacre on Monday morning (6/7/2020). However, the movement to commemorate the twenty-two years of the tragedy got attention from the security forces who were on the scene.

“I told them that I will continue to sprinkle the flower petals because they (victims) have no grave. If you tell me where their graves are, I will go there and not come here anymore [to pray and sprinkle flower petals],” said Rumkabu.

The security forces once tried to stop them. “They followed us to the scene (water tower) and told me that we did not have a permit. But at around 11 a.m. [Papua time], I entered the area of the water tower and put a flower bouquet there. I don’t care whatever the risk I would face. I would never be scared. It is the place where my friends, elders, and relatives got murdered while nobody knows their graves,” she said.

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About the tragedy, she emphasised that the state must take responsibility for both victims and their families. “Maybe the violence and injustice will end if Papua gets freedom. If we are parts of this country, we should be guarded and protected instead of massacred,” she said.

The Biak Massacre that occurred on 6 July 1998 is a dark story in Papuan history. The tragedy began with a peaceful protest for a referendum and a raising of the Morning Star flag under the water tower in Biak since 2 July 1998 but ended with a series of arrests, tortures, shots, rapes and other violence on the fourth day.

A few years ago, Elsham Papua published their result of investigation under the title “Pusara Tanpa Nama, Nama Tanpa Pusara (Grave without Name, Name without Grave)”. The report listed eight people died, three were missing, four seriously injured while 33 lightly wounded, and 150 were arrested and tortured, and 32 corpses found floating in the Biak waters.

An Indonesian human rights commissioner Beka Ulung Hapsara in the similar discussion forum told that the National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM) already submitted their result of the investigation to the authority, but has not yet received any response.

“The Biak Massacre is a human tragedy that must be taken seriously. An initial investigation of Komnas HAM (a few years ago) found some indicators of human rights violations in the tragedy such as torture and so on,” said Beka.

Therefore, he said, the investigation team of Komnas HAM came to Papua several times to investigate this case, and in 2010 recommended Article 26/2000 about the severe human rights violation should apply to analyse the Biak Massacre. However, there was no follow up until the assignment of new commissioners.

Some activists joined the “Papua Itu Kita” movement attempting to bring up the settlement of the Biak Massacre. On 26 February 2015, they came to the Komnas HAM office and urged the human rights commissioners to follow up their investigation.

“Regarding the Biak case, I will try to bring up this issue in the plenary meeting, and discuss it with other colleagues to find a fair and dignified solution for the victims and their families,” said Beka. (*)

 

Reporter: Arjuna Pademme

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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TPNPB Paniai declines the extension of Special Autonomy in Papua

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TPNPB Paniai Commander Demianus Magai Yogi (holding the megaphone) – Jubi/Dok

Jayapura, Jubi – West Papua Liberation Army Division II Paniai published a statement to decline the extension of Special Autonomy in Papua.

Furthermore, Commander Demianus Magai Yogi claimed those who support this policy are taking side with colonialism. “Those who support the Special Autonomy and other policies of the Indonesian Government in Papua support the colonialist to eliminate us, the indigenous Papuans,” Yogi told Jubi on Sunday (5/7/2020).

Law No. 21 of 2001 about Special Autonomy has regulated some critical issues in Papua, including the establishment of the National Human Rights Commission Papua, the Human Rights Courts, and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission for clarifying or correcting the Papuan history and deploying the Special Autonomy Funds.

However, the Special Autonomy Funds that equal with 2 percent of the National Allocation Budget will terminate at the end of 2021. As a result, it has raised a discourse of evaluation and revision on the Special Autonomy Law.

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For this reason, Yogi accused those who propose the extension of the Special Autonomy in Papua are those who want to compromise with the Indonesian Government to decline the political rights of Papuan people.

“As indigenous Papuans, our primary interest is the rights of self-determination that has been neglected or taken from us through the Pepera (People’s Vote) in 1969,” said Yogi.

Therefore, Yogi said the TPNPB Pania would continue to discharge the invaders and fight for the independence of West Papua. “[We] will continue to fight until the independence of West Papuans materialised,” he said.

In the meantime, his colleague Soleman Magai Yogi stated that the Indonesian occupation of West Papua since 1963 was a conspiracy between Indonesia, the United States, Netherlands and the United Nations. This occupation is a form of violation against the standards and principles of international law.

Because as the landowner, they never involved West Papuans in the international meetings and negotiations to discuss the political status of West Papua,” he said.

Moreover, since 1963, Indonesia continues to carry out military operations that have killed many indigenous Papuans. “Indonesian authorities have chased, intimidated, terrorised, arrested and killed Papuans who fight for their rights and the sovereignty of West Papua,” he said.

To sum, he declined the ambition of Jakarta to extend the implementation of Special Autonomy in Papua. “We only ask for the rights of self-determination,” said Soleman Yogi. (*)

 

Reporter: Abeth You

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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Papua’s Manpower Office and PT Freeport Indonesia filed to the Administrative Court by LBH Papua

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Jayapura, Jubi- Legal Aid Institute (LBH) Papua represents the Branch Manager of the Federation of Indonesian Chemical and Mining Trade Union (PC FSP KEP SPSI) of Mimika Regency to file a case against the Papua Provincial Manpower and PT Freeport Indonesia to the Jayapura Administrative District Court. This lawsuit is a follow-up action following the labour strike of 8,300 PT Freeport Indonesia’s workers from 1 May 2017 to 2020.

“Law No.13 of 2003 on employment pledges the labour strike,” said the Director of LBH Papua Emanuel Gobay in the official release received by Jubi on Monday (6/7/2020).

Therefore, according to LBH Papua, the labour strike initiated by 8,2300 Freeport’s workers was legal by law. Consequently, PT Freeport Indonesia should immediately restore the workers’ rights to work and pay their outstanding wages following the recommendation of the First Examination Note.

Moreover, LBH Papua stated the Papua Provincial Manpower Office also acknowledged the strike by issuing the letter No. 560/1271 which then becomes a reference for the Papua Governor to publish the letter No 540/14807/SET, Re: Confirmation of PT Freeport Indonesia Labour Strike dated 19 December 2018.

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The letter confirmed the labour strike was under Law No 13 of 2003 Articles 139 and 140 about employment. Hence, it made the action legal by law.

“Therefore Papua Governor firmly stated that PT Freeport Indonesia, Private Contractors and Sub-contractors to re-employ the workers and pay their outstanding wages by the existing laws and regulations,” said Gobay.

However, from 16 December 2019 to another next thirty days, PT Freeport Indonesia has violated the two recommendations covered in the First Examination Note. To refer to Article 31 of the Regulation of the Indonesian Minister of Manpower No. 33 of 2016 concerning the Procedure of Labour Inspection, the Labour Inspection Division should issue the Second Examination Note after the thirty days of misconduct.

Therefore, this lawsuit reflects the interest of their client, PC FSP KEP SPSI) Mimika Regency, to urge PT Freeport Indonesia to implement the recommendation and the Labour Inspection Division to issue the Second Examination Note.

“We also ask the Chairman of Regional Parliament to review both the Manpower Office and PT Freeport Indonesia in regards to their obligation to fulfil the rights of 8,300 workers who were involved in the strike,” confirmed Gobay.

Also, Gobay asks the President of the Republic of Indonesia as well as the Minister of Manpower to protect and fulfil the rights of these workers. (*)

 

Reporter: Edi Faisol

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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