Sorong, Jubi – Lawyers and human right defenders are particularly exposed to intimidation and physical threats due to their rights advocacy, a legal aid activist said.
“Lawyer and Human Right Defender thought it’s very important and critical to immediately establish a network to protect their life and work in the entire Papua regions,” the Executive Director of Research, Assessment and Legal Assistance Development Office (LP3BH), Yan Christian Warinussy on Tuesday (17/2/2015) in Sorong.
He was speaking during a focus group discussion on the efforts to develop a protection system for lawyers and human right defenders in Papua in Sorong from 16 to 17 February 2015.
The partnership network for Lawyer and Human Right Defender Protection in Papua is located in LP3BH Manokwari Office with four contact persons base in Manokwari, Fakfak, Sorong and Jayapura.
“The contact persons are responsible to follow up action plans and strategic plans of the network,” he said.
Some lawyers who recently involved in the human rights violation cases and human right defenders from Fakfak, Sorong, Jayapura and Manokwari participated in the FGD. Lawyers and human right defenders in Papua realized the level of threat to their life, their clients and families and as well as their works are consistently increased.
Some lawyers in Papua have experienced many physical threats. Lawyer Helene Olga Hamadi has been terrorized by a group of people when she defended her client in the case against the Jayawijaya Police Chief at Wamena District Court in 2013. Meanwhile Lawyer Eliezer Murafer often got the physical pressure and threat while working on the subversion case in Timika and Serui in 2013 to 2014. And the Director of Democratic Alliance for Papua, Lawyer Anum Siregar was attacked by unknown person who also robbed her bag and stabbed her left hand, which cause her to must taking two times of neurosurgery and bone surgery. Meanwhile Lawyer Damus Usmany in Sorong has also got physical assault by a group of unknown people. He also experienced to be excluded in the legal practice by some lawyers who involved in collusion with other law enforcement from the local police, prosecutors and district court.
The case to criminalize against the lawyers and their works were often occurred when they were dealing with the cases related to human right violations such as Lawyer Gustav Kawer who took the court experienced in Jayapura in 2014 and Simon Bunudi in Manokwari who got the similar experience in Manokawari in 2010. (Nees Makuba/Rom)