Families Ask for Papuan Political Prisoners Trial Process in Papua

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JAYAPURA, SUARAPAPUA.com — Families asked the Papua Regional Police to return the Chairperson of the West Papua National Committee (KNPB), the second deputy chairman of the legislative of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) and five Papuan Political Prisoners who had been flown in East Kalimantan.

The transfer of the seven Papuan political prisoners, according to the police was to maintain security during the trial process.

The wife of Agus Kossay, chairman of the Central KNPB and Bucthar Tabuni, the second chairman of the ULMWP legislative requested that trials of seven political prisoners be held in Papua.

“We want our husbands to be returned to the homeland of West Papua and conduct trials here. Because we are worried of security guarantee for them, just imagine that when they were detained here we want to bring food but we were always complicated,” said Anike Mohi, Wife of the Chairperson of KNPB, on Sunday (6/10/2019) in Jayapura, Papua.

Before they were flown on Saturday, October 5, 2019 from Jayapura, Papua Province to East Kalimantan, Mohi claimed not to have been notified by Papua Regional Police investigator. And she found out after departed.

“So when they are detained here, we are permitted from the police only 3 times a week, even then we are limited in time and prohibited to speak local language. So here alone our husbands cannot see in detail what they faced and experienced there,” she explained.

She said, while detained in the Papua Police Mobile Brigade Centre, the family was not provided good access to visit them. In addition, she also said that the police appeared to keep it a secret of their plans of transfer to East Kalimantan.

Meanwhile, Debora Awom, wife of Buchtar Tabuni second chairman of the ULMWP legislative, explained that her husband was arrested by Indonesian Military and Police officers. Before the arrest, the authorities first ruin the house and were then at 6:00 PM Tabuni was arrested.

“That day I was with my husband in the garden, because we were not at home. The police ruin the house, when we entered the house at 6 o’clock, my husband was arrested and told to walk squatting from house to street. Then they put my husband in the red Avansa car,” she told.

She said the arrest was without notice or arrest warrant for the family while investigators from the Papua Regional Police sent them outside Papua also without information to the family.

“I am very upset with the behavior of the authorities, they want to arrest but do not know of telling us, want to take them to East Kalimantan, not telling us. So I want for them to be returned and hold a trial in their own homeland,” she said.

She added, the family was very worried about their transfer to East Kalimantan because they feared their security was not guaranteed.

Other than that, Novita Itlay, younger sister of Steven Itlay, Chairperson of KNPB Timika expressed the same thing. She asked for the seven political prisoners to be returned and held an open trial in Papua.

“There, who will see them during the trial? At least the process must be witnessed by the family. Even who will guarantee their food and drink? When my brother was in Papua Mobile Brigade Centre I was difficult to visit and meet him. Moreover at this time his position is in East Kalimantan,” she said.

She explained, on Wednesday she got a chance to visit in the Papua Police Brigade Centre and she was not given time as usual, almost 20 minutes she was with her brother in Police Brigade Centre she was surprised to be given a long time to accompany her brother, even though the plan would be to transferred.

“Why on that day there was so much time that the authorities did not notify if they wanted to be sent. Previously we were allowed only 3 minutes, how come suddenly yesterday 20 minutes more. So I, as Steven’s younger sister, asked that they should be sent home and hold a trial here,” she stressed.

Legal Assistant

The urge not to be transferred to East Kalimantan is not only from the political prisoners’ family. Similar pressure placed by legal assistants on political prisoners such as (PAHAM) and LBH Papua.

Director of Papua Association of Human Rights Advocate, (PAHAM) Papua Gustaf Kawer, who has been involved in handling several activist cases, said the police were increasingly unprofessional according to him as law enforcers must enforce the law but instead violated the law itself.

“In Article 85 of the Criminal Code it is clear that the transfer mechanism for the hearing must have a proposal from the local Jayapura District Prosecutor’s Office, proposed to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and proceeded to the Minister of Justice and Human Rights and subsequently issued a place approval agreement. How come this mechanism is not done? “he said questioning.

According to him, the transfer should be known by the family and even legal assistants for the suspect should have been informed, this was not done by the police as law enforcement in this Republic, as if the law was not respected.

“Later, when they want to be transferred then we can get a letter, so we ask the head of the Papua Regional Police to return the political prisoners to Papua immediately because the case in Jayapura and the Supreme Court must reprimand the police chief and his ranks for violating the law,” he said

Further handling he said, the Police must enforce the law on the land of Papua so that justice is felt by the outside community, his side will also make legal efforts against the head of Papua Regional Police on the transfer.

“We will pre-trial the Papua Police Chief, and legal efforts will continue,” he explained.

Responding to the statement of the Papua Regional Police chief that the transferred for security reasons he said, if so why the mechanism in force in the country was not carried out, and was transferred at will of the police.

“That if they move, they must think that Papua’s condition is increasingly good and this should not lead to conflict and I think the transfer will be more vulnerable in the future, we have civil authority, the Governor, the MRP, the DPRP must emphasize to the authorities so that the legal process must be carried out. Not Legal action towards Papuans is seen while non-Papuans are not punished, so we have elites in Papua must talk, do not stay quiet,” he said.

Emanuel Gobay, Director of the (Papua Legal Aid Institution) LBH Papua, said he received official news from Papua Regional Police Investigators about the transfer, his office as legal aid recognized by the state in Papua know after they were dispatched.

“We just got a call from the investigator, said already at the Sentani airport, we called back the cellphone number, it was already inactive, possibly already inside the plane. So this is a big irregularity that the police in Papua committed,” he said.

Family Lawsuit For the actions of the Papua Regional Police that were considered violating the law, the family urged that:

  • Return the seven Papuan political prisoners which transferred to East Kalimantan
    Trials of suspects must be held in Papua
  • The police in Kalimantan must guarantee the security and health while they are there. (BA/DR-SP)