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
Docking their yachts at Jayapura Seaport, foreigners scrutinised by local immigration office
Jayapura, Jubi – Jayapura Immigration, Seaport Health Quarantine Office, Maritime and Port Authority secured and interrogated four foreign citizens on Wednesday (18/3/2020) following their act sailing to Jayapura sea and docking private yachts at Jayapura Seaport.
The Head of Jayapura Immigration Gatut Setiawan states the four foreigners arrived in Jayapura by two different yachts. The Singaporean Wong Tet Chong took Ximula-3 Langkawi, while Bruno Coolmet of France came to Jayapura with his wife and future son-in-law by Krypton.
“The four sailed from Sorong, West Papua Province and got clearance from Sorong Immigration. But, as soon they arrived in Jayapura, they were going to the downtown without reporting their arriving to the quarantine office and seaport authority,” said Gatut in Jayapura on Wednesday (18/3/2020).
In his statement, Gatut said Wong Tet Chong initially wanted to sail his yacht to Papua New Guinea but change the destination to Jayapura due to bad weather and engine problem. Besides, the authority of Papua New Guinea has currently closed access to the country.
“The immigration, quarantine office and seaport authority has interrogated (him) and conducted the thermal check as a procedure of coronavirus anticipation. His body temperature was normal, so we gave him two days to leave the Jayapura water. If he is still around [more than two days], the seaport authority will forcibly pull out his yacht out of Indonesia,” said Gatut.
Meanwhile, Gatut said the immigration did not found any immigration violations conducted by Bruno Coolmet, his wife and their future son-in-law because they have a legal permit to stay until 1 April 2020.
“Although they did not break the immigration rule, they should deal with both quarantine office and seaport authority because [docked and left their yacht at the seaport] without reporting. In the future, we will be more restricted to protect the security of the sea from invasion by foreigners or others by involving the quarantine office, seaport authority and other relevant offices,” said Gatut.
After completing their administrative issue with the quarantine office, the three French national should leave the Jayapura Sea. “The immigration is keeping their documents as a guarantee,” he said.
Earlier, Deputy Governor of Papua Province Klemen Tinal asked the Immigration, Seaport Quarantine Office and other relevant offices to restrict the surveillance over passengers at airports, seaports and other entries to anticipate the spreading of coronavirus to Papua.
“Restriction and inspection should be done more strictly to both foreign and domestic passengers coming to Papua,” he said. (*)
Reporter: Alexander Loen
Editor: Pipit Maizier
Goliat Tabuni asks independent team to investigate the church burning in Tembagapura
Jayapura, Jubi – West Papua Liberation Army (TPNPB) challenge the Government of Indonesia to provide access for an independent investigation team investigating perpetrators behind the burning of a church in Tembagapura Sub-district, Mimika Regency, Papua in a press released by TPNPB. The statement of the Supreme Commander of TPNTP General Goliat Tabuni received by Jubi on Wednesday (18/3/2020).
On Thursday (12/3/2020), the Indonesian Gospel Tent (GKII) Church of Sinai Congregation in Opitawak Village of Tembagapura Sub-district reportedly burned out. The Indonesian security forces pointed finger to TPNPB as perpetrators. However, General Goliat Tabuni denied all allegations in his press release.
In turn, he believes this incident was part of the game playing by the Indonesian security forces to discredit the image of TPNPB in which they have always done for a long time. “This is not new, but [it has happened] since 1960 to the present. The Indonesian Military and Police have done it for a long time,” said Tabuni in his press release.
Furthermore, Tabuni said TPNTP was not surprised by many reports accused them as the perpetrator behind the church burning. Therefore, he challenges the Indonesian Government to provide access to an independent investigation team to investigate.
Meanwhile, TPNPB spokesperson Sebby Sambon confirms the statement released on behalf of Goliat Tabuni as valid. Further, he says the independent investigation team preferred by TPNPB is a joint investigation team of the United Nation’s Human Rights Council and the National Human Rights Commission of Papua Office.
“If they want to find who is behind the church burning, the Indonesian Government must allow the independent team to investigate. [The independent team is] the Human Rights Council [United Nations] and the National Human Rights Commission of Papua Office,” Sambom told Jubi on Wednesday (18/3/2020).
Furthermore, he said the Indonesian Government should be able to prove their accusation through a fair and impartial legal process, not only pointing fingers to TPNPB. “The Indonesian Military and Police should not just accuse TPNPB, and the Indonesian media should not unilaterally publish the one-side story,” said Sambom.
Meanwhile, Antara News Agency launched the statement of Tembagapura Police Chief Adjunct Commissionaire Hermanto saying the insurgent group led by Lekagak Telenggen and Joni Botak burned down the GKII Sinai Congregation Church in Opitawak Village.
“The church was initially crowded by Opitawak villagers for worshipping and other church activities. However, in several recent weeks, the armed group came to spread terror in this village. People finally have to give in to this situation,” said Hermanto to Antara. (*)
Reporter: Benny Mawel
Editor: Pipit Maizier
80 candles lit to commemorate one-year of Sentani flash flood
Sentani, Jubi – Flash food that hit Sentani on 16 March 2019 is still kept strictly in the memory of those who experienced it. Even today, after one year of the disaster, many people are still living in refugee camps. To commemorate one year of the incident, young people and the Baptist Sunday School of Imanuel Toladan Church organise worship and several activities to pray for their family members who passed away in this natural disaster.
“We have not prepared this event for a long time, but we think this is what we can do. We want to remember the incident where all Sunday School’s students were gathering in the ‘island’ for worshipping then suddenly the flash flood came,” says Jenny Marlin Wenda, the GBIT Sunday School Principal, to Jubi on Monday evening (16/3/2020).
Furthermore, she adds that there is nothing more valuable than being grateful to God.
“So, here we are today. Mr Jeff Ron comes to give us a preach and motivate those who attend the worship today. Before praying, we lit 80 candles that provided by our school, then watch movies while gathering for coffee in the churchyard,” she says.
Besides youth and Baptist congregations, this event also involves nearby neighbours.
“We also thank those who participated to join the event and pray with us. We meet with families of victims who join and bring some food for all of us to enjoy. They feel this worship is important to them, so they come to join,” she says.
Moreover, she says no one ever thinks that they would survive in flah flood.
“When remembering that experience, I am sad because it caused 114 death, 205 missing and 961 injured, while approximately 11,725 are currently living in refugee camps. “
Meanwhile, Jeff Ron Sohilait in his preach says in difficult time humans might not think that they will survive during a flash flood, but nothing is impossible for God. God opened the way for us when we were at the island at the time.
“At that night, God opened us the way. He brought us out of place at that time. It means He has a certain purpose for the children of Sunday School in this world,” he says.
“On Saturday evening one year ago, these children went to the worship, and because of their prayer, God came to save them. This is a great testimony where God came to them in the sudden episode and guided them to the safe place,” says Jeff Ron. (*)
Reporter: Yance Wenda
Editor: Pipit Maizier
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