Jayapura, Jubi – The rights of freedom of expression in the second administration period of President Joko Widodo have still in concern to human rights activists. Democracy index 2019 released by Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) put the democracy in Indonesia is the category of flawed democracy with index 6.48.
“One of the factors contributing to this low rate index is control and repressive acts such as the restriction over freedom of assembly and expression. The restriction of civil movements including student’s rally, criminalization against activists, farmers and students to restriction on freedom of expression on political free choice of indigenous Papuans,” said the Deputy Director of ELSAM (Institute of Human Rights Studies and Advocacy) Andi Muttaqien in a release received by Jubi on Saturday (8/2/2020).
According to him, the restriction against the freedom of political expression of indigenous Papuans has raised an assumption that the Government of Indonesia had been placing Papuans as “the second-class citizen” who has no rights to express their political view and opinion.
“The human rights issue and conflict in Papua has endured for decades and never been solved until today. The central government seems to neglect indigenous Papuans to be minorities and marginalized in their own land. The security forces have acted repressively to any forms of the political expression of indigenous Papuans by giving them a stigma as a separatist,” he said.
Based on monitoring and documentation conducted by ELSHAM in the second quarter (August-December) of 2019, the criminalization against the Papuan political activists has increased drastically. The security forces have massively seized Papuans on many occasions. These acts have mostly ended in the arrestation and detention of Papuans.
ELSHAM’s data showed that as per 28 January 2020, there are 100 Papuan political prisoners behind bars.
Earlier, Papuan Behind Bars confirmed 26 political prisoners detained in Papua in 2018, consisted of 25 indigenous Papuans and a journalist of Poland national Jakob Skrzypski. But, the number of political prisoners in 2019 has sharply increased to 77 new prisoners who arrested in civil demonstrations during August and September 2019. The increase happened concerning the incident of racist taunts towards Papuan students on Monday, 16 August 2019.
There are also some cases against Papuan political activists which seized public attention. It includes the case against Septi Meidogda (Gempar Papua Chairman) arrested in Manokwari on 18 September 2019 and charged with Information (ITE) Law by accusing him to provoke the public on Facebook dated 17 September 2019.
Then, the case of Mispo Gwijangge who accused to murder 30 construction workers in Nduga on 2 December 2018. There are flawed aspects related to his arrest, such as he does not understand Indonesian and only speak his local dialect. Mispo is illiterate. He cannot write, read and count nor able to specify the day or date. He does not know his date of birth and his age. During the investigation, he even did not understand any questions posed by the police officers.
Next, the case involved six political prisoners Surya Anta, Charles Kossay, Dano Tabuni, Issay Wenda, Ambrosius Mulait and Ariana Elopere who currently detained at Salemba prison, Jakarta for treason because of raising the Morning Star in front of the Presidential Palace on 28 August 2019. The police arrested them two days after the rally. Currently, most political prisoners are undergoing the trial at court. However, some prisoners are now in home-detention, while others are still in prison.
“The use of treason article and ITE Law against Papuan political prisoners are exaggerated and not necessary. Therefore, each person who considered doing the treason act and brought to court should be released,” he said.
ELSHAM considers that the restriction to the rights of freedom of expression imposed by the treason article has gone beyond the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which ratified by the Indonesian Government. The detention against citizens by state because of their political view also considered violating the rights to freedom of expression and opinion in which protected by Article 28 of the 1945 Constitution and other laws.
“President Jokowi should instruct the Attorney General to immediately stop or withdraw all charges against defendants and or Papuan political prisoners who accused with treason and ITE articles,” he said.
ELSHAM also asked the Indonesian Police Chief to order his staff to use a dialogical approach and stop all forms of discrimination against Papuan activists. (*)
Reporter: Yance Wenda
Editor: Pipit Maizier
A glimpse on the glue-sniffing addicted children rehabs program in Merauke (part 1)
Glue-sniffing among children has been a critical issue in Papua. For example, in Merauke Region, it is estimated that 90 children have addicted to glue-sniffing. It becomes a concern of local communities and government to address this issue and help the children.
Jubi, therefore, conducts special report on efforts to rehabilitate the addicted children to not dropping more deeply in this behaviour. Glue-sniffing addicted would not only affect the health of the children but their future as well.
To start the journey, Jubi comes to see Polikarpus Boli at his rented house in Merauke. Boli is the carer of dozens of school-aged children who addicted to ‘aibon’ glue-sniffing.
We meet with five children sitting in his living room. At first glance, they look not being well-taken care, not taking a bath so often, messy long hair and wearing shabby clothes. Their physical appearance also looks alarming, very slim. After questioning, they all admit to having addicted to ‘aibon’ glue. Aibon is glue product brand which now refers to all similar glue products used for sniffing.
Jubi then sits with these five children and asks them some questions. However, none of them wants to tell how long they have addicted to glue-sniffing. Among them, three want to answer every asking question, while two others keep silence.
Those who answer the questions are a boy of 12 years old and two boys of 10 years aged. From our conversation, it reveals that these five children were pupils in a public elementary school in Merauke, but they refuse to tell why did they drop out of school.
They say that they prefer to go hunting used cans and scrap metals to sell to collectors and use money generated from the sales to buy some glue at nearest kiosks or retailer shops. For illustration, the price of a Castol brand glue is Rp 13,000, and a small-sized of Fox glue is Rp 10,000, while a large-sized of Fox glue is Rp 50,000.
“Usually, three or four of us put our money together to buy some glue because it is very expensive. Then we share it into small portions by pouring it into a used mineral water bottle that cut into a small-size,” said a twelve years old boy.
Then they hide the glue in a used mineral water bottle under their clothes and sniff it secretly.
“Sometimes we sit in a group and sniff the glue, but sometimes we do it alone,” he said.
According to him, they can buy the adhesive twice a day, because it would run out quickly after being repeatedly inhaled.
“If we buy it in the morning, it will run out in the afternoon after being sniffed. So, once again, we put our money and buy that stuff. We inhale it before we are going home in the evening,” he said.
Meanwhile, a ten years old boy also has a similar comment.
“Our parents are living here (in Merauke), but they do not know if we often sniff glue. They merely hear from someone else. When we are going home, they hit us with a stick,” he said.
These boys admit that they often got dizzy by doing this activity. When glue runs out, they even feel their epigastrium hurts. But it is only for a moment. After that, they will continue to buy and inhale it. They also say that they do not know when will they going to stop sniffing this substance because already addicted.
Meanwhile, Polikarpus Boli has become a carer for glue-sniffing addicted children in Merauke for more than five years. He works with a program initiated by Sergius Womsiwor at One-Roof Integrated High School of Wasur.
According to Boli, in 2019, there were 90 children in Merauke reportedly addicted to glue-sniffing. The data compiled from the community report to the school.
“Meanwhile, in 2020, we have not done the survey yet. So, we do not know whether it has declined or increased,” he said.
However, Boli estimates the number of glue-sniffing addicted children in Merauke is more substantial than compiled in the document; it might be hundreds.
“We face difficulty to find out the exact number. I compiled data of 90 addicted children after asking them some questions and getting around to some locations where they used to gather for sniffing glue,” he said.
According to Boli, it would take a long time to stop the detrimental habit chain among these children. “I always say this during the lesson in school every afternoon,” he said.
I always say this during the school lesson every afternoon,” he said.
Besides, provide awareness at school, Boli also come to the houses where the children live with their parents near the area of Pintu Air, Maro Village. He told their parents about the dangers of their children’s habit.
“The point is I tell them about the effect of glue-sniffing for their health because this substance is not designed for humans to inhale,” he said.
The rise of the number of children sniffing glue in Merauke has driven a concern among some residents to establish Forum Peduli Penyalahgunaan Lem (Glue-abused Care Forum/FP2L) in Merauke.
FP2L Deputy Chair Ana Mahuze told Jubi about their finding. It records in their database that there are around 47 children identified as glue-sniffing addicts in Merauke. (To be continued)
Reporter: Ans K
Editor: Pipit Maizier
Papuan human right lawyer confirm data on political prisoners by Veronica is valid
Document on political prisoners and Nduga casualties are not Vero’s. The coalition law enforcement and human rights in Papua have been doing the research and compilation on it.
Jayapura, Jubi – Gustaf Kawer, Director of Association of Law Enforcement and Human Right Advocates in Papua (PAHAM) said the document on political prisoners revealed by human rights activities Veronica Koman is valid, as the coalition has been working on the record.
“Victims details in Nduga, are also prepared by members of the human rights coalition advocating the victims in Nduga,” he said on Sunday (16/2/2020).
Kawer further explained why they use the terminology of political prisoners in the document. It refers to allegation and article used for accusing the fifty-seven detainees. “So, all prisoners that Vero mentioned about have been accused using the treason article, not public speech or common crime,” he added.
The document reveals that 57 political prisoners detained in different locations, respectively Jakarta (6 detainees), Balikpapan (7 detainees), Jayapura (1 detainee), Manokwari (5 detainees), Sorong (15 detainees) and Fakdak (23 detainees). Kawer explained that they were arrested because of their activity categorised as part of the independence movement.
This accusation has become a foundation for PAHAM to identify them as political prisoners instead of criminals. He asserted that the Papua Police Chief and all relevant parties should not give a rush statement that might increase the public disappointment in attempting the human rights enforcement in the Land of Papua. According to him, it would be wise if they do a crosscheck on the 57 political prisoners mentioned by Veronica.
“If the data is valid, the regional police must act professionally to solve it,” he said.
Further, he took an example on the human rights violation in Nduga. This case, according to him, should have been followed up like the Paniai case. Those who proven not involved in the riot must be released.
“Similarly, those who involved in the riot should not be accused using the treason article, but another article,” he said.
PAHAM also asks all parties to see the reality of how the perpetrators of racist taunts got the light sentence, while Papuans accused with the substantial article (Treason). He asks all parties in Papua to object the errors by the central government in responding to Veronica’s statement about the human rights violation in Nduga and political prisoners.
Earlier, Veronica Koman handed document consisting the names of 57 political prisoners and 243 details of death victims among civilians in Nduga, Papua to President Joko Widodo in his official visit to Canberra, Australia on Monday (10/2/2020). The human rights violation case in Papua, including Nduga refugees, has been highlighted or became a spotlight of some parties in Australia. (*)
Reporter: Angela Flassy
Editor: Pipit Maizier
The defendants were not proven guilty of doing vandalism, says legal counsellor team
Jayapura, Jubi – The Advocate Team for Papuans read the plea or the memorandum of defence on behalf of their clients charged with vandalism in a mass riot of 29 August 2019 in Jayapura City at the Jayapura District Court on Wednesday (12/2/2020). In the hearing, the counsellor team argue their clients not proven of carrying out such destructive acts that were charged by the public prosecutor.
The Advocate Team for Papuans, in the trial chaired by Judge Maria Magdalena Sitanggang together with two member judges Muliyawan and Abdul Gafur Bungin, read the pledge on behalf of the defendants Mika Asso, Jhoni Weya, Persiapan Kogoya, Yusup Marthen Muay, Ronald Wandik, Elo Hubi, Rofinus Tambanop, Ali Asso, and Yoda Tabuni. In the pledge reading, the counsellor team stated their clients were not proven to have committed crime of damaging goods or objects or shops throughout Jayapura as charged by the public prosecutor.
“By facts, the trial has proved that the defendants did not commit the acts of vandalism as accused by the prosecutor,” said the advocate team chairman Sugeng Teguh Santoso in the pledge reading.
Furthermore, in their pledge, the attorney team emphasised the failure of the public prosecutor in presenting the fact witnesses who could prove the destructive acts by the defendants in a mass riot on 29 August 2019 during the trial. On the contrary, the trial has indicated intimidation and violence against the defendants by investigators during the investigation.
“The name of suspects against the defendants did not match with evidence, while the investigation did not follow the standard procedure,” said Sugeng during the pledge reading.
Meanwhile, a counsellor team member Frederika Korain said, in the case of her clients, the public prosecutors failed in presenting witnesses who could testify on destructive acts by the defendants on the anti-racism protest of 29 August 2019 in the courtroom.
“A law case is supposed to be supported by strong evidence and case witnesses. However, in this case, there was no strong evidence and qualified case witnesses presented by the public prosecutor,” she said.
When reading the pledge on behalf of her client, Korain stressed that the process of the investigation had involved unjust acts, where the defendants experienced violence and had forced to amid the crime that they had never done.
“In the trial, they have revoked the investigation dossiers which granted by the panel of judges. This defence also underlines this,” said Korain.
Earlier, on Tuesday (11/2/2020), the panel judges of the Jayapura District Court consisting of Alexander Tetelepta and two members Roberto Naibaha and Korneles Waroi had said guilty to three defendants of the mass riot of 29 August 2019.
Oktavianus Hisage was found guilty after naming a defendant of a computer theft at the Papua Election Commission’s Office during the anti-racism protest. He sentenced to six months in prison, minus time off in custody time.
The same panel judges also convicted Yosam Wenda and Yoda Tabuni to pledged guilty of stealing a keyboard at the Secretariat Office of Dharma Wanita Papua on 29 August 2019. Both convicted to six months sentence, minus their detention time.
Their legal counsel Frederika Korain said after the trial on Wednesday, “We are still thinking about whether to appeal the verdict or not.” (*)
Reporter: Hengky Yeimo
Editor: Pipit Maizier
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