Stop criminalising lawyers and human rights activists in makar cases

JUBI, 5 March 2012
Chairman of the Garda KPP P Bovit Bofra (Jubi / Arjuna)

 

Bearing in mind the continual terrorising of defence lawyers during the makar (treason) trial  [now under way in Jayapura] and  of human rights activists as well as journalists covering the trial, the central executive of GARDA-P , the Movement for People’s Democracy has called upon the security forces to put an end to all of their attempts to silence these people.

In a press release issued by GARDA-P on 5 March, it called for an end to the criminalisation of the lawyers defending Forkorus Yabisembut and his four co-defendants. They also urged the Indonesian government to  dismiss the head of the Public Prosecutors Office, Julius D Teuf, SH and replace him because he has been deliberately attempting to criminalise the defence team of Forkorus and his co-defendants.

‘We also call on the prosecutors to stop their questioning during which they have made offensive and insulting remarks  about the defendants and also about the Papuan people during the trial.We call for the unconditional release of the defendants and for an end to all the violence and  prohibitions  against journalists wanting to report the trial hearings because the trial is being held in public.’

GARDA-P said that during makar trials in Papua, the defence lawyers  are always being subjected to threats and terror by the security forces because they are defending persons who are being charged with makar.

Not only the lawyers but also the judges  are threatened and subjected  to interruptions, to ensure that the hearings comply with the interests of the state. Not only that, but also the bags of the defence lawyers are searched  before they enter the court.for the trial of Forkorus and his co-defendants.

GARDA-P  also said that the police on duty frequently carry weapons outside the courthouse in order to terrorise the defendants and their lawyers. and seek to threaten journalists who are reporting the trial which is open to the public.

GARDA-P regards these actions as being attempts to influence the court proceedings  in order to ensure that the police and the prosecutors make heavier demands for those facing  makar charges.

‘During the hearing on 24 February, while witnesses were being questioned, the prosecutor was constantly interrupting the questioning which greatly angered the defence lawyer, Gustaf Kawar, with the prosecutor now seeking to exclude Gustaf Kawar from the defence team. Such actions are an attempt to cause division (among the lawyers) and to make things more difficult for the defendants.’

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