Tag Archives: Makar

Warinussy: More makar cases in Papua

Comment by Yan Christian Warinussy, senior lawyer in West Papua, recipient of the John Humphreys Freedom Award, 2005
December 13, 2013

The latest treason verdict against seven West Papuans is yet another example of the serious human rights situation in West Papuan, in particular with regard to the right to freedom of expression. The seven men were headed by Isak Kalaiban.

Based on the facts revealed during the course of the trial, it is clear that there was a plan between the accused to freely give expression to their views in a way that is based on the rule of law.
This occurred on 1 May 2013 after Isak and his colleagues brought the families of the accused together on the previous day at their home  in Aimas-Sorong. While they were meeting together,  a police patrol in Sorong began to opened fire at the group of people, as a result of which four people were killed or wounded.
At the trial, the men were charged with treason (makar)  by the court in Sorong before a panel of judges headed by Maria Magdalena Sitanggung.
None of the witnesses questioned at the trial said anything about what had taken place on the day before, 30 April.
For the legal team defending the accused, the question is who indeed is it that perpetrated treason in view of the fact that none of the witnesses who appeared in the trial knew anything about the men who were being charged.
This is yet another case in which the accused were charged under Articles 106, 108  and 110 to prevent people in Sorong from giving free expression to their rights to freedom of expression and freedom of assembly  as provided for by Law 39/1999 on Human Rights and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Translated by Carmel Budiardjo

Thousands of students rally to reject Otsus Plus and provincial division

By West Papua Media editors, with local stringers

November 5, 2013

Thousands of Papuan university and high school students led demonstrations in Jayapura on November 4, firmly rejecting attempts by Jakarta to impose the revived “new, improved” version of the failed Special Autonomy package, named “Otsus Plus”.

A coalition of student organizations, collectively known as ‘Students, Youth and People’s Movement’ (Gerakan Mahasiswa, Pemuda dan Rakyat Papua (GempaR Papua) –  the acronym GempaR literally translates as “Unarmed Insurrection” or “Uproar”), also called the actions to reject Jakarta’s latest plans to divide Papua into 33 districts and three further provinces.  The movement has been started by students from seven different high schools, technical colleges and universities in Jayapura, including Cenderawasih University, UMEL MANDIRI, STIKOM, STT GKI I.S.KIJNE and the opposition to the imposition of Special Autonomy Plus.  The rally was subject to several threats of violence from Indonesian security forces, who routinely deem all gatherings on peaceful Papuan aspirations as subversive and treasonous, according to rally sources.

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The planned administrative divisions of Papuan land and districts under Otsus Plus have been widely interpreted as a colonial act by most Papuan civil society groups, according to Papuan observers, and seen as a covert method of further increasing the massive militarisation of Papua.  Each new district automatically gains its own military and policy company (150 men for each), and each further province each gains their own battalions of Military (1500 men) and Police (1200 men), further adding to the estimated 45,000 troops in Papua, the most militarised area under Indonesian occupation.

“Special Autonomy ‘Plus’ will not change (the mind of) Papuans.  Special Autonomy Plus is not a solution for indigenous Papuans. We firmly reject the plan for Autonomy Plus in Papua and West Papua, we reject it, Autonomy Plus and the New Re-districting are the same (still) killing Papuan people, not the solution to prosperity ” said Hendrik Koroto, Demonstration Coordinator and student at the Faculty of Engineering.

As is standard with any demonstration in Papua, the Indonesian police attempted at least twice to violently prevent the students from peacefully continuing on the march, shadowing the gathering with several hundred heavily armed security personnel.  The notoriously hardline Jayapura Deputy Police Chief Kiki Kurnia, again confronted the marchers in an effort to disperse them, threatening the use of heavy force on the students with a display of hardware including heavily armed police, water cannon and Barrucuda armoured assault vehicles. Intense negotiations took place for almost 15-20 minutes between organisers and Senior Police However, Jayapura Police Chief Alfred Papare agreed to allow marchers to continue their march using one lane to allow traffic to pass.

Whilst one group was negotiating with police, a large number of students unexpectedly took to the road, and several waves of students began to march on the Governor’s office, holding hands and neighbours with a tight protective formation.    Police dragged barbed wire in front of the Governor’s office and blocked the main entrance with 5 police trucks, and several other vehicles, The student and civil society gathering then occupied the forecourt of the Governor’s office for over two hours, during which time Governor Enembe agreed to meet a delegation from the student representatives.  No arrests were reported but threats were allegedly made against keynote speakers and rally organisers, according to witnesses who spoke with West Papua Media stringers.

WestPapuaMedia

 

Police violently break up 3rd Congress NFRPB commemorations across West Papua

October 19, 2013

West Papua Media team and local stringers

Early reports received from West Papua Media stringers have described another serious and violent crackdown across West Papua on October 19 by Indonesian security forces, against peaceful gatherings commemorating the second
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Warinussy: Treason Charges against Aimas activists lack a proper legal foundation

COMMENT
by Yan Christian Warinussy,
Senior Lawyer and Executive-Director of LP3BH
7 September, 2013
The questioning of the five witnesses that has taken place during the trial of seven civilians in Papua in the Sorong  District Court who have been charged with Treason [makar] in accordance with Articles 106 and  108 of the Indonesian Criminal Code make it increasingly clear that the charges do not have a solid legal  foundation.

Yan Christian Warinussy (Photo: TabloidJubi.com)

This is evident from the  questioning of the five witnesses who were summoned by the Prosecutor on Tuesday, 2 September , namely Adjudant Commissioner [AKP]  Krisistya Artanto Octoberna ( Chief of Narcotics  Investigation at the police station in Sorong) and three others, as well as and a policeman from the same police station named Basuki Rahman.

During their questioning it is clear that they were all involved in the assault operation against the group of civilians from Aimas and they were all  in the vehicle which was on patrol  at the location of the incident. Furthermore, also travelling in the same vehicle was the Head of the Operational Unit of Sorong Police Force.

Two of the witnesses also said that they saw a group of people who arrived to attack a mobile patrol  who were armed with sharp implements but they had not seen the accused men [Isak Kaliaban and his colleagues].

When they  were asked by the legal counsel of the defendants from the Papuan Advocacy Coalition  for Justice in the Aimas Case  whether they possessed letters instructing them to appear, as is required by the Criminal Code, they said in reply that they did have the required documents.

This means that the five witnesses who were summoned by the Prosecutor on 26 August and on 2 September are all members of the Sorong Police Force and moreover, none of these witnesses produced any substantive legal facts which could be used as the basis for charging Isak Kalaiban and his colleagues.with Treason as stipulated in the indictments against the seven accused.

This means that the Investigation Report [BAP] which was drawn up by the Criminal Investigation Unit of the Sorong Police Force by the men being charged had not been correctly established as  required by law which means that their testimony should not have been considered by the panel of judges.which is headed by R.M Christian Kolibu.

Therefore, we, the members of   of the Papuan Advocacy Coalition for Justice in the Aimas Case, herewith state our determination to continue to defend the seven accused men in order to ensure that this case proceeds in strict accordance with the correct legal  procedures  and not in accordance with the manipulated charges being used to charge the seven accused  in accordance with the 1945 Constitution and Law 39/1999 on Basic Human Rights as well as other human rights provisions to which they are entitled in accordance with international  law which have been ratified and adopted by the Indonesian Government as a Member State of the United Nations.

In the forthcoming hearing which will take place on 9 September, the court will proceed to the stage of questioning each of the seven accused  each as witnesses of the other defendants, which is not permitted according to the laws in force and the principles of jurisprudence.

We are of the opinion that  the panel of judges should make it clear that the correct procedures will be adhered to in accordance with the Criminal Procedural Code, bearing in mind that this is what Papuan people would expect regarding the investigation procedures  as required by law in the case against Isak Kalaiban and his colleagues.

[Translated by TAPOL]

Leading Indonesian NGO Condemns the continued use of Treason Charges against Papuans

by ALDP (Alliance  for Democracy in Papua)

Opinion/Statement

September  6, 2013

68 YEARS SINCE INDONESIA BECAME INDEPENDENT, TREASON [MAKAR] IS STILL BEING USED AGAINST PAPUANS.

The  Indonesian people recently celebrated the 68th anniversary of their independence on 17 August 2013.   What lessons can we draw from this anniversary in order to resolve problems faced by our people who experience so many problems in various parts of the country,  especially in regions where there is conflict such as Aceh and Papua?

Especially with regard to Papua, it is not acceptable for the articles about treason  to be used any more.   This is because for a country that is now based on democratic principles, it clearly violates these principles.  Furthermore, the law on treason which is still included in Indonesia’s Criminal Code is no longer used in the country where it originated [The Netherlands].  The continued use of these articles will only widen the gap between Papua and Indonesia and lead to acts of violence because of  feelings of revenge about history, or may cause friction between different groups of people.

These articles on treason are always held ready for use against activists or anyone who demands justice and the right to express their views in public, in accordance  with the right to freedom of expression.

The treason articles were first included in the Criminal Code in the 19th century. The Dutch Minister of Justice adamantly refused a move to include an article on treason which could be applicable to anyone.  He said:  ‘These articles should be enacted to meet the needs of a colonial territory and should not be applicable to  European countries.’

The articles on treason were adopted by the Dutch colonial government and were based on Article 124 of the British Indian Penal Code.  In 1915. The Indian Supreme Court and the East Punjab High Court declared that they were invalid because they contradicted the Indian Constitution which upheld the principle of freedom of expression.  In The Netherlands, these articles were regarded as being undemocratic.   However, the Dutch East Indies government made use of the articles in their colonial territories.

In this day and age, several decades after Indonesia declared its independence, these articles should no longer be applicable to citizens of the country, including Papuans, bearing in mind that Papua is not a colony of Indonesia. {Eds – This statement does not reflect WPM’s position}

In judicial terms, treason is a unilateral act against the authorities, for the purpose of ensuring that part of its territory falls into enemy hands or should be ceded in order to become part of another state.

The crime of treason  is regulated under Articles 104 to 129 of the Criminal Code – KUHP.  Treason is also classified as a crime against the president and vice-president [the head of state and/or the head of a rival state], against the legitimate government or against government agencies, being involved in espionage on behalf of the enemy, resistance to government officials, rebellion and other activities that are directed against state interests.  Treason is also committed against the government (the head of state and his/her deputy) for the main purpose being to render an individual incapable of governing, to annihilate the country’s independence, to overthrow the government, to change the system of governance by unlawful means, to undermine state sovereignty by  separating part of the country on behalf of another country, or to create an independent state.

The crimes of spreading hatred or incitement are dealt with in Articles  154, 155 and 156 of the Criminal Code. These articles state that ‘public statements which express feelings of hostility or are offensive to the government’ are regarded as crimes as well as public statements which support such sentiments. These articles are punishable for up seven years.

During the era of the late President Soeharto, these articles were frequently used to restrict freedom of expression. They were also used against political opponents, critics, students and human rights defenders in order to silence them. The people in power used these articles like rubber, something which can be pulled in any direction as a way of restricting the right to freedom of expression.

Nowadays, in {after} the era of ‘reformasi’, the articles are frequently used to bring charges against pro-democracy activists.  In Papua. They are used in every way possible against pro-democracy activists on occasions when it has not been possible to charge them for involvement in treasonous activities.

In a report published by Human Rights Watch (HRW) in 2007, ‘Protest and the Punishment of Political Prisoners in Papua’ , Indonesia was mentioned as one of the countries where exceptions and restrictions apply that are in conflict with the basic principle of freedom of opinion. HRW drew attention to the many cases of people being arrested and imprisoned simply because they took part in peaceful protest or for peacefully raising flags. This is in violation of international law on basic human rights.  Indonesian courts frequently apply the law on ‘spreading hatred’ or ‘incitement’  towards people who are exercising their right to freedom of expression. These clauses also violate the spirit of the Indonesian Constitution which was adopted when the country became independent in 1945.

There is a tendency in Papua for a court, having been unable to prove that treason was committed, to use the crime of incitement. The articles about treason  were used when Indonesia was a Dutch colony to charge individuals or groups of people with rebellion. But these days, ‘the articles on treason are used against the civilian population when they publicly express their aspirations,’ said Harry Maturbongs, the former co-ordinator of KontraS.

A lawyer in Papua, Gustaf Kawer, said that the tendency of courts and prosecutors to use the charge of incitement when they are unable to prove that treason has been committed, is a sign that the court is apprehensive and wants to avoid the possibility of people who have been charged making counter-charges against the state, where the case against them had not be proven.

It is often the case that pro-peace Papuan activists who are brought before the courts are charged on several counts for a variety of misdemeanours.  In the trial of Buchtar Tabuni in 2010, he was charged under five articles.  Article 106 and Article 110, as well as Article 160, Article 212 and Article 218, for treason, for incitement and for disobeying an order by an official.  Another group of people were sentenced and convicted for treason. Forkorus Yaboisembut and his colleagues were arrested by the police for organising the Third Papuan People’s Congress on 19 October, 2011.  [After formally declaring the establishment of an independent Federated State of Papua] ‘President’ Forkorus, along with his Prime Minister Edison G. Waromi, were arrested with others who were involved in organising the Congress, Dominikus Surabut, Agus M. Sananay Kraar and Selfius Bobii. They were charged by a team of prosecutors headed by Yulius D.

Even today In 2013, the treason article continues to be used. A group of men were recently charged. They are Klemens Kodimko (71 years old), Obeth Kamesrar (68 years old), Antonius Saruf (62 years old), Obaja Kamesrar (52 years old), Yordan Magablo (42 years old), Hengki Mangamis (39 years ) and Isak Klebin (52 years old) . They were charged at the first hearing of their trial in a court in Sorong on Monday, 19 August 2013.

A spokesman for the police in Papua, I Gede Sumerta Jaya, said that the men were charged with treason because they are leaders of the OPM (Organisasi Papua Merdeka) or of radical groups that are active planning or speaking out in favour of resistance to the legitimate government.

Earlier this year, on 30 April, hundreds of people gathered at a posko  [a small construction] which they had  just set up. They sang together as they gathered there on 30 April to make preparations to celebrate 1 May on the following day.  While they were singing, shooting was heard aimed in the direction of the posko. The shots came from some people aboard an avanza vehicle with darkened windows, accompanied by a police patrol vehicle.

[Translated by TAPOL]