News from Papua: Police will persist in summoning Sokrates; Police urged to stop summoning Sokrates; Lawyers speak out about Sokrates case

Bintang Papua, 19 August 2010

Abridged in translation

Police will continue to summon Sokrates
The police force in Papua have said that they will persist in summoning
Duma Sokrates Yoman to appear for interrogation, in connection with his
allegation that the incidents in Puncak Jaya are part of a business
project of the army and the police (TNI/Polri).

Sokrates Yoman is president of the Fellowship of Baptist Churches in Papua.

The chief of police in Papua now says that his patience is exhausted and
they regard him as a witness. ‘In two or three days,’ said the Wachyono,
head of public relations of the police, ‘we will summon him as a
witness, instead of just asking him for clarifications,’ he said.

Yoman Sokrates has twice been invited by the police to give
clarifications about the events in Puncak Jaya and his charges that the
TNI/Polri are engaged in business activities in Puncak Jaya. After his
failure to respond to two summonses, he will be summoned as a witness,
on the basis of article 112 of the criminal code which states that
anyone summoned as a witness or as the accused is under obligation to
appear. If he still refuses to appear, he will be sent an official order
to appear. ‘This is what the law states and is not just what the police
are saying,’ said Wachyono.

As has been reported earlier, Sokrates Yoman has been accused of trying
to ‘corner’ the army and the police in connection with a series of
shootings against civilians in Puncak Jaya that have been going on since

Earlier reports in Bintang Papua stated that Sokrates Yoman declared
that he was undaunted by the police summons. He said that many people
have spoken out about the situation in Puncak Jaya but, ironically, he
was the only person to have been summoned by the police. He accused the
police of behaving unfairly and unprofessionally. ‘It is my belief that
the law enforcement agencies are acting on the orders of a sponsor who
are keen to exert pressure on me as a church leader,’ said Sokrates.

He was quoted as saying that he was ready to face the consequences and
would never run away. I will remain in my office or at home because this
is our homeland.’

Sokrates has called on the legislative assembly in Papua, the DPRP, to
summon the military commander of Papua and the chief of police of Papua
to explain what they have been doing and what their strategy is
regarding the situation in Puncak Jaya which has been going on for six

‘We need to know who are the brains behind this and who stands to gain
from incidents that have resulted in many victims among the ordinary people.


Police urged to stop summoning Sokrates
Bintang Papua 12 August 2010

The police summons to Sokrates and the failure to resolve the prolonged
conflict in Puncak Jaya has attracted the attention of the churches,
which are now calling for a national dialogue as the only way to resolve
the never-ending conflict.

On 12 August, a meeting held at the office of the Synod of the GKI was
attended by the leaders of all the main churches, Rev Miriono-Krey,
chair of the Synod of the GKI, Rev. Lipius Biniluk, chair of the Kingmi
Church in the Land of Papua, Dr Rev. Benny Giay, of the Fellowship of
Baptist Churches in Papua, Rev. Andreas Kogoya, and the Bishop of
Jayapura, Leo Laba Lajar.

The meeting reached agreement on several statements expressing their
concern with a number of cases in the Land of Papua and especially in
Puncak Jaya.

The church leaders called for a national dialogue to be held as soon as
possible to find a solution to all the problems in Papua on the basis
of the princiiples of justice, dignity and humanitarianism, mediated by
a neutral third party. The churches stated that they would consistently
and firmly fight for the rights of God’s people, in accordance with the
teachings of Jesus Christ.

The churches called on the governor of the province of Papua, church
leaders throughout the land of Papua, the Papuan Customary Council
(DAP), the Papuan People Assembly (MRP), the Papuan Legislative
Assmbly, DPRP, the military command of Papua and the chief of police of
Papua to enter into dialogue, facilitated by the church.

The church leaders also urged the chief of police to stop summoning
Sokrates Yoman, the president of the Fellowship of Baptist Churches.
They also called on the people living in the district of Puncak Jaya and
on the people throughout the Land of Papua to remain calm in face of the
on-going tragedy in the Land of Papua.

The DPRP and the MRP were urged to open their eyes and ears to the
series of shootings that have been occurring in the district of Puncak
Jaya and to summon the governor of the province of Papua as the civil
authority in Papua, the Papua chief of police and the military commander
as those responsible for the security situation to explain the many
incidents of violence that have been occurring in Puncak Jaya up to the

In particular the chief of police should say what the police have been
doing to reveal those responsible for the terror shootings in that
district. The National Human Rights Commission representative office in
Papua should set up an independent team to investigate to discover the
people behind all this, and to produce accurate data in the interests of
law enforcement and for justice and truth.


Lawyers speak out about the Sokrates case
Bintang 13 August 2010

A number of lawyers have expressed their opinions about the police
summons to Sokrates Yoman, head of the Fellowship of Baptist Churches.
The fact that the police have made statements in the media has attracted
their attention.

According to the lawyer Gustaf R. Kawer, if Sokrates is regarded as a
witness, that means that there must also be a defendant. The police may
summon him up to three times and if he fails to appear, then force may
be used in accordance with the law.

If Sokrates is believed to be in any way connected to the accused, this
must be based on initial evidence. There should be two witnesses as well
as the necessary evidence. It is not correct for the police simply to
say something in the media and then go ahead and arrest Sokrates.

If it is simply about a statement made by Sokrates in the press, he is
protected by the law on the press. ‘According to the press law, when a
journalist publishes his comments, he should be confronted by the person
against whom the charge was made. Once the institution that has been
charged has used its right of reply, the matter should be regarded as

If the matter results in defamation of the person in question, said
Kawer, it is premature of the police and means that they are acting
unprofessionally. They are simply reacting to something while at the
same time showing that they cannot accept criticism.

Speaking along similar lines as Kawer, Johannis Maturbongs, the
coordinator of Kontras, said that the army and the police should accept
the remarks made by Sokrates as a form of control from civil society.
‘The police summons was premature because all that Sokrates was doing
was exerting control on behalf of civil society regarding the events
that have been occurring in Puncak Jaya.since 2004.

What has been happening is highly regrettable because there have been
casualties not only among members of the security forces but also a
considerable number of casualties among the ordinary people. The events
there have been quite extraordinary yet the police have failed to
perform their function which is to discover the perpetrators. It is as
though the police are using the words of Soktrates as proof against
those responsible. ‘They are not treating Sokrates as a community
leader and church leader who is feeling deeply concerned about the

Johanis also said it is the duty of the National Human Rights
Commission, KomnasHAM, in Papua as as well in Jakarta to respond.

‘It is up to Komnas HAM to thoroughly investigate what has been
happening in Puncak Jaya because there have been many civilian casualties.’