Lawyer, five students and others arrested in Manokwari

Above Photos: Assault & Arrest of Melki Bleskadit, Rev. Daniel and 6 youth Human Rights and Democracy Papuan Student Activists.
Names: Jems Aisoki, Yakonias Imbiri, Wilson Wader (Secretary of Youth Solidarity for Melanesian West Papua), Edi Kogoya, and two Youth Activist Students whose identity is not yet known. (trans)

In both cases, the reports have been abridged in translation by TAPOL

According to a report received this morning (14 December) from LP3BH,
the legal aid and investigation institute based in Manokwari, a member
of their lawyers team has been arrested by the police while he was
involved in monitoring a flag-raising incident on Tuesday, 14 December.

As reported by Yan Christian Warrinussy, executive director of the
LP3BH, the flag-raising is  an event held every year on 14 December to
mark the  anniversary of the independence proclamation by the West
Melanesian Council 22 years ago [in 1988] by Dr Thomas Wanggai [who died
shortly thereafter]

This year's anniversary flag-raising took place outside the office of
the Manokwari district office, under the leadership of Melkianus
Bleskadit, who was subsequently arrested by the police, acting on the
orders of police chief Agustinus Supriyanto . The Rev. Dance Yenu and
five others, all students were arrested, apparently for unfurling a flag.

A member of the institute's  human rights defenders team, Simon Risyard
Banundi, was arrested while monitoring the event, as part of the LP3BH's
human rights activities. Banundi is also a member of the Indonesian
organisation of lawyers, PERADIN which is the oldest lawyers
organisation in Indonesia.

The institute says that his arrest is in clear violation of article 17
of the criminal procedural code, Law 39/1999 on Human Rights, and Law
18/2003 on Lawyers and the International Convention on Human Rights
Defenders as well as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

In a subsequently message, Warinussy  described the action by the
police  as being 'very arrogant', and  pointed out that Banundi, who has
been working as a member of the staff of the LP3BH for a year, has
frequently issued statements that are very critical  of the activities
of the police as well as the army, in response to their efforts to
reform both the police and the army, and critical in particular the
police special force, Brimob in Manokwari who are often seen drinking
alcohol with local people while bearing weapons that belong to Brimob.
On several occasions, they  are heard firing these weapons into the air.

Since his arrest this morning and up until 8pm, Simon Banundi has not
yet been interrogated because he is refusing to answer any questions as
he has no lawyer to accompany him. Nor have the police given any reason
for Simon's arrest.

In the opinion of PERADIN, his arrest is unlawful because he was in the
course of performing his duties a human rights defender

The flag-raising event is also reported in today's Bintang Papua though
they have not yet reported the arrest of Simon Banundi. The paper did
however report that the security forces had mustered a large number of
personnel, saying that they 'would not tolerate any unfurling of the
flag'. No fewer that 999 personnel were deployed in anticipate of the
event.

The paper reports that the deployment of special forces has been under
way for four days 'in order to ensure that the general public can
proceed with their activities without hindrance' according to the
police in the capital city of Jayapura , as well as along the border
with PNG, in order 'to guard vital places such as the governor's office,
the DPRP's headquarters and other places.

5 thoughts on “Lawyer, five students and others arrested in Manokwari

Please leave a comment. Keep it nice to other users, and remember, no disrepect tolerated. Yell at the killers, not each other; Criticise the abusers deed, not their race or faith.. And please keep it relevant and punchy.

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