High Cort upholds three-year sentences for Forkorus and his colleagues

JUBI, 11 May 2012

The High Court in Papua has decided that Forkorus and his co-defendants should be sentenced to three years, in accordance with the verdict declared at the trial on 16 March.

The defence lawyer of the five men, Gustaf Kawer said that the High Court’s decision had simply affirmed the verdict of the district court which had given the men sentences of these years each.

He said that the High Court’s decision was conveyed to the five men today. Kawer also said that the articles in the Criminal Code which had been used to condemn the men had not been considered by the High Court. ‘They simply handled the case as a priority and in so doing confirmed the three-year sentence.’

He went on to say that this is the kind of political error that is commonplace in this country.

The five men have been given two weeks to decide whether they want to appeal to the Supreme Court, the highest court of appeal, following the counter-appeal made by the Prosecutor to the Jayapura district court.

The prosecution did not make any mention of the basis used for laying the charge of treason against the five men. Even so, the High Court judges simply expressed their agreement  with the demand for sentence that had been made by the prosecutor., nor did they say anything about the time the crime was perpetrated.

Dominikus Sorabut and Edison Waromi were hand-cuffed at the end of the Third Papuan People’s Congress on 19 October, 2011. They, along with the other two were jointly charged with treason and for having proclaimed the establishment of the Federal State of West Papua and appointing Forkorus Yaboisembut as its president.and Edison Waromi as its prime minister.

Indonesia urged to pay close attention to the situation of Forkorus and his colleagues

JUBI, 11 May 2012

Indonesia has been urged to pay close attention to the health and well-being of Forkorus and his colleagues who are now being held in Abepura Prison and to make sure that their conditions are being regularly monitored.

Yan Christian Warinussy, the executive-director of LP3BH, the legal aid NGO in Manokwari  said  that this monitoring should be done on a daily basis, bearing in mind that people in many countries are very concerned about how they are faring in prison. ‘What I mean is that people in several countries that are friendly with Indonesia are watching and monitoring the situation closely.This also includes international human rights NGOs as well as UN agencies.  This relates to the legal guarantees required by the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Indonesia’s Human Rights Law 39/1999.’

He said that special attention is being shown in the USA, the Netherlands, Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, the European Union, France and New Zealand.

He also said that he had received inquiries  as well as strong statements from all these countries.. They all say that they are paying close attention to the need to safeguard the security and peace of mind of Forkorus and his colleagues; this includes such agencies as Tapol and Amnesty International,

LP3BH: Military Intelligence Operations are still underway in Papua

Statement by Yan Christian Warinussy, Executive-Director of LP3BH,  Papua[Translated by TAPOL]

The appointment and deployment of Major-General Mohammad Erwin Syafitri (former deputy chief of BAIS, Indonesia’s joint strategic intelligence  agency) as commander of KODAM XVII Cenderawasih Papua is clear proof that the Land of Papua is still an area of operations of Indonesian military intelligence.

As a result, the top leadership of the military territorial command in this region has been placed under the command of a leader who has a background in intelligence or at the very least a history of involvement in Indonesia’s intelligence agency.

This is important in order to protect the collaboration between military activities or security and intelligence which acts as the front line for gathering information and deploying security forces in the area.

It is important to point out that in the opinion of human rights activists in Papua, the Land of Papua is still isolated from the international community, bearing in mind that access to the area has been made difficult for several humanitarian and human rights institutions such as the International Committee of the Red Cross and Peace Brigades International, as a result of which they have closed their offices in Papua and left Indonesia in November last year.

The same goes too with regard to the presence of international observers as well as foreign journalists. And for the past five years, it has been difficult for foreign diplomats based in Jakarta to gain access to Papua. This situation  has come about because of the powerful influence of the Indonesian army – TNI – and the Indonesian police, so as to make it more difficult for international observation of developments with regard to the rule of law and basic human rights in the Land of Papua.

As a human rights defender in the Land of Papua, I see a close connection with  the upsurge in demands being made by the Papuan people  to the Indonesian government to find a solution to a number of problems by means of a Papua-Indonesia dialogue, as an important theme which is continually being confronted by certain elements, such as the TNI and the Indonesian police, both of whom have their own vested interests in the Land of Papua.

Bearing in mind that President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono stated on 9 November 2011 that he is ready to enter into dialogue with all forces in the Land of Papua, I have not yet seen  any response to this from TNI or from the Indonesian police, to indicate whether they agree with this or indeed whether they support the wishes of the President.

Although in this connection, the military commander and the chief of police of Papua said in their presentations to the Papuan Peace Conference on 5-7 July 2011 that they too support dialogue as the way to solve the conflict in the Land of Papua.

I believe that the Indonesian army and police must clearly reveal their attitude towards the question of dialogue.which is what the vast majority of Papuans support, along with their non-Papuan brothers here in Papua. Even the central government in Jakarta is supporting this, which is clear from the fact that President SBY  has appointed Deputy President Boediono to take the lead in efforts to prepare the way for this Papua-Indonesia dialogue.

The idea of dialogue has moreover won positive support from a number of countries around the world, including the USA, Australia, Germany, the UK and the European Union, all of whom are close allies of Indonesia and support the territorial integrity  of the Republic of Indonesia.

6 February 2012

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