Release Political Prisoners of Papua

Stop All Forms of Violence against Human Rights Defenders

June 16th , 2020

Press Release

The securitization that continues to take place in Papua will result in human rights violations and the security of humanitarian victims in policy. One of them which is experienced by human rights defenders who advocate for the Papua issue, they face various forms of threats ranging from you, persecution, arbitrary arrests, physical violence, criminalization, and even murder. The Citizen Coalition for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders noted that during the era of President Joko Widodo’s administration, there were at least 72 cases of violations and violence against Papuan Human Rights Defenders with the number of human rights victims reaching 1,200.

One of the cases that is currently getting public attention, both nationally and internationally, is the criminalization of 7 (seven) Papuan political prisoners. They are currently facing a sentence of 10 to 15 years in prison at the Balikpapan District Court. In fact, 5 of the 7 political prisoners are students, one of whom is the Chairman of the Student Executive Board (BEM) of Cenderawasih University, Ferry Kombo. We consider that in the case of these 7 Papuan political prisoners, the legal process they received was far from fulfilling justice. The demands given to the political prisoners are the treatment of Indonesian law enforcement officers against Papuan human rights defenders. This gap even leads to racial bias, where the seven prisoners seem to receive harsher sentences than other similar cases.

The Coalition for Human Rights Defenders believes that violations of the rights of human rights defenders in Papua originate from stigmatization as supporters of separatism/rebels. As a result of this stigmatization, treatment that gives human dignity and violates various legal provisions seems to be able to provide freedom for Papuan politics and human rights, whether carried out by the apparatus or by civilians. One of the practices of violence and stigmatization is discrimination and racism against the Papuan people. Discrimination and racism are crimes against humanity ideologically and constitutionally are violations of the constitution and fundamental crimes, namely crimes against humanity.

In the last two years, many human rights defenders, citizens, and student groups in Papua who held peaceful protests have been arrested and imprisoned on charges of treason. In fact, it is a form of expression that is protected by the Indonesian constitution. This discriminatory treatment, or even racial bias, is increasingly emphasized by the government with the ongoing practice of impunity for cases of violence against human rights defenders in Papua.

Based on the foregoing, the Citizen Coalition for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders urges:

The Balikpapan District Court to free all Papuan political prisoners because the legal process they experienced was racially biased and destroyed the dignity of the law in Indonesia, both in the eyes of the Indonesian people themselves and in the eyes of the international community. In addition, the seven political prisoners are human rights defenders who are voicing protests against previous acts of racism against Papuan ethnic groups.

President Joko Widodo to grant amnesty and abolition to all other Papuan political prisoners, namely those who were charged with the previous article on treason and rehabilitate the good name of Papuan prisoners/human rights defenders because what they are doing is actually a form of freedom of expression which is protected by the Indonesian constitution, the 1945 Constitution of the Republic of Indonesia.

Law enforcement officers in Indonesia, especially the Police, Prosecutors, and Courts should not look at race in responding to the situation in Papua, because it will only further pollute the atmosphere and perpetuate conflict in Papua.

All Indonesian government officials, both at the central and regional levels, as well as other civil society to deal with all forms of discrimination and racism of Papuans and Papuan political prisoners.

Jakarta,

June 16th, 2020

The Citizen Coalition for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders

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