Jakarta – The Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) is urging the Attorney General and the Judge Advocate General to immediately to push for the shooting cases in Intan Jaya, Papua, to be heard in civilian courts.
Kontras Coordinator Fatia Maulidiyanti says that there are no grounds not to try the cases in a civilian court. Article 200 Paragraph 1 of the Law on Military Tribunals, she said, clearly explains the issue of damages caused by alleged criminal acts by members of the TNI (Indonesian military) in such incidents.
"The Attorney General and the Judge Advocate General can propose to prosecute and try these cases in a public court", said Maulidiyanti as quoted by CNN Indonesia on Sunday December 26.
As many as 17 TNI members have reportedly been declared suspects in a series of cases of violence, shootings and killings in Intan Jaya regency between April and October this year.
The cases range from the torching of a healthcare office in Hitadipa village in Intan Jaya regency, the disappearance of two people named Luther Zanambani and Apinus Zanambani who were detained by the Sugapa district military command (Koramil), the shooting of Pastor Yeremia Zanambani and the shooting of a Gembala Catholic Church official [Agustinus Dawitau] near the Sugapa Airport.
In two out of the four cases, namely the shooting of Zanambani and Dawitau, no suspects have yet been declared.
Meanwhile, in the case of the torching of the healthcare office in Hitadipa on September 19, eight TNI members have been named suspects. Then in the case of the disappearance of Luther Zanambani and Apinus Zanambani who had been detained at the Sugapa Koramil since April, nine people have been named suspects.
Maulidiyanti believes that it is important for these cases to be quickly taken before public courts bearing in mind that the legal process in military tribunals is generally closed to the public.
Throughout 2020, Kontras recorded that 114 out of a total of 196 cases of general crimes were tied by military tribunals, ranging from cases involving narcotics, fraud, cover-ups, domestic violence and immorality, where sentences were less than a year.
"This of course shows a high level of criminal disparity if compared with sentences handed down for similar crimes for civilian defendants in public courts", said Maulidiyanti.
In addition to urging the Attorney General and the Judge Advocate General to prosecute these cases in a public court, Kontras is also asking the TNI to continue the inquiries and criminal investigations in order to fully investigate and name suspects in these cases.
Kontras is also urging the House of Representatives (DPR) Commission I and Commission III to prioritise and schedule deliberations on revisions to Law Number 31/1997 on Military Tribunals, which has yet to be brought into line with the spirit of reformasi – the political reform process that began in 1998.
"The Indonesian government [should] make policies which are comprehensive in paying attention to the problems in Papua in order to prevent the continuation of violent practices which endanger the safety of civilian", concluded Maulidiyanti. (thr/ayp)
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "KontraS Desak Kasus Intan Jaya Disidang di Pengadilan Sipil".]