KNPB activists questioned by Papua police over alleged subversion

CNN Indonesia – January 5, 2019
Police demolish KNPB symbol in front of office after takeover (KNPB)
Police demolish KNPB symbol in front of office after takeover (KNPB)

Jakarta – On Saturday January 5 the Mimika district police (Polres) in Papua questioned eight West Papua National Committee (KNPB) activists in relation to a case of alleged subversion (maker).

KNPB legal attorney Veronica Koman is disputing the legality of the questioning because it is not in accordance with the stipulations of the Criminal Procedure Code (KUHAP). A police summons, she said, must be issued three days before the questioning.

“The summons was only received at 4pm in the afternoon local time, yet the questioning was scheduled for 2pm local time. The Mimika Polres have committed procedural errors because the minimum time period for a summons according to the KUHAP is three days beforehand”, said Koman in a written release received by CNN Indonesia on Saturday.

Nevertheless, said Koman, the Mimika Polres continued with the questioning of the eight activists who were earlier summoned from the KNPB secretariat at 7pm local time.

She also questioned the alleged case of subversion that is being investigated by the Mimika Polres which ended in the occupation of the KNPB’s Mimika headquarters on December 31.

According to Koman, the activities which were to be held at the KNPB offices at end of the year were nothing more than prayers and a traditional ceremony, which have nothing whatsoever to do with subversion.

Koman believes that the Mimika Polres violated the right to worship by forcibly breaking up the event. “Go ask the police, which part of the traditional and religious [event] was maker [subversive]. Stone burning [ceremonies] are a traditional custom which is hundreds of years old”, she said.

KNPB lawyer Gustaf Kawer said that the police questioning today will be continued on Monday next week. “Meanwhile the KNPB secretariat is still under the control of the TNI [Indonesian military] and Polri [Indonesian police]”, Kawer told CNN Indonesia via an SMS message.

In the police summons for the KNPB activists it states that the Mimika Polres wanted to questioned them in relation to an alleged criminal act of subversion as stipulated under Article 106 of the Criminal Code (KUHP) in connection with KUHP Article 87 in connection with Article 53 alternatively KUHP Article 110 in connection with KUHP Article 88.

CNN Indonesia has attempted to contact Mimika district police Chief Senior Commissioner Agung Marlianto to confirm the questioning of the KNPB activists. As of this report being posted however, there has been no confirmation from Marlianto.

On December 31 the Mimika police and TNI took over the KNPB Timika district headquarters located at the Timika social complex. The KNPB office was subsequently closed down and will be use as a police or TNI post.

Marlianto claims that police have been acting purely in the interests of safeguarding the unity of the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia (NKRI). (mts/pmg)

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “Aktivis KNPB Diperiksa Polres Mimika Terkait Dugaan Makar”.]