Ombudsman suspects maladministration in arrest of Papua activists in Jakarta

CNN Indonesia – September 12, 2019
Jakarta Ombudsman Chairperson Teguh Nugroho (Tribune)
Jakarta Ombudsman Chairperson Teguh Nugroho (Tribune)

Jakarta – The Jakarta Ombudsman suspects that there was maladministration in the arrest of Surya Anta and several other Papua activists by the Metro Jaya regional police last week.

Jakarta Ombudsman Chairperson Teguh Nugroho says that his office will conduct a further study into the arrests of the Papua activists following a report from Anta’s lawyer.

“After we have received the report, we will see if there are allegations of maladministration in the arrests of the makar suspects”, said Nugroho at the Ombudsman office in Jakarta on Wednesday September 11.

Nugroho said that there are four indicators of maladministration, namely the way the arrests were carried out, the use of the makar (treason, subversion, rebellion) articles, restrictions to legal aid and their detention at the Mobil Brigade (Brimob) headquarters detention centre (Brimob Mako) in Depok.

The Jakarta Ombudsman will summon the Metro Jaya police for an explanation about the alleged maladministration.

“It will take less than a month. We’ll be moving quickly on this issue, perhaps in one or two days we will look at the documents, then next week we will begin the summons process (of Metro Jaya investigators). If a fast response is necessary perhaps before next week we’ll be able to issue [a report]”, he said.

Legal Aid Foundation lawyer Nelson Simamora, who is representing the Papua activists, took the opportunity to say that up until now it has been difficult to provide legal aid to the activists.

Simamora also said Anta’s family has faced difficulties visiting him at the Mako Brimob. He also said that the way Anta is being detained is inappropriate [Anta has allegedly been placed in an isolation cell and is being bombarded by nationalistic music].

“If the family wants to visit [Anta] they must get permission from the director, an Escalon level one or two official. This is unnecessary, right. If a person wants to visit they can just turn up. Say whose family they are. If they’re being held at the Mako Brimob, if you want to just go in your inspected by an official with a firearm”, said Simamora.

Anta was arrested by police on the evening of Saturday August 31. After being taken to the Metro Jaya regional police headquarters, he was transferred to the Mako Brimob in Depok for further questioning.

Anta and seven other people have been declared suspects for flying the Morning Star independence flag during a protest action in front of the State Palace on August 28. (dhf/eks)

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “ Ombudsman Duga Penangkapan Aktivis Papua Langgar Aturan”.]