Fate of Surya Anta and other detained Papuan activists still unclear

CNN Indonesia – September 18, 2019
Papua Student Advocacy Team submits complaint with Kompolnas – September 18, 2019 (CNN)
Papua Student Advocacy Team submits complaint with Kompolnas – September 18, 2019 (CNN)

Jakarta – The Papua Students Advocacy Team from the Jakarta Legal Aid Foundation (LBH) has reported alleged ethical violations committed by the East Java regional police (Polda) and the Metro Jaya Polda against Surya Anta, Veronica Koman and several other Papuan students who have been declared suspects.

The violations were reported to the National Police Commission (Kompolnas) in South Jakarta on Wednesday September 18. LBH Jakarta also raised questions about the fate of Anta and several of his colleagues who are currently being detained at the Mobile Brigade Command Headquarters (Mako Brimob) in Kelapa Dua, Depok.

Advocate team member Okky Wiratama said that they had found several violations by law enforcement officials against the suspects being held at the Mako Brimob. At least five of the alleged violations were reported to Kompolnas.

First, the alleged obstruction of legal aid to the suspects. According to Wiratama, the six suspects have the right to obtain legal aid and this cannot be blocked as regulated under Article 54, Article 57 Paragraph 1 and Article 70 of the Criminal Procedural Code (KUHAP).

“Two days ago we went to the Mako Brimob several times but it turned out that attorneys are still being prevented from going inside to meet with the Papuan colleagues who are inside the Mako Brimob, [even though] we as attorneys showed them our powers of attorney documents in accordance with the procedures applied by the Polda Metro Jaya”, he said at Kompolnas.

Wiratama added that there were alleged procedural violations during the arrests of the suspects and witnesses. The arrest of the seven Papuan activists, namely Carles Kossay, Dano Tabuni, Ambosius Mulait, Isay Wenda, Ariana Lokbere, Norince Kogoya and Naliana Wijangge, were not in accordance with Article 18 Paragraph 1 of the KUHAP, Article 33 Paragraph 2 and Article 37 Paragraph 1 of National Police Regulation (Perkap) Number 14/2012 on the Management of Investigations.

In addition to this alleged violations occurred related to the treatment and detention of the suspects. He gave as an example the detention of Indonesian People’s Front for West Papua (FRI-WP) spokesperson Anta who has been continuously bombarded by patriotic songs such as Garuda Pancasila.

Anta has also been placed in a separate isolation cell which only has a small ventilation duct and is extremely hot. Wiratama said that this conflicts with Article 54 of Perkap 14/2012.

Police he continued also committed procedural violation during raids on premises. For example investigators did not show a search warrant authorised by the head of a district court and failed to consult with the neighbourhood association and community unit heads when they arrested Carles Kossay, Dano Tabuni, Naliana Wasiangge, Ariana Lokbere and Norince Kogoya.

Next, there were alleged violations related to police investigation reports (BAP). Wiratama said that the Metro Jaya regional police have still not given a copy of the BAPs to the suspects or their lawyers. This is believed to conflict with Article 72 of the KUHAP and Article 66 of the Perkap 14/2012.

Team member Tigor Hutapea added that they will also report the East Java regional police over the naming of Veronica Koman as a suspect, although Hutapea conceded that this was just an act of solidarity with a fellow human rights defender and he was not acting as Koman’s attorney.

“In our view Veronica Koman was acting in her capacity as an advocate, she has been the lawyer for the AMP [Papuan Student Alliance] since 2018, when the incident occurred at the Surabaya [Papuan student] dormitory on 16-17 (of August) Veronica Koman was not actually in Jakarta or Indonesia at the time, but as a lawyer she had direct access to a great deal of information from student friends about the incident as well as several videos, photographs, which Veronica Koman was given directly [by people] on the scene”, he said.

Hutapea believes that the naming of Koman as a suspect was arbitrary because as a lawyer representing the Papuan students she had the right to publish the information she obtained on social media.

Hutapea also said that Koman cannot be declared as a suspect because of her status as a lawyer. “We believe that as an advocate she cannot be prosecuted under criminal or civil law as regulated under the Law on Advocates as well as a MK [Supreme Court] ruling”, he said.

CNN Indonesia is still attempting to contact the Metro Jaya and East Java regional police to get a response to the report with Kompolnas.

Police however have denied reports that Anta is being held in an isolation cell separate from the other detainees.

“The reports that the suspect Surya Anta has been placed in an isolation cell are untrue, because Polri [the Indonesian police] do not have isolation cells as reported”, said Metro Jaya regional police public relations head Senior Commissioner Argo Yuwono in a written release on Thursday September 5.

Prior to being detained, he continued, Anta was processed in accordance with procedures, namely given a health check, given sufficient food, given a detainee’s uniform, allowed to make any complaints and given time for visitations. “And he was bought a Bible for spiritual guidance”, added Yuwono.

Kompolnas says that it will send a letter to Metro Jaya regional police chief (Kapolda) Inspector General Gatot Eddy and East Java regional police chief Inspector General Lucky Hermawan in relation to the complaint.

Kompolnas Commissioner Poengky Indarti said that they first need to confirm with Eddy and Hermawan to get a written response to the complaint lodged by LBH Jakarta.

Kompolnas has only just received the complaint from our colleagues at LBH Jakarta, Kompolnas will following this up by getting a clarification from the Metro Jaya Kapolda and the East Java Kapolda”, said Indarti at the Kompolnas offices. (gst/gil)

[Abridged translation by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “Surya Anta Tak Diketahui Nasibnya, Polisi Diduga Langgar Etik”.]

Source: https://www.cnnindonesia.com/nasional/20190918193140-12-431715/surya-anta-tak-diketahui-nasibnya-polisi-diduga-langgar-etik