Court hears gun pointed at students during Papuan treason suspects’ arrest

KBR – December 4, 2019
Witness gives testimony at South Jakarta Distric Court – December 4, 2019 (KBR)
Witness gives testimony at South Jakarta Distric Court – December 4, 2019 (KBR)

Lea Citra, Jakarta – A witness has testified that police pointed a pistol at residents during the arrest of two Papuan students, Charles Kossay and Dano Tabuni, during a raid on the Lani Jaya student dormitory in Depok, West Java, on August 30.

The two Papuan students were arrested in relation to a protest action in front of the State Palace on August 28 in which the Morning Star independence flag was flown.

The testimony was given by Yumilda Kaciana at the South Jakarta District Court on Wednesday December 4. The court was holding a hearing into a pretrial suit challenging the arrest of Indonesian People’s Front for West Papua (FRI-WP) spokesperson Surya Anta, Kossay, Tabuni and three other Papuan students on charges of makar (treason, subversion, rebellion).

Kaciana said that police pointed a pistol at one of the students named Issay Wonda. The residents of the student dormitory tried to defend themselves when police forced their way in and threatened them with a pistol.

Kaciana also revealed that during the arrest of Kossay and Tabuni the police committed violence, theft and coercion.

“When the dormitory was being raided (by police) they took two megaphones. Then there were banners [belonging to] the Lani Jaya Korwil [regional coordinating] organisation. There were two white T-shirts, one with the motive of the Morning Star [flag], and one which was painted in red, blue and white. It was painted using wall paint. Minutes from an organisational meeting [were taken]. There was one scarf with the Morning Star motive, as well as a noken [traditional woven bag] with the Morning Star motive”, said Kaciana during her testimony on Wednesday.

Kaciana revealed that the police also took two cell phones belonging to dormitory residents. During the raid police briefly showed them an arrest warrant but they were not able to read it.

Kaciana asked to be given a chance to take a photograph of the warrant but police refused. Her mobile phone was also taken. According to Kaciana, there were around 50 police officers, 15 of which entered the dormitory while 35 others remained outside. At the time there were around 24 residents in the dormitory.

Kaciana related how during the arrests the police brought a witness who they did not recognise. She was sure that the witness brought by police was not from local neighbourhood association (RT) or the community unit (RW). Meanwhile an official from the RT who later arrived at the dormitory did so because there was an uproar but they knew nothing whatsoever about the arrests.

Another witness, Vonny Kogoya, give a similar testimony. Kogoya said that the police forced their way in by climbing over the wall next to the kitchen. At the time the front gate to the dormitory was locked. Police did not ask permission to enter, identify themselves or explain why they had come to the dormitory.

“There are three rooms there. First they went into the middle room. Then they asked for a key to a cupboard, but I said I didn’t know where it was because I was not the person who owned the cupboard. They then tried to open the cupboard but were unable to do so, eventually they left the room. Then they entered another room and took things”, said Kogoya.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “Saksi: Polisi Todongkan Pistol Saat Tangkap Aktivis Papua”.]