Jakarta – Papuan activists Anes Dano Tabuni has insisted that he will wear a penis gourd (koteka) during court hearings on charges of treason and criminal conspiracy at the Central Jakarta District Court on Monday January 6.
Earlier the judge conveyed his objections because Tabuni and another Papuan defendant, Ambrosius Mulait, were wearing penis gourds. The other four defendants meanwhile who were also undergoing trial on the same charges wore white shirts.
The traditional Papuan clothing worn by Tabuni and Mulait only covered their private parts while their chests were left bare with white writing reading “Monkey Usir Papua” (Kick the Papuan Monkeys Out) – referring to racist chants by mob outside a Papuan student dormitory in Surabaya in August last year.
“The judge asks us to wear trousers. You can leave the top half bare but don’t wear a koteka again at the next hearing because of the court’s rules he said”, said Tabuni following the court hearing.
Tabuni however said they he would continue wearing a penis gourd because it represents a part of Papuan culture. He said he wants to show that the penis gourd represents an aspect the Papuan identity which must be allowed to be displayed.
“I must show that the Papuan people are like this and we will resolve problems no matter how big they are, we will resolve them culturally. So I must wear a koteka. I show more respect for the hearing when I wear a koteka”, he said.
Tabuni said that he was concerned that if he stopped wearing the penis gourd it would ostracise other Papuan people. Because of this therefore, he declared that he would continue to wear the penis gourd during the next hearings.
“Even though the judge and the prosecutor asked me to wear trousers, our parents before us never wore trousers, right. They used to wear the koteka and live like this. So we are showing our culture”, said Tabuni.
Earlier the prosecutor charged the six Papua activists, namely Surya Anta, Charles Kossay, Anes Dano Tabuni, Isay Wenda, Ambrosius Mulait and Arina Lokbere with makar (treason, subversion, rebellion) and criminal conspiracy.
In the first indictment, the six Papua activists are charged with violating Article 106 in conjunction with Article 55 Paragraph (1) of the Criminal Code (KUHP) or makar.
In the second indictment meanwhile, the six are charged under Article 110 Paragraph (1) of the KUHP on criminal conspiracy for flying the Morning Star independence flag during a protest action in front of the State Palace on August 28 last year. (psp/ain)
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “Hakim Keberatan Terdakwa Pakai Koteka di Ruang Sidang”.]