Jayapura – West Papua National Liberation Army-Free Papua Organisation (TPNPB-OPM) spokesperson Sebby Sambom has expressed his gratitude to Haris Azhar and Fatia Maulidiyanti who were found not guilty by the East Jakarta District Court on Monday January 8.
Azhar and Maulidiyanti are human rights activists who were acquitted in a case of defamation brought against them by Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan.
The case began when Azhar and Maulidiyanti appeared in a YouTube podcast titled There is Lord Luhut behind the Economic Relations-Military Operations in Intan Jaya!! There are also State Intelligence Agency Generals!! NgeHAMtam.
"We express our gratitude to brother Haris Azhar and sister Fatia (Maulidiyanti), where they have undergone a legal process in order to defend the truth for the people of West Papua", Sambom said in a statement received by Suara Papua on Monday.
According to Sambom, they wish to express their extraordinary appreciation because the case proved what Indonesia is doing in the land of Papua.
"We [express our] extraordinary appreciation, because what Indonesia is doing in Papua has been proven by the case against brother Haris and [sister] Fatia. This is a crime where the state has greedily robbed and stolen the natural wealth of Papua", he said accusingly.
In addition to this, said Sambom, they also express their appreciation to the panel of judges at the East Jakarta District Court who made a wise ruling in the case.
"We also give our appreciation to the wise judges in handing down a not guilty verdict for brother Haris and sister Fatia. This is amazing. Therefore we hope that all judges in Indonesia will be as wise as the judges handling the Haris and Fatia case".
"We also convey our gratitude to the 13 national and international NGOs [non-government organisations] that provided support in the cases faced by our two brothers (Haris and Fatia)".
He said that this is a lesson for all Indonesian people who are intellectual, professional and the international community where the injustices committed by the Indonesian nation against the West Papuan people since 1963 began with a military invasion which continues to this day in the land of Papua.
"Thank you also to the NGOs, Papuan and Indonesian students, the people of Papua, and also the individuals who provided support in our brother and sister's (Haris and Fatia) trial process."
"We feel that they both (Haris and Fatia) risked their self-esteem and lives in order to uphold justice and human rights in West Papua", he concluded.
Earlier, a similar statement was also conveyed by the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP).
"Mr Haris and Ms Fatia are symbols of educated, conscious Indonesian people who have shown an attitude of siding with the Papuan nation in confronting the process of genocide, ethnocide and ecocide [carried out] in the name of the state for the sake of the oligarchy", ULMWP Executive Secretary Markus Haluk told Suara Papua on Monday in responding to the not guilty verdict in the Azhar and Maulidiyanti case.
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "TPNPB: Kasus Haris dan Fatia Telah Membuktikan Apa yang Dilakukan Indonesia di Papua".]