Jakarta Legal Aid Institute : Papuans Being Arrested Ahead of 1 December

Director of Jakarta Legal Aid Institute (LBH Jakarta), Alghiffari Aqsa - Facebook
Director of Jakarta Legal Aid Institute (LBH Jakarta), Alghiffari Aqsa – Facebook

Jayapura, Jubi – “In Papua, not only the freedom of expression is restricted, but the freedom of worship as well,” Director of Jakarta Legal Aid Institute (LBH Jakarta), Alghiffari Aqsa told Jubi on Sunday (29/11/2015).

LBH Jakarta, Aqsa said, condemned the arbitrarily arrest of 17 people in Nabire on Saturday (28/11/2015) when cleaning the area at Taman Bunga Bangsa Papua in Nabire. The arrest was connected with the preparation of a orayer rally on 1 December 2015.

“Nabire Police made the arrest without apparent reason, without a warrant or detention letter. Those who were arrested include Markus Boma, Frans Boma, Habakuk Badokapa, Sisilius Dogomo, Agus Pigome, Matias Pigai, Jermias Boma, Yohanes Agapa, Ales Tebai, Yesaya Boma, Adolop Boma, Matias Adli, Martinus Pigai, Aluwisius Tekege and 3 others,” said Aqsa.

This incident increases the number of violations against the freedom of expression and aspiration in Papua. And this time the freedom of worship is also violated. The local police’s act has violated the constitution, which guarantees the freedom of every citizen to worship.
“If cleaning the park for worship is enough for an arrest, what is going to happen to those who plans to do a rally on 1 December? What is the police’s reference to arrest people who were preparing a space for worship?” stated Aqsa.

He further said commemorating the Papuan identity on every 1 December is part of the freedom of expression and aspiration of Papuans that guaranteed by the constitution, thus the Indonesian Government must protect it. The government should use a dialogue approach instead of repressive approach.

Therefore, LBH Jakarta urged the President Jokowi, Papua Police Chief and Indonesian Police Chief to not taking repressive act on next 1 December. The constitution must be enforced. “Guarantee the freedom of expression for Papuans in Indonsia on 1 December!” Aqsa firmly said.

Earlier, as reported by Antara News Agency, the Papua Police Chief Inspector General Paulus Waterpauw, on Saturday evening, told 17 civilians have been arrested because of raising the morning star flag. However, soon he corrected the statement by saying they were arrested not because of raising the morning star flag but rather trying to against the officers when to be dispersed in doing celebration at Lapangan Gizi Nabire. They even submitted an announcement letter about the celebration of the Papua Independence Day on 1 December and put the raising of the morning flag in the agenda. They were cleaning the field at that time and refused to be dispersed, said Waterpauw while adding the police have also sowed the flagpole. (Abeth You/rom)