Jakarta – National Committee for West Papua (KNPB) head Agus Kosay sent a legal notice to the Mimika Police precinct chief, requesting that the latter withdraw security forces from the yard of the KNPB headquarters in Mimika, Papua, arguing that the police had violated the law, the Constitution and legal procedures when dispersing a congregation holding a service at the site recently, the notice reads.
Veronica Koman, a lawyer who represents the KNPB, claimed that the police and the National Military (TNI) had prevented the congregation from holding its service on Monday morning, "forcefully" dispersing the group without a warrant.
"They vandalized the building, arrested and detained Yanto Awerkion, Ruben Kogoya, Yohana Kobogau, Elius Wenda, Eman Dogopia, and Vincent Gobay for more than 24 hours – thus violating the Criminal Law Procedures Code, and forced them to sign a statement, stating "Forever the Republic of Indonesia (NKRI)!", to affirm that they would no longer be affiliated with the KNPB," the notice reads.
KNPB Timika chapter head, Yanto Awerkion, accused the security personnel of violating his and a few others' rights by using violence during the process, while they were just holding a service.
"They forbade us from holding the service. The service did not pose any threat to the country," Yanto said as quoted by KBR.
The legal notice quoted Antara, saying that Papua Police spokesman Comr. Ahmad Kamal had instructed that the KNPB headquarters be shut down and turned into a post for security forces.
"This is a peaceful organization that is guaranteed the freedom of assembly. It is precisely the police's actions today that are illegal. The KNPB's freedom of assembly is a constitutional right," Veronica said.
Mimika Police chief Adj. Sr. Cmr. Agung Marlianto said in a statement on Tuesday that 80 members of a joint security force went to the headquarters to monitor what they perceived as an anniversary and New Year's celebrations. The security personnel later ordered pro-independence activists to remove all the movement's insignia and not to shout any pro-independence slogans.
The legal notice also demanded that the Mimika Police issue an apology to the KNPB and affected residents within three days, otherwise the KNPB legal representatives would resort to taking formal legal action against them. (spl/swd)