A. Muh. Ibnu Aqil, Jakarta – The Attorney General's Office (AGO) has handed over the case dossiers of a suspect allegedly involved in human rights violations that occurred in Paniai, Papua, after authorities recently stepped up investigations into the case.
The move marks a step forward in the case that the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) said constituted a "gross human rights violation."
"[An investigation] team from AGO's junior attorney for special crimes [Jampidsus] has handed over the files on IS, a suspect in a gross human rights violation case in Paniai in 2014 to prosecutors," AGO spokesperson Ketut Sumedana said in a statement on Saturday, as quoted by Antara News Agency.
He said the prosecutors would start studying the case to construct an indictment against IS, adding that the case would be tried at Makassar Human Rights Court in South Sulawesi.
The AGO named IS, an Indonesian Military (TNI) retiree who was a liaison officer for the Paniai Military Command (Kodim), as a suspect in the Paniai case on April 1.
The incident, also referred to as Bloody Paniai, occurred when security forces opened fire on a crowd of demonstrators during a protest in Paniai regency on Dec. 8, 2014. Five people, including four high school students, were killed during the incident, and 21 other civilians were injured.
President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo visited Papua not long after the incident and promised to uphold justice and resolve the case.
In his speech to commemorate International Human Rights Day last year, the President said the government was committed to resolving cases of gross human rights violations, including the Paniai case, and bring any perpetrators to justice.
The handling of the case previously stalled after the AGO sent back preliminary investigation dossiers submitted by Komnas HAM in 2020, reportedly citing administrative errors.
Komnas HAM commissioner Amiruddin Al-Rahab welcomed the AGO's latest move, saying that the proposed plan for the Makassar Human Rights Court to hear IS' case was in accordance with the 2000 Human Rights Court Law.
He expressed the hope for "fair and transparent" court proceedings and that the prosecutors could demand a proper sentence in the case.