Jayapura, Jubi – One of the eight activists who raised the Morning Star flag at Cenderawasih Sport Center on December 1, 2021, Zode Hilapok, died after being treated at the Yowari Regional General Hospital, Jayapura Regency, on Saturday morning, October 22, 2022.
Zode Hilapok's passing was confirmed by Christianus Dogopia, one of Zode's relatives. "Zode Hilapok's body has been sent to the funeral home in Wamena," Dogopia said when contacted by Jubi via telephone call on Monday.
Previously, Zode Hilapok and his friends, namely Melvin Yobe (29), Melvin Fernando Waine (25), Devion Tekege (23), Yosep Ernesto Matuan (19), Maksimus Simon Petrus You (18), Lius Kitok Uropmabin (21), and Ambrosius Fransiskus Elopere (21)-were arrested by police on December 1, 2021, when they marched in front of the Papua Police headquarters carrying Morning Star flags and banners with the Morning Star on it.
Since being detained, Zode's health has been deteriorating. Dogopia said on December 12, 2021, Zode began experiencing symptoms of illness, feeling fatigued and sleepy. At that time, Zode lost weight dramatically.
"At that time he ate only rice, without side dishes, or with vegetables but in small portions. Otherwise, his stomach hurt or he would become nauseated. His bowel movements were bloody," Dogopia said, describing Zode Hilapok's health condition at the Papua Police Detention Center.
On April 11, 2022, the case files of Zode Hilapok and his friends who were charged with treason were transferred to the Jayapura District Court. However, on April 11, 2022, Zode's health deteriorated again. The reading of the indictment for Zode Hilapok and his friends, which was supposed to be held on April 19, 2022, had to be postponed because Zode Hilapok was still unwell.
On April 25, 2022, Chief Judge RF Tampubolon finally suspended Zode Hilapok's detention based on the medical examination results by the doctor of the Abepura Penitentiary clinic, Evelien J Kailalo, who concluded that Hilapok's health condition required further treatment. On April 26, 2022, Zode Hilapok was admitted to Dok 2 Hospital, Jayapura City.
On May 17, 2022, the panel of judges finally decided to suspend the examination of Zode Hilapok and ordered the public prosecutor to separate Zode Hilapok's case file from the other defendants.
The trial continued to examine seven other defendants. On August 29, 2022, the panel of judges found Melvin Yobe and others guilty of treason. They were each sentenced to 10 months in prison from the day they were detained.
On September 27, 2022, all seven of them were released after serving 10 months in prison.
The treason case against Zode Hilapok was never tried as he continued to be ill. On October 22, 2022, Zode Hilapok passed away at Yowari Hospital, Jayapura Regency. (*)