Jayapura, Jubi – Director of the Jayapura Legal Aid Institute of the Indonesian Women's Association for Justice (LBH APIK Jayapura) Nur Aida Duwila said a number of legal aid institutions in Papua provided legal assistance to three children who were victims of persecution allegedly committed by the Indonesian Military (TNI) soldiers in Keerom Regency.
The assistance, Nur said, was to ensure that the perpetrators were prosecuted and the victims received psychological and social recovery.
Among the organizations to provide assistance were LBH Apik Jayapura, the Cenderawasih Legal Aid Post, the Institute for the Study of Empowerment of Women and Children of Papua (LP3A-P), and the Indonesian Advocates Association (Peradi) Jayapura City.
"There are lawyers at Peradi Jayapura who are ready to help," Nur told Jubi on Thursday evening, November 3, 2022.
Rahmat Paisei (14), Bastian Bate (13), and Laurents Kaung (11) were allegedly assaulted by a number of soldiers at the Cartenz Peace Task Force Post in Yuwanain Village, Arso District on October 27. The three of them were tortured using chains, wire reels and water hoses until they suffered severe injuries and had to undergo treatment at the hospital.
According to Nur, the soldiers who persecuted three children must be held accountable for their actions. "We will do whatever it takes to uphold the legal process. We are committed to bringing the perpetrators to court. Even if the children have made wrongdoings, there must be a non-violent solution. If the soldiers accused them of stealing, they should have reported them to the police instead of torturing them," she said.
Nur said the recent violence only added to the list of violence by the security forces in Papua. "Even if it was true that the children stole, it was not a justification for the persecution," she said.
Nur feared that these children would be traumatized after experiencing such violence, or worse, they would grow up committing violence against other people or the next generation. This will only prolong the chain of violence in Papua.
She further said that all parties have a responsibility to break the chain of violence against Papuans, especially against Papuan children. It is important so that the next generation does not experience the same thing.
Director of the LP3A-P Siti Akmianti said her party was still coordinating with the coalition to provide assistance to the three children in Keerom. "The LP3A-P cannot provide the assistance yet as we are still coordinating with the coalition about advocating for the case," Siti told Jubi on Friday.
Rahmat's mother, Elvi Yoku, said on Friday that the family had trusted the legal process to be handled by a team of legal aid organizations including the Papua Office of the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM Papua), as well as the XVII/Cenderawasih Military Police.
She hopes that the perpetrators that persecute her son and the other two children will be prosecuted. "I have handed over the case to the legal team. I'm looking forward to hearing the next steps from them," Yoku told Jubi.
Yoku said her son Rahmat was still undergoing treatment at the Marthen Indey Army Hospital in Jayapura City. She said Rahmat's condition had not improved. Her son still had difficulty eating and oftentimes vomited.
"He's still vomiting. Today he vomited twice and the color of his vomit was very yellow," she said. (*)