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Ternate student charged with treason over Papua independence rally

CNN Indonesia - July 20, 2020

Jakarta – Arbi M. Nur, a student from the Khairun University (Unkhair) in Ternate, North Maluku, who was expelled by the university after taking part in a free Papua protest action, has now been charged with treason.

Papua Itu Kita (Papua Is Us) public defender Tigor Hutapea explained that Arbi had been investigated using the makar (treason, subversion, rebellion) articles from the start of the police investigation.

Hutapea explained that Arbi received a commencement of criminal investigation notification (SPDP) designated Number SPDP/48/VII/2020 after the Ternate district police sent the SPDP to the Ternate district attorney's office on July 13.

"In the notification Arbi is alleged to have committed a crime against state security or a crime against public order which is regulated under KUHP [Criminal Code] Articles 106 or 160 and or 161 in conjunction with Article 55 Paragraph 1", said Hutapea in a document received by CNN Indonesia on Monday July 20.

Hutapea said that that the campus authorities arbitrarily expelled Arbi along with three fellow students, namely Ikra S. Alkatiri, Fahyudi Kabir and Fahrul AW Bone. The DO (drop out) notification was contained in a letter from Khairun University Rector Husen Alting designated 1860/UN44/KP/2019 which was issued on December 12, 2019.

Alting expelled the four students over their involvement in a demonstration related to Papua on December 2, 2019. The decision was based on a Khairun University senate recommendation designated 64/UN 44/PW/2019 and a notification from the Ternate district police chief (Kapolres) designated B/528/XII/2019/ResTernate. The two documents were issued on the same date as the rector's notification.

"In the Kapolres Ternate notification it said that Arbi and his colleagues had tarnished the good name of the campus because they had taken part in a 'Papua liberation' action during which there were indications of makar", said Hutapea.

In early April this year the four students sued Alting at the Ambon State Administrative Court (PTUN). On July 23 the court was scheduled to hold a hearing to hear evidence in the case.

Hutapea said that they beloved the treason investigation into Arbi is related to the suit launched by the four students against the expulsion notification by Alting. He said that Alting's decision to expel the four students was hasty.

"An act of makar allegedly committed by a person must be proven and ruled on by a court. A simple notification from the Kapolres clearly cannot be used as a formal legal reference", he said.

Hutapea said that the demonstration Arbi was involved in was a peaceful action held in front of the Ternate Muhammadiyah University during which Arbi and his colleagues mostly conveyed demands for the release of Papuan political prisoners (tapol).

"Arbi also spoke out about HAM [human rights] violations against the Papuan people. Once again, the demonstration was peaceful, orderly and there were no blunt or sharp weapons, firearms and no violence was committed against persons or property", he said.

Hutapea said that the violence and a physical attack was in fact committed by the military and police when they forcibly broke up the demonstration.

"The [rally] was broken up in a brutal way. The participants who were made up of around 50 students from various universities scattered after some of them were dragged away, kicked and assaulted by soldiers and police", said Hutapea. (ctr/pmg)

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Mahasiswa Unkhair DO Usai Demo Papua Kini Dijerat Pasal Makar".]

Source: https://www.cnnindonesia.com/nasional/20200720170522-12-526782/mahasiswa-unkhair-do-usai-demo-papua-kini-dijerat-pasal-makar