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Victor Yeimo's lawyer says detained Papuan activist's rights being denied

Suara Papua - June 11, 2021

Maria Baru, Jayapura – Papua Legal Aid Foundation (LBH) Director Emanuel Gobay is asking the Papua regional police (Polda) to immediately transfer Victor Yeimo from the Mobile Brigade Command Headquarters (Mako Brimob) detention centre to the Polda Papua detention centre.

The call was made because Yeimo's rights as a suspect are not being met and are being complicated by the Mako Brimob's standard operating procedures (SOP) and internal regulations.

"For the sake of facilitating our client's (Victor Yeimo) rights as a suspect, we urge the Papua regional police chief to transfer Victor to the Papua Polda detention centre. Because as a suspect, our client has rights which must be fulfilled and are guaranteed by law", he explained to Suara Papua at his office on Thursday June 11.

Gobay explained that Yeimo's rights at the Mako Brimob have not been fully met. One of the problems is that it is difficult for his family to meet him.

"Polda Papua and Brimob must fulfill the suspect's rights. Because it's guaranteed under Law Number 8/1981 on criminal law. Investigators have not fulfilled his rights since he was detained. The impression is that they have intentionally made everything difficult after he was transferred to Mako Brimob. This is the basis and grounds for urging the Papua Polda to transfer our client", he explained.

Yeimo is currently being detained at the Kotaraja Mako Brimob in Abepura. He was transferred there early on May 10 without the knowledge of or coordination with his lawyer.

Gobay said the thing that is making it difficult is that police investigators are at the regional police headquarters (Mapolda) while Yeimo is at the Mako Brimob which is located a long way from Mapolda.

His client, continued Gobay, should be held at the Papua Mapolda detention centre in order facilitate questioning, family visits and coordination between police investigators and his lawyers.

"But what's happened is our client has been placed at the Mako Brimob. So the investigators often make up excuses which don't make sense. One example, his right to meet with his family to see them, to provide support, provide food, and so forth is difficult. His family wants to visit Victor Yeimo. They have to go to Polda Papua which is located in Jayapura. When they arrive there, after providing information to investigators they then have to go back to Brimob. When they arrive at Brimob they have to deal with the Brimob officers that are on duty", he explained.

He further explained that Brimob officers at the guard post have internal SOP and because of this everything related to meeting the rights of the suspect is more difficult.

"The reality which we encountered on the ground is that sometimes the investigators are there and sometimes they're not. Many times we wanted to meet with them but they weren't there so the family has found it difficult to fulfill the suspect's rights to be met by his family. This shows the fact that Law Number 8/1981, the criminal code, the suspect's rights are being violated there", he said.

Gobay admitted to being annoyed by the police's attitude, in this case the Papua regional police chief (Kapolda), who has still not responded to a letter requesting Yeimo's transfer which was submitted by the Coalition for Justice and Human Rights for Papua.

"I don't agree with the attitude of the investigators and their superiors, in this case Pak [Mr] Kapolda. We from the Coalition for Justice and Human Rights have submitted a letter for the transfer of a prisoner from the Mako Brimob detention centre to the Polda Papua detention centre on the grounds of meeting the suspect's rights. But there has still not been any response whatsoever. Meanwhile the reality which we encountered is that the suspect's rights have not been fully met. Here I think is the impression that there has been neglect which is impacting on the violation of the suspects rights", he said.

"I'm explicitly asking the Pak Kapolda to immediately respond to the transfer request letter which we from the Coalition for Justice and Human rights submitted. I've already found a copy which was given to the Mako Brimob provost meaning that he's already received it. Our client is still protected under the presumption of innocence. He has not been sentenced by a court at all so the Pak Kapolda must be professional. The lack of professionalism we are referring to is for example not responding to the letter requesting a prisoner be transferred that we submitted", he explained.

Gobay is asking the Papua regional police chief to use his discression to order his subordinates, specifically the investigators handling Victor Yeimo's case, to write a document which can be used by his family as liaison to fulfill the suspect's right to be visited by his family, to be visited by a clergyman, or visited by government officials, a catholic nun and a doctor.

[Slightly abridged translation by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "PH Minta Victor Yeimo Dipindahkan ke Rutan Polda Papua".]

Source: https://suarapapua.com/2021/06/11/ph-minta-victor-yeimo-dipindahkan-ke-rutan-polda-papua