Hengky Yeimo, Jayapura, Jubi – The Papuan Legal Aid Institute (LBH Papua) has asked the Papua Police to guarantee the fulfillment of the right to health for eight people who were arrested for raising the Morning Star flag at Jayapura City's Cenderawasih Sports Center on December 1, 2021.
The eight people were accused of treason and are still being held at the Papua Police Detention Center. They are Malvin Yobe (28), Devio Tekege (26), Ambros Elopere (22), Maksi You (19), Paul Sode Hilapok (25), Luis Sitok (19), Ernesto Matuan (21), Melvin Waine (25). Prior to his arrest, Melvin Yobe was undergoing a pulmonary treatment program, while Sode Hilapok was suffering from hemorrhoids.
According to director of LBH Papua Emanuel Gobay, the Papua Police investigators have taken Sode Hilapok for treatment, Hilapok is currently taking medicine. However, the investigators have not fulfilled the proposal to take Malvin Yobe for treatment.
"I've told investigators but haven't heard any development. As for Melvin Yobe, before being arrested, he was following a lung treatment program. After he was detained, I suggested [so that he could seek treatment], but he has not yet received treatment," said Emanuel Gobay when contacted by Jubi by telephone on Thursday, February 10, 2022.
As the legal advisor to the eight people, Gobay emphasized that the police must fulfill his clients' rights. "Even their activity of flying the Morning Star flag is guaranteed by Law No. 21/2001 on Papua's Special Autonomy. But they are detained and charged with treason," he said.
Gobay also criticized the lengthy process of investigation by the Papua Police investigators, which led to eight of his clients still being detained. On January 30, the police actually extended the detention period of his clients for 30 days.
Gobay assessed that his clients' detention period was extended because investigators lacked evidence to delegate the case to the Public Prosecutor. "We emphasize that what the eight suspects did was not against the law. It did not affect the Papua region to become an independent or foreign territory, one of the elements of the treason crime," said Gobay.
Meanwhile, chairman II of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) Buchtar Tabuni is also worried about the health conditions of the eight suspects. Tabuni visited them at the Papua Regional Police Detention Center on January 25 and found that Malvin Yobe and Sode Hilapok were sick.
Tabuni said he had met the Papua Police chief, Insp. Gen. Mathius D Fakhiri, and offered to be the guarantor so that Malvin Yobe and Sode Hilapok could be released from detention for treatment. At that time, said Tabuni, Fakhiri answered Tabuni's offer of bail with a promise that the rights to the health of the eight treason suspects would be fulfilled.