Jayapura, Jubi – The Commission for Missing Persons and Violence (KontraS) and the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM), as well as the Papua Law Enforcement and Human Rights Coalition as legal counsel for the victims' families urged the Witness and Victim Protection Agency (LPSK) to immediately provide protection for witnesses and families of victims of the murder and mutilation in Mimika.
KontraS Legal Division staff Andrie Yunus said his party had sent a witness protection request letter to LPSK on November 3, 2023. The request for protection was submitted after KontraS conducted a case investigation and a joint meeting with advocates from the Papua Law Enforcement and Human Rights Coalition.
"After our investigation in Timika, it turned out that four families of victims were questioned at the Timika Resort Police and the Timika Military Police Sub Detachment. Therefore, in one of the efforts to provide guarantees to the families of victims, we submitted an application for protection to LPSK," Andrie said when contacted by Jubi on Sunday evening, January 22, 2023.
Andrie said it had been almost three months since the request. However, according to Andrie, until now his party had not received information whether the application was accepted or rejected by the LPSK. "So far there has been no confirmation from LPSK," he said.
Andrie said there were at least five requests for protection submitted to LPSK, namely physical protection, procedural protection, legal protection, psychological assistance and restitution and compensation facilities. According to him, the request for legal protection for the victim's families and witnesses was so that they could be protected by the law when there was a counter-report against them.
"One of the witnesses is someone who reported the alleged murder. They are vulnerable of being reported back when there is not enough evidence and the case is stopped. That's why we also propose legal protection services for witnesses," he said.
Andrie said it was important to protect witnesses so that when delivering testimony in front of the panel of judges, they did so without pressure or other threats. According to Andrie, from several other cases, there is pressure from certain parties against witnesses so that they do not convey the actual information.
"Witnesses are often pressured by certain parties not to say something or not to tell the truth. Therefore it is important that witnesses in court get protection from LPSK. This is also regulated in the Witness and Victim Protection Law. That is the domain and authority of LPSK," he said.
Andrie said there was a request from the victim's family for one of the defendants, Roy Marthen Howay, to be submitted as a justice collaborator. Andrie said this request was submitted because Roy provided different testimony from the other defendants.
The Papua Law Enforcement and Human Rights Coalition as legal counsel for the victim's family said that until now the LPSK had not provided protection. Lawyer Gustaf Kawer of the Coalition said LPSK was too slow in providing protection for witnesses and families of mutilation victims in Mimika murder case.
Kawer hoped that LPSK would be present to assist in the trial process for both the victim's family and Roy Marthen Howay at the Timika District Court. "Hopefully in the civil trial they LPSK can provide protection for the victim's family and Roy Marthen Howay," he said.
Meanwhile, chairperson of Komnas HAM RI Atnike Nova Sigiro also said the families of victims need protection and recovery guarantees from LPSK. "Komnas HAM RI asks LPSK to provide protection for the families of the victims," Atnike said in Jakarta on January 21, 2023. (*)