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Statement by Papua religious leaders on the trial against 7 Papuan defendants at the Balikpapan District Court

Joint Statement - June 11, 2020

Shalom, Assalamuallaikum Wr. Wb., Om Swastiastu, Namo Buddhaya, Salam Kebajikan

Mr. President of the Republic of Indonesia that we respect and love. As the leaders of interfaith in Papua, we express our appreciation to the President of the Republic of Indonesia for the high concern for us in Papua Province. We see that previous presidents have never had a heart and have done real work for Papua like Mr. President of the Republic of Indonesia Ir. H. Joko Widodo; this is not only proven through ongoing visits but also the development of infrastructure development that continues to grow in Papua to reach remote areas throughout the land of Papua. But unfortunately, infrastructure development only opens isolation between regions but the hearts and lives of indigenous Papuans have not been touched.

On this occasion, we are also grateful for the wisdom of the President of the Republic of Indonesia so the OTSUS has been running over the years and will soon be over. OTSUS, which will soon end, still leaves various problems including legal issues. This problem certainly has left a wound and disappointment in the minds of Papuans. At the present, various human rights violations that have occurred in Papua have never been resolved, for example; the Wasior, Wamena, Paniai, Nduga and Surabaya cases have not received legal clarity and justice. In court trials, various legal decisions do not favor justice and truth. The legal facts that were proven in court were not respected and the judge's decision favored the policies of the government and those who had capital power. The facts on the ground, cases of hate speech and racist acts that actually occur outside Papua are addressed to Papuan students, but the fact is the perpetrators of utterances racists are punished very low while those who refuse racist treatment are punished severely. It is feared that this will lead to greater turmoil in the community. Therefore, as interfaith leaders we declare:

1. We uphold human values and firmly reject various forms of injustice and racism. In our opinion, humans in their existence before God and the Constitution of the Republic of Indonesia have an equal position in their rights, obligations, dignity and dignity. All human beings have the same value as creatures that create an equal, noble and no difference God.

2. Starting from the case of racism in Surabaya which was carried out against Papuan students in Surabaya, Malang, Yogyakarta and Semarang on 15-17 August 2019 by the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) organization, Pemuda Pancasila (PP), members of the TNI and the Son Communication Forum – Retired Putri Putri (FKKPI) has triggered anti-racism protests by Papuans and various groups in solidarity throughout the land of Papua and throughout Indonesia from the 19th of August to early September of 2019. The problem of racism that occurred against Papuan students has hurt national and state life, so that the State must be serious in resolving this racism problem.

3. According to our observations as religious leaders who must stand objectively, independently and in the capacity to voice out justice and truth; that the 7 (seven) defendants at the trial in the Balikpapan – East Kalimantan District Court purely held a demonstration for refusing racist treatment. But the indictments and demands at the trial were very different from the data and facts in the field. They are victims of racism but are accused of treason.

4. We observe that the legal proceedings against the 7 (seven) defendants in the trial at the Balikpapan District Court – East Kalimantan are not procedural starting from arbitrary arrests, torture that has occurred since the arrest and examination process that does not prioritize the principle of presumption of innocence, and the transfer of the defendants which was carried out outside of Papua, where it was not appropriate to the place of the incident, and without notifying the family and legal counsel. This transfer clearly made the distance between the scene of the case so that the defendant's family was also increasingly distant so that the consequences impacted on the lack of access for the family of the other defendant and all Papuans to view the trial openly. Although legally the trial must be conducted openly.

5. This legal process is also increasingly difficult with the situation of Covid-19 pandemic, so that the trial is conducted online starting from the beginning of April 2020. This online trial makes the proof process cannot be carried out optimally and objectively, starting from the disruptive internet signal, the wrong time, the general public who cannot access the trials openly – of course violates the principle of justice which is fast, simple, low cost and open to the public.

6. We see that the demands of the Public Prosecutor against the defendants are very unreasonable because they are far from the facts of the trial. Witnesses submitted by the Public Prosecutor include 6 (six) members of the Papua regional police and 1 (one) from the Kesbangpol Papua Province. Witnesses from the police are not witnesses who explain the facts as charged with treason, but rather witnesses who monitored and secured anti-racism demonstrations on August 19th of 2019 and August 29th of 2019. While witnesses from Kesbangpol did not know the defendant and the alleged case and what was done, which includes not knowing their organization was registered at the Kesbangpol or not, because registration at the Kesbangpol was not an obligation but voluntary. Besides that, the three experts presented by the Public Prosecutor namely linguists, psychologists and HTN experts did not have a correlation to the alleged treason committed by the accused. Besides that, the Public Prosecutor also did not present a criminal expert to support his proof of the indictment. During the trial, the Public Prosecutor only played an anti- racism demonstration video and was not shown any evidence supporting his proof that the defendant committed treason.

7. The defendant through legal counsel in the trial has submitted 5 (five) fact witnesses and 5 (five) experts consisting of HTN experts, Criminal Experts, Legal Philosophers, Political Experts and Conflict Resolution, Racism Experts. From our observations based on the documentaries, evidence, and witness' testimonies of the facts that the defendants Ferry Kombo, Alex Gobay, Hengky Hilapok, Irwanus Uropmabin and Agus Kossay did not commit treason but participated in anti-racism demonstrations in Jayapura on August 19th of 2019 and August 29th of 2019 in reaction to the acts of racism against Papuan students in Surabaya that took place on August 16, 2019. Whereas Buchtar Tabuni and Steven Itlay were not involved in any anti- racism demonstrations or meetings related to the Free Papua movement. The expert also explained that the demonstration against racism was freedom of expression regulated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the Civil Convention, the 1945 Constitution, the Human Rights Law and the Freedom of Expressing Public Opinion Law.

8. Seeing the reality of the trial process above and the demand for high decisions, religion as a forum to uphold the truth and uphold the values of justice in this country, requires that the state be present and play a serious role in resolving racism and upholding the law fairly and with dignity.

9. If religious voices are not delivered, we are very worried that this nation will experience turmoil in the future so that it is very dangerous, because it triggers the disintegration of the nation and the loss of public trust in the country.

With regards to the realities and real conditions, we, THE RELIGIOUS PAPUAN LEADERS, request the President of the Republic of Indonesia to;

1. Seriously solve the problem of racism in Papua. We convey this in order to help the government to achieve long-term political stability and security specifically in Papua and in Indonesia in general. We are religious leaders who are always side by side with the people hoping for long-term security, harmony and peace. Racism if left unchecked will be very dangerous.

2. Look into the legal proceedings against the 7 (seven) defendants that are still undergoing the trial at the Balikpapan – East Kalimantan District Court to be carried out more equitably. The case began with racism in Surabaya and not treason. The state must be able to distinguish between treason and reaction to racism.

3. In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic situation and the future political situation, we ask the President of the Republic of Indonesia that the defendant be released unconditionally. We request that the verdict will be read by the Honorable Panel of Judges, and reflect a non-racist legal process that the judge must demonstrate to the general public, that there is still justice for the people of Papua in the legal process in this country as enshrined in RI Law and RI Government Regulation No. 40 and 56 concerning the supervision and elimination of discrimination, race and ethnicity in 2011-2012.

4. Our hope as religious leaders for Papua to establish a peaceful land, the President of the Republic of Indonesia immediately resolves 4 (four) main root problems of the Papua conflict that were formulated and recommended by the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), among others; first, the history and political status of the integration of Papua into the Republic of Indonesia; secondly, the violence and human rights violations since 1965 that have almost zero justice; third, discrimination and marginalization of Papuans on their own land; four, development failures includes education, health, and the people's economy.

5. Evaluating the journey of 20 (twenty) years of OTSUS based on the analysis of the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) in point 4 above with;

a. Noting the origin of OTSUS;
b. Involving religious leaders in Papua;
c. Involving civil society;
d. We religious leaders reject the draft OTSUS, which was prepared
unilaterally by the BAPPENAS Republic of Indonesia;

Thus this statement of attitudes was made as a form of struggle to voice truth, humanity and justice throughout Indonesia and specifically in Papua to safeguard Papua's land of peace.

Dear Cc:

1. Minister of Home Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia
2. Menkopolhukam Republic of Indonesia
3. The Supreme Court of the Republic of Indonesia
4. Attorney Commission of the Republic of Indonesia
5. Head of the Attorney General's Office of the Republic of Indonesia
6. Commander of the TNI
8. Chair of the MPR of the Republic of Indonesia
9. Chairperson of the Indonesian Parliament
10. Chairperson of the DPD Republic of Indonesia
11. Papua Desk in Jakarta
12. Governor of Papua Province
13. Governor of West Papua
14. Papuan Provincial Representative Council (DPR)
15. West Papua's House of Representatives (DPR)
16. Papua People's Assembly (MRP)
17. Papua People's Assembly (MRP)/West Papua
18. Papua Police Chief
19. West Papua Regional Police Chief
20. Pangdam XVII Cenderawasih/Papua
21. Pangdam XVIII of West Papua Kasuari
22. Chief of the Papua High Prosecutor's Office
23. Head of the Papua High Court
24. Fellowship of Churches in Indonesia (PGI) in Jakarta
25. Alliance of Indonesian Evangelical Churches and Institutions
(PGLII) in Jakarta
26. Alliance of Indonesian Pentecostal Churches (PGPI) in Jakarta
27. Indonesian Church Guardian Conference (KWI) in Jakarta
28. Chairperson of the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) in Jakarta
29. Chairperson of Nahdatul Ulama (NU) in Jakarta
30. Chairman of Muhamadiyah in Jakarta
31. Parisada Hindu Dharma Indonesia (PHDI) in Jakarta
32. Representatives of Indonesian Buddhists (WALUBI) in Jakarta

Source: https://humanrightspapua.org/news/32-2020/589-statement-by-papua-religious-leaders-on-the-trial-against-7-papuan-defendants-at-the-balikpapan-district-court