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A number of Papuan students staged a demonstration in front of the State Palace on Thursday, August 22, 2019. They condemned what were called acts of physical and verbal violence against Papuan students in East Java
A number of Papuan students staged a demonstration in front of the State Palace on Thursday, August 22, 2019. They condemned what were called acts of physical and verbal violence against Papuan students in East Java
DAILYNEWS At least eight people were named as treason suspects after allegedly carrying out demonstrations, submitting demands for independence, and flying the Morning Star Flag in front of the State Palace on Wednesday, August 28, 2019. The police said the actions constituted crimes against state security.
A spokesman for the Jakarta Police, Argo Yuwono, said the determination of the status of the suspect was carried out after his party conducted an examination that relied on evidence in the form of CCTV video footage, photographs and the Morning Star Flag that was raised in front of the Palace.
"So the state of Indonesia as a state of law, every activity that violates the law has sanctions," Argo told BBC News Indonesia, Sunday, September 1, 2019.
Seven Papuan students and a spokesman for the Indonesian People's Front for West Papua (FRI-WP) who have been named suspects are Carless Kossay, Dano Tabuni, Ambrose Mulait, Naliana Wasiangge, Wenebita Wasiangge, Norince Kogoya, and Surya Anta.
He also said, the eight suspects would be detained for 20 days in Mako Brimob Depok under suspicion of Article 106 and or 110 of the Criminal Code where the threat of a sentence of 20 years imprisonment or life imprisonment.
However, the legal counsel for the suspects from the Jakarta Legal Aid Institute, Nelson Nikodemus Simamora, said the allegation of Article Makar to his client was incorrect. Because treason must be accompanied by an attack.
While what his client did on Wednesday 28 August 2019, in front of the State Palace was part of expressing his opinion.
"It was just a spontaneous demonstration. Because the action in front of the Palace was a response to the very degrading treatment of fellow Papuan students in Surabaya and Malang," Nelson Nikodemus told BBC News Indonesia.
"So as soon as the (racial) video is spread, yes the action is carried out suddenly," he continued.
Nelson further argues, Makar Article is a rubber article which is often translated "arbitrarily" by law enforcement. He cited a number of cases where Papuans who chanted the word merdeka or referendum were immediately subjected to the article.
In fact, treason in the Dutch translation is interpreted as an attack.
"That means treason or aggression or attack. For example, by using firearms, assault rifles, then many people want to separate themselves from the Republic of Indonesia with him attacking government offices for some areas to be separated or separated."
"The problem is whether yelling independence or raising the Morning Star Flag can be said to be an attack? And it has been a debate all this time about the meaning of the word treason."
Papua study researcher from the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), Adriana Elizabeth, assessed the arrest and determination of the suspects of seven Papuan students for alleged treason, could worsen the situation in Papua. Moreover, demonstrations continued throughout these two weeks in a number of cities including Wamena, Jayapura and Deiyai, Papua.
"It can indeed make the atmosphere worse. Especially the situation in Papua these days has not improved. So this is like a continuing story and mutual influence. If there are allegations (treason), please process them fairly and there is no need to overdo it," Adriana Elizabeth told BBC News Indonesia.
What he was worried about was that the arrests and arrests would lead to greater demonstrations. Because Papuans will return to see injustice.
"Now with this arrest, between following the procedures carried out by taking into account the conditions, this (action) will be widespread. While there is a rioting scenario, so please consider it. Do not implement the policy so politicized," he said.
According to Adriana, the cry of "independence" or "referendum" was not the first time voiced by Papuans. So, he said, officials and the government should catch the message behind the call.
"If the one who shouted for independence, there must be. From the first he also shouted the same. Now what should be captured is the essence of what."
Meanwhile regarding the Morning Star Flag which the police call as part of a crime against state security, according to Adriana, is excessive. He further agreed to call the flag a "cultural flag" as the former president Abdurrahman Wahid said.
"In Gus Dur's era it was already recognized as such. But then it was reduced and said it was a symbol of treason. Now I ask back, if all Papuan students fly the flag and shout for independence, all of them want to be arrested? That's what I mean."
A day of anti-racism demonstrations in Jayapura, Papua, on Thursday (29/08) marked by arson and pillaging of public facilities, shops, and private vehicles, the Papua Regional Police arrested at least 64 people.
Of that number, 28 have been named suspects of suspicion of vandalism, looting and arson. Despite the police, said spokesman Suryadi Diaz, his party was still looking for the party behind the incident.
"Who directed them is still being explored. Yes, allegedly, there are already, but they are still being explored," Suryadi Diaz told BBC News Indonesia on Sunday (09/09).
Tens of people, he said, were now in the Papua Regional Police Criminal Investigation. While total losses due to vandalism and looting, are still being recorded.
Until now the police are still setting Alert 1 for the Papua region. At least 4,000 personnel from Kalimantan, Sulawesi, and Jakarta Mobile Brigade, have been brought to Papua following the upcoming demonstration on Tuesday (03/09).
Thousands of personnel, he said, would be stationed in Jayapura, Paniai and Deiyai ​​cities.
Suryadi also claimed, the conditions in Papua throughout the day were conducive. There was also no riot or attack in Jayapura. A similar statement was made by the Coordinating Minister for Politics and Security, Wiranto, when met at an art event with the Papuan community at the HI Roundabout, Jakarta.
"Today we are grateful that our brothers and sisters in Papua are peaceful, calm, life is running again. The shops have reopened," Wiranto said.
"Because of that there is no need to fight anymore, burnt-burning. Burning stones may be. But not public facilities and buildings," he continued.
However, a different statement was made by a resident of Padang Bulan, Jayapura City, Whens Tebai. From his confession, at 04.30 Central Indonesian Time, there was an attack between a group of migrants called the Association of Archipelago with Papuans near the Papua Nayak 1 student dormitory heading for Jalan Pasar Lama Abepura.
Whens confessed, heard a series of shots. When the incident happened, he was inside the house which was 500 meters away.
"There were about ten gunshots. Then another sound after a few seconds had passed. After 10:00 WIT, I headed towards Abepura, there was Brimob and the police were protecting the area," he said.
"I also saw stone throws along the road."
He said, conditions in Papua are still tense when night falls. At around 19:00 CEST, no one dared to leave the house.
"At night, tense. At 19.00 CET like dawn. The Papuan people are still traumatized and afraid. Fear of being chased by the authorities and mass organizations."
"At night there is also a patrolling post. Each guard complex."
Meanwhile, schools were still closed since demonstrations led to riots broke out in Jayapura.
"Starting from kindergarten, elementary school, middle school, high school, to college, holidays."
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