Papua regional police raises criminal charges against arrested Polish citizen

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Polish citizen Jakub Fabian Skrzypski (39), who is described by the police as a journalist and had been arrested in Jayawijaya regeceny on 26 August 2018, might face criminal charges. Officer Ahmad Mustofa Kamal, the spokesman of the Papua regional police (Polda Papua), stated in an interview with the independent media outlet ‘Tabloid Jubi’ that Skrzypski will be charged with the treason articles 106 and 110 of the Indonesian Criminal Code KUHP, article 53 KUHP regarding the attempt to commit a criminal offense and article 55 KUHP on committing, ordering or participating in a criminal offense. The criminal offense of treason alone carries a maximum sentence of 15 years imprisonment.

 

 

According to Kamal, the police allegedly found amunition during his arrest. Moreover, Skrzypski’s mobile phone contained incriminating videos and photos showing a relationship with members of the Papuan armed resistance movement TPN-OPM. The police suspects that he was establishing a weapon trade with members of the separatist movement. Skrzypski had visited the regencies Jayapura, Mimika and Sorong in early August and subsequently went to Papua New Guinea until 22 August 2018, before he continued his travels to the highland regency Jayawijaya. Despite the afore mentioned police allegations, Jakub Skrzypski denies that the police had found ammunition during his arrest and claims that he visited Papua as a tourist.  

The head of the national human rights commission Papuan representative office, Frits Ramandey, visited the Polish citizen in his detention cell (see intro image) on 3 September 2018 and stated that his physical condition is fine. According to Ramandey, the police provides sufficent food and meets miniumum hygiene standards during detention. He also said that the police had agreed that a translator and a lawyer will support Jakub Skrzypski during the criminal investigation. However, Ramandey was concerned over the detainee’s current mental condition. Papuan human rights lawyer Gustaf Kawer, who visited Skrzypski during detention shortly after being transferred to Jayapura, stated he is being held in an inadequately ventilated cell, given poor food and hasn’t been able to contact family or change his clothes.

Background

Members of the Jayawijaya District Police arrested Jakub Fabian Skrzypski and three Papuan men on 25 August 2018 around 12.20 pm at the Napua Military Post in Wamena. He was brought to the Wamena district police station and interrogated for approximately two hours before being released. The following day, police officers again arrested him in his hotel in Wamena. On 27 August 2018, Jakub Skrzypski was brought to Jayapura and taken into custody at the Polda Papua office.

Earlier this month, Indonesian immigration officers prevented Australian citizen Belinda Lopez from entering Indonesia shortly after landing at the International Ngurah Rai Airport in Bali on 3 August 2018. She was detained for 17 hours in a room at the airport. The incident appears to be closely related to her former work as editor for the Indonesian newspapers 'The Jakarta Post' and 'The Jakarta Globe'. Mrs Lopez had to leave Indonesia in 2016 due to allegations that she had conducted media coverage in the province of Papua.