Two Papuan students arrested and detained in Jakarta

In the early morning hours of 3 March 2021, police officers entered the Papuan student dormitory in Jakarta and arrested Roland Levy, a member of the Papuan Student Alliance (AMP) Central Committee and Kelvin Molama, the Secretary of the AMP Committee in Jakarta (see photo, source: Facebook). Both are currently detained at the Jakarta Police headquarters. The police investigates against both activists for involvement in alleged violence against people and property and theft using force, as regulated in Articles 170 and Article 365 of the Indonesian Criminal Code (KUHP). Human rights observers are concerned that the police try to criminalise the students for their engagement in peaceful political and human rights activities. The criminalisation should scare off other students from organising public protests about West Papua. They demand the immediate release of Kelvin Molama and Roland Levy.

A team of lawyers representing the two students explained that various law enforcement processes' inconsistencies support the criminalisation allegations. The police officers entered the dormitory in civil clothing and failed to show a warrant at the time of the arrest. The seized evidence was also not related to the criminal allegations. Police officers repeatedly rejected the lawyer’s request to get a copy of the police investigation report. Besides, Police Chief Regulation No. 6/2019 on Criminal Investigation states that the police should summon suspects to investigate criminal offence involvement allegations. Suspects shall only be arrested if they are caught in the act of committing a crime. However, Kelvin Molama and Roland Levy were instantly taken into custody and should be detained for 20 days.

According to the head of the Jakarta Police Public Relations Department, Yusri Yunus, the arrest was related to the assault of a man named Rajut Patiray, who claimed to be beaten by Papuan students on 20 January 2021. The students had allegedly attacked Patiray for making public statements on behalf of the AMP.