Update on criminalisation of Victor Yeimo – Police submit case files to prosecutor

Criminal investigators of the Papua Regional Police (Polda Papua) have submitted the case files of Victor Yeimo to the public prosecutor in Jayapura on 8 June 2021. According to Polda Papua spokesperson, A.M. Kamal, the investigators are currently waiting for instructions from the public prosecutor to complete the cases files for the upcoming trial. Mr Yeimo’s lawyers continue to raise concern over his current detention facility. He is currently detained at the Police Mobile Brigade (Brimob) Headquarters in Kota Raja, Jayapura. Internal procedures reportedly continue to hamper lawyers and relatives to visit Victor Yeimo during detention.

Human rights organisations already expressed concerns over multiple criminal procedure violations in mid-May. Lawyers called upon the police to move Victor Yeimo back to the Polda Papua detention facility in Jayapura to uphold his rights as a suspect following international human rights standards. The lawyers explained they and the relatives face difficulties to visit Victor Yeimo (see photo, source: Jubi). Internal requirements at the Brimob headquarters state that they need to get official permission from the criminal investigator at Polda Papua before visiting Mr Yeimo. The investigator’s absence from the office had repeatedly caused delays in legal counsel and prevented his relatives from bringing food to him.

Victor Yeimo is the international spokesperson of the West Papua National Committee (KNPB), a movement organisation that promotes the right to self-determination through peaceful means. He also plays a significant role in forming a petition against the prolongation of Papua’s special autonomy status. Victor Yeimo was arrested on 9 May 2021 in Jayapura and accused of organising a series of protests against the racial discrimination of ethnic Papuans and for self-determination in 23 towns across West Papua and 17 cities in Indonesia between 19 August and 30 September 2019.