Paham Papua calls upon military to be transparent about prosecution of perpetrators

The Association of Human Rights Lawyers for Papua (Paham Papua) has called upon the XVII/Cenderawasih military chief commander to publish information about the current status in the law enforcement procedure in four cases of human rights violations as well as the arson of public health facilities in the Intan Jaya regency and the killing of a police officer in the Mamberamo Raya regency. Investigations had revealed that all cases were committed under the involvement of military members.

On 23 July 2021, Paham Papua submitted an official letter to the military command. As a local human rights organisation, Paham Papua is representing the interests of victims and their relatives. Paham Papua director, Gustaf Kawer (see photo, source: Jubi), explained that Law 18/2003 on lawyers and Law 14/2008 on disclosure of public information provides Paham Papua with the legal mandate to request information about the law enforcement procedure in the interest of their clients and the public. Due 27 July 2021, the military has not given a public response regarding the organisation’s request.

On 23 December 2020, The Commander of the Military Police, Dodik Widjanarko, informed the public during a press conference in Jakarta about the status of law enforcement operations in four cases of human rights violations in Intan Jaya. The military police launched investigations into (1) the arson of government health facilities in the Hitadipa district on 19 September 2020, (2) the shooting of catholic catechist Agustinus Duwitau on 7 October 2020, (3) the enforced disappearance of Luther Zanambani and Apinus Zanambani on 21 April 2020 and (4) the torture and extra-judicial execution of Rev. Yeremia Zanambani on 21 September 2020.

Widjanarko emphasised that all military law enforcement institutions will settle the cases following legal provisions and applicable procedures. He promised that the military would ensure full transparency in all law enforcement processes.