Bloody Paniai victims will not attend trial at Makassar Human Rights Court

Bloody Paniai
Public discussion "Protection of Witnesses and Victims at the Human Rights Court of the Paniai Incident" organized by the National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM) in Jakarta, Thursday (18/8/2022). – Jubi/Theo Kelen

Jakarta, Jubi – Lawyer Yones Douw said that his clients, families of victims of the Bloody Paniai gross human rights violations were disappointed that the Attorney General’s Office (AGO) only named one suspect in the case. Douw said the victims’ families let the trial at the Makassar Human Rights Court proceed but they declined to attend.

“The victims’ families think the determination of one suspect does not correspond with the facts on the ground, as well as not in accordance with Law No. 26/2000 on Human Rights Courts. The victims’ families have made a decision that they will not attend the trial at the Makassar Human Rights Court,” Douw said as a speaker at the public discussion “Witness and Victim Protection at the Paniai Trial” held by the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) in Jakarta on Thursday, August 18, 2022.

Douw emphasized that the State must uphold justice according to the facts on the ground. “Don’t differentiate serving justice based on the skin tone or the region. Let us uphold the truth. Mutual respect is very important,” he said.

He further stated that gross human rights violations were crimes committed systematically, so there must be a thorough examination of the units allegedly involved in gross human rights violations, such as the Bloody Paniai case. Douw said both the commanders and actors in the field must be brought to justice.

“If there is only one suspect, the end result will be the same as the Bloody Abepura case. The court may proceed with the trial but up until now, the families of the victims and witnesses decided not to be present at the trial. Please respect this decision, we are also human beings. Upholding justice and honesty is very important. If we are truly one nation, we must agree that the Bloody Paniai tragedy is significant to be revealed as frankly as possible,” he said.

Finally, Douw added that the state should have provided protection for witnesses and victims eight years ago. However, Douw said it was never too late. He encouraged the Witness and Victim Protection Agency (LPSK) to provide protection for victims and witnesses of the Bloody Paniai case. “Please go ahead because it is the duty of the state,” he said. (*)

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