Cartenz task force faces criticism for alleged law enforcement violations

law enforcement
Emanuel Gobay, Director of the Papua Legal Aid Institute (LBH Papua) - Jubi/Theo Kelen

Jayapura, Jubi – The Papua Legal Aid Institute (LBH Papua) expressed its assessment that the Cartenz Peace Operation in Papua does not demonstrate a prioritization of law enforcement. LBH Papua urged the government to evaluate the implementation of the Cartenz Peace Operation in Papua.

“I think the implementation of the Cartenz Peace Operation should be evaluated by all parties still supporting it,” LBH Papua Director Emanuel Gobay said in Jayapura City on Monday, March 18, 2024.

Gobay stated that the Cartenz Peace Operation carried out by the joint forces of the Indonesian Military (TNI) and Police did not show efforts towards law enforcement. Gobay cited the arrest of MH (15) and BGE (15), two students apprehended in Kali Brasa, Yahukimo Regency on February 22, 2024.

“They are children. When it comes to children, it is clear under Law Number 11 of 2012 regarding the Juvenile Justice System, in the practice of arresting children, human rights principles must be prioritized. But why is there an alleged practice of torture? We see through photographic evidence the presence of injuries in those photos,” he said.

On February 27, several media outlets reported statements from the Head of the Cartenz Peace Operation, Sr. Comr. Faizal Ramadhani, stating that MH and BGE had been released.

However, the Chairman of the Yahukimo Church Alliance (PGGY) Rev. Atias Matuan, stated that MH and BGE had not returned home and were allegedly still detained by the police. On March 14, the Yahukimo Police confirmed that MH and BGE were still detained at the Papua Police Headquarters Detention Center, as they had been designated as suspects in the shooting of an aircraft in Yahukimo.

Gobay stated that the way personnel of the Cartenz Peace Operation handled the cases of MH and BGE was allegedly in violation of regulations. According to him, various violations in law enforcement carried out by the Cartenz Peace Operation would tarnish the reputation of the TNI and police institutions.

“This will only tarnish the reputation of the Police and the TNI who continue the Cartenz Peace Operation. They say they will not commit legal violations, but just three months into 2024, they have already committed such violations. The alleged practice of torture further shows the poor image of Cartenz Peace Operation personnel,” he said.

Gobay stated that the leadership of the TNI and police should impose strict sanctions on members of the Cartenz Peace Operation who commit legal violations. Gobay also requested that the Papua Office of the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM Papua) carry out its duty to monitor law enforcement by the operation’s personnel to prevent legal or human rights violations.

“What is the status of Papua? Is the Cartenz Peace Operation Task Force conducting combat operations or law enforcement operations? Is there a military emergency status declared in Yahukimo?” Gobay asked.

According to him, law enforcement operations follow the logic of criminal procedural law. “If someone commits an offense, they are arrested, interrogated, investigated, their status is determined as a suspect, then detained as a detainee by investigators. Next, the case is handed over to prosecutors as a prosecutor’s detainee. Then it proceeds to court, detained by the judge, and the judge examines the case there until a verdict is reached. That is what law enforcement is,” Gobay said. (*)

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