LBH Papua demands legal action against police who disband Human Rights Day rally

LBH Papua
Police barricade blocking human rights protesters in Manokwari-Jubi/Adlu Raharusun

Jayapura, Jubi – Emanuel Gobay, the Director of the Papua Legal Aid Institute (LBH Papua), called for law enforcement against officers involved in police brutality against the people who rallied during the World Human Rights Day in Manokwari.

“The West Papua Police Chief must immediately order the arrest and legal processing of the perpetrators of violence, as it constitutes alleged criminal acts of assault as regulated in Article 351 of the Indonesian Penal Code,” Gobay stated in a written release on Tuesday, December 12, 2023.

The rally in Manokwari commemorating World Human Rights Day ended in clashes, resulting in five individuals being struck by police, two people arrested, and two police officers hit by objects thrown by the crowd.

Gobay expressed disappointment that while Human Rights Day celebrations in various countries are typically marked by peaceful activities, such as free speeches, citywide marches, human rights-themed stages, and gratitude ceremonies, the police in Manokwari created barricades using shields and wore full riot gear to tightly control the event.

He highlighted that riot control measures should only be implemented when the situation escalates from yellow to red alert levels, as specified in Article 4 of the Indonesian National Police Chief Regulation No. 2/2019 on Riot Control.

Gobay emphasized that every police officer, in their duty or daily life, is obliged to uphold and respect human rights. He criticized the police for their actions, stating that they should have been part of the Human Rights Day observance rather than dispersing it.

“We demand that the National Police Chief promptly instruct the West Papua Police Chief to investigate and legally process the officers in charge of the Riot Control Unit, and immediately order the Internal Affairs Division to investigate the Manokwari Police Chief for suspected abuse of authority,” said Gobay. (*)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *