LBH Papua urges Jokowi to audit BIN regarding arms trade issue

Director of LBH Papua, Emanuel Gobay. - Jubi/Doc

Jayapura, Jubi – Director of the Papua Legal Aid Institute (LBH Papua) Emanuel Gobay has asked President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo to immediately audit the State Intelligence Agency (BIN) regarding its alleged purchase of weapons used in the armed conflict in Papua.

Gobay made his call following a report by on allegations that BIN had purchased mortars from Serbia, which were then used in the armed conflict in Papua. This allegation was conveyed in a report by London-based weapons monitoring group Conflict Armament Research (CAR), which stated that the mortar purchased by BIN was used in the attack on eight villages in Kiwirok District, Bintang Mountains Regency, in October 2021.

“Tempo’s report stated that since October 10, 2021, helicopters and drones had shot and dropped ammunition in eight villages in the Kiwirok District for several days. This immediately raises questions because according to the prevailing regulations, BIN does not have the authority or duty to purchase defense equipment,” said Gobay in his written statement on Tuesday, June 7, 2022.

BIN’s duties, Gobay said, were clearly limited by Article 29 of Law No. 17/2011 on State Intelligence. According to the article, BIN is tasked with conducting assessments and formulating national policies in the field of intelligence, submitting intelligence products as consideration for determining government policies, planning and implementing intelligence activities, making recommendations relating to foreign people and/or institutions, and providing considerations, suggestions, and recommendations on securing the government’s administration.

“BIN does not have a duty to buy firearms or ammunition of any kind as they were not mentioned in Article 29 of the State Intelligence Law,” said Gobay.

He further asked President Jokowi to order the National Police Chief to carry out legal proceedings against alleged criminal acts of illegal arms trade, which violates Emergency Law No. 12/1951.

“That is to uphold Indonesia’s status as a state of law and the principle that everyone has the right to legal certainty, recognition, guarantees, protection, and equal treatment before the law,” Gobay said.

He also reminded The National Police chief not to be discriminatory in carrying out the legal process for alleged criminal offenses under Emergency Law No. 12/1951. So far, there have been many Indigenous Papuans who have been arrested and legally processed as perpetrators of arms trafficking using the provisions of Emergency Law No. 12 /1951, including several people who were criminalized under the provisions of the Emergency Act.

Gobay mentioned the case of Abet Telenggen, who was sentenced to 1 year and 6 months in prison by the Public Prosecutor but was acquitted by the Jayapura District Court judges because Telenggen did not know anything about the arms trade in Papua.

“If there are other parties, whether private persons or legal entities/state-owned, who commits any of the actions prohibited by the Emergency Law No. 12 /1951, they must be processed by law, in order to avoid discrimination in law enforcement,” said Gobay.

LBH Papua also asked the House of Representatives to immediately intervene and examine BIN regarding the alleged purchase of weapons from Serbia. “The House must examine BIN and publicly announce the results of the examination in accordance with the principle of public openness,” said Gobay. (*)

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