Supreme Court must protect witnesses in Bloody Paniai case

Bloody Paniai
The Makassar Human Rights Court panel of judges held a hearing to read the indictment of the Bloody Paniai case in Makassar, Wednesday (21/9/2022). The case will be examined and will be tried by a panel of judges led by Chief Justice Sutisna Sawati, accompanied by Abdul Rahman, Siti Noor Laila, Robert Pasaribu, and Sofi Rahman Dewi as member judges. - Jubi/Eko Rusdianto

Jayapura, Jubi – The Paniai Monitoring Civil Society Coalition urges the Supreme Court and the Makassar Human Rights Court to provide protection for witnesses who will be presented in the trial of the Bloody Paniai case. The coalition also requested that each member of the judges presiding over the case should also be protected.

In a written statement received by Jubi on Wednesday evening, September 21, 2022, the coalition highlighted an event when six police personnel visited Paniai students’ boarding house in Makassar City on Tuesday afternoon. The police asked whether or not the students planned to protest during the Bloody Paniai trial at the Makassar Human Rights Court. The coalition considered it a form of terror to the Paniai students.

The coalition urged the Supreme Court and the Makassar Human Rights Court to ensure proper protection for the judges and witnesses, as well as to coordinate with the Makassar Police to ensure the security of Indigenous Papuans in Makassar during the Bloody Paniai trial.

“We regret that security outside the trial is also still a problem unaddressed,” the coalition said.

At the first hearing on Wednesday, a team of public prosecutors led by Erryl Prima Putera Agoes charged retired Indonesian Military (TNI) officer Maj. (Ret.) Isak Sattu with two offenses of crimes against humanity that carry the heaviest penalty of death, and the lightest penalty of 10 years in prison.

The prosecutor team has prepared 52 witnesses from the community, military and police, and six expert witnesses who will be sought to be present in the courtroom on September 28, 2022.

The Paniai Monitoring Civil Society Coalition also criticized the Attorney General’s Office for only presenting a single defendant in the Bloody Paniai gross human rights violation. The AGO’s move is considered incompatible with the element of “widespread or systematic attacks, knowing that the attacks are aimed directly at the civilian” in its construction of crimes against humanity.

“We urge the Attorney General to thoroughly investigate all perpetrators other than Isak Sattu and bring them to justice. With only one person being prosecuted in this trial, we can’t help but wonder, ‘Who are the prosecutors protecting?’,” said the coalition. (*)

Leave a Reply

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