Jayapura, Jubi – International spokesperson of the West Papua National Committee (KNPB) Viktor Yeimo, who is currently tried for alleged treason, complained about the condition of his detention room at Abepura Prison. He conveyed it during the reading of the Public Prosecutor’s response to his exception at the Jayapura District Court on Tuesday, January 17, 2023.
On February 21, 2021, the public prosecutor charged Viktor Yeimo with treason for his involvement in the Papuan anti-racism rally that turned into a mass rampage in Jayapura City on August 29, 2019. The public prosecutor charged four different articles, namely Article 106 of the Criminal Code in conjunction with Article 55 paragraph (1) to 1 of the Criminal Code (jointly committing treason with the intention to separate part and territory of the state), Article 110 paragraph (1) of the Criminal Code (conspiring to commit treason), Article 110 paragraph (2) to 1 of the Criminal Code (attempting to move others to commit or participate in committing, or providing assistance at the time of committing, or providing opportunity, means or information to commit the crime of treason), Article 160 of the Criminal Code in conjunction with Article 55 paragraph (1) to 1 of the Criminal Code (orally or in writing inciting to commit a criminal act, violence against the public authority or disobeying either the provisions of the law or an official order given under the provisions of the law).
In Tuesday’s hearing, Yeimo’s legal team asked the panel of judges to give Yeimo the opportunity to convey the conditions of the cell where he was detained. Yeimo then explained that his detention room at Abepura Prison was cramped he could not straighten his legs when lying down and sleeping.
During sleep, he has to fold his legs in order to sleep. According to him, if it rains, rainwater will enter his detention room. “My detention room in Abepura prison is small, therefore I have to fold my legs to sleep. If it rains, rainwater enters the room,” Yeimo said.
Yeimo also complained about the absence of a bed in his cell. Yeimo, who has tuberculosis, is worried that his health will worsen if he sleeps without a bed.
“I sleep on a mattress on the floor. I’m worried that my lungs can’t stand it,” he said.
Yeimo said he had discussed the condition of his cell with the head of Abepura prison. “I hope they will consider a solution so that I don’t have to sleep without a bed,” he said.
In the hearing, Yeimo’s legal counsel, the Papua Law Enforcement and Human Rights Coalition said it had submitted a letter requesting that Viktor Yeimo’s detention status be transferred to city detention. Lawyer Emanuel Gobay said the letter was submitted on January 11, 2023 for the sake of their client’s health.
“I have submitted to the court a letter requesting a transfer of status to city detention. I hope the panel can consider it,” said Gobay.
However, Chief Judge Mathius said the panel of judges had not yet received the Coalition’s request. Mathius said the panel of judges would consider the matter after receiving the letter. He also asked the legal counsel to coordinate with the prosecutor regarding the condition of Viktor Yeimo’s detention room at Abepura prison.
After listening to complaints from Viktor Yeimo and the presentation of his legal counsel, the panel of judges adjourned the hearing until January 24, 2023. The next session will hear the reading of an interlocutory decision from the panel of judges on the defense counsel’s exception and response to the exception submitted by the prosecutor. (*)