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Defence lawyer calls for Sem Yaru to be acquitted

Bintang Papua articles

Translated by TAPOL

Bintang Papua, 29 July 2010

Defence lawyer calls for Sem Yaru to be acquitted

Two Papans facing the charge of rebellion, Sem Yaru faced a demand for a three-year sentence while his co-defendant Luther Wrait faced a demand for one and a half years, but in both cases, their defence lawyer Iwan Niode called on the court to acquit the two men.

Their lawyer said told the court that they had taken part in a peaceful demonstration outside the office of the Majelis Rakyat Papua and had no intention of engaging in acts of rebellion.

'There were flags flying, they made speeches about holding a referendum and about their dissatisfaction with the implementation of special autonomy by the government in Papua,' the lawyer told Bintang Papua.

He said that in the era of democracy and freedom of information, people need to change their way of thinking and accept that demonstrations are not harmful to other people. 'The flags they were carrying and the other things are just the usual things you see in demonstrations,' he said.

The defence lawyer therefore called on the court to be more open-minded and take note of the substance of a demonstration.

The demonstration in question took place on Monday 16 November 2009.

Semuel Yaru has been charged under Article 106 of the Criminal Code, as well as under Article 110 and Article 160 on incitement.

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Security situation in Puncak Jaya still unstable

[The Puncak Jaya district chief talks frankly about the problems in dealing with the 'terrorists' in the area. TAPOL]

Puncak Jaya district chief Enembe claimed that the security situation in Puncak Jaya is still unstable. He said that four days earlier four vehicles arriving in Mulia from Wamena were burnt. In his opinion, those involved were too self-confident.

Anyone entering Mulia by road should drive in a convey of at least thirty vehicles, in order to minimise the possibility of acts of terrors or other problems.

He said the Wamena-Mulia road is still vulnerable to acts of terror because the guard posts along the road are few and far between and the terrain is very difficult, making it easy for terrorists to disappear when attempts are made to hunt them down.

'Our brothers who differ in opinion from us are still freely moving around and have plenty of weapons, perhaps as many as twenty, making the area very unstable,' he said.

Speaking about the security forces, the TNI/Polri operating in the area who are supposed to be hunting down the terrorists, Enembe said, with a faint smile, the terrorists know the terrain far better than the members of the security forces, which makes it difficult for the latter to clamp down on them.

'If they intend to hunt these people down, they need a well-thought our plan. People on the 'wanted list' can on occasion hand over their weapons, and then later resume their activities as ordinary members of the local community.'

'Just sending members of the police force to stand guard along the road will not bring an end to the activities of the terrorists. They need a well thought-out plan, because those fighting in the forests know the area much better than the members of the security forces.'

Calls upon these people should aim at pacifying the armed groups to persuade them to surrender their weapons.

'They are ideologically different from us which means that we need to think up special tactics, which is not an easy thing to do. These groups consist of a variety of people, some of whom are struggling for an independent Papua, while some are fighting over local issues or just because they feel bitter about something. They all band together to engage in these acts of terror,' he said.

ENDS

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