Scoop has an Ethical Paywall
License needed for work use Register

World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Lawyer, five students and others arrested in Manokwari

According to a report received this morning (14 December) from LP3BH, the legal aid and investigation institute based in Manokwari, a member of their lawyers team has been arrested by the police while he was involved in monitoring a flag-raising incident on Tuesday, 14 December.

As reported by Yan Christian Warrinussy, executive director of the LP3BH, the flag-raising is an event held every year on 14 December to mark the anniversary of the independence proclamation by the West Melanesian Council 22 years ago [in 1988] by Dr Thomas Wanggai [who died shortly thereafter]

This year's anniversary flag-raising took place outside the office of the Manokwari district office, under the leadership of Melkianus Bleskadit, who was subsequently arrested by the police, acting on the orders of police chief Agustinus Supriyanto . The Rev. Dance Yenu and five others, all students were arrested, apparently for unfurling a flag.

A member of the institute's human rights defenders team, Simon Risyard Banundi, was arrested while monitoring the event, as part of the LP3BH's human rights activities. Banundi is also a member of the Indonesian organisation of lawyers, PERADIN which is the oldest lawyers organisation in Indonesia.

The institute says that his arrest is in clear violation of article 17 of the criminal procedural code, Law 39/1999 on Human Rights, and Law 18/2003 on Lawyers and the International Convention on Human Rights Defenders as well as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading

Are you getting our free newsletter?

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.

In a subsequently message, Warinussy described the action by the police as being 'very arrogant', and pointed out that Banundi, who has been working as a member of the staff of the LP3BH for a year, has frequently issued statements that are very critical of the activities of the police as well as the army, in response to their efforts to reform both the police and the army, and critical in particular the police special force, Brimob in Manokwari who are often seen drinking alcohol with local people while bearing weapons that belong to Brimob. On several occasions, they are heard firing these weapons into the air.

Since his arrest this morning and up until 8pm, Simon Banundi has not yet been interrogated because he is refusing to answer any questions as he has no lawyer to accompany him. Nor have the police given any reason for Simon's arrest.

In the opinion of PERADIN, his arrest is unlawful because he was in the course of performing his duties a human rights defender

The flag-raising event is also reported in today's Bintang Papua though they have not yet reported the arrest of Simon Banundi. The paper did however report that the security forces had mustered a large number of personnel, saying that they 'would not tolerate any unfurling of the flag'. No fewer that 999 personnel were deployed in anticipate of the event.

The paper reports that the deployment of special forces has been under way for four days 'in order to ensure that the general public can proceed with their activities without hindrance' according to the police in the capital city of Jayapura , as well as along the border with PNG, in order 'to guard vital places such as the governor's office, the DPRP's headquarters and other places.


© Scoop Media

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading
World Headlines

UN News: Aid Access Is Key Priority

Among the key issues facing diplomats is securing the release of a reported 199 Israeli hostages, seized during the Hamas raid. “History is watching,” says Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths. “This war was started by taking those hostages. Of course, there's a history between Palestinian people and the Israeli people, and I'm not denying any of that. But that act alone lit a fire, which can only be put out with the release of those hostages.” More

Save The Children: Four Earthquakes In a Week Leave Thousands Homeless

Families in western Afghanistan are reeling after a fourth earthquake hit Herat Province, crumbling buildings and forcing people to flee once again, with thousands now living in tents exposed to fierce winds and dust storms. The latest 6.3 magnitude earthquake hit 30 km outside of Herat on Sunday, shattering communities still reeling from strong and shallow aftershocks. More

UN News: Nowhere To Go In Gaza

UN Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric said some 1.1M people would be expected to leave northern Gaza and that such a movement would be “impossible” without devastating humanitarian consequences and appeals for the order to be rescinded. The WHO joined the call for Israel to rescind the relocation order, which amounted to a “death sentence” for many. More

Access Now: Telecom Blackout In Gaza An Attack On Human Rights

By October 10, reports indicated that fixed-line internet, mobile data, SMS, telephone, and TV networks are all seriously compromised. With significant and increasing damage to the electrical grid, orders by the Israeli Ministry of Energy to stop supplying electricity and the last remaining power station now out of fuel, many are no longer able to charge devices that are essential to communicate and access information. More


Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.