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INDONESIA: Medical workers charged for income protests

INDONESIA: Medical workers criminally charged for protests over their income

August 30, 2011

Dear friends,

The Jayapura regional police in West Papua have charged eight medical workers with incitement and objectionable acts following their peaceful protest against regulation 141/2010 by the provincial governor. The regulation deprives the Jayapura hospital's medical workers of certain payments. An earlier request to meet and discuss the situation was ignored by the governor. Moreover, the medical workers were reported to the Jayapura regional police for violating criminal law with their protest. The AHRC sees the fabrication of these charges as a violation of the workers freedom of expression. Peaceful protesters have frequently been criminally charged for incitement or disobedience in West Papua and other parts of Indonesia.

CASE NARRATIVE:

The AHRC has received information from KontraS, the Commission for the Disappeared and Victims of Violence, regarding the fabrication of charges against workers who had conducted a peaceful protest. The medical workers serving in the Jayapura District Hospital have been receiving an incentive bonus since 2005. In 2010, the governor of Papua decided to alter this incentive.

When news reached them of the possible change the workers feared that they would lose this payment and made requests for a meeting with the governor which were initially ignored. Only after the medical workers conducted a peaceful protest in front of the local parliament building in Jayapura on 2 December 2010 did a dialogue take place the following day. The workers met with several commissioners including the Regional Secretary of the province, the head of the Legal Division, Papua's health agency representative and a representative of the Jayapura hospital.

This meeting resulted in an agreement regarding the amount of the incentive payment. On 6 December 2010, the governor of Papua issued resolution no. 125 of 2010 implementing the agreement. However, in an abrupt about face, on 30 December 2010, the governor revoked the earlier resolution with another one (no. 141 of 2010) and thus deprived the medical workers of the respective payments.

The medical workers again requested a dialogue with the governor asking the reinstatement of resolution no. 125 of 2010 which was once again ignored. They then held a peaceful demonstration from 1 -- 14 March 2011.

On 12 March, 2011 a report was made to the Papua regional police that the protestors were alleged to have carried out acts of incitement and objectionable acts as mentioned in article 160 and article 335 point 1 respectively in the criminal code. The report deplored the medical workers absence from their health service duties while participating in the protest. Leni Ebe, the coordinator of the protest pointed out that not all staff attended the protest and that they had arranged to ensure that health care was sufficiently provided to patients.

On 15 March 2011, at 10.00 am, Leni Ebe and Popi Mauri were examined as witnesses in the criminal case against them at the Papua regional police headquarter. At 03.00 pm, the police declared eight persons including Leni Ebe and Popi Mauri as suspects in the case.

The AHRC is concerned about the ongoing criminal procedures conducted against the workers for organising a peaceful protest. Criminal charges against peaceful protesters have increased in Papua and West Papua in recent years and several political protesters were convicted with prison sentences.

SUGGESTED ACTION:
Please write letters to the authorities listed below urging them to drop the charges against the eight medical workers of the Jayapura hospital.

Please be informed that the AHRC is sending letters on this case to the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, calling for strong interventions.

SAMPLE LETTER:

Dear _____,

INDONESIA: Medical workers criminally charged for protests over their wages

Name of the victim: Leni Ebe, Popi Mauri, Stevi Siahaya, Luthrinu, Siska Mandosir, Yolanda Inauri, Dolita Ataruri, Imbenay
Alleged perpetrator: Papua regional police
Time of incident: 12-15 March 2011
Place of incident: Papua regional police headquarter

I am writing to express my serious concern over the charges of incitement and objectionable acts against Leni Ebe, Popi Mauri and several others.

According to reports from KontraS, the Commission for the Disappeared and Victims of Violence, the medical workers serving in the Jayapura District Hospital have been criminally charged for their participation in a peaceful protest against a new regulation of the governor of Papua depriving them of some payments.

Fearing that they would lose this payment when news reached them of the possible change the workers made requests for a meeting with the governor, which were initially ignored. Only after the medical workers conducted a peaceful protest in front of the local parliament building in Jayapura on 2 December 2010 did a dialogue took place the following day. The workers met with several commissioners including the Regional Secretary of the province, the head of the Legal Division, Papua's health agency representative and a representative of the Jayapura hospital. This meeting resulted in an agreement regarding the amount of the incentive. On 6 December 2010, the governor of Papua issued resolution no. 125 of 2010 implementing the agreement. However, on 30 December 2010, in an abrupt about face the governor revoked the earlier resolution with another one (no. 141 of 2010) and thus deprived the medical workers of the respective payments. The reasoning given for this new resolution was that the payment of the incentive would create duplication of budget.

The medical workers again requested a dialogue with the governor asking the reinstatement of resolution no. 125 of 2010 which was once again ignored. They then held a peaceful demonstration from 1 -- 14 March 2011.

On 12 March, 2011 a report was made to the Papua regional police that the protestors were alleged to have carried out acts of incitement and objectionable acts as mentioned in article 160 and article 335 point 1 respectively in the criminal code. The report deplored the medical workers absence from their health service duties while participating in the protest. Leni Ebe, the coordinator of the protest pointed out that not all staff attended the protest and that they had arranged to ensure that health care was sufficiently provided to patients.

On 15 March 2011, at 10.00 am, Leni Ebe and Popi Mauri were examined as witnesses in the criminal case against them at the Papua regional police headquarter. At 03.00 pm, the police declared eight persons including Leni Ebe and Popi Mauri as suspects in the case.

I am concerned about the ongoing criminal procedures conducted against the workers for organising a peaceful protest and urge you to ensure that the charges against the eight members of the medical staff be dropped. I hope that the provincial administration could show more openness to dialogue and would commit to ensure that no person will be criminally charged for participating in a peaceful protest as such charges present a violation of every person's right to freedom of expression as enshrined in Indonesian and international law.

I am kindly urging for your intervention into this case.

Yours sincerely,

---------------------

PLEASE SEND YOUR LETTERS TO:

1. Mr. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono
The President of INDONESIA
Jl. Veteran No. 16
Jakarta Pusat
INDONESIA

Tel: +62 21 3863777, 3503088.
Fax: +62 21 3442223

2. Minister of Home Affair of Republic of Indonesia
Jl. Merdeka Utara No. 7 Jakarta 10110
INDONESIA

Tel: +62 21 3450058, 3842222
Fax : +62 21 3831193

3. Chairman of the National Police Commission (Kompolnas)
Jl. Tirtayasa VII No. 20
Komplek PTIK
South Jakarta
INDONESIA

Tel: +62 21 739 2352
Fax: +62 21 739 2317

4. Head of Indonesian Police
Markas Besar Kepolisian INDONESIA
Jl. Trunojoyo No. 3
Kebayoran Baru
Jakarta 12110
INDONESIA

Tel:+62 21 3848537, 7260306, 7218010
Fax :+62 21 7220669
Email : info@polri.go.id

5. The Head of House of Representative of Papua
(Ketua Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat Papua)
Jl. Dr. Sam Ratulangi No.2
Jayapura, Papua
INDONESIA

Tel: +62 967 533580
Fax:: +62 967 533691

6. Barnabas Suebu
The Governor of Papua
Jl. Soa Siu Dok
Jayapura, Papua
INDONESIA

Tel: +62 967 537523
Fax: +62 967 531847, 531853

7. Head of Police Area Headquarters Jayapura, Papua province
Polda Papua
Jl. Samratulangi No. 8 Jayapura
INDONESIA

Tel: + 62 967 531014
Fax: +62 967 533763

8. Head of National Commission on Human Rights of Indonesia
Jalan Latuharhary No.4-B,
Jakarta 10310
INDONESIA

Tel: +62 21 392 5227-30
Fax: +62 21 392 5227
E-mail : info@komnas.go.id

Thank you.

Urgent Appeals Programme
Asian Human Rights Commission

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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