Lawyer Slams Arrest of 2 Papuan Students Alliance Activists

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Petir Garda Bhwana

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  • A number of masses wore traditional clothes during an action at the Horse Statue Roundabout, Jakarta, Monday, March 1, 2021. Special autonomy (Otsus) in Papua has generated pros and cons among various circles. Some time ago, a mass of Papuan students in Jakarta held a demonstration against the extension of the special autonomy system. TEMPO / Muhammad Hidayat

    A number of masses wore traditional clothes during an action at the Horse Statue Roundabout, Jakarta, Monday, March 1, 2021. Special autonomy (Otsus) in Papua has generated pros and cons among various circles. Some time ago, a mass of Papuan students in Jakarta held a demonstration against the extension of the special autonomy system. TEMPO / Muhammad Hidayat

    TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Michael Hilman, a lawyer for the Papuan Students Alliance in Greater Jakarta, on Thursday criticized the arrest of two of his clients, Kelvin Molama and Roland Levy, who were arrested after they were accused of committing persecution against another individual named Rajid Patiray after a mass protest held in front of the Indonesian House of Representatives (DPR) on January 27.

    Roland Levy was the protest’s coordinator at the time and the two Papuan university students are currently detained by the Metro Jaya Police and being questioned as suspects. 

    “Our friends were arrested at their dormitory on Wednesday. Roland was arrested at 4 in the morning and Kevin was arrested at 6 in the morning,” Hilman explained to Tempo on Thursday, March 4. “This case seems to be forced.”

    According to the lawyer, both Molama and Levy deny police’s accusations and both claim neither of them know who Rajid is and based on information they gathered, the lawyer explained, Rajid is known as a news spreader or media representative for the Papuan Students Alliance. 

    However, none of the members of the students alliance have ever seen Rajid in person. Hilman said both of his clients were questioned since Wednesday and lasted to Thursday dawn and his two clients refused to sign the police's investigation report (BAP) which the students persist were not conducted under proper procedure. 

    Both the Papuan Students Alliance members are still being detained at the Metro Jaya Police detention facility and waiting for further questioning.

    Read: Group of Papuans Commemorate OPM Anniversary in Jakarta's Monas

    M JULNIS FIRMANSYAH