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Indonesia: Judges of Central Jakarta District Court refuse Prosecutor's indictment and order rehabilitation of 26 defendants

Asian Human Rights Commission Urgent Action November 30, 2016

Urgent Appeal Case: AHRC-UAU-026-2016

Dear Friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has been updated by Jakarta Legal Aid regarding the prosecution against 23 labor activists, two public lawyers, and one university student in the Central Jakarta District Court. The Judges have stated that there is not enough evidence to punish the 26 defendants, and therefore the judges have refused the indictment of the Public Prosecutor; the judges stated that the 26 defendants are not guilty and must be rehabilitated.

Updated information:

On Thursday 22 November 2016, judges of the Central Jakarta District Court released two legal aid lawyers, Mr. Tigor Gempita Hutapea and Mr. Obed Sakti Luitnan, as well as 23 labor activists and one university student. The 26 activists were charged and indicted by the Public Prosecutor due to their participation in a public protest in front of the Presidential Palace on 30 October 2015. At the time, the protest was regarding cancelation of Government Regulation No. 78 of 2015 on wages.

At that time, the police forcibly dispersed the protest, and destroyed some vehicles and sound systems belonging to the protesters. Then, the police arrested and charged the 26 activists. Even though the police released all of them, the case continued and finally the Public Prosecutor submitted the indictment to the Central Jakarta District Court. The trial process upon the 26 activists occurred between February 2016 and November 2016.

In the judgment, the judges have stated that the defendants conducted public protest in line with the regulation. The judges also stated that the protest was conducted peacefully, and that there was no destruction committed by the activists. On the contrary, the judges stated that the police officers themselves committed repressive actions and forcibly dispersed the peaceful public protest. The judges also acknowledged that the police officers committed violence and destroyed the vehicles and property belonging to the protesters.

At that time, the protesters obeyed the announcement and orders of the police and therefore the sound system vehicle that was used to lead the protest retreated and left the protest arena. However, the sound system vehicle was moving slowly as there were many participants in the public protest. The participants were blocking the way of the sound system vehicle, because at that time the police had shot the protesters with tear gas. Many police officers who wore T-shirt written "Turn Back Crimes" chased and arrested the protesters. The judges stated that the indictment of the Public Prosecutor failed to prove that the protesters violated the law. Therefore, the Judges stated that the protesters are not guilty.

Suggested action:

Please write to the authorities listed below, asking them to ensure that the government should ensure the protection of human rights defenders and stop any form of criminalization and fabrication of charges against human rights defenders, labor activists, lawyers, and various civil society organizations who fighting for their rights. The police should react professionally and proportionally and also respect the right of every citizen on freedom of opinion and expression.

The AHRC will write a separate letter to the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, and the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, calling for their intervention into this matter.
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To support this case, please click here: http://www.urgentappeals.net/support.php?ua=AHRC-UAU-026-2016


Sample letter:

Dear ....................,

Indonesia: Judges of Central Jakarta District Court refuse Prosecutor's indictment and order rehabilitation of 26 defendants

I am writing to voice my deep concern regarding update case of the prosecution against 23 labor activists, two public lawyers, and one university student in the Central Jakarta District Court. The Judges have stated that there is not enough evidence to punish the 26 defendants, and therefore the judges have refused the indictment of the Public Prosecutor; the judges stated that the 26 defendants are not guilty and must be rehabilitated.

On Thursday 22 November 2016, judges of the Central Jakarta District Court released two legal aid lawyers, Mr. Tigor Gempita Hutapea and Mr. Obed Sakti Luitnan, as well as 23 labor activists and one university student. The 26 activists were charged and indicted by the Public Prosecutor due to their participation in a public protest in front of the Presidential Palace on 30 October 2015. At the time, the protest was regarding cancelation of Government Regulation No. 78 of 2015 on wages.

At that time, the police forcibly dispersed the protest, and destroyed some vehicles and sound systems belonging to the protesters. Then, the police arrested and charged the 26 activists. Even though the police released all of them, the case continued and finally the Public Prosecutor submitted the indictment to the Central Jakarta District Court. The trial process upon the 26 activists occurred between February 2016 and November 2016.

In the judgment, the judges have stated that the defendants conducted public protest in line with the regulation. The judges also stated that the protest was conducted peacefully, and that there was no destruction committed by the activists. On the contrary, the judges stated that the police officers themselves committed repressive actions and forcibly dispersed the peaceful public protest. The judges also acknowledged that the police officers committed violence and destroyed the vehicles and property belonging to the protesters.

At that time, the protesters obeyed the announcement and orders of the police and therefore the sound system vehicle that was used to lead the protest retreated and left the protest arena. However, the sound system vehicle was moving slowly as there were many participants in the public protest. The participants were blocking the way of the sound system vehicle, because at that time the police had shot the protesters with tear gas. Many police officers who wore T-shirt written "Turn Back Crimes" chased and arrested the protesters. The judges stated that the indictment of the Public Prosecutor failed to prove that the protesters violated the law. Therefore, the Judges stated that the protesters are not guilty.

Therefore, I respectfully request that you ensure the government protects the human rights defenders and stops any form of criminalization and fabrication of charges against human rights defenders, labor activists, lawyers, and various civil society organizations that fight for their rights. The police should react professionally and proportionally and also respect the right of every citizen to exercise their freedom of opinion and expression.

I look forward to your prompt action in this matter.

Yours Sincerely,

...................

Please send your letters to:

1. Mr. Joko Widodo
President of the Republic of Indonesia
Jl. Veteran No. 16
Jakarta Pusat
INDONESIA
Tel: +62 21 3458 595
Fax: +62 21 3484 4759
E-mail: webmaster@setneg.go.id

2. Mr. Yasonna Laoly
Minister of Law and Human Rights
Jl. HR Rasuna Said Kav. 6 7
Kuningan, Jakarta 12940
INDONESIA
Tel: +62 21 525 3006, 525 3889
Fax: +62 21 525 3095

3. Dr. Mualimin Abdi SH., MH
Director General of Human Rights
Office of the Director General of Human Rights
Jl. HR Rasuna Said Kav. 6 7
Kuningan, Jakarta 12940
INDONESIA
Tel: +62 21 5253006
Fax: +62 21 5253095

4. General Pol. Drs. H.M. Tito Karnavian, M.A., Ph.D
Chief of National Police (KAPOLRI)
Jl. Trunojoyo No. 3 KebayoranBaru, Jakarta Selatan 12110
INDONESIA
Tel: +62 21 384 8537, 726 0306
Fax: +62 21 7220 669
E-mail: info@polri.go.id

5. Ms. Poengky Indarti
Commissioner of the National Police Commission
Jl. Tirtayasa VII No. 20
KebayoranBaru, Jakarta Selatan
INDONESIA
Tel: +62 21 739 2315
Fax: +62 21 739 2352
E-mail: secretariat@kompolnas.go.id, skm@kompolnas.go.id

6. Professor. Amzulian Rifai S.H, LL.M, PhD
Chairperson of Ombudsman of Republic of Indonesia
Jl. HR. Rasuna Said Kav. C-19 Kuningan (GedungPengadilan TIPIKOR) Jakarta Selatan
INDONESIA
Tel: +62 21 52960894/95
Fax: +62 21-52960904/05

7. Dr. HM. Azis Syamsuddin, SH
Chairperson of the Commission III of The House of Representative
KetuaKomisi III DPR RI
Gedung Nusantara II DPR RI, Lt I
Jalan Jenderal Gatot Subroto, Jakarta,
INDONESIA
Telp: +62 21 -5715566, +62 21-5715569, +62 21-5715864
Fax: +62 21 5715566

8. Mr. Abdul Haris Semendawai
Chairperson of the Agency for Victims and Witness Protection
Lembaga Perlindungan Saksi dan Korban (LPSK)
JL. Proklamasi No 56 Jakarta Pusat 10320
Tel: +62 21 31907021
Fax: +62 21 3190606/+62 21 31927881

9. M. Imdadun Rahmat
Chairperson of the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM)
Jl. Latuharhary No. 4-B
Jakarta 10310
INDONESIA
Tel: +62 21 392 5227-30
Fax: +62 21 392 5227
E-mail: info@komnas.go.id

10. Mr. HM Prasetyo
Attorney General of Republic of Indonesia
Kejaksaan Agung RI
Jl. Sultan Hasanuddin No. 1
Jakarta Selatan
INDONESIA
Tel: + 62 21 7221337, 7397602
Fax: + 62 21 7250213

Thank you.

Urgent Appeals Programme
Asian Human Rights Commission (ua@ahrc.asia)

Source: http://www.humanrights.asia/news/urgent-appeals/AHRC-UAU-026-2016.

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