Responding to the guilty verdict against three prisoners of conscience (PoCs) from Maluku and 23 others from Papua, Amnesty International Indonesia’s Executive Director Usman Hamid said:
“These convictions are unacceptable. No-one should be criminalized for peacefully expressing their political views. These verdicts should be quashed and the individuals released immediately and unconditionally.
“The Indonesian authorities should stop using arbitrary treason charges against human rights defenders from Maluku and Papua. Instead of jailing more prisoners of conscience, the authorities must repeal or substantially amend these vague and deeply flawed provisions.
“As COVID-19 sweeps across the globe, prisons remain dangerous hotspots for its transmission. It is more important than ever that states take urgent measures to protect all those who are behind bars – including by releasing all individuals who are held simply for peacefully exercising their rights and should never have been jailed in the first place.
“We call on the Indonesian authorities to stop their relentless harassment, intimidation and attacks on people who are exercising their rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly in Maluku and Papua. Peaceful protests are protected by international law and even by the Indonesian Constitution.”
On Friday 23 October 2020, a tribunal at the Ambon District Court, Maluku, convicted Jannies Pattiasina, Simon Taihutu, and Abner Litamahuputty for taking part in a peaceful protest in Ambon on 25 April 2020. Pattiasina and Taihutu received a two-year sentence, while Litamahuputty received a three-year sentence. All of them were found guilty of committing treasonous act (makar) and violating Article 106 of the Criminal Code Law in relation to the Article 55 on treason.
On the same day, a tribunal at the Fak-Fak District Court, West Papua, convicted and sentenced 23 individuals to between 11 and 18 months’ imprisonment for their involvement in anti-racism protests on 1 December 2019. They were found guilty of committing treasonous act (makar) and violating Article 106 of the Criminal Code Law in relation to the Article 55 or Article 110 on treason.