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Indonesia: Fears For Human Rights Lawyer After Threats

October 7, 2012

Indonesia: Fears For Human Rights Lawyer After Threats

October 4, 2012

Scoop.co.nz

Press Release: Amnesty International

Document – Indonesia: Fears For Human Rights Lawyer After Threats:
Olga Hamadi

UA: 273/12 Index: ASA 21/039/2012 Indonesia Date: 24 September 2012

Urgent Action

Fears For Human Rights Lawyer After Threats

Papuan human rights lawyer Olga Hamadi has been threatened after
investigating allegations of police torture and ill-treatment in
Wamena, Papua province, Indonesia. There are concerns for her safety
and she is at risk of further intimidation and attacks.

Amnesty International has received credible information that Olga
Hamadi, a female human rights lawyer working for non-governmental
organization KontraS Papua based in Jayapura, Papua province, has been
threatened for investigating and legally representing five men in
Wamena, who were allegedly tortured or otherwise ill-treated by police
in detention.

On 23 August 2012 Olga Hamadi received information that police
personnel from the Jayawijaya District police station slapped, punched
and kicked five men accused of a murder that occurred on 14 August
2012 in Wamena in an attempt to force them to confess to their
involvement in the murder. She agreed to investigate the allegations
and to submit an application for a pre-trial hearing to raise concerns
about the alleged violations by the police. On 14 September 2012 she
received a call from one of the police investigators who interrogated
the men. He was angry about the pre-trial application she submitted
and said he could not guarantee her safety in Wamena. Further, Olga
Hamadi was informed by local sources that before the pre-trial hearing
text messages were being disseminated to the murder victim’s family
and local community stating that she was interfering with the case and
wanted to stop the legal process.

On the morning of 19 September 2012, the third day of the pre-trial
hearing, Olga Hamadi was blocked from entering the Wamena District
Court by a crowd of people, including family members of the victim.
They threatened to beat her and pressured her to withdraw the
pre-trial application. She was then taken to the Jayawijaya District
police station by the police. When she wanted to return to the court,
she was again blocked by a crowd of people outside the police station.
Police officers did not take any steps to assist her. On 20 September
2012, due to ongoing concerns about her safety and the lack of
protection from the authorities, she withdrew the pre-trial
application and returned to Jayapura. She fears for her safety if and
when she travels to Wamena in the future.

Please write immediately in English, Indonesian or your own language
urging the Indonesian authorities to:

Take immediate action to ensure the safety of Olga Hamadi, in
accordance with her wishes;

Conduct a prompt, independent and impartial investigation into the
threats against Olga Hamadi;

Initiate an independent investigation into allegations of torture and
other ill-treatment against five people by the police in Wamena and
ensure that, should the allegations be verified, those responsible are
brought to justice in fair trials and the victims receive reparations;

Ensure that all members of the police are made aware of the legitimate
role of human rights defenders and their responsibility to protect
them, as set out in the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders.

PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 5 NOVEMBER 2012 TO:

Papua Police Chief (Kapolda)

Inspector General Tito Karnavian

Jl. Samratulangi No. 8 Jayapura,

Papua,

Indonesia

Fax: +62 967 531717

Salutation: Dear Kapolda

Head of the Division on Professionalism and Security (Propam)

Inspector General Drs. Herman Effendi

Jl. H.R. Rasuna Said Kav No. 4-5

Kuningan, Jakarta Selatan 12950,

Indonesia

Fax: +62 21 7280 0947

Salutation: Dear Inspector General

And copies to:

Chairperson National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM)

Mr. Ifdhal Kasim

Jl Latuharhary

No.4 Menteng Jakarta Pusat

10310, Indonesia

Fax: +62 21 39 25 227

Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your
country.

URGENT ACTION

FEARS FOR HUMAN RIGHTS LAWYER AFTER THREATS

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Under Article 2 of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, each
state has a duty to create the conditions necessary to defend human
rights within their jurisdictions. However, Amnesty International
continues to receive credible reports of attacks against human rights
defenders and journalists in Indonesia, and human rights defenders are
regularly intimidated and harassed in Papua. International human
rights observers, non-governmental organizations and journalists are
severely restricted in their work there.

Most past human rights violations against human rights defenders,
including torture and other ill-treatment, possible unlawful killings
and enforced disappearances, remain unsolved and those responsible
have not been brought to justice. Besides continued reports of
intimidation and attacks against human rights defenders, they have
also been the subject of criminal defamation proceedings due to their
work.

Amnesty International calls on the Indonesian government to ensure an
environment in which it is possible to defend human rights without
fear of reprisal or intimidation. Further, the Indonesian government
should adopt prompt, effective and impartial measures to provide
remedy to human rights defenders who have suffered an attack or are at
risk of attack, and provide compensation to human rights defenders who
have been victims of abuses due to their work.

There also continues to be credible reports of human rights violations
committed by the police in Indonesia, including torture and other
ill-treatment, unnecessary and excessive use of force and firearms,
unlawful killings, and failure to protect victims of human rights
abuses. Investigations into reports of police abuses are rare, and
police often subject complainants to further intimidation and
harassment. Current internal police disciplinary mechanisms are
inadequate to deal with criminal offences amounting to human rights
violations and are often not known to the public. Furthermore,
external police oversight bodies do not have the adequate powers to
bring to justice those responsible for human rights violations.

Indonesia has yet to fully incorporate a crime of torture in its
Criminal Code, thus failing to meet its obligations as a state party
to the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and
Degrading Treatment or Punishment (UNCAT). The lack of sufficient
legal provisions on “acts of torture” creates a loophole which has
devastating consequences. It does not provide a sufficient legal basis
on which state agents can be brought to court, and consequently does
not provide an adequate legal deterrent to prevent state agents from
committing such acts of torture.

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