LP3BH calls on Lawyers Association to defend Gustav Kawer
From the Institute for Research, Study and Development of Legal Aid
[LP3BH], 2 September, 2014
The Chief of Police of Papua has just sent a summons to the
lawyer, Gustav Kawer who will be formally charged for criticising a
government official. This is a serious matter and should be considered
as such by the Association of Indonesian Lawyers – Peradi – which
should fully support him and take action on his behalf in accordance
with Articles 211 and 212 of the Law on Criminal Procedures.
Speaking as a senior lawyer and defender of Basic Human Rights, I
strongly condemn the officers of the State Court of Procedural Affairs
(PTUN) – Jayapura who reported the incident, as a result of which the
police issued a summons to Gustav Kawer.
The Court is well aware of Gustav Kawer’s official status as
provided in law which is referred to as ‘Catur Wangsa”
As lawyers, we strongly object to the action by a judge or a
court official. In the first place, we direct our attention to the
internal scrutiny of the court or to the various professional
organisations of lawyers such as Peradi, or the Indonesian Association
of Judges – IKAHI.
Moreover, whenever a prosecutor or a member of the police force
acts in violation of their professional status, the matter should
first be considered by their professional bodies, by the special
division of the police [Propam POLRI] or by Indonesia Police Watch
before being presented as a summons for court action.
If Gustav Kawer is deemed to have violated the ethics of his
profession, the matter should first be taken to the Honorary Council
of Lawyers of Peradi of which Gustav Kawer is himself a member.
He should first be questioned by members of his professional
association and if he is believed to have violated the association’s
code of ethics, he should be charged in accordance with Law 18/2003 on
The police summons sent to Gustav Kawer is in violation of Articles
6 and 7 and Articles 12, 13, 14, 15 and 16 of Law 18/2003.
This violation must not be allowed to proceed as it violations the
principles of the legal profession as defined in accordance with
The police chief and all his subordinates should be well aware of
their professional standing and also of the rights of a lawyer who has
taken action to protect his client and protect basic human rights in
As a senior lawyer in the Land of Papua, I call on all associations
in the legal domain such as Peradi, Peradin, Ikadin, the Congress of
Indonesian Lawyers [KAI] as well as the Institute for Legal Advice
[IPHI} to take action in defence of Gustav Kawer who is acting in
accordance with the norms of his profession. All members of the legal
profession should act against discriminatory measures that question
any action that has been taken by a lawyer who is acting in accordance
with the principles of his profession.
I firmly believe that international legal associations whose duty
it is to uphold the rule of law will submit complaints to Jakarta
regarding the Gustav Kawer case, bearing in mind that Indonesia is the
third largest democracy in the world where we are all struggling to
uphold the supremacy of law.
This is an extremely important matter for Gustav Kawer, a young
lawyer in the Land of Papua who has already defended numerous cases of
human rights violations and who recently received international
recognition or his work
[Translated by Carmel Budiardjo]