Haris and Fatia Victims of Criminalization of Public Officials for Business Scandals in Papua

On Friday 18 March 2022, Haris and Fatia were designated as suspects by the Greater Jakarta Regional Police Investigators through Notification Letters on the Determination of Suspects for each Number: B/4135/III/RES.2.5/2022/Ditreskrimsus and Number: B/4136/III /RES.2.5/2022/ Ditreskrimsus dated March 17, 2022. The notification was delivered to both of them on Friday night around 21.00 WIB along with a summons for questioning as a suspect on Monday, March 21, 2022.

The determination of the suspect is a follow-up to the police report process dated September 22, 2021 by the Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment, Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan related to a video contained in Haris Azhar’s youtube account entitled “Ada Lord Luhut di balik Relasi Ekonomi-Ops Militer Intan Jaya!! Jenderal BIN juga ada!!” (There is Lord Luhut behind Intan Jaya’s Economic-Ops Military Relations!! The General of the State Intelligence Agency is also there!!”) based on the results of the Civil Society Coalition’s research entitled “The Political Economy of Military Placement in Papua: The Case of Intan Jaya.” In fact, the video reveals an important fact: That public officials mix business and position. One of the most forbidden things in good governance. However, revealing this fact in Indonesia now carries the risk of imprisonment even though Haris-Fatia has solid evidence in the disclosure.

From the start, we considered that this case was a forced punishment considering that there were several irregularities in the investigation process, including: the application of the articles in the investigation did not meet the criminal element; the investigation process carried out by the Directorate of Special Criminal Investigation of the Greater Jakarta Regional Police in this case violated the Joint Decree on Guidelines for the Implementation of the Electronic Information and Transaction Law; and the investigation process carried out by the Directorate of Special Criminal Investigation of the Greater Jakarta Regional Police in this case contradicts the Circular of the Chief of Police of the Republic of Indonesia concerning Ethical Cultural Awareness to Create a Clean, Healthy and Productive Digital Space in Indonesia.

The determination of this suspect must of course be tested legally, so that the use of legal instruments and law enforcement officers for the purpose of silencing is not allowed to be freely and continuously repeated by those who feel in power. As with their promise of office, law enforcement officers only serve the constitution and the state, not serve power. therefore stop being an instrument of power and return to serving the constitution and the public interest, not individual interests. In addition, the sentencing for the purpose of silencing also shows the boundaries of the truth and those who are worried that a scandal will be exposed by using undemocratic means.

In the midst of this criminalization practice, civil liberties in Indonesia, especially in Papua, are in a state of crisis when arbitrary arrests, access restrictions, killings of civilians, and displacement as a result of the impact of exploitation of natural resources and armed conflict in Papua also occur. That departing from this situation, the determination of the suspect is not a single event but an escalation of conditions in Papua which will face more serious threats and challenges.

Through this release, both Fatia and Haris will face this risk with their heads held high because of their belief in the truth and good cause of all that is done to serve the public interest regarding human rights issues and exploitation of natural resources in Papua.

Advocacy Team for Democracy