Jakarta, 17 April 2023 – Fatia Maulidiyanti and Haris Azhar are back in their second trial with the agenda of exception/objection note reading at the East Jakarta District Court. Today, at the same time that the document was read, the security and humanitarian situation in Papua has not improved, it has even gotten worse. The prolonged armed conflict resulted in the emergence of internally displaced people expelled from their homes. In addition, human rights violations continue to occur at the expense of innocent civilians. The massive exploitation of Natural Resources exacerbates this condition, thus creating an ecological disaster.
When the exception was read at the trial, Fatia and Haris’ lawyers stated that the indictments read out by the Public Prosecutor were previously flawed. When viewed from the process that has taken place to this day, there have been various irregularities, such as the mediation process that should have taken place between the two parties unilaterally terminated by law enforcement at the request of the reporter, namely the Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs, Luhut Binsar Panjaitan (LBP). In addition, the indictment can also be considered premature because the preliminary investigation/full-investigation into alleged human rights violations and criminal acts of corruption, gratuities, and bribery allegations involving the Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment should take precedence over law enforcement. It can be seen that there is partisanship going on, especially when LBP, as a reporter who feels his rights have been violated, has never been examined at the investigation stage.
“In the investigation and prosecution process, law enforcers were also not objective because they did not consider the testimony of experts who alleviated Fatia and Haris. In this case, the public prosecutor only used the expert opinion, which was in favor of LBP, without completely explaining and considering the expert witness’s opinion in favor of the defendant. The prosecutor also used the testimony of expert Trubus Rahardiansah who should not have legal standing,” said Muhammad Isnur from the Advocacy Team for Democracy.
In the preliminary investigation and full-investigation, there was never a process of holding a case to see whether or not there was a criminal incident in the actions of Fatia and Haris. This has violated Article 9 of the Chief of Police Regulation No. 6 of 2019 concerning the Investigation of Criminal Acts.
The continuation of the legal process against Fatia and Haris also violates the ANTI-SLAPP principle stipulated in the Decree of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Number 36/KMA/SK/II/2013 concerning the Enforcement of Guidelines for Handling Environmental Cases. This is reinforced by the existence of Law No. 32 of 2009 and Law No. 39 of 1999, which is more stringent in protecting the work of citizens in defending the right to a good and healthy environment.
“Fatia and Haris must be released because what they are currently fighting for is environmental justice in the land of Papua. Article 66 of Law No. 32 of 2009 concerning Environmental Protection and Management (UU PPLH) has confirmed this. The criminalization of Fatia-Haris is a manifestation of the government not carrying out the mandate of Article 66 of the PPLH Law,” said Uli Arta Siagian from WALHI’s Forest and Gardens Campaign Manager.
The status of Human Rights Defenders Fatia and Haris was also strengthened by the National Commission on Human Rights of the Republic of Indonesia through a Statement Letter Number 588/K-PMT/VII/2022, which explains that both of them are Human Rights Defenders who have made efforts to promote and enforce Human Rights as stipulated in the Law Law 39 of 1999 concerning Human Rights. Moreover, the UN Human Rights Bodies through 3 (three) UN International Human Rights Special Rapporteurs, namely the Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights Defender (Mary Lawlor), the Special Rapporteur on the Promotion of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression (Irene Khan), and the Special Rapporteur on the Rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and association (Clement Nyaletsossi Voule) through their Letter to the Government of Indonesia No All IDN 8/2021 dated 20 October 2021 stated that the criminalization of Haris and Fatia was part of the Allegation of Judicial Harassment (Alleged Judicial Harassment). The three UN Special Rapporteurs encourage the Government and the judiciary in Indonesia to stop criminalizing defenders/women human rights defenders.
“The indictment that was read out by the public prosecutor on Monday, April 3, 2023, also did not meet the requirements of klacht delict, was baseless, and made up. The substance that was complained about by the complainant was limited insofar as it was related to the terms ‘Plays a role in the mining’ and the word ‘Lord’, but in his indictment, the Public Prosecutor questioned the word ‘criminal’ as a word that attacked the dignity of Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan. Even though the word was never reported and an indictment not based on a complaint should have been null and void,” said Asfinawati from the Advocacy Team for Democracy.
In this exception, the advocacy team also emphasized that the separation of charges and case files between Fatia and Haris violated the law and human rights. Especially during the investigation process, Fatia never testified for Haris and vice versa. The separation of charges by the public prosecutor has violated judicial principles such as simplicity, quick, and low-cost and the principle of non-self incrimination as stated in the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights.
Based on the description above, we urge the Panel of Judges:
Muhammad Isnur, Democracy Advocacy Team, 62 815-1001-4395
Uli Arta Siagian, WALHI Forest and Garden Campaign Manager, +62 821-8261-9212
Asfinawati, Democracy Advocacy Team, +62 812-8218-930