Free Leo Idjie, Lawyer in the Kisor and LK Cases in West Papua (as published in change.org)
The criminalisation of lawyers and activists in West Papua is happening again. This time the target is Leonardo Idjie, lawyer and human rights defender from LBH Kaki Abu (Kaki Abu Legal Aid Institute), Sorong, West Papua.
Criminalisation efforts against Leo began whilst he was accompanying the Kisor case and the case of LK, a child accused of breaking the law (anak berhadapan hukum, ABH), at Sorong State Court.
Whilst representing these two cases, LBH Kaki Abu encountered numerous irregularities. The fact that LK, a child, was tortured during interrogation was ignored, and LK was still sentenced to 8 years in prison by the judge at Sorong State Court. Following this, 6 other suspects in the Kisor case were secretly transferred from Sorong to Makassar, without informing either their family members or lawyers at LBH Kaki Abu.
These errors led to Leo Idjie and some other lawyers at LBH Kaki Abu speaking out in front of the Sorong State Court office on 3 January 2022. In their speeches, they questioned the transfer of detainees in the Kisor case. Leo quoted an expression used by Munir SH, another human rights defender, who said that to be silent in the face of a crime is a crime in itself.
Following his speech, Leo was reported to Sorong City Police in a complaint supported by 17 lawyers. This report made no sense, as it was based solely on an edited TikTok video which framed Leo for blasphemy by heavy editing his speech.
On 6 January 2022, Sorong City Police called Leo to the police station for clarification. On 12 January 2022, the Police began their investigation by publishing a Notification on the Commencement of Investigation (Surat Pemberitahuan Dimulainya Penyidikan). This was despite the explanation Leo had already given to the police, and the video clarifying the matter that he and LBH Kaki Abu had already uploaded. On the same day, police opened investigations against the administrator of the LBH Kaki Abu Facebook page, and seized the mobile phone often used by the administrator.
Leo now stands accused of violating Section 28, Article 2 of the Information & Electronic Transactions Law, Section 45, Article 2 of the same law, and Section 156 and 156a of the Criminal Code. The maximum sentence for violating these laws is 6 years’ imprisonment and a fine of 1 billion Rupiah.
This cannot be ignored, friends.
Leo could be detained by the police at any time. All Leo has done is help a child who has fallen victim to a flawed legal process in Papua. Yet because of this senseless report, the cases Leo was handling could be obstructed. What if the appeal for LK’s case gets delayed? And what about the Kisor case, where the justice process which requires Leo’s accompaniment has been moved to Makassar, South Sulawesi?
We have made this petition so that the legal process against Leo Idjie of LBH Kaki Abu can be halted.
Show your support and share the hashtag #BebaskanLeo (#FreeLeo), friends. We need as many signatures as possible to spotlight what is happening at the far eastern edge of Indonesia, a place so often overlooked.
We believe that if many of us raise their voices in the media and on social media, the Head of Indonesian Police, Listyo Sigit, the Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs, Mahfud MD and Vice President Ma’aruf Amin, who also is Head of the Accelerated Development in Papua, will begin to take notice and respond to this case.
This obviously fabricated case clearly shows the obstacles to providing adequate legal assistance to those accused of involvement in the Kisor case.
Peace in freedom,