Police intimidation of Papuan lawyer continues

16 Oct 2014
Papuan human rights lawyer Gustaf Kawer

Despite interventions from local, national and international NGOs and lawyers groups, police intimidation of Papuan human rights lawyer Gustaf Kawer continues. Following the preliminary summons addressed to him last month and the formal summons addressed to him via his bar association, a second summons has now been issued, showing that police still have no intention of dropping the investigation. After receiving the formal summons via his bar association, Mr. Kawer relocated to avoid the investigation, which may be an attempt to hinder the lawyer’s human rights work. Police state that if Mr Kawer does not respond to the latest summons, they will issue a third summons and forcibly detain him. Given his advocate immunity and the lack of genuineness in the investigation, Mr. Kawer has not yet complied with the summons. Meanwhile, developments in Jayapura have raised concerns for the safety of Mr Kawer's family.

Another Papuan human rights lawyer, Ms. Olga Hamadi, was previously threatened in 2012 for representing five torture victims in Wamena. More recently, the head of Democracy Alliance for Papua, Ms. Anum Sinegar, was attacked by an unidentified person carrying a knife on 16 September 2014, while she was working on a pretrial hearing for a highly politicised case, highlighting a deterioration in security for human rights defenders in Papua.

To learn more about the facts of the case, and for a template letter to send to authorities, please click here.