Update on Victor Yeimo - Trial adjourned due to deteriorating health condition, delayed medical treatment, responses from the UN

21 Sep 2021
By: 
TAPOL

London, 21 September 2021

The political trial of Victor Yeimo was adjourned by the District Court of Jayapura on 31 August 2021 until he is declared physically fit by the hospital. On the same day, the Court also dismissed his pretrial motion, challenging his arrest and detention for violating criminal procedural law, on the grounds that the main trial had begun.

Victor Yeimo was finally hospitalised on 30 August despite the Court having issued an order to hospitalise him since the evening of 27 August. The prosecutors deliberately defied the  Court’s order, which caused uproar among the public. Dozens of people protested in front of the prosecutors’ office and their residence on 28 August. Hundreds of people protested again at the prosecutors’ office on 30 August before the prosecutors finally honoured the court order and took Yeimo to hospital.

Victor Yeimo’s health has been a concern since the beginning of his detention in May 2021. His health deteriorated as he was placed in isolation and did not receive proper food or any medication. His lawyers repeatedly asked that he be treated but were denied the request by the authorities. He was afforded only perfunctory medical tests on 10 and 20 August. During his first and second hearings, he told the court that he had never been told the results of these tests and had never been given any medicines or prescriptions. He pleaded for help to the judges.

The prosecutors, having withheld the medical results stating that Victor Yeimo must be hospitalised, finally shared the medical results dated 20 August with Victor Yeimo’s lawyers on 26 August. On the same day, the court issued an order for Victor Yeimo to be treated at the hospital from 9 am to 6 pm the following day. The prosecutors only appeared to take him to the hospital at 4 pm. At the hospital, Victor Yeimo pleaded to stay, but was dragged out by armed police despite still being on a drip. At 11 pm, the court issued an order for Yeimo to be hospitalised.

Peaceful protests demanding Victor Yeimo be released in seven cities across Indonesia during the period of 15 to 30 August 2021 were subjected to excessive use of force resulting in the death of protestor Ferianus Asso in Yahukimo, 104 arrests, and 40 people who were known to have been injured. Those arrested have all been released. Internet freedom watchdogs found that the Internet in Jayapura was shut down for three hours at around the time of Victor Yeimo's trial.1 Along with this update, we are also publishing a detailed report about this (see pdf).

Following our submission a week after Victor Yeimo’s arrest, the United Nations (UN) Special Rapporteurs questioned the Government of Indonesia on the matter on 30 June. The document was made public on 31 August. We regret the Government of Indonesia’s response which has distorted the facts. UN Special Rapporteurs on Human Rights Defenders, the Right to Freedom of Assembly, the Right to Health, and Anti-Racism yesterday have issued a press release calling for Indonesia to provide Victor Yeimo with “the basic care he so desperately needs”. The UN experts also concluded that his prison conditions may have amounted to torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.

Given the gravity of the situation and the treason charges that he is facing, we will be providing a summary of each of his trial sessions so that they can be properly and transparently monitored. We would encourage international organizations and interested experts to actively monitor his trial once it has been resumed. 

ENDS

 

1) Tabloid Jubi, Internet in Jayapura shut down around the time of Victor Yeimo’s trial,  https://en.jubi.co.id/internet-blackout-jayapura-around-victor-yeimos-trial/, 27 August 2021.

Tagged: West Papua