Jigi Jigibalom, who was 50 years old in 2003, was a farmer from Prime village before being arrested in a military sweeping operation in Bolakme village on 5 November 2003.
A letter from the Office for Justice and Peace (Sekratariat untuk Keadilan dan Perdamaian, SKP) and Francisicans International to a UN Special Rapporteur explains some key points in Mr Jigibalom’s case. In Yalengga village during the early hours of 5 November 2003, military officers under the command of Lt. Col. Gustaf Agus Irianto reportedly shot and killed ten people. The two other men present at the scene, Jigi Jigibalom and Tenius Murib, were then arrested. The group were all accused of being members of the Free Papua Movement (Organisasi Papua Merdeka, OPM), and were accused of involvement in a raid on a military arsenal in Wamena in April earlier that year. Eight other people had already been arrested and detained for that action several months before.
The letter by SKP and Franciscans International states that Mr Jigibalom and Mr Murib were held in military custody for ten days and tortured. They were taken to the local hospital on 15 November, at which point the military transferred responsibility for them to the police. Under the Indonesian criminal code, the military have no power to detain suspects, but must hand them over to the police as soon as possible, within 24 hours.
Reports in the Papua-based newspaper Cenderawasih Pos present a contradictory account of the first days of the two men’s detention. Several reports claim that they were taken to the Wamena public hospital. For example there is an interview with Mr Jigibalom dated November 10 in which the Cenderawasih Pos reports that he is recovering from a gunshot wound to his left arm. In the article Mr Jigibalom stated that he was travelling to Wamena to do some shopping, and was not part of any armed group.
The letter by SKP and Franciscans International explains that the two men were charged with treason under article 106 of the Indonesian Penal Code and that their trial commenced on 17 June 2004. The letter outlines several factors indicating that the trial could not be considered fair. Firstly, the two prisoners were in poor health, as Mr Jigibalom in particular was still recovering from torture injuries as well as having severe cataracts; the judge refused requests from the defence that he receive treatment before facing trial. Secondly there were no translators, meaning that the two men – who are not fluent in Indonesian – could not follow the court proceedings properly. Thirdly, the judges reportedly asked intimidating and misleading questions to force the men to admit that they were involved in the raid on the weapons store. Finally, there was a risk of intimidation of the defendants as the military are allowed free access to Wamena prison.
A chronology of events in Papua published by SKP entitled ‘Papua Aktual’ related that on 4 October 2004, Mr Jigibalom and Mr Murib were respectively sentenced to 15 and 20 years in prison.
In April 2011, Papuan human rights lawyers KontraS Papua reported that representatives of several Papuan human rights groups raised Mr Jigibalom’s case with representatives of the Law and Human Rights Department (Depkumham). Their concern was for Mr Jigibalom’s health; in particular that he was losing his sight. By February 2013, information from Papuan lawyers in contact with Wamena prison authorities confirmed that Mr Jigibalom and Mr Murib were no longer in prison. Their release date is unknown.
Cenderawasih Pos, “Sempat Lari, Tapi Tertembak Juga”, 10 November 2003, http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Komunitas_Papua/message/1176
KontraS Papua, Audiensi dengan Departemen Hukum dan HAM RI Kantor Wilayah Provinsi Papua “Mambahas masalah Tapol/Napol (Tahanan dan Narapidana Politik) Papua”, May 9 2011, http://www.trunity.net/kontraspapua/articles/view/166020/?topic=56143
Serikat Keadilan dan Perdamaian, Papua Aktual 2004 (Oktober-Desember), February 2005, http://www.hampapua.org/skp/skp02/ssp-10i.pdf
Serikat Keadilan Perdamaian / Franciscans International, “Letter to the UN Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers,” 10 August 2004, http://www.hampapua.org/skp/skp04/app-33e.pdf