Kanius Murib, from Napua village near Wamena town in Jayawijaya district, was a 50-year-old farmer at the time of his arrest. Following an alleged raid on the Jayawijaya District Military Command weapons arsenal on 4 April 2003, Mr Murib was arrested on 10 April 2003 and charged with treason.
On his arrest, Mr Murib was brought to the District Military Command. According to report by the Office for Justice and Peace (Sekratariat untuk Keadilan dan Perdamaian, SKP), Mr Tinus Matuan, also detained in connection with the incident, witnessed cold water being poured over Mr Murib during interrogation.
According to a report by a coalition of local NGOs, on 14 April Mr Murib and another detainee, Yapenas Murib, had their hands tied and were taken out of Wamena town to Yilekma sub-village in Sinakma, to perform a reconstruction relating to the events of 4 April. In the days after their arrest, the report states that the houses of Kanius and Yapenas were burned down by the military, along with those of several of their neighbours. Yapenas Murib died in military detention.
The NGO coalition report states that Mr Murib, along with Apotnalogolik Lokobal, Kimanus Wenda, Jefrai Murib and Numbungga Telenggen was detained in the Jayawijaya District Military Command for around five days, far exceeding the 24-hour limit for military detention. The five were then handed over to the Jayawijaya Police Station on 15 April 2003. The SKP report states that when Mr Murib and the other detainees arrived at the police station, the police sent them to the local hospital for a medical check. Doctor Berry Wopari reportedly found that while the other four detainees had all sustained severe wounds and were unwell, Mr Murib’s state of health gave no cause for concern.
An undated report by Alliance of Democracy for Papua (Aliansi Demokrasi untuk Papua, ALDP) noted many accusations of irregularities in the trial. These included the lack of translators and the prosecution remaining almost silent throughout the trial as their role was being assumed by the judges themselves. The judges reportedly failed to respect the defendants’ rights to be assumed innocent until proven guilty, and pushed the prisoners to accept the state’s version of the story. They also repeated prejudices about the local people of Wamena, such as “people here are lazy and stupid.” According to a 2008 document signed by a government official based in Jayapura, Mr Murib was found guilty under the charges of treason (article 106 of the Indonesian criminal code) and conspiracy (article 110) and was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment.
There have been a number of concerns raised about the treatment of those incarcerated in connection with this case. In 2004 while imprisoned in Wamena prison, Mr Murib and the other people accused of the raid on the weapons store were reportedly “still being intimidated by the intelligence of the Military District Command and Police Mobile Brigade, even when in jail,” according to Ms Anum Siregar, a member of their legal team. They were also allegedly being denied access to the prison hall, where they were supposed to be able to meet their families or take exercise, because the military were using it for their own purposes. When his co-accused were moved to Makassar prison in late 2004, Mr Murib was allowed to remain in Wamena, on account of his age.
Concerns about the health of Mr Murib were raised in May 2012 by local NGO United for Truth (Bersatu Untuk Keadilan, BUK), who stated that Mr Murib had been ill since 2008, suffering from nerve damage and mental illness. As a result of his continued illness, BUK stated that Mr Murib had been placed in the care of his family. In December 2012, Kanius Murib died at the age of 59.
Aliansi Demokrasi untuk Papua, “Peristiwa Pembobolan Gudang Senjata KODIM 1702 Jayawijaya, Wamena, 4 April 2003,” [undated], http://www.aldepe.com/2011/04/peristiwa-pembobolan-gudang-senjata_04.html
Bersatu Untuk Keadilan, “Tidak ada Tanggung Jawab Negara,” May 2012, received by email
NGO coalition for the protection and upholding of Human Rights in Papua, Jayapura, “Initial report into the 4 April 2003 Wamena case,” 6 May 2003, http://hampapua.org/skp/skp06/var-04i.pdf
Sekretariat untuk Keadilan dan Perdamaian, “They still intimidated, even in jail!” Jayapura, 5 June 2004, http://www.hampapua.org/skp/skp05/info04-2004e.pdf
Office for Justice and Peace of Jayapura, Imparsial Jakarta, Progressio Timor Leste, the Synod of the Christian Evangelical Church in Papua, and Franciscans International, “The practice of torture in Aceh and Papua 1998–2007,”Jayapura and Jakarta, November 2007, http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/cat/docs/ngos/ShadowReportIndonesia40.pdf