Niko Sasomar and Sileman Teno from Sarmi and Isak Demetouw (alias Alex Makabori) and Daniel Norotouw from Jayapura were arrested on 3 March 2013 by four members of an army task force. On 1 March 2013, the four men headed to Sarmi from Jayapura. According to their version of events, given in an interview with a local activist, they intended to carry out a socialisation for residents in Sarmi, aimed at raising awareness regarding political developments in Papua and violations that have occurred due to the ongoing conflict. A local source has reported that this event took place on 2 March, from 19.00 to 20.30 local time, during which the four men received information that the Indonesian military were aware of their whereabouts and activity.
According to newspaper reports, the task force state that they received information from a resident in Nengke village in Sarmi district about four armed TPN/OPM members which led to the arrest of the four men. The suspects say that on 3 March the army task force pursued them in Yanma village, where they were allegedly arrested without a search warrant and handled in a brutal manner. Newspapers reporting the military version of events stated that on arrest the men were carrying TPN/OPM documents dated 26 February 2013, a TPN/OPM member card, an M9 bayonet, Morning Star symbols, a photo of Niko Sasomar carrying an M16, a backpack containing IDR 20 million, three mobile phones and two bottles of medicine. However the suspects state that while they were indeed carrying a machete, a kitchen knife and some money, other alleged items including the bottles of medicine, weapons and TPN/OPM documents were planted by the military and police authorities in order to charge them.
During interrogation, the four men allegedly faced intimidation and death threats from military and police officials and were denied access to lawyers. They were charged with possession of weapons and conspiracy to commit violence under Article 110 of the Criminal Code and Article 2 of the Emergency Law 12/1951. They were detained for 21 days in Sarmi police station, after which an extension of detainment until 3 May was issued. On 28 April they were transferred to the Regional Papua police station for further detention. On 3 May, their case was referred to the Public Prosecutor and they were then transferred to Abepura prison while awaiting their trial.
A report by KontraS Papua in August 2013 stated that hearings had been repeatedly postponed in July and August, due to the Public Prosecutor being unable to present witnesses. In mid-August cross-examinations were carried out, however witnesses reportedly gave contradictory testimonies.
In September 2013 human rights lawyers reported that the Prosecutor called for a four year prison sentence for Isak Demetouw, Niko Sasomar and Sileman Teno and a one year sentence for Daniel Norotouw.
On 7 November 2013, Niko Sasomar, Isak Demetouw and Sileman Teno received a prison sentences of two years and two months, while Daniel Norotouw received a one-year prison sentence. On 1 February 2014, Daniel Norotouw, was released after the completion of his one year prison sentence. On 1 February 2014, Daniel Norotouw, was released after the completion of his one year prison sentence. In April 2015, Sasomar, Demetouw and Teno were released following the end of their prison sentences.
Report by KontraS Papua entitled “Laporan Tapol Agustus 2013.”
Salam Papua, “Empat Anggota TPN/OPM Di Sarmi Ditangkap TNI,” 7 March 2013, http://salampapua.com/berita/lintas-papua/item/924-empat-anggota-tpn-opm-di-sarmi-ditangkap-tni
Report received by a local activist entitled “Tuduhan Makar Oleh Pemerintah Indonesia Terhadap Pejuang Bangsa Papua Alex Makabori, Daniel Petrus Nerotou, Soleman Teno dan Nicodemus Sosomar.”
Last updated: 10 October 2013