Victor Yeimo, a pro-independence political activist from Papua and a spokesman for the West Papua National Committee, was arbitrarily arrested on May 9, 2021 and charged with treason for peacefully protesting racial discrimination. Held in solitary confinement, there are serious concerns about his deteriorating health and unrestricted access to health services and facilities must urgently be made available to him. The Indonesian authorities must immediately release Victor Yeimo and drop all charges against him, unless recognisable criminal offence, in accordance with international standards of fairness.
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Ir. H. Joko Widodo
President Republic of Indonesia
Jl. Veteran No. 17-18
Kota Jakarta Pusat, DKI Jakarta
Iwan Freddy Hari Susanto
Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia
2020 Massachusetts Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20036
Phone: 202 775 5200
Salutation: Dear Mr.
Dear President Joko Widodo,
I am writing to express my grave concern for the life of Victor Yeimo
, a pro-independence political activist from Papua.
Arrested on May 9, 2021, he has been locked up in Mako Brimob prison in Jayapura for months under deplorable conditions which has ultimately led to his hospitalization.
It is alarming that, throughout Mr. Yeimo’s detention, he has been held in solitary confinement in a cramped and poorly ventilated cell which has further worsened his pre-existing medical condition. With a record of lung and gastric diseases and having recently suffered from hemoptysis (coughing up blood) and heightened risk of COVID-19, we are concerned about his deteriorating health. Though he was recently taken to hospital for a medical check-up, the doctor only gave him medicine while waiting for the tests result. With limited access to his family and lawyer, there are ongoing fears that his health with continue to deteriorate as he does not get the care and treatment he requires.
Mr Yeimo has been accused of violating the Indonesian Criminal Code (KUHP), namely Article 106 on treason, Article 110 of the KUHP on treason with conspiracy in relation to his involvement in protests during the period of heightened tensions in the provinces of Papua and West Papua from August 19 to September 30, 2019. It is deeply distressing that Mr. Yeimo is facing 20 years to life imprisonment for peacefully protesting racial discrimination in Indonesia.
Therefore, I urge you to:
- Immediately release Victor Yeimo and drop all charges against him, unless there is sufficient credible and admissible evidence that he has committed an internationally recognized offence and is granted a fair trial in line with international standards;
- Pending his release, grant Victor Yeimo prompt, regular and unrestricted access to medical care on request and as necessary;
- Ensure that he is protected from torture and other ill-treatment and that he has regular access to his family and a lawyer of his choice in line with the right to a fair trial.