A member of Bawaslu Merauke arrested during Jokowi’s visit

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Agustinus Mahuze (centre) with his friends – Jubi

Jayapura, Jubi – Agustinus Mehuze, the Coordinator of Prosecution and Investigation Department of Elections Supervisory Agency (Bawaslu) Merauke, was arrested and checked by Merauke Police following his act of appointing a paper with a say “SOS Our Earth” when President Joko Widodo’s convoy crossed Lepro junction in Merauke on Friday (16/11/2018).

The president and group was visiting Merauke to inaugurate the Time Capsule monument.

Mahuze is known as an environmentalist and indigenous people activist as well as education practicioner in Merauke before he becomes a member of Bawaslu Merauke.

“At that time I was walking from Wasur toward the city. Around half past three in the afternoon, I saw the presidential convoy crossing Lepro. I took a paper and pencil and spontaneously wrote those words and lifted it to show to them. I wanted the president to see it and raise this environmental issue during the APEC Summit in Papua New Guinea,” Agustinus Mahuze told Juby by phone on Saturday morning (17/11/2018).

Then, a soldier who’s in charge to secure the event approached him and asked why did he hold up the paper, while police officers that were also in the scene seem not to be bothered with his act. They didn’t even bother to ask him. By contrast, the soldier intimidated him.

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“The soldier asked from which organisation am I? I said I didn’t represent any organisation here. Then he checked my wallet and bag. I only have some documents related to my work at the Election Supervisory Body,” said Mahuze.

Then the soldier asked the police to bring Mahuze to Merauke Regional Police Headquarter for further investigation. Police then took him to the police station at around 3:30 p.m. and he  was questioned in the general section of Merauke Police Headquarter before undergoing a follow-up investigation at the intelligence department.

However, the officer who’s in charge in the intelligence department was not there, so he had to wait until 18:00 before they let him go. “At six in the afternoon, the police said that I could go home and asked me to leave my telephone number so that they can call me. But only about thirty minutes I left their office, the police called me to return,” he said.

When they called, he was taking dinner with his friends who accompany him during the investigation in a place near the police station. So he returned to the police station and underwent the examination in the intelligence department.

“Shortly, I clarified the purpose of my writing and why I showed it. I gave the same answer as before that because I only want to raise the environmental issue and had no political purpose,” explained Mahuze.

After half an hour investigation, then the then let him leave.

However, Mahuze regretted the soldier’s attitude who questioned and intimidated him. “The police are very cooperative. But the intimidation by the military member shows that their attitudes in Papua has not changed,” said Mahuze. (*)

 

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