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Catholic students cry foul over rights activist's death

Protesters in Papua claim Robert Jitmau was victim of murder, not hit and run road accident

Updated: September 29, 2016 07:44 AM GMT
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Catholic students cry foul over rights activist's death
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The trial of a driver in Papua who allegedly hit and killed a rights activist in a traffic accident should be dropped and a proper investigation be launched into his "murder," Catholic students said Sept. 28.

They say the driver, Dolfinus Abrami Zeifan, is part of a cover-up to hide the true circumstances behind the death of Robert Jitmau, supposedly knocked down and killed by a car on May 20 of this year.

They claim the activist was murdered.

Around 150 Catholic university students gathered outside the District Court in Papua’s capital Jayapura, capital of Papua province to demand that proper justice be served.

"We saw his body. There were no visible signs of being hit by a car. His face was fine. There was no broken bones," said Simon Petrus Bame, head of Catholic University Students of the Republic of Indonesia group

Daniel Ndiwain Mahuze from Catholic Youth PK said cover-ups in cases related to activist deaths happen often.

"Here, it is common to tell people that an activist dies in an accident. If it is not an accident, then it is said an activist dies because he drinks too much alcohol," he said.

This case "does not make sense. The defendant cannot drive a car," he said.

Law enforcement officials couldn’t be reached for comment.

A Catholic student holds up a banner during a rally at the Jayapura District Court in Papua on Sept. 28. (Photo by Benny Mawel)

 

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