Jayapura, Papua (ANTARA) - The Papuan Customary Council has appealed to native Papuan communities in the province to not be provoked by Ambroncius Nababan's alleged racist remarks against noted Papuan human rights defender, Natalius Pigai.

The National Police have been handling the case of Nababan, a People's Conscience Party (Hanura) politician who has been accused of posting racist remarks against Pigai on his Facebook account.

The council has also urged the country's law enforcement agencies to punish those found guilty of racism-related criminal offences to deter others.

"We hope the severe punishment will have a deterrent effect so that there will be no more people who dare to post racist remarks on social media platforms," the council’s Secretary II, John Gobay, told ANTARA here on Thursday.

Gobay said the Papuan Customary Council's representatives visited the Papua Police's Criminal Investigation Directorate in Jayapura, the capital of Papua province, on Tuesday (January 26, 2021).

They represented Natalius Pigai's family to give them and Papuan communities a sense of justice regarding the case, he added.

Natalius Pigai is a former commissioner of Indonesia's National Commission on Human Rights (2012-2017).

He obtained his Sarjana (B.A.) degree from the Sekolah Tinggi Pembangunan Masyarakat Desa's School of Public Administration in Yogyakarta.

Pigai is also known for joining the reformation movement as a student activist, which ended the New Order regime era in 1999.

Meanwhile, in connection with the case, Nababan has been placed under detention since January 27, 2021.

He has been detained to prevent him from escaping and tampering with evidence of his criminal offence, director of the National Police's Cybercrime Investigation Division, Brig.Gen. Slamet Uliandi, informed.

Nababan has been charged with allegedly violating Chapter 45A Point 2 of Indonesia's Electronic Information and Transactions (ITE) Law No.11/2018, and Chapter 16 juncto Chapter 4 (b) Point 2 of Anti-Discrimination Law No. 40/2008.

If found guilty, he will face imprisonment of more than five years.

National Police's cybercrime investigators, who took over the probe from the West Papua and Papua police headquarters, asked Nababan 25 questions during his interrogation on Monday evening before deciding to name him a suspect in the case on Tuesday, Uliandi said.

Nababan had on Monday disclosed to CNN Indonesia his reasons for posting the photos of Natalius Pigai and a gorilla on his Facebook account.

Nababan, who is also general chairman of the Pro-Jokowi-Amin Volunteers (Projamin), was quoted by CNN Indonesia as saying that he had done so in response to Pigai's statement rejecting China's Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine.

As a supporter of incumbent President Joko Widodo, Nababan had voiced his discontent over Pigai's statement, CNN Indonesia reported. (INE)

Related news: Ambroncius Nababan named suspect after posting racist content: police
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Translator: Hendrina DK, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Suharto
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