Legal Aid for the Archipelago Indigenous People – The Association of Defenders of the Indigenous Peoples of the Archipelago (PPMAN) has provided assistance to indigenous peoples who attended the VI Congress of Indigenous Peoples of the Archipelago (KMAN) at Barnabas Youwe Stadium, Jayapura, Papua, since October 24, 2022.

PPMAN as the wing organization of the Indigenous Peoples Alliance of the Archipelago (AMAN) is present to provide legal assistance to indigenous peoples who are currently dealing with legal cases and need legal assistance as regulated in Law of the Republic of Indonesia Number 16 of 2011 concerning Legal Aid.

In the provisions of Article 1, it is stated that legal aid is legal services provided by legal aid providers free of charge to legal aid recipients. Whereas in article 2 it is stated that the recipient of legal aid is a person or community who is poor or considered less fortunate.

This legal aid was supported by 25 PPMAN advocates to provide guarantees for the protection of the indigenous peoples present at KMAN VI, including the Indigenous Peoples in Papua who are now the hosts.

At this congress, the PPMAN service was given the theme “Legal Assistance for Indigenous Peoples”, so that through this theme it is hoped that indigenous peoples can make complaints as well as conduct legal consultations.

PPMAN members conduct their duties and functions as advocates, which are strongly supported by strong regulations because they have been regulated in the Republic of Indonesia Law Number 18 of 2003 concerning Advocates, Article 1 point a (1) which states that advocates are people who provide legal services, both in or out of court that meets the requirements under the provisions of this law.

While number (2) reads that legal services are services provided by advocates in the form of legal consultation, legal assistance, exercising power of attorney, representing, assisting, defending, and taking other legal actions for the client’s legal interests. Whereas in number (9) it states that legal aid is legal services provided by advocates free of charge to clients who can’t afford it.

A PPMAN advocate, Ermelina said, PPMAN as an organization that gathers advocates and legal experts has an obligation to provide legal assistance, both in the form of legal information and assistance in the judicial process to the community.

“This legal information is very important to provide information to indigenous peoples that the state guarantees the constitutional rights of citizens as contained in the 1945 Constitution, which is contained in Article 27 regarding equality of position before the law and Article 28 equal treatment before the law, “said Ermelina.

According to Ermelina, from the complaints received by PPMAN on the first day of the opening of KMAN VI, it shows that there are still many participants who want to dig up information about legal clinics.

There were 8 cases reported by indigenous peoples to PPMAN on the first day. One of them is a complaint from indigenous peoples in Biak related to the case of customary land being used for the public interest without providing compensation to indigenous peoples.

“This case has been reported to Komnas HAM and Komnas HAM to provide answers so that the Biak Regency Regional Government immediately provides legal certainty and justice for the Swapor Indigenous Peoples, Biak,” Ermelina said.

On that occasion, the Chairman of PPMAN, Syamsul Alam Agus explained that the existence of a legal clinic in this congress is very important to receive various complaints and complaints regarding cases and problems experienced and faced by indigenous peoples.

He also ensures that PPMAN will follow up on complaints from indigenous peoples in accordance with the mandate of PPMAN, both through litigation and non-litigation approaches.

“PPMAN is committed to specifically assisting indigenous peoples who experience and receive legal injustice, legal assistance is provided free of charge as a form of carrying out probono obligations for advocates,” said Syamsul.

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