Hison’s Criminalization: Witness: Mandau is Inherited, Not All People could Carry it

Monday, 20 April 2015

ELSAM, Muara Teweh – The continued trial of Hison bin Sahen, resident of Kemawen Village, Barito Utara, was conducted by the District Court of Muara Teweh, Central Kalimantan on Monday (20/4). The trial was scheduled to verify witnesses presented by defendant’s attorney.

Hison bin Sahen’s attorney from Public Interest Lawyer Network (PILNet) is represented by Judianto Simanjuntak, SH., Aryo Nugroho, SH., and Abdul Wahid, SH. Defendant’s attorney presented only one witness to testify. Such witness is Dayak custom figure of Kemawen Village, Mr. Janawi.

In his testimony, Janawi explained that Mandau is a mandatory item to be brought when Dayak custom community conducts the Hinting Pali ritual.
mengungkapkan mandau merupakan benda yang wajib dibawa ketika masyarakat adat Dayak melakukan ritual adat Hinting Pali.

“Mandau in Hinting Pali ritual, is put above the head when notification mantra for ancestors’ spirit is being read. The function is to contain the spirit of the person conducting the ritual to remain within the body and not leaving along with the ancestors’ spirit,” he said during the trial.

Besides Hinting Pali ritual, he added, Mandau is usually carried in other custom’s events, such as marriage. He elaborated that Mandau could only be carried by custom community figure.

“Not all people could carry mandau because Mandau is inherited,” he mentioned.

Janawi’s testimony reinforced several witnesses’ testimonies in previous trials. Within previous trial, on May 30th 2015, one witness presented by the Prosecutor, expressed an objection if Mandau is to be considered as sharp weapon. Meanwhile during the next trial, two witnesses from Kemawen Village stated that Mandau is an heirloom item that can only be carried by custom figures.

Previously, Hison bin Sahen, who was local leader and Dayak custom figure of Kemawen Vilage, was arrested by the Barito Utara police under an allegation of carrying sharp weapon or Mandau on January 14th 2015. At that time, Hison bin Sahen along with Kemawen Village residents were conducting custom ritual of mahinting.

Approximately 80 Barito Utara police members forcefully dismissed such ritual and coerced the residents to hand down their Mandau. In this case, Hison bin Sahen is charged of carrying sharp weapon and threatened with article 2 point 1 of Law No. 12 of 1951 regarding the Change of “ORDONNANTIETIJDELIJKE BIJZONDERE STRAFBEPALINGEN” (STBL. 1948 Number 17) dan Law No. 8 of 1948.

However, behind such arrest and accusation toward Hison bin Sahen, it is suspected that there is a link with conflict between Dayak people of Muara Teweh with PT. Berjaya Agro Kalimantan (PT. BAK) which occurred since 2005. PT. BAK (palm plantation), in 2005 was granted a plantation business permit from Bariot Utara’s Regent to open a 20.000 hectares palm plantation. Yet, part of such area is within custom forest area belonging to Kemawen Village.

The trial with Hison as the defendant will be proceeded on April 27th with the agenda of hearing for expert witnesses’ testimonies to be presented by the defendant. Defendant’s attorney is scheduled to present Council of Dayak Custom of Central Kalimantan Province in the upcoming trial.

Author : Abdul Wahid
Editor : Ari Yurino