AHRC: Authorities refuse to treat political prisoner with tumour

January 27, 2012


Urgent Appeal Case: AHRC-UAC-008-2012

ISSUES: Indigenous people; inhuman and degrading treatment; prison conditions

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information regarding the condition of Kimanus Wenda, a political prisoner at Nabire prison, Papua, who has a tumor in his stomach and must be operated on. Although Indonesian law clearly notes that it is the state’s obligation to provide medical fees, the Papua legal and human rights department is refusing to pay for Mr. Wenda’s surgery due to a lack of funds. Moreover, the goverment is now claiming that Mr. Wenda does not require surgery, although local activists found the opposite to be true.


According to the information received from KontraS, ALDP and SKPHP, on April 4, 2003, at around 1am, there was a burglary at 1702/ Jayawijaya Wamena military district staff headquarters armory.

Eight perpetrators were arrested in connection to this theft: Yafrai Murib, Numbungga Telenggen, Enos Lokobal, Linus Hiluka, Kanius Murib, Kimanus Wenda, Des Wenda and Mikael Haselo. On January 15, 2004, according to the verdict declared by the Wamena district court, all the victims were found guilty for rebellion under articles 106 and 110 of the Criminal Code. Yafrai Murib and Numbungga Telenggen were sentenced to lifetime imprisonment, while the others were sentenced to 20 years imprisonment. Civil society considers this verdict to not be based on legal facts.

Since 2010, Mr. Wenda has had a tumor in his stomach and is constantly vomiting. He informed the health staff at Nabire prison but was not given any adequate response. On February 2, 2011, the Nabire hospital issued a reference letter regarding Mr. Wenda’s sickness and the need for him to be operated at Jayapura hospital. Two days later, Mr. Wenda’s legal counsel sent a medical leave letter to the head of Papua’s regional office of law and human rights and the head of Nabire prison, but received no response. On September 19, SKPHP met the head of Papua legal and human rights department but the department said it has no money and thus cannot pay for Mr. Wenda’s operation. This violates Indonesian law under Indonesian Government Regulation No. 32/1999 on Terms and Procedures on the Implementation of Prisoners’ Rights in Prisons, which states that it is a state obligation to provide medical fees and treatment. While civil society is now gathering funds to pay for the operation in Jayapura hospital, it is not yet enough.

Furthermore, on December 16, at the hearings between KontraS and the ministry of law and human rights, the staff of Nabire prison said that based on their report and the statement of the prison chief, Mr. Wenda was seen playing volley ball in prison and therefore his stomach tumour is not dangerous and does not need to be operated in Jayapura hospital. However, on December 21, when local activists brought Mr. Wenda to be examined at Nabire hospital, John, the surgery doctor who examined Mr. Wenda, stated that the tumour is severe and should be operated as soon as possible. The government denial to treat Mr. Wenda has resulted in much civil society concern about his safety.

The AHRC has recorded that political prisoners, especially in Papua, face ill-treatment and torture in prison, as in the case of Fendinand Pakage, who was tortured by a Abepura prison officer in 2008, resulting in permanent damage to his right eye, and in the case of Buchtar Tabuni in 2009, also beaten and tortured by a Abepura prison officer. Political prisoners’ rights are bare fulfilled, especially the right to health, as seen by Filep Karma, who was neglected at Dok II Jayapura hospital although his ureter should be operated.

Furthermore, on August 28, 2007, Mikael Haselo, a political prisoner arrested and charged in the same case as Mr. Wenda, died after being treated at Bayangkara hospital, Makasar, South Sulawesi, due to the complication of some diseases, such as cough, enteritis, bronchitis and lung inflammation.

for suggested actions please visit http://www.humanrights.asia/news/urgent-appeals/AHRC-UAC-008-2012

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