by a special correspondent in Abepura for West Papua Media
March 3, 2012
(Edited and abridged in translation by WPM)
Concerns have been raised again over the health of internationally renowned West Papuan political prisoner Filep Karma, after a series of visits to hospital to treat his worsening health, amid atrocious conditions in the notorious Abepura prison.
Filep Karma is a political prisoner sentenced to 15 years imprisonment by Indonesia after being found guilty of makar (treason) for making a speech calling for independence and raising the banned Morning Star flag on December 1st 2004.
(Gaoled in atrocious conditions and subjected to early routine torture by Indonesian security forces and prison officers, including beatings causing internal injuries, Karma’s health has been declining since 2008, also due to numerous hunger strikes and illness caused by prison conditions in Abepura prison. Additionally, In response to a petition filed by Freedom Now, the United NationsWorking Group on Arbitrary Detention issued its opinion that the Government of Indonesia is in violation of international law by detaining Filep Karma. Amongst many other international voices, the Working Group called on the Government of Indonesia to immediately release the human rights advocate. – WPM)
He underwent medical checkups at Hospital Dock II, and underwent a colonoscopy by a Dr Arnold, on 17 February 2012, to check his intestines. He underwent the check because up until this point he regularly discharged blood when using his bowels. The results of the check were to be taken on February 21st, 2012. At the same time he also was assessed by a neurologist, Dr. Nelly Rumpaisum, because for the previous few days he felt the pain to the right of his hip when getting down to clean clothes, and now also when standing. When undergoing the examination, Fliep was accompanied by two officers and a doctor from Abepura prison. Filep was to return to the Hospital II, to undergo X-rays of his waist.
At this time, Filep cooked his own food in prison. He used a traditional stove himself, with milk cans and axes, lit with coconut oil. ‘Eating my own cooking is better for my health at the moment, because if I eat food from Abepura Prison, there can sometimes be a lot of seasoning, and this is less suitable for the condition of my body while undergoing medical treatment at the moment’, he said.
On 21 February 2012, according to Dr. Donald Arronggear at the time of the colonoscopy results, ”Filep is affected by inflammation of the intestine next to the anus, so that he must eat foods high in fibre, like fruit and vegetables”, he said. He also received various medicines from the doctor to drink when back in prison. He also did x-rays on the right side of the waist, and the results were to be checked again on 24 February 2012.
Filep Karma will undergo physiotherapy
On several weekends, Filep Karma underwent some medical treatment at the Hospital Dok II. He was accompanied by two prison officers and doctors from Abepura Prison. On 24 February 2012, he received sequence number 2 at the polyclinic at Hospital DOK II. Filep took the x-rays to neurologist, Dr. Nelly Rumapaisum. According to Dr. Nelly ”The right side of Filep’s waist, has narrowed. So, it must to undergo physiotherapy for 12 sessions. Filep can no longer lift heavy equipment and also sports is a high-risk”, said Dr. Nelly.
Filep Karma said that ‘my waist has already been sore for a while, but it felt sore for a few weeks so it had to be checked”. Filep Karma also must use a corset after undergoing physiotherapy (a very uncomfortable apparatus in the sweaty conditions of the prison – WPM) . He will undergo regular physiotherapy and will be back and forth to the DOK II Hospital for ongoing care.
“My desire is also to be an inpatient at DOK II Hospital, while undergoing physiotherapy, because the distance between the Prison Abepura and Jayapura is about 60 minutes, which makes me making a little exhausted on the journey”, Karma said.
- AHRC: Authorities refuse to treat political prisoner with tumour (westpapuamedia.info)
- West Papua : Where is our freedom and justice? Trial on Monday (westpapuamedia.info)
- AWPA calls on Rudd to monitor Increasing tension in West Papua, focused on 1st December (westpapuamedia.info)
- HRW:: Indonesia – Drop Charges Against Papuan Activists (westpapuamedia.info)
- The Speech that Got Filep Karma 15 Years in Prison || AK Rockefeller (advocatesforabandonedadolescents.wordpress.com)