Urgent Appeal Case: AHRC-UAC-025-2013
22 February 2013
INDONESIA: Guards torture 20 prisoners at the Abepura Correctional Facility, Papua
ISSUES: Inhuman and degrading treatment; torture
The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information regarding the torture of twenty prisoners at the Abepura Correctional Facility, Papua, on 21 January 2013. Information gathered by local activists reveals that the torture was conducted by three prison guards with the acquiescence of the head of the prison. The victims were beaten with bare hands as well as whipped with thick wire until some parts of their bodies were bleeding. Despite the injuries suffered the prison guards did not give any medical treatment to the tortured prisoners.
According to local activists from KontraS Papua, Bersatu untuk Kebenaran (BUK), and SKPKC Fransiskan Papua, three new prisoners were admitted to the Abepura Class II.A Correctional Facility at around 6pm on 21 January 2013. The other prisoners made spontaneous comments to welcome the new prisoners such as “welcome to the prodeo hotel” and “welcome to isolation”. Not long afterwards, two prison guards named Bonifasius Manuputy and Yulianan Wanane ordered the inmates’ coordinator (tahanan pendamping, tamping) to unlock cell number 5 and asked all the five prisoners staying there to exit the cells. The prisoners were ordered to walk in a crouch position to the guards’ office which is about 100-150 meters away from the cell.
Bonifasius Manuputy started beating the prisoners once they reached the guards’ office. At this stage, another prison guard called Eli Asip Wamuar also joined Bonifasius in torturing the prisoners by whipping them with a thick white wire. The diameter of the wire was about 10 inches and its length was around 2 meters. As the prisoners from cell five were being beaten, the other prisoners staying in other cells made noises, asking Bonifasius not to torture the prisoners from cell number 5. It was alleged that the beating took place because the guards got annoyed with the prisoners’ welcoming remarks addressed to the new enrolled prisoners.
At around 6.30pm on the same day, Eli Asip Wamuar ordered the inmates’ coordinator to unlock cell number 2 and 3. There were seven prisoners inside cell number 2 and eight prisoners inside cell number 3. All prisoners staying in both cells were asked to walk to the guards’ office in a crouch position as well. As their fellows from cell number 5, those prisoners were also whipped by Eli Asip Wamuar in their body using the thick white wire. As a result, the prisoners suffered wounds and injuries to different parts of their body including arms, back, and shoulder. Some parts of their body were also bleeding and bruised. One of the prisoners, Pelius Tabuni, had his left arm broken, allegedly caused by the severe beating with the thick wire. The head of the Abepura Correctional Facility, Nuridin, as well as the Head of the Correctional Facility’s Security Unit, Juwaini, were present as the torture was taking place.
After the beating the prison guards simply put the prisoners back in their cells without giving them any medical treatment which could have been made available at the prison’s clinic despite the injury they suffered.
This is not the first time that a report on the allegation of torture at the Abepura Correctional Facility has been received by the AHRC. Previously in June 2012, the AHRC released an urgent appeal concerning the torture of 42 prisoners and detainees at the same correctional facility. The AHRC was informed that after heavy criticism directed by human rights activists at that time, the then Head Correctional Facility Liberti Sitinjak was replaced by Nuridin in 2012. However, no criminal investigation was conducted on this matter that those responsible for such abuse remain unpunished.
In a greater picture, torture is no longer a new issue in Papua in general. In 2010, a video revealing military officers torturing a Papuan man was released but the perpetrators were sentenced only to 9-12 months imprisonment. The AHRC has also recently published an urgent appeal concerning the torture of seven Papuans by Indonesian police in Jayapura on false allegations for having a relationship with pro-independence activists.
Please write to the authorities listed below asking for their intervention in this matter. The torture allegation should be impartially and effectively investigated that those responsible for it will be punished proportionately. Please also urge the authorities to provide compensation and medical treatment needed for the loss and injury suffered by the victims.
The AHRC is writing separately to the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.
INDONESIA: Prison guards tortured 20 prisoners at Abepura Correctional Facility, Papua
Name of victims:
1. Pelius Tabuni, 32 year old, left arm got broken and suffer wounds in his shoulder and back;
2. Gidion Hanuebi (Bob), 37 year old, suffers wounds in his back;
3. Serko Itlai, 19 year old, suffers wounds in his back;
4. Yoris Fernando W. Rengil, 17 year old, suffers wounds in his back;
5. Ami Wenda (Soy), 25 year old, suffers wounds in his back and arms;
6. Roy Olvin Wally, 31 year old, suffers wounds in his back and left arm;
7. Ormi Wandik, 17 year old, suffers wounds in his back and arms;
8. Roy Kabarek, 37 year old, suffers bruises in his forehead and jaws as well as wounds in his back;
9. Irsan Mananggel (Irs), 19 year old, suffers wounds in his back and arms that he could not move his arms for a couple of days;
10. Yosua Merahabia, 41 year old, suffers wounds in his back and left arm;
11. Samuel Waren, 26 year old, suffers wounds in his back and arms;
12. Yakobus Bue, 20 year old, suffers wounds in his back and arms;
13. Hendro Wambrau, 21 year old, suffers wounds in his back, left arm and left elbow;
14. Ibe Huby, 22 year old, suffers wounds in his back as well as bruises in left ear;
15. Kaharudin, 28 year old, suffers wounds in his back and right arm;
16. Kaleb Mantanaway, 21 year old, suffers wounds in his back and arms;
17. Imanuel Mauri, 21 year old, suffers bruises in his back of head and ears;
18. Zikenele Hisage, 20 year old, suffers wounds in his back and right arm;
19. Widodo Santoso, 26 year old, suffers bruises in his forehead;
20. Ahmad Alia, age unidentified, suffers wounds in his back.
Names of alleged perpetrators:
1. Eli Asip Wamuar, prison guard
2. Bonifasius Manuputy, prison guard
3. Yulianan Wanane, prison guard
4. Juwaini, Head of Abepura Correctional Facility’s Security Unit
5. Nuridin, Head of Abepura Correctional Facility
Date of incident: 21 January 2013
Place of incident: Abepura, Papua
I am writing to express my deep concern regarding the torture of prisoners which took place in the Abepura Class II, a Correctional Facility. I received the information that 20 prisoners were tortured by three prison guards with the acquiescence of the Head of the Correctional Facility as well as the Head of the Correctional Facility’s Security Unit on 21 January 2013.
I have been informed that on the day in question at around 6pm, three new prisoners were admitted to the correctional facility. Responding to it, the other prisoners were making spontaneous welcoming remarks such as “welcome to isolation” as well as “welcome to the prodeo hotel”. Not long afterwards, two prison guards named Bonifasius Manuputy and Yulianan Wanane asked the inmates’ coordinator (tahanan pendamping, tamping) to unlock cell number 5 and ordered the prisoners staying there to walk to the guards’ office in a crouch position. Once they reached the office, the prisoners were beaten by Bonifasius and whipped with a thick white wire by another prison guard named Eli Asip Wanuar. The white wire was about 2 meters long. During the beatings and whippings, the other prisoners made noises asking the prison guards to stop torturing their fellow inmates.
Eli Asip Wanuar later ordered the inmates’ coordinator to unlock cell number 2 and 3 and also asked the prisoners staying there to walk in a crouch position to the guards’ office. Similarly, the prisoners from these two cells were beaten and whipped by the prison guards. Nuridin, the Head of Abepura Correctional Facility, as well as Juwaini, the Head of the Correctional Facility’s Security Unit were present during the torture and did not do anything to stop it from happening.
I was told that due to the beatings and whippings, the twenty prisoners suffer wounds and injuries to several parts of their body. It was reported that one of them, Pelias Tabuni, had his left arm broken. Even though the prisoners were injured and bleeding, the prison authorities did not provide them with any medical treatment afterwards and just put them back in their cells.
I am concerned that torture is still practiced in your country, despite the fact that Indonesia is a state party to the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and the right not to be tortured is guaranteed under the 1945 Constitution. I am particularly disturbed knowing that this is not the first time I received the report that torture is taking place in Abepura Class II.A Correctional Facility. I am aware it was previously reported that 42 prisoners and detainees were tortured at the same correctional facility in April last year and that the perpetrators are still unpunished as of today. It saddens me that the Indonesian government and law enforcement officials do not take torture as a serious matter that deserves serious concern and efforts. Those who are responsible for such abuse are hardly taken before the court. Even for cases that managed to reach the court, the perpetrators have always been punished with light sentence that does not reflect the gravity of the abuse.
I therefore urge you and your institution to prove your commitment in combating torture and enforcing law and human rights in your country. The torture allegation in this case should be impartially and effectively investigated that those responsible for it are punished proportionately according to law. I also wish to emphasise that, under international human rights law, not providing detainees or prisoners with adequate medical treatment may also constitute torture that you are also obliged to give any health assistance needed by the victims in this case. Compensation should also be adequately granted to them.
I look forward for your positive and prompt response in this matter.
PLEASE SEND YOUR LETTERS TO:
1. Mr. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono
President of Republic of Indonesia
Jl. Veteran No. 16
Tel: +62 21 386 3777, 350 3088.
Fax: + 62 21 344 2223, 3483 4759
2. Ms. Harkristuti Harkrisnowo
General Director of Human Rights
Ministry of Law and Human Rights
Jl. HR Rasuna Said Kav. 6-7
Kuningan, Jakarta 12940
Tel: +62 21 525 3006, 525 3889
Fax: +62 21 525 3095
4. Gen. Timur Pradopo
Chief of the Indonesian National Police
Jl. Trunojoyo No. 3
Kebayoran Baru, Jakarta Selatan 12110
Tel: +62 21 384 8537, 726 0306
Fax: +62 21 7220 669
Urgent Appeals Programme
Asian Human Rights Commission (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Seven Papuans are arrested and tortured on false allegations of having a relationship with pro-independence activists (westpapuamedia.info)
- Buchtar Tabuni released from Abepura prison after completing sentence (westpapuamedia.info)
- AWPA letter to Sen Carr (pacific.scoop.co.nz)
- Violence and intimidation of journalists in Papua in 2012 (westpapuamedia.info)