Jefrai Murib has serious medical problems but is not getting the treatment he urgently needs

JUBI, 23 May 2012
The hospital in Jayapura where Jefrai Murib has been getting treatment has been creating difficulties regarding the medical treatment needed by this political prisoner.The chairman of BUK, Bersatu Untuk Keadilan – United for Justice – Peneas Lokbere said that to continue his treatment, he should have been examined again by the doctors on 22 May,  and would need to undergo a course of physiotherapy  and be given medicine that he needs for the paralysis  which has affected  the right side of his body.

According to Lokbere, when he went to the hospital for the treatment he required, he was not allowed to enter the hospital and was told that the doctors who should have been treating him had finished their work at the hospital for the day and had gone home. This happened on two days running and then he was told that he should go to the General Hospital for treatment.

Because of this, said Lokbere, Jefrai had been unable to get the necessary treatment.

He also said that they had asked the prison where  Jefrai is being held to cover the costs of the treatment required, but had failed so far to get the prison to respond to this request. Jefrai has lost the ability to move the right side of his body but was not getting the medical treatment that he urgently requires.

On the following day, 24 May, JUBI reported that Lokbere and his colleagues had decided to try to raise money to cover the costs of Jefrai’s treatment, by asking  for money from people in the streets.

Lokbere said that they were having to do this because the costs of the treatment were currently having to be borne by the prisoner’s family.

Other political prisoners such as Filep Karma and Ferdinand Pakage were also in need of treatment so attempts to raise money for them would have to start as soon as possible.

As regards the condition of Jefrai, the doctors have said that his is an emergency case.He needs treatment for eight hours a week and his condition must be regularly checked by the doctors. ‘He needs help very quickly,’ said Lokbere because his is an emergency case.

JUBI, 24 May

Jefrai’s lawyer refused entry to meet Jefrai

A doctor who is treating the political prisoner Jefrai Murib ordered Cory Silva, a lawyer acting for the prisoner, to leave the premises of the hospital. The lawyer  had intended to  ask the doctor at the hospital  to make the necessary arrangements for the political prisoner to get the medical treatment that he needs.Examination by doctors had confirmed that Jefrai Murib has high blood pressure and blood clots (this is surely DVT – deep vein thrombosis, caused by excessive periods immobile – Tapol) after having been examined by a team of doctors. ‘The right side of his body is completely unable to function,’ she said. The doctor has suggested a course of physiotherapy for him as the condition had been present for a long time. The doctor said that treatment was urgent in order to prevent the blood clots from spreading to other parts of his body.

His doctor has also approached a physiotherapy specialist, Fernandes who suggested a course of treatment.When Peneas Lokbere tried to make contact with the physiotherapist, he was told that he was not available at the time and the prisoner would need to go elsewhere for treatment. but they had been unable to make contact with a physiotherapist.

When the lawyer was eventually able to contact the specialist, he was told by Fernandes that he should go to the General Hospital. Cory Silva wa criticised for trying to interfere with the prison management ans was ordered to leave the premises.The doctor also said that it was up to the prisoner’s family to handle of the case.

Cory Silva said that  what the doctor had said was quite inappropriate because it was the duty of the prison where Jefrai was being held to take full responsibility for Jefrai getting the necessary treatment.

Peneas Lokbere insisted that it was the responsibility of the doctor at the  prison to make the necessary arrangements and if he was refusing to do so then he should be replaced so as to make sure that the treatment needed by Jefrai could be started as soon as possible

Another of Jefrai’s lawyers, Yusman Conoras  complained that the doctors at the prison clearly had no understanding of the human rights aspect of this matter.  He said that it was the responsibility  of  the prison authorities  to provide the proper treatment for those who are being held in the prison Moreover, a prison should be giving guidance to the people being held in the prison and not just trying to punish the prisoner.

JUBI  reported that as yet, no comment had been forthcoming from the doctor in question.

[Translated and summarised by TAPOL]

West Papua Report May 2012

This is the 97th in a series of monthly reports that focus on developments affecting Papuans. This series is produced by the non-profit West Papua Advocacy Team (WPAT) drawing on media accounts, other NGO assessments, and analysis and reporting from sources within West Papua. This report is co-published with the East Timor and Indonesia Action Network (ETAN). Back issues are posted online at Questions regarding this report can be addressed to Edmund McWilliams at If you wish to receive the report via e-mail, send a note to  Link to this issue:

Summary: One demonstrator was reportedly killed, two were wounded, and 13 arrested in May 1 demonstrations throughout West Papua. The protests marked the 49th anniversary of Indonesia’s coerced annexation of West Papua. Indonesian government plans to continue to send settlers from outside into West Papua (“transmigration”) has prompted protests from Papuan organizations who fear the further marginalization of Papuans and growing communal tensions. Several international organizations have protested continued, longstanding efforts by the Indonesian government to cover up human rights violations by preventing journalists and rights observers from traveling to or within West Papua. Following large scale peaceful demonstrations in Serui district, Indonesian security forces have launched a crackdown involving sweep operations. The shooting of a civilian aircraft as it landed at an airport in the Puncak Jaya area caused civilian casualties and has prompted unproven charges by authorities that the perpetrators were the Papuan armed resistance organization, the OPM. Papuan leaders have called on the government to conduct a transparent investigation and to engage with local civil and government organizations to put an end to ongoing tensions and conflict in the Puncak Jaya region. They note that security force resort to force in dealing with incidents harms innocent local civilians who are often driven from their homes. Despite its obligations under Indonesian and International law, the Indonesian government is refusing to fund urgently needed medical treatment for Papuan political prisoner Filep Karma. Two new reports reveal extensive “land grabbing” by corporations, backed by the Indonesian government, at the Merauke Integrated Food and Energy Estate (MIFEE) project in southern West Papua. Indonesia faces a quadrennial review of its human rights performance by the UN Human Rights Commission. WPAT member Dr. Eben Kirksey has authored a new book on West Papua.


Arrests and Shootings of Demonstrators Mar Peaceful Demonstrations Marking Indonesia’s Annexation of West Papua

The human rights organization ELSHAM Papua reported that large protests marked the May 1,1963 anniversary of Indonesia’s annexation of West Papua. Gunfire, targeting a peaceful demonstration killed one demonstrator and wounded several. In addition, police arrested 13 demonstrators in Sentani.

Demonstrations, organized by the West Papua National Committee (KNPB), transpired in various places in West Papua , the largest appears to have been in the Abepura area where a crowd assembled to hear a speech by Buchtar Tabuni, KNPB Chair. According to ELSHAM, Tabuni said in part: “On this day, 49 years ago, we commemorate the day when our people fell into the hands of the Indonesian state. All the Papuan people reject annexation by Indonesia.” Tabuni also said that May 1 marked the beginning of the perpetration of gross human rights violations against the Papuan people.

Many of the demonstrators marched to the center of Jayapura, joined by supporters along the route. Some demonstrators attempted to fly Morning Star flags in a field alongside the tomb of the martyred Papuan leader Theys Eluay in Sentani, but they were prevented from doing so by the police, who arrested thirteen people. Among those arrested was Darius Koyoga, organizer of the action.

One demonstrator, Terjolih Weah, was shot near the TNI’s Koramil base in Abepura. In addition, as the demonstrators were walking from the Elim Church to Koramil, an unidentified person or persons fired on the peaceful crowd. One victim of the shooting was taken by demonstrators to the Dian Harapan Hospital. Another victim, a fourth year student at the economic faculty at Port Nambay (Jayapura), was shot through the stomach and died.

Indonesian security force were reportedly on alert for anticipated demonstrations associated with the dead student’s funeral.

(WPAT comment: The shooting of demonstrators peacefully asserting their rights requires an immediate, transparent investigation by the Indonesian authorities. Armed Indonesian security elements, operating in plain clothes, invariably shadow demonstrations. Suspicion regarding the perpetrators of attacks on peaceful demonstrators inevitably will fall on them.)

Plans For New Transmigration to West Papua Prompts Protest and Fears of Communal Conflict

The head of the Office of Labor and Transmigration in the province of West Nusa Tenggara said the government would be sending more transmigrants West Papua. News of the new government-sponsored migration to West Papua prompted protest from local Papuan groups.

According to a report in the daily Jubi, the Jayapura branch of the Association of Catholic Students of the Republic of Indonesia (PMKRI), condemned the plan to bring more transmigrants, contending that the move would further marginalize the indigenous Papuan people. The association also expressed concern that competition between indigenous Papuans and the transmigrants could generate “horizontal conflicts” (communal disputes).

“The indigenous Papuan people have already become a minority in their own homeland. We strongly reject plans to bring in more transmigrants,” said Benyamin Lokobal, Jayapura chair PMKRI. If the government goes ahead with this plan, Lokobal said, his group would organize demonstrations in collaboration with other youth organizations in Papua.

The chairman of Catholic Youth in Jayapura, Kristian Bame warned that more transmigration had the potential to lead to land grabbing. He said that as of now, “the contribution of transmigrants in Papua is not at all apparent. On the contrary, their presence has only led to social jealousy.”

WPAT Comment: WPAT is collecting information on the rise in the formation and activity of ethnic/race based militias which it will present in an upcoming report. This militia formation, among transmigrants/migrants on the one hand and among Papuans on the other, is indicative of rising communal tensions which continued transmigration will only stoke.

Indonesian Government Covers Up Human Rights Abuse and Repression in West Papua

A joint report by the Faith-Based Network on West Papua, Franciscans International, Papua Land of Peace and the Asian Human Rights Commission concludes that the Indonesian government is tightening restrictions on journalists and non-governmental organizations which seek to cover developments in West Papua. The organizations contend that the Indonesian government has long restricted the number of foreign journalists granted permission to enter West Papua and write about the situation there. Those few reporters allowed to enter West Papua work under tight restrictions and were followed, according to the report.

The report points to recent departure of Peace Brigades International (PBI) and the Indonesian government’s refusal to allow the International Committee of The Red Cross (ICRC) to re-open its office there.

Kristina Neubauer speaking at a launch of the report in Padang Bulan said that the world at large knows nothing about Papua because the Indonesian government refuses to grant access to foreign journalists, to human rights activists and to other observers from outside Indonesia.”

Last October, Pacific Journalism Review published a Pacific Media Watch report on the region’s media freedoms, which reported Indonesian repression facing news media. WPAT’s Report for March 2012 also contained reporting on the Indonesian government’s continuing campaign to cover-up human rights abuse and repression in West Papua.

Security Forces Launch Crackdown, Sweeps in Serui District

West Papua Media reported April 23, that Indonesian security forces have launched a major sweep in Serui District on Yapen Island. The sweep reportedly targeted Papuans had engaged in a large, peaceful demonstration on April 20 which had been organized by the West Papua National Authority (WPNA) to welcome the apparent launch of a branch of the International Lawyers for West Papua (ILWP).

West Papua Media reported that armed Indonesian police and military conducted rolling raids on motorbikes across villages including Mantembu and surrounding hamlets outside of Serui town, seeking to arrest all those who were involved in the mass flying of the banned Morning Star independence flag.

An earlier April 20 report in the daily Jubi, translated by the UK-based Tapol, had noted that a large number of the banned Morning Star flags were flown by Papuans in peaceful demonstrations in Tanggal (Serui District) organized by the West Papua National Authority (WPNA). Aston Situmorang, a member of NGO Working Forum of Cenderawasih Bay, Serui, told local media that thousands of people had gathered to take part in the demonstration from all parts of Serui district.

According to Jubi, the local police chief had allowed the flags to be flown.

Shooting of Civilian Aircraft Raises Concern over New Sweep Operations by Security Forces

On April 8, an unknown shooter or shooters fired on a commercial Trigana twin otter aircraft landing at Mulia Airport in the troubled Puncak Jaya region of West Papua. One person was killed and four wounded. As a result of the incident, air transport to the region by four local carriers was suspended, creating serious hardship for local people who depend on the airlink.

The regional (Cenderawasih) Indonesian military commander quickly blamed the incident on the Papuan armed resistance, the Organizasi Papua Merdeka, the Papua Freedom Organization, or OPM.

The Head of Public Information Department at police headquarters Chief. Comm. Boy Rafli Amar similarly told media on April 9 that the suspect is member of a group which had committed similar acts some time ago. As is frequently the case, the claim that the OPM was responsible for the attack was offered with no proof and before any serious investigation could be carried out. Police accusations about a suspect were made before the police had developed the most basic information such as determining from what direction the shots had come.

An investigation by two commissioners of the Indonesian Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM) also was unable to determine who was responsible, though they said that the perpetrator(s) were highly trained and were thought not to be regular police or military personnel. “Many security personnel have not been reporting to their units and that this should immediately be looked into,” said one commissioner.

The commissioners put the incident in a larger context: “Various forms of violence constitute an increasing number of records piling up from year to year, without clarity on the identity of perpetrators or the masterminds behind these attacks, which have robbed many people of their lives and injured scores of others.”

Several prominent Papuans have urged that Indonesian authorities not resort to the use of force as in the past. They argued that sweep operations, purportedly targeting the alleged perpetrators in various incidents do great harm to the local population. Indonesian security force sweeps regularly force innocent villagers to flee their homes, often to nearby forests where they suffer from lack of food, shelter and access to medical care.

According to an April 13 report in the daily Bintang Papua,  the co-ordinator of the Jaringan Damai Papua (JDP, Papuan Peace Network), Dr. Neles Tebay believes it is necessary to involve the OPM, not only in order to seek a way of preventing such events from happening again. He urged that “A strategic solution can be put in place for the long term, bearing in mind that responses to events up to now have been re-active” violence which only begets more violence.

Dr. Tebay also pointed out that there has been no transparency on the side of the security forces regarding the results of their investigations. “Were projectiles involved and if so, what kind of projectiles?”

(WPAT notes that such information could point to the identity of the shooters insofar as the OPM has a limited range of firearms and it was possible that others, possibly even members of the security forces themselves, might have been involved as been the case in other incidents.)

Fadel Alhamid, a member of the Papuan Customary Council, echoed Dr. Tebay’s concerns that violence should not be answered by violence. Alhamid added that nothing was yet known about who was responsible for the initial violence. The “security approach” was not the right way to improve the situation in Puncak Jaya. “A more persuasive approach is needed, and this requires the collaboration of all elements in society,” he said. “This means involving political bodies, the churches, customary groups all of which should be actively involved, bearing in mind that the security approach has a direct impact on the civilian population. If everyone gets together, it should be possible to work out who was responsible for the shooting,” he argued.

Political Prisoner Filep Karma Denied Urgent Medical Treatment

There is growing international concern over the health of Papuan political prisoner Filep Karma who is in urgent need of medical treatment for a colon disorder.

The Dutch NGO, Foundation Pro Papua, on April 22 wrote to the Indonesian health minister raising concern over Karma’s plight. The group noted in part that Karma, who was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment for his role in a peaceful demonstration, was examined recently by Indonesian physicians in Jayapura. They suspect that he has colon tumor and that he needs a colonoscopy and follow-up treatment. Because it is not possible to conduct a colonoscopy in West Papua the physicians referred him to a hospital in Jakarta. West Papua has long lacked even basic medical facilities and personnel.

Karma has not been transferred despite this referral because prison officials have refused to cover cost of his medical treatment and travel.

In an action alert, Amnesty International argues all medical costs for treatment of a prisoner at a hospital must be borne by the state, according to the UN Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment (Principle 24). Indonesian law (Regulation No. 32/1999 on Terms and Procedures on the Implementation of Prisoners’ Rights in Prisons) also requires all medical costs for treatment of a prisoner at a hospital be borne by the State.

WPAT notes that internationally, standard minimal standards regarding treatment of prisoners also were established by the “United Nations Congress on The Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders” held in Geneva in 1955 and approved by the Economic and Social Council by its resolutions 663 C (XXIV) of 31 July 1957 and 2076 (LXII) of 13 May 1977.

Regarding medical treatment of prisoners, that resolution in article 22 states:

(2) Sick prisoners who require specialist treatment shall be transferred to specialized institutions or to civil hospitals. Where hospital facilities are provided in an institution, their equipment, furnishings and pharmaceutical supplies shall be proper for the medical care and treatment of sick prisoners, and there shall be a staff of suitable trained officers.

In late February, in response to a petition filed by Freedom Now, the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention said that Indonesia is violating international law by detaining Filep Karma and called for his immediate release.

see also ETAN writes on health care for Papuan political prisoner Filep Karma
New Organization Emerges to Support Local Papuans Facing Land Grabs Such as MIFEE

There is growing controversy over plans by the Indonesian government to convert a vast area of southern West Papua into an industrial agricultural zone. The Merauke Integrated Food and Energy Estate (MIFEE)  is similar to industrial agricultural zones in northern Sumatra and West Kalimantan where local people have seen forests which have sustained them for many generations sacrificed to the interests of Indonesian and foreign corporations. The MIFEE plan is intended to convert over a million hectares of land belonging to local people of West Papua into industrialized plantation agriculture.

An extensive April 15 report in Tempo magazine describes extensive, ongoing conflicts between local people and over a dozen companies attempting to seize land long claimed by the indigenous groups. Tempo reports these conflicts have placed the whole MIFEE venture in doubt.

Promises to local peoples by the companies, including construction of facilities to aid them, protection of forest areas used by locals for hunting, and the involvement of organizations like Conservation International from Australia to ensure environmental protections have gone unfulfilled. A key problem in protecting the rights of the local inhabitants is the absence of any protection of customary rights in the Indonesian legal system. (The full Tempo report is available at

A new report, An Agribusiness Attack in West Papua: Unravelling the Merauke Integrated Food and Energy Estate,  is now out from awasMIFEE! (The report is currently available in English; a Bahasa Indonesia version is being prepared.)

The report says that MIFEE was “imposed on the Papuan people by the Indonesian government [and] can only serve to aggravate the problems faced by indigenous Papuans, many of whom have struggled since the 1960s for self-determination and against military violence and other investment projects such as the Freeport mine and BP gas project.”

Many of the large agribusiness conglomerates that are implementing MIFEE belong to “business leaders on Indonesia’s rich list, who are typically well connected to the military and political parties. Foreign corporations also have a stake in MIFEE, from Korea, Japan, China and Singapore.”

awasMIFEE! says it was formed as “an act of solidarity with the social and ecological struggles of the people of Merauke and elsewhere in West Papua.” In a statement that accompanied the report the organization explained:

We believe that it is important that people outside of West Papua also know what is happening in Merauke. However, information available about MIFEE can be confusing – much of it comes from different companies and government bodies, and each have their own way of describing the project that fits with their own interests and objectives.
By compiling information from different sources, such as reports from the villages affected, from NGOs and other groups, from Papuan, Indonesian and financial media, from local and national government, and from company websites, we have tried to unravel what MIFEE is likely to mean for the people of Merauke. We hope that a more coherent understanding of how this land grab is taking shape will be of interest to people who are interested in West Papua, in the defence of forests and forest peoples, in the struggles against agro-fuels and against the growth of industrialised agriculture.
Most of all we hope that this information can be the catalyst for action! Our initiative is independent, unconnected to the programs of any NGO, and we hope it can also be a source of inspiration.
The report An Agribusiness Attack in West Papua: Unravelling the Merauke Integrated Food and Energy Estate is an attempt to give an overview of the situation in April 2012.

Indonesia to Face Quadrennial UN Human Rights Review in May

The UN’s Human Rights Commission will review human rights progress in Indonesia in May, All member states of the United Nations must regularly submit to the Universal Periodic Review. The Commission process accepts submissions regarding the status of human rights observance by those facing reviews from States and also from non-governmental organizations. While the deadline for NGO submissions to the process has passed, individual organizations may still make submission to their governments.

Documents from the upcoming 2012 review can be found here and from the 2008 of Indonesia are here.

WPAT Member Dr. Eben Kirksey Authors Book on West Papua

Freedom in Entangled Worlds: West Papua and the Architecture of Global Power by Dr. Eben Kirksey is now out from Duke University Press.

Eben Kirksey first went to West Papua, the Indonesian-controlled half of New Guinea, in 1998 as an exchange student. His later study of West Papua’s resistance to the Indonesian occupiers and the forces of globalization morphed as he discovered that collaboration, rather than resistance, was the primary strategy of this dynamic social movement. Accompanying indigenous activists to Washington, London, and the offices of the oil giant BP, Kirksey saw the revolutionaries’ knack for getting inside institutions of power and building coalitions with unlikely allies, including many Indonesians. He discovered that the West Papuans’ pragmatic activism was based on visions of dramatic transformations on coming horizons, of a future in which they would give away their natural resources in grand humanitarian gestures, rather than passively watch their homeland be drained of timber, gold, copper, and natural gas. During a lengthy, brutal occupation, West Papuans have harbored a messianic spirit and channeled it in surprising directions. Kirksey studied West Papua’s movement for freedom as a broad-based popular uprising gained traction from 1998 until 2008. Blending extensive ethnographic research with indigenous parables, historical accounts, and compelling narratives of his own experiences, he argues that seeking freedom in entangled worlds requires negotiating complex interdependencies.

Available in paperback ($25) and hardback ($75) from ETAN
( Kirksey) The Kindle edition ($9.95) can be bought from

Dr. Kirksey will be visiting Australia from May 16 through June 1st and is available to speak about Freedom in Entangled Worlds.

Back issues of West Papua Report


UA: 109/12 Index: ASA 21/017/2012  Indonesia        
Date: 19 April 2012
Indonesian prisoner of conscience Filep Karma is in urgent need of medical treatment. He needs to travel to receive this treatment, but the prison authorities have refused to pay for his transport and medical costs.Filep Karma is serving a 15-year sentence at the Abepura prison in Papua province for raising a banned regional flag. Doctors at the Dok Dua hospital in nearby Jayapura conducted a medical examination last month and suspect a tumour of the colon. They have confirmed that he requires a colonoscopy and follow-up treatment. However the necessary equipment is not available in Papua province and they have referred him to the Cikini hospital in the capital, Jakarta. The Abepura prison authorities have given permission for Filep Karma to travel to Jakarta, but they have refused to cover the cost of his medical treatment and travel. By law, all medical costs for treatment of a prisoner at a hospital must be borne by the state (Regulation No. 32/1999 on Terms and Procedures on the Implementation of Prisoners’ Rights in Prisons).

Filep Karma has suffered a number of medical problems in detention, including bronchopneumonia, excess fluid in the lungs and a urinary tract infection. In July 2010 he was sent to a hospital in Jakarta for prostate surgery and other care. In November 2011 he was transferred to the Dok Dua hospital in Papua for an operation after he experienced bleeding haemorrhoids, chronic diarrhoea and blood in his stool. He has continued to pass blood in his stool since the operation. Filep Karma is also undergoing physiotherapy for an injury to his hip bone from a fall he suffered in detention in 2006.

Please write immediately in English, Indonesian or your own language:
– Urging the authorities to ensure that Filep Karma receives full and immediate access to any medical treatment he may require;
– Urging them to cover the cost of such treatment in accordance with the UN Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment (Principle 24) and Indonesian regulations;
– Calling on them to release Filep Karma, and all others prisoners of conscience in Indonesia, immediately and unconditionally;
– Urging them to ensure that prison conditions and the treatment of prisoners meet standards provided for in Indonesian law as well as UN Standard Minimum Rules on the Treatment of Prisoners.

Head of Abepura Prison
Liberty Sitinjak
Lembaga Pemasyarakatan (Lapas) Abepura
Jl. Kesehatan 11, Jayapura
Papua 99351, Indonesia
Fax: +62 984 24721
Salutation: Dear Liberty Sitinjak

Head of Papuan Provincial Department of Justice and Human Rights
Daniel Biantong
Jl. Raya Abepura No. 37,
Kotaraja – Jayapura 99117,
Papua, Indonesia
Fax: +62 967 586112
Salutation: Dear Daniel Biantong

And copies to:
Director General of Prisons
Drs. Untung Sugiyono
Ministry of Justice and Human Rights
Jl. Veteran No. 11
Jakarta Pusat
Fax: +62 21 3483 2101

Additional Information

Filep Karma was arrested on 1 December 2004 after taking part in a peaceful ceremony in Abepura, Papua province. He was among approximately 200 people who took part in the ceremony during which the banned “Morning Star” flag, a symbol of Papuan independence, was raised. He was charged with “rebellion” (makar) under Articles 106 and 110 of the Indonesian Criminal Code, and sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment on 26 May 2005. His sentence was upheld by the Supreme Court on 27 October 2005. Amnesty International considers him to be a prisoner of conscience.

In November 2011 the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) declared Filep Karma’s detention to be arbitrary on the grounds that he was imprisoned for the exercise of his rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly – Opinion No. 48/2011 (Indonesia). These rights are guaranteed in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), to which Indonesia is a state party, and in the Indonesian Constitution. The WGAD also found Filep Karma’s detention to be arbitrary because he had been subjected to an unfair trial. Article 14 of the ICCPR guarantees the right to a fair and public hearing by a competent, independent and impartial tribunal established by law.

The Indonesian authorities have an obligation under national law and standards to provide medical treatment to all prisoners in the country. Article 17 of the Indonesian Government Regulation No. 32/1999 on Terms and Procedures on the Implementation of Prisoners’ Rights in Prison requires the prison authorities to provide adequate access to medical treatment. International standards also provide for medical treatment for prisoners. The UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners provides that prisoners needing treatment not available in the prison hospital, clinic or infirmary should be transferred to an appropriate institution outside the prison for assessment and treatment. Principle 24 of the UN Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment requires that prison authorities cover the costs of such treatment.

In view of the potentially serious nature of Filep Karma’s medical problem, Amnesty International believes the authorities’ refusal to arrange prompt and appropriate examination and medical care for him could amount to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.

UA: 109/12 Index: ASA 21/017/2012 Issue Date: 19 April 2012

Filep Karma referred to Jakarta hospital with a suspected colonic tumour: NKRI refuses to pay

from West Papua Media’s correspondent at Abepura Prison (with Eds)

April 16, 2012

Filep Karma referred to Cikini hospital in Jakarta

Papuan political prisoner Filep Karma, in prison for 7 years on treason charges after raising the banned Morning Star independence flag, has been referred to Cikini hospital in Jakarta for three months to undergo medical treatment.

However he must undergo treatment in Jakarta, because Dock 2 hospital in Jayapura lacks colonoscopy equipment to diagnose the condition of Filep Karma. Healthcare in Papua is poorly funded and supplied, if at all, and health workers are rarely paid properly.

Hospitalised in Jayapura’s Dok 2 hospital since 2008, FIlep Karma has been gaoled in atrocious conditions and subjected to early routine torture by Indonesian security forces and prison officers, including beatings causing internal injuries.  His health has been declining since 2008 due to numerous hunger strikes and illness caused by prison conditions in Abepura prison.

Karma has been complaining of a lump in his gut over the last 3 years. Since an operation was performed on 2 November 2011, Karma has continued to pass significant blood in his stools.

Karma has been referred by the Dok 2 Head of Trauma to the Department of Surgery Specialist, Dr D. Arnold, Sp.B (K) BD, in Cikini. Filep had already been undergoing treatment in Jakarta separately for his prostrate. On 13 April 2012, Dr Hidayathu Samawi, the general practitioner in Abepura prison, called Karma to his rooms. Dr Hidayathu said that Karma must provide a letter of permission from the family to consent to the treatment of Jakarta, and the Letter to commit the family to bear the full cost of treatment and transport to Jakarta.

Karma in this case ask for the Abepura Prison to issue a letter that the prisons are not able to bear the cost of treatment in Jakarta, but Dr. Hidayathu said that the prison would not certify its refusal to bear the cost of treatment in Jakarta.

During prison visiting hours at Abepura, Filep Karma told West Papua Media’s correspondent, “I was detained by the State of Indonesia, for 15 years, why are they unable to bear the cost of my treatment in Jakarta.  My case in July 2010, it was the same, treatment not covered by the State.  Abepura prison officials alone cannot issue a statement that they can’t afford the cost to Jakarta, yet I hardly have the foundation (strength) to have resort to outside solidarity as my only choice to help me for medical expenses to Jakarta,” said Karma.

The Indonesian government has an obligation to provide adequate healthcare to political prisoners.  According to Amnesty International, under Indonesian Government Regulation No. 32/1999 on Terms and Procedures on the Implementation of Prisoners’ Rights in Prisons, all medical costs for treatment of a prisoner at a hospital must be borne by the state, also in accordance with the UN Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment (Principle 24) .

In late February, in response to a petition filed by Freedom Now, the United Nations Working 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.



TAPOL letter to David Cameron

13 April, 2012


Rt Hon David Cameron, MP.

Prime Minister,

10 Downing Street

London SW1


Dear Mr Cameron,

TAPOL has been closely following your visit to Indonesia this week. We note that you praised Indonesia as a ‘Democracy (which) offers hope to the Muslim World’. You were also quoted as saying that you had decided ‘to relax controls of arms exports to Indonesia … as a sign of Indonesia’s democratic maturity’. Your delegation to Indonesia included representatives from several British arms manufacturers.


I would remind you that two years ago in an article on West Papua in The Daily Telegraph you were quoted as describing ‘the plight of the tribespeople as a terrible situation’. This is a valid description of what has been happening in the past few years.  Bearing that in mind, we would reasonably have expected you to use the occasion of your visit to Indonesia to express concern about the situation in West Papua.


The sufferings of the Papuan people are to a great extent due to operations by the Indonesian military, TNI, which has been conducting ‘sweep operations’, including several now underway in the Central Highlands of West Papua. Whole communities have been attacked and homes destroyed, along with churches, traditional meeting centres and public buildings. Such assaults, purportedly aimed at eliminating the poorly-armed Papuan resistance, have forced villages to flee their homes in search of security in nearby forests where they are cut off from their livelihoods and face the possibility of starvation and disease.


Allow me to draw your attention to certain other recent incidents and developments. According to data collected by TAPOL, since 2008 at least 80 Papuans have been arrested and charged with  ‘treason’ or related offences simply for peaceful actions such as raising the Papuan  Morning Star Flag. They have been imprisoned for terms ranging from 10 months to six years.  Under Article 106 of Indonesia’s Criminal Code, anyone found guilty of treason can face a sentence of up to 20 years or life. Among those now incarcerated is Filep Karma, a civil servant, who was arrested in December 2004, convicted of treason and sentenced to fifteen years in jail.


In October 2011, the Third Papuan People’s Congress was held in Jayapura, attended by hundreds of people. The Congress proceeded peacefully for three days. However, as the participants were dispersing after the final session on 19 October, police and army troops rounded up hundreds of the participants. Without provocation, the troops opened fire and killed three people. The fact that no-one has been held accountable for the killings is indicative of the impunity enjoyed by security forces personnel.  By contrast, five Papuan leaders who were taken into custody following the Congress were put on trial, found guilty of treason and last month sentenced to three years in prison. This exemplifies the severe restrictions on the right to free expression experienced by the Papuan people.


We call upon you to acknowledge that such acts of repression and human rights violations against unarmed civilians should never occur in a democratic country.


We further call upon you to take account of all of these facts and urge you not to  allow the sale of military equipment to Indonesia to proceed.


We hope that your government will use its close relationship with the Indonesian government to urge it to end to the practice of charging peaceful Papuan demonstrators with treason and press the Indonesian Government to release all those now serving sentences for peaceful political activities.

Yours sincerely

Carmel Budiardjo



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