Tag Archives: Prison

Yapen treason trial accused testify of torture in custody

from West Papua Media, with local sources

April 15, 2013

Defence witnesses have revealed the extensive and systemic use of casual torture and inhumane treatment by Indonesian police, whilst testifying at the Makar (treason) trial of two West Papuan peaceful political activists in Yapen District Court, Serui, on April 9.

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Yan Piet Maniamboi (defendant seated on Left) during cross-examination by Matius Matulesi, SH

The activists had been threatened with twenty years jail for organising a nonviolent march about media freedom in West Papua. The two men, Edison Kendi (38) and Yan Piet Maniamboi (36) were arrested for their involvement in organising peaceful demonstrations in Yapen on May 1, and August 9, 2012 for World Day of Indigenous Peoples,  and have been held in atrocious conditions in Serui prison and have been subjected to routine and regular torture since their arrest.

Banner at freedom of expression rally rejecting Indonesian rule in Papua on the International Day for Indigenous People. Photo via Alex Rayfield from West Papua Media stringers in Yapen.

The treason trial has been beset by procedural mistakes and the failure to appear of several police officers as prosecution witnesses.  Edison Kendi is the National Federated Republic of West Papua’s Governor of Saireri region.

According to independent observers present at the April 9 hearing, the four defence witnesses testified that they were beaten and tortured during detention and interrogation by Yapen police, and were forced to provide false information to stop the torture.  The presiding judge suspended the trial for five minutes to talk with witnesses as the BAP (Case Records) were in danger of being revoked by the judge, legally inadmissible as they were based on testimony extracted under torture.

One of the witnesses, named John, answered Prosecutor Matius Matulesi’s questions on the validity of the Case Records version of testimony, the prosecutor disagreed with John and called him “Swanggi” (Devil or Ghost).   Matulesi also began to threaten both the witnesses and defendants with hoax charges for testifying about their mistreatment.  Matulesi, a Christian native of Maluku, is known as a hard-liner and being “very inhumane in demanding punishment to the fullest extent on  native Papuans in Serui, according to human rights observers at the trial.

Edison Kendi had previously testified about the brutality inflicted on him and Maniamboi whilst being held at Yapen police station, and then after their transfer to Serui  prison on December 9, 2012 .  Kendi wrote in statement provided to observers:

“Since we were arrested we were tortured, kicked, pierced with wood, hit with wood, so we suffered extraordinary bruises and swellings, but (we were) never treated (for injuries) during our detention at the Yapen police station. Police did not allow us to be treated, for the  reason we are OPM (Free Papua Movement).”

Failure to provide medical attention for injuries whilst in custody is a grave human rights violation in and of itself, under the UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, and also the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment – obviously in addition to the torture suffered by the defendants.

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Defendants Yan Piet Maniamboi (fourth from left) and Edison Kendi (5th from right), with family, supporters and legal counsel, in court before the hearing. (photo: West Papua Media stringers / NFRPB)

Matius Matulesi has also come in for heavy criticism over his violations of basic prisoner rights to medical treatment in this case, for injuries sustained by the defendants whilst under torture by Yapen police.  According to Edison Kendi, “On December 19, 2012 I submitted an application to the clinic in the Prisons for medical treatment, but I was not allowed to go out (to the hospital) by the Attorney on behalf of Matius Matulesi, SH –  so we just keep quiet and bore the pain. I’ve been treated at the clinic LP / prisons but with no improvement. I was sick when swelling on both my legs because of torture when captured and examined at the police Yapen station. I have repeatedly applied for treatment outside of LP / prisons but it’s all just all in vain since the detention December 6, 2012 – January 21, 2013 is not permitted by the prosecutor Mathius Matulesi, SH”.

Matulesi also allegedly prevented Kendi from attending the funeral of his father, allowing him only two minutes with his father’s body before being taken back to prison, despite other Indonesian prisoners, including prisoners convicted of violent terrorism offences, routinely granted this basic right.

The trial was adjourned for the prosecutor to present two investigators from the police station at the next session to be confronted with the witnesses’ testimony.

West Papua Media

Buchtar Tabuni released from Abepura prison after completing sentence

Buchtar Tabuni
Buchtar Tabuni Free Political Prisoner Campaign art (artwork: AK Rockefeller)

by West Papua Media

January 19, 2013

UPDATED

Buchtar Tabuni, the Chairman of the pro-independence National Parliament of West Papua, was released unexpectedly from Abepura prison around 12pm West Papua time today, to a waiting group of about fifty of his supporters from the West Papua National Committee (KNPB), according to multiple sources.

KNPB News reported that Tabuni sent an SMS message early this morning from prison. “To all the Free Papua fighters in Numbay, Sentani and its vicinity, at 9 this morning please pickup (at) Abepura LP”,  Buchtar’s message read.

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Buchtar Tabuni upon his release from Abepura prison (19/3) (photo: Melinda Ayomi/Kompasiana)
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Buchtar Tabuni being escorted (19/3) on long march from Abepura prison to Mako Tabuni’s site of execution in Waena (photo: Melinda Ayomi/Kompasiana)

Local sources today reported to West Papua Media that about fifty KNPB members then escorted a relieved Tabuni from Abepura prison on a long march to the assassination site of his friend and KNPB colleague, former KNPB Chairman Mako Tabuni.  Mako Tabuni was gunned down in broad daylight in a political assassination carried out by Australian-funded and trained Detachment 88 counter-terror officers outside the Perumnas 3 Dormitories in Waena on June 14, 2012, one week after Buchtar’s arrest.  He was also due to be taken to the graveside of Mako Tabuni in order to pay his respects to his slain friend, colleague and clansman.

Tabuni was arrested on 6 June 2012 during an upsurge in mysterious “OTK”  (orang Terlatih Khusus or “specially trained persons”) shootings, and publicly linked by then Papua Police Chief Bigman Tobing to the shootings.  However, according to statements by Tabuni’s lawyer during his criminal trial in September, the entire case was “nothing more than a set up.”

Lawyer Gustaf Kawer said at the time, “Buchtar had been linked to the shooting of Miron Wetipo but that case has already been solved, so it was clear that the authorities were trying to make a scapegoat of Buchtar.”

Tabuni was in custody when more shootings occurred, so “Buchtar was not in any way connected with those shootings. So instead of being charged with the shootings,” said Kawer during Tabuni’s trial, “he now faces the charge  of inflicting damage on the Abepura Prison in 2010, which means that he should have been arrested in 2010.”

In a highly opaque trial closed to independent witnesses, and marked by significant intimidation of journalists by police and court officials, Tabuni was convicted on a charge “for having allegedly inflicted damage on the Abepura prison in December 2011,” and “for exchanging harsh words with prison warders.”

In recent months, Tabuni’s health had suffered from his incarceration in Abepura prison, with complaints of respiratory illness, gastric diseases and dangerously low blood pressure, from his incarceration in atrocious and unhygienic conditions by Indonesian colonial prison authorities.

According to credible sources, Tabuni is spending the next days with family, friends and colleagues from KNPB to mourn the losses of his comrades, and to discuss and consider the next steps in the campaign for justice in West Papua.

WestPapuaMedia

AHRC: Prison guards tortured 42 prisoners and detainees at Abepura correctional facility in Papua

June 8, 2012

Dear friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information regarding the torture of 42 prisoners and detainees by prison guards at Abepura Correctional Facility on 30 April 2012 following an argument between one of the detainees, Selfius Bobii, and the Head of the Abepura Correctional Facility (Abepura Kalapas). The prisoners were beaten, kicked, hit with wood blocks as well as iron sticks and some of them were trampled by the prison guards. Their personal items were taken away and burned. The torture and property destruction took place under the order of the Abepura Kalapas.

CASE NARRATIVE:
According to several local NGOs such as The Commission for the Disappeared and Victims of Violance in Papua (KontraS Papua), Sekretariat Keadilan, Perdamaian dan Keutuhan Ciptaan (SKPKC) Fransiskan Papua, Papua Legal Aid Foundation (LBH Papua) and Elsham Papua, around 12pm on 30 April 2012, the prison guards at Class II.A of the Abepura Correctional Facility were going to put back and lock the detainees and prisoners in their cell. Amongst them was Selfius Bobii who was detained and received punishment for his involvement in the Third Papuan Congress in October 2011. Selfius had asked the Head of the Correctional Facility’s Security Unit (KPLP), Juwaini, for a permit to hold a creative activity with other prisoners but his request was dismissed by the KPLP. This led to an argument between him and the Abepura Kalapas, Liberti Sitinjak, who heard the conversation of Selfius and one of his staffs.

The argument between Selfius and the Kalapas ended with an order from the Kalapas to the prison guards to put Selfius into isolation. Selfius avoided the prison guards and insisted that he should not be isolated as he has not done anything wrong.

Other prisoners who were at their cell witnessed this and they also yelled at the prison guards asking them to put Selfius back to his cell instead of to the isolation. Their requests were ignored and the prison guards put Selfius in an isolated area. The prison guards later went back to the cells where the prisoners were yelling. The guards were offended with what the prisoners said so they took them out of their cell and beat, kicked and hit them with fists, wood blocks and iron sticks. The prisoners were also whipped with thick ropes supposed to use for controlling cows. They were also dragged to the yard in front of the block and were asked to walk whilst they were crouching for about 200 metres. As they were doing this, the guards kept beating and kicking them. The guards stepped on some of the prisoners and detainees’ fingers and toes. The guards also kept saying to the prisoners ‘you are all stupid, that is why you ended up here’. The torture and ill-treatment took place for about two and a half hours, approximately from 12.30-3.15pm. There were 41 prisoners in total who were treated this way by twenty prison guards. Two prisoners Hendrik Kenelak and Otto Ikinia fainted and one, Parmen Wenda, had his arm broken.

Before the prison guards put the prisoners back to their cell, the Kalapas asked them to search the cells and took away their personal belongings  and later burned them. Selfius was brought to the Papua Regional Police Station and was questioned. He did not receive any ill-treatment whilst he was there and was later sent back to Abepura Correctional Facility on 3 May 2012.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
Principle 6 of the UN Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention and Imprisonment explicitly prohibits the use of torture and ill-treatment against persons whose liberty are deprived. The principle also emphasises that no reason can be used to justify any state officials to conduct torture and ill-treat prisoners. These principles are in accordance with the provisions under the UN Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (UN CAT) to which Indonesia is a state party since 1998. Yet although Indonesia has ratified the UN CAT, torture itself has yet to be criminalised in Indonesia in order to end the ongoing practice. For this reason, at the first and second Universal Periodic Review of the UN Human Rights Council’s session on Indonesia, several countries urged the Indonesian government to criminalise torture and to reform its Penal Code in accordance with its international human rights obligations.

The absence of articles making torture a punishable crime in Indonesia contributes to the low investigation rate seen in torture cases in Indonesian criminal procedure. Torture is often deemed merely as a violation to disciplines for which, in the majority of cases, the perpetrators received inadequate or no punishment. Military officers who tortured several Papuans in 2010 as shown in a video distributed on the internet, for instance, were sent only to 8 to 10 month imprisonment for disobedience but have not been held accountable for the torture they committed.

Prison warders beat and kick more than forty prisoners

JUBI, 10 May 2012

At least 42 prisoners – both political and criminal – have been beaten by warders in Abepura Prison where they are being held,  with these beatings occurring on 30 April.

According to information from the Justice, Peace and Creation Secretariat (SKPKC) in Jayapura, the prisoners who were beaten included Selfius Bobii, Luis Kossay, Terianus Tabuni, Wayus Hubi, Markus Dubi, Stenly Palondong, Alfian Palendeng, Erens Apromis, Octo Ikinia and Fredy Marsyom.

Some of them were beaten until they were black and blue all over. Selsius Bobii said he had ben slapped, hit and kicked all over his body. He was then dragged into the prison office. Luis Kossay said that he had been struck by a bludgeon, by iron rods and beaten with a rope and while being beaten he was kicked and then dragged out of his cell, dragged 200 metres and thrown into the yard. In the yard, his fingers and toes were stamped on by warders with their heavy boots. After suffering all this, he was ordered to remain in a half-squatting position for an hour.Three other prisoners were subjected to the same painful treatment and the rest were also beaten and kicked without mercy.

These acts of maltreatment occurred on 30 April and began when Selpius Bobii and some other prisoners asked the warders not to lock their cell doors because they wanted to practise singing some songs for their co prisoners. However, he was ordered out of his cell and taken to stand before the security official  who refused to grant him permission to do this. Selpius tried to explain that they wanted to rehearse some songs to be recorded later on, but permission was refused. and he was ordered to return to his cell.

Selpius said later that the previous warder, Ayurbaba, had given them permission to do these things and had allowed the prisoners to have recreational activities. When the new chief warder Liberty Sinijak heard this going on, he came out and started shouting at Selpius. In response Selpius shouted back, saying that the warders were doing nothing to help the prisoners but only trying to crush them.

The chief warder shouted back and ordered Selpius into the isolation wing. When the other prisoners in their cells heard all this shouting, they started calling out to the warders to stop maltreating Selpius.

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL: PRISONER’S MEDICAL TREATMENT PREVENTED

PRESS RELEASE
http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/ASA21/017/2012/en
UA: 109/12 Index: ASA 21/017/2012  Indonesia        
Date: 19 April 2012
AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL
URGENT ACTION
PRISONER’S MEDICAL TREATMENT PREVENTED
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.

PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 31 MAY 2012 TO:
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
Indonesia
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