Papuan serving 20 years dies in prison

via Tapol
December 12, 2012
The following information has been received from a reliable source in Papua:This is to inform everyone who struggles consistently about the problem of human rights in the Land of Papua that one of the Papuan political prisoners, Kanius Murib, died on 10 December. He died at his family home in Hokilik Village, district of Wamena, Papua.

He had been suffering from 2010 up until December 2011. The prison authorities reached an agreement with his family that, in accordance with the family’s wishes, he would be able to stay with the family so as to ensure that he died surrounded by his family because of his physical condition as well as the fact that he had become mentally unstable.

1. Kanius Murib was serving a sentence of twenty years.

2. The government paid little attention to his state of health and just allowed his condition to linger on.

3. None of his children have been able to go to school.

The way he was treated is extremely unjust. This is the way all Papuans are being treated. The Indonesian government has ignored the recommendations made during the Universal Period Review, while the Co-ordinator Minister for Politics and Human Rights said while on a visit to Papua in 2012 that there are no political prisoners in Papua.


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.

Abepura prison director, staff, accused of violence towards prisoners


[Slightly abridged in translation]

Bintang Papua, 13 December 2010

Director of Abepura Prison and 14 of his staff accused of acts of 
violent towards prisoners

There is still no clear information with regard to two cases of violence 
that occurred in Abepura Prison in the past month and it is hoped that 
the police will carry out a serious investigation in order to  explain 
these two incidents that have led to the security forces conducting 
sweepings throughout the district of Abepura. The need for a more 
humanitarian approach in dealing with the victims of these actions was 
stressed during a press conference  held by Forum of People's Democracy 
(Forem) in Abepura on Monday.

The series of incidents included the shooting in Nafri and the enforced 
removal of five prisoners, Filep Karma, Buchtar Tabuni, Dominggus 
Pulalo, Lopez Karubaba and Eni Elopere which has raised questions by 
Forem, particularly why the men were forcibly transferred to police 
custody and to explain what their present status is.

Two of the prisoners are political  prisoners while the other three are 
being held on criminal charges.

The five men were transferred by the police on Friday, 3 December at 
around 11pm, on the orders to Abepura prison director , Berthy Sitinjak. 
Up to this day, the prison authorities have failed to  tell them the 
reason for their having being transferred to police custody. All the 
focus has been on the five men having allegedly provoked  others in the 
prison to  destroy things in the prison on that Friday afternoon. 
According to the prisoners themselves, these acts of destruction were an 
expression of their feelings of dissatisfaction with the attitude of the 
prison director who failed to tell them why five of their co-prisoners 
had fled from the prison on the same day at about 12 noon.

One of the men, Wiron Wetipo, was shot dead while Filep Karma and 
Buchtar Tabuni tried to calm people down, and asked to meet the director 
of the prison for  an explanation as to what happened to the prisoner 
who was shot dead in Tanah Hitam.

According to Forem, as stated by Simon Yumame, Dominggus Pulalo, Lopez 
Karubaba and Eni Elopere were not involved in damaging prison 
facilities, yet even so, they were maltreated by prison director Berthy 
Sitinjak  along with 14 members of his staff. These actions resulted in 
a damaged ear for Dominggus Pulalo and swellings on his head  as a 
result of being kicked repeatedly  all over this body.

According to Filep Karma and his co-prisoners, the five men who fled 
from the prison on Friday were criminal prisoners and were in no way 
connected with any political activities or the OPM. They had simply 
spent their time in the prison learning new skills and growing vegetables.

Forem has therefore urged the prison director Berthy Sitinjak and the 
deputy director of law and human rights to take responsibility and to 
ensure the return of the five prisoners so that they can serve the 
remainder of their sentences in Abepura Prison.and to explain publicly 
why the five prisoners were shot at even though they had been able to 
flee from the prison at a time when it was being heavily guarded. Forem 
also calls on the minister for law and human rights and the 
Diretor-General of  prisons to take firm action against the director of 
the prison for the arbitrary acts of violence taken against the 
prisoners in Abepura Prison.

According to Forem, at their press conference,  the prison authorities 
have shown that they are incapable of giving proper guidance to the 
prisoners; on the contrary, they  have caused widespread anxiety among 
the prisoners against the police and army for opening fire on prisoners 
that resulted in the death of Wiron Wetipo.

These two serious incidents, the shooting in Nafri and the flight of the 
prisoners, means that the army and the police should conduct a full 
investigation into the Nafri shooting and other matters, that violence 
should not be resorted to and they should behave in a more professional 
way and in accordance with the law, so as not to create an atmosphere of 
fear among the  prisoners.

The prisoner director, when asked about the accusations being made 
against his staff for using violence in the prison, showed no interest 
in the matter, saying simply that it was okay for the  prisons to 
express their views about allegations that the prison staff used 
violence. The truth was, according to him, that they had thrown things 
around in the prison office. 'Which is why was they have been moved to 
police custody for their involvement in the events of 3 December, and 
their cases are now being taken forward by the police.

West Papuan political prisoners denied food for 2 days

via Tapol

Since 3 December 2010 when Filep Karma and Buchtar Tabuni were transferred to the police authorities in Papua, no legal proceedings have been started against them and they still do not have any legal counsel. They have also been denied food for two days.

Since 4 December, access to the two prisoners has been prevented. Two younger siblings of Karma as well as a representative of the SKPHP tried to visit them on 6 December but they were confronted by police officers. At 4pm, a member of his family asked the police for permission to meet Karma because visiting regulations allowed for daily visits except on holidays and other special days [tanggal merah] from 3pm till 5pm.

The family member asked a police officer: ‘Why aren’t we able to meet our brother Filep Karma?’  to which the officer replied:  ‘Because Karma and the others have been transferred here from Abepura Prison. According to orders from our superiors, if you want to visit them, you must first report to the head of the criminal investigation branch (Kasat Reskrim, Polda Papua)  because we here are only carrying out orders from our superiors.’  The relative said that he only wanted to give Filep Karma some food and other essential needs and to hear what he himself had to say about why he had been transferred and why they couldn’t meet him.

The police officer then allowed only a very brief meeting to take place, only time enough to hand over the things he needed whereupon the officer asked the relative to leave.

According to information from the family, the five prisoners were given no food at all until 5 December. When Karma asked why they hadn’t received any food,  he was told that it was because ‘all of you have been transferred from Abepura Prison and it is the responsbility of the prison authorities, not the police’.

Five of the convicts had almost no access to food and drink till 5 December and since 5 December, they have been given some food but without anything to drink. Relatives had to bring the prisoners a gallon of Acqua  to be shared between five men.

Since 4 December, Karma who insists that he is not guilty of anything, has been on hunger strike in protest against treatment by the district chief of  Papua and the director of the Abepura Prison.

On 7 December, the family wrote to the director of Abepura Prison, the police chief of Papua and the head of criminal investigations asking to know what legal provision is being used to prevent them from visiting Karma.

The situation now being faced by Filep Karma and Buchtar Tabuni represents a form of non-physical torture by the State, quite apart from the law on treason and incitement which was used to sentence Karma to 15 years and Buchtar Tabuni to three years. They said that convicted prisoners are human beings with the same rights and dignity as people who are not in prison.

The transfer of Filep Karma and Buchtar Tabuni  represents a case of  wrongful treatment by the  State against Papuan political prisoners. They are failing to act in accordance with Article 10 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights which states: ‘All persons who are deprived of their freedom must be treated humanely and with respect for their dignity as human beings.’

It is also clear that state officials are not acting in accordance with Law 8/1981 of the Criminal Procedural Code, bearing in mind that the police officials stated that they were acting in accordance with orders from their superiors and not in accordance with the  law which in the legal basis which should be the basis for their actions.

Filep Karma and Buchtar Tabuni are entitled to receive visits from their families, from legal counsel and from other people in accordance with Article 18,  paragraph 1 of a decree by the minister of law. And furthermore, Filep Karma and Buchtar Tabuni are free to correspond with legal counsel and family members, according to paragraph 4 of the above mentioned ministerial decree.

The families of people who have been convicted for incitement and are now in custody because of the  recent riots in Abepura Prison have asked what is the legal basis being used by the police in Papua towards prisoners who have been transferred to them from Abepura Prison already for four days. who have been told that they cannot receive visits from their families, from legal counsel or from anyone else.

Meanwhile, an online campaign has started in a bid to award Filep Karma the Nobel Peace Prize. So far over 200 people have joined the group on social network Facebook. Click here for more info

Papua activist Filep Karma 'abused in prison'

BBC News

Papua’s most well-known pro-independence prisoner, Filep Karma, is serving 15 years in jail for rebellion. Amnesty International considers him a prisoner of conscience.

In a rare interview with a local radio station, obtained by the BBC, he claimed he had suffered physical and mental abuse while in jail. Filep Karma led hundreds of Papuan students in cries of “independence!” during a demonstration in the provincial capital in 2004. They then raised the banned Morning Star flag – the symbol of free Papua – in full view of military policemen. For this act of defiance he was jailed for 15 years for rebellion. Mr Karma says he was exercising his right to protest.

“They terrorised us in a nation that is meant to be a democracy, a nation where freedom of speech is meant to be protected,” he said.

‘Mental torture’

Foreign journalists are restricted from reporting in Papua, and the International Committee of the Red Cross was ordered out of the province last year after it visited political prisoners.In this rare interview conducted by a local radio station without the permission of the authorities, Mr Karma claims to have been regularly abused in jail.

“I have been punched, kicked, pulled. But what hurts more is the mental torture we are subjected to,” he said. “An officer once told me, when you enter here you lose all your rights, including human rights. Your rights are only to breathe and eat. He even went as far as to say that your life is in my hands.”

A fellow political prisoner being held in the same jail, Ferdinard Package, says he lost sight in one eye after a beating from one of the prison guards. The head of the Papuan branch of the Ministry for Law and Human Rights, Nasarudin Bunsan, confirmed the beating took place.

Mr Bunsan said they had a problem with guards who got drunk and then beat the prisoners. He said they were trying to stop the practice and three prison guards were currently facing police charges for abuse.

‘Rise up’

The government recently pardoned and released one Papuan political prisoner. Karma has been made the same offer as long as he apologises to the state, something he says he will never do.

“I predict by 2020 our people will be completely extinct,” he said. “So our people must rise up. We must fight for independence or be destroyed.”

Papua is rich in natural resources and is the home of the world’s largest gold mine, partly owned by the US company Freeport. Yet Papua remains one of the least developed provinces in Indonesia.

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