Tag Archives: United Nations Convention Against Torture

AHRC: Guards torture 20 prisoners at the Abepura Correctional Facility, Papua

(Please Note: West Papua Media will as a matter of policy republish Urgent Appeals from AHRC and other renowned human rights networks such as Tapol, Amnesty, and Human Rights Watch, as these appeals continue to meet our standards of news verification.  Whilst the structure of these letters technically fall under advocacy and not journalism as such, it is still a matter of great public interest that they are published, and we can attest to their factuality as we have independently verified claims therein)
ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION – URGENT APPEALS PROGRAMME

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.

CASE NARRATIVE:

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.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

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.

SUGGESTED ACTION:
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.

To support this appeal, please click here:

SAMPLE LETTER:

Dear ___________,

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.

Yours sincerely,

—————-
PLEASE SEND YOUR LETTERS TO:

1. Mr. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono
President of Republic of Indonesia
Jl. Veteran No. 16
Jakarta Pusat
INDONESIA
Tel: +62 21 386 3777, 350 3088.
Fax: + 62 21 344 2223, 3483 4759
E-mail: presiden@ri.go.id

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
INDONESIA
Tel: +62 21 525 3006, 525 3889
Fax: +62 21 525 3095

3. Mr. Mochamad Sueb
General Director of Corrections
Ministry of Law and Human Rights
Jl. Veteran No. 11
Jakarta Pusat
INDONESIA
Tel: +62 21 385 7611
Fax: +62 21 345 2155, 231 2140

4. Gen. Timur Pradopo
Chief of the Indonesian National Police
Jl. Trunojoyo No. 3
Kebayoran Baru, Jakarta Selatan 12110
INDONESIA
Tel: +62 21 384 8537, 726 0306
Fax: +62 21 7220 669
E-mail: info@polri.go.id

5. Ir. Gen. Drs. Tito Karnavian
Chief of Papua Regional Police
Jl. Dr. Sam Ratulangi No. 8
Jayapura
INDONESIA
Tel: +62967 531 014, 533 396
Fax: +62967 533 763

6. Mr. Otto Nur Abdullah
Chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission
Jalan Latuharhary No.4-B,
Jakarta 10310
INDONESIA
Tel: +62 21 392 5227-30
Fax: +62 21 392 5227
Email: info@komnas.go.id

Thank you.

Urgent Appeals Programme
Asian Human Rights Commission (ua@ahrc.asia)

Seven Papuans are arrested and tortured on false allegations of having a relationship with pro-independence activists

By Asian Human Rights Commission

Urgent Action report

19 February 2013

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information regarding the arbitrary arrest and torture of seven Papuans which took place on 15 February 2013. The victims were driving home in two cars when the police stopped them as they were looking for two pro-independence activists. The victims were later brought to the police station where they were further questioned on the whereabouts of the activists. They were severely beaten, kicked and electrocuted before being five of them were released without charge the next day. However, as at the time of writing two of the victims remain in police custody.

CASE NARRATIVE:

According to interviews and fact gathering conducted by local activists, including Yasons Sambom, on 15 February 2013 at 9am, a silver painted car stopped Daniel Gobay, Arsel Kobak and Eneko Pahabol who were driving on their way home from Depapre to Doprena. Five police officers, one of whom was identified as Iptu Beduh Rahman, got out of the silver-painted car and pointed their weapons at Daniel, Arsel and Eneko. The police then ordered the three men to crawl on their stomachs to Depapre Sub-District Police Station which is approximately 30 metres away from the place where they were stopped. (Picture 1: Eneko Pahabol, source: local activist).

An hour after they arrived at Depapre Sub-District Police Station, Daniel, Arsel and Eneko were taken to Jayapura District Police Station. The police started questioning three of them on the whereabouts of Terianus Satto and Sebby Sambom, two pro-independence activists whom Daniel, Arsel and Eneko do not have any relationship with. Eneko Pahabol told the local activists that he was repeatedly kicked in his face by officers who were wearing police boots. The officers kicked him both in his left and right knees which caused them to bleed. Eneko and his friends were also beaten with a rattan stick as well as being electrocuted on their legs. The police officers pressed the barrels of their guns to their heads, forced them into their mouths and ears. Arsel Kobak told the AHRC that he was asked to take his clothes off and kicked on his head, face and back by the police officers. As a result, his mouth and nose were bleeding, his forehead was wounded and he is now experiencing hearing difficulties.

On the same day at around 10am, the police separately stopped another car which was carrying Yosafat Satto, Salim Yaru, Matan Klembiap and Obed Bahabol. As with Daniel, Arsel and Eneko, they were also stopped by police officers in a silver-painted car in Depapre on their way home. The police officers were wearing civilian clothes and carrying Pindad SS-1 assault rifles which they pointed at Yosafat and his friends. They firstly took Yosafat, Salim, Matan and Obed to Depapre Police Station but later moved them to Jayapura District Police Station. As they arrived at Jayapura District Police Station, Yosafat and his friends were ordered to take their clothes off before the police officers started beating and electrocuting them. The officers also pressed their guns to the heads of Yosafat, Salim, Matan and Obed and asked whether they know anything about the whereabouts of Terianus Satto and Sebby Sambom. None of them know Terianus and Sebby Sambom so Yosafat as well as his three other friends told the police that they do not know anything, an answer that made the officers tortured them even more severely. The officers kicked, beat them with rattan sticks on their backs until they were bleeding, as well as electrocuted them in the face. (Picture 2: Yosafat Satto, source: local activist)

Obed Bahabol told the local activists that they later were interrogated separately and he was the first person to be questioned by a police officer. The police officer jammed the barrel of his gun to his mouth so forcefully that his tooth was broken. The officer also repeatedly beat Obed on his forehead that it was bleeding because Obed told the police that he had no idea on the whereabouts of Sebby Sambom. (Picture 3: Obed Bahabol, source: local activist).

On the next day on 16 February 2013, five of the seven arrested persons were released without charge. As the time of writing, Daniel Gobay and Matan Klembiap are still detained in the police custody, allegedly for possessing bladed articles. However, the charge and their reason of detention are still subject to clarification. Neither Daniel nor Matan has any legal representation as of the time of writing.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

In his report in 2008, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment highlighted that torture is practised widely across Indonesia, including Papua. In 2010, for instance, the AHRC released a video online which depicts military officers brutally torturing an indigenous Papua. Last year, the AHRC also issued an urgent appeal on the torture of 42 prisoners and detainees by prison authorities at Abepura Correctional Facility.

Despite the abuse took place, little have been done by the Indonesian authorities to make sure the perpetrators are punished proportionately to provide justice for the victims. Military officers who were responsible torturing a Papuan on the video in 2010 were sentenced only to 9-12 months imprisonment while the allegation on torture at Abepura Correctional Facility has never been investigated by the police.

Indonesia has been a state party to the UN Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment since 1998. Torture is not yet a crime under the country’s legal system that state officials who conducted such abuse are usually unpunished or charged with provisions on assault under the Penal Code whose punishment do not reflect the gravity of the act. For example, the Muaro Sijunjung District Court recently sentenced four police officers responsible for the torture and death of two minors only to 18 months to three years imprisonment.

Baptist leader calls for unconditional release of Forkorus

Bintang Papua
11 December 2012
The Indonesian government has been urged to free all political prisoners in Papua, including Forkorus Yaboisembut and Filep Karma. On the occasion of World Human Rights Day,  the human rights defender Socrates Sofyan Yoman spoke about the activities throughout 2012 of organisations such Polri (the police force), the TNI (the Indonesian military) and vicious armed civilian groups. He said 90  incidents of violence had been committed by these groups in all parts of Papua during the year so far.’As we celebrate Human Rights Day,’ he said, ‘we defenders  of human rights urge the Indonesian government to take the following actions:

‘Firstly, in accordance with its constitutional responsibility to safeguard its citizens, the government should acknowledge that the way it treats prisoners, convicts and the citizens in general is brutal, inhumane and demeaning. This includes the way it treats Papuan civil society and Papuan political prisoners. Such activities  should be prohibited, along with all practices that violate the law. Torture must be clearly identified  and criminalised. This would be seen as a concrete sign of Indonesia’s commitment to the International Covnention Against Torture which it officially ratified  by enactment of Law 5/1998

Secondly, the government should agree to adopt a policy that recognises Papuan citizens as victims. In those cases where legal processes have been resorted to, rehabilitation not imprisonment should be the method  chosen. The government should also adopt measures to  inform the general public about the many civilian victims in Papua.

His next point was to ensure that whenever the law on treason is used in a court of law, this should be non-discriminatory and concrete action should be taken to put an end to all criminal activities by the security forces, including judges, public prosecutors and all those people who are in charge of the prisons.

Furthermore,  the rights of all Papuan political prisoners must be safeguarded, including ending all illegal detentions. In cases where confessions were made under duress and without the presence of legal counsel, they should not be accepted as evidence in a court.of law.

The government should create mechanisms for people to be able to initiate charges. Such mechanisms should be available everywhere and in all places of detention and imprisonment.And in cases where charges are brought by detainees, this must be followed through by independent investigations by law-enforcement institutions as well as the National Human Rights Commission.

His next point  was to urge the National Human Rights Commision, the National Commission to End Violence Against Women and the Ombudsman  of the Indonesian Republic, to establish a mechanism  for a fully independent National Protection Unit to visit all places of detention, especially places of detention where persons charged with treason (/makar/) or other political prisoners  are being held as part of the state’s responsibility to act in accordance with the Anti-Violence Optional Convention.

The seventh point was to press the Indonesian government to enter in peaceful dialogue on the problem of Papua, mediated by a third party, one of the aims of which would to end torture and other forms of violence throughout the Land of Papua.

The eighth point was to press the Indonesian government to invite  the UN Special Rapporteur against Torture and Arbitrary Detentions to visit Papua.

The ninth point was to press the Indonesian government  to allow foreign journalists to visit Papua.

The tenth point was that the Indonesian government should accept responsibility for incidents of gross violations of human rights such as the incident in Abepura on 7 December 2000, the Wasior 2001 incident, the Wamena  2003 inicident and other incidents that have already been investigated by the  National Human Rights Commission, and to ensure that  the results of these investigations  are considered at the human rights court and dealt with in accordance with the principles of justice.

With regard to the role of the churches in Papua, it should be acknowledged that their main mission  has been paralysed by the state and governmental system in Indonesia.

Moreover, its prophetic voice is hardly ever heard in Papua, particularly since Papua was integrated into the Indonesian republic by military means and this the integration was preceded by the bloody events surrounding the Act of Free Choice, which continue to the present day.

‘The churches have forgotten or refused to recognise that Christianity arrived in Papua three centuries ago, on 5 February 1855.’

These thoughts were expressed by Socrates Sofyan Yoman during his opening address of the Congress of the Alliance of Baptist Churches in Papua at the Baptist Church in Wamena in October 2012.

He pointed out that his church  has supported the Papuan people with education, religious belief, healthcare and in the economic sphere, and has helped to improve access to the most remote areas by establishing small airfields which cater for small aircraft, with alll the risks this involves.

The church’s  missionaries live in close proximity with the Papuan people and help to foster the dignity of the Papuan people.in sharp contrast to what Indonesia has done since Papua’s integration, when it became a colonial power, a fact that is rarely criticised by the churches.

As a church leader, Yoman said that he not only studies the Bible but also learns from the history of Papua.  He has learned a great deal from this history, in particular the many untruths that have been told.  It is the role of the churches to insist on correcting these untruths, he said

Until now the churches talk about  ‘peace and well being’ but God’s people are continually  stigmatised as treasonous and accused of being part of the OPM.

As a church leader, he rejects all these allegations  and believes that Christians  must reflect of God’s will, as is stated in Genesis 1:26.  For all these reasons, he said in conclusion:

‘I will continue to speak out and will do everything I possibly can to share in the sufferings of God’s people. There is no future for Papua if it continue to remain a part of Indonesia. Papuans cannot live normal lives The churches must speak out about this and integrate themselves with those people whose very identity has been destroyed. It must speak out about  justice, equality  and the freedom  of all humankind regardless of race, ethnicity, culture or religion.

[Translated by TAPOL]

 

KONTRAS: Torture Increased Drastically! A Report on the Practice of Torture in Indonesia

http://www.kontras.org/eng/index.php?hal=siaran_pers&id=160

PRESS RELEASE:

KONTRAS
Torture Increased Drastically!
A Report on the Practice of Torture in Indonesia
International Day in Support of Victims of Torture 2012

Commemorating the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture (June 26), the Commission for the Disappeared and Victims of Violence (KontraS) released its annual report entitled, “Torture Increased Drastically!” This report is excerpted from the various incidents of torture that have raised the public attention (both nationally and internationally) from July 2011 to June 2012, particularly the elaboration of numerous reports on complaints of torture that were directly handled by KontraS. This report is KontraS evaluation of the situation of torture that continues to use the assessment framework used by the Committee against Torture and the mechanisms under the UN Human Rights Council (either by the Special Rapporteur Against Torture as well as through the Second Cycle of Universal Periodic Review session on May 23 2012).

Contrast notes that there are numerous state policies that facilitate the practice of torture. Although in fact, the State should be able to accommodate the policies preventing or reducing the occurrence of torture. These issues include:

– The absence of criminalization of crimes of torture and punishment for the perpetrators because there is a revision of the Criminal Code and Criminal Procedure Code has been entered in the program even though the national legislation (Prolegnas) 2010-2014

– Continue maintenance of the death penalty policy. Abolition of the death penalty in Indonesia should be done with the goal of doing a moratorium on executions that had been imposed de facto in the last 4 years. However, in the last year there were six new death row decided by the court
– Policy caning in Aceh. Caning is a form of cruel punishment (corporal punishment) is not in accordance with the Convention against Torture and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. In the period June 2011-June 2012 there were 47 people sentenced to caning in Aceh.

KontraS notes several state policies that facilitate the practice of torture. Although in fact, the State should also be able to accommodate the policies that should prevent or reduce the occurrence of torture. These issues include:

– The absence of criminalization of crimes of torture and punishment for the perpetrators due to the absence of a revision of the Criminal Code and Penal Code, despite both codes having been included within the national legislation program (Prolegnas) 2010-2014

– The maintenance of the death penalty policy. Abolition of the death penalty in Indonesia should be done with the goal of doing a moratorium on executions that had been imposed de facto in the last 4 years. However, within the last year there were six new death rows decided by the court.

– Policy caning in Aceh. Caning is a form of cruel punishment (corporal punishment) and is not in accordance with the Convention against Torture and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Within the period June 2011-June 2012 there were 47 people sentenced to caning in Aceh.

– Still relying on internal accountability mechanisms to prosecute acts of torture. The practice of torture is still an issue of impunity because the punishment mechanism is still very dependent on the internal mechanism, both within the Military and the Police that as a cause has negated the deterrent effect. It is therefore important to ensure the existence of various state institutions that have the authority to conduct an independent investigation (independent external oversight body) against the allegations of torture and begin to identify the names of the perpetrators held responsible.

– Ratification of the State Intelligence Law is deemed potential to open room for the use of torture, particulatly Law on National Intelligence No.17/2011. This Act directly authorizes a special form of extracting information to the intelligence apparatus. Extracting information will be applied to the targets associated with the interests and activities that threaten national security, especially terrorism and separatism, which is known widely growing in several regions in Indonesia.

Based on KontraS’s monitoring, for the period of July 2011 – June 2012, there has been a tremendous surge in allegations of torture. In the period July 2010 – June 2011, KontraS noted that there were 28 events alleged torture with a number of victims of 49 people, while during the period of July 2011 – June 2012 there were 86 allegations of torture with the number of cases of 243 victims. Meanwhile, for the categories of alleged perpetrators of this period a number of police officers were alleged for 14 cases, 60 cases by military officers and prison guards as much as 12 cases. For this period, there is a region where the alleged torture occurred relatively large that is the area of ​​Papua. For the past year, the security situation and the intensity of violence in Papua are very problematic.

Table of Torture
June 2010-July 2011 and June 2011-July 2012
Perpetrator
Year 2011
Year 2012
Victims
Cases
Victims
Cases
Police
31
21
118
60
Military
18
7
64
14
Warden
61
12
49
28
243
86

From the table above, several hypotheses that can be taken are: First, there has been a number of victims and the alleged use of torture that is so prominent in Papua when compared with other regions. There are 11 torture cases and 98 victims in Papua. The number of allegations of torture in Papua is strongly correlated with the warming of the political situation and the increasing intensity of violence in general in there for the past year. The victims generally are indigenous Papuans and consider them to be victims of false arrest and arbitrary detention by security forces. This reinforces the stigmatization and discrimination against people of Papua up to the criminalization of them.

Second, the practice of torture generally occurs in situations where the victims were so helpless against the perpetrators; common situation happens where the detention rooms are closed. The situation becomes worse when the victim is merely an ordinary citizen, who was suspected of a crime- representing the structure of the lower class. This also occurs in Indonesia where most of the alleged victims of torture are criminal suspects or convicts who came from the laity group (the enemy of public opinion such as terrorists, drug dealers, separatist, and others) and is often not accompanied by a legal representative. Until now, KontraS monitoring report has not found the alleged practice of torture against perpetrators of corruption that generally are state officials or wealthy businessmen.

This situation confirms the importance of the immediate need to stop the acts of torture as well as create rules that can prevent the occurrence of torture. Based on the above mentioned points, KontraS recommends that:

– The Government and the Parliament should speed up the discussion of the Penal Code and Criminal Procedure Amendment Bill, or prepare a separate bill against Torture. It is intended to answer the urgent need for regulation to efforts to criminalize acts of torture;
– Relevant state institutions such as the Military, Police, and Ministry of Justice and Human Rights (which oversees the prison system and prisoners in Indonesia) to ensure the maximum punishment to the offender to provide a deterrent effect and implement a mechanism for internally vetting for officials, officers, or officers who conduct, give commands, or fail to prevent the practice of torture;

– State institution which has a mandate to monitor or control functions that are independent (independent external oversight bodies), such as the National Human Rights Commission, Ombudsman, or Kompolnas should also apply a vetting mechanism to narrow the room of action for perpetrators of torture;

– The Government should be able to stop the practice of torture based on the pattern of stigmatization and discrimination that are occurring in Papua, given the sharp rise of torture in the region that is able to aggravate the problematic situation in Papua;

– The Government and Parliament to take immediate ratification of the Convention on the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance and the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture;

– Government and Parliament to review the various state policies that facilitate the practice of torture and other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment.

Jakarta, 22 June 2012
Working Committee,

Indria Fernida Papang Hidayat
Deputy Coordinator I Head of the Research Bureau
(+62816.146.6341) (+62812.959.8680)
Related articles

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.