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Charged West Papuans Get Ill-Ireatment In Prison

West Papuans Charged With Rebellion Subject To Ill-treatment In Prison

West Papua, Friday April 11 1530 2008 -- As Indonesian security forces intensify a West Papua wide crackdown and round up of up to 100 peaceful demonstrators, serious concerns are held for the safety of all West Papuan peace activists and flag raisers currently being held in inhuman conditions by the Indonesian police, particularly those in POLRES Manokwari, held on charges of Rebellion and Subversion.

Eleven West Papuans involved in peaceful demonstrations are still being held in under the Custody of Brigadier Yakobus Marjuki. They have been Charged with Rebellion and Mutiny according to KUH Pidana (Indonesian Criminal Code) article 106, 110, para 55.56. Contrary to Indonesian law and past practice, the detainees are being treated as common criminals and not as political prisoners (Tapols), and have been housed with remanded and convicted prisoners on murder and violence charges. The activists in Manokwari are:

Sources close to the detained activists speaking on condition of anonymity have expressed well founded fears of mistreatment, given that the past history of detention and abuse of political prisoners by the Indonesian security forces, which comes amid confirmed reports of high level concerns of the extreme potential for this within the Indonesian government.

Photographs have been smuggled out of the prison showing the detainees, and are available at
Currently the legal team of LP3BH has gained access to the detainees, and have established that they are in good spirits. However, all allegations of torture and ill treatment still have not been satisfactorily ruled out. This can be allayed by allowing international media access.

It is unconfirmed when the trial will be held, but the detainees have reported that from May 13, they will be taken from POLRES to the Department of Justice, where a trial date will be set if enough evidence can be found. There are serious concerns about the transparency of any trial process of Dutch colonial era charges of Rebellion and spreading hatred against the state. For Indonesia's entire modern history, past trials on charges of Rebellion have been politically motivated, and far from transparent or accountable. Detainees have urgently appealed for international monitors visit them, and to be present at their trial.

The police under Brigadier Marjuki have placed all the detainees together with the high security convicted criminals and gangsters, and are doing so as the Police have accused the peaceful demonstrators of being "Criminals against the security of the State". All day and night, these non-violent political prisoners have had to contend with drunk and violent cell mates, and are facing regular assaults. According to Jack Wanggai, "While we are in prison, we must think about our safety from violence both inside prison and after we get out"

The detainees have reported dire conditions inside the prison, and have detailed a litany of problems. Knowing full well the risk of further physical punishment, they have decided to speak out. According to Wanggai, "we need check up on our health and conditions because: we have not enough to eat, we are unable to have any circulation of fresh air, our cells are unhygienic and we have to sleep on the floor". The detainees have also reported they are also subject to intimidation and terror of the police, TNI, and intelligence every time they are interrogated, and that they are constantly hunting the family and friends of the detainees.

As more international organisations take up the issue of the brutal treatment of West Papuan people, it is critical to keep the pressure up. To date, The World Council of Churches, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have all taken up the case of West Papua and the treatment of political dissent, and more organisations are getting involved daily across the world. The Indonesian government in Jakarta have shown that they are vulnerable to international perceptions of security forces out of control, and allegations of institutionalised brutality, which is clearly on display across West Papua.

Reports have also been received that intelligence and police have been rounding up many dissidents and conducting forceful interrogations across West Papua, in Serui and in several centres in the Highlands. Access has been difficult to ascertain exactly how many people have been rounded up. More information as it comes to hand

*/MEDIA CONSIDERATIONS. The situation is being monitored closely, and updates will be available from people on the ground. Photographs will be provided as soon as we have them. Please visit /**/* */ to access photographs and all background documents. All West Papua material on this site is Copyleft./*


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