APSN Banner

Kontras call for investigation into Abepura jail beating and riot

Detik.com - December 1, 2009

Nala Edwin, Jakarta – The Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) is urging the government to investigate the beating of Buchtar Tabuni, a prisoner at the Abepura jail near the Papuan provincial capital of Jayapura. The beating triggered a riot at the jail on November 26.

"We are also asking the DPR's [House of Representative's] Commission III [on law and security affairs] to immediately visit the Abepura jail to uncover the real facts," said Kontras coordinator Usman Hamid in a press release on Thursday October 1.

The beating was allegedly carried out by five people, namely Robi Korua, Samsul Bakri, Yancen Korwa, David Ongge and Theo Awii. "Together they overwhelmed the victim and beat Buchtar Tabuni inhumanely," said Hamid.

Central Highlands Students Association (AMPTI) General Secretary Markus Haluk meanwhile stated that this is not the first time that violence has occurred at the Abepura jail. A report by Human Rights Watch (HRW) and Papuan non-government organisations found that there had been more than 20 cases of violence at the Abepura jail. "The treatment of prisoners is absolutely inhuman," he said.

Justice and Human Rights Minister Patrialis Akbar stated earlier that the riot at the jail started when Buchtar Tabuni, who is also a member of the Free Papua Organisation (OPM), was being detained by two members of the Indonesian military (TNI) and left in the care of the military prosecutor and police. A misunderstanding occurred that resulted in a riot, damaging the jail and leaving its windows shattered. (nal/iy)

[Translated by James Balowski.]