How can the government turn a blind eye to beatings and torture in one of its prisons? Jakarta needs to put an end to this disgraceful behavior, punish those responsible, and start keeping a close eye on what is happening there. Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch.
(New York) – The Indonesian government should investigate and hold accountable abusive guards and officials at the Abepura prison in Papua, Human Rights Watch said today. Various sources report that torture, beatings, and mistreatment by guards are rampant. Abepura holds approximately 230 prisoners, of whom more than a dozen are imprisoned for peaceful political acts.
“How can the government turn a blind eye to beatings and torture in one of its prisons?” said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “Jakarta needs to put an end to this disgraceful behavior, punish those responsible, and start keeping a close eye on what is happening there.”
Human Rights Watch has received reports of more than two dozen cases of beatings and physical abuse since Anthonius Ayorbaba, a Papuan civil servant who previously worked in the Jayapura office of the Ministry of Law and Human Rights, became the prison warden in August 2008. As prison warden, Ayorbaba is the most senior prison official in Abepura. The administration of prisons falls under the Ministry of Law and Human Rights.
Human Rights Watch said that the Indonesian government should replace the prison administration and open the prison to international monitoring. Foreign human rights monitors and foreign journalists require special police permission to enter Papua province and are unable to carry out independent research there. Human Rights Watch also urged President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to set up an independent team to investigate abuses in Abepura prison.