Political detainee’s physical condition deteriorates during detention – relatives request adequate medical treatment

The ICP has received credible information regarding the deteriorating health condition of Papuan political activist Sami Lokon during custody. Sami Lokon was arrested in early January 2019. Police officers accused him of motor cycle theft but failed to provide a warrant and sufficient evidence for the arrest. Human rights activists claim that Sami Lokon was tortured during detention at the KP3 police station in the Jayapura harbor, where police officers attempted to force a confession from him. A police officer allegedly beat him with a wooden stick on the back and slapped him on the left and right cheek for ten times.

Although, Sami Lokon refused to sign the confession letter, the police charged him with article 480 of the Indonesian criminal code (KUHP) on reception and distribution of stolen goods. The criminal charges appear to be a pretext to criminalize Sami Lokon. During the police interrogations, officers repeatedly asked the activist about his relation to the West Papua National Committee, a political movement organization promoting the right to self-determination of the Papuan people through civil resistance and other peaceful activities.

On 11 January 2019, a lawyer of the ‘Association of Human Rights Lawyers for Papua’ (PAHAM Papua) visited Sami Lokon during custody and requested the investigator to provide copies of the arrest warrant, the detention order, the letter authorizing the seizure of the motor cycle and the investigation report (BAP). The documents were never shared with Sami Lokon's lawyers.

As relatives visited Sami Lokon during detention at the Abepura detention facility in Jayapura on 4 June 2018, they witnessed that Sami was severely sick and unable to get out of his bed. A subsequent visit by KNPB members on 5 June was prevented by the prison guard, stating that Sami Lokon was to sick to meet with visitors. Thereupon, Sami Lokon’s friends together with his lawyers and members of the GIDI Church (Evangelical Church in Indonesia) convinced the director of the prison to bring Sami to the Abepura general hospital, where he received acute medical treatment. However, the hospital was understaffed at the time of the examination due to the Idul Fitri Holiday, so Sami Lokon did not undergo an adequate examination by a doctor. His relatives are concerned about Sami Lokon’s health condition and request a second comprehensive examination at the hospital.