Demonstration violently dissolved - protesters tortured in custody

On April 2nd, peaceful demonstrations for the release of political prisoners in Papua took place in Abepura and at the Cendrawasih University in Waena. While the rally went smoothly in Abepura, the police in Waena disperse the demonstration violently and arrested two students who were later tortured in detention.


The medical student Alfares Kapisa (24) and the social and political science student Yali Wenda (21) wanted to negotiate with the police when they began to dissolve the previously registered peaceful demonstration. Kapisa and Wenda were arrested on the spot, held in a vehicle of the security forces for 1,5 hours and beaten with electric batons, rattan rods and rifle butts and kicked with boots. Later they were taken to the police station, where they were tortured even more before being released the next day. During this time, several human rights lawyers requesting to meet with the prisoners and provide legal assistance during interrogations were denied access. During the examination and treatment by the police doctor, the men were not anaesthetised. The blood traces of torture were washed out of their clothes and they were taken to a hospital for further treatment. The hospital staff was forbidden to give the medical reports to family members and human rights lawyers. Other doctors who were visited by the victims with their lawyers, refused to examine Kapisa and Wenda without written permission of the police.

Once again, it is shown how the authorities in West Papua break the law and how difficult it is for human rights lawyers to do their work and to provide victims with legal assistance.