The International Secretariat of OMCT has been informed by TAPOL, a member organisation of OMCT SOS-Torture Network, about the arbitrary detention and torture of Mr. Alfares Kapisa and Mr. Yali Wenda, two students from Papua, 24 and 21 years old respectively, while participating in a demonstration at Cenderawasih University in Jayapura demanding the unconditional release of Papuan political prisoners and the opening of democratic space in Papua.
According to the information received, on 2 April 2014, the police arrested Mr. Yali Wenda, member of Student Solidarity for Political Prisoners, and Mr. Alfares Kapisa, field coordinator of the aforementioned demonstration. Mr. Yali Wenda and Mr. Alfares Kapisa had approached the police to negotiate after the demonstration had become tense. They were dragged into a Jayapura police crowd control truck, where they were forced to lie facedown while they were beaten with rifle buts, kicked with jackboots, and beaten with rattan sticks. Mr. Yali Wenda reported that his head was beaten repeatedly against the truck and that his toes were stamped on with jackboots. He also reported that when the police noticed that he had a small wound on his foot, they stamped on it. The police also reportedly administered electric shocks to the two men using electric stun batons. After around 1.5 hours in the truck, Mr. Yali Wenda and Mr. Alfares Kapisa were brought to the Jayapura police station.
According to the same information received, once at the police station, Mr. Yali Wenda and Mr. Alfares Kapisa were taken to the criminal investigation unit (Reserse Kriminal, reskrim) and put in a cell. Afterwards, the police called a doctor, who allegedly forced Mr. Kapisa and Mr. Wenda to hand over their jackets and clothes which were covered with blood. The police provided them with other clothes while their own ones were being washed clean. Then, the doctor cleaned the wounds and stitched up the ear of Mr. Wenda with three stitches without using any kind of anaesthetic, causing severe pain. It is believed that Mr. Alfares Kapisa and Mr. Yali Wenda were tortured to deter them from carrying out any further action critical to the government.
On 3 April 2014, between 8 and 11 a.m. the police investigator at Jayapura police station interrogated Mr. Alfares Kapisa and Mr. Yali Wenda. During the interrogation, the police reportedly falsified the investigation report stating, among others, that Mr. Alfares Kapisa and Mr. Yali Wenda had never been submitted to torture and that they had attacked the police at the demonstration. They were also forced to sign a statement that they would not carry out any other demonstrations. During their detention, the authorities denied Mr. Kapisa and Mr. Wenda their right to access a lawyer.
On 3 April 2014, at noon, Mr. Kapisa and Mr. Wenda were finally released and taken to Dian Harapan Hospital in Waena, in Jayapura. At the time of issuing this urgent appeal, Mr. Kapisa and Mr. Wenda were still receiving medical treatment.
OMCT is also concerned about information indicating that Mr. Yali Wenda has been intimidated on two occasions by police intelligence agents since his release.
The International Secretariat of OMCT expresses its deep concern about the safety and physical and psychological integrity of Mr. Alfares Kapisa and Mr. Yali Wenda, and urges the competent authorities to guarantee their safety at all times, as well as to ensure that they receive appropriate medical treatment and redress.
OMCT recalls that the authorities have to fulfil their obligations under international human rights law to protect the right not to be subjected to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and the right to liberty and security, to consider seriously any allegations of ill-treatment and arbitrary arrest, and to undertake a prompt, effective, thorough, independent and impartial investigation in this regard, in order to identify all those responsible, bring them to trial and apply adequate sanctions. OMCT also recalls that victims must be ensured the right to an effective remedy for the human rights violations suffered as well as the right to full redress, including compensation and rehabilitation.
OMCT also urges the Indonesian authorities to guarantee the rights to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression protected under the Indonesian constitution and international law.