KNPB activist
Kristian Yandun rests on a bed in an emergency ward in Merauke Navy Hospital in early February 2021. He died on Feb. 27. Courtesy of Coalition of Law and Human Rights Enforcers Papua

KNPB activist denied proper medical treatment in police detention: Lawyer


West Papua No. 1 News Portal | Jubi


Jayapura, Jubi – Papua Legal Aid Institute (LBH Papua) Director Emanuel Gobay, said that Merauke Police had denied 13 activists from the West Papua National Committee (KNPB) their right to health after the institute received a report that one of the detainees was critically ill.


He said the family of Kristian Yandun informed him that Yandun was in Merauke Navy Hospital but they claimed he did not get proper treatment. Gobay said Yandum was allegedly beaten by the police officer when they arrested him along with 12 other KNPB activists on Dec. 13 last year.



“Yandun’s family saw him in the hospital in a weak condition. He got oxygen tube attached to him but no IV drip,” said Gobay to Jubi on Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021.


Read also: West Papua KNPB leader sentenced to 6 years for manslaughter


Gobay claimed the Merauke Police did not bring Yandun to the hospital fast enough. He said Yandun had been ill in Merauke Police detention center for days. Gobay said some other detained KNPB activists were also injured but did not get any treatment.


“Looking at the condition of the detainees, we had asked the police officers to fulfill the detainees’ right to health, in line with article 58 of the Criminal Procedure Law,” he said.


On Jan. 13, LBH Papua sent a letter to the police to move Yandum to a health facility.


Read also: ‘It’s illegal’: Merauke court hears expert witness for 14 KNPB arrest case


“But they took time responding to our request,” he said. The police responded on Feb. 8, when they took Yandun to the Navy hospital at night. The last time the family checked on Feb. 11, Yandun was still in the emergency ward of the hospital.


Gobay said Merauke Police also sent a letter to the lawyers, saying that Yandun was scheduled for an X-Ray examination on Feb. 10.


One of the KNPB leaders at the headquarters, Marpo Wetipo, told Jubi that torture, being sick in detention center, and even death were the consequences of the activists who were facing “colonial administration”.


“This is proof of colonialism. The proof that a systematic killing is happening. KNPB is fighting against this violent system with peace,” he said.


Wetipo said Indonesian government should have been ashamed of themselves that they fought peaceful fighting with violence, considering Indonesia had ratified several covenants on human rights.


Coalition of Law and Human Rights Enforcers Papua released a report made available to Jubi on Feb. 11. The coalition claimed that the National Police’s Mobile Brigade (Brimob) personnel came to the office of KNPB Almasuh chapter in Merauke Regency on Dec. 13, riding two cars.


The coalition said the personnel besieged the building right away, without showing them a warrant and an explanation of the reason of the arrest. They took KNPB activists identified as Zakarias Yakobus Sraun, Piter Wambon, Robertus Landa, Kristian Yandum, Michael Bunop, and Elia Kmur.


The coalition said the Brimob told four of them to strip and lie down, face down, on the ground. They tied the activists’ hands on their back and then the police beat them with rattan and then they stepped on the KNPB activist bodies.


The police then told them to get into the car, sitting on the floor of the car, and brought them to Merauke Police precinct. In the detention center, the coalition said, the beating continued. Yandum head was bleeding while Michael Bunop had his back bleeding.


Later at about 11 pm, Brimob came again to the KNPB office and they took eight more activists to the detention center. Out of 14 detainees, the coalition represented 13 of them.


The coalition has declared the arrest as a “criminalization” arrest by the police.


Reporter: Benny Mawel

Editor: Dewi Wulandari, Evi Mariani



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