20 Aug 2009

Conflicting claims about plight of Papuan political prisoner

6:43 pm on 20 August 2009

The Organisation for Solidarity with Human Rights Victims in Papua claims a political prisoner is in intensive care after prison authorities in Indonesia ignored his requests for treatment for a chronic health problem.

Members of the Organisation have visited Filep Karma in the intensive care ward at Jayapura's Dok Dua Hospital where he was transferred this week from Abepura Prison after a week of intense bladder pain.

They claim Karma's condition was ignored by the prison director and personnel, although he reported that he was having problems repeatedly.

It was only after getting word to a local journalist about his condition this week that the prisoner was taken to hospital where he is being guarded by three prison officers.

Karma, unable to move from his bed, is serving a 15-year sentence for unfurling a Morning Star flag in 2004.

The prison director, Anthonius Ayorbaba, has rejected the complaint that prison authorities ignored Karma's condition.

He said that the prisoner failed to properly inform the prison authorities about his condition.