27 Nov 2009

Beating claims prompt calls for ICRC to return to Papua

4:16 pm on 27 November 2009

A human rights activist claims the beating of a West Papuan political prisoner in Jayapura underlines the need for Indonesia to re-allow access to the region for the International Committee of the Red Cross, or ICRC.

Papuan rights groups report that Buchtar Tabuni was assaulted by five Indonesian security force officers also detained at the Papua provincial capital's notorious Abepura prison.

Tabuni, who is serving a three year subversion sentence, has bad head injuries and activists fear he is being denied medical treatment.

Paula Makabori of the Institute for Papuan Advocacy and Human Rights says that the ICRC, which was forced by Jakarta to shut its office in April, has a role to play.

"With all the maltreatments of West Papuan political prisoners, especially those activists and student activists in Abepura and police prison, I think Indonesia's government has to go give free access to International Red Cross to come back to West Papua to advocate these situations and also give the right treatment to all those political prisoners."

Paula Makabori