Monday, September 24, 2012

1) West Papua: Lack of medical provisions for political prisoners

1) West Papua: Lack of medical provisions for political prisoners

2) MPs praised for passing bill

From Tapol
1) West Papua: Lack of medical provisions for political prisoners
The following report was received from Suara Perempuan Papua on 23 September  2012

Last August, BUK (United for Truth) and Solidarity for Victims of Human Rights Violations organised street collections for the treatment of Tapols (Political Prisoners) and Napols (Convicted Prisoners) in Papua. While they were collecting money, they were forced to disperse by members of the police force and some of them were taken into custody for causing traffic congestion. They were subsequently released.

The lack of government attention is what triggered the decision of BUK and Solidarity for Victims of Human Rights Violations to start collecting money to cover the cost of medical treatment for Tapols/Napols in the centre of Apebura and Waena, for a  period of a month.

This was not the first time that street collections were organised. They had on previous occasions organised collections of money to cover the medical costs for Napol Filep Karma  for whom doctors at the General Hospital RSUD, Jayapura said that special treatment was needed , in the form of a colonoscopy at the PGI (Protestant Churches of Indonesia ) Hospital in Cikini Jakarta.

Filep Karma  is a political prisoner who was arrested for treason (makar) in 2004 and sentenced to fifteen years. Several months ago, Karma underwent an operation to remove a tumour.  The incision that resulted from the operation became infectious and Karma needed further treatment at a hospital in Jayapura but had to wait nine months before he was transferred to a hospital in Jakarta for treatment.

Karma is not the only Napol who has fallen ill during incarceration and has had to wait for many months before receiving the necessary treatment. Another one was Ferdinand Pakage who lost the sight of one eye after being beaten by a prison warder in Abepura Prison. Another was Jefrai Murib who suffered a severe stroke, and Kimaus Wenda  who had a tumour in the stomach back in 2010 but who was not taken to Jayapura until February this year for an operation. This was only  because of help from several international organisations. Kimaus was cured and then returned to prison in Nabire.

Another prisoner, Kameus Murib suffered, psychological problems but has nevertheless remained in custody, while Yusak Pakage, a former Napol  had to rely on money collections for treatment that he needed.. He has since been released  because his state of health was considered to be serious enough for him to be released Another Napol, Ardi Sugumoi, who was being held in Cipinang Prison  suffered  a very serious illness and died in prison.

According to Paneas Lokbere, co-ordinator of  BUK,  things like this would not happen if the government authorities were to pay attention to the health problems of prisoners. But the authorities simply ignore these problems, showing clear discrimination against Tapols and Napols. 'Their right to life must be respected by the state. If not, it will reflect badly on the country's international reputation,' he said.

Proper attention must be paid to the dignity of the prisoners who must be  treated like human beings.

At the moment, there are about eighty (80) Tapols and Napols being held in West Papua. They are spread across a number of prisons in Abepure, Biak, Nabire, Manokwari, Fak-Fak and Wamena. Ten of these prisoners have not yet been tried.

It is the responsibility of the government  to pay proper attention  to as to ensure that each prisoner has access to medical treatment.

According to Melania Kirihio from the Papua branch of National Human Rights Commission, 'It is the responsibility of the state to provide whatever is necessary to guarantee the health of people in custody in the various prisons. If the necessary treatment is not available in the prison, the state  must grant permission for the prisoner to been examined elsewhere in accordance with their needs.' This also includes making sure that they have whatever  treatment or medication they need. for their ailments.

Certain standards are required by the government/state that meet with the needs of prisoners, those already convicted or not yet convicted, its responsibility towards the international community as a consequence of having ratified international covenants.This is something, she said, that human rights activists  pay too little attention to, the need to pay attention to the economic, social and cultural rights of prisoners.'

Attention must be paid at all times to  the basic needs of prisoners, including Tapols and Napols. she said.  This is also in order to be able to make whatever is needed for international advocacy on behalf of the prisoners.

The immediate need is for data to be collected  about the health conditions of all Tapols and Napols.

'As things stand at the moment, guaranteeing the good health of prisoners  has become something very expensive indeed for the families of prisoners in Papua. Lack of attention can result on some of these prisoners suffering ailments or injuries that could cause them permanent harm'

Immakulata Butu

[Translated by TPOL]

2) MPs praised for passing bill

Speaker of Parliament Sir Allan Kemakeza says he’s please MPs support the 2012 supplementary budget.
He said the passage of the bill means money the government had previously spent without parliament approval has now been legalised.
It also means the government will now be able to spend money it had asked parliament for during the remaining three months of this year.
Sir Allan said besides the bill, three other motions were tabled before the parliament session that were adjourned for Thursday this week.
They are the motion of no-confidence that was later withdrawn, a motion for the establishment of a special select committee on West Papua, and the motion of adjournment.
The West Papua motion seeks parliament’s approval for a select committee to look into the desire of indigenous West Papuans for self-governance, the human right situation in West Papua, Solomon Islands foreign Policy on West Papua and the official position on West Papua’s fight for independence, and other related matter.
Parliament will resume on October 20 during which next year’s budget will be tabled.
By Elliot Dawea 

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