Document – Indonesia: Authorities must hold inquiry into death of Maluku political activist



AI Index: ASA 21/023/2010

13 September 2010

INDONESIA: Authorities must hold inquiry into

death of Maluku political activist

The Indonesian government must immediately initiate an independent, effective and impartial inquiry into allegations that Yusuf Sapakoly was consistently denied access to adequate medical care in Nania prison, Ambon, which may have contributed to his death today.

Moreover, the family has the right to insist that a medical or other qualified representative be present at the autopsy and its findings must be made public.

According to local sources, Yusuf Sapakoly, aged 52 and a father of four, was denied medical treatment by the Nania prison authorities for kidney failure which required dialysis. He had also made complaints that he did not receive adequate treatment for rib injuries he had received during his detention. On 7 September 2010, prison authorities released him into the care of his family.

Amnesty International believes that such denial of urgently needed medical care amounts to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. The treatment of Yusuf Sapakoly violates Indonesia’s obligations under international human rights law as well as in Indonesian law.

Yusuf Sapakoly was arrested on 29 June 2007 for assisting a group of peaceful political activists in Maluku province who unfurled the “Benang Raja” flag, a symbol of South Maluku independence, while performing a traditional “Cakalele” dance in front of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. The police then reportedly tortured him in detention. He was subsequently charged with “rebellion” under Articles 106 and 110 of the Indonesia Criminal Code and sentenced to 12 years’ imprisonment.

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