Robert Yelemaken, a 16-year-old high school student, was released on 18 August from the Manokwari District Police Station and police have dropped charges against him. However, 21-year-old university student Oni Wea is still in detention and has been charged with "incitement". Both students were given access to a lawyer on 14 August. However, Oni Wea has yet to receive medical treatment for the torture and other ill-treatment he suffered.
Both the students, activists from the pro-independence West Papua National Committee (Komite Nasional Papua Barat, KNPB), were arrested on 8 August in Manokwari district for painting pro-independence graffiti including calls for an independence referendum for Papua. They were tortured and otherwise ill-treated by the police during arrest and detention and were held in a prison cell at the Manokwari District Police Station. Police hit them on the face and head with a rifle butt and kicked them. Both were forced to roll in a sewer filled with dirty water and to drink paint. The beatings continued while they were in detention.
Amnesty International considers Oni Wea a prisoner of conscience. There has been no independent investigation into the students' allegations of torture and other ill-treatment.
Please write immediately in Indonesian, English or your own language:
- Calling on the authorities to release Oni Wea immediately and unconditionally, as he has been arrested solely for the peaceful exercise of his right to freedom of expression
- Urging them to ensure that Oni Wea has access to any medical treatment he may require
- Calling on them to order immediately an effective and independent investigation into Oni Wea and Robert Yelemaken's allegations of torture and other ill-treatment, bring all those responsible to justice in fair trials and provide reparations to the victims