The murky fate of treason prisoners in Papua (Part 2)

treason
Melvin Yobe and his friends took a group photo before undergoing a treason trial at the Jayapura District Court. - Doc. Melvin Yobe

Jayapura, Jubi – Head of Sub-Directorate 1 State Security of the Papua Police General Criminal Investigation Directorate Comr. Sarraju denied that his office ignored the health condition of Melvin Yobe and his friends while detained at the Papua Police Headquarters. He said their health was always taken care of and treated well.

“We have a clinic nearby to check the health of detainees. If someone is sick, they will definitely be treated. We are responsible for their health,” Sarraju told Jubi on October 28, 2022.

Sarraju denied that Melvin Yobe’s request for medical treatment was only responded to three weeks after Yobe made the request. Sarraju said that when Yobe first reported his tuberculosis condition, his office immediately checked at Dian Harapan Hospital.

“After he was detained, he told us he was sick. We checked Melvin Yobe’s health at Dian Harapan Hospital. However, since August 2021 he no longer followed the doctor’s recommendation to check at Dian Harapan Hospital,” Sarraju said.

Sarraju said Dian Harapan Hospital sent Melvin Yobe’s previous medical check-up history. “He was admitted on August 21 and was discharged on August 26, 2021,” said one of Sarraju’s subordinates showing Melvin Yobe’s examination history letter that the police had.

Sarraju said that after he received a copy of Melvin Yobe’s medical history from Dian Harapan Hospital, he checked Yobe’s health condition at Bhayangkara Hospital.

“We brought him to Bhayangkara Hospital for treatment,” Sarraju said.

The police investigation on the case of Melvin Yobe, Fernando Waine (25), Devio Tekege (23), Yosep Ernesto Matuan (19), Maksimus Simon Petrus You (18), Lukas Kitok Uropmabin (21), Ambrosius Fransiskus Elopere (21), and Zode Hilapok (27) who were suspected of treason for raising the Morning Star flag was completed.

On March 31, 2022, the treason was submitted to the Prosecutor’s Office and since then, their detention was transferred from the Papua Police to Abepura Penitentiary.

In Abepura Prison, Melvin Yobe tried to inform the officer from the clinic about his health condition. Yobe also asked the clinic to check the result of his examination at Dian Harapan Hospital, including whether or not he should undergo further treatment for his illness. However, three months passed and he said he never received any information about his condition.

Melvin Yobe again conveyed to the Jayapura City Health Office which was conducting health counseling at Abepura Penitentiary in September 2022. “I said I was a tuberculosis patient who does not know the result of my health check despite having been examined since February 2022,” Yobe recalled.

Yobe also repeatedly asked the Abepura Prison officers to detain him separately, fearing that the disease would be transmitted to his friends. Yobe made the request because he and his friends were detained in a cramped room with minimal air ventilation. The detention room was also considered to be over-capacity, as a detention room that was supposed to be occupied by ten people was used to detain 20 people.

However, Yobe’s request was not responded to. He was even accused of making excuses for his own convenience. [to be continued]

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