By Port Numbay
Jan 24, 2009, 23:26

On Tuesday, 20th of January 2009 Buchtar Tabuni and Sebby Sambom’s lawyer, Mr Iwan Niode came to visit Buchtar and Sebby but Mr Iwan Niode was not allowed to see them in their cell. He then went home. Mr Tabuni and Mr Sambom were very disappointed and felt that their rights to speak to their lawyers were restricted.

Both Sebby and Buchtar have asked for help from all human rights activists and people around the world to help freeing them from the Regional Police of Papua Detention Centre.

Below is an interview with Sebby Sambom on the 18th of January 2009 Sebby Sambom speaking from the prison (A tape message interview) on the 18th of January 2009.

FWPC: Can you tell us what has happened to you in the prison?

Sebby: On the 15th of January from morning we did not have water so we asked for water but the prison officers did not give us water. So we did not have water on that day until night time. In the night we asked for water again but the police said that there was no water; you just have to wait until tomorrow. But then the next morning there was not any water. That situation continued until the 17th of January, we still did not get water and the regional police of Jayapura did not give us drinking water. They gave me packed food since I was arrested until now but I refused to eat the prison’s food because the quality of the food was not good. In addition for one month that I stayed in this prison, there were few things that I had observed in the prison: First, the food that the police gave us were without drinking water. Second, visiting time that is allowed for family and relatives of the prisoners is from 9.00am to 2.00pm. However, the police officers who are in charge of the prison are always away from the prison during the visiting time and return only when the visiting time is over. Therefore, family members who bring food and water cannot come in to visit us and gave us the food and drink. Third, until yesterday (17th) we did not get water and there was no guard nearby so we shouted loudly and said ‘hey police give us water’. Because we shouted loudly, the police officers were not happy and they do not like the way we shouted. But we said that we have the rights as prisoners to have our basic rights to water and to any basic needs. The police were angry and they opened the prison doors and got in and began pushing Buchtar Tabuni on his chest. Buchtar was pushed in. The police pushed Buchtar twice. Then, they changed guards. The next police officer is Siagian and another police officer. They came with two heavy batons and wave the batons as a way to threat the prisoners. When Officer Siagian went into the prison he pushed Buchtar very hard that Buchtar fell and bumped into us.

FWPC : Did Siagian beat Buchtar or not?
Sebby: Yes, he bet Buchtar on Buchtar’s chest.
FWPC: What is Siagian’s initial?
Sebby: His name begins with B. and (his family name is) Siagian.

FWPC: What is his rank?

Sebby : His rank (in Indonesian term) is BRIPTU. So BRIPTU B Siagian.

Sebby: He pushed Buchtar so Buchtar ran towards me. The other police officer kept waving the baton to threat us and he kept waving the baton towards Buchtar’s head to threat him. This police officer also spoke abusive words to us saying ‘You are dirty like animal, pigs, etc’. I couldn’t remember his name but he came with officer Siagian. They said Buchtar you should not bathe/shower yourself because you are the same as animal. The two officer pointed their batons at me and said ‘you too, you are the same’. I just kept quiet. But Buchtar spoke to the police and said ‘You said we were wrong but what we had requested was our very basic right and that is water. Water is our very basic need. We need it everyday. Before the police officers left us they said ‘if you shouted again like what just did, we’ll return and torture you’.


1.Both Buchtar Tabuni and Sebby Sambom are being detained at the Papua Regional Police Detention Centre in Jayapura. Since their arrest, Mr Tabuni has been detained for 52 days in the police detention centre. Mr Sambom has been detained for 38 days.

Both Mr Tabuni and Mr Sambom have not been charged yet.

2.Mr. Buktar Tabuni is a human rights activist, as well as the leader of the Student Association of the Central Highlands in Papua. On October 16,2008, Mr. Tabuni organized a peaceful demonstration in Papua in support ofthe International Parliamentarians for West Papua in London.

3.Mr Sebby Sambom is a human rights activist and is also a member of the committee of International Parliamentarians for West Papua in Papua. Hehas since been an outspoken supporter of the Papuan's struggle for selfdetermination and independence.

4.Buchtar Tabuni was arrested and taken from his house in BTN Purwodadi
Sentani Timur, Jayapura Regency on Wednesday (3/12) at 11.45am.

5.Mr. Seblom Sambom was arrested at around 11:30am on 17 December 2008 in Sentani – Jayapura in the Theys Eluay Memorial park. At the time of his arrest, Sambom had just concluded a press conference they had conducted which calls for the release of Mr Buchtar Tabuni. The arresting policemen,the Papuan Police Criminal Investigation Division (CID), had taken him into their custody without showing to him any arrest warrants. It was learned later though that he has been charge with subversion in connection with the October 16 protest.

At the time of his arrest, the Papuan Police CID arrived on the scene and had immediately proceeded to arrest Sambom. No explanation was given to him as to the nature of charges laid on him nor was he informed why he is being arrested. The police, too, did not provide him any answer to questions he and others have asked.