Torture 'rampant' in jail

Torture 'rampant' in jail
Straits Times

JAKARTA - TORTURE and abuse of prisoners in a jail in Indonesia's sensitive Papua region is 'rampant' and should be investigated, US-based Human Rights Watch said on Friday.
It said it had received reports of more than two dozen cases of beatings and physical abuse at Abepura prison since August.
Papua is the scene of a low-level separatist insurgency and Abepura holds about 230 prisoners including more than a dozen who were imprisoned for peaceful political acts, it said.
'How can the government turn a blind eye to beatings and torture in one of its prisons?' HRW Asia director Brad Adams said in a statement.
'Jakarta needs to put an end to this disgraceful behaviour, punish those responsible and start keeping a close eye on what is happening there.' It cited the case of political prisoner Ferdinand Pakage who lost an eye after being beaten by several guards on September 22 last year.
The United Nations has reported that Indonesian police routinely torture and beat suspects in custody.
Indonesia's criminal code contains no definition of torture and even though the country is a signatory to the UN Convention Against Torture it has no corresponding law against the practice.
The UN special reporter for torture visited Indonesia in 2007 and found that police used torture as a 'routine practice in Jakarta and other metropolitan areas of Java.'
A decade of political and institutional reform after the fall of the military-backed Suharto regime in 1998 has not left its mark on the police and prison system, analysts say. -- AFP