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Amnesty Int’l Urgent Action – Johan Teterissa in urgent need of medical care

July 21, 2010

Subject: Urgent Action – Johan Teterissa in urgent need of medical care
UA: 161/10 Index: ASA 21/011/2010 Indonesia Date: 16 July 2010



Indonesian prisoner of conscience Johan Teterissa is in urgent need of medical care. He has been seriously ill for the last two weeks, apparently as a result of a deterioration in his health after he was tortured and otherwise ill-treated when he was arrested in June 2007. He has been denied access to the treatment he needs by prison authorities. Johan Teterissa, a 48-year-old teacher who is held in Lowokwaru prison in the province of East Java, has been in prison since June 2007. He is serving a 15-year sentence for leading a peaceful protest. During his arrest and the first few weeks of his detention, he was tortured and otherwise ill-treated, including by being beaten and kicked by police officers. Johan Teterissa has not received adequate medical treatment for his injuries, and is now in constant pain. He reports that he can no longer see properly, and cannot sleep as a result of the pain he suffers.

According to sources close to the prison where he is held, Johan Teterissa’s condition has deteriorated in the last two weeks, and he now has a high fever. He has not received adequate medical treatment from the prison doctors and the prison authorities have denied him access to external medical treatment. On 15 July, an independent doctor visited the prison to try to see Johan Teterissa. He was turned away by the prison authorities.

Johan Teterissa has been held at Lowokwaru prison since March 2009. The prison is thousands of kilometres from his family, who have been unable to visit him. There are also concerns that he is being denied access to sufficient food and clean drinking water in prison. Amnesty International has previously reported that Indonesian prisons are often overcrowded, with poor sanitation and a lack of food. Prison conditions fall short of the UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners and the Indonesian Government Regulation No. 32/1999, on Terms and Procedures on the Implementation of Prisoners’ Rights in Prisons. Amnesty International believes the denial of medical care to Johan Teterissa may amount to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.

PLEASE WRITE IMMEDIATELY in Indonesian or your own language calling on authorities in Indonesia:

  • Urging the authorities to ensure that Johan Teterissa receives full and immediate access to proper medical care;
  • Urging the authorities to ensure Johan Teterissa immediately receives adequate food and clean drinking water in line with international human rights standards and Indonesian regulations;
  • Calling for the immediate and unconditional release of Johan Teterissa as he is imprisoned solely for peacefully expressing his views;
  • Calling on them to ensure that prison conditions meet international standards, comply with Indonesian regulations and do not amount to cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment.


Director General of Prisons
Ministry of Justice and Human Rights
Drs. Untung Sugiyono
Jl. Veteran No. 11
Jakarta Pusat
Fax: +62 21 384 1711
Salutation: Dear Director General

Minister of Justice and Human Rights
Ministry of Justice and Human Rights
Mr. Patrialis Akbar
Jl. H.R. Rasuna Said Kav No. 4-5
Jakarta Selatan 12950
Fax: +62 21 525 3095
Salutation: Dear Minister

COPIES TO: diplomatic representatives of Indonesia accredited to your country. Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date.

Additional Information

Johan Teterissa and 21 other political activists were arrested on 29 June 2007 in Maluku province for unfurling the ‘Benang Raja flag’, a symbol of the South Maluku independence, while performing a traditional ‘Cakalele’ dance in front of Indonesia’s President, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

After their performance, the police, particularly the anti-terrorist unit Detachment-88, detained all 22 of the dancers. They were beaten, forced to crawl on their stomachs over hot asphalt, whipped with an electric cable and had billiard balls forced into their mouths. The police also beat them on the side of the head with rifle butts until their ears bled and fired shots close to their ears. The police threatened them continually with further torture, sometimes at gunpoint, in an attempt to force them to confess.

On 4 April 2008, a court sentenced Johan Teterissa to life imprisonment for leading the peaceful flag raising event. Three months later his sentence was reduced to 15 years. The rest of the political activists are serving sentences of between seven and 20 years’ imprisonment for ‘rebellion’ under Articles 106 and 110 of the Indonesia Criminal Code. Amnesty International is concerned that the courts sentenced them to long terms of imprisonment after unfair trials and after being subjected to torture and other ill-treatment during arrest and detention. A twenty-third dancer was arrested in June 2008 and was sentenced to four years’ imprisonment in March 2009
UA: 161/10 Index: ASA 21/011/2010 Issue Date: 16 July 2010

From West Papua Action Network

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Magda C. Jarussi permalink
    August 2, 2010 9:32 am

    What can I do about this problem… I really want to help but I don’t know how… I live in Brazil and if there is something I could do please tell me!


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