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Indonesia: An Afghanistani Refugee died due to Police torture

By Basir Ahang

The detained asylumseekers in “Pontianik” Prison of Cleminton Island in Indonesia say, that Mohammad Taqi, a young asylumseeker from Jaghori District of Ghazni Province of Afghanistan has been tortured and beaten to death by Indonesian Police on the night of 26 February 2012. He had been detained and imprisoned there for a long time.

These asylumseekers who spoke on condition of anonimity due to fear, added that “Mohammad Taqi wanted to escape from the detention center. But while escaping, his leg had been broken, so he was arrested by police. He was then violently tortured, in front of other asylumseekers.”

One of the asylumseekers claims that Indonesian Prison Police have used techniques such as waterboarding and electric shock torture on Mohammad Taqi, the young Hazara asylum seeker. “Mohammad Taqi was electrocuted, dripped and beaten to death while suffering from a severe broken-leg enjury” He added.

Torture techniques such as Electrocution of victim is frequently used by many countries´ Intelligence and Spy Agencies, but such tortures are considered a crime against humanity by International Human Rights Organizations. In order to stop the application of such inhumane torture techniques, the Human Rights Organizations have started widespread compaigns since 2006, and since then, tens of companies that manufacture such torture instruments have been identified and banned. Nevertheless these torture instruments are widely used in many countries of the world. Amnesty International says, “torture techniques such as electric shock and physical abuse of the detainees by electrical instruments is regularly used in as many as 50 countries of the world, especially in Middle East, Africa, Latin America and Asia.”

On the other hand, the detained asylumseekers in Indonesian Detention Centers say, that the condition of asylumseekers in these jails is extremely inhumane and the asylumseekers are deprived of their basic rights. Hundreds of these detained asylumseekers claim that Indonesian Police use different torture methods against them.
The asylumseekers say, ”UNHCR and IOM are aware of this horrific situation in the detention centers, but as the employees of these organizations are all Indonesians, they simply ignore these conditions. Therefore, their reports about the condition of asylumseekers have been unsubstantial and unreasonable.

Some of the detained asylumseekers of ”Baluan” Detention Center in Somatra Island of Indonesia, who have been detained for as long as two years there, say ”Two months ago, thirteen detainees escaped out of this jail, but unfortunately 3 of them were rearrested by the Indonesian Police, who were then violently tortured and beaten up. As their physical and psycological conditions are now disturbing and depressing.” They say, the situation in this detention center is severely inhumane and violent, as worse as the daily feeling of death and revival that they experience.
Indonesia is among those countries that have NOT signed the Convention of Refugee Protection, therefore the Human Rights Organizations can rarely interfare with the condition of asylumseekers and refugees. On the other hand, Indonesia is always attracted by waves of asylumseekers due to its neighborhood with the Australian waters who try to seek asylum in Australia. Hundreds of asylumseekers from different countries including Afghanistan, Iran and Iraq enter Indonesia yearly.

Last year, hundreds of asylumseekers drowned and died in Australian waters, while trying to cross these waters with boats to escape persecution in their home countries and to seek asylum in Australia. According to reports, the number of Afghanistani asylumseekers in Indonesia have been highly increased and still growing.

The asylumseekers who have recently arrived in this country, say that worsening of security situation, war and poverty and widespread violation of Human Rights by both government forces and Taliban, have forced them to escape from Afghanistan. They are also worried about the withdrawal of International forces from Afghanistan and a possible ignition of civil war, therefore they have no hope of remaining in Afghanistan.

Meanwhile the government of Hamid Karzai and the Minister of Refugee Affairs of Afghanistan, have signed disgraceful agreements with different countries, asking those countries to repatriate Afghanistani asylumseekers. These corrupt contracts of Hamid Karzai government is signed despite the worsening conditions of refugees who have returned back to Afghanistan from Iran and Pakistan. Lack of shelter, work and basic living nececities in Afghanistan is immensely agonizing.

In recent days, many people including women and children who live in temporary camps in different areas of Afghanistan, have died of hunger and severely cold winter.

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