Suspect dies shortly after arrest at Bhayangkara police hospital in Jayapura – Relatives demand investigation into allegations of torture

Dozens of police officers attempted to arrest Mr Marthen Delano Sayuri, 27 years, in Argapura, Jayapura Selatan District, Papua Province on the evening of 4 May 2023. The police suspected Mr Sayuri of committing a theft. Mr Sayuri’s wife denies the allegations. The police officers met resistance from Mr Sayuri’s relatives and residents as they tried to arrest him. The situation reportedly escalated after police officers failed to show an arrest warrant with Mr Sayuri’s name upon the relatives’ request. The mob threw stones at the officers, damaging two police vehicles. The police released warning shots. Mr Sayuri’s aunt testified that a police officer pointed his finger at her, saying, ”We will arrest your child and kill him!” (Bhs Indonesia: “Anakmu akan ditangkap dan dibunuh!”

In the afternoon of 5 May 2023, police officers again combed the Argapura area and arrested Mr Sayuri, and detained him in an unknown location. According to information received, police officers collectively kicked and punched Mr Sayuri in the head and stomach. The relatives went to the Jayapura City Police Headquarters (Polresta Jayapura), but police officers did not provide them with information about Mr Sayuri’s place of detention.

According to a later statement by Jayapura City Police Chief, Commissioner Mackbon, Mr Sayuri’s condition suddenly dropped after being arrested. Thereupon, police officers admitted him to the Bhayangkara Police Hospital. Police officers handcuffed Mr Sayuri’s hand to the bed while receiving medical treatment. Mr Sayuri died at Bhayangkara Police Hospital in Jayapura City on 6 May 2023 while he was under arrest receiving medical treatment.  He passed away on 6 May 2023, at3.30 am.

His relatives picked up the body on 6 May 2023. The police did not carry out an autopsy of the body. His relatives suspect that Mr Sayuri died due to torture during the arrest and detention at the Papuan Regional Police Headquarters (Polda Papua). The face showed signs of extrinsic force, with blood coming from the victim’s nose and mouth (see photos below). After collecting the body, the relatives carried out a spontaneous protest action. They were joined by many residents who conducted a peaceful action. About 100 people collectively wanted to carry the coffin (see video below, source: independent HRD) to the Polda Papua. Still, they were blocked by police officers near the Jayapura Harbour. The relatives demand a thorough investigation into the mysterious death of Mr Sayuri.

Mr Suayuri, during medical treatment at the Bhayangkara Police Hospital

Video: Police operation in Argapura on the evening of 4 May 2023

Video: Protesters carry Mr Sayuri’s body from Argapura to the Polda Papua Police Headquarters

Detailed Case Data
name of the location: Rumah Sakit Bhayangkara (-2.563428567716577, 140.67885918225244)
administrative region: Indonesia, Papua Province, Jayapura City
total number of victims: one
period of incident: 05.05.2023-06.05.2023
perpetrator: police
perpetrator details: unknown
Issues: torture, ill-treatment, extra-judicial killings, indigenous peoples
Further HRM News:

NumberName, DetailsGenderAgeGroup AffiliationViolation
1Marthen Delano Sayurimale27indigenous torture, execution