Young man dies in Halmahera West prison cell – family suspects ill-treatment and torture

Twenty-three-year-old RF, a resident of Loce Village, East Sahu Subdistrict, who was a suspect in a case of maltreatment, died at the West Halmahera Resort Police Office, North Maluku Province, on 13 October 2022. Police said that the suspect died by hanging himself in the holding cell. However, the police provided different versions of information and delayed providing accurate information to the family. This made the family doubt the truth that RF died by suicide. Moreover, the police did not support their statement with solid and convincing evidence. 

The police informed the family at 08.30 am that RF had died after hanging himself in the cell. According to the police, RF hanged himself using the rope of his jacket while in a holding cell. However, a member of West Halmahera Police Resort stated that RF committed suicide using a shoelace. The police only informed the family when the body was already at the local hospital so the family did not have the opportunity to witness RF at the scene of his death. The police argued that RF was still breathing when they took him to Jailolo General Hospital. This is different from the initial information that RF had died in the holding cell. The contradicting information and the police handling of RF’s death made the family suspect he had died due to ill-treatment or torture by the police.

Detailed Case Data
name of the location: Polres Halmahera Barat (1.1011940999186904, 127.46879349361816)
administrative region: Indonesia, North Maluku Province, West Halmahera Regency, Jailolo District
total number of victims: one
period of incident: 13.10.2022
perpetrator: police
perpetrator details: unknown
Issues: torture, ill-treatment
Sources:, Further HRM News: 

Number NameDetailsAge Gender Group Affiliation Violations 
1RF, prisioner23male unknown torture, ill-treatment