National Team for Prevention of Torture visits West Papua

A National Team for the Prevention of Torture (KuPP) recently visited eight places of detention in West Papua, focusing on structural improvements and efforts to prevent torture. The team, mandated by Law Number 5 of 1998, assessed that significant progress has been made by the police in enhancing conditions at correctional facilities and preventing torture.

Improvements include functional CCTV-equipped interrogation rooms, bathing and washing facilities, and increased budgets for detainees’ food and drinks. Despite these advancements, the team expressed concerns about potential violence against detainees that need further investigation. The insufficient detention capacity in the prisons was highlighted as a potential cause for human rights violations and torture.

The visit was part of KuPP’s commitment to monitor and enhance detention practices, particularly in conflict-prone areas like West Papua. The team visited various police headquarters and resort stations to assess developments and improvements in handling detainees. KuPP’s primary goal is to improve the detention process by examining detention room capacity, separation between different groups, and allegations of torture or cruel acts against detainees. The team’s previous findings in 2021 highlighted issues such as the lack of separation between male and female detention centres.

KuPP noted ongoing challenges. The team emphasised the need for increased police human resources, especially female officers, to handle cases involving female victims or suspects. Significant concerns about potential violence and abuse remain, underlining the importance of ongoing monitoring and reform efforts.


West Papua remains a hot spot of torture in Indonesia. Human rights defenders frequently document acts of torture or inhuman treatment during joint security force raids, crowd control operations, and law enforcement operations. Members of the police and military in West Papua often use torture as a matter of punishment or to force confessions. Widespread impunity and lenient sentences for perpetrators in West Papua create fertile ground for the re-occurrence of torture. A significant problem is the lack of transparency and independence of internal accountability mechanisms within the Indonesian police and the military.