Sami Lokon, a West Papua National Coalition (KNPB) activist,was arrested on 10 January 2019 by two Jayapura police officers. At that time, Sami and his friend, Nadus Siep, were waiting for someone in front of Citra Shop, Abepura, Jayapura City. Arrest warrants were not presented at the time of arrest (approximately 7:00 pm). Sami and his friend were taken forcibly to the Abepura Police Station, without being informed of the reason for their arrest. Police released Nadus Siep shortly after arrival. Sami remained in custody for around 30 minutes, before being transferred to the Jayapura Port KP3 Marine Police Office. Sami was tortured while in police custody. Under duress, he allegedly admitted to being a motorcycle thief. He was kicked repeatedly in his abdominal area, beaten with a wooden object on his back, and slapped at least 10 times across the face. Sami has denied the accusations of stealing motorcycles.
On 11 January 2019, Sami was transferred to Jayapura City Police Station. He was questioned until 5:00 pm without legal counsel. At approximately 7:00 pm, Sami met with a lawyer who then accompanied him to question the basis for arrest and detention. The police stated that Sami had violated Article 480 of the Criminal Code for his involvement in motorcycle theft. The accusation was allegedly based on two pieces of evidence: reports of motor theft and police observations. Sami’s attorney clarified that Sami was not the owner of the motorbike in question. Although the two pieces of evidence presented by the police were not strong enough to accuse Sami of being a suspect, investigators insisted on continuing to hold Sami Lokon in custody.
Sami Lokon’s first trial was finally held at the Jayapura District Court on March 27, 2019, two months after his arrest. He was convicted with a sentence of 6 months in prison on May 28. There were many irregularities in the legal process that Sami Lokon went through. According to the PAHAM Papua lawyer team, various legal violations that were legalised, starting from the investigation stage in the police, the prosecutor’s office to the trial process, showed that Sami Lokon was being criminalised.
Sami Lokon suffered diarrhoea during the police custody and in prison. Due to lack of adequate health services, his condition got worse. Eventually the family and organisation urged Abepura prison to provide a letter of relief in order for him to seek treatment outside of prison. The request was finally granted and he was receiving home treatment with his family, however it was too late. Sami Lokon passed away on 16 September 2019.
At present, Sami is still being detained at the Jayapura Police detention centre.