Edi Suwito, 28, a suspect in a case of mobile phone theft, was found dead in a cell at Bali’s Kerobokan prison before dawn on Thursday morning.
Police said Edi’s body bore signs of assault, leading them to question the six other occupants of his cell.
Edi had only been in the prison a day, after being moved along with eight other suspects because police in Kuta had run out of room in police station cells there.
Edi was placed in what inmates of the notoriously overcrowded prison refer to as a “rat cell,” reportedly because he was a recidivist thief who had only recently completed a prison term.
Kerobokan prison chief Bowo Nariwono was refusing to take calls from journalists on Thursday.
Badung Police district chief Benny Arjanto said Edi’s body had been taken to a Denpasar hospital for an autopsy to determine the cause of death.
“We will question everyone involved, starting from his handover to the prison by police, to prison staff and inmates,” Benny said.