Amnesty urges review of Indonesian troops in Papua after torture video

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Amnesty International Indonesia executive director Usman Hamid
Amnesty International Indonesia executive director Usman Hamid . . . "[This toture] tramples over humanitarian values that are just and civilised." Image: CNN Indonesia/IndoLeft News

Asia Pacific Report

Amnesty International Indonesia is calling for an evaluation of the placement of TNI (Indonesian military) in Papua after a video of a Papuan man being tortured by several soldiers at the Gome Post in Puncak regency, Central Papua, went viral on social media.

“This incident was a [case of] cruel and inhuman torture that really damages our sense of justice,” said Amnesty International executive director Usman Hamid in a statement.

“It tramples over humanitarian values that are just and civilised. To the families of the victim, we expressed our deep sorrow.”

"Sadists!" . . . An Indonesian newspaper graphic of the torture video
“Sadists!” . . . An Indonesian newspaper graphic of the torture video that went viral. Image: IndoLeft News

Hamid said that no one in this world, including in Papua, should be treated inhumanely and their dignity demeaned — let alone to the point of causing the loss of life.

“The statements by senior TNI officials and other government officials about a humanitarian approach and prosperity [in Papua] are totally meaningless.

“It is ignored by the [military] on the ground,” he said.

Hamid said that such incidents were able to be repeated because until now there had been no punishment for TNI members proven to have committed crimes of kidnapping, torture and the loss of life.

Call for fact-finding team
Hamid said Amnesty International was calling for a joint fact-finding team to be formed to investigate the abuse, including urging that an evaluation be carried on to the deployment of TNI soldiers in the land of Papua.

“There must be a sharp reflection on the placement of security forces in the land of Papua which has given rise to people falling victim, both indigenous Papuans, non-Papuans, including the security forces themselves”, he said.

Earlier, a short video containing an act of torture by TNI members went viral on social media. It shows a civilian who has been placed in an oil drum filled with water being tortured by members of the TNI.

TNI Information Centre director (kapuspen) Major-General Nugraha Gumilar has revealed the identity of the person being tortured by the soldiers as allegedly being a member of a pro-independence resistance group — described by Indonesia as an “armed criminal group (KKB)” — named Definus Kogoya.

“The rogue TNI soldiers committed acts of violence against a prisoner, a KKB member by the name of Definus Kogoya at the Gome Post in Puncak Regency, Papua,” he said when sought for confirmation on Saturday.

Despite this, General Gumilar has still has not revealed any further information about the identity of the TNI members who committed the torture. He confirmed only that more than one member was involved in the abuse.

He said an “intensive examination” was still being conducted and he pledged it would be transparent and act firmly against all of the accused torturers.

“Later I will convey [more information] after the investigation is finished, what is clear is that it was more than one person if you see from the video”, he said.

Note:
The video (warning: contains graphic, violent content and viewer discretion is advised) of the Papuan man being tortured by TNI soldiers can be viewed on YouTube at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UJgAHYdLgVo (requires registration)

or on the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) website: ahttps://www.ulmwp.org/president-wenda-a-crime-against-humanity-has-been-committed-in-yahukimo.

[Translated by James Balowski for IndoLeft News. The original title of the article was “Amnesty Desak Evaluasi Penempatan TNI Buntut Aksi Penyiksaan di Papua”.]

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