WARNING: This video contains disturbing images of extreme brutality and will be disturbing to most viewers. Please complain to the Indonesian security forces if you do not wish to see this.
Indonesian military brutality and torture of West Papuan civilians is revealed in a video released today exclusively by West Papua Media.
The footage shows troops from Indonesia’s elite counter-terrorism unit Detachment 88, who receive Australian and US military training, engaged in a raid in late May 2009 on the Papuan village of Kampung Bagusa, at Kapeso airstrip in Mamberamo regency.
The footage, filmed by a Detachment 88 officer on his mobile phone, shows the immediate aftermath of the raid. The bodies of at least five dead villagers are visible on the ground and there is sporadic gunfire clearly heard.
The incident occurred at the end of a month long occupation of the remote airstrip by an local religious group, and was transformed into a demonstration of widespread pro-independence sentiment by an off-shoot of the TPN or National Liberation Army. Local military and police commanders sent troops to clear the airstrip, including the elite Detachment 88 force. Negotiations between local people and security forces broke down in confused circumstances, and security forces attacked all present. The aftermath of this operation is depicted in the video.
The footage shows Detachment 88 troops urgently taking cover behind desks in a pendopo (traditional ceremonial shelter) whilst under alleged attack. Curiously, whilst troops are allegedly being shot at by unknown shooters off camera, the solider continues to narrate calmly and film proceedings whilst he is standing up, exposed to alleged fire. This does raise the possibility that the entire proceedings are staged for the benefit of the camera.
Disturbing scenes at the end of the footage appear to show two Papuan children tied up and being forced at gunpoint to crawl along the floor by the Indonesian military. The footage continues to show them in apparent pain while the soldiers taunt them.
To date, no satisfactory transparent investigation has occurred of the events surrounding the Kapeso occupation and subsequent shooting of civilians by security forces. West Papua is routinely closed by the Indonesian government to International Media and Human Rights Observers.
Regardless of the circumstances of alleged armed provocations, Indonesian security forces are again displaying excessive force to civilians and non-combatants and in particular to children. Indonesia has ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child, but has so far refused to ratify the Convention’s Optional Protocol on the involvement of children in armed conflict.
The footage is sure to raise further questions about the activities of the Indonesian military in West Papua, as well the involvement of the Australian military in training and arming those seen in this footage. The video was passed to West Papua Media via a member of the Indonesian security forces who stated that the circulation of this form of ‘trophy footage’ is rampant amongst troops operating in the region.
PLEASE NOTE: There is a translation error in the subtitles in this footage which is quite critical. At approximately 00:54 (seconds), where soldiers are pursuing West Papuan people, the dialogue is incorrect.
From a correspondent:
“”jangan dibunuh” is translated as “don’t get killed” but should be “don’t kill them”. It’s common to issue orders in passive register like that. It is followed by “diborgol” ie “handcuff them”. It’s a big difference, since it is suggestive of how often extra-judicial killings do take place – the soldiers on scene have to be reminded to NOT kill the prisoners. “
The video can be viewed at the following link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VD0eFA4scTo
or watching below:
For all media enquiries please contact Nick Chesterfield at West Papua Media on firstname.lastname@example.org or +61409268978
An Indonesian BRIMOB source today (Feb 9) sent West Papua Media these images of personnel from the Pelopor taskforce depicted in the footage above on their way via speedboat to conduct the operation to retake the airfield. The individual officer in the foreground of the upper image has been identified as the cameraman and narrator of the footage.
West Papua Media apologises for the low-quality of the footage due to it being filmed on mobile phone in low resolution
A higher quality version of the footage is available to media upon application under strict conditions; unfortunately YouTube automatically loses quality during upload. Please contact West Papua Media for arrangements