(JG) 51 Tortured by Indonesian Security Forces in Papua Violence: Elsham

51 Tortured by Indonesian Security Forces in Papua Violence: Elsham
Farouk Arnaz & Ronna Nirmala | November 29, 2011

The National Police said on Monday that it handed out punishments to a total of 17 officers for last month’s deadly crackdown on the Third Papuan People’s Congress but refrained from firing or demoting any of their own.

Ethics tribunals were held for members of the Mobile Police (Brimob) and the Jayapura Police believed to have been responsible for the incident, according to a National Police spokesman, Insp. Gen. Saud Usman Nasution.

Two Brimob officers were reprimanded, while two low-ranking enlisted officers were sentenced to 14 days detainment in a special cell.

In Jayapura, the capital of Papua, the chief of police at the time of the violence, Adj. Sr. Comr. Imam Setiawan, and seven of his subordinates received reprimands, while five enlisted officers were sentenced to seven days of detainment.

“They failed to follow proper police procedures in carrying out their security duties,” Saud said of those punished. “[Their actions were] excessive.”

No officer, however, was dismissed from the force or demoted for a violent incident that left at least three congress participants dead.

Sau d said the none of the officers would be charged with murder or face any other criminal charges. Police investigators, he said, put the victims’ times of death after the officers had left the scene.

He said one of the congress participants, Daniel Kadepa, had died from a stab wound, while the other two victims, Max Saseyo and Jacob Samansabra, could not be autopsied because they had already been buried by their families.

Separately on Monday, the Institute for Human Rights Study and Advocacy (Elsham) and the Communion of Churches in Papua (PGGP) said at least 51 people had been tortured by members of the military and police during and after the congress.

Congress participants told the groups they had been beaten and kicked repeatedly by security forces both at the congress site and while being transported to police headquarters. Some participants said they were beaten at the police station.

There were also reports of verbal abuse, the groups said.

One person said a policeman hit him in the head with the butt of an assault rifle. Another said he was shot in the buttock and thigh.

Also, a nearby monastery was looted and vandalized by security forces, the groups said.

The Rev. Wellem Maury of the PGGP said the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) needed to take over the case and form a fact-finding team to investigate allegations of human rights abuses, torture and excessive use of force.

“Komnas HAM must also announce its findings to the Coordinating Ministry for Politics, Legal and Security Affairs so there is an open and fair trial,” he said.

International human rights groups like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, he added, must also be given access to those still being detained for treason, particularly Forkorus Yaboisembut, who was named president of an independent Papuan republic at the congress.

In a report released on Nov. 4, Komnas HAM alleged that the crackdown violated a raft of basic human rights and called on police to conduct a thorough investigation. It also said the central government should accelerate a dialogue with the Papuan people and do more for development in the province

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