Papua, Jubi – Indonesian police have apologised for wrapping a snake around an indigenous Papuan they suspected of theft, reports The Jakarta Post.
A video of the incident, which took place while the police were interrogating the suspect, has been circulating on social media.
The officers involved in the incident are currently being investigated for ethical violations, said police spokesman Ahmad Mustofa Kamal.
“We apologise for that incident,” he said in a statement on Friday quoted by kompas.com.
Jannus P. Siregar, who heads the Papua Police’s internal affairs division (Propam), said the officers were using the snake to intimidate the suspect so that he would confess to the crime.
The incident reportedly took place in Wamena, Jayawijaya.
Jayawijaya Police chief Adjutant Senior Commander Tonny Ananda Swadaya promised that his men would work professionally.
“We have taken action against the officers who did the misconduct. We are moving them to other places,” he said.
The video has sparked criticism from netizens.
Human rights lawyer Veronika Koman wrote on her Twitter account @VeronikaKoman that the suspect should be presumed innocent until proven otherwise and should not be tortured to force an admission to a crime, regardless of whether the charges leveled against him were true.
“Given the context of the persecution in Papua, this torture has features of racism,” she wrote.
Some locals, however, appeared to support the police’s actions.
Hengki Heselo, a leader in Jayawijaya regency, said the community supported the police’s stern measures to curb crime, including the use of snakes to threaten suspected criminals.
“We have felt the effects of recent police actions. The number of drunk people who carry machetes is decreasing,” he said quoted by kompas.com. (*)
The officer was drunk, says Merauke shooting victim
Jayapura, Jubi – Fransiskus Gebze, a resident of Merauke who is currently in hospital after the shooting incident by a police officer, denied the police’s statement in an online media saying he attempted to attack the officer with a knife.
Papua Regional Police’s spokesman Commissionaire Police Ahmad Musthofa Kamal gave this statement at the Media Center of Papua Police Headquarters on Wednesday (13/02/2019).
“The officer was doing a patrol when caught this alleged perpetrator who known by residents often committed an act of mug or theft. When the officer addressed him, he did not accept it and attacked the officer with the knife that he often carried,” Kamal explained as quoted by the online media.
Meanwhile, Fransiskus denied this report and also said that he wasn’t stealing or mugging. “I am not a thief. I was walking to work at around 7 am, and the officer suddenly stopped me. He was extremely drunk. Without an alert, he pulled out the weapon and shot it down three times. It was only one meter distant. Two bullets went straight into my leg,” said Fransiskus on Friday (15/2/2019).
Furthermore, he suspected that the officer wanted to trap him by asking him about the fish he took from a ship. Fransiskus works as a fish loader at the Merauke Harbour. “What’s wrong if I take two or three fish for meals?” he said.
He also admitted that he never have a personal problem with the officer. However, he didn’t argue that he often faced with the officer when taking fish for meals.
Meanwhile, his wife, Susana Wanggaimu, also revealed that her husband shot by an officer when he was going to the fishing port. The incident occurred not far from the port at the 7 am local time.
“There was no problem between my husband and SM (the officer). Why should he shoot my husband’s leg twice? This is unfair. I want him to be responsible for his action,” she said. (*)
Reporter: Victor Mambor
Editor: Pipit Maizier
International award for film about journalism in West Papua
Papua, Jubi – A short documentary which highlights the risks of being a journalist in Indonesian-ruled Papua region, or West Papua, has won an international film award.
Aprila, directed by Rohan Radheya, took out the best short film award at the 16th Pacific Fifo Documentary Film Festival in French Polynesia.
The Dutch journalist and film-maker’s documentary tells the story of a young local journalist who stopped doing her job after receiving death threats.
According to Fifo’s website, audience members in Tahiti expressed interest in the insight the film offered into a region and freedom struggle largely unknown to the world.
Mr Radheya said while international attention on Papua often focused on restrictions that Jakarta placed on access for foreign journalists, the plight of local journalists was ignored.
“What we endure as foreign journalists is nothing compared to what local indigenous journalists in Papua are facing,” he said. (*)
Demonstration #SaveLE: Papuan People ask KPK to stop intimidating Papuan Governor
Jayapura, Jubi – Thousands of members of People’s Alliance for Papua Defence and civil servants of Papua Provincial Government conducted a peaceful demonstration asking the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) to not intimidate the Papuan Governor following the alleged persecution incident in Borobudur Hotel, Jakarta.
Carrying banners “Papuans have united to refuse all forms of intimidation against the Papuan Governor” and “Stop Criminalisation against the Papuan Governor”, thousands of protesters gave orations in front of the Governor Office Building located in Jalan Soa-Siu Dok II, Jayapura on Wednesday (13/2/2019).
The mass coordinator Benyamin Gurik claimed the Central Government has a big scene to pulling down the governor by using the issue of corruption. “This intimidation scenario has been played (by the central government) since the governor’s prior administration. They tried multiple strategies to defeat the governor. Of course, as citizens, we are very upset. Because we knew that Governor Lukas Enembe has a sincere heart and high-commitment to build Papua,” he said.
Gurik also thought that because of his determination of every policy he made, it made some people feel unease because they could no longer manipulate the budget because now everything should be executed according to the rules.
“Because of his strictness, Papua was able to receive the unqualified opinion upon the financial report from the Audit Board of Indonesia (BPK)” he said.
“And also because of him, we can get 10 per cent of Freeport share. Shortly, under his leadership, many people in the central government are not able to steal from Papua. Therefore, they will do anything to stop him,” he continued.
Earlier, Stefanus Roy Rening, the attorney of Papuan Provincial Government, asked the KPK to stop the criminalisation against the Papuan provincial officials and using the issue of persecution against their two officers to cover their failure in a sting operation or ‘Operasi Tangkap Tangan’ in Borobudur Hotel.
“This (persecution) happened because of something, and the KPK must reveal this transparently, fairly and openly to the public. They have to reveal what has been done by their officers in the Borobudur Hotel which triggered this incident,” said Roy.
“Now the KPK attempts to switch the issue of the failed sting operation with the persecution of their officers. I think it’s not fair because what has happened is because they are not professional to misuse their power and authority and use the law to scare the people,” continued Roy.
Until this news is writing, the protest is continuing peacefully and causes traffic congestions in some streets such as Jalan Sam Ratulangi and Soa-Siu Dok II. Meanwhile, hundreds of police officers stand by along the road and location where the demonstrators gathered. (*)
Reporter: Victor Mambor
Editor: Pipit Maizier
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