Jayapura, Jubi – Activists from the West Papuan National Committee said they were tortured and beaten up by police during their detention.
Protest Coordinator at Expo rally point Warpo Wetipo said the torture against seven activists took place in a special detention room named Karel Satsuitubun in the police headquarters.
“The seven of us were treated inhumanly. They treated us like animals,” Wetipo told Jubi in Abepura, Jayapura City on Tuesday (3/5/2016).
He said during the interrogation, officers stepped on the activists’ chests or backs, some repeatedly beat them on the head with riffle butts.
“An officer came and hit me on my ear. For a minute I loss my consciousness. I regained consciousness when I felt something warm out of my ear. I grabbed it and it was blood,” he said.
When other officers came, they kicked him on the chest and back. He said he felt the pain after he woke up the next morning.
“Yesterday I didn’t feel any pain but I felt the pain. I have difficulty breathing while going up and down the stairs at the dormitory,” he said.
KNPB activist Arim Tabuni who arrested at Lingkaran Abepura admitted the Police have acted brutally. They scattered the rally and arrested some activists. The activists were loaded into the Police armored truck and brought them to the Mobile Brigade Command Headquarters.
“They tortured and arrested us at 9:00 am in Lingkaran Abepura. They took us into the armored truck and told us to hand up. They beat us on the chest and head, mostly on the chest. So we looked not hurts,” he said on Thursday (5/5/2016).
In the special detention cell, he said, the temperature was extremely hot; they were told to remove their pants. Some activists refused to do it, but some officers did it.
“Some activists refused to do so. There were officers telling not to do as well,” he said.
During the interrogation, he said the Police terrorized the activists, threatened to kill them and throw their body to the sea.
“These four, just kill them. Put their bodies in the sack bag and throw it into the sea for the fishes,” said Tabuni imitating the officers when interrogating at the detention cell.
Besides the seven activists, said Warpo, there are four activists being beaten during the detention, including a female activist who arrested at Lingkaran Abepura.
When interviewed by Jubi, she told the Police pulled her cloth.
“They pulled off my cloth. My bra untied showing my chest. I was topless. They dragged me to the Police car injuring my right knee and elbow,” she pointed her wounds to Jubi.
She said that her and her friends were topless when brought to the Mobile Brigade Command Headquarters. The Police offered her a cloth to cover her chest but she refused it.
“I told them I was born from a bare-chest mother. So I told them here I am. I never did something wrong,” she repeated her words to the Police on 2 May 2016.
Papua Police Spokesperson Adjunct Senior Commissionaire Patrige Renwarin when being confirmed about this said the Police did not conduct any violence, they only secured the situation. The activists have been released in the afternoon.
“No torture,” said Renwarin through short message to Jubi on Wednesday afternoon (4/5/2016).
Papua Police Chief Inspector General Paulus Waterpauw who came in the negotiation with legislators of Papua Legislative Council and Rev. Benny Giay to realese the activists at Mobile Brigade Command Headquarters confirmed some activists were injured.
“I was informed that there are four activists. Please report it if there are some who are wounded. If afraid, they could make a report through the National Human Rights Commission, Mr. Frits Ramandey will stand for them. We will facilitate it,” said the Chief in his speech before the release of protesters on 2 May 2016.
He said he appreciated the protesters who were cooperation though some were wounded.
“We don’t want any fatalities,” he said.
Human rights lawyer Gustaf Kawer said these detention and torture just repeated the same experience. The Police never want to change their pattern to not repeat the same mistake. He said the Police should open the room for the protesters. The restriction, silencing and torturing would only fertilize the idealism.
“Ideology, this movement would grow big and wider,” he said at the square of the Mobile Brigade Command Headquarters.
According to him, if there is a confession on torturing, it has violated the international covenant of anti-violence.
“Telling the activists to remove their cloths; let them under the sun, it could be considered to violate the anti-violence covenant,” he said.
Those who claimed to be tortured and beaten are Warpo Wetipo (31), Doli Ubruangge (27), Arim Tabuni (21), Matias Suu (21), Goty Gobay (23), Kombawe Wanimbo (25), Elias Mujijau (19), Agust Pahabol (23) and Izon Kobak (23). (Benny Mawel/rom)