A video showing two police officers torturing a Papuan man with snake during detention has gone viral after being published on the online platform YouTube. The video received more than 83.000 views after Indonesian human rights lawyer Veronica Koman shared the video on her Twitter account, claiming that Sam Lokon, a member of the West Papua National Committee (KNPB) faced a similar torture technique after being arrested last month.
Koman further explained that the torture has features of racism given the pattern of the persecution in Papua.
The video shows a handcuffed Papuan man sitting on the floor in front of a wall while two police officers attempt to force a confession from the suspect.
The officers threaten the man to put the reptile in his mouth and trousers if he would not confess the alleged theft of a mobile phone. Multiple international media outlets published articles about the abuse.
The police torture allegedly occurred in the highland city of Wamena, Jayawijaya Regency, Papua Province.
The spokesman of the Papuan Regional Police, Ahmad Musthofa Kamal, first attempted to downplay the officers’ actions, arguing that the snake was not venomous and that the officers had not beaten the suspect.
As public attention on the case became bigger, officer Kamal announced that the internal police investigation body PROPAM had investigated the case and initiated a code of conduct trial.
Both investigated officers were allegedly relocated to a different police unit. However, the case was not filed to a public court, allowing the perpetrators to get away with minor disciplinary sanctions, if any.
The identity of the suspect and the perpetrators, as well as the detailed circumstances of the torture have not been published.