Papuan central highlands remain human rights hot spot – security force members torture group of indigenous Papuans

The local news outlet ‘Suara Papua’ has reported another case of torture in the central highlands of West Papua in early January. According to ‘Suara Papua’, a group of 30 indigenous Papuans consisting of men, women and children were intercepted by military members at Kilo seven in Napua District on the 3 January 2018 at 03.00 am as they  wanted to drive to their village in Nduga regency by car. The interception occurred after the driver had called members of KODIM 1702 Jayawijaya, because he suspected some group members of carrying ammunition to the Nduga regency.

 

Napua victim 2Military officers questioned all the group members including women and children until 5.00 am while beating them with empty hands and rifle butts (see images on top and left). As military allegedly found eight ammunition shells, the entire group was arrested and brought to the Jayawijaya district police station in Wamena. All group members were detained at 9.00 am. Women and children were released after 7 hours around 4 pm, while the men remained detention. The police officers isolated three students from the group and interrogated them separately. One student was handcuffed and remained at the police station while the other two students were brought to KODIM 1702 military base and Batalion Wimanesili Wamena military base where they were interrogation until 10 pm before being returned to the district police station for medical treatment.

At least eleven detainees – namely Abualak Kogoya (28), Jefri Gwijangge (27), Sije Wandikbo (17), Siminggen Wasiangge (27), Maniol, Nimiangge (28), Karungganus Wasinaggen (17), Iau Gwijangge (30), Sarian Wasinagge (28), Nariget Wasinagge (19), Natanus Kogoya (12), Tandanus Tabuni (12) – sustained injuries as an effect of the torture. As the victims went the emergency unit of Jayawijaya general Hospital after their release, military members allegedly followed and intimidated them in order to prevent the injured group members from receiving medial treatment. Thereupon, the victims decided to leave the hospital and seek support at a local church.