Brimob officers collectively torture 3 bystanders witnessing mass arrests in Jayapura

Members of the police mobile brigade (Brimob) have tortured Benyamin Lagowan (27 years), Hendrikus Madai (27 years) and Laorens Kerebea (24 years) after they witnessed mass arrests and the ill-treatment of protesters during 1st December commemorations in Jayapura city. On the 1 December 2018, at 11.15 am, Benyamin Lagowan together with his wife and 8 months-year-old daughter stopped at the roundabout in Abepura where they witnessed how police officers detained a group of arrested protesters at the Abepura sub-district police station (Polsek Abepura). As Benyamin Lagowan took out his cell phone to record the incident, a mobile brigade officer approached him from behind and tore the phone from his hands. As Benyamin protested against the violent behavior the officer shouted “are you resisting?” while kicking him on the right thigh. Another mobile brigade officers hit Benyamin Lagowan with a rifle butt on the shoulder. Upon seing this two further officers came and started to beat Benyamin Lagowan.

As the beating continued, the officer who seized Benyamin’s mobile phone pointed at Laorens Kerebea. Subsequently, the officers turned towards Laorens Kerebea and repeatedly punched him, stroke him with the rifle butt in the face and kicked his body. Laorens Kerebea sustained a bleeding nose, multiple bruises on the body and in the face as well as a bleeding injury behind his right ear (see intro image). According to Benyamin Lagowan, Laurens Kereba had briefly talked to him at the roundabout but did not attempt to take any pictures.

While the Brimob officers tortured Laorens Kerebea, Benyamin Lagowan attempted to escape the location. Upon seeing this, another officer released a warning shot next, so Laorens Kedepa immediately surrendered. Being angry about the attempted escape, at least five Brimob officers started to collectively beat Benyamin Lagowan. The torture resulted in bruises on the fore head and a bleeding injury on his left temple. His nose was bleeding and swollen after an officer had stroke him with the rifle butt. He sustained swellings on the lower jaw causing difficulties to chew food. Several teeth felt numb and shaking. After the torture both men were arrested and detained at the Abepura sub-district police station.  The police officers continued to punch  Benyamin Lagowan and  Laorens Kerebea on the police station.

A few minutes after the arrest, several Brimob officers tortured Hendrik Madai (27 years) in front of Sumber Makhmur Store, at the Abepura roundabout, after they had seen that he Hendrik had taken pictures of the police torture. The officers forcefully seized his cell phone and repeatedly beat Hendrik Madai with a helmet on the head. The beating was so severe that the helmet allegedly got damaged during the torture. The officers arrested Hendrik Madai and subsequently seized his cell phone and interrogated him in the yard in front of the police Abepura station. The interrogation was accompanied by repeated beatings.