Human rights defenders raise allegations of torture and discrimination against Nabire Police

The Justice Peace and Integrity of Creation Desk (JPIC) of the Papuan Tabernacle Church (KINGMI Papua) documented a case of torture at the Oyehe Police Post in Nabire, Papua Province. Human rights defenders also raised allegations of discrimination in law enforcement against the Nabire Police. In the late afternoon of 7 April 2019, Mr. Yusup Badii (39 years), a civil a servant working at the Nabire municipal cleaning agency, was collecting waste in the Oyehe area of Nabire Town. A physical dispute between Yusup Badii and a Non-Papuan merchant occurred after Mr Badii had reprimanded the merchant to deposit his waste only to designated waste collecting spots. Yusup Badii sustained a bleeding injury on the leg and the eyebrow during the brawl.

Yusup Badii 1 rotate edShortly after the incident, a group of 13 migrants came running from the nearby market towards Yusup Badii and chased after him. Approximately 500 meters from the place of the initial incident, the migrants collectively beat Yusup Badii with bare hands a wooden stick. Instead of arresting the perpetrators, a plain cloth police officer approached the site of crime and arrested Yusup Badii. Witnesses saw the officer bringing Yusup Badii to the Oyehe Police Post around 6.45 pm and instantly informed Mr Badii´s relatives about the arrest and his whereabouts. Meanwhile, the plain cloth officer detained Yusup Badii in a cell at the Oyehe Police Post. A few minutes later, a police officer entered the cell and hit Yusup Badii with a wooden stick, causing Mr. Badii to drop on the floor. Subsequently, another officer entered the cell and allegedly stabbed Yusup Badii with his knife on the head. The knife attack resulted in a bleeding injury on his head (see image on the top and right).

At 7.00 pm, bystanders and Mr Badii’s relatives gathered in front of the Oyehe police post, demanding the instant release of Yusup Badii. Fearing an escalation of the situation, the police officers released Yusup Badii. His relatives stated that his head was covered in blood as Yusup Badii left the police post. On 10 April 2019, Yusup Badii together with the head of the Nabire Municipal Cleaning Agency several relatives and a human rights defender of JPIC KINGMI Papua went to the Nabarua Sub-district police station in Nabire to file a complaint against the police officers to initiate an impartial investigation into the allegations of torture and police negligence. Members of the criminal investigation unit (RESKRIM) promised to initiate an internal investigation into the allegations of torture. According to the human rights defenders, the RESKRIM officers tried to shirk accountability for the torture, stating that ‘volunteers’ at the Oyehe Police Post would often act not in accordance with legal criminal procedures.