Police officers arbitrarily arrest and torture suspect in Keerom Regency

On 4 July 2020, members of the Keerom District Police reportedly arrested and tortured Yudi Kwimi in the Arso district. His relatives claim that the arrest rather resembled a kidnapping than a lawful arrest. Three civil vehicles allegedly approached Yudi Kwimi in the Kwimi Village around 4.00 pm, and four plainclothes police officers jumped out of the cars and immediately handcuffed Yudi. One officer covered Yudi Kwimi’s mouth to prevent him from shouting. The officers then lifted Yudi into the back of a pick-up truck. As one of the relatives tried to help Yudi Kwimi, an officer reportedly kicked him and told him at gunpoint to back off. According to the relatives, the officers did not show a warrant and failed to provide any reason for the arrest.

The following day, his relatives found out that Yudi Kwimi was detained at the Keerom District Police station. He was interrogated the entire night and reportedly beaten during detention. Yudi Kwimi sustained bruises all over his face with swellings around the eyes as a result of the torture. When the relatives came to see Yudi Kwimki at the Keerom District Police Station, officers prevented them from meeting Yudi in his cell. Thereupon, the relatives requested help from Papuan human rights organisation ELSHAM Papua, which organised a press conference (see intro image, source: Suara Papua) and announced that it will provide legal support to Yudi Kwimki.

A few days later, the spokesperson of the Papuan Regional Police, Ahmad Kamal, stated that Yudi Kwimki was been accused of stealing a bag with from a police member, which contained money and a firearm.