Officers torture son of Papuan church leader during police patrol in Padang Bulan, Jayapura

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Police officers reportedly tortured Charles Yoman during a patrol in Padang Bulan, Heram District of Jayapura City, on 10 July 2021. Mr Charles Yoman is the son of Rev Socrates Sofyan Yoman, president of the Fellowship of Baptist Churches in West Papua and a member of the West Papuan Council of Churches. According to information received from the Baptist Church, seven officers of the Heram sub-district police approached Mr Yoman and his friends as they were consuming alcoholic drinks in front of a house. As the officers asked the group to disperse, Mr Charles Yoman responded, “Be careful, this is the complex I live in. You don't know who I am?”. Thereupon, one of the officers allegedly shouted, “Arrest him and get him up [on the police truck]. Beat him up”. The officers reportedly dragged him into the police truck and subsequently tortured him inside the vehicle and during detention at the Heram sub-district police station.

Inside the vehicle, the police officers reportedly punched and kicked Mr Yoman to the face and the stomach while two officers held his arms. Subsequently, the offices pressed him on the ground while the others collectively kicked his chest, abdomen, testicles, head and legs with heavy combat boots.

The police officers continued to torture Mr Yoman inside the police detention facility. Police officers allegedly stepped with boots on Mr Yoman’s eyes while kicking and beating him until he vomited blood. The torture was witnessed by several other suspects who had been detained with Mr Charles Yoman and continued after Mr Yoman had already lost consciousness. He couldn’t see correctly after the torture and is still in pain. He had a bruise under the left eye (see photo, source: Fellowship of Baptist Churches in West Papua), a bleeding nose and mouth and a bleeding head injury.

The police later wrote in a police report that Mr Yoman allegedly attacked the officers and pressed criminal charges against him. Mr Charles Yoman denies any wrongdoing. He and his relatives submitted a complaint against the police officers. They called upon the local police chief to immediately investigate the torture allegations to ensure that the perpetrators will be held accountable following the law.