Tortured: Structured or Casuistry?

Serui: all arrested suspects were being tortured

Serui- All suspects from the 1 February 2014 arrest, as many as 6 people, who are still being detained by the police, were tortured. Those suspects are Salmon Windesi, Peneas Reri, Cornelius Woniana, Obeth Kayoi, Rudi Otis Barangkea, and Jimmi Yeremias Kapanai. There were one other suspect that has been released (Septinus Wororai) and two suspects from 28 February 2014 Menawi Angkaseira’s arrest, Wondiwoi and Piter Merani, who also had been undergone torture since their arrest until interrogation.  The statement presented in hand-written notes to a team of Legal Counsel Attorney which is a combination team of ALDP and LBH Papua.

Salmon Windesi (48 years old), a fisherman, arrested at 1 February 2014, is a resident of kampung Fafado distrik Risei Warpoen Tengah. He testified that when he surrendered and being arrested, he was kicked and beaten by the police and the army soldiers. He was told to lie on his stomach and then being tied up.

“I was tied up in one rope with other friends, like a concatenated chain. After that, they commanded us to crawl from the side yard of the house to the front yard while being beaten up by the police and the soldiers”.

“Because we were tied together our hands blistered like a scalded”.

Windesi stated that when they arrived at the police office they were welcomed with insistent punches and kicks.

“The back of my head was hit with a gun and it wounded. I felt dizzy and fell down. I was still kicked in the left ribs”. The torture continued during interrogation.

Peneas Reri, (34 years old), a part time teacher, arrested at 1 February 2014, is a resident of kampung Fafado distrik Risei Warpoen Tengah. He stated that when being arrested he was kicked in the left and right ribs until he fell down and lying on the ground.

“Two police officers and a soldier punched and kicked me alternately. A soldier electrocuted my mouth. My hands were tied in my back and I was electrocuted repeatedly.”

He also believed that while being tortured, a police officer grabbed his pocket and took his money and hand phones.  “He took my money as much as 900 thousands rupiah and my two hand phones”. He also had to endure the beaten while being interrogated.

Jimmi Yermias Kapanai (29 years old), a driver by profession, arrested at 1 February 2014, is a resident of kampung Ariepi kepulauan Yapen. He was beaten and kicked and also trampled until his ear bled. His head then hit with a gun until his head and eyes bleeding.

“When we arrived at the police office, the beating and kicking were continued. We were dragged to the interrogation room. I was also electrocuted and hit with sandal, with my hands remain tied up.”

Rudi Otis Barangkea (31 years old), a farmer, arrested at 1of February 2014, is a resident of kampung Ariepi Distrik Kosiwo kabupaten Kepulauan Yapen. Barangkea stated that he was tortured and beaten. His hands were tied in his back and commanded to crawl on the ground.

“I was also electrocuted and beaten until I bled. When we were in the truck on our way to the police office, an army soldier took his bayonet and put it on my cheek and neck”.

“I will cut your neck off; that is what he said”

Barangkea also endured torture during interrogation.

Two other suspects; Obeth kayoi (25 years old), a bus conductor, a resident of kampung Sasawa distrik Kosiwo, and Cornelius Woniana (50 years old), resident of kampung Papuma distrik Kosiwo, who were arrested at 1 February 2014, also endured the same torture. Their hands were tied in their backs while being kicked and beaten. They had to endure all tortures during the arrest and interrogation at Kepulauan Yapen’s police office.

Piter Merani (48 years old), unemployed, arrested at 28 February 2014, is a resident of Konti Menawi. He was tortured since his arrest at Serui Port. In Yapen police office he was beaten and kicked. His mouth, chest, and head were beaten until it bled.

A police officer cut his hair and told Merani to eat his own hair. During interrogation Merani was being beaten and kicked repeatedly.

Agus Wondiwoi, (24 tahun), an ojek driver, arrested at 28 February 2014, is a resident of kampung Aitiri Distrik Menawi. Wondiwoi stated that he was forced to crawl in a ditch to Menawi Police office. He claimed that the police officers were firing their guns even though there was no resistance from the arrested suspects, or attacks from outside”.

Wondiwoi stated, he was slammed, kicked, and beaten unstoppably. He was detained for three hours before being taken to Kepulauan Yapen police office with a truck.

“At the police office I was electrocuted. My head was covered with a plastic bag until I could not breathe. I was also being beaten with an iron stick.”

Agus was interrogated from 16:00 until 23:00. The interrogator then persuaded him to declare that he was not beaten and they promised to release him.

The case of Salmon Windesi and friends in Serui or the case of two students; Alfres Kapissa and Yalli Wenda who were tortured during a demonstration to release  Tapol/Napol in Waena 2 April 2014, are new cases. Before those cases, we have already heard of other torture cases to civilian. Especially, civilians suspected conducting political crimes toward the state, or act of treason. When those individuals were arrested, they had to suffer various tortures; from physical tortures to character assassinations.

We can see from the case of an attack to military headquarter in Wamena in 2003, known as the case of “pembobolan gudang senjata Wamena 2003”, the detainees; Kimanus Wenda, Linus Hiluka, Apot Holik Lokobal, Jafrai Murib,  Numbungga Telenggen dan (the late) Mikail Haselo dan (the late) Kanius Murib when arrested were beaten and kicked. Their hands were tied and they were kept in an enclosed room. One of them was died in the detain room.

The same treatments were also experienced by Meki Elosak, Wiki Meage, Obeth Kosay dan Oscar Holago, the convicted individuals of Yalengga case in 2010. The torture to Meki and friends were unknown up until their pictures were published at social media, recently. In response, the Jayawijaya police office then released a warrant assignment number: Sprin/01/III/2014/Sipropam, assigning 6 officers to conduct investigation to Meki Elosak dan Wiki Meage.

In front of their lawyer from AlDP, after the police investigation, Meki Elosak admitted the tortured they had suffered. They were confronted by the police forces from Bulakme and then being thrown to a wide ditch full of mud. Later on, like pigs they were told to rolling around in the mud. After that, they moved to a drier mud. Meki’s nose was beaten with a rifle butt until it fractured. Meki claimed that there were police officers recorded the incidents.

Other victims of torture are Philep Karma dan Yusak Pakage in flag raising case of 1 December 2004. The same treatment was also experienced by Forkorus Yaboisembut and friends (five people) in the case of the third Papuan People Congress in Zakeus field at 19 October 2011. Isak Kalaibin and friends (seven people) in Aimas case in 1 May 2013 and other cases experienced by activists.

Up until now, the torture practices are still being conducted by state apparatus in arresting people suspected to conduct resistance action toward the state. From above cases, it can be sum up that an arrest with torture is an indelible tradition. The same goes to torture during interrogation. Unfortunately, the state is never questioning bad practices of its security apparatus, whether it is conducted by the police or the military.

Ironically, after the torture, the bad and good cop tactics will also practiced. The police apparatus will change its face with a friendly manner to avoid protests from the victims’ lawyers. As expected, the victims of torture will not easily forgetting their physical and psychological suffers. Therefore, torture will only widen the gap between people and security forces. Even though the victim of torture then treated by a doctor, it did not erase the pain of their hearts. The police slogans such as ‘police is people’s best friends’ or ‘we are ready to serve’, and programs such as people’s police, social services, free health treatments etc. are not helping to shorten the gap.

The police and the army commanders in regional or national level always argued that the treatment was taken because the detainees were resisting the arrest. The question to ask, however, is; why does it happen in all arrests?   It was applied to all detainees who had been surrendered, powerless and already been tortured in previous incidents. Moreover, the police seemed only reacted after the case was spreading to public trough pictures or videos. Should the cases are unknown to public, is harsh treatment to detainees allowed?

Indonesian government has ratified the United Nations Convention against Torture trough the law number 5/1998 on 28September 1998. With the law, Indonesia has also declared to the provision of article 20 paragraphs 1, 2, and 3 of the law and reserved to the provision of article 30 paragraph 1 of the convention.

The convention adopted in a session of United Nations general assembly trough a resolution 39/46 on 10 December 1984 and came into force on 26 June 1987. In order to honor the convention, June 26 then celebrated as “International Day in Support of Torture Victims”.

The convention obliges states parties to conduct effective steps to prevent torture occurring in its region. The acts are implemented trough legislation, administration and law. The most important part, however, is the behavior of state apparatus and law enforcement apparatus as the representation of the state. Therefore, it is expected that the law enforcement apparatus take the lead as a good example to avoid torture practices. The earnestness of the country to uphold its law will continued to be tested primarily trough police performance. The police is expected to perform well not trough iron hand and iron heart, but, through its professionalism in handling the cases. (Andawat).