INDONESIA: Torture victims in Papua speak out on how the police had ill-treated them 

(Hong Kong/Jakarta, February 22, 2013) The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has released the video of interview with two Papuans who were tortured by the Indonesian Police. The video is available on AHRC’s YouTube Channel on

On the video which was originally recorded and disseminated by a local activist, Eneko Pahabol and Obed Bahabol told how they were arrested and tortured by the police on 15 February 2013 on the false allegation of being related with two pro-independence activists, Terianus Satto and Sebby Sambom. Five other Papuans named Daniel Gobay, Arsel Kobak, Yosafat Satto, Salim Yaru, and Matan Klembiap experienced the same abuse on the same day for the same allegation.

“At the police station we were ordered to take off our clothes,” Obed testified in the video. He continued, “A police officer forced his gun in my mouth and face. He also pushed it into my ears and nose. He jammed his gun into my mouth that one of my teeth was broken.” In addition to it, Obed was beaten by the police who kept asking whether he knew anything regarding the whereabouts of Sebby Sambom and Terianus Satto.

Eneko was having similar experience. He was repeatedly beaten and kicked by the police until he was unconscious. “They stabbed my head with a rattan stick, a sharp one, that now I have indentations on my head,” he mentioned in the interview. “They electrocuted me in my legs, and then my whole body”.

As turned out later, none of those arrested and tortured had any connections with Sebby Sambom or Terianus Satto that the police released Eneko, Obed, Arsel, Yosafat and Salim without any charge on the next day. The latest information the AHRC received reveals that Daniel and Matan are still being detained yet they are charged with provision on bladed articles possession — totally unrelated with the police’s initial unreasonable allegation.

“Indonesian authorities should take this matter seriously. The absence of impartial investigation and proportionate punishment for those who perpetrated the abuse will only deepen the resentment of Papuans towards the government thus will only aggravate the tense situation in the region,” said Bijo Francis, AHRC’s Executive Director.

The AHRC has written to relevant Indonesian authorities urging for their intervention in this case yet there have been no response received by the organisation as of today. It has also separately sent a submission to the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and highlighted that torture is still widely practised despite the Rapporteur’s criticism and recommendation in his report on Indonesia in 2008.

For further details on the case, see AHRC’s urgent appeal “INDONESIA: Seven Papuans are arrested and tortured on false allegations of having a relationship with pro-independence activists“.

To support this case, please click here: SEND APPEAL LETTER


Document Type : Press Release
Document ID : AHRC-PRL-005-2013
Countries : Indonesia,
Issues : Police negligence, Police violence, Rule of law, Torture,