West Papuan man brutally tortured and threatened with death by the Indonesian police

October 19, 2017

We have recently received disturbing reports from the West Papua National Committee (KNPB) that from 11th to 13th October, West Papuan student Yunus Manaruni was brutally tortured and threatened with death by the Indonesian police for allegedly not having his motorbike licence. He was reportedly beaten at least 10 times by the Indonesian police. Below follows a chronology of his torture, as reported to us by the KNPB.

According to the KNPB, his was stopped by Indonesian police officers on his way to school. They confiscated his key, they demanded to see his motorbike licence but he said it belonged to his brother. After get got his key back, he tried to drive off but the police held back the motorbike so that it fell into a trench. He was then pushed into a kiosk and arrested. They then punched and kicked him until he was unconscious.

When he regained consciousness, Yunus was ordered to drive a car to the Teluk Wondama police station in Isei, On the way, the police officers hit him several times and photographed his face. After getting out of the car, another officer apparently came out and hit him twice in the head. It is believed he punched him while wearing studded rings.

They then threatened to kill and mutilate him. Yunus testified they told him they would “bring me down to the firing range and shoot me dead”. He was then told “to put my hands on the table and a police officer said he would cut my hands off with a bayonet”.

Yunus also suffered torture while detained, “The officer told me to pick up  an iron pipe and then hit me with  the pipe and wounded my head until the pipe was crooked. Another member told me to sit close to the cell door, then he kicked my jaw with his shoes. I still have pain. There were also officers stabbing my head with a pipe, I was tortured and hit by a hose until my hands were swollen, I was also told to do push ups and jumping in the cell”.

According to the KNPB, he felt pain throughout his entire body, waist pain, puffy eyes, hearing loss, broken lips bleeding and nose swelling with difficulty breathing. Yunus also has difficulty sleeping and eating, with throat and jaw pain.

Friday, October 13, 2017

After 2 days, Mr Oparay, a police officer, took Yunus home in a bad condition. After this, his family took Yunus to the emergency room to get checked by a doctor but Yunus was only treated at home.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

The KNPB reports that the next day, Yunus was still in a seriously ill condition and had not been able to get himself  up from the bed and going to the restroom was assisted by his two brothers. His only bandages were made by his family from the traditional treatment of leaves.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Today, police officers brought Yunus to the hospital for examination and according to his brother is a health worker, Yunus will be referred to Manokwari, because it is suspected his fingers are broken.

This climate of institutional impunity and “torture as a mode of governance” has been endemic in West Papua ever since Indonesia took control in 1963. As long as the people of West Papua continue to be denied their right to self-determination, it looks set to continue unabated.

We fully condemn this brutal attack on Yunus Manaruni and demand that the Indonesian police officials responsible be immediately brought to justice. We appeal to all human rights groups and advocates to please also investigate this case and call for justice in ending the human rights atrocities in occupied West Papua