Military members torture Niko Hisage in Wamena

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On the 22 June 2017, three members of the Wamena military command (Koramil) allegedly tortured 34-year-old Niko Hisage for seven hours at the military headquarters in the highland city of Wamena. The incident resulted from a disagreement between Niko Hisage and sergeant major Lukas Mulai over three of Niko Hisage's cows which were allegedly sold for a 'Lebaran' celebration. As the military sergeant requested to settle the issue at the Jayawijaya District Police Station, Niko Hisage and his wife with together with the military officer went to Wamena city. However, when they reached the city, Lukas Mulai spontaneously insisted to shift location to the local military base in Wamena, where Lukas Mulai and two other military members began to question Niko Hisage around 09.30 am while his wife was waiting outside of the building.

As Niko hisage did not admit that the cows had been sold, the officers repeatedly punched him in the face and kicked him with their combat boots to the shin. As a result of the torture Niko Hisage sustained a bleeding injury on the right ear, bruises and swellings below both eyes a006nd legs as well as a deep cut on the inside of his lower lip (see images on top and left). When Niko wanted to spit out the blood which had accumulated in his mouth due to the cut inside his mouth, the officers forced him to swallow the blood. Around 3 pm the three military members forced him to enter a bath rooms at the military base, where they poured cold water over his head while continuing to beat Niko Hisage. Subsequently, the three military officers forced him to crawl on the floor. At 4 pm Niko Hisage and his wife were allowed to leave the military base. They went immediately to the Jayawijaya General Hospital. The injury, which Niko Hisage sustained on his right ear had to be stitched with four stitches and the cut on the inside of his lower lib with one stitch.

The following day, Niko Hisage and several of his relatives went to the KODIM 1702 Military Base in Wamena to report the torture to the Military Police (POM), where the family agreed that the violations may be settled through non-legal ways. Niko requested a compensation of 50 million rupiah during a meeting at the Military District Command in Wamena on the 3 July 2017. However, a follow-up meeting on the 7 July 2017 failed, so the family decided to report the incident to the police to initiate a law enforcement process.