Military members torture Papuan man to death - Asian Human Rights Commission launches urgent appeal

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The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has launched an urgent appeal in response to the to death of Mr. Isak Dewayekua (23), an indigenous Papuan who was severly tortured by three army personnel of Yonif 755/Yalet in Kimaam, Merauke Regency, Papua Province. The army personnel forced Isak’s family to accept monetary compensation and sign a letter which demanded that the family drop the case. Currently, the Investigation is still being conducted by the Military Police of Merauke Regency. Later, the case was transferred to the higher Military Police Institution in Military Regional Office (Pomdam) XVII/ Cendrawasih from December 29, 2017.



Urgent Appeal Case: AHRC-UAC-009-2018

February 6, 2018
INDONESIA: Army Personnel Tortured Indigenous Papuan Man to Death
ISSUES: Torture, fabricated case, fair trial, Rule of Law, indigenous people, remedy

The case is caused by Sagero, a local drink. On November 17, 2017 Isak allegedly drank Sagero again, despite previously promising to stop drinking it. According to some witnesses, it was alleged by perpetrators, that Private Abiatar, frequently drinks with Isak. Therefore, three army personnel of Yonif 755/ Yalet initiated a search to arrest Isak.

According to Isak’s sister on November 18, 2017 at 02.00 pm, three army personnel of Yonif 755/Yalet, came to Isak’s house. They are: Sergeant First Class La Dilli Wance, Private Fredrik Pattiasina and Private Abiatar Harri. Aware that three army personnel had arrived, Isak ran to the garden. He was then chased by the army personnel. In the evening at 05.00 pm, Isak came to his sister’s house. His sister asked why the army personnel of Yonif 755/ Yalet were looking for him? Isak merely shook his head in reply. At 07.00 pm, Isak and his friend informally discussed the situation in front of his sister’s house. They agreed that Isak would sleep in his sister’s house and his friend in Isak’s house. At 09.00 pm the Military came back to Isak’s house and found Isak’s friend sleeping. The three army men forcibly woke him up and beat about his head and body.

They asked the whereabouts of Isak. But, Isak’s friend did not answer the question. So, they beat him. After smoking cigarettes for a few minutes they left the house. Subsequently, Isak’s friend came to Isak’s sister’s house and told Isak that the three army men came to the house and beat him. Then at 11.00 pm, while they were sleeping, Isak’s sister heard some noise. She checked where the voices were coming from. She found three army soldiers brutally attacking Isak. Isak ran trying to escape, but he fell into a hole and was arrested. They beat Isak and threw into a pond. According to Isak’s sister, the army personnel beat Isak for almost one hour using wooden blocks and their hands. Isak was taken away and while walking they continued to beat and kick him.

At 12.00 am, there was a witness who saw Isak being brought to Yonif 755/Yalet Military Post. The witness saw that a 600 ml. bottle was stuffed into Isak’s mouth to muffle his screams when they were beating him. The witness also saw Isak being tortured with a hose. His hands and head were covered with a bucket and he was beaten for 30 to 45 minutes.

On November 19, at 01.00 am, a witness saw Isak trying to stand up but eventually falling. At 02.00 a.m. one of the army personnel phoned Meldi, a police officer of Kimaam Station, to borrow a police vehicle. Shortly thereafter, the police vehicle arrived . Isak’s body was put in the car and brought to the Kimaam Police Station.

At 10.30 am Isak’s younger sister came to bring some food for Isak in police custody. Police Officer Nawir who was on duty, told her that her brother was sleeping and was naked. He requested Isak’s sister to return home. At 02.30 pm Isak’s younger sister met with Abiatar, one of the alleged perpetrators. Abiatar told her that he could deliver the food to Isak, but his sister rejected his offer. Moreover, Abiatar also tried to persuade Isak’s younger sister for sexual favours, all of which she refused. Then, at 03.00 pm, Isak’s younger sister entered the Police Station and saw Isak’s body lying on his cell floor. She called to him, but he did not answer. She saw that his chest was swollen, with bruises and blood over almost his entire body. At 04.00 pm, the Military Army Commander and Nawir came to Isak’s father’s house. They immediately asked the father where he wanted to bury Isak’s dead body. Then Isak’s father asked “what is the point of the question?” By 07.20 pm, the Police and the Army brought Isak’s body to a local community health service center (Puskesmas). However, Isak’s family was prohibited from entering the health center. Under strict guard, an autopsy was performed on Isak’s body. It was only then that the family was allowed to view Isak’s body. According to Isak’s father, blood was still draining out from his son’s head and nose.

Currently the three army personnel of Yonif 755/ Yalet have been detained at the Military Police (Masubdenpom) XVII/A Merauke.

Please write to the Authorities listed below. Ask them to ensure that the three army personnel of Yonif 755/Yalet are held accountable under fair trial principles and the Rule of Law. The Investigation must be conducted in a transparent and accountable manner. The Military should give open access to the media and the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM). The Commander should not protect the subordinate who tortured Mr. Isak Dewayekua to death. The Government has the Duty of Care to ensure that the victim and his family are entitled to and receive adequate compensation.

The AHRC will write a separate letter to the UN Special Rapporteur on Extra-judicial, Summary, or Arbitrary Executions and the Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment calling for their intervention in this matter.

Download Sample Letter here