Military members raid Soloitma Dormitory in Sentani – eleven residents reportedly tortured, one Papuan woman killed

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Human rights organisations have documented a further case of military violence against indigenous Papuans in the town of Sentani, Jayapura Regency, on 4 November 2020. According to the Association of Human Rights Lawyers for Papua (PAHAM Papua) the Papuan Legal Aid Institute (LBH Papua), members of the Yonif 751 Sentani Military raided the Soloitma Dormitory and tortured eleven residents. One of the victims, Demisien Kobak, 19, was reportedly kicked in the abdomen and both thighs although she had pointed out earlier that she was sick. She died shortly after her admission to the Yowari Hospital as a result of the injuries which she sustained from the torture (see photo on top).

The reason for the raid was a traffic accident between a military member and a dormitory resident shortly before the raid. The military member had reportedly rammed the dormitory resident but refused to cover the repair costs. Thereupon, several dormitory residents seized the army member’s motorcycle to ensure that the damage will be covered.

Around 10.00 pm, a group of at least 20 military members in uniforms and civil clothing entered the Soloitma Dormitory without showing a warrant. During the operation, military members tortured eleven persons. Six of them were brought to the Battalion 751 army base, where they were tortured and interrogated (see table below). After several hours of interrogation, army members accompanied the six residents to the Jayapura District Police headquarters in Doyo, Sentani. They were released on 5 November 2020 at 2.00 am.

Table with victims of torture during the military operation at the Soloitma Dormitory

No

Name

Age

Gender

Additional information

1

Demisien Kobak

19 years

female

Repeatedly kicked in the abdomen and both thighs as she was lying inside her bed, Demisien died in Yowari Hospital on 5 November 2020 around 4.00 am, she left behind a three-year-old daughter

2

Semei Suhuniap

24 years

male

Repeatedly beaten on the head and kicked to the left and right side of the waist with army boots

3

Niton Suhun

34 years

male

Repeatedly beaten on the body, and kicked in the face

4

Mince Kobak

29 years

female

Was punched by an army member and sustained a cut on both lips

5

Rev. Niko Pahabol

34 years

male

Was repeatedly punched by an army member and sustained a cut in the upper lip as well as bruises on the cheek

6

Edi Kobak

31 years

male

Was collectively beaten by army members after being pulled from his motorcycle, Edi was hit with a rifle butt to the head and kicked him with combat boots to the temple; he sustained bleeding injuries on the back of the head and forehead as a result of the torture

7

Jekson Kobak

23 years

male

Was collectively beaten by army members after being pulled from his motorcycle, on the way to the army base and inside the military post at the Yonif 751 army base, he sustained bruises on the forehead and both eyes, as well as a broken nose as a result of the torture

8

Nus Suhuniap

21 years

male

repeatedly punched in the abdomen, on his forehead and back of the head, he sustained a cut on his temple.

9

Pinet Bahabol

23 years

male

His hands were tied, then repeatedly kicked to the body, punched in the face, and hit with a rifle butt to the back of the head; he sustained bruises around both eyes, the cheeks, a bleeding nose and a bleeding injury on the back of the head

10

Laura Yoal

22 years

female

Repeatedly beaten on her head, an army member brought her to the Battalion 751 on a motorcycle while both of her hands were handcuffed on her back, After the interrogation at the military base, she was brought to the Jayapura police headquarters in Doyo, the following day she was released in the early morning  

11

Esa Pahabol

21 years

male

Was repeatedly punched by an army member and sustained bruises on the temple as well as cuts in both lips