Papuan man arrested for alleged weapon trade – Lawyers rise allegation of torture against police

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The Association of Human Rights Lawyers for Papua (PAHAM Papua) has criticised the police for disregarding international human rights standards and criminal procedures during the arrest and detention of Papuan suspect Peniel Kogoya in the town of Nabire on 19 April 2021. According to PAHAM Papua director Gustaf Kawer, the police officers allegedly arrested Peniel Kogoya without showing a warrant and later tortured him during police detention to force a confession. The police accuse Peniel Kogoya of supplying the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPN PB) with firearms.

Kawer added, the police have not found sufficient evidence for a legal prosecution apart from a forced testimony. PAHAM Papua called upon the Papua Regional Police to release Peniel Kogoya from custody within 24 hours. PAHAM Papua declared their lawyers are committed to representing Peniel Kogoya in a pre-trial if the suspect wishes to challenge the legality of his arrest.

A similar case reportedly occurred on 22 February 2021 in Nabire. Police officers arrested Rupinus Nabelau in front of the Jepara Wadio Hotel in Nabire without showing a warrant. The police suspected him of buying illegal firearms. Rupinus’ relatives and lawyer claim the officers tortured him for several hours during police custody to force a confession. Due to 6 April 2021, the investigator still had not filed the case to the public prosecutor. PAHAM Papua lawyers argued that the lack of evidence was the reason for the slow processing of the case.