Police in Biak alleged to have tortured suspect with boiling water

The Biak-based legal aid organisation LBH Kyadawun has raised allegations of torture against the Biak police. Imanuel Rumayom, lawyer and LBH Kyuduwun coordinator, explained that police officers had used physical force against Mr Yohan Ronsumbre, 20, during the police interrogation at the Biak-Numfor district police headquarters. On 21 June 2021, Mr Ronsumbre and two other suspects were arrested concerning the theft of a mobile phone.

On 23 June 2021, around 2.00 am, police officers released the other suspects while Yohan Ronsumbre was brought to an interrogation room where officers reportedly punched him and spilt four cups of boiling water over his right arm, causing the skin to peel off (see images below, source: JPIC GKI-TP). The torture was applied to force a confession. Mr Ronsumbre’s relatives and the two other suspects were still waiting at the police headquarters as the torture took place. The witnesses say they could hear Yohan Ronsumbre calling upon the police officers to have mercy. As the relatives wanted to look for Mr Rumayom, police officers reportedly prevented them from walking to the interrogation room under the pretext of Covid-19 health protocols.

The relatives demand an immediate and effective investigation into the torture allegations, including the prosecution of the perpetrators. The Biak-Numfor Police Chief, Mr Andi Yoseph Enoch, promised the police would investigate the torture allegations.

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