A Papuan was tortured on the unreasonable allegation of engagement with separatist group

AHRC

 

CASE NARRATIVE:

According to the information from the Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation of the Evangelical Christian Church in Papua (JPIC GKI), Frengki Uamang was visiting a church and about to buy mineral water from a local shop on 27 November 2012 when a silver-painted car approached him at 11am. Two unidentified men wearing civilian clothes came out the car and arrested Frengki. One of the men told him that he was a police officer.

Frengki was taken in the car to a place located about 20 metres away from the church and asked for the reason of his visit to the church. Frengki explained that he was attending a religious event at the church but the police instantly told him ‘don’t lie to us. You want to buy weapons, so don’t lie to us!’

The police later took Frengki to Kwamki Baru Sub-District Police at 11.45 where he was interrogated and accused of committing various actions, one of which was providing food for the military members of OPM. During the interrogation, the police tortured Frengki for approximately four hours. Frengki was kicked by police officers wearing boots and he had his head, ears, face and chin kicked and beaten. The police also hit Frengki on his chest, legs and tights which resulted in him not being able to walk for four days.

At 3.30pm on the same day, the police took Frengki out of the police station and drove him to Irrigation Street in Mimika. In addition to the car that was taking him, another car full of police officers was also following. In total there were about 10-12 police officers came to Irrigation Street with Frengki. The police asked Frengki to show them two houses where OPM’s military members were allegedly hiding in. Frengki told the police officers that he himself is only a visitor to Mimika and he has no idea of what houses they were talking about, yet the police insisted on taking him to Irrigation Street.

On their way to the Irrigation Street, the police again tortured Frengki. The police officers pulled his fingernails using pliers. As they arrived at the Irrigation Street, the police took Frengki to a plantation area. Frengki was asked to slither on his stomach while his hands were handcuffed. Three police officers pointed their guns at Frengki and asked him to pray. One of them told Frengki, ‘you killed my fellow police officers. You are a member of OPM’s military. You’re obviously from Kali Kopi’. Kali Kopi is one of the headquarters of OPM’s military.

As the three officers were pointing their guns at Frengki and he himself was praying, the rest police officers coming with Frengki randomly opened fire towards the trees, creating the impression that they were in crossfire against the OPM’s military members. Out of nowhere, one of the police officers took Frengki to Mimika Sub-District Police. Frengki was again interrogated, yet this time the police asked him of his link to the shooting that took place in the area owned by PT Freeport, an American gold mine company. Frengki was detained at the police station for one night, his hands and legs were chained to a table in the police’s cell.

The next day at around 2pm, Frengki was released by the police. He was not able to walk so a police officer took him to Immigration Street where Frengki was staying.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

As of today, torture is yet to be criminalised in Indonesia and the legal proceeding on such abuse is far from independent. Due to the absence of law criminalising torture, state officials who committed it are usually charged with provisions concerning physical assault which is not in accordance with the definition of ‘torture’ stipulated in the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (UN CAT). As the physical assault article under the Penal Code only carries a maximum punishment of two years and eight months imprisonment, those who committed torture are sent to light punishment, if they were punished at all.

In addition to the absence of law criminalising torture, the unavailability of independent legal mechanism to investigate torture allegation has aggravated the problem. For a criminal proceeding on torture allegation to take place, the victims need to submit a criminal complaint to the police whereas it’s actually the police themselves or their colleague who committed the abuse. As a result, most of torture complaints are not followed up and criminally investigated by the police. Torture victims may also submit a complaint to the monitoring mechanism within the police called the Professionalism and Security Division (Propam). Yet this mechanism is not transparent and only has the power to impose disciplinary punishment to police officers practising torture.

SUGGESTED ACTION:
Please write to the authorities listed below, urging them to ensure an effective and impartial criminal investigation on the arbitrary arrest, detention and torture allegation to be taking place.

The AHRC is writing a separate letter to the UN Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman, degrading treatment or punishment as well as to the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, asking for their intervention in the case.


SAMPLE LETTER:

Dear ___________,

INDONESIA: A Papuan was tortured on the unreasonable allegation of engagement with separatist group

Name of victim: Frengki Uamang
Alleged perpetrators: Police officers from Mimika Sub-District and Kwamki Baru District Police
Date of incident: 27-28 November 2012
Place of incident: Kwamki Baru District, Papua

I am writing this letter to express my deep concern on torture perpetrated by police officers from Mimika Sub-District and Kwamki Baru District Police towards a Papuan, Frengki Uamang. I have received the information that Frengki was visiting a church in Mimika and about to go to a local shop when two police officers wearing civilian clothes came in a silver-painted car. Without providing any arrest warrant, the police took Frengki to the car and brought him to a place located approximately 20 metres away from the church. The police questioned Frengki on his purpose of visit. Regardless Frengki’s explanation that he was attending a church event, the police accused him that his actual intention is to buy some weapons in Mimika.

I was informed that Frengki was later taken to Kwamki Baru Police District Station for interrogation. The police officers accused him for providing food to the Free Papua Organisation (OPM)’s military members while torturing him. According to Frengki’s testimony, he was kicked by police officers wearing boots. He was also beaten and kicked on the back of his head, ears, face and chest. The police beat him severely on his legs and tights that it was impossible for Frengki to walk for about four days. They constantly accused Frengki for engaging in the movement organised by the OPM and that he had provided food for the military members of the organisation.

At 3.30 on the same day, the police took Frengki to Irrigation Street as they wanted him to show them the two houses where OPM’s military members were allegedly hiding at, even though Frengki did not know anything about it. There were around 10-12 police officers coming with Frengky to Irrigation Street. As soon as they arrive in Irrigation Street, the police took Frengki to a plantation area and three officers pointed their guns at him. Frengki was asked to slither on his stomach as his hands were handcuffed. I was also told that, at the same time, the police officers were randomly opened fire towards the trees in order to create the impression that they have been engaging in crossfire against the OPM members.

Frengki was later brought to Mimika Sub-District Police Station where he was questioned on his link with the shooting previously took place in the area owned by the gold mining company, PT Freeport. Frengki was detained at the police station for one night, with his arms and legs were chained to a table. He was released on the next day at around 2pm. A police officer had to take him back to the place where he was staying on Immigration Street as Frengki could not walk due to the torture. It took him four days to recover before he could walk again.

I am disturbed not only with torture that Frengki had been through but also with the fact that the police had arrested him arbitrarily. The police kept accusing him of committing different activities --first weapons transactions, later it changed into providing food for separatist groups then changed again to the shootings in PT Freeport--which reflects that they actually did not have any strong and sufficient reasons to arrest Frengki in the first place.

Given this, I am urging you to ensure an adequate and effective investigation on the torture allegation to take place. Police officers who perpetrated the torture shall be charged with articles that reflect the gravity of abuse they committed and they shall be punished to proportionate punishment. In this opportunity, I would also like to urge you to expedite the enactment of the new Penal Code which contains a provision prohibiting torture as defined by the UN Convention against Torture.

I look forward for your adequate and positive response on this matter.

Yours sincerely,

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PLEASE SEND YOUR LETTERS TO:

1. Mr. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono
President of Republic of Indonesia
Jl. Veteran No. 16
Jakarta Pusat
INDONESIA
Tel: +62 21 345 8595
Fax: +62 21 3483 4759
E-mail: presiden@ri.go.id

2. Ms. Harkristuti Harkrisnowo
General Director of Human Rights
Ministry of Law and Human Rights
Jl. HR Rasuna Said Kav. 6-7
Kuningan, Jakarta 12940
INDONESIA
Tel: +62 21 525 3006, 525 3889
Fax: +62 21 525 3095

3. Gen. Timur Pradopo
Chief of the Indonesian National Police
Jl. Trunojoyo No. 3
Kebayoran Baru, Jakarta Selatan 12110
INDONESIA
Tel: +62 21 384 8537, 726 0306
Fax: +62 21 7220 669
E-mail: info@polri.go.id

4. Drs. Herman Effendi
Head of Professionalism and Security Affairs, Indonesian National Police
Jl. Trunojoyo No. 3
Kebayoran Baru, Jakarta Selatan 12110
INDONESIA
Tel: +62 21 384 8537, 726 0306
Fax: +62 21 7220 669
E-mail: info@propam.polri.go.id

5. Irjen Pol. Tito Karnavian
Chief of Papua Regional Police
Jl. Dr. Samratulangi No. 8, Jayapura
INDONESIA
Tel: +62 967 531 014, 533 396
Fax: +62 967 533 763

6. Chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission
Jl. Latuharhary No. 4-B
Jakarta 10310
INDONESIA
Tel: +62 21 392 5227
Fax: +62 21 392 5227
E-mail: info@komnasham.go.id



Thank you.

Urgent Appeals Programme
Asian Human Rights Commission (ua@ahrc.asia)