The torture of Erikson Salomo Makmaker

Report of the Justice Peace and Integrity of the Creation Desk of the GKI-Tanah Papua

16 January 2009

The torture of Erikson Salomo Makmaker

On 13 November 2008, members of Company C, TNI (Indonesian Army), District of Biak Numfor tortured Erikson Salomo Makmaker, a secondary school pupil at SMK, Bosnik, East Biak. He was chained and thrown into a sack after being beaten with a wooden club. When he was let out of the sack, he was covered in blood.

Incident in detail

On 11 November, Erikson was driving on a motorcycle with Second Sergeant Andy Hardiansyah to Erikson's village in Sepse to collect his clothes. Hardiansyah stayed behind in Sunde while Erikson continued the journey and met Roy Rumere.

Roy then drove the motor cycle and they returned to check on the whereabouts of Hardiansyah who had returned to Biak. Roy left Erikson at Inpres Market in Biak and drove off with the motor cycle but did not return with the cycle until 13 November.

Erikson did not immediately return the vehicle to its owner but instead drove his friend Samuel Rumrawar off for an examination after which he said he would return the vehicle to his friend in Company C. However, before arriving at company headquarters, they were halted by a member of Company C who had recognised Hardiansyah's motor cycle. A member of the Company struck Samuel on the right cheek and another person struck him on the head with his helmet.

Samuel later said he had been struck twice as he was sitting on the pillion. According to Samuel, Erikson was the most seriously injured. The two were then thrown onto a truck and driven to Company C headquarters. During the journey, Erikson was beaten from head to foot, after which a soldier hand-cuffed him.

He was bound with a chain, thrown into a rice sack and beaten and kicked for several minutes. After shouting for help, the men who were beating him let him out of the sack. Blood was oozing from his mouth and nose, his head was swollen and he was covered in blood. One of the men grabbed hold on his ear and threatened to cut it off with a knife he was holding.

Erikson was then put into a cell with Samuel while the beating continued. The victim was later taken to the company's post and a little later, the company commander started questioning Erikson. He was unable to speak which angered the commander who took off his belt and started beating him all over his body. He was then returned to the cell where another soldier started prodding his stomach with his stick.

On 14 November Erikson was let out of the cell and taken to the local police station. Although he was now unable to move, the mal treatment continued until they reach the police resort command. From here, he was taken to the Biak Numfor General Hospital.

Later that day, his family reported the torture incident to police headquarters. The commander of Company C was summoned but he defended the violence by the commander and his men, saying that 'they should have been put in a sack and thrown in the sea'. The parents of the victim and the police felt powerless to say anything after hearing this remark