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Soldiers confess to Papua torture video, claim they were ‘annoyed’ by OPM harassment

January 20, 2011

Soldiers confess to Papua torture video, claim they were ‘annoyed’ by OPM
harassment

Kompas – January 20, 2011

Jayapura — Three members of the Indonesian military (TNI) who are appearing as
defendants in a case of torture against civilians in Papua have confessed to
being guilty of their actions.

They claim that the torture was spontaneous and not premeditated because they
were annoyed over the actions of the armed Free Papua Organisation (OPM) group,
which often harasses the authorities.

The confession was made during the cross examination of the defendants at an
open hearing by the Jayapura Military Court in Papua on Wednesday January 19.
During the trial that was presided over by judge Lieutenant Colonel (CHK) Adil
Karo-karo, the three defendants admitted that they consciously carried out the
torture even though their tactical commander had ordered them to release the two
detainees who were allegedly members of the OPM.

As reported previously, on May 27 last year at a TNI security post in Gurage,
Puncak Jaya regency, located around 20 kilometers from Mulia (the regency
capital), Telenggen Gire and Anggen Pugukiwo, two alleged members of the OPM
were tortured.

The torture was carried out by the deputy commander of the Gurage security post,
Sergeant Second-Class Irwan Riskianto and two of his subordinates, Private
First-Class Yason Agu and Private First-Class Thamrin Makangiri. The soldiers
are from the 753 Infantry Battalion/Arga Vira Tama unit. Pictures of the torture
were exposed on the YouTube website.

At yesterday’s trial, differences emerged between the testimonies of the
defendants and witness First Private Pratu Berno. According to Berno’s version
of events, which was read out by auditor Major (CHK) Obet Manase because the
witness was unable to attend (currently on duties outside the office), it was
revealed that the torture by Irwan was carried out by pointing an SS1 assault
rife in Anggen Pugukiwo’s face. The defendants however said that this testimony
was incorrect because the weapon was pointed at Telenggen Gire.

Under cross examination Private Yason Agu explained that the two Papuans who
were suspected of being OPM members had already been reported to the tactical
commander. But because the evidence was only a dual identity card, the tactical
commander ordered the security post soldiers to release Anggen and Telenggen.

However this order was no obeyed by the security post soldiers, which was
currently under Irwan’s command (the Gurage post commander First Lieutenant had
been assigned to help the Yambi post). Instead, they tortured the detainees.
(ICH)

Video Kekerasan – Tiga Anggota TNI di Papua Mengaku Bersalah
<http://cetak.kompas.com/read/2011/01/20/02454096/tiga.anggota.tni.di.papua.meng
aku.bersalah>

[Translated by James Balowski.]

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INDOLEFT News Service
Jl. Tebet Timur Dalam VIII No. 6A
Jakarta Selatan 12820
Indonesia

E-mail: jamesbalowski

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