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December 12, 2012

AHRC/Urgent Appeal: Indonesia: Papuan Tortured; Randomly Accused of Involvement with OPM

December 11, 2012

ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION
URGENT APPEALS PROGRAMME
Urgent Appeal Case: AHRC-UAC-201-2012

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

ISSUES: Arbitrary arrest and detention; inhuman and degrading
treatment; police violence; torture

Dear friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) wishes to inform you of the
case regarding the torture of a Papuan in Mimika, Papua. The victim
was arrested by officers from the Mimika Sub-District Police wearing
civilian clothes without any warrant. The police randomly accused him
for being involved in the separatist movement organised by Free Papua
Organisation (Organisasi Papua Merdeka, OPM). As result of the
torture, the victim was severely injured and could not walk for four
days.

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.

To support this appeal, please click here:

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,

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
presiden

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

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

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

Thank you.

Urgent Appeals Programme Asian Human Rights Commission (ua)

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