Study Highlights Torture in Indonesia’s Rule of Papua

KOTA JAYAPURA - A researcher says torture has become a way for the Indonesian state to establish and maintain its control over Papua.

An Indonesian PhD researcher at the Regulatory Institutions Network in the Australian National University’s College of Asia and the Pacific, Budi Hernawan, says in Papua torture is used to demonstrate power and mark the bodies of its citizens.

He says the use of torture is persistent, widespread and has been used by the state as a means of controlling locals for 50 years.

Mr Hernawan cites a case in February of six Papuans who were detained by local police near Jayapura.

During the interrogation, all six were allegedly tortured to confess that they knew the whereabouts of two pro-Papuan independence activists.

Mr Hernawan says while there was no evidence that the men knew the activists, their treatment was more about police displaying Indonesia’s sovereign power than collecting intelligence.

He says the justice system seems unable to hold the state accountable for its torture practices. [RNZI]
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