Government urged to investigate torture of Papuan civilian by TNI soldiers

Source – March 24, 2024
Screenshot from video of Papuan being tortured by Indonesian military – March 22, 2024 (Istimewa)

Diamanty Meiliana, Jakarta – The Humanitarian Coalition for Papua is urging the government to hold an investigation into the torture of a Papuan civilian by members of the TNI (Indonesian military) after a video of the incident went viral on social media.

The Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras), one of the organisations in the coalition, said that the torture case is not just an illegal act.

"It violates international legal prohibitions, the constitution and provisions of laws and regulations that are in force in Indonesia," said Kontras legal division head Andi Muhammad Rezaldy in a written statement on Saturday March 23.

Rezaldy added that as part of the security forces, TNI soldiers should respect applicable laws.

The torture incident is also seen as adding to the long list of violence by security forces suffered by Papuan civilians.

Therefore, Kontras and a number of other social organisations are urging the government to hold an investigation and try the rogue TNI officers who carried out torture.

"Prosecute the alleged perpetrators as justly and fairly as possible through the mechanism of a public trial that is open and independent", said Rezaldy.

Kontras is also urging the government to stop using security methods as an approach in Papua because the strategy has given rise to casualties.

The coalition is also asking the TNI commander to immediately conduct an internal evaluation and supervise his soldiers better.

"Ensuring the realisation of accountability over the TNI's performance and the use of the power of TNI forces in Papua", said Rezaldy.

He also warned that torture is a violation of human rights. Article 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) states that no person can be subject to torture or treatment or punishment that is cruel, inhuman or demeans human dignity under any circumstances.

On the other hand, Indonesia has already ratified the United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (UNCAT). The ratification was made through Law Number 5/1998.

"So the failure of the process of legal accountability and justice for perpetrators of abuses can be categorised as a violation of human rights", said Rezaldy.

The Humanitarian Coalition for Papua is made up of Kontras, Amnesty International Indonesia, the Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation (YLBHI), Indonesian Human Rights Watch (Imparsial), the Indonesian Communion of Churches (PGI) Papua Bureau, Asian Justice and Rights (AJAR) and the Democratic Alliance for Papua (ALDP).

Earlier it was reported that a video uploaded to an X social media account showed the alleged torture of a civilian by rogue TNI soldiers in Papua.

In the video, a person is seen placed in an oil drum filled with water. The man is beaten and slashed using a knife by a group of people suspected of being TNI soldiers.

"Regarding the torture video below that occurred in Yahukimo, that a number of TNI members are torturing a civilian suspected of being TPNPB [West Papua National Liberation Army] network", read the posting on the @jefry_wndd account on Thursday March 21.

TNI Information Centre Director (Kapuspen) Major General R Nugraha Gumilar says that the TNI is already investigating the video and confirmed that the soldiers alleged to have carried out the torture are currently being questioned.

"Correct, it was allegedly carried out by rogue TNI [soldiers] and the TNI is currently conducting an investigation", Gumilar said in a written message on Friday March 22.


The video (warning: contains graphic, violent content and viewer discression is advised) of the Papuan man being tortured by TNI soldiers can be viewed on YouTube at (requires registration), or from the United Liberation for West Papua (ULMWP) website at

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "KontraS Desak Pemerintah Investigasi Penyiksaan Warga Papua oleh Prajurit TNI".]