Information and video footage has emerged from Merauke, Papua, documenting the beating by Indonesian soldiers of the Secretary General of the Parlemen Rakyat Daerah (People's Regional Parliament), further fulling tensions in the area between occupation forces and the local population.
The incident occurred around 3pm local time on November 3, as the SekJen, Peter T. Katem was riding his Yamaha motorcycle with a community member, Mr Robert Mayonim. The pair lost control of their bike due to newly made but rough village roads in Domba Empat street, accidentally nudged a military officer with their motorbike outside the office of E Company, 755 Battalion (Merauke) of the Indonesian Army (TNI), according to witnesses.
Citizen journalists, Lintah Digoel and Rade Minyak, who interviewed the victims reported that the TNI member and two colleagues then gave chase after they refused to accept the accident, and attacked the pair at the crossroads outside the Company post. As the beatings continued, more soldiers arrived on the scene and joined in, some in plain clothes and some in uniform. The beating was filmed (below) by a witness.
According to local sources, Katem and Mayonim were taken forcibly to the E/755 Btn Post with beatings continuing as they were being dragged. Arriving at the office, they were then tortured for about an hour and a half, they were punched, kicked and beaten with wood, fruit and bamboo.
The persecution ended after a number of Domba Empat community members came to the office to demand their release, which occurred two hours later, Digoel and Minyak reported.
So far, none of the perpetrators have been investigated.