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Church urges thorough investigation into alleged torture of Puncak civilians by TNI

Tabloid JUBI - March 27, 2024

Jayapura, Jubi – The Fellowship of Churches in Indonesia (PGI) has called for a thorough and complete investigation into the alleged torture of three civilians in Puncak Regency by TNI soldiers from Raider 300/Braja Wijaya Infantry Battalion. Ronald Tapilatu, the Head of Papua Affairs Bureau of PGI, made this statement in Jakarta on Monday (25/3/2024).

On March 22, 2024, a video circulated on social media depicting the torture of a Papuan civilian. The victim was placed in a drum filled with water, with both hands tied. The victim was repeatedly beaten and kicked by several individuals believed to be TNI soldiers. His back was also slashed with a knife. The faces of several perpetrators were visible in the video.

On March 23, 2024, the Papua Office of the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM Papua) stated that the torture was allegedly carried out by soldiers of Raider 300/Braja Wijaya Infantry Battalion in February 2024, while they were on duty in Puncak Regency. Three civilians from Puncak were tortured by the TNI soldiers. The perpetrators had now completed their duty in Puncak and returned to their headquarters in Cianjur Regency, West Java.

On Monday, the Head of Information of XVII/Cenderawasih Military Command, Lt. Col. Inf Candra Kurniawan, stated that eight soldiers from Raider 300/Braja Wijaya Infantry Battalion had been detained for questioning by the Military Police of Military Area Command III/Siliwangi regarding the case.

Ronald of PGI stated that the torture of civilians in Papua allegedly carried out by TNI soldiers would only perpetuate the cycle of violence. He emphasized that PGI strongly condemned the act of torture against civilians in Papua. "Every human being created in the image of God has the right to be respected and honored," he said.

He stated that torture is a violation of the United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, to which Indonesia is a party through Law No. 39 of 1999 concerning Human Rights and Law No. 5 of 1998 concerning the Ratification of the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

"We all must stand together in solidarity to oppose torture and protect human rights in Papua," he said.

Ronald emphasized that a thorough investigation is needed to uncover any human rights violations that may have occurred in the torture case. He stressed the importance of accountability and preventing impunity in the case, in order to provide justice to the victims.

"To prevent such actions in the future, independent monitoring and reporting mechanisms must be strengthened, and law enforcement must be transparent," he said.

PGI also expressed condolences to the victims and their families and urged all partners to assist in the recovery of affected families and communities in Papua. "We must not let this heinous incident dampen our spirits to collaborate for the cessation of violence in Papua and to realize Papua as a land of peace," he said. (*)

Source: https://en.jubi.id/church-urges-thorough-investigation-into-alleged-torture-of-puncak-civilians-by-tni