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8 findings of human cage investigation in Langkat

Tempo - November 22, 2022

Moh Khory Alfarizi and Imaji Lasahido (Intern), Jakarta – The group that is part of the human Rights Enforcement Advocacy Team (TAP-HAM) revealed the findings of the investigation into the case of a human cage of the Langkat suspended Regent's, Terbit Rencana Perangin Angin (TRP).

The group consists of the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (KontraS), KontraS North Sumatra, and the Indonesian Association of Legal Aid and Human Rights (PBHI).

"From the field investigation process and TAP-HAM interviews, at least eight findings were obtained," said KontraS' Legal Division, Andrie Yunus, in a press conference broadcast on his YouTube account on Monday, November 21, 2022.

The first finding takes regard to how the victims of the human cage were taken, the finding first started from the report by the victim's family. In addition, according to information from the victims, several people who were about to be placed into the cage were handed over by the local authorities.

Second, the victim's parents were forced to sign a unilateral agreement, which stated that they were willing to have their child under 'rehab' for 1.5 years. "And if the victims get sick or even die, it is not their responsibility," he said.

The third is about the alleged torture of the occupants of the cages occurring between 1-14 days when they first entered. Victims were allegedly tortured as a form of orientation, in general, victims received lashing with a hose, do shameful acts such as hanging like a monkey on the iron bars, performing penance, eating chilli, being kicked and beaten either with bare hands or a blunt object.

The fourth finding was allegations of torture and sexual violence as a form of punishment for victims who try to flee. There were even those who ran away because they could not stand the various violence and enslavement that occurred. If the victim ran away and was caught again, they would be tortured even more severely.

The torture was carried out by tying the victim's hands and feet and then being whipped with a hose hundreds of times. The victims will also be dripped with molten plastics and forced to sleep on nettle leaves (which irritate the skin for weeks).

"Being hit with a hammer or stone on the toenail, cigarette burns on the genitals, until forced to have same-sex relations," said Andrie.

Fifth, Andrie stressed, the cage is not a place of rehabilitation, but a prison. Since the establishment of the cage by TRP, has never received permission from the National Narcotics Agency or the Local Social Service.

"The cage that was assumed to be used as a rehabilitation for drug addicts, does not have a clear program like rehab facilities in general. But rather it is a place of slavery and restraint of freedom," he said.

Sixth, not all occupants of the human cage are drug addicts. Some victims were placed in the cage involved in embezzlement, and people who TRP himself personally dislike.

Seventh, victims are exploited to work in oil palm companies and renovate houses owned by TRP. They work on oil palm plantations and at a factory owned by TRP, namely PT. Dewa Rencana Peranginangin (DRP).

On the eighth finding, there are underage victims in human cages who are treated with the same cruelty and slavery. As well as the existence of involvement among the security forces who were either aware or involved in the process of arrest and persecution.

"At least five TNI members are being court-martialed in the I-02 courthouse at Medan," Said Andrie.

Source: https://en.tempo.co/read/1659708/8-findings-of-human-cage-investigation-in-langkat