Published: Mon, February 11, 2019
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Indonesian police apologise after video emerges of them terrorising suspect with snake

Indonesian police apologise after video emerges of them terrorising suspect with snake

Police in eastern Indonesia have apologised for using a snake to torture a man in custody, after footage of the reptile-assisted interrogation went viral online. The man can be heard hysterically screaming and shouting as the police officers tell him to open his eyes and watch as they threaten to stuff the live reptile into his mouth and down his pants.

Police have reportedly apologised for using the snake but said it was not venomous.

"The investigator was not professional in doing his job", Swadaya admitted.

A policeman could be heard asking the suspect, "How many times have you stolen a cellphone?".

"The snake was tame and not poisonous or unsafe and the incident was their own idea so they could get admission of guilt as quick as possible", Swadaya said in a statement.

An officer in the Indonesian province Papua, which borders Papua New Guinea, was filmed wrapping a large snake around a man who had his hands bound as the animal slithered around him.

A voice in the video reportedly threatens to put the snake in the man's mouth and down his pants.

'We have taken stern action against the personnel, ' he said, adding the officers themselves had not physically attacked the man.

A lawyer, who advocates for human rights in Papua, Veronica Koman, said police often used snakes while interrogating Papuans, including those arrested for suspected separatist activities.

Papua police spokesman Ahmad Musthofa Kamal said the case was being investigated by the internal affairs unit.

She told the AP it is not the first time snakes have reportedly been used by police and military to initimidate indigneous Papuans. "Institutionally we do not recognise such an unprofessional method of interrogation, and we guarantee that such an inhuman method will not happen again in the future".

Reports of human rights abuses are common from Papua, where separatists have long sought independence from Indonesia.

Papua became part of Indonesia in 1969 after a United Nations-supported referendum.

In December Papuan Governor Lukas Enembe called on the army to leave the state amid a crackdown on rebels fighting for independence.

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