News Desk – Military Violence Against Papuan Children
9 November 2022
Jayapura, Jubi – Head of the Papua Office of the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM Papua) Frits Ramandey on Tuesday, November 8, 2022, announced the results of the commission’s investigation into the persecution of three children in Keerom Regency. Komnas HAM Papua suspected the persecution was carried out by dozen of Indonesian Military (TNI) soldiers.
The investigation was conducted on October 29 and 30. “Based on the testimony of the three children victims, they were tortured by dozen of soldiers. They could not detail the number,” Ramandey said in Jayapura City, Tuesday.
Rahmat Paisei (15), Bastian Bate (13), and Laurents Kaung (11) were allegedly tortured at the Cartenz Task Force Post, in Yuwanain Village, Arso District on October 27, 2022. All three were abused by the soldiers using chains, coils of wire and water hoses they suffered injuries and had to undergo treatment at the hospital.
Ramandey said Komnas HAM Papua received a complaint from Rahmat’s parents, Jon Paisei, on October 28.
According to Ramandey, at first, two cockatoos disappeared from the Cartenz Task Force Post guarded by the Army’s Special Forces (Kopassus). The day after the birds’ disappearance, Laurents Kaung came to the post and offered a lory to the Kopassus soldiers. The lory Laurents was selling was allegedly stolen from elsewhere.
The soldiers detained Laurents and asked him about the origin of the lory. Laurents mentioned two other names, Rahmat Paisei and Bastian Bate. “After that, the soldiers detained the three of them and tortured them,” Ramandey said.
Ramandey said Rahmat Paisei was beaten by Kopassus soldiers at 7 a.m., and then sent home battered. At around 7 p.m., Rahmat was picked up from his house, brought back to the post, and again persecuted until 12 a.m.
Ramandey said that according to Rahmat, he was stripped naked, handcuffed and then beaten with hands and several objects, among others a hose and thin wire. The persecution in the evening was witnessed by Rahmat’s parents.
“Rahmat’s parents hysterically asked the soldiers to stop beating their son but ignored,” Ramandey said.
Meanwhile, Bastian Bate claimed he was taken to the same post at around 7 p.m. He claimed to have also been beaten with cables, hoses, and hands by dozen soldiers. Bastian was discharged around midnight, with lash marks on several parts of his body.
Komnas HAM Papua also met Laurents Kaung. “He admitted to us that he did steal a bird but not at the Kopassus post. He stole a lory in another place and then brought it to the military post to sell for Rp 50,000. Instead, Laurents was assaulted and soaked in a pond,” Ramandey said.
Ramandey said Komnas HAM Papua had also met with the deputy commander of XVII/Cenderawasih Military Police, who said they had requested information from nine Kopassus members at the Cartenz Task Force Post. However, until now, the nine soldiers are still not named suspects. “As of November 5, the nine soldiers are still being questioned as witnesses,” said Ramandey.
He also explained the results of the commission’s meeting with the head of Marthen Indey Army Hospital in Jayapura City. The three children were treated at the hospital until October 31.
“The three victims were treated for five days at Marthen Indey Hospital. One of the victims, Rahmat Paisei, underwent CT scans of his head, abdomen, and his back. Rahmat experienced a lot of torture and suffered several wounds,” Ramandey said.
Furthermore, Komnas HAM Papua urges the Keerom regent to provide trauma healing in restoring the psychological condition of the three victims, as well as help them return to school. “These three children have dropped out of school,” said Ramandey.
According to Ramandey, the Keerom regent should facilitate a meeting between the victims and their families, the church, the tribal leaders, and Kopassus. The meeting is considered important because there is community trauma over the persecution case involving the Kopassus soldier. (*)