In brief

Papuan movement calls for UN intervention after two videos of tortured man emerge

Amnesty International says attackers are Indonesian military, victim was killed

Screenshot from the footage in which the victim undergoes torture.
Screenshot from the footage in which the victim undergoes torture.
Benny Wenda, leader of the main Papuan organisation in exile, the ULMWP, has called for a visit to West Papua by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights after two videos emerged showing one group of men torturing another. The petition, supported for years by the Papua independence movement, is backed by more than 100 countries, but Indonesia refuses.

The videos show the man being stuffed into a barrel filled with bloody liquid. In one, he is repeatedly beaten. A knife runs across his back in the other picture. The victim is insulted, and bleeds from different parts of his body.

The attackers are dressed in civilian clothes, but one of them is wearing camouflage trousers which, according to The Guardian, are the same as those used by the Indonesian army.

According to Amnesty International Indonesia, which cites “credible sources,” the attackers are Indonesian military personnel on mission in the Pancak area of West Papua. The victim is a Papuan who reportedly died after torture.

The Indonesian military has said it will “investigate” the incident.

“This video merely exposes how Indonesia behaves every day in my country,” said Wenda. “Torture is such a widespread military practice that it has been described as a ‘mode of governance’ in West Papua.”

Indonesia has occupied West Papua since the 1960s, against the Papuan movement’s will. The conflict has caused around half a million deaths, most of them Papuans.