Five police officers torture and rob suspect in Manokwari – Case submitted to prosecutor

On the night of 8 April 2023, five police members tortured Mr Ahmad Widodo in the town of Manokwari, Papua Barat Province. The officers stopped Mr Widodo because he was riding a motorcycle without wearing a helmet. The police officers claim that Mr Widodo allegedly tried to escape. According to the Manokwari Police Chief, Parasian H Gultom, Mr Widodo resisted the arrest and insulted the police officers. Thereupon, the officers reportedly tortured Mr Widodo and forced him to give money to the officer, which he had to withdraw from an ATM. Mr Widodo sustained bruises on the face and the body because of the torture.

The victim’s relatives uploaded images on social media and reported the incident to the Papua Barat Regional Police (Polda Papua Barat). The Manokwari Police Chief issued an apology to the family and initiated an investigation into the allegations against the officers Edy Rahman, Isak Asher Sabrandi, Michael Syamson Sianturi, Rivaldi Windu Wardhana Makatita, and Hans Dither Sawek (see photo, source: Jubi).

Advocates and human rights organizations have raised concerns over preferential treatment given to the accused officers during the legal process. They point out that the defendants were detained at the Manokwari Police Detention Centre instead of being detained at the state correctional facility like other defendants. Additionally, the officers were seen carrying out their duties as police officers at the Manokwari Police Station, raising questions about their non-detention despite facing multiple criminal charges.

The Manokwari Legal Aid Research, Assessment, and Development Institute (LP3BH) and other advocates urged the Judicial Commission, Ombudsman, and the public to monitor the judicial process to ensure fairness and accountability closely. They emphasize that the principle of presumption of innocence should be upheld for all individuals, regardless of their status. The failure to detain the accused police officers while they continue to perform their duties further adds to concerns about the fulfillment of justice in the community.

Despite conflicting statements from the court’s public relations officer and the Manokwari District Attorney’s Office, the concerns raised by advocates and human rights organizations remain valid. The trial against the accused officers has yet to commence. The officers are charged with various articles of the Criminal Code related to their alleged actions against the brick workers. The case reflects the need for proper law enforcement and equal treatment of all individuals, including law enforcement officers, to maintain justice and accountability in the legal process.

Detailed Case Data
name of the location: Manokwari (-0.8416354593425168, 134.07905641059077)
administrative region: Indonesia, Papua Barat Province, Manokwari Regency, Manokwari Town
total number of victims: one
period of incident: 08.04.2023
perpetrator: police
perpetrator details: Edy Rahman, Isak Asher Sabrandi, Michael Syamson Sianturi, Rivaldi Windu Wardhana Makatita, and Hans Dither Sawek
Issues: torture, ill-treatment
Further HRM News:

NumberName, DetailsGenderAgeGroup AffiliationViolations
1Ahmad Widodomaleunknown unknown torture