Military members alleged of torturing four Papuan students after finding ammunition

On 1 February 2024, four students were arrested in the Sugapa District on their way to Hitadipa from Nabire, where they study. They were on the way home to Hitadipa, Intan Jaya, to participate in the presidential elections on 14 February 2024. The students, identified as Mr Elpinus Zanambani, Mr Tenius Wonda, Mr Selianus Sondegau, and Mr Denias Imanuel Agimba, were detained by members of the military near the Sugapa airport and reportedly tortured during interrogation. They were then taken to the Sugapa Police Station, where further violence ensued during the inspection of their belongings. One of the students was found to be carrying nine cartridges of ammunition and alcohol in their bag.

The military denied the allegations of torture. According to Lieutenant Colonel Inf Candra Kurniawan, Deputy Head of Information of Kodam XVII/Cenderawasih, the arrests were made after the suspects were found with ammunition, alcohol, a net bag with Morning Star motifs, and other items considered evidence. Candra clarified that the young men were apprehended by the Yonif 330/Tri Dharma Task Force personnel at Bilogai Post due to their suspicious behaviour while riding their motorcycles. The suspects were subsequently handed over to the Sugapa Sector Police for further investigation. Candra dismissed circulating allegations of arbitrary arrests, emphasizing that the suspects were being processed according to the law.

Four students arrested in Sugapa on 1 February 2024

Detailed Case Data
name of the location: Sugapa (-3.738416825832836, 137.0353163592684)
administrative region: Indonesia, Papua Tengah Province, Intan Jaya Regency, Sugapa District 
total number of victims: four
period of incident: 01.02.2024
perpetrator: police, other security forces
perpetrator details: Yonif 330/Tri Dharma Task Force personnel 
Issues: indigenous peoples, freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, torture, ill-treatment

Further HRM News:

NumberName, DetailsGenderAgeGroup AffiliationViolations
1Denias Imanuel Agimba, student maleunknownindigenoustorture
1Elpinus Zanambani, student maleunknownindigenoustorture
1Selianus Sondegau, studentmaleunknownindigenoustorture
1Tenius Wonda, studentmaleunknownindigenoustorture