Military members torture two Papuans in Mappi Regency – One victim dead, the other wounded

West Papua human rights defenders have revealed the killing and torture of two indigenous Papuans in the remote Mappi Regency, Papua Province, on 30 August 2022. According to information received, at least ten military personnel of the Yonif Raider 600 Modang infantry unit collectively tortured Mr Bruno Anonim Kimko and Mr Yohanes Kanggum inside a military post in the Bade Village, Edera District. The post commander, Lieutenant Masrianto, and a civilian woman allegedly watched the torture. Mr Kimko died shortly after due to his injuries. The military police and the National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM) have launched an investigation into the case.

Military members reportedly arrested Mr Bruno Anonim Kimko and Mr Yohanes Kanggum inside their houses in the early morning and brought them to the military post in Bade at 8:00 am. The soldiers carried out the arrests because a civilian woman named Mrs Aurelia Yagiwop had reported a previous argument with the victims to the military post commander shortly before the arrest.

The soldiers forced Mr Kimko and Mr Kanggum to rub a pain-inflicting ointment on their testicles while collectively punching them with bare hands and wooden sticks. The perpetrators dragged the men to a pond. They were forced to take push-up positions while soldiers pushed their heads under water and beat them with a wooden stick, a water hose and an electric cable on the back. The torture continued for about hours.

Mr Kanggum testified that post commander, Lieutenant Masrianto, and Mrs Yaginop witnessed the torture from close range. The victims were then forced to kiss Mrs Yaginop’s feet, asking her for forgiveness. According to Mr Kanggum, she replied, “you are already dead”, giving the order to the military members to continue the beatings.

After the torture, the soldiers dragged Mr Kimko and Mr Kanggum to a dark cell inside the military post. Both men were in pain and shouting for help. Mr Bruno Anonim Kimko passed away about 30 minutes later inside the cell. Military personnel brought his body to a separate room while Mr Kanggum was detained at the post until the following day. On 31 August 2022, military members brought Mr Kimko’s body to the public hospital for a post-mortem examination.

Mr Bruno Amenim Kimko sustained head and neck injuries- The neck wound had to be stitched up. The victim’s left shoulder and right shoulder were bruised. There was an open wound on the victim’s chest and a bruise on the victim’s stomach. Bruises were also found on the victim’s back and right and left thighs. Mr Kanggun’s right and left shoulders were bruised and open wounds on the back, the chest and both thighs (see photos below).

The next day, around 7:00 am, military personnel came to the house of Mr Kimko’s relatives and asked them to meet with the post commander, Lieutenant Masrianto. During the subsequent meeting with one of Mr Kimko’s relatives, Lieutenant Masrianto declared that Mr Bruno Anonim Kimko had passed away and offered to organise the burial.

The relatives have the impression that the military post commander wanted to accelerate the burial process. An army representative, Major Stevy G. Titiheru, gave a compensation payment of 200 million rupiahs (about € 13,500) to the relatives during the burial ceremony (see photos below) on 1 September 2022.

Human rights defenders are concerned that the payment is part of an attempt to settle the case outside the law, preventing perpetrators from being held responsible in a trial. They have also accused local military leaders of bribing indigenous leaders and local officials to avoid a legal process against perpetrators and their superiors. According to information received, the money originates from government funds which the regent of Mappi had allegedly granted to the military as “social stability funds”.  

Background

The Yonif Raider 600 Modang unit was deployed from the East Kalimantan Province to the Papua Province in May 2022 and is one of many non-organic military units operating in West Papua. Human rights observers believe that most cases of military violence in West Papua are committed by non-organic troops who do not understand and comprehend indigenous Papuans’ customs and cultural habits. The stigma of indigenous Papuans being separatists or supporters of political independence fuels the circle of violence against civilians in the conflict-affected region. This stigma is widespread among non-organic security force members.

Photos of Mr Bruno Anonim Kimko’s body at the local hospital

Photos of Mr Yohanes Kanggum’s back taken at the local hospital

Military members paying a compensation of 200 million rupiahs to Bruno Anonim Kimko’s relative

source: independent HRDs
Military members attending Mr Kimko’s burial ceremony inside his relatives’ house, Mappi Regency (source: independent HRDs)

Detailed Case Data
name of the location: Bade (-7.158886498201481, 139.57845366414412)
administrative region: Indonesia, Papua Province, Mappi Regency, Edera District, Bade Village
total number of victims: two
period of incident: 30.08.2022
perpetrator: military
perpetrator details: ten military personnel of the Yonif Raider 600 Modang infantry unit
Issues: torture, extra-judicial killings, indigenous peoples
Sources:
Further HRM News:

NumberName, DetailsGenderAgeGroup AffiliationViolations
1Bruno Anonim Kimkomaleunknownindigenousill-treatment, execution
1Yohanes Kanggum maleunknownindigenousill-treatment

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