Alleged child persecution by Kopassus in Keerom violates human rights

The Head of the Representative Office of the National Human Rights Commission or Komnas HAM Papua, Frits Ramandey (blue shirt) accompanied by Johana Tukayo (left), Yorgen Numberi (right) and Muhamad Ridwan Herdika (far right) when giving information on the results of the investigation into the case of abuse of 3 children in Keerom which was allegedly carried out by Kopassus TNI AD soldiers. – Jubi/Theo Kelen

Jayapura, Jubi – Head of the Papua Office of the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM Papua) Frits Ramandey said the persecution of three children in Keerom Regency allegedly committed by Army’s Special Force (Kopassus) soldiers was a violation of human rights. Ramandey said the perpetrators must be prosecuted.

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 emphasized that the persecution was contrary to the 1945 Constitution, Human Rights Law No. 39/1999, and Law No. 5/1998 on the ratification of the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

He added that the detention of the three children was outside the TNI’s authority. Let alone torturing them, which is a crime in itself.

Ramandey said that even though Kopassus commander Capt. Hamdan asked to meet the family and apologized, it should not stop the legal process against the perpetrators.

“Apologizing is a must but it does not stop the ongoing legal process. The TNI Commander and Chief of Staff have ordered the XVII/Cenderawasih Commander to resolve the case through military court,” said Ramandey. (*)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *