Published February 11, 2019
Police in Indonesia ’s Papua province have apologised after interrogators used a snake during an attempt to extract a confession from a suspected mobile phone thief, a spokesman said on Monday .
A video circulating online showed police in Jayawijaya district wrapping a snake around the neck of the suspect as they questioned him .
A policeman could be heard asking the suspect, “ How many times have you stolen a cellphone ?”.
The man cowered and screamed in fear.
“ Many people saw his action but he didn’ t confess , and that made the officer angry , ” Papuan Police spokesman , Suryadi Diaz , said .
“ The method is wrong and we have apologised , ” he said , adding that one officer had been disciplined.
Diaz said the snake was tame and had been kept as a pet at the Jayawijaya police station for some time to scare drunkards, who often caused trouble in the neighbourhood .
“ They usually fled after they saw the snake, ” he said .
A lawyer , who advocates for human rights in Papua , Veronica Koman , said police often used snakes while interrogating Papuans , including those arrested for suspected separatist activities .
“ Inhumane treatment against Papuans is regularly reported ,” Koman said .
“ When this snake video surfaced , many Papuans , particularly activists, who have been in and out of jail for political reasons, said that they have long known that snakes are being used by police and military , ” she said .
A low – level separatist conflict has been taking place in Papua , a predominantly -Melanesian region , since the 1960 s .
Security forces have been accused of human rights abuses while conducting counter-insurgency operations.
( dpa / NAN)