Footage of Indonesian police putting a live snake on a suspect to get him to confess has created a huge uproar online, after the video of the incident went viral. The video shared across social media platforms showed the man yelling in terror as his interrogator laughs and taunts him. The video shared online by a human rights activist raised serious questions about the police’s interrogation methods in Indonesia’s easternmost Papua region.
In the video, a handcuffed man, who is suspected of stealing mobile phones, can be seen screaming in fear as his interrogator threatens to put the snake into his mouth and trousers, according to a Ruptly report. The snake is then put on the man despite his screams of terror.
Veronica Koman, a human rights lawyer in Papua who shared the footage on Twitter, said the interrogation methods violated police policies, as well as several laws.
Koman said the fact the footage was shared so widely forced the police into a “very rare” apology.
However, while the police apologised for their extreme measures, they said that the suspect was not in any danger since the reptile was not venomous. However, that didn’t end the outrage and many on social media said the police official’s actions were inhumane.
Here’s how people reacted to the video:
Police injustice in Papua New Guinea after an allerged mobile phone thief were interrogated using a snake..This is totally dehumanization, they should feel shame https://t.co/iydcOsAOU7
— Ashraf Benta (@ashraf_halifa) February 12, 2019
We must denounce these barbaric human rights violiations. https://t.co/svpCTPWyG7
— Zac Power (@zacpower01) February 12, 2019
Dear President @jokowi,
Here is a video of a Papuan detainee harrassed by your Indonesian police. They made use of a snake to terrorize this suspect.
What kind of justice are you promoting in your country, Pres. Widodo?
This is too cruel.😭😖👎 https://t.co/ZJ31sl9jEk
— Debra E. Fuente (@DebraEF5) February 11, 2019
— Rvcse (@rxssey) February 11, 2019
Disgusting! Why doesn’t anyone pay attention to the Indonesian atrocities in West Papua 🤬 https://t.co/ir6hE7cZlt
— sASSbrows (@Jaymin_InABox) February 11, 2019
Incidents that make me question, whether we are truly evolved or intelligent. https://t.co/HbR1dlBuLG
— SarahHannan (@Sarah_Hannan) February 11, 2019
Jayawijaya police chief Tonny Ananda Swadaya said in a statement the officers involved had been given ethics training and moved to other locations, reported The Independent.
“We apologise for the incident. Institutionally we do not recognise such an unprofessional method of interrogation, and we guarantee that such an inhuman method will not happen again in the future,” the statement said.