Lake Santani, West Papua. Photo provided.

The videos are believed by human rights defenders to have been recorded during an Indonesian security force raid in Omukia and Gome, Puncak Regency, on 3 and 4 February 2024.

All of us must stand together in solidarity to oppose torture and protect human rights in Papua,” reads the PGI statement. 

According to Peter Prove, WCC Director of the Commission of the Churches on International Affairs, “these horrific videos offer rare visual evidence of the type of brutality often experienced by Papuans at the hands of Indonesian security forces. It is of the utmost importance that credible impartial investigations of these apparent crimes are undertaken, and the perpetrators held fully accountable.”

The PGI statement also underlined the importance of accountability. It's crucial that accountability is enforced, impunity prevented, and justice is delivered to the victims,” the statement affirmed. To avoid such actions in the future, independent monitoring and reporting mechanisms must be strengthened, and law enforcement should be transparent.”

Meanwhile, Indonesian military authorities have confirmed that the videos are genuine, and have detained eight soldiers on suspicion of abusing Papuan civilians. However, as Human Rights Monitor – a non-governmental human rights organization focusing on the situation in West Papua – has observed, “Cases of torture have been rampant in West Papua due to the widespread impunity in the region. Perpetrators are not held accountable in public trials, while the internal court processes, particularly police internal disciplinary procedures, lack transparency and independence. The perpetrators often receive sentences that are disproportionately lenient with regard to the severity of the crime.”

The statement of the Communion of Churches in Indonesia (PGI) concludes by urging collaboration for the cessation of violence in Papua and realizing Papua as a land of peace. 

Report by the Human Rights Monitor: Videos of Indonesian soldiers torturing Papuan