Feb. 11 (UPI) — Human rights advocates are condemning the use of a live snake on a man from Western New Guinea, who is seen in recently leaked footage being interrogated by Indonesia police.
Veronica Koman, a human rights lawyer who tweeted the video, has claimed officers placed a snake on a pro-Papua independence activist in a prison cell, as they asked him questions, BBC reported Monday.
In the video, a voice reportedly threatens to place the snake in the man’s mouth and in his pants.
Sky News reported police officers were trying to force the man to admit to stealing mobile phones.
In the course of interrogation, an officer is heard asking the man about stolen equipment.
Ternyata penggunaan ular untuk interogasi orang Papua yang ditangkap cukup marak. Terakhir yang diketahui adalah terhadap Sam Lokon anggota KNPB. Video ini kabarnya di Wamena.
Snakes are reported being used against West Papuans for interrogation. pic.twitter.com/Rf72r9oJMO
– Veronica Koman (@VeronicaKoman) February 8, 2019
“How many times have you stolen mobile phones?” he asks, to which the detained man says “only two times,” according to the report.
The man from Western New Guinea is also seen with his hands tied behind his back, and shouting, as a snake is pushed in his face.
The reptile is also seen wrapped around the detained man’s neck, as officers try to extract a confession about stolen phones.
Tonny Ananda Swadaya, a local police chief, said he has taken “stern action against personnel.”
He also defended the use of the snake, and said the animal was “tame and non-venomous,” according to the BBC.
Koman has said a snake was also used during the interrogation of one of her clients in January.
Western New Guinea was incorporated into Indonesia in the ’60s. The area is rich in natural resources.