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Jakarta Post

Police officers accused of sexually harassing prisoner in Papua

  • Victor Mambor

    The Jakarta Post

Jayapura   /   Thu, December 5, 2019   /   06:25 pm
Police officers accused of sexually harassing prisoner in Papua Two police officers are under investigation for allegedly sexually harassing a woman prisoner at the Papua Police headquarters in Jayapura. (Shutterstock/Doidam 10)

Papua Police chief Insp. Gen. Paulus Waterpauw has confirmed that two police officers are under investigation for alleged sexual harassment of a woman prisoner at the Papua Police headquarters in Jayapura.

“[The officers] are being dealt with by internal affairs,” Paulus told The Jakarta Post in a WhatsApp message on Thursday. “We will process these deplorable human beings.”

The allegations came to light after the prisoner told her lawyer that she had been sexually harassed by two policemen, identified only by the initials RO and W.

“The sexual abuse occurred twice. Once on the morning of Nov. 14 and then on Dec. 2,” the woman’s lawyer Yohanis Mambrasar said. 

Yohanis said that the first incident occurred in the Papua Police’s visitation room at around 10:00 a.m. on Nov. 14, when the prisoner was sweeping the room. RO entered the room and asked her to have sex with him. 

“According to the victim, RO asked her to have sex four times, but she ignored him,” Yohanis said, adding that the incident scared her and left her unable to sleep.

The prisoner reported the incident to a female police officer named Welly, who told her to tell any other officers who tried to harass her that she would report them to Welly. 

Yohanis said the second incident occurred when another officer, W, came to her cell during the early hours of Dec. 2.

The prisoner awoke when she felt someone sitting on her bed. Once she was awake, W started asking her questions, starting from questions about her family to more personal questions, ending with W asking her to have sex with him. 

At this point, she screamed, causing other detainees to wake up. 

The prisoner, a university student, was detained on Oct. 11 for suspected involvement in demonstrations that turned violent in Wamena on Sept. 31

She was initially held in custody at the Jayawijaya Police station in Wamena before being moved to Jayapura.

Yohanis said that the woman had also received verbal intimidation from police officers when she was at the Jayawijaya Police station. 

“For example, in the middle of the night a police officer came to the victim and accused her of setting fire to a university building in Wamena and pointed a weapon at her feet,” he said. 

The woman’s father also said that her parents had not been informed about her being moved to Jayapura and said that the sexual abuse incidents had made want to return to Wamena. 

“We ask that Komnas Perempuan [National Commission on Violence Against Women] and Komnas HAM [National Commission on Human Rights] take action according to their authority to protect victims of violence against women such as [the prisoner],” Yohanis said. (kmt)