Thu. Feb 25th, 2021

This article was co-produced with The Gecko Project. The alleged assault of an Indigenous man in the Indonesian province of Papua by a police officer around two hours before he died was caught on CCTV camera, Mongabay and The Gecko Project have learned. Marius Betera, 40, died at a health clinic in Boven Digoel, a heavily forested district in the far east of the country, in May, shortly after he was reportedly beaten by the officer. The incident took place outside the office of a logging and oil palm plantation company, the Korindo Group, after Marius arrived to complain that food crops he had planted inside land licensed to the firm had been pulled down. Police say they have arrested the officer, Melkianus Yowei, and that an investigation is ongoing. A separate investigation by the National Commission on Human Rights, known as Komnas HAM, concluded that Melkianus committed “an act of violence” that was “arbitrary, excessive and unprofessional.” It has now emerged that the altercation was captured by Korindo’s surveillance cameras. The video has been seized by police as part of their investigation. Human rights observers have called for the release of the footage, to ensure the investigation by the police of one of their own is impartial, in a region replete with human rights abuses, including extrajudicial killings, at the hands of the security forces. “Judging from history, this will end up in impunity if there’s no public pressure,” said Veronica Koman, an Indonesian human rights lawyer who advocates…This article was originally published on Mongabay

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