Indonesian police apologise for using snake to interrogate Papuan

The Papua region of Indonesia is indicated on this map

The man, who screamed during the ordeal as onlookers laughed, was suspected of having stolen a mobile phone.

Indonesian police have acknowledged officers terrorised a Papuan man with a live snake after a video of the incident circulated online showing the man screaming in fear and his interrogator laughing.

An officer in the Indonesian province Papua, which borders Papua New Guinea, was filmed wrapping a large snake around a man who had his hands bound as the animal slithered around him.

The Jayawijaya police chief Tonny Ananda Swadaya said the officers had been disciplined by being given ethics training and moved to other locations.

The suspect later responds by saying, "Only two times".

"The snake was tame and not poisonous or unsafe and the incident was their own idea so they could get admission of guilt as quick as possible", Swadaya said in a statement.

A voice off-camera can be heard ordering the man to keep his eyes open as the snake is pushed towards him.

"An officer is now being questioned by Papua police internal affairs division", Papua police spokesman Ahmad Mustofa Kamal told AFP Monday. "Institutionally we do not recognize such an unprofessional method of interrogation, and we guarantee that such an inhuman method will not happen again in the future".

The central government in Jakarta has reportedly committed various human rights violations in its suppression of the independence movement.

Human rights lawyer Veronica Koman condemned the use of a live snake as interrogation technique, saying it breached police policies and several laws.

Koman said the use of a snake is just one of the ways police and military personnel terrorize Papuan detainees as part of a racist campaign against indigenous citizens, the AP explained.

The former Dutch colony, the resource-rich western part of New Guinea island, was incorporated into Indonesia after a widely criticized United Nations -backed referendum in 1969.

Police and military have carried out a sweeping crackdown on independence supporters after rebel fighters in December killed 19 people working on a construction site for the trans-Papua highway.

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