On May 30, 2010, West Papuan farmer Tunaliwor Kiwo was tortured by Indonesian soldiers along with his neighbour Telangga Kiro. This transcript details his account of the ordeal for the first time. The account was given in the Lani language, which was later translated into English.
On Sunday, May 30 2010, I was on my way from Tingginambut to Mulia in Puncak Jaya Regency, Papua, Indonesia on a motorbike. I arrived at the TNI post in Kwanggok Nalime in Kampung Yogorini. I, Anggen Pugu Kiwo and my co-rider Telengga Kiro were summoned by the TNI personnel at the post and without hesitation, we came to that Nalime post. We thought they wanted to give a cigarette or something but turned out we were questioned and interrogated … they asked: “Where do you live?” We live in Tingginambut village, the district’s capital … ”Do you have an ID card (KTP)?” Yes, we do have it and then we showed them.
Without further questions, I, Anggen Pugu Kiwo and Telengga Kiro were handcuffed with rope and were dragged to the back of the post by pulling the edge of the rope behind me from the left side of the post to the backside. Then instantly we received a huge slap, from the left ear and right was pulled … pushed … slammed on the ground. Then they tied our feet with barbed wire … Then pulled the edge of the rope that has been tied to our hands, dragged from the direction of Nagarak River.
A log had been prepared…then they started to beat me with it from the neck and bones were crushed … and that log was broken to pieces on my body, then they threw that broken log.
After that they took a plastic bag … then they put my head inside all the way to my legs and tied it, then opened it again … Then they replaced it with a large black plastic bag, put my head to it and pulled my neck, my mouth and nose were sealed till I couldn’t breathe and I tried to open my mouth but I couldn’t because it’s so tight and I almost couldn’t breathe anymore … I couldn’t … couldn’t breathe … then they opened it again.
And then they asked … you have to be honest … you have to be honest … But I don’t know anything, I’m just a regular person … over and over again … but they kept pushing me … you’re lying, you have to tell the truth that you’re Organisasi Papua Merdeka – OPM – (Papuan Liberation Army)(OPM), right? … we were constantly pushed that we were so confused to talk, we were numb and our voice trembled. We couldn’t answer properly because we were nervous … eventually they kept torturing me … repeatedly … back and forth beating me from head to toe while my hands and feet were already in tied position … I’ve become powerless …
Then they went inside the post to get pliers to tweeze my toes … pulled them hard until they were severed, I was hysterical until I peed … then they switched to my other foot, I meant from left toes to right toes.
With same method they clipped my penis that it almost snapped … hysterically I cried “it hurts, let go of me” while they’re saying they will cut our genitals … I was still hysterical…tortured me since 9 am. Hands and feet were tied since morning.
Next, they pulled the edge of rope that has been tied to my hands, they pulled and slammed from right to left and from left to right, causing many head bumps, legs were exposed to hard objects including the wall, rock etc, ruining my right knee that I’m not able to walk normally again, it’s crippled.
They have tortured me from 9 am to 6 pm and they dragged me to the kitchen located in the back of their post.
They kept my hands and feet tied then they tied each of my foot to a wood on the wall and kept my hands tied from behind and hung from above.
After that there was a soldier came, stepped on with his boots, stepped his foot on my face, pressed my nose and banged my head to the wall … then it bounced … He repeatedly stepped on me causing the blood streaming from my nose, mouth, head; my mouth, chest and moustache were covered. Because I was tied, I couldn’t wipe the blood so I had to blow it … fu … fu … fu … fu … so it didn’t cover my mouth. I was helpless, what can I do …
Then he rolled a cigarette … pretend to give it to me that I opened my mouth to take a drag … suddenly he pulled it back and instead stick the fire to my nose that it was burnt from the cigarette.
Then they filled up water in the bucket, it’s already midnight and my body was cramped … They poured cold water all over my body … I told them “it’s freezing” but they didn’t want to hear … they washed my body with cold water until I was shivering … cramp and the whole body was numb. I told them “it’s freezing” but they continued anyway.
Because of the tight rope that they tied since 9 am has caused my hands and feet to swell tremendously.
The next torture was to heat up the iron and or wire then pressed it to my left and right thigh … I kept screaming…but they pressed it to my stomach … I screamed … they pressed it to my left and right chest … I kept screaming … but they didn’t care about my agony … unbelievable that they managed to torture me from 9 am in the morning to the evening, till the next morning … they dragged me outside …
They put me at the yard and then I told them that I’m the younger brother of Yustus Wonda, the provincial secretary, with a broken voice I asked them to get him and pick me up … but instead, they impersonated my voice and laughed at me …
That morning (day two) they started torturing me again using a block and severely beat me with it from head to toe, back and forth with hands and feet still in handcuffed position.
The other form of torture, they got in the house to get a military knife … then one by one they stepped on my face, mouth, nose … hen from the left side they put the knife on my neck, from the right side they try to point out cutting my neck and at that moment my nose got cut (pointing at his nose) … I thought I’d lose my neck but it still there.
They lay me down then put a wood board on top of my chest, face, stomach … then they axed the board from the left side; it fell and penetrated through the board they laid next to my left and right neck.
The next torture is: hands and feet remained tied but I had to fold my legs, the rope tied from the neck with feet kept tight while my hands were still handcuffed from behind then they stacked firewood available in the yard and stacked the whole thing as high as my body until I almost couldn’t breathe, then next to my right and left leg, they threw fuel to the firewood, I was burnt in the middle … I couldn’t move and the heat from the fire burnt me down since my hands and feet were still tied … I cried hysterically in pain.
They got me out and dragged me from the firewood stack then I stood with head on the ground and my face facing up. Then they put a test on me by axing the left side of my head and at the same time pulled the axe off the ground, which threw the soil covering my eyes and face. The torture was extraordinary and I was completely helpless from it … They did this during dawn around 5-6 am.
Around 8 am they had dragged me then shaved my moustache and hair in a hideous way, they cut my hair from every angle, using razor blade … it’s so random that it slit my mouth, ears and nose – all over my face was covered in blood because they shaved my moustache, hair until it went bald and bleeding.
The torture switched to the TNI soldier concocting this chilli sauce using huge amount of chillies, red onions, garlic, detergent, salt – all mixed with water, then they poured my body from head to toe with that … I screamed because it hurts so much…but they winded up brutally soak me up, they made sure not a single body part they missed out until they finished the whole water.
Then they dragged me and basked me under the heat of sunlight next to the house until I didn’t realize that flies had surrounded my mouth, nose and ears. When the soldiers approached me the flies flew off but they returned and perched on my body until the sun started to disappear into the slope of mount Arimuli or Puncak Senyum. I realized it was later in the afternoon around 4.30 pm.
Then the commander of the post ordered the TNI medical personnel to clean me up. He sympathized for me and loosened the rope both on my hands and feet. My hands and feet were swollen, I couldn’t walk and he helped me to go down the river for bathing then he gave me soap and then I washed my body until it was clean. Because my pants were dirty, he made me wear his pants then helped me cling to him and walked back to the post. As soon as I arrived, he soaked alcohol to all over my painful body, cleaned them and rubbed the wounded parts with Betadine, he also gave injections to my left and right foot, left and right hand, left and right thigh, stitched my sliced nose as a result of the previous torture using yarn. I felt so cold so he helped me put on my clothes and jacket and then he lay me down on the bed, I slept through until 6 pm.
After I woke up, I was told to lift my legs and hands to be tied again but it’s very difficult to lift them because they’re swollen and heavy, therefore my legs couldn’t be tied, and my hands as well could not get tied from behind because of the tortures, which made my bones damaged, hands were numb so he had to tie me from the front, tried to tie it firmly but I was in pain then they tied it loosely and put me back to sleep.
One day before that, they put me to sleep on the ground so it’s easier to elevate my legs so when I lift one of my legs, I made a deep hole in the ground with my other leg when I tried to pull it.
After I was bathed, then they lay me down on a floor mat layered with the yellow plastic bag that is usually used to evacuate a body from a murder or traffic accident, so I lay on top of it and they put pillow for my head and covered my body with green TNI jacket so I wouldn’t feel cold and could sleep well.
Around 11.30 I accidentally awoke but I kept lying down and overheard my execution plan for the next morning. Time was ticking and they were busy boiling water and made coffee, tea and each of them ate instant noodle. They were rowdy because I was about to be executed; meanwhile, I had to hear their conversation.
At 3 o’clock they made contact through HT (Handy Talky) where their military unit was on duty at Kalome post, Tingginambut post, Puncak Senyum post, even the one at Mulia town also reported that they have shot one on the scene and the other one was still alive when I heard that I thought it was Telengga Giro who got shot. Apparently what they meant was to shoot me (Kiwo).
Time pointed at 3 am past something. They said the car would arrive at 8 am, so we’re going to shoot dead this person at 9 am sharp and brought him into the car. Yes, I am Kiwo and that time I was afraid and anxious.
I opened the rope that bound my hand slowly with my teeth yet I pulled it tightly so that it was looked tight because the end of the rope was tied to the wall and the other end was tied to my hand. Carefully I peeked and stood there but they saw me and I was reprimanded to keep sleeping. But I slowly raised my head until I heard it was 4 am.
At 4 pm (Papua time) I started to pray. This is what I said to God:
Thank God if your will is my death in the hands of the Indonesian military. Then, on Tuesday, May 11th 2010 at 9 am, I will be shot dead here so I surrender my life to Your hand.
God, please bring the men who tortured and killed me to the hand who will defend and replace my head and soul so that they will be shot dead as well if they shot me at 9 am. Thanks, Jesus.
But, if You plan my death in another way such as illness, then I will not die in the hands of TNI this morning, please make them blind and powerless and free me at 4- 6 am before 9 this morning. I will escape this place. Thanks, Jesus, in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Finally, God gave me the strength to lift my bed and a drum and throw that to a soldier who was on guard. I stepped on the porch at the station nearby; they thought I was their friend who was watching over me. And when I stepped out, they realized it. They shot with too many bullets yet none of them hit me.
I ran until the fell and rolled around. It happened many times. I tried to stand up and fell again until quite far in the distance. The second time I tried yet I failed. The third time I failed, finally I gave up. But I tried to stand and I could stand. If they chased me, I would definitely die. I was like a one-year-old child who learns to stand up and fall again. That was what I experienced. I kept running until I saw the main road. I immediately crawled into the bushes. I opened the white short and held it in hand so that they would not get me. I got into Yamo River at 5, and at 6 I met my family.
My family was afraid to approach and shake my hand since they heard that I was murdered by the TNI soldiers. And there was a myth that a dead family member visits their family so they thought I was a shadow. Then I answered this is Kiwo, I’m still alive.
There were two young men who delivered a letter to the TNI post, they told you to go home soon because all this time you were looking for Goliat Tabuni who you have killed. Yet, suddenly Kiwo appeared and still alive, so the plan to deliver the letter to the post by motorcycle was cancelled.
My family slaughtered a pig as a symbol of one family member went home and saved from death. Customary, they slaughtered a pig and checked all parts of my badly beaten body but there were only 2 broken ribs. All my bones from head to toe turned red. They cleaned it up and cooked and treated with the medicine sent from Mulia. Now I have recovered.
Until today, I have hesitation about my health. I worry that the disease will relapse. Since I am a civilian, an ordinary man, basically never steal others’ stuff, angry at others and hurt someone’s heart, therefore God helped me and I survived.
That’s the chronology of the torture I experienced and I thank you. My name is Anggen Pugu Kiwo. So that was the traces of wound that I experienced.
This infamous cell phone video, which showed Indonesian soldiers interrogating and torturing two Papuan villagers. It was originally published on October 16, 2010, by Human Rights Watch, and was later verified by several human rights groups as authentic. This version is subtitled in English.