After a video of Indonesian police officers using a live snake to intimidate a suspect made the rounds online, the Indonesian police have issued a rare apology for using fear tactics.
While officers in the Papua region apologized for using the live snake, they also claimed that the snake was non-venomous and that they did not beat the suspect, the Daily Mail reported. The Papuan man, who was suspected of theft, is seen screaming in the video while officers can be heard laughing in the background.
Veronica Koman, a human rights lawyer said the interrogation violates police protocol as well as a number of laws. She added that the latest video is one of several reports of police and military using snakes to intimidate detainees of Papuan descent, all of which are symptoms of a racist culture against indigenous Papuans.
According to the lawyer, in a similar case Sam Lokon, an advocate for West Papua’s independence from Indonesia, was locked in a cell with a snake in January.
Koman added that only the spread of the video online pressured the police into issuing a rare apology.
Local police chief Tonny Ananda Swadaya said the officers responsible for the incident had been given ethics training and relocated to other areas.