JAKARTA, Indonesia — A Polish man on trial for treason in Indonesia after meeting with Papuan independence supporters said that visitors to his prison assaulted him and threatened to kill him as guards watched.
A handwritten two-page statement by Jakub Skrzypski details three consecutive days beginning Jan. 30 in which he was assaulted or threatened by men wearing T-shirts emblazoned with “Brimob,” an abbreviated name for Indonesia’s paramilitary police.
Skrzypski, a globe-trotter who has lived in Switzerland for years, was arrested in Indonesia’s easternmost Papua region in August and accused of plotting against the state. He is on trial along with a Papaun he had been in contact with, Simon Magal.
Skrzypski’s statement, provided to The Associated Press by one of his lawyers, said he was punched through cell-door bars at a police detention centre in Wamena and spat on by the men who threatened to return to kill him if he is found guilty.
“What is striking is the total indifference of the arrest guards. I was even wondering if they would open the cell doors to allow us to be harassed inside or taken away,” he wrote.
Jayawijaya district police chief Vicky Pandu Widha denied any mistreatment and said officials had “tried our best” to satisfy Skrzypski’z requests for supplies such as milk.
“He is always dissatisfied and made up bad stories to discredit Indonesian police,” Widha said.
Skrzypski faces up to 20 years in prison and his case has highlighted Indonesia’s extreme sensitivity about the long-running insurgency in the Papua region, which occupies the western half of the island of New Guinea. The Indonesian government restricts foreign journalists from reporting in the region.
Human rights lawyer Latifah Anum Siregar said she protested Skrzypski’s treatment at a court hearing on Thursday.