The Palm Scribe

ANJ denies torture of resident in Papua

JAKARTA — PT Austindo Nusantara Jaya Tbk (ANJ) on Tuesday (5/12/2017) denied accusations that it was involved in any case of torture of a local resident in West Papua.

ILLUSTRATION. PT Permata Putra Mandiri palm plantation in Papua. ILLUSTRATION. PT Permata Putra Mandiri palm plantation in Papua.

In a press release, PT ANJ said that the accusation, made by the Solidarity for Victims of Violence of the Customary Iwaro Community in West Papua that a local resident was tortured on October 23, 2017, was not true.

“The statement is not in line with the facts on site, The incident reported in that press release is misleading and not proportional,” Nunik Maharani Maulana, ANJ Head Corporate Communications, said in a press release sent to The Palm Scribe.

The solidarity said in its own press released that on October 23, 2017, a local resident identified as Yan Ever Mengge, a.k.a. Bowake, came to see a company operator working on the field in the forest in Kapiremi hamlet in the district of Metamani in South Sorong, to ask for the payment of the compensation for the land and forest products as had been promised by the company on October 22, 2017.

Because he did not get a satisfactory answer, Bowake then set up a customary rite to bar entry to the area and demanded that the operator cease his work. Bowake is also said to have taken off the key to the excavator and that of a motorcycle, and left after that.

According to the press release, members of the Brimob police mobile brigade assuring security at the company then ran after him had beat him up with their rifles. Bowake is said to sustain injuries on his back, his hip and his knees.

Nunik denied the report saying that after the company had investigated the case thoroughly, it was found that Yan Ever Mengge, a.k.a Bowake is a resident who stays at the camp of the contractor, PT Permata Putera Mandiri (PPM) a subsidiary of ANJ operating in West Papua.

Mengge also did not suffer from violence as reported in the press release of the solidarity.

“Based on our notes, there was no incident whatsoever on October 23, 2017. We have a reporting system that records what is happening every day,” she said.

The record showed that Yan Mengge did come to the PPOM work area on November 1, 2017. Yan Mengge came carrying a number of knives, spears and ax. He threatened the safety of workers of PPM and therefore the Brimob member assigned to safeguard the area arrested and detained him to protect the workers and their own selves. They also disarmed Yan Mengge.

During the incident, Yan Mengge was not subjected to the treatment as described in the Solidarity press release, Nunik said. The conditions on site did not made it possible for the alleged actions to be done there.

On November 3, 2017, at the request of the family of Yan Mengge, a staff from the PPM contractor took Yan Mengge to BLUD Scholoo Keyen in Teminabuan, South Sorong for a medical check. “The doctor who checked Yan said that the man was healthy and that there were no signs of wound or trauma as is being alleged,” Nunik said.

The family of Yan Mengge witnessed the trip to Teminabuan and the medical check by the doctor, Nunik said. All costs were borne by the PPM contractor.

“Yan Mengge is currently in a good condition and still stays at the PPM contractor camp,” Nunik said.

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